Featured Story: OPB Unprepared – Megaquake
*Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake?
*Warm Springs Tribes “Recovering Voices” In D.C.
*Britt archaeology study reveals the past
*New future awaits legendary ship-rescue vessel – Opinion
*Historic ferry’s return still on course
*The bacon effect: OSU researchers turn forgotten seaweed into potential billion-dollar enterprise
Science & Technology
*Google, Twitter and publishers seek a faster Web
*Portland building will warn tenants of earthquake
*Privacy tool protects felons — and freedom
*Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Commercial Outlook For a New Industry – Report
*Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful – Opinion
*Engineless airplane built to reach edge of space plans test flight from Oregon airfield – Blog
*Maiden voyage of the Perlan 2 a success
*The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead
*Study finds some millennials digging into news, others living the apathetic stereotype
*Americans’ Views on Mobile Etiquette – Report
*Power Plays: The Increasingly Competitive Electricity Landscape – Blog
*State Policy, Utilities Ignite Community Solar Growth
*What solar’s latest growth numbers say about the sector’s future
*A Tale of Two Regions: Why Wind Is Booming in Texas and Stalling in the West
*EPA picking winners and losers among states: GOP
*Human impact on global environment may be peaking – Guest Opinion
*Study Finds Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada to Be Lowest in 500 Years
*Why scientists are worried about drylands
*Feds target Clackamas plant for alleged illegal chemical dumping
*Microbeads: The Very Tiny Troublemakers – Blog
*A Wet Winter Won’t Save California – Guest Opinion
*Washington state to write new rule to limit carbon pollution
*Ecology eyes carbon cuts at fertilizer plant, food processor
*As Fires Grow, a New Landscape Appears in the West
*Study: Twice as much trash put in landfills as estimated
*How important are those emissions tests that VW cheated on?
*EPA to change diesel tests
*Assessing the Human Toll of Volkswagen’s Diesel Deception
*California regulators to restore emissions-cutting fuel rule
*California Board Backs New Limits on Carbon From Gas and Diesel
*What Americans do with fish is shocking – Blog
*Global warming, evolution are clipping bees’ tongues
*Software aids wildfire recovery plans
*Track active wildfires throughout the US – Resource
*Computer models fail to accurately predict path of flames
*Low pay was leading to pilot shortage for wildfire-fighting helicopters, said acting chief’s letter
*Ordinance would set standards for private fire companies in Josephine County
*Wildfire retardant flights under review; some ‘just painting stuff red’
Fish & Wildlife
*What to do if you find a stranded marine mammal
*Sharks in the water
*A whale of a sight
*El Niño conditions drive humpback whales to look for food in Columbia River
*Fall chinook salmon make their first showing of the year in downtown Medford
*California spotted owl considered for federal protection
*South coast of Washington reopens to recreational crabbing
*Q&A: What is a sage grouse and why is the bird imperiled?
*Sage grouse won’t be added to endangered species list
*Decision not to list sage grouse as endangered is called life saver by some, death knell by others
*Idaho sues Interior, USDA over sage grouse plans
*Mac-Dunn logging raises concerns
*Benton timber sale draws protest
*Man behind tree code: It’s not properly planted
*Meet the insect that helped fuel Northern California’s Valley fire destruction
*Nature replants its own burned forests, environmentalists say
*Ahead of 2015 vote, campaign pushes marijuana tax question in Colorado
*Open up research on marijuana – Opinion
*Portland projects 480 new marijuana businesses, $1.4 million in revenue from city fees
*Colorado pot critic’s report suggests bad side effects of legalization
*Pot banned; Recall petition filed
*Why legalizing weed is unlikely to turn your kid into a pothead – Blog
*Relationships blossom over years in sheriff’s office program
*Time to say ‘enough’ to misbehavior in Portland’s public spaces – Opinion
*Piercy’s heard in Portland – Opinion
*Mayor invites creative approach to ‘travelers’ – Opinion
*Can Social Impact Bonds Help Reduce Homelessness?
