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Evening News on 02/21/14

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Evening News
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Fri, 02/21/2014 - 5:00pm - 5:30pm
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Evening News on 02/20/14

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Evening News on 02/18/14

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Evening News on 02/17/14

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Evening News on 02/13/14

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Evening News on 02/12/14

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Wed, 02/12/2014 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
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Evening News on 02/11/14

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Tue, 02/11/2014 - 5:00pm - 6:00pm
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Evening News on 02/10/14

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Evening News on 02/07/14

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Evening News
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Fri, 02/07/2014 - 5:00pm - 5:30pm
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Evening News on 02/05/14

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Audio

ALEC Influence on Immigration-related legislation in Oregon

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Wed, 08/20/2014
By now, you know what ALEC is and what it stands for.  And you know it  
has committees called task forces that bring together corporate representatives and  legislators in such a way that the former offer the latter model bills  
to introduce in state legislatures.  These bills tend to greatly favor corporate interests.
 And you also know that in many cases, those businesses make campaign contributions  to legislators who, in return, try to make those model bills law.
 
What you may not know is that two of those task forces, the Civil  
Justice and Homeland Security Task Force and the Public Safety and  
Elections Task Force have been introducing anti-immigration model  
bills since 2008.  And all of them found their way into the line of  
sight of some of Oregon's more conservative legislators.
 
Becky Straus Legislative Director with American Civil Liberties Union  of Oregon spoke on anti-immigrant legislation introduced in the past few sessions.
 
HB 2803, introduced by Representative Kim Thatcher in 2011, 
"Requires state and county law enforcement to investigate the immigration
status of people who are arrested"
It Contains elements of ALEC Immigration Law Enforcement Act
 
2011's HB 2805, also sponsored by Representative Thatcher, prohibits  
state agencies from providing employment, products, services or  
licenses to persons who are not lawfully present in the United
States".  It is largely similar to ALEC "Taxpayer and Citizen  
Protection Act".
 
2011’s HB 2973 also spawned from ALEC Taxpayer and Citizen Protection  
Act, "Requires employer to verify legal status of employee to be  
employed in United States through federal E-Verify program prior to  
deducting expenses related to worker's employment from Oregon taxable  
income"
 
Its chief sponsors were Representative Bob Jenson and Representative Greg Smith
 
 
Yet another descendant from ALEC Taxpayer and Citizen Protection  
Act, 2011’s HB 3045 "Requires employer to verify legal status of  
employee to be employed in United States through federal E-Verify  
program prior to deducting expenses related to worker's employment  
from Oregon taxable income"
Its chief sponsor was Representative Mike Schaufler
 
In 2011, House Bill 2802, sponsored by Representative Kim Thatcher  
"Prohibits state restrictions on state agencies and law enforcement in  
enforcing Federal Immigration law."
 
House Bill 2806, which was also sponsored by Representative Thatcher, limits  
deductibility of expenses related to employment of workers hired on or  
after January 1, 2012, to workers whose eligibility for employment in  
United States has been verified through federal E-Verify employment  
verification system."  HB 2806 and House Bill 2802 both contain  
elements of the ALEC Immigration Law Enforcement Act
 
And finally, 2012's House Bill 4052 was strongly supported by known  
ALEC members in the Oregon legislature.  Eight of them, including   
Representatives Kim THATCHER  Representatives Eyre BREWER,
Sal ESQUIVEL,  Tim FREEMAN,  Sherie SPRENGER,  Jim THOMPSON,  Gene WHISNANT and Matt WINGARD supported the measure which, among other things, requires state agencies to use the federal E-Verify employment system to  
verify employment eligibility of job applicants, report the use of system to the Oregon  
Department of Administrative Services and report annually to the legislature on use of E-Verify system by state agencies.
 
And although HB 4052 failed in 2012, it returned the following year as HB  
2358 and was again sponsored by ALEC members Kim Thatcher and Gene  
Whisnant.
 
We reached out to Representative Thatcher but our request for an  
interview was turned down by her legislative assistant Dawn  
Phillips. Dawn said she was uncomfortable with us asking Representative Thatcher about ALEC bills she has introduced.
 
 
Part 2
 
Kelley Weigel, an Executive Director of Western States Center wrote  in
her 2014 piece "How the Right Has (Re)turned":
 
"2014 will be a heavy ballot measure year across the West. Just as the
American Legislative Exchange Council  asserts a conservative agenda
through state policy, state based groups and nationally networked groups
such as Oregonians for Immigration Reform to Americans for Prosperity put
ballot measures out to test public sentiment on the parameters of our
democracy."
 
