"Whatchamacolumn" by Jeb Bladine

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

Jeb Bladine: Election without bumper stickers

How strange is this year’s presidential election? Let me count the ways. It’s no secret that candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have the highest combined unfavorability ratings of ...

Jeb Bladine: Like giving drugs to Oregon addicts

In February we asked: “How long will Oregonians allow the excessive cost of PERS to drive our ship of state?” It’s time to change that rhetorical question to something slightly more impudent: ...

Jeb Bladine: High-tech tips, free wi-fi tablet

If you don’t use a computer or cell phone, this column is not for you. If those are tools of your daily life, I assume that you, like me, have a few gaps in your knowledge of device operations. There ...

Jeb Bladine: Consider who gets Measure 97 billions

An attorney from Portland and a citizen-politician from Klamath Falls win this week’s nod for thought-provoking commentary about state financial management and the call for an unprecedented tax increase. James ...

Jeb Bladine: Countdown starts for another election

Counting this week, there are 10 Viewpoints sections before election day, so get ready for a steady stream of letters, editorials and commentary about candidates and issues on the November 8 ballot. When ...

Jeb Bladine: Silents & Boomers started local ‘drag’

Before the car parade begins in this year’s Dragging the Gut Festival, a few of McMinnville’s early cruisers would like to set the record straight. Our entertaining feature story last week ...

Jeb Bladine: Marijuana stories populate the news

Who would have thought, a few short years ago, that marijuana would become one of the most prominent 2016 story topics in the News-Register? After Oregonians voted in 2014 to legalize recreational marijuana, ...

Jeb Bladine: It’s tough to have an original thought

I don’t know why anyone tries to write creative commentary about Donald Trump — it’s all been written before. This week, The Donald couldn’t stop himself from wondering aloud if ...

Jeb Bladine: Revisiting choice to avoid tweeting

Communication technology passed me by as I avoided joining Twitter — a choice I reconsidered while watching the 2016 presidential campaigns. (Point of reference: That opening paragraph is exactly ...

Jeb Bladine: Pokemon game has political connections

It seemed necessary this week to read up on “Pokémon Go,” the game that suddenly exploded into international prominence. Locally, some urged businesses to use Pokémon to lure ...

A quest to improve public records laws

Legal issues involving access to Oregon public records are complex, often contentious and sometimes subject to costly appeals and litigation. Last year, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum formed the ...

Jeb Bladine: An ironic local twist to Ron Stover story

Picking up, as promised, from last week: Former McMinnville wheeler-dealer Ron Stover faces federal indictments alleging wire and bankruptcy fraud, with pending charges of theft, racketeering and securities ...

Jeb Bladine: Stover case brings a rush of memories

Once, long ago, I secured a loan with a phone call followed by a quick bank visit to sign a few sheets of paper. Today, the same process can take weeks, if not months, with more stringent requirements ...

Jeb Bladine: Silent moments; back to business

Please join me in a moment of silence for 189 mass-shooting victims — killed and wounded — from incidents since June 2015 in Charleston, Chattanooga, Roseburg, Colorado Springs, San Bernadino ...

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