*Is There A ‘War On Police’? The Statistics Say No
*Federal justice officials cite significant concerns about Portland police practices
*Former inmates: Incarceration makes economic stability nearly impossible for our families
*Rx for violence? Crime risk rises for young people on antidepressants, study says
*The Pay-for-Performance Approach to Reducing Recidivism – Blog
*Things to know about automatic license plate readers
*Why Chile’s 8.3 Quake Wasn’t as Deadly as Others
*Experts: Quake Warning System Could Save Lives, Cost Millions
*Flushing the Toilet Has Never Been Riskier
*Matthew T. Mangino: The long shadow of a criminal conviction – Guest Opinion
*Portland Police’s culture of ‘I didn’t know’ – Opinion
*Big cities scramble to be prepared for an oil-train disaster
*Five wildfire deaths highlight vulnerability of isolated seniors in disasters
*California wildfires left the disabled in peril
*Former peanut exec gets 28 years in prison for outbreak
*Multnomah County justice program keeps hundreds from prison
*F.A.A. Opens Inquiry After Baby Hurt in Drone Crash
*States Grapple With Public Disclosure of Police Body-Camera Footage
*Miami’s Model for Decriminalizing Mental Illness in America
*Portland police’s lapse in institutional control – Opinion
*Doctor shortages in rural America have paramedics stepping up to the plate when needed
*The Panhandler Dilemma
*Complex Car Software Becomes the Weak Spot Under the Hood
*Intel looks to make your car safe from hackers – Blog
*Portland ready to hop aboard bike share movement
*Redmond Airport eyeing Phoenix
*Why Nonstop Travel In Personal Pods Has Yet To Take Off
*As head-up displays in cars become common, distraction becomes an issue
*How Car-Centric Cities Like Phoenix Learned to Love Light Rail
Unprepared: Will We Be Ready For The Megaquake? (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
-A magnitude 9.0 earthquake off the Northwest coast could hit at any time. How can we prepare for this impending and unpredictable disaster?-
* Preview – OPB’s Unprepared Documentary
* How to prepare for the Cascade Megaquake
* Quake Could Threaten 90 Percent of Oregon Fuel Supply
* Tsunami Maps Dangerously Out of Date
* How Oregon Schools Are Preparing for a Megaquake
* New Alert System Shakes Up Traditional Quake Teachings
* Half of Oregon’s Critical bridges Could Collapse in Quake
* What’s Your School’s Risk
* 25+ Additional Stories
Warm Springs Tribes “Recovering Voices” In D.C. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs took advantage of a “Recovering Voices” grant from the Smithsonian to go to the museum and access tribal artifacts, including documents, audio recordings, tools and garments.
Britt archaeology study reveals the past (Medford Mail Tribune)
-Pioneering family’s barn buried on festival site-
Emil Britt wasn’t hitting the bottle in a workshop attached to the family barn that was unearthed in 2014, archaeologist Chelsea Rose has concluded after finding bottle remains.
“At first I thought maybe he was drinking in the barn,” said Rose. Closer examination found that the tops had been broken off and the bottoms scored before being cut away. The altered bottles likely served as seedling covers for young sprouts.
New future awaits legendary ship-rescue vessel — Opinion (Daily Astorian)
-New future awaits legendary ship-rescue vessel Salvage Chief slated for educational mission in Columbia estuary-
Salvage Chief slated for educational mission in Columbia estuary.
Anyone who lived near the mouth of the Columbia River in the second half of the 20th century is certain to know of “the powerful tug Salvage Chief, famed savior of many a ship in distress,” to quote Pacific Graveyard, by James A. Gibbs.
Historic ferry’s return still on course (Daily Astorian)
-A new board of directors, Friends of the Astoria Ferry, is looking for members.-
Astorians may have noticed that the Tourist No. 2, a ferry that shuttled riders between Astoria and Washington state between 1924 and 1966, did not visit Astoria last summer as some in the community had hoped.
The bacon effect: OSU researchers turn forgotten seaweed into potential billion-dollar enterprise (Corvallis Gazette Times)
It was pitched as a potential miracle of the culinary world: Oregon State University researchers had patented a strain of seaweed that, when fried, tasted like bacon.
Before two months ago, the words “bacon” and “seaweed” rarely collided in the same sentence, much less right next to each other.
Google, Twitter and publishers seek a faster Web (Bend Bulletin)
In a world where many people read everything on mobile phones, a few seconds of load time can mean the gain or loss of millions of readers and advertising dollars. Now Google wants to help publishers — and itself — by speeding things up.
Portland building will warn tenants of earthquake (KGW)
A Portland developer is making sure the tenants in one of his buildings know seconds, maybe even minutes before a quake hits.
The new Radiator building on North Vancouver, near Fremont, is equipped with its own earthquake early warning system.
Privacy tool protects felons — and freedom (Boston Globe)
The Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, N.H., just became an outpost in the global struggle for Internet freedom — and perhaps part of an international criminal conspiracy. All because one of the library’s computers is linked to a controversial service called Tor.
Invented by the US Naval Research Laboratory, Tor uses a network of digital back roads and blind alleys to throw off pursuers tracking your movements on the World Wide Web.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS): Commercial Outlook For a New Industry — Report (Congressional Research Service)
Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) commonly referred to as drones have become a staple of U.S. military reconnaissance and weapons delivery in overseas war zones such as Afghanistan. Now some new technologies and pending federal regulations are enabling the manufacture and use of UAS in domestic commerce, giving rise to a growing commercial UAS industry.
Big Tech Has Become Way Too Powerful — Opinion (New York Times)
Conservatives and liberals interminably debate the merits of “the free market” versus “the government.” Which one you trust more delineates the main ideological divide in America.
In reality, they aren’t two separate things. There can’t be a market without government. Legislators, agency heads and judges decide the rules of the game. And, over time, they change the rules.
Engineless airplane built to reach edge of space plans test flight from Oregon airfield — Blog (Portland Business Journal)
File this one under cool stuff happening in our backyard — if the Central Oregon weather cooperates.
Tomorrow could mark the beginning of a historic journey for the team behind the Perlan 2 glider, an engineless aircraft designed to ride mountain-fueled waves of air all the way to the edge of space.
Maiden voyage of the Perlan 2 a success (Bend Bulletin)
-Experimental glider project shines light on Redmond aviation-
The flight plan to 90,000 feet starts in Redmond.
