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OPB Politics Now

Oregon Public Broadcasting

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"OPB Politics Now" is a weekly podcast that takes a deep dive into the hottest political topics in Oregon and the Northwest. Every Friday, OPB’s political reporters and special guests offer in-depth analysis, discussion and insight into candidates, events and issues.
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Salmon are essential to Columbia River tribal people. These fish represent not only a food source but a way of life. As a white kid growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Tony Schick heard a lot about salmon — how important they are to this region, and how much trouble they’re in now. But the history he learned was not the whole story. As an investigative reporter for OPB and ProPublica, he’s been working to uncover and understand a more sinister version of events. And along the way, he connec ...
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Bundyville: The Remnant

Oregon Public Broadcasting

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Bundyville: The Remnant, a co-production between Longreads and OPB, explores the world beyond the Bundy family and the armed uprisings they inspired. This series investigates extremist violence that results from the conspiracy theories of the anti-government movement, who is inspiring that violence and who stands to benefit.
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Back Fence PDX Radio

Back Fence PDX Radio

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Back Fence PDX Radio, produced in collaboration with Back Fence PDX and OPB. We take the best stories from our live shows in Portland, then run them by a radio fairy who sprinkles magic radio dust on them so that the stories may be broadcast across airwaves and inter-webs. Live shows have been playing to packed audiences since 2008. The show pays homage to The Moth Radio Hour and is also the kissing cousin to San Francisco’s Porch Light storytelling series. Back Fence PDX Radio alternates wi ...
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The Inside Elections Podcast analyzes elections in a nonpartisan, data-driven, and accessible way. Inside Elections provides nonpartisan analysis of congressional, presidential, and gubernatorial races. With a combination of reporting and data, we break down the key races and bring valuable context to complex elections.
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State of Oregon Podcast

