Government, politics, Salem

State Dispatch: Two legislators leaving Salem, the I-5 bridge project is back, free fishing weekend

Left to right: Roger Millar, WSDOT Director, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, ODOT Director Kris Strickler. Photo: Kate Brown Governor’s Office

State Rep. Caddy McKeown will not run again

In Oregon political news, Rep. Caddy McKeown (D-Coos Bay) announced on November 19 that she will not seek a fifth term to represent House District 9 in 2020.

“I first sought this post because I believe Oregon’s South Coast deserves to have someone fighting for them in the legislature,” Rep. McKeown said. “Over my four terms, I have been proud to work across the aisle to bring significant investments to our communities on the South Coast. It has truly been an honor.” Rep. McKeown said in a press release.

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Oregon Senator Cliff Bentz to resign in January

In even more news from the Oregon Legislature, Sen. Cliff Bentz (R-Ontario) will resign from Oregon Senate District 30 to run full time for outgoing U.S. State Representative Greg Walden’s seat, who announced his retirement in October, as reported by OPB.

Specter of the Columbia River Crossing rises

Governor Kate Brown met with Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Monday, November 18 in Vancouver, Wash. to sign a memorandum of intentt to replace the I-5 bridge crossing the Columbia River. 

“Governor Inslee and I come together today from both sides of the river with a common goal: to build a resilient bridge that will serve our states for many years to come,” said Governor Brown in a joint press release. “Both Oregon and Washington are currently experiencing unprecedented population, cultural, and economic growth. This joint effort to replace the interstate bridge is critical to the safety and economies of both Oregon and Washington, and an important step forward as we invest in the growth of our region.”

“This is a new day. We need to replace the I-5 bridge over the Columbia River to benefit both Washingtonians and Oregonians. Our states are separated by a magnificent river but our values are consistent on both sides of the river,” Governor Inslee said in the same press release. “We are starting this process anew, moving forward with resources for a project office and a transparent, data-driven process that listens to the community’s needs.”

After a controversial attempt to replace the aging Interstate Bridge between Portland and Vancouver, Wash. famously failed, replacing the bridge had not been seriously pursued, but on Monday, Nov. 18, the two governors put into writing their intent to build a new span.

It remains to be seen if the new project will have any more success than the last one. 

Free Fishing Weekend

In the wee hours of Friday morning after Thanksgiving, Oregonians across the state will pack up and head out to dozens of stores, battling, sometimes physically, for discounted socks, TVs, and board games as part of the annual Black Friday tradition of madness and mayhem in search of deals and discounts.

Others will go fishing.

Read more here about how to fish for free — and access state parks for free — on Thanksgiving weekend. 

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Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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