Cowlitz Casino Expected to Hurt Oregon Lottery
For years, Oregon tribes and private casino promoters have warned that the state is vulnerable to competition from a Native American casino in a bordering state. The omens are getting more dire. Last week, the state put a dollar figure on the expected lost business when the Cowlitz casino opens next spring in La Center, Wash., 16 miles north of Portland. State officials expect lost Oregon Lottery revenue of $65 million a year. To put that number in context, state lottery revenues were a little over $1 billion a in the past fiscal year, of which video lottery supplied $798 million—so it's not a disaster but still a big impact. Tribal casinos will feel the pain, too. Justin Martin, a spokesman for the Grand Ronde tribe, whose Spirit Mountain Casino is currently the closest tribal casino to Portland—77 miles away—says the tribe's analysis suggests the Cowlitz casino will cost Spirit Mountain more than $100 million a year. "That's a problem for us," Martin says. "As a responsible government, we're looking at all types of ways to minimize the impact."
Portland Lowers Garbage Rates
Those extra nickels in your pocket? They come courtesy of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, which starting in July will lower monthly garbage rates for the third time in four years. Don't get too excited. The monthly charge for weekly recycling and compost pickup and every-other-week pickup of a 60-gallon trash can will be $35—down from $35.65. For the largest group of residential garbage customers—the 43 percent who use 35-gallon cans—prices are going down 20 cents, from $29.35 to $29.15. A combination of factors is driving the decrease. More Portlanders are discarding food and yard waste in their compost bins, which are cheaper to dump. "It doesn't hurt that fuel costs are down," says Bruce Walker, who oversees Portland's garbage haulers. "Haulers have become more efficient, and we're passing the savings to customers."
Senate Candidate Mark Callahan Raises $10
Mark Callahan, the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), is off to a slow start after his primary victory over better-financed competitors. On June 5, Callahan established a GoFundMe page, an unusual step for a candidate. "My team and I learned of a meeting we need to attend in Washington D.C. on 6/13/16, regarding: The Collapse of the EU and Its Impact on America, being held by the American Conservative Union Foundation," Callahan wrote. "Please help us and Empower Oregon by Investing in Freedom." His request for $2,500 for travel expenses met with a muted response: He raised $10 before suspending the effort. Another problem for Callahan: He hasn't filed the mandatory financial disclosure required of all U.S. Senate candidates, which triggers a $200 fine. Callahan says the GoFundMe page was a "mistake" and he's returning the $10. He also says he plans to submit his financial disclosure form immediately.
Correction: The original version of the lottery item above said video lottery revenues are about $1 billion a year. In fact, last fiscal year they were $798 million. WW regrets the error.