State of Oregon Podcast

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The State of Oregon Podcast is a bi-monthly show that examines the ongoing and historical transgressions of white supremacy and fascist systems in Portland and the greater PNW. Our lens is focused on long term activists and organizers, within a narrative historical context for contemporary violence, and systemic oppression.
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Oregon has a long history of struggling to help kids in foster care and a high profile trial was supposed to put those struggles on center stage. But a settlement put that case on ice at the last minute. On the latest episode of OPB Politics Now, we’ll discuss what that settlement means plus we’ll dive into the latest shakeup in Salem leadership ci…
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Nathan Gonzales, Jacob Rubashkin and Dirk VanderHart of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) look ahead to key House primaries in Oregon and look back at consequential results in Maryland, Nebraska, and West Virginia. Twitter profiles: @nathanlgonzales @jacobrubashkin @dirquez @InsideElections The Inside Elections podcast analyzes congressional, presid…
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Looking at the history of psychological operations, “Stories Are Weapons: Psychological Warfare and the American Mind” is the latest book by author and journalist Annalee Newitz. It explores misinformation, propaganda and how the stories we hear can manipulate us. The book also features a chapter on the work the Coquille Indian Tribe has done to un…
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Nathan Gonzales and Jacob Rubashkin analyze the upcoming Virginia primaries and general election with Laura Vozzella of The Washington Post and talk about the annual congressional softball game for breast cancer research with Atalie Ebersole of the Pet Food Institute. Twitter profiles: @nathanlgonzales @jacobrubashkin @LVozzella @aaepb89 @CWSoftbal…
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Coastal martens, also known as Humboldt martens, are small, catlike members of the weasel family that live in the coastal forests of Oregon and northern California. The animals were thought to be extinct due to logging and trapping, but were rediscovered in northern California in the 1990s. Today, there are only about 400 coastal martens left in th…
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Global climate change is warming oceans, melting polar ice and causing sea levels to rise around the world. Scientists predict that in the next 80 years, waters will rise at least 3 feet, but that a rise of more than 6 feet cannot be ruled out. That level of increase would submerge small islands in the Columbia River and leave much of Sauvie Island…
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NOAA recently released a seasonal outlook that shows much of the United States will likely experience a hotter than usual summer, including in Oregon. And, last year was already the hottest summer on record. What role is climate change playing in the seasonal outlook? How might they look different moving forward? We dig into these issues with Dan C…
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The two new leaders of Oregon’s Planned Parenthood affiliates are pushing to dissolve the political arm of their organization in a move that has blindsided some long-time advocates and has them worried about the future of reproductive rights in the state. Oregon has two Planned Parenthood affiliates. They provide reproductive health care, including…
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According to Credence Research, the U.S. plus-size women’s clothing market is expected to be worth over $101 billion by 2032. But at the same time, within the past few years the market has faced challenges with major retailers like Old Navy and the LOFT scaling back on its sizes. Why do retailers struggle to meet the needs of plus-size clientele, a…
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Douglas firs, hemlocks and ponderosa pines probably feel like fundamental parts of Oregon’s natural forests. In fact there are people working across the state to breed better versions of those trees to be more resistant to insects, diseases and climate change. Don Kaczmarek, a forest geneticist for the Oregon Department of Forestry, joins us to tal…
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Last month, a 5-story commercial building in Portland’s Old Town historic district was awarded one of the most rigorous sustainability certifications in the world, given by the Portland-based International Living Futures Institute. There are only three dozen certified Living Buildings in the world, and the Portland building is the first commercial …
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State lawmakers are traveling across Oregon to host meetings about transportation issues. The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation has kicked off a 12-stop tour to hear perspectives on the state’s transportation system and the challenges it faces. Lawmakers will use information from the tour to craft Oregon’s next transportation package …
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The federal COVID-19 emergency declaration, which expanded Medicaid coverage, officially ended last spring. Since then, state agencies that oversee Medicaid have been updating their eligibility rosters and disenrolling patients who no longer qualify. While some patients were determined ineligible, the vast majority were disenrolled for administrati…
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Salem is far from the only Oregon city to be struggling with balancing its budget amid rising costs and declining revenues. Leaders cite property tax limits, the end of pandemic aid money and inflation rates, among other factors. But as a capital city, it’s one that gets more attention than others. Earlier this year, Salem city residents reacted ov…
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In October 2022, Grant County Sheriff Todd McKinley arrested Ricky Snodgrass, a U.S. Forest Service employee who was leading a prescribed burn that jumped to private land and burned roughly 20 acres. In February of this year, a grand jury indicted Snodgrass on a misdemeanor count of reckless burning. His case was then moved to federal court, where …
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Last month, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office had a swearing-in ceremony for Burton, a new member on its force. He won’t, however, be apprehending suspected criminals, working on investigations or responding to requests for back-up. But the help he will provide is just as valuable, albeit in a different way, to deputies and the communities they…
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Since the Hamas attack on Oct. 7, Israel's retaliatory air and ground military response has left Gaza in ruins. Less than a third of the hospitals there are intact and operating at even a diminished capacity. As Beaverton doctor Ahmed Ebeid put it after he returned from a volunteer trip to the region, people are dying from war wounds even if they m…
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In April, members of the Columbia Gorge Fruit Growers Association gave testimony at a Wasco County Commissioners meeting over potential rule changes to Oregon’s agricultural labor housing standards. The growers claim many of the changes are too costly to implement and unrelated to health and safety. Columbia Gorge News recently reported on the meet…
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According to the latest economic forecast, Oregon’s economy is steady. But at the same time, state economists say that job growth over the past few years has been at some of the state’s lowest levels in recent history. The forecast also found that there is a 50% chance for Oregonians to see another kicker in 2026. Josh Lehner interim state economis…
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Floating offshore wind projects are slowly moving forward off the coasts of California and Southern Oregon. The projects could power millions of homes, but they’ve also raised concerns from tribal governments, environmental organizations and the commercial fishing industry. The Pacific Offshore Wind Consortium aims to address some of those question…