She continues:
 
"This year will be no exception to the struggle between those that want to
use the ballot to expand rights and access and those who wish to narrow
who counts as members of our communities deserving of rights, recognition
and resources".
 
As we mentioned earlier, the Oregon Legislature looked at a number of  
immigration related pieces of legislation
 
Let's look at one of them in particular, Measure 88, which is on the 
November ballot.  Measure 88 is what's known as a veto referendum and  
is the only one of its kind on the 2014 ballot.   A veto referendum is  
a response to a measure that has been passed by the legislature but is  
being challenged by a special interest group.  If they collect enough  
signatures, they force the challenge onto the ballot for a citizen vote.
 
Measure 88, also known as Senate Bill 833 provides driving cards to  
the undocumented.  It was passed last year by the Oregon legislature  
but it limits those driving privileges to four years for  the  
undocumented in the state.  As in a handful of other states, the  
driving card cannot be used as proof of identification for air travel,  
to enter federal facilities, to vote or as proof of citizenship.
 
The referendum is managed by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, as well as Protect Oregon Drivers Licenses, both of whom oppose the measure. The ACLU of Oregon favors it.
 
Oregon State Representatives Kim Thatcher and Sal Esquivel opposed SB 833 and Measure 88.
 
In the endorsement statement published  by Protect Oregon Drivers Licenses Kim Thatcher wrote: "In regards to state issued ID - in the form of driver privilege cards- to illegal aliens, I am talking about adults who have made a conscience decision not to go through the legal process. I am talking about those who made a conscience decision to be here illegally. You have to wonder if someone is willing to disregard immigration laws,  
what other laws are they willing to disregard. Our state has determined that driving is a privilege. It is not a right. We should be very careful about who we allow the privilege of driving on Oregon  
roads?"
 
Part 3
 
Now lets expand our focus outside of Oregon to better understand the full scope of AlEC immigration agenda.
 
A piece  of ALEC inspired legislation that has gotten a lot of attention in the last few years was Arizona's Senate Bill 1070, the so called "Show me your papers" law.  Many provisions of the "Support Our  
Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act" were struck down by the US Supreme Court in 2012.  And House Bill 2802, which was the Immigration Law Enforcement Act failed in the Oregon legislature.  But the idea of  
providing support and protection to the undocumented here in Oregon has been prominent for awhile.
 
According to the Ohio Jobs for Justice Political Action Committee website, the Congressional Research Service said that a 1987 Oregon law prohibits local and state law enforcement from using state resources for locating and capturing illegal aliens.  Law enforcement was permitted [but not required] to "exchange information" with federal immigration agents if an illegal alien was arrested for a crime. 
 
 
More recently, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton told Fox 12 that the law unfairly rips families apart and takes up space and time that could be used for more serious crimes.
 
The site also identifies Multnomah and Marion Counties, as well as the cities of Ashland, Gaston and Portland to be sites of sanctuary for the undocumented.
 
As near as we could tell, all of the model bills that were introduced between 2011 and 2013 by the Oregon legislature that were inspired by either ALEC Public Safety and Elections Task force or ALEC Civil  
Justice Homeland Security Task force failed.  But that doesn't mean ALEC influence on the undocumented is unfelt or invisible.
 
Two big corporate names on the Justice Performance Task Force are Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group, formerly known as Wackenhut. These two are the leaders in the private prison and detention industry and are registered to do business in Oregon.  We couldn’t find direct contributions from these two companies to Oregon Legislators.  But we found other members of the Justice Performance and the Civil Justice Task Forces that have contributed thousands of dollars to Oregon legislators between 2008 and 2013.  
 
Between 2008 and 2013, Representatives Eyre Brewer, Mike Schauffler, Gene Whisnant, Tim Freeman, and Kim Thatcher received nearly $20,000 in contributions from task force member companies including Pfizer, Georgia Pacific, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, the National Rifle Association and the American Insurance Institute.  
 
 
Part 4
 
Corrections Corporation of America is the largest owner of for-profit prisons and immigration detention facilities in the United States. CCA currently owns and operates more than 65 facilities including 47 company-owned facilities, with a design capacity of more than 90,000 beds in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
 
For nearly two decades, CCA participated in and even led the Criminal Justice task force of the American Legislative Exchange Council.
 
Writing in Governing magazine in 2003, Alan Greenblatt states:
ALEC has been a major force behind both privatizing state prison space and keeping prisons filled. It puts forward bills providing for mandatory minimum sentences and three-strikes sentencing requirements.”
 
