Oregon effort to declare health care a right falters


SALEM — An effort to insert an amendment in Oregon’s Constitution making health care a right died amid concerns by lawmakers that it would expose the state to lawsuits.

Unpacking Coffee with Kandace and Ray: Junior’s Roasted Coffee

junior's roasted coffee bags

As sure as the earth has completed another full revolution around the sun, Unpacking Coffee has officially launched Season 3, exploring some of the world’s most illuminated coffee packaging design…

1 climber dies, rescuers reach others on Oregon peak

GOVERNMENT CAMP (AP) — Rescuers reached more than a half-dozen climbers stranded by tumbling rocks and falling ice on Oregon’s tallest peak before expected heavy snow makes conditions even more treacherous. One climber fell to his death earlier Tuesday.

Report: Senator groped women at Capitol

SALEM (AP) — State Sen. Jeff Kruse not only subjected two female senators to unwanted touching, he groped or gave lingering hugs to many other women working at the Oregon Capitol, according to a report released Tuesday by an independent investigator.

BBaF Podcast Episode 4: The Dark Ages of Cocktails


Soooo, my life has clearly been taken over by this weekly podcast and I PROMISE to post other content on the blog besides these podcast posts, buuuut in the meantime…It’s FriYAY! And that means there’s another Bit by a Fox Podcast heading right towards your earholes! I hope you’re having as much fun as I am. If you ARE, then please write a snappy review, give it all the stars, and share with your frennnz. Self producing is a hustle!

This week we’re talking about The Dark Ages of Cocktails – that ill-fated time period between the late 1960s all the way through the late 1990s. When people happily drank garbage drinks like the ones pictured below.

Since launching the podcast, we’ve already talked a lot about the craft cocktail resurgence over the last 20 years, and we’ve touched on what it was like to come out of the sour-mix-drenched 90s where vodka was king and everyone’s palates were deadened by preservatives and sugar. But how did we get there in the first place?

In this week’s podcast, I go all the way back to prohibition and the following years that made it possible for drinks with names like Sex on the Beach, The Fuzzy Navel and Slippery Nipple to…become a thing. Hoo boy, it was a sexy and gross time.

Listen to Episode 4: The Dark Ages of Cocktails” – me

For this episode, I thought I’d feature a cocktail that has a special place in my heart. One of the first drinks I’d order on the regular when I first started drinking cocktails, and at the time, was never NOT made with sour mix: The Amaretto Sour. But I wanted to share a better version – with fresh juice and more of a kick. This creation is from Jeffrey Morgenthaler, the famed Portland, Oregon bartender of Clyde Common and Pepe Le Moko. Jeffrey is considered to be one of the best bartenders out there, and I love the fact that he has made it a point these last few years to bring back the cocktails from the dark ages and improve upon them. I love his explanation for this version of his Amaretto Sour.

Jeffrey Morgenthaler’s Amaretto Sour
1½ oz amaretto
¾ oz cask-proof bourbon
1 oz lemon juice
1 tsp. 2:1 simple syrup
½ oz egg white, beaten

Dry shake ingredients to combine, then shake well with cracked ice. Strain over fresh ice in an old fashioned glass. Garnish with lemon peel and brandied cherries, if desired.

The post BBaF Podcast Episode 4: The Dark Ages of Cocktails appeared first on Bit By a Fox.

Border Effect, Weed Edition


The border effect, or the border tax effect, is a very real. Our office has previously written about it regarding sin/vice taxes, retail sales in the Gorge, and a broader look at Oregon-Washington taxes, including an academic paper I, along with my co-author Portland State Prof. Wooster, wrote on retail sales in Washington.

So it comes as no surprise that the different timing of legalized marijuana sales in Washington first and now Oregon also shows a clear border effect. Our friends and counterparts in Washington — the Washington State Economic and Revenue Forecast Council — is currently finalizing their latest forecast and included the following graph in their meeting materials. It highlights the drop in cannabis sales in Clark County (Vancouver) relative to the overall statewide trends. The steep drop in Clark County occurred in October 2015, right as recreational sales in Oregon went into effect. As the fine print on the slide says, prior to Oregon sales, Clark County accounted for 12% of Washington sales, but in January Clark County was just 7% of statewide sales.