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The Sisters Rodeo has begun. The event will last through June 9 and features multiple performances and a parade. Next month, St. Paul will host its rodeo over the 4th of July. The rodeos have run for more than 80 years and host thousands of spectators in their rural communities. We hear more about the events from Brian Greig, the director of sponso…
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We’re taking a deep dive into people’s work lives. We want to learn what it takes to do different jobs and how these professions change us. On the latest installment of our series, we visit Freeland Spirits in Portland, which is owned and run by women. Master Distiller Molly Troupe creates spirits, like gin and whiskey. She takes us behind the scen…
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The Pamplin Media Group announced Monday that the Portland Tribune and more than two dozen of its other local newspapers in Oregon had been sold to Mississippi-based Carpenter Media Group. As reported in Willamette Week, Ross Island Sand & Gravel, part of R.B. Pamplin Corp., has been under fire for its failure to refill the cavernous hole it dug wh…
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Since 2007, the Oregon Game Project Challenge teaches middle and high school students in Oregon how to go from video game players, to developers in a year long competition. Every season a new theme is announced and competitors have the entire school year to develop a video game from start to finish, including coding, art and sound design. This year…
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There’s a new entry in Portland’s art scene. But it’s not your typical exhibit or art show where the canvases or sculptures are carefully curated and displayed to be enjoyed from a respectful distance. Instead, Fathom is an underwater-themed immersive art experience abounding with opportunities for interaction, whether it’s the 21-foot-long, animat…
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In December 2023, news broke that a nurse at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center reportedly stole fentanyl from patients in the intensive care unit, by replacing their IV medication with tap water. This wasn’t the first time narcotics were stolen by an employee at the hospital, and it isn’t the only hospital in Oregon where this is happening. Poor…
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The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Department of Agriculture recently announced the closure of shellfish harvesting throughout the entire Oregon coast. In Washington, officials have also closed shellfish harvesting throughout the state’s Pacific Coast. Agencies are checking for a marine biotoxin which can cause paralytic shel…
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When you think of wetlands, you probably think of marshy areas around lakes and rivers. But there are also wetlands in the damp forests of the Pacific Northwest. And those wetlands can be very important for storing carbon and helping to slow climate change. Researchers in Washington are mapping the forested wetlands of the West. Natalia Mesa, Edito…
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Iron is one of the cheapest and most abundant metals on the planet, unlike nickel and cobalt, which are used in lithium-ion batteries to power electric vehicles, and ubiquitous devices, from mobile phones to laptops. Oregon State University chemistry researcher Xiulei “David” Ji is an author of a new study that shows iron can be used to replace met…
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Since 2006, more than 52,000 police guns were used in crimes across the U.S. In many cases, these weapons ended up in the hands of the general public in completely legal ways. Law enforcement agencies, including the Oregon State Police and the Portland Police Bureau, have sold or traded-in their firearms to gun stores or manufacturers in order to o…
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Before colonization, many Northwestern tribes used fire to replenish lands. Those fires burned grasses and underbrush, adding nutrients to the soil and helping plants germinate. Raymond Huesties of the Umatilla tribe is sharing this knowledge of prescribed fire with younger generations.By Oregon Public Broadcasting
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In Rachel K. Jones’ fantasy/horror story “The Sound of Children Screaming,” a fourth-grade teacher and her students find themselves in a magical world during a school shooting. The story draws inspiration from real-life events. The Beaverton author’s short story is a finalist for several literary awards, including the Hugo, Nebula and Bram Stoker a…
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Is progressivism on life support in Portland politics or was the Multnomah County District Attorney’s race an isolated event? On the latest episode of OPB Politics Now, reporters Dirk VanderHart, Alex Zielinski and Conrad Wilson discuss the DA’s race and what it may mean for Portland’s city council races this fall. Plus, how will Vasquez approach t…
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Two years ago, a Portland Jewish family’s home was destroyed in an arson. As they got rid of all their burned belongings, the one thing they couldn’t bear to do was toss out with the rest of the burned remains a 100 year-old Steinway grand piano that had belonged to “Grandma Bess.” Much of it was intact, though not restorable. They reached out to m…
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A bike garden in Vancouver will have its grand opening next month. Also known as traffic gardens, these types of spaces help children and adults practice bike and road safety in a controlled environment. Will Grimm is the lead design and project manager for the Heights Bike Garden. Fionnuala Quinn is the director of Discover Traffic Gardens and con…
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The Vancouver Master Chorale is in its 75th year of performing a range of choral music with a crew of volunteer singers. The choir has gone through several names and directors since 1949, and has toured across Canada, Europe and Hawaii. Today, the choir has grown to more than 100 members and performs everything from Beethoven to Billy Joel. Jana Ha…
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Portland is known as a coffee city – but some cafes are not only serving drinks, but a cause as well as nonprofits. Taylor Bolan is the manager of The Porch Coffee Space. Christina Horigan is the co-founder of Jubilee Hall. They both join us to share more about the work they’re doing and how they see this movement in the city.…
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Whether it’s a walk in the park, hike in the forest or tending to a backyard garden, there’s ample subjective and scientific evidence that being in nature can have beneficial effects for us, from relieving stress to improving our mood. But less is known about what role the scents of nature, from the unmistakable odor of a pine tree to chemicals emi…
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Nathan Gonzales, Jacob Rubashkin and Gabby Birenbaum of The Nevada Independent look ahead to key races in Nevada including upcoming primaries and a handful of consequential races that will help determine who sits in the White House and which party controls Congress. Twitter profiles: @nathanlgonzales @jacobrubashkin @birenbomb @InsideElections The …
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Five years ago, the national advocacy group A Better Childhood teamed up with local nonprofit Disability Rights Oregon to file a class action lawsuit against Oregon’s Department of Human Services. The state’s child welfare system had been sued individually many times over the years over horrific outcomes in individual cases. But this class action w…
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Oregon strawberries are renowned for their deep-red color and exceptional sweetness. They’re a special fruit, but the high sugar content that makes their flavor pop also makes them difficult to ship and store. Most of the state’s berries go into the processed market, to be used in ice cream, pastries and other goodies. But as reported in the Capita…
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Gaza war protesters at two Oregon universities have made progress on their demands after weeks of demonstrations On Friday, the Associated Students of Portland State University and PSU President Ann Cudd released a joint statement condemning the violence in Gaza and announcing new initiatives on campus. At the University of Oregon, a deal has been …
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