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Another step into the future

The Curry Coastal Pilot has been more than a printed newspaper for decades — publishing special magazines and other materials, posting news online for more than 15 years, sending out News Alert emails ever since the 2002 Biscuit Fire, and most recently, launching the Go Wild Rivers Coast mobile application.

We took another new step Friday with the live broadcast on our website of a debate between candidates for Oregon governor — John Kitzhaber and Dennis Richardson. 

It wasn’t just the Pilot that took that step. The debate was hosted by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association, and available live only on member newspaper websites. I can envision more of that kind of cooperation in the future.

The debate, meanwhile, was fairly predictable. Incumbent John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, highlighted accomplishments and policy understanding that come with having already served two terms in office. State Rep. Dennis Richardson, a Republican, argued that not enough has happened for Oregon, and that he’s the man to “lead the charge” into the future.

Both showed deep concern for rural Oregon, including a focus on the timber dependency and resulting 35 years of economic failure in our corner of the state.  

Kitzhaber said he would continue to seek new policies and programs to “lift up our timber dependent counties”; Richardson said he would join with other Western governors to make federal lands management a national issue, solved through public support and pressure.

There was disagreement on education policy, completely different styles on how Oregon can find solutions to its problems, agreement on the need for open primary elections, and shared skepticism for the ballot measure legalizing marijuana. 

Best of all, it was presented for all voters to see by the community newspapers serving Oregon.

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