Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has just announced his resignation.
Kitzhaber, who has served for nearly 40 years and was just re-elected to a fourth term in November, faced calls to resign by the leaders of his own party and appeared to have virtually no support in state government circles.
The governor's resignation will take effect Wednesday, Feb. 18 at 10 a.m.
His resignation letter read, in part, "It is not in my nature to walk away from a job I have undertaken – it is to stand and fight for the cause. For that reason I apologize to all those people who gave of their faith, time, energy and resources to elect me to a fourth term last year and who have supported me over the past three decades. I promise you that I will continue to pursue our shared goals and our common cause in another venue."
Oregon's Senator Jeff Merkley made the following statement after Governor John Kitzhaber announced his resignation earlier today:
"John Kitzhaber loves Oregon deeply and has contributed enormously to making our state a better place. Today, he did what was right for Oregon by resigning.
"I know that our incoming Governor, Kate Brown, will continue the fight for our Oregon values, from clean air and clean water to a robust economy, and I look forward to working with her."
Oregon's top legislative leaders have called on Gov. John Kitzhaber to resign because of a growing ethics scandal.
The board approved a letter to Sen. Betsy Johnson and Rep. Deborah Boone urging support for a transportation funding package in the Oregon Legislature that would boost revenue to counties. In part, the letter states "The erosion of the highway fund due to decreasing gas tax revenues, the reduction of Secure Rural Schools funding and the continued deterioration of roads and bridges has put Clatsop County's road system in jeopardy." (entire text here).
The community-led effort to renovate the only existing playground in Gearhart took a big step forward with the announcement of Lum's Auto Center, awarding a donation of $10,000 toward the Gearhart Playground Project. The state of the art, eco-friendly structure is designed to provide a safe and controlled space where children can receive numerous health benefits while simply playing and having fun.
Life Flight Network (LFN), the largest not-for-profit air medical transport service in the United States, announced it will be opening a base in Astoria. The base will begin 24/7 operations May 15, 2015. The LFN base in Astoria will significantly improve access to air medical resources along the Oregon and Washington Coast.
Tuesday evening at 11:12 PM, a 19 year old Astoria female reported to Astoria Police that she was the victim of an assault. The victim reported that she had been walking on the Astoria Riverwalk near the foot of 31st when she was grabbed from the rear.
The Chinese American Citizen's Alliance of Portland's mission is to develop leadership, service needs in their community and promote for civil rights for all. Chinese ancestry is not required for participation. The Alliance offers local and national scholarships.
Razor clam diggers can count on an eight-day opener beginning Feb. 15 and start planning trips to Washington's beaches in March, state shellfish managers said today.
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) approved the upcoming dig, which runs Feb. 15-22, after marine toxin tests showed the clams are safe to eat.
Dan Ayres, WDFW coastal shellfish manager, said the best digging typically occurs one to two hours before low tide. No digging is allowed at any beach before noon.
A lawsuit that accuses the federal Environmental Protection Agency from failing to protect Washington and Oregon oysters from ocean acidification is scheduled for a hearing Thursday in Seattle.
The agency is being sued by the Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit organization that works to protect endangered species and habitat.
The center is challenging an EPA decision three years ago that said Washington and Oregon sea water meets water-quality standards meant to protect marine life.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers today released the final Environmental Impact Statement to reduce predation on juvenile salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act by a large population of double-crested cormorants in the Columbia River estuary.
A Coast Guard helicopter crew medevaced three mariners, reportedly suffering from burns and a leg injury, from a cargo ship 52 miles west of the Columbia River Bar, Thursday. A Coast Guard Air Station Astoria MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew hoisted the three men from the 623-foot Cyprus-flagged motor vessel and transferred them to awaiting emergency medical service personnel at the air station.
A Coast Guard spokesman says a derelict 69-foot fishing vessel has sunk at the Port of Astoria.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Jonathan Klingenberg said the Cap'n Oscar was submerged up to the pilothouse by Thursday evening. It has an unknown amount of fuel aboard. An agency team is working with Port of Astoria personnel to minimize any pollution.
"Thanks to the crew at the Port of Astoria and the quick response from the Coast Guard incident management department we were able to quickly address the pollution threat," said Chief Warrant Officer Amber Winkowski, the command duty officer at Sector Columbia River. "The Coast Guard will continue to monitor the case until the vessel is removed from the water and the pollution is mitigated."
Personnel from the Port of Astoria, working with Coast Guard responders, plan to attempt dewatering at low tide followed by a full removal of the vessel the Friday morning .