"Whatchamacolumn" by Jeb Bladine

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

Jeb Bladine: Nation's unsettling teacher shortage

Our nationwide shortage of teachers — a trend mirrored in Oregon — is unsettling as America’s children return for another school year. Whatchamacolumn Jeb Bladine is president ...

Jeb Bladine: Reunions a fresh look at who we are

It’s high school reunion time — in McMinnville, throughout Yamhill County, all across America. Our newspaper reunion calendar reports that two weeks hence, there will be reunions of the Yamhill-Carlton ...

Jeb Bladine: Fire safety requires public responsibility

“Your help,” implored Oregon State Forester Doug Decker on Wednesday, “is critical in preventing the next wildfire.” The words scarcely had left his computer when yet another wildfire ...

Jeb Bladine: Stories stay alive in lawsuit after lawsuit

Sad stories don’t just go away; to the dismay of many, they play out again and again in the courts. That observation received several exclamation marks this week, ensuring that some of the most ...

Jeb Bladine: A sorry tale of the lost state tax credit

Oregon Legislature Democrats were so desperate to raise taxes this year that their end-of-session ploy was too toxic even for some of their political brethren. Still, they managed to sneak through one ...

Important to admit if 'unsure of obligations'

Misinterpreting Oregon’s public records/meetings law — as in a letter from county Commissioner Mary Starrett — can be a mild offense given the complexities of that law. However, we’ve ...

Jeb Bladine: Mixed implications of downtown parking

There is a mixed bag of implications from the creation of 26 new on-street handicapped parking spaces in downtown McMinnville. A first thought is that accessibility to important areas of the core city ...

Jeb Bladine: Regulatory costs strangle economy

Tunnel-vision regulations enacted by Congress and state legislatures are strangling our economy. Too many lawmakers either don’t understand or simply choose to ignore the extreme costs of their complex ...

'Disconnected' week puts focus on soccer

Women’s soccer was spotlighted this month with an exciting World Cup championship won by the United States, and there was much amazement at the disparity of payout for women versus men in that sport. ...

News-Register file photo##On July 4, 1976, Mac’s pep band plays in the parade.

Jeb Bladine: July 4 tradition renewed

Kudos to Evergreen Museum and the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce for stepping into the void to produce a community celebration of the Fourth of July. If all goes well and organizers realize ...

Legalized pot has many rules, risks

We knew nothing about marijuana 50 years ago at high school graduation time. We never watched the 1936 propaganda movie, “Reefer Madness,” and we didn't know the federal Marijuana Tax Act of ...

Jeb Bladine: Salem rule-makers march in lockstep

There are 53 Democrats in the Oregon Legislature: 35 in the House and 18 in the Senate. This year, they have ruled the state from political and social perspectives more one-sided than I can remember in ...

Jeb Bladine: Fireworks memories include great one-liner

A new era for Fourth of July fireworks in McMinnville will burst across the skies above Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum at an event cosponsored by Evergreen and the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce. ...

Jeb Bladine: Change pending for modest growth rates

Growth means change, and change can create community angst. But be forewarned, the changes in Yamhill County due to population growth in the first half of this decade are nothing compared to what might ...

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