Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Oregonian

In today’s news, hate crime reports increase in schools, PGE plans for renewable energy and Springfield loses wood products manufacturer.

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1. Racism on the rise in Oregon schools

Post-election, reports of hate crimes to the Southern Poverty Law Center have risen significantly, most commonly in K-12 schools. Portland schools warned parents about the problem Tuesday noting an increase in hate speech since the election, the Oregonian reports. Students have started to fight back, most notably on Monday when hundreds of Portland students marched across the city in protest of the President-elect. Schools are now working to facilitate safe discussion between students.

2. PGE unveils plan for renewable energy mandate 

The energy provider is facing the closure of its coal plant in Boardman and plans to add renewable energy to meet state mandates. The plan proposes utilizing new resources like wind power and natural gas generation, the Portland Business Journal reports. PGE submitted its Integrated Resource Plan to the Oregon Public Utility Commission yesterday which further outlines the plans to reach renewable energy goals. 

3. Springfield’s Rosboro sells timber holdings 

The wood products manufacturer, one of Springfield’s oldest employers, announced the sale Tuesday. Rosboro sold the entire firm, which includes its timber mill and 95,000 acres of timberland, the Register Guard reports. 

4. Portland proposes enforcement techniques for short-term rentals

The city became the first in the nation to allow short-term rentals, but the laws are often circumvented by owners. New proposed rules from the Bureau of Development Services would end the 30-day grace period for owners who don’t have the required permits, Willamette Week reports. Violations would also come with larger fines: ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 and increasing the fine frequency to each day of continued violation rather than on a monthly basis.

5. Audit finds Oregon is behind on food inspections

The state audit found about 25% of inspections are three months past due, the Statesman Journal reports. These delays put public safety at risk. The audit also criticized the Food Safety Program for a lack of oversight and supervision of inspectors in the field. 

6. Oregon unemployment rate dips again

The jobless rate fell from 5.5 percent to 5.3 percent last month, the Oregonian reports. Oregon’s job market is growing at nearly double the national rate. Construction and healthcare industries clocked in as the fastest growing sectors last month.

7. The Divide

Debate over Portland residential infill plan exposes demographic chasm.