The maiden voyage of the Perlan 2, an experimental glider that hopes to eventually reach 90,000 feet, came off without a hitch Wednesday morning at the Redmond Airport. Pilots Jim Payne and Morgan Sandercock flew the 1,800-pound sailplane 5,000 feet above ground once the glider was released from its tow plane. Total air time for the first flight of the Airbus Perlan 2 Mission — the international aviation giant is sponsoring the project — was about 35 minutes.
The Plot Twist: E-Book Sales Slip, and Print Is Far From Dead (New York Times)
Five years ago, the book world was seized by collective panic over the uncertain future of print.
As readers migrated to new digital devices, e-book sales soared, up 1,260 percent between 2008 and 2010, alarming booksellers that watched consumers use their stores to find titles they would later buy online.
Study finds some millennials digging into news, others living the apathetic stereotype (Eugene Register Guard)
Don’t believe everything you see tweeted, shared or posted about the millennial generation being uninformed.
A sizable group of these young adults — 4 of every 10 — actively seeks out the news, an analysis of their media habits finds.
Americans’ Views on Mobile Etiquette – Report (Pew Research)
‘Always on’ mobile connectivity poses new challenges for users about when to be present with those nearby or engaged with others on their screens
Power Plays: The Increasingly Competitive Electricity Landscape – Blog (Governing)
-As new ways of buying and selling energy emerge, the system of monopoly control is being challenged.-
Unless their cities run their own municipal utilities, most local governments have had little involvement in what electricity costs their residents. Historically, this has been the domain of private companies: the investor-owned utilities that are regulated by state-level public utility commissions. This monopoly arrangement created a secure energy environment but placed the retail pricing of electricity and its sourcing — such as from coal, gas or solar — well outside the control of consumers or local governments.
State Policy, Utilities Ignite Community Solar Growth (BNA Bloomberg)
The community solar market is heating up thanks to favorable state legislation and interest from utilities in installing solar panels that provide cost-sharing among consumers who don’t have access to rooftop solar.
What solar’s latest growth numbers say about the sector’s future (Utility Dive)
-Solar growth is likely to set more records — until the federal tax credits expire-
2015 has been a sunny year for the solar industry so far, but some stormclouds are beginning to appear on the horizon, according to a recent report.
Despite strong projected growth in residential and utility-scale solar for the upcoming year, industry leaders are increasingly questioning why the business community remains hesitant.
A Tale of Two Regions: Why Wind Is Booming in Texas and Stalling in the West (GreenTech Media)
-It’s all about transmission planning, say the experts from America’s Power Plan.-
If Charles Dickens were an energy analyst, he’d probably say the past 10 years have been the best of times and the worst of times for wind power in America.
EPA picking winners and losers among states: GOP (Washington Examiner)
New emission rules will create winner “green” states in the Northeast, California and the West able to make money selling credits to a big majority of loser states that don’t make the cut, detractors say.
Human impact on global environment may be peaking — Guest Opinion (Portland Oregonian)
The Northeastern United States is full of forests these days, and those forests are increasingly full of bears, coyotes and other wildlife. This probably would have seemed inconceivable 150 years ago, when the region’s trees were being clear-cut to oblivion. Undesirable, too. “Wilderness” didn’t have really positive connotations at the time.
Study Finds Snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada to Be Lowest in 500 Years (New York Times)
The snow that blanketed the Sierra Nevada in California last winter, and that was supposed to serve as an essential source of fresh water for the drought-stricken state, was at its lowest levels in the last 500 years, according to a new study.
The paper, published on Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change, used tree-ring data from centuries-old blue oaks to provide historical context for the mountain range’s diminished snowfall.
Why scientists are worried about drylands (Bend Bulletin)
Virtually every ecosystem of the world — from forests to the oceans — raises concern about the toll that a warming climate will take. There’s one type of landscape, though, that doesn’t get talked about very much in this context — so-called “drylands,” a grouping that includes arid and semi-arid regions ranging from many deserts to grasslands.
Feds target Clackamas plant for alleged illegal chemical dumping (KGW)
A Clackamas plant that makes lenses for eye glasses is accused of illegally dumping chemicals down the drain.
Investigators with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency served a search warrant at Carl Zeiss Vision last week after complaints from a former employee. Federal investigators installed recording monitors in the sewer line.
Microbeads: The Very Tiny Troublemakers — Blog (New York Times)
The Great Lakes are being threatened by an invasion of tiny plastic orbs called microbeads, but lawmakers for one state that depends on this huge freshwater ecosystem have failed to do anything about it. That state is, of course, New York, where lawmakers this year sat on a good bill to ban these unnecessary bits of plastic.
A Wet Winter Won’t Save California – Guest Opinion (New York Times)
As wildfires rage, crops are abandoned, wells run dry and cities work to meet mandatory water cuts, drought-weary Californians are counting on a savior in the tropical ocean: El Niño.
Washington state to write new rule to limit carbon pollution (KATU)
The state Department of Ecology on Monday proposed capping greenhouse gases from the state’s 35 largest emitters, rolling out a new rule-making process months after Gov. Jay Inslee failed to get legislation passed on his ambitious cap-and-trade plan.