CCA was a member of ALEC for over two decades, and reportedly left the organization in 2010.
 
Since 2004, the nation's two largest private prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group have spent over $26 million lobbying the federal government; these corporations and their biggest investors engage in political scheming and lobbying at the state and local level. 
 
In 2012 THE GEO Group had nearly $130 million in contracts with the DHS
(CORRECTIONS CORPORATION OF AMERICA had over $34 million in contracts with the DHS the same year).
 
According to Jamie Trinkle, “Undocumented immigrants comprised 4.3% (or 160,000 people) of Oregon’s population and 5.3% of the state workforce in 2010.  The Portland Immigration and Customs Enforcement field office processes between 12 and 15 immigrants a day, or 3120 to 3900 people each year.
Immigrants held by ICE at the Portland field office are transferred within 24-hours to GEO Group’s Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, Washington.  Since 2004, the privately-owned facility has been under contract with ICE to house detainees pending removal process. Under the current contract, ICE must maintain a minimum population of 1,181 detainees at a rate of $100.65 per day. ICE pays GEO $62.52 per day for each detainee exceeding 1,181.
At the Northwest Detention Center, as at most private prison facilities, documented abuses are rampant: overcrowding, abusive strip searches, delayed medical care, and inadequate food. GEO and CCA profit from the detention of vulnerable immigrant communities by understaffing prisons and cutting costs so that basic food and medical needs are not met.” 
 
This report was produced by Yana Maximova with help from KBOO reporters Mike Klepfer,  Sam Bowman, Sam Smith and Don Merrill.
 
Special thanks to Becky Straus of the ACLU of Oregon and Nicholas Bailey.  You
can find other reports by the KBOO investigative news team at KBOO.fm/alec .
 
  • Length: 17:49 minutes (16.31 MB)
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Kurdish-Americans React to Situation in Iraq

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Thu, 08/07/2014
Kurdish separatists in the northeast of the country are fighting to maintain their de facto independence in the face of assaults from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or ISIS. For analysis of the current situation in Iraqi Kurdistan and the reaction of Kurds in the United States, KBOO’s Sam Bouman spoke to Chinar Hussein, Program Director of the Kurdish Human Rights Watch office in San Diego.
  • Length: 5:53 minutes (5.39 MB)
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Rami Almeghari - update from Gaza

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Wed, 07/30/2014
On Wednesday July 30th, the Palestinian Ministry of Health voiced outraged at a new massacre of civilians perpetrated during the so-called humanitarian ceasefire this afternoon.

Israeli forces said they would stop the bombing that has been constant for the last two days for three hours to allow people to buy food and supplies.

But when hundreds of people were out on the street at a market in eastern Gaza, U-S supplied F-16 aircraft fired missiles into the crowd, killing fifteen and wounding two hundred.

The bombing of the market followed an Israeli airstrike that hit a school in Jabalia early wednesday that also killed around fifteen people, and wounded dozens more.

This is the fourth time during the three-week long Israeli assault that a school serving as a shelter for internal refugees has been directly targeted by airstrikes.

For more on the latest situation in Gaza, KBOO spoke with independent journalist Rami Almeghari.
He recently had to evacuate from his home in Al-Maghazi refugee camp to his sister’s house in Nusseirat.  He told us that around thirty people were in the house with him, and he has no idea when he’ll be able to return back home

Latest from Gaza: hundreds of bombs dropped Tuesday; over 1200 Palestinians killed since 7/8

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Tue, 07/29/2014
Mohammed Omer from Gaza spoke with KBOO on Tuesday night 7/29 around midnight Gaza time.  Planes were flying overhead, naval artillery was firing from the west and tanks firing from the east.  Tens of thousands of Palestinians who followed Israeli orders to evacuate to Gaza City found themselves under fire there as well.  As Mohammed reports, there seems to be a deliberate attempt to cut off all communication to and from Gaza - bombing of cell phone towers, the destruction of the power plant in last night's bombing, and the targeting of journalists.  Mohammed told us that a busload of foreign journalists was seen leaving Gaza today - "always a bad sign", he said, as his phone crackled and cut.

KBOO Interviews Denis Theriault of Portland Mercury on the Old Town Redevelopment Plan

Categories:
program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Fri, 07/25/2014
This KBOO Evening News piece includes an interview by KBOO's Theo Burke with Denis Theriault, News Editor of Portland Mercury, who has been covering the story.

The Portland City Council is considering a plan in Old Town / Chinatown / River District area that might spur building in the underdeveloped area.  The plan would waive up to $7 million of infrastructure fees to developers who build affordable housing. 

