Oregon to consider antibiotic use in livestock, snowpack at above average levels and PCC board chair resigns over “sanctuary” designation.
1. Federal rule prevents antibiotics use with livestock
A new U.S. Food and Drug Administration rule that disallows using antibiotics to help fair animals gain weight went into effect Jan. 1. Experts argue loopholes in the rule make it ineffective in restricting antibiotic use, so some states are looking at stricter rules. Oregon is considering a bill to further restrict antibiotic use in farm animals this session, the Statesman Journal reports.
2. Oregon snowpack above seasonal average
Statewide snowpack is above average by 22%, but it’s not enough to indicate a solid irrigation season, Capital Press reports. Last year, snowpack levels were even higher, but a warm April led to record snowmelt. If the same warming occurs this spring, irrigating levels could be lower than the users demand. Hydrologists say Oregon will need to wait and see if snowpack continues before celebrating.
3. Researchers study impact of legal marijuana on teens
Colorado was the first state to legalize marijuana, and saw no increase in use among the teen population. When Washington legalization followed, the trend didn’t continue, according to recent study. Marijuana use among teens increased 2% for eight-graders and 4% among 10th-graders. Twelfth-graders indicate no change in use levels. Because Oregon sales began late in 2015, results were excluded from the nationwide study, the Bend Bulletin reports. A study is currently underway in Oregon to examine teen marijuana use.
4. PCC board chair resigns after “sanctuary” school designation
Gene Pitts resigned his post to protest what he called a “political decision,” the Portland Tribune reports. PCC joined Portland State University and Portland Public Schools in assuring undocumented immigrants they were welcomed at school. The designation also means the campus will not voluntarily cooperate with federal attempts to deport students. Pitts said he felt the decision placed federal grant money at risk and alienates future bond voters.
5. Chrome Industries moving HQ to Portland
Chrome, best-known for its messenger bag favored by cyclists, announced it will join the exodus from San Francisco and move to Portland, Bike Portland reports. Chrome will open its new headquarters in April. The company’s ecommerce division is already located in Portland.
6. Portland Macy’s will close in 2017
Portland’s downtown Macy’s is one of 68 closing this year, the company announced yesterday. The closure will impact 3,900 employees nationwide, the Oregonian reports. With closure now set, clearance sales to empty the store begin next week.
7. Alaska Airlines sends first flight to Havana
Alaska Airlines was awarded the sole West Coast route to service Cuba last year after President Obama loosened travel restrictions. The daily trip from Seattle to Havana launched this morning, OPB reports. As with many issues the nation faces, the Trump presidency leaves the service uncertain. Alaska Airlines representatives believe that because flight service has already begun, Trump will keep the route intact.
8. Solar makes gains as energy choice
A Q&A with Maria Pope, senior vice president of power supply & operations, and resource strategy at Oregon’s largest utility, Portland General Electric.