Ecology eyes carbon cuts at fertilizer plant, food processor (Capital Press)
-A Tri-Cities fertlizer plant and Central Washington food processor are on the newly shortened list of companies at the forefront of Gov. Jay Inslee’s push to reduce greenhouse gases-
Gov. Jay Inslee’s administration Monday announced that about 40 companies, including a Kennewick fertilizer maker and an Othello food processor, may be forced to reduce carbon output or face civil penalties.
As Fires Grow, a New Landscape Appears in the West (New York Times)
The hills here are beautiful, a rolling, green landscape of grasses and shrubs under a late-summer sky. But it is starkly different from what was here before: vast forests of ponderosa pine. The repeated blazes that devastated the trees were caused by simple things: an improperly extinguished campfire in 1996, a tree falling on a power line in 2011.
Study: Twice as much trash put in landfills as estimated (Seattle Times)
Americans are sending more than twice as much trash to landfills as the federal government has estimated, according to a new study.
It turns out that on average America tosses five pounds of trash per person per day into its landfills, according to an analysis of figures from the same study, which is based on actual landfill measurements instead of government estimates.
How important are those emissions tests that VW cheated on? (Los Angeles Times)
A lot of attention has been focused this week on Volkswagen and the scandal that it cheated on emissions tests its vehicles must pass to help combat air pollution. But are those smog standards, now in place in at least 31 states, really that important?
The answer depends on where you live.
EPA to change diesel tests (Eugene Register Guard)
-The agency says it will do on-road testing to prevent similar software deception used by Volkswagen-
The Environmental Protection Agency said Friday that it will launch sweeping changes to the way it tests for diesel emissions after getting duped by clandestine software in Volkswagen cars for seven years.
Assessing the Human Toll of Volkswagen’s Diesel Deception (New York Times)
Volkswagen’s diesel deception unleashed tons of extra pollutants in the United States, pollutants that can harm human health. So while many commentators have been quick to say that the cheating engines are not a highway safety concern, safety — as in health — is still an issue.
California regulators to restore emissions-cutting fuel rule (Capital Press)
California regulators are poised to restore a first-in-the-nation climate change program that requires a 10 percent cut in carbon emissions on transportation fuels sold in the state by 2020, despite oil industry objections that it could drive up gas prices.
California Board Backs New Limits on Carbon From Gas and Diesel (New York Times)
California air regulators on Friday approved a substantial cut to carbon pollution from gasoline and diesel fuels, a move that will force oil producers to reduce the amount of carbon generated by all transportation fuels in the state at least 10 percent by 2020.
What Americans do with fish is shocking — Blog (Washington Post)
-Of all the food that Americans waste, it’s fish we should be most worried about.-
There are plenty of fish in the sea. Plenty, also, in the trash.
Of all the food that Americans waste — and Americans waste a lot of food — it’s the seafood that never gets eaten that should trouble us most.
Global warming, evolution are clipping bees’ tongues (Seattle Times)
-Keeping long tongues requires bees to use more energy, so the bees evolved a shorter tongue, the lead researcher said.-
Global warming and evolution are reshaping the bodies of some American bumblebees, a new study finds.
The tongues of two Rocky Mountains species of bumblebees are about one-quarter shorter than they were 40 years ago, evolving that way because climate change altered the buffet of wildflowers they normally feed from, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Science.
Software aids wildfire recovery plans (Capital Press)
-An Idaho State University professor has developed a computer mapping system that should speed up wildfire recovery efforts by agencies including the Bureau of Land Management.-
Thanks to an advanced mapping system, called RECOVER, fire recovery specialists were already developing rehabilitation plans for Idaho’s massive Soda wildfire while it was still burning.
Track active wildfires throughout the US – Resource (National Interagency Fire Center)
Site offers 10 years of historical data. Click the fire of interest for more data including maps, news releases, outlook and weather.
Computer models fail to accurately predict path of flames (Capital Press)
-Modeling experts take variables such as vegetation type, humidity, temperature and terrain and plug them into a computer program to create virtual fires and see how they progress.-
Wildfires that have raged in California this summer haven’t just overwhelmed firefighters — they’ve also stumped computer models designed to predict the intensity of flames and where they’ll burn.
Low pay was leading to pilot shortage for wildfire-fighting helicopters, said acting chief’s letter (Seattle Times)
-The state’s chief pilot blames low pay for the pilot shortage just days before record-setting wildfires exploded across Washington.-
Just days before a series of deadly, record-setting wildfires began exploding across Washington, the acting chief pilot for the state’s wildfire-attack helicopters wrote a letter to his superiors.
Unfilled pilot positions were grounding some helicopters, John Adolphson wrote to senior staff at the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Ordinance would set standards for private fire companies in Josephine County (Medford Mail Tribune)
-Critics claim proposed standards target small Merlin company-
Josephine County is again considering a plan to create a fire protection ordinance that deals with private fire companies, whose uneasy co-existence has dogged rural firefighting for three decades.
