After more than a century, it appears professional baseball is leaving Oregon’s largest city.

The Portland Beavers, long a mainstay in the Pacific Coast League, appear destined for new environs after a decision by the city and Merritt Paulson, the owner of the Beavers and Portland Timbers, to renovate PGE Park for soccer, to accommodate the Timbers’ move to Major League Soccer.

The Triple-A affiliate for the San Diego Padres, the Beavers played their final home game Sunday.  The team will play in a yet-to-be-determined city until a new ballpark is built, but it’s possible the Beavers could relocate to San Diego County and play their home games in one of the suburbs.

The Portland club traces its history back to 1903, the year the Pacific Coast League was established.

Read the rest of this entry »

Journalist Robert Samuelson writes in Real Clear Politics that since 1971 there has been virtually no change in educational scores in reading and math at the national level in the US.

That, despite the fact that from 1970 to 2008 the student population increased 8 percent while the number of teachers jumped 61 percent. The student-teacher ratio has fallen sharply, from 27-to-1 in 1955 to 15-to-1 in 2007.

Teacher pay isn’t too shabby, either, Samuelson writes. “In 2008, the average teacher earned $53,230; two full-time teachers married to each other and making average pay would belong in the richest 20 percent of households (2008 qualifying income: $100,240).”

Read the rest of this entry »