State Rules Tribe may Build Fishing Platform: Oregon Department of State Lands director Vicki Walker ruled Nov. 26 that her earlier decision granting the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde the right to erect a fishing platform and fish for salmon at Willamette Falls will stand. The decision plays into a veiled but high-stakes battle that pits the Grand Ronde against the Umatilla, Yakama and Warm Springs tribes, which also claim rights to fish at Willamette Falls—and believe the platform would give the Grand Ronde too much sway in the Portland metro area ("Fish Story," WW, Sept. 12, 2018). The three tribes opposing the Grand Ronde's fishing platform had asked Walker to reconsider her decision. Portland General Electric, which operates a dam at the falls, also appealed, citing safety concerns. "We are overcome with joy," said Grand Ronde Tribal Council chairwoman Cheryle A. Kennedy in a statement. "Our ceremonial fishing platform restores an important cultural practice for the Grand Ronde Tribe."
Merkley's Election Request Rankles Some: U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) wants to be allowed to run for president in 2020 while keeping his U.S. Senate seat—and his desire for a change in Oregon law that bars him from seeking two elected offices at once continues to roil Salem. As WW first reported, Merkley has asked about changing the law, as New Jersey did for U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) earlier this month. The request is a source of intense discussion among Oregon's Congressional delegation and in Salem. Most lawmakers are keeping mum but state Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend), who is leaving the Legislature in January after losing the governor's race, was willing to comment. "I certainly would be against it," Buehler says. "As an elected official, you need to have a singularity of purpose and you can't do that if you are running for two offices." As for Buehler's own plans, he says he's enjoying being free from obligations for the first time since he was 14. "I'm just letting the dust settle," he says.
Pamplin Must Pay Radio Hosts Back Wages: The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries has ordered Pamplin Broadcasting to pay $55,000 in civil penalties and back wages to former KPAM (AM 860) radio hosts Carl Wolfson and Margie Boulé. BOLI found Pamplin had wrongly classified the pair as independent contractors when they hosted the Margie and Carl show in 2016 and 2017. In fact, BOLI found, Boulé, a former Oregonian columnist, and Wolfson, a longtime standup comedian, were effectively employees and thus eligible for overtime pay. They stand to get about $12,000 each, and Pamplin was ordered to pay $30,700 in civil penalties to BOLI. Since the complaint was filed, Pamplin Media sold KPAM and KKOV (AM 1550) for $1.2 million. Pamplin didn't respond to a request for comment.
Give!Guide Goes To Mississippi Studios: Give!Guide is live and taking donations to more than 150 Portland nonprofits. The campaign will host a free G!G Presents show at Mississippi Studios on Thursday, Dec. 6, featuring Blossom, Maarquii, Amenta Abioto and Karma Rivera. So far, the Give!Guide campaign has raised more than $674,601 from 3,935 donors. You can make a difference by donating at giveguide.org.