Wildfire retardant flights under review; some ‘just painting stuff red’ (Seattle Times)
-Aerial drops of fire retardant on wildfires are one of the most dramatic images of firefighting. But critics cite high cost, limited effectiveness and potential harm to fish.-
Hundreds of thousands of gallons of chemical fire retardant were dumped from planes all over wildlands in Washington last fire season, more than almost anywhere in the West. And this summer’s even bigger fire season could see just as much of the crimson chemical slurry dumped on the landscape, if not more.
Retardant can save human lives, property and wildland habitat.
What to do if you find a stranded marine mammal (Daily Astorian)
-What should you do if you find a stranded or injured sea mammal?-
In recent weeks, four animals have been found dead from large shark bites on Clatsop County beaches.
Sharks in the water (Daily Astorian)
-Humans are both attracted and repelled by any living things we can’t completely dominate-
Large predators attract and repel mere mortals
Sharks are always news — even though there is nothing new about their presence here along the North Pacific Coast.
A whale of a sight (Daily Astorian)
-Over the past week, several whales have been spotted near the Washington side of the Astoria Bridge.-
Humpback whales have been visiting the Columbia River, much farther from the ocean than expected.
Enduring public fascination with these top ocean predators was demonstrated again this week after deceased marine mammals with shark bites began washing up on local shores.
El Niño conditions drive humpback whales to look for food in Columbia River (Portland Oregonian)
Humpback whales have been spotted swimming among boaters in the Columbia River, according to a report from Oregon Public Broadcasting.
It’s an unusual sight, said Bruce Mate, who has studied marine mammal behavior for more than 40 years. However, warming ocean temperatures have made it difficult for animals lower on the food chain, like anchovies — the whale’s food supply — to thrive.
Fall chinook salmon make their first showing of the year in downtown Medford (Medford Mail Tribune)
Wild fall chinook salmon are returning early and often to Bear Creek, triggering an extra few weeks for area residents to see some of the Rogue River’s largest fauna at the tail end of their life cycle.
California spotted owl considered for federal protection (Capital Press)
Organizations including the John Muir Project seek the owl’s protection, saying that the logging of trees that have been burned in wildfires is driving the owls to extinction.
South coast of Washington reopens to recreational crabbing (Daily Astorian)
-With this action, the entire Washington coast is open for sport crabbing after elevated levels of domoic acid forced the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife to close the crab fisheries this summer.-
The recreational Dungeness crab fishery along the southern Washington coast will reopen effective immediately, state shellfish managers announced Friday, Sept. 25.
Q&A: What is a sage grouse and why is the bird imperiled? (Capital Press)
-Sage grouse once numbered in the million, but they’re now down to several hundred thousand living in 11 states.-
Here are some questions and answers about the greater sage grouse:
Sage grouse won’t be added to endangered species list (Capital Press)
-Interior Secretary Jewell and others have called the public and private land collaboration a new model for conservation.-
Voluntary and collaborative measures to protect and improve greater sage grouse habitat on public and private land across the West paid off as U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced the bird will not be added to the endangered species list.
Decision not to list sage grouse as endangered is called life saver by some, death knell by others (Washington Post)
The bird at the center of a historic conservation effort, whose health reflects the condition of a vast western sagebrush sea, is staying off the endangered species list but likely remaining a volatile issue for many environmentalists, business interests and politicians.
Idaho sues Interior, USDA over sage grouse plans (Capital Press)
Western officials and public lands ranchers hailed Interior Secretary Sally Jewell’s announcement last week that listing greater sage grouse for protection under the Endangered Species Act is not warranted.
But the jubilation in Idaho was soured by 11th-hour amendments to federal land-management plans that impose what Idaho’s governor and Legislature contend are unprecedented and unnecessary restrictions on sage grouse habitat.
Mac-Dunn logging raises concerns (Corvallis Gazette Times)
An extensive salvage logging operation on Oregon State University’s McDonald-Dunn Research Forest is causing alarm among some recreational users, but OSU officials say they’re just being responsible managers.
The McDonald-Dunn Forest is one of nine research forests owned by the OSU College of Forestry. It spans about 11,250 acres of wooded ridges just north of Corvallis.
Benton timber sale draws protest (Albany Democrat Herald)
Several environmental organizations are protesting a timber sale in south Benton County even though it uses an approach touted as providing important environmental benefits.
Man behind tree code: It’s not properly planted (KOIN)
-Many people expected more tree preservation-
Portland residents love their trees. Currently, residents of two neighborhoods are protesting the removal of large trees to make way for new development.
Meet the insect that helped fuel Northern California’s Valley fire destruction (Los Angeles Times)
Call it a vicious cycle: drought, wildfires and bark beetles.
California’s historic drought stresses trees across the state, making them ideal prey for bark beetles. The insect infestations dry out vegetation further, creating forests that can light up like tinder. Fires then damage more trees, attracting more beetles, and turning more forests brown.
Nature replants its own burned forests, environmentalists say (Los Angeles Times)
During the dry summer of 2011, wind gusts sent a 75-foot aspen tumbling into a power line, sparking a fire on federal land that burned for five weeks over an area the size of Manhattan. All that was left in the hottest burn zones was a silent swath of blackened trees and ash-covered ground..
Federal foresters decided the towering ponderosa pines would never return and declared the area dead, the first step in a process to allow timber companies to harvest trees on public land that would otherwise be off-limits.