The graph brought to mind some very rough, preliminary work I did back in September regarding the border effect on Washington cannabis sales.  With the help of our counterparts, I threw county level sales data into a classic border tax effect model. The overall results were intuitive and make sense [1]. Washington border counties near Portland had a much higher level of sales than their demographic and economic fundamentals along would suggest. If you do the math, this quick and dirty estimate indicates that sales per adult in these border counties were 40-50% higher than otherwise expected.


In reality, it turns out those were pretty decent estimates. In the months since Oregon recreational sales began, tax collections in the Washington border counties in and around Portland have fallen 35% (data here). These declines are seen in counties from the mouth of the Columbia River (Pacific County across from Astoria) through the Portland MSA and into into the Columbia River Gorge (Klickitat and Skamania Counties across from Cascade Locks, Hood River and The Dalles). At the same time, sales in the Seattle MSA are up 25%, with the rest of Washington increasing 12%. The border counties near Portland are the clear outlier and clearly impacted by the arrival of recreational marijuana sales in Oregon.


Overall these results are no surprise. The border effect is real and ongoing across the country. Oregon and Washington in particular provide such a natural experiment regarding tax policy and the fact that Oregon’s major population center is on the state border.

So far the border effect has been about where legal recreational sales have occurred. Now that both states allow for legalized sales, the research focus will shift to the actual impact of different tax rates on consumer behavior. Clearly, sales in Southwest Washington are lower post-Oregon sales, but depending upon product availability and consumer prices, how the balance of sales shakes out is still unknown. Oregon tax collections only began in January, so it will still be some time before we have enough data to draw solid conclusions.

[1] There are some issues with this simplified model. For one, it uses full FY2015 data. Given that sales were/are ramping up over time in a newly legalized world, it is not ideal to use a full year of data, or at least not until the phase in period is over. Also, it does not include any spatial impacts (spatial error correction or spatial autocorrelation) which is important when looking at county level sales, particularly given there are some “dry” counties where there are no retailers in Washington. Even so, the results of this basic model are both intuitive and provided pretty solid ballpark estimates.

Man Armed with Gun and Pepper Spray Robs Tavern


On April 16, 2015, at 2:16 a.m., Portland police officers responded to the Venture Inn, at 13900 Northeast Sandy Blvd., on the report of an armed robbery.

Officers arrived in the area and contacted employees who told police that just before closing time, the suspect entered the bar and sprayed pepper spray with one hand, while holding a handgun in the other hand.

The suspect demanded money and after obtaining an undisclosed amount of cash, left the bar without further incident.

Several officers, including a Police K-9 Unit, searched the neighborhood but did not locate anyone matching the suspect’s description.

The suspect is described as an African American male in his 40s, wearing a black hoody and blue jeans.

Anyone with information about this incident should contact Robbery Detectives at (503) 823-0405.

Gang-Related Shooting in Front of Police Center


On Saturday March 14, 2015, at 11:53 p.m., Portland Police officers responded to the report of a large party of teens letting out of the East Portland Community Center, located at 740 SE 106th Avenue. The Community Center is across the street from the Police Center.

Officers inside East Precinct Police Center could hear people pounding on the front doors and windows of the precinct. Two officers went to the front doors of the precinct to see what was happening outside and just as they opened the doors, they heard gunshots and a 17-year-old male ran inside asking for help, saying he’d been shot at by someone.

Seconds later, the officers saw an armed teen fire another shot towards the South (not towards police) as he walked by the front doors of the precinct. The suspect was walking with a large group of teens as he walked northbound towards Stark Street. Officers shared suspect information via radio and followed at a distance until cover officers could arrive and take the suspect into custody after he got rid of the gun. Officers located and seized the gun as evidence.

