October 20, 2014
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Ethics panel votes to limit free meals for lawmakers

The gravy train is ending — literally — for state lawmakers, who under new ethics rules will be able to accept no more than 12 free meals a year from lobbyists. It's a clarification of existing rules that limit acceptance of free meals to "infrequent occasions."

The rule defines a meal as a sit-down meal such as breakfast or lunch, even if the meal is served at a private home. Receptions hosted by lobbyists do not count as a meal.

The Associated Press has more on the new rules.

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GREEN ENERGY

Northwest must preserve salmon and hydro dams

By Terry Flores, executive director of Northwest RiverPartners

Last month at Bonneville Dam, an extraordinary coalition of Northwest tribes, government agencies and river users -- including farmers, businesses and utilities -- gathered to celebrate a landmark event for our region's iconic salmon.

This year's return of about 2.3 million salmon and steelhead to the Columbia River Basin shattered the modern-day record for total annual salmon returns -- an abundance we haven't seen since fish counting began at the dam more than 75 years ago.
Click here to read the full column
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