Ahead of 2015 vote, campaign pushes marijuana tax question in Colorado (Denver Post)
-The ballot question, prompted by TABOR, asks voters how the state should handle $66.1 million in marijuana taxes: spend or refund-
The only statewide ballot question in the 2015 election offers a clear choice on how to handle $66.1 million in marijuana taxes collected in the first year of legal pot.
Should lawmakers have permission to spend the money on school construction and other programs? Or should the state refund the money, giving most of it back to recreational pot growers and users?
Open up research on marijuana — Opinion (Bend Bulletin)
Marijuana might be good medicine. But there is not enough research. Tara Bannow’s article in The Bulletin on Sunday about the success of some patients with marijuana tinctures was intriguing. Other reports show similar benefits for epilepsy in children and more.
What’s missing is research.
Portland projects 480 new marijuana businesses, $1.4 million in revenue from city fees (Portland Oregonian)
-UPDATE: Portland revised its estimates on Wednesday afternoon, and reduced revenue goals to $1.01 million.-
Portland wants to charge retail marijuana stores up to $3,750 to open their doors, fees city officials say will help recoup costs associated with regulating the industry.
Colorado pot critic’s report suggests bad side effects of legalization (Denver Post)
-Marijuana group spokesman calls source political-
A new report from an organization formed to disrupt drug trafficking lists a litany of negative side effects from legalized marijuana use in Colorado.
“Did you know,” it asks, that “in 2014, when retail marijuana businesses began operating, that in only a year:
“Marijuana-related traffic deaths increased 32 percent. Almost 20 percent of all traffic deaths were marijuana related compared to only 10 percent less than five years ago. Marijuana-related emergency department visits increased 29 percent. Marijuana-related hospitalizations increased 38 percent.”
Pot banned; Recall petition filed (Klamath Falls Herald and News)
-Klamath County Commission unanimous against pot sales-
Klamath County commissioners continued their fight against marijuana Tuesday, when all three voted in favor of a ban on medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries.
“I think we’ve lost the war on marijuana,” said commissioner Jim Bellet.
Why legalizing weed is unlikely to turn your kid into a pothead — Blog (Washington Post)
A central idea of the war on drugs has always been that loosening restrictions on drug use — by decriminalizing it, or allowing medical use, or legalizing some drugs completely, or even simply discussing legalization — will “send the wrong message” to kids and lead to increased teen drug use and all the problems associated therewith.
Relationships blossom over years in sheriff’s office program (Bend Bulletin)
-Even after parents get out of prison, mentors stay close by-
Over more than 10 years, a program that matches adult volunteers with children who have incarcerated family members has seen some lasting relationships.
Time to say ‘enough’ to misbehavior in Portland’s public spaces — Opinion (Portland Oregonian)
Kitty Piercy is the mayor of Eugene, but she sparked discussion around more than a few dinner tables in Portland this month by saying “enough” to the degradation of public spaces – and public life – caused by a segment of the city’s homeless population.
Piercy’s heard in Portland — Opinion (Eugene Register Guard)
-Eugene mayor’s complaints of “travelers” resonate-
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy’s recent comments about “travelers” monopolizing sidewalks and plazas in the downtown area were met with praise, scorn and everything in between. A potentially useful reaction came from The Oregonian newspaper, which lamented the fact that Portland’s leaders haven’t voiced similar concerns — “Portland really could use a Kitty Piercy,” a Sept. 16 editorial said. The response is helpful because it shows that Eugene is not alone in facing the problem of public places being made uninviting by loiterers.
Mayor invites creative approach to ‘travelers’ — Opinion (Eugene Register Guard)
Leaders give us language, making it easier for us to talk about and to ourselves. Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy’s recent open letter about commandeered public spaces downtown focused on “travelers.” For many of us, that’s a new term and a useful distinction.
Can Social Impact Bonds Help Reduce Homelessness? (Governing)
-Using the financing mechanism, Santa Clara County, Calif., can finally afford to try an expensive-but-proven method of reducing chronic homelessness.-
On any given night in Santa Clara County, Calif., more than 6,000 people are homeless. Annually, that’s costing the county more than $500 million. To Dave Cortese, president of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, such a high cost should come with better results.
Is There A ‘War On Police’? The Statistics Say No (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
The ambush-style murder of Sheriff Deputy Darren Goforth at a gas station in suburban Houston on Aug. 29 has added new urgency to warnings about a growing “war on cops” in America. After the arrest of the suspect, an African-American man named Shannon J. Miles, the local district attorney called for more public support for law enforcement.
Federal justice officials cite significant concerns about Portland police practices (Portland Oregonian)
Federal justice officials have released their first 93-page review of how Portland police are complying with a host of required policy, training and oversight reforms.
Former inmates: Incarceration makes economic stability nearly impossible for our families (Washington Post)
With an incarcerated husband, each of Shamika Wilson-Johnson’s expenses is deliberate.
A 35-year-old, full-time student who gets support from her family, Wilson is constantly counting pennies and wondering whether she should spend the last $20 in her purse on food or on clothing for her two children or, as she often does, to reload more phone minutes to her husband’s prison account.
