07-04-2020  5:06 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

Inslee Heckled Off Stage During Tri-Cities Appearance

Speaking outdoors in Eastern Washington, the governor was repeatedly interrupted by hecklers as he urged residents to wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Portland Police Declare Riot, Use Tear Gas

Several arrests were made as protests continued into early Wednesday morning.

Oregon Legislature Passes Police Reform Package Amid ‘Rushed’ Criticism

Six new bills declare an emergency in police protocol and are immediately effective. 

NEWS BRIEFS

Trump Blows His Twitter Dog Whistle on America’s Fair Housing Policies in the Suburbs

The president could be Tweeting on unemployment or COVID-19 infections but instead pushes housing discrimination ...

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Awards Historic $100,000 Founders' Centennial Scholarship

Zeta celebrates 100 years with largest single recipient scholarship awarded by a historically Black Greek-lettered sorority or...

Nominations Being Accepted for the Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award

Gladys McCoy Lifetime Achievement Award was established in 1994 to honor Multnomah County residents who have contributed outstanding...

Shatter, LLC Launches to Elevate Diverse Voices in Progressive Politics

A collaboration of leading female political strategists aims to fill a void in the world of political consulting ...

New Director Takes Helm at Oregon Black Pioneers

In its 27-year history, the organization has never had an executive director, and has expressed confidence and optimism in Zachary A....

Surge in state COVID-19 cases driven by eastern Washington

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Cirio Hernandez Hernandez was thinning apple trees on a June morning in Yakima, grabbing a fistful of tiny apples and knocking off all but one that was left to grow to a marketable size.It wasn't the Yakima Valley's hot temperatures, or the strenuous work, that was...

Violence mars Portland protests, frustrates Black community

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Protesters in this liberal, predominantly white city have taken to the streets peacefully every day for more than five weeks to decry police brutality. But violence by smaller groups is dividing the movement and drawing complaints that some white demonstrators are...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

Banana Republic or Constitutional Democracy? The US Military May Decide

Will the military, when and if the chips are down, acts in accord with the Constitution and not out of loyalty to its commander-in-chief? ...

To Save Black Lives, and the Soul of Our Nation, Congress Must Act Boldly

For too long, Black people in America have been burdened with the unjust responsibility of keeping ourselves safe from police. ...

Racial Inequalities - Black America Has Solutions; White America Won't Approve Them

The problem is we have to secure approval of the solutions from the people who deny the problem's existence while reaping the benefits from it. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

At Pride march in Paris, activists demand racial justice too

PARIS (AP) — While the French capital's official Pride event was delayed until November to prevent spread of the coronavirus, grassroots groups plan a march through Paris anyway Saturday — led by people of color.The virus has forced cities around the world to cancel, postpone or adapt...

Protesters return to St. Louis area where couple drew guns

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Several hundred protesters made a peaceful return trip Friday to the St. Louis mansion owned by a white couple whose armed defense of their home during an earlier demonstration earned them both scorn and support.Protesters marched along the busy public boulevard called...

K-State players end threat of boycott over Floyd tweet

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) — Kansas State football players have called off a threatened boycott in response to an insensitive tweet by a student about the death of George Floyd.The decision, announced on social media by several players, follows moves by the school to address diversity concerns....

ENTERTAINMENT

Hugh Downs, genial presence on TV news and game shows, dies

NEW YORK (AP) — Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said...

Review: A master class by Catherine Deneuve in 'The Truth'

Family may be the great subject of Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, but he doesn't draw straightforward portraits. In Kore-eda's hands, family is more malleable. He tends to shift roles around like he's rearranging furniture, subtly remaking familiar dynamics until he has, without you knowing...

Union tells actors not to work on pandemic film 'Songbird'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The union that represents film actors told its members Thursday not to work on the upcoming pandemic thriller “Songbird,” saying the filmmakers have not been up-front about safety measures and had not signed the proper agreements for the movie that is among...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

US envoy forges ahead with troubled Taliban peace deal

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Washington's envoy to Afghanistan stressed Saturday the economic benefits of the peace...

2 women hit by car on Seattle highway closed amid protests

SEATTLE (AP) — Two women were struck by a car whose driver sped through a protest-related closure on a...

Heavy rain floods southern Japan; over a dozen presumed dead

TOKYO (AP) — Heavy rain in southern Japan triggered flooding and mudslides on Saturday, leaving more than a...

Heavy rain floods southern Japan; over a dozen presumed dead

TOKYO (AP) — Heavy rain in southern Japan triggered flooding and mudslides on Saturday, leaving more than a...

