"Whatchamacolumn" by Jeb Bladine

The News-Register publisher writes about the community; people; local, state and national affairs; and sometimes whimsey.

Jeb Bladine: SEC plea bargain back under wraps?

Confused by the latest Evergreen-related kerfuffle? Well, get in line. We have a stack of legal documents, along with access to multiple sources and numerous notes, but we don’t have the first clue ...

Jeb Bladine: Honoring service; remembering JCs

Our Tuesday N-R profile of Debbie Harmon Ferry initiated something different — publication of features about Distinguished Service Award winners prior to the event. This year’s DSA Banquet ...

Jeb Bladine: Bag charge seems like gentle reminder

An editorial today urges the city of McMinnville to stand firm with the 5-cent charge on paper bags at retail locations. It’s a “ho-hum” issue for some people, but others maintain it’s ...

Jeb Bladine: Sharing a passion for museum mission

In August 2016, when Steve Down agreed to donate $10.68 million to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, the museum promised to “appropriately acknowledge contributions of The Falls at McMinnville ...

Jeb Bladine: Expensive lessons in complex litigation

When reporting on complex litigation, we realize there’s a lot of lawyering between headlines. Most of that legal maneuvering goes unreported to the general public, but reading the court documents ...

Jeb Bladine: Digital giants using private information

Revelations about digital invasions of personal privacy represent warnings too long ignored. The Guardian, a British newspaper that circulates extensively in the UK and U.S., set the scene for us in 2014: “Google ...

Jeb Bladine: Parking study puts light on challenges

There’s much to like about McMinnville’s Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan, now pending city council adoption. At best, however, it is a good start … a framework for challenging ...

Jeb Bladine: President ignores consequence ‘laws’

At press time Thursday, we were awaiting word on President Donald Trump’s plan for tariffs on steel (25 percent) and almuminum (10 percent). Earlier in the week, bending to diverse pressures, Trump ...

Jeb Bladine: Counting stripes a path to patience

Patience appears on many lists of our most important virtues, but it’s not exactly a human norm. Roadways are filled with impatient people. To best see that impatience in action, just follow the ...

Jeb Bladine: An apt inspiration for culture change

A culture can change its laws, but laws don’t necessarily change the culture. For proponents of cultural change, it’s most disturbing when the offending laws themselves are unassailable. That ...

Jeb Bladine: Quest continues for accountability

Secretary of State Dennis Richardson, the first Republican elected to statewide office since 2002 and first to serve as secretary of state since 1985, said this after his November 2016 election: “We’re ...

Jeb Bladine: City struggles with on-street RV living

McMinnville and Newberg, as most cities, have enacted municipal code protections against neighborhood nuisances. They bar activities that, in Newberg’s words, “promote blight, reduce property ...

Jeb Bladine: Energy not growing from high-value soil

We call them solar farms, but the operations aren’t growing energy from the high-value farmland lying below their arrays of solar panels. Therein lies the Oregon controversy playing out locally this ...

Jeb Bladine: Recording history, 1 meeting at a time

For 40-plus years, I’ve had more than a passing fascination with historic records of local activities … some might call it a mild obsession. In recent years, the city of McMinnville has become ...

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