Rx for violence? Crime risk rises for young people on antidepressants, study says (Los Angeles Times)
Researchers have identified a troubling side effect of a widely prescribed class of antidepressants — they may make some patients more likely to commit violent crimes.
Data from Sweden show that young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 who had filled prescriptions for the drugs were more likely to be convicted of a homicide, assault, robbery, arson, kidnapping, sexual offense or other violent crime when they were taking the medications than when they weren’t. The researchers found no link between antidepressant use and criminal activity for older patients.
The Pay-for-Performance Approach to Reducing Recidivism — Blog (Governing)
-The early success of a Pennsylvania program for parolees shows the potential for one form of privatization.-
There’s no doubt that privatization can save money and provide other benefits. But it can just as easily turn into a boondoggle. If done right, pay-for-performance contracts can help governments end up in the former category.
Since 2013, the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has been paying private operators of community corrections centers — halfway houses that help parolees transition back into society — based on the centers’ performance at reducing recidivism.
Things to know about automatic license plate readers (Washington Post)
Authorities chasing the suspect in a fatal shooting at Delta State University in Mississippi used an automatic license plate reader to track the man as he traveled across state lines. The technology was also used in Virginia weeks ago when a disgruntled former television reporter fatally shot two former colleagues during a live interview.
Why Chile’s 8.3 Quake Wasn’t as Deadly as Others (CityLab – Atlantic Magazine)
-A large tremor struck central Chile on Wednesday, but the country had learned from the past.-
In Chile, at least eight people have died and one person is missing after an 8.3 magnitude earthquake struck the central part of the country Wednesday night. More than one million people have been evacuated.
Waves between 6 and 15 feet high rolled into Chile’s coastal cities following the earthquake, though tsunami warnings have since been lifted. Hundreds of thousands are without power, and about 1,800 in the city of Illapel have no drinking water. But according to reports, early signs suggest that the death toll will be much lower than Chile’s 8.8 earthquake in 2010, and a fraction of Nepal’s devastating 7.8 tremblor this April.
Experts: Quake Warning System Could Save Lives, Cost Millions (Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) convened a group of scientists and policymakers Tuesday to discuss the path forward for the West Coast’s fledgling earthquake early warning system.
The existing system, called ShakeAlert, is a collaboration of the U.S. Geological Survey, the State of California, and a coalition of universities across California and the Pacific Northwest.
Flushing the Toilet Has Never Been Riskier (CityLab – Atlantic Magazine)
-Some of today’s sewers were built before bathrooms as we know them existed. It’s time to upgrade.-
Flushing toilets enable most Americans to make their own waste disappear as if by magic, but most would be hard-pressed to answer this simple question: When you flush, where does it go?
Septic tank owners, about 20 percent of Americans, are most likely to be able to give an accurate answer, because they’re responsible for the maintenance of their own sewage-disposal systems.
Matthew T. Mangino: The long shadow of a criminal conviction — Guest Opinion (Medford Mail Tribune)
Loyola Law School professor Kevin Lapp recently published an article titled “American Criminal Record Exceptionalism.” He examined the onerous lifelong burden of having a criminal record through the lens of criminal justice scholar James B. Jacobs’s new book “The Eternal Criminal Record.”
Portland Police’s culture of ‘I didn’t know’ — Opinion (Portland Oregonian)
There are at least 2,408 reasons to be appalled by Portland Police’s failure to send at least that many sex-assault evidence kits to a lab for analysis. As Portland Police knows from its own experience, those kits, which include DNA evidence collected from sex-assault victims, can help identify serial offenders and crack unsolved cases.
Big cities scramble to be prepared for an oil-train disaster (Seattle Times)
-The oil-production boom in North Dakota has made oil trains a daily fact of life around the country.-
They rumble past schools, homes and businesses in dozens of cities around the country — 100-car trains loaded with crude oil from the Upper Midwest.
Five wildfire deaths highlight vulnerability of isolated seniors in disasters (Los Angeles Times)
Some were pulled from the fire zone by relatives or neighbors, with or without their wheelchairs. At least a handful made the bumpy ride out in the back of a pickup through heavy smoke and fire-blackened debris — thanks to a former paramedic who breached the blockades.
They arrived at area shelters with oxygen tanks, without their medications, anxious and in some cases disoriented. Then there were the ones who stayed behind —intentionally or not.
California wildfires left the disabled in peril (Los Angeles Times)
Marian Bunting, 72, has Parkinson’s disease and a caretaker. She had not smelled smoke, nor had she received official warning about the Valley fire, when a neighbor came pounding on the door of her Lake County home and told her she needed to leave.
Though she moves slowly with a walker, Bunting managed to load her cat into the pickup she rarely drives, and wound up living in the parking lot of a Red Cross shelter.
Former peanut exec gets 28 years in prison for outbreak (Capital Press)
-The outbreak in 2008 and 2009 was blamed for nine deaths and sickened hundreds more.-
A former peanut company executive was sentenced Monday to 28 years in prison for his role in a deadly salmonella outbreak, the stiffest punishment ever handed out to a producer in a foodborne illness case.
The outbreak in 2008 and 2009 was blamed for nine deaths and sickened hundreds more, and triggered one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history.