Officers from Central and North Precincts and the Gang Enforcement Team (GET) responded to assist with preserving the crime scene and managing the crowd of unruly teens. Officers located one suspected bullet strike on the front of the precinct.

The suspect, 16-year-old Dontae Eugene Mathis Jr., was arrested and lodged at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Hall on charges of Attempted Murder (Measure 11 crime), Attempted Assault in the First Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Discharging a Firearm in the City.

GET investigators believe both the suspect and intended victim are involved with rival gangs.

Investigators believe that many eyewitnesses may have left the scene without talking to police.

Anyone with information about this shooting is asked to contact Detective Todd Gradwahl at (503) 823-2056, [email protected]; or, Detective Meghan Burkeen at (503) 823-2092,[email protected].

This is the 30th gang-related shooting of 2015, compared to 12 at the same time in 2014.

A photo of the crime scene at East Precinct is being released publicly.

The Portland Police Bureau Gang Enforcement Team and Gun Task Force are continuing to actively investigate gang and gun crimes in the City of Portland.

Anyone with information about gang and/or gun crimes in the City of Portland is encouraged to provide information to the Portland Police Bureau’s Tactical Operations Division at (503) 823-4106.

Tips on gun crimes can be emailed to [email protected].

If you see a gun crime in progress, call 9-1-1.

Crime Stoppers of Oregon is offering a minimum $250 cash reward to anyone who reports a convicted felon or a juvenile in possession of a firearm and tipsters can remain anonymous.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online at http://www.crimestoppersoforegon.comtext CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call 503-823-HELP (4357) and leave your tip information.

Visit http://www.tipsoft.com to download the Crime Stoppers App for the iPhone or Droid.

US Bank Robbery Suspect Arrested


On Friday March 6, 2015, Portland Police officers responded to the U.S. Bank branch located at 636 SE Grand Avenue on the report of a bank robbery.

Officers arrived in the area and spoke to employees who told police that the suspect used a demand note and obtained cash before fleeing the area.

Robbery detectives and Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) conducted investigative follow-up, identifying 28-year-old Brian Joseph Sutton as the suspect.

Investigators obtained an arrest warrant on Wednesday March 11 and within an hour, a Behavioral Health Unit (BHU) officer responded to a welfare check in the 8100 block of Southeast Division Street.

Brian Sutton
Brian Joseph Sutton

The officer contacted a man, later identified as Sutton, and determined he had an outstanding warrant for bank robbery.

Sutton was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Jail on a Federal Hold.

Anyone with information about this bank robbery is asked to contact Detective Brett Hawkinson at (503) 823-1080, [email protected]; or, the Portland office of the F.B.I. at (503) 224-4181.




Man Arrested on Stolen Bike After Almost Hitting Officers


On Mar. 9, 2015, at 8:56 p.m., officers contacted Pickard after he almost ran into them as he rode a stolen bike on the sidewalk in Downtown Portland.

Portland Police officers arrested 36-year-old Steven Ronald Pickard after contacting him at SW 10th Ave. and Morrison St. as he rode the stolen bicycle.

Officers checked the serial numbers on the white Cervelo bicycle and learned that the bike was reported stolen on January 22, 2015, from the 1800 block of Southwest River Drive.

Earlier in the evening, another Central Precinct officer took a report that this stolen bike was seen in the area of Southeast Water Avenue and Belmont Street along with a man matching Pickard’s description. The caller on that report, a friend of the bike theft victim, provided a picture of the man and the bike to police, who confirmed that it was Pickard and the stolen Cervelo bicycle.

The victim in this case was able to provide the serial number to police when making the theft report, listed the bike on http://www.stolenbikeregistry.comand share the information among her social networks to get the word out about the theft. All of these actions led to police being able to recover the bike and make an arrest.

Steven Pickard
Steven Ronald Pickard

Pickard was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of Theft in the First Degree (by Receiving), Possession of Methamphetamine and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Additionally Pickard is being held on a parole violation.

The Portland Police Bureau has some valuable information on bike theft prevention available at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/66825



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