Category Archives: Walla Walla Union Bulletin

New law that reduces access to cigarettes, vaping is sound

The start of a new year also means new laws are debuting. Among the many new laws approved in Olympia that took effect on Jan. 1, increasing the age at which cigarettes and other tobacco (or nicotine-infused) products can be purchased is one that should yield benefits. Washington state is the ninth state to raise […]
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Reducing fees for Oregon’s public records is win for the people

The fees now being charged in Oregon are so high they are a barrier to access. Oregon Public Records Advocate Ginger McCall will be missed. McCall leaves office today after resigning when the governor’s office wanted her to secretly work for the governor while giving the impression she was working in the public interest. Now, […]
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Proposed fix to Oregon’s public records mess makes sense

The proposal would essentially take away oversight from the governor’s office. Keeping public records public is critical. It’s the public — the people — who our elected officials serve. Government records, whether at the national, state or local level, belong to the people. Some serious concerns emerged in Oregon about the way the governor’s office […]
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This district has a million questions

MILTON-FREEWATER — The Milton-Freewater Unified School District, like every district in the state of Oregon, is about to come into a Legislative-approved windfall, of sorts. Source: This district has a million questions

Oregon’s flawed jury rule must end | Editorials

Oregon is the only state that allows convictions without a unanimous verdict. The standard for convicting anyone of a crime must be extremely high. This is why nearly every state mandates all 12 jurors must agree the accused are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Oregon is the only state that allows a lower standard — […]
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An elected official bullies the free press — in small-town Oregon

Journalists should not be — and cannot be — kept from seeking the truth by officials using the government’s power to block their investigations. Newspapers and other professional news organizations aim to factually report the news, which often includes shining light on the actions of public officials. That glare of public scrutiny doesn’t always set […]
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Athena senator’s wildfire protection law benefits all | Editorials 

The law, approved unanimously by the Legislature, grants civil immunity to farmers and others fighting wildfires in good faith. Oregon state Sen. Bill Hansell, R-Athena, used common sense — something that, sadly, isn’t all that common — in coming up with legislation to better fight wildfires. His proposal, which unanimously passed the Legislature and was […]
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Success of Oregon’s smoking age hike to 21 is noteworthy

It’s a good sign for the Washington state Legislature’s recent decision to raise the age to 21 to buy tobacco products. Earlier this year Washington state lawmakers took the bold step raise the age to legally purchase cigarettes, vaping cartridges and other tobacco products from 18 to 21. In doing so, Washington joins Oregon and […]
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Oregon must stop allowing non-unanimous jury verdicts

Oregon lawmakers are taking action to put amending the state constitution on ballot. It must be done for the sake of justice. A front-page story in Thursday’s Union-Bulletin regarding the effort in Oregon to do away with non-unanimous jury verdicts was shocking. No, it’s not the fact that Oregon wants to make verdicts unanimous that’s […]
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Rural Oregon fire districts to link up

Four rural Oregon fire departments have voted to form a single, large agency through an Intergovernmental Agreement, which will begin July 1. Representatives from East Umatilla County Rural Fire Protection District, Helix Rural Fire Protection District, Athena Volunteer Fire Department and East Umatilla County Ambulance Area Health District (Medic 400) voted Wednesday night to join […]
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