Pints poured, unkempt hairdos cut as England eases lockdown

LONDON (AP) — The pints are being poured and the unkempt hairdos are being cut and styled as England...

Explosions rock 2 Somalia cities as 4 killed in Baidoa

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Explosions rocked two of Somalia's largest cities on Saturday as officials said a...

McMenamins
Matt Smith and Thom Patterson CNN

(CNN) -- The use of hydraulic fracturing to open underground natural gas formations has a low risk of triggering earthquakes, federal experts reported Friday, but some scientists say the debate is far from over.

"Fracking," as the process is commonly known, involves injecting a mixture of water and chemicals deep into the Earth. The pressure causes shale rock formations to fracture, and natural gas is released. The fluid is extracted, and the natural gas is mined through the well.

There's a higher risk of man-made seismic events when wastewater from the fracking process is injected back into the ground, according to a report by the National Research Council, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences. But out of about 30,000 disposal wells nationwide, only a handful of noticeable tremors have been reported, with the strongest equivalent to a magnitude-4.8 earthquake, the panel of engineers and scientists concluded.

Congress requested the study in 2010, as hydraulic fracturing triggered a natural gas production boom that has driven down the price of the fuel by 45% in the past year. Although the boom has fattened landowners' wallets, it has been accompanied by concerns that the practice can harm the environment by contaminating groundwater -- and by triggering quakes.

In the region surrounding Youngstown in northeastern Ohio, where the boom is in full swing, seismic instruments recorded nearly a dozen small quakes in 2011, with a magnitude-4.0 tremor reported December 31.

John Armbruster of Columbia University, who's been studying seismic events and fracking in the Youngstown area for months, said Friday that it's "virtually certain" that an injection of fracking wastewater caused the New Year's Eve tremor.

Depending on its location, "any disposal well that's been pumping stuff into the ground for months can cause earthquakes," said Armbruster, who's studied earthquakes and drilling for 40 years.

The quakes prompted state officials in January to order four fluid injection wells in the eastern part of the state to be "indefinitely" prohibited from opening.

Small quakes also have been reported in Oklahoma, Colorado and Arkansas, and "these events are being examined for potential links to injection," Friday's report states.

"Hydraulic fracturing in a well for shale gas development, which involves injection of fluids to fracture the shale and release the gas up the well, has been confirmed as the cause for small felt seismic events at one location in the world," the report states. It found small seismic events involving "a very limited number" of injection wells, but the long-term effects of the growing number of wells wasn't known.

In general, shifting the balance of fluids underground -- whether taking more out of the ground than is put back in or vice versa -- is likely to trigger seismic activity, the report concludes.

"While the general mechanisms that create induced seismic events are well understood, we are currently unable to accurately predict the magnitude or occurrence of such events due to the lack of comprehensive data on complex natural rock systems and the lack of validated predictive models," it states.

"I don't think it's realistic that this treasure will be sitting underneath us and we won't use it," Armbruster said. "It needs to be heavily regulated." Compared with fracking's money-making potential, he says, "monitoring these wells doesn't cost a lot of money."

The highest potential for man-made quakes may come from the development of carbon-capture technology, an effort to recover the carbon dioxide released by fossil fuels and blamed for an increase in global temperatures. But the report says more study is needed, since no since no large-scale carbon-capture projects are running at this point.

The U.S. Geological Survey, the federal outfit that studies earthquakes, acknowledges that increased seismic activity coincides with wastewater injection. But it does not say there's proof of a direct connection.

"While it appears likely that the observed seismicity rate changes in the middle part of the United States in recent years are manmade, it remains to be determined if they are related to either changes in production methodologies or to the rate of oil and gas production," wrote David J. Hayes, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, which oversees the USGS.

"That's too weak," Armbruster said. "In the case of Youngstown, the chance that this is just a random coincidence is like winning the lottery. It's a million to one that it's just a random coincidence."

Analysts say fracking has great potential as a "geopolitical game-changer." They say a domestic gas windfall could cut U.S. reliance on imports from energy-rich "rogue" nations.

Health and safety questions surrounding hydraulic fracturing have spurred battles in several states between neighbors and between farmers and environmentalists. In New York, the governor appointed a panel to investigate allegations that fracking may contaminate underground drinking water.

New York City gets roughly half its water from the Delaware River Basin, a key area for hydraulic fracturing.

Both the Upper Delaware and Monongahela rivers sit on an area called the Marcellus Shale, which lies beneath large parts of Pennsylvania, New York and West Virginia at a depth of 5,000 to 8,000 feet, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

The shale is believed to hold trillions of cubic feet of natural gas. Before technological advances in hydraulic fracturing, the natural gas in the region had been considered too expensive for access.

 

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