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Summer Fund Drive Progress

The on-air portion of our fund drive is over, but you can still help KBCS reach its goal by donating before June 30th. Please make a gift in support of your favorite KBCS programs today, and thank you in advance!

$65,000 Goal

62.15%

Drive ends: June 30, 2024

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Climate Lawsuit: Juliana v. U.S.

February 5th, 2018 was the scheduled trial date for the constitutional climate lawsuit, Juliana v. U.S., to be heard in the U.S. District Court of Oregon, but for now the trial is on hold. KBCS’s Yuko Kodama spoke with Aji Piper, one of the youth plaintiffs in the case. He shares why he joined the case.

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Unmute the Commute: Apples and Oranges

For today’s Unmute the Commute, the story behind the lady passing out apples and oranges on Seattle buses. From KBCS’s Yuko Kodama. (more…)

Oregon Third Parties See Opportunities In 2016 Presidential Election

Polls are showing that Oregon voters aren’t rallying around either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. While Clinton is expected to win the state, her campaign is struggling to attract Democrats who voted for Bernie Sanders in the May primary. But as Salem Correspondent Chris Lehman explains, Clinton and Trump aren’t the only presidential candidates on the Oregon ballot this fall.

Left: Supporters of Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson talk to passersby at the Oregon State Fair.

Amid carnival rides, livestock and souvenir vendors, Robert Rowe is pitching a political philosophy. “We believe the government should do things like balance the budget, reduce the amount of spending,” he says, as he works the crowds at the Oregon State Fair. He’s at a tent set up by the campaign of Libertarian Gary Johnson, a former Republican governor of New Mexico. For the second election in a row, Johnson is the party’s presidential candidate.

Rowe says that, as Libertarians, “we believe that when it comes to social inclusion the government really needs to stay out of peoples’ lives. Get out of our bedrooms, out of our pocketbooks.” He thinks Gary Johnson’s message will resonate with Oregon voters. “All we have to do is tell people he’s fiscally conservative and he’s socially inclusive, and that pretty much gets most people’s interest right there.”

But that’s been the Libertarian party line for decades, without much success. But Rowe says voters are more receptive to the message this time around. “They’re looking for another alternative,” he says, “because they really just are not thrilled with the other two candidates, for whatever their reasons might be.”

That description fits Jerry Axtell perfectly. Axtell is from Gaston, Oregon and was visiting the fair with his family. When asked about the Republican and Democratic candidates for president he said, “They both suck.” He stood and listened to the Libertarian pitch, and liked a lot of what he heard.

“I lean more and more towards their views,” said Axtell, “and I agree with the fact that government shouldn’t be involved in a lot of the things they choose to be involved in.”

But he’s still not ready to commit, saying “I usually don’t fully make up my mind until the very end, the last week or two.”

The Libertarians aren’t the only third party to land a presidential candidate on the Oregon ballot. The Pacific Green Party is hoping to attract votes for its standard-bearer, Jill Stein. Like Johnson, this is Stein’s second run for president. Stein is a Massachusetts physician who’s served in local government but has never held a major elected office.

The leader of the Pacific Green Party in Oregon, Blair Bobier, says Stein should appeal to supporters of another candidate who’s no longer in the race. “On a lot of the issues,” he says, “Jill Stein and Bernie Sanders are very similar.”

Sanders won Oregon’s Democratic primary handily before ultimately losing the party’s nomination to Hillary Clinton. With Clinton now leading Donald Trump in the Oregon polls, Bobier hopes Sanders fans will cast their vote in favor of someone who shares many of their values: “Understandably people in different states are concerned that they don’t want to risk a vote for Dr. Stein, that they want to put their vote somewhere else to defeat Donald Trump. That’s not really a consideration in Oregon. So people can invest their vote in the Green Party and it will be effective in this election and into the future as well.”

Bobier says Stein will likely make another campaign stop in Oregon before the election. The Johnson campaign has been running ads in the state. Both Libertarians and Pacific Greens hope newfound interest in third parties will translate into future success in Oregon. So far that isn’t showing up in the form of voter registrations. As of August, both the Libertarian Party and the Pacific Green Party had fewer registered voters than they did the previous August.

Oregon Teachers Ready For New Federal Education Law

It takes only a moment to sign a major bill into law. It will take years to implement the new education policy outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which President Obama signed last December. The ESSA requires states to develop their own rules, and Oregon educators are looking forward to the possible impacts.

Unearthing Historical Battlefields in Southern Oregon

Perhaps on a trip back East or to the American South, you’ve visited a Civil War battlefield or two. These national parks and pilgrimage sites receive hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.

During the decade before the U.S. Civil War, a different conflict made a big impact on the Oregon Territory’s future. It’s known as the Rogue River Indian War. But you’ll be hard pressed to find or tour those battlefields.

Now, a series of archaeological investigations is resurrecting this Northwest history. Correspondent Tom Banse went to southern Oregon to find out more.

Left: Southern Oregon University archaeology field school participants unearthed the remains of Miner’s Fort in Curry County. The pioneer militia redoubt was besieged near the end of the Rogue River Indian War in 1856.

Legalizing Pot in Oregon…Again

Even though Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana in 2014, you can’t legally buy the stuff in more than 100 Oregon communities. That’s because some city and county governments have banned recreational marijuana businesses. But voters in nearly half of those places will have the chance to overturn the bans this November. Correspondent Chris Lehman explains.

Left: Shawn Aman owns Going Green, a medical marijuana dispensary in Albany, Oregon. Photo by Chris Lehman.