Should developers build in Old Town, those waived fees would affect every department in the City.  

A new modification of the plan proposed by Mayor Charlie Hales would extend rent freezes associated with the plan from 10 to 15 years long, but allow developers to charge any rent they choose to tenants who make 120% of Portland's median income. Hales proposed the modification to attract the vote of Commissioner Steve Novick, who was concerned that rents would suddenly be raised high after ten years.

Utah Tar-Sand Activist Arrested During Blockade

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Wed, 07/23/2014

On Monday July 21, 21 protestors were arrested during a attempted U.S. Tar Sand Oil blockade. 

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865607367/Protesters-from-across-US-a...

Utah is well-known for its polluted inversions during the winter months. 

It is said that tar sand oil is already being refined for CHEVERON gas-stations and Utah local gas station TOSORO, and is creating higher and even more dangerous levels of inversions in and around the Salt Lake valley. A North Salt Lake refinery is just one of a few other oil refineries around the state that is alledgedly refining tar sand.

Wednesday July 23, KBOO's Sekoynia Wright spoke with Jessica Lee a social media coordinator for Peaceful Uprising for an update on the protestors against the drilling development for tar sand in PR Springs, Utah.

  • Length: 8:31 minutes (7.8 MB)
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Gaza protest outside Sen. Wyden's office

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Mon, 07/21/2014
Around 60 people gathered on the sidewalk outside of the Federal Building in the Lloyd District where Senator Ron Wyden has his office. They held signs calling for an end to the Gaza seige and invasion and in support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Many had the names of people killed in the current bombing and ground invasion of Gaza pinned to their chests. A group of five went inside to meet with Wyden staffers and reported back to the group afterwards. Paul Roland was there, and he recorded audio including interviews with Mark Braverman of Friends of Sabeel-North America, Portland group and Peter Miller with Americans United for Palestinian Human Rights.
  • Length: 15:29 minutes (14.18 MB)
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Protest action at Seneca Jones biomass plant in Eugene

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Mon, 07/07/2014
Activists with Cascadia Forest Defenders and Earth First! converged on the Seneca Jones biomass plant in Eugene this morning to protest the company’s privatization of public lands in the Elliott State Forest and ongoing pollution in West Eugene.
 
Several protestors locked themselves to equipment at the plant, effectively blocking the “truck dump” where biomass is loaded into the incinerator.
 
The plant releases an estimated 17,900 pounds of air toxins into West Eugene Neighborhoods annually.
 
There are three schools within three miles of the Seneca biomass facility.
 
For more information, KBOO’s Ken Jones spoke with Grace Warner of Cascadia Forest Defenders.

If you’d like to read more about today’s Seneca Biomass Plant protest, go to forestdefensenow.com. You can also donate to the protestors’ defense fund on this site.
                                
  • Length: 5:59 minutes (8.21 MB)
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Eugene police will engage in forced blood tests over 4th of July weekend

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Wed, 07/02/2014
Eugene listeners will be interested to know that if they’re stopped at a police checkpoint this coming weekend, they had better agree to perform a Breathalyzer test, or risk being forced to have their blood drawn by the police.

During the coming holiday weekend in Eugene, police will implement a policy to forcibly draw blood from people who refuse to take an alcohol Breathalyzer test.
The so-called ‘no refusal’ policy will likely result in people being strapped down to gurneys and forced to have their blood drawn.
 
That’s been the result of ‘no refusal’ policies in other cities where they’ve been implemented.
 
Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor charge.  Forced blood tests are not required for any other misdemeanor charges, including drug possession. But they are allowed for people suspected of drunk driving.
 
In Georgia, forced blood draws have become a standard practice over the last several years, but lawyers there have challenged the practice as unconstitutional.
 
Bob Chestney is an Atlanta-based lawyer who has filed legal challenges to the practice of forced blood draws.  He is one of a group of lawyers that are challenging the practice of forced blood draws.
 
In Oregon, no lawyers have filed a challenge, and the ACLU told reporters that as long as the police get a search warrant for the blood, they are within the law.
But other civil liberties advocates say that strapping people down to a gurney and forcing them to submit to a blood draw is a violation of the fourth amendment ban on illegal search and seizure.
 
  • Length: 4:32 minutes (4.15 MB)
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Portland Police Stop Tracking Use of Force on Transients

program: 
Evening News
program date: 
Thu, 06/26/2014
Denis Theriault of the Portland Mercury discusses how the Portland Police Bureau has stopped making public their data on use of force against "transients."
  • Length: 5:32 minutes (5.07 MB)
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