Multnomah County justice program keeps hundreds from prison (Portland Oregonian)
Hundreds of people have avoided prison for crimes such as burglary, assault, drug and property crimes in the last year in Multnomah County, and about 600 others could be getting the same opportunity.
Multnomah County workers have conducted assessments of people who have been charged with certain crimes to see if they qualify for an intensive, 120-day probation period that brings a variety of services.
F.A.A. Opens Inquiry After Baby Hurt in Drone Crash (New York Times)
The Federal Aviation Administration said it is stepping up its enforcement of commercial drone regulations after a growing number of dangerous incidents, including a crash earlier this month that injured an infant.
States Grapple With Public Disclosure of Police Body-Camera Footage (Pew – Stateline)
The images inside the police cruiser are fuzzy, impossible to discern until a laptop glows and street lights illuminate the dash.
A few minutes pass and the officer is on foot, approaching a white sedan. There are flashlights in the darkness, and maybe that’s the light of a shopping center in the distance.
Miami’s Model for Decriminalizing Mental Illness in America (Governing)
-America’s jails are filled with people suffering from severe psychological problems. But largely thanks to one judge, Miami found ways to keep the mentally ill out of incarceration and in treatment.-
Justin Volpe grew up as part of a small New Jersey community that believed the world was about to end. Its leader, Justin’s grandfather, suffered from the delusion that he was a reincarnation of the Prophet Jeremiah and would soon become one of the rulers of the world to come. But after Justin’s older brother complained about abuse within the group, his family was expelled and Justin went into public school for the first time.
Portland police’s lapse in institutional control — Opinion (Portland Oregonian)
For anyone hoping that body cameras will boost the public’s trust in the police, take a close look at how the Portland Police Bureau handled a June incident in which two officers fatally shot a man in a Northeast Portland WinCo Foods parking lot.
Doctor shortages in rural America have paramedics stepping up to the plate when needed. (National Conference for State Legislatures – NCSL)
Three years ago Robert’s diabetes was so severe doctors planned to amputate his leg. But because Robert lives in Minnesota, one of the first states to launch a community paramedicine program, emergency medical technicians got involved. Three times a week they stopped by to care for his wound, share diabetes management tips and evaluate his overall health.
Today Robert still has his leg and credits the North Memorial Medical Center’s community paramedics for saving it.
The Panhandler Dilemma (Governing)
-When cities try to regulate them, they find themselves in a legal minefield.-
Let’s start with a little quiz: You’re walking past a street corner in your neighborhood and you notice a man sitting on an orange crate and holding up a hand-lettered sign that says, “Homeless. Please Help.” Is he threatening or harassing you in any way? You’d most likely say no.
Complex Car Software Becomes the Weak Spot Under the Hood (New York Times)
Shwetak N. Patel looked over the 2013 Mercedes C300 and saw not a sporty all-wheel-drive sedan, but a bundle of technology.
There were the obvious features, like a roadside assistance service that communicates to a satellite. But Dr. Patel, a computer science professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, flipped up the hood to show the real brains of the operation: the engine control unit, a computer attached to the side of the motor that governs performance, fuel efficiency and emissions.
Intel looks to make your car safe from hackers — Blog (Portland Business Journal)
Chip giant Intel is jumping into the automotive security fray with a new review board aimed at aligning connected-car and security researchers around best practices and design recommendations.
Portland ready to hop aboard bike share movement (Portland Tribune)
Bicycle-friendly Portland is late to the game in adopting a bike share system — the 65th city to adopt one — but three years of delays and snafus may bring some unforeseen benefits.
Redmond Airport eyeing Phoenix (Bend Bulletin)
-$500K grant to be used to target flights to Phoenix Sky Harbor-
Trips to watch Major League Baseball’s spring training or the Ducks and Beavers playing on the road might soon be a bit more manageable.
The Redmond Airport has secured a $500,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation specifically designed to attract air service from Redmond to Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, city officials announced Wednesday.
Why Nonstop Travel In Personal Pods Has Yet To Take Off (National Public Radio)
The average American commuter spends 42 hours per year stuck in rush-hour traffic, according to one recent study.
More than four decades ago, West Virginia University thought it had found a solution to urban traffic woes: It built a transportation system known as personal rapid transit, or PRT.
As head-up displays in cars become common, distraction becomes an issue (Dallas Morning News)
When Manish Undavia took delivery of the 2016 Audi A7 sedan — list price, about $71,000 — it came with technology rarely found in automobiles, even five years ago: collision avoidance systems, sensors to keep the car from drifting and, perhaps most baffling to Undavia, a head-up display.
“A what?” he asked the salesman.
How Car-Centric Cities Like Phoenix Learned to Love Light Rail (Governing)
-While other cities have struggled to finance their existing transit, Sun Belt cities like Phoenix have embraced light rail as a way to transform urban life.-
The centerpiece of Greg Stanton’s re-election campaign is a tax increase. The Phoenix mayor not only wants his city’s voters to approve a 35-year sales tax hike later this month, but he wants them to do it on the same ballot that has him running for a second term. Stanton believes voters will support both him and his tax policy because, in doing so, they will be casting a vote for transportation.
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