09-21-2021  6:55 pm   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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How to Tell DEQ to Step Up Its Emissions Caps – And Go Further

Two activists created a website to inform the most climate-vulnerable on how to take action.

Washington Governor Inslee Asks Feds for Medical Staffing Help

Washington Gov. Jay Inlsee has asked the federal government for assistance staffing hospitals and long-term care facilities in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Oregon Dems Void Power-Sharing Redistricting Deal With GOP

The Democratic speaker of the Oregon House on Monday rescinded a deal she made with Republicans to share power as lawmakers redraw political boundaries and add an additional U.S. House seat for the state.

Lawsuits Claiming 2020 Ballots Were Manipulated Come to WA

The lawsuits seek a full audit conducted in the same manner as one carried out in Arizona — which has so far yielded no evidence of widespread fraud


IPAC Announces September 21 Kickoff of the Portland Peace Initiative

A new coalition intends to show how peace is possible in Portland ...

OHSU Offers Free COVID-19 Testing by Appointment at Portland Expo Center

This newest drive through testing site is open Monday through Friday. ...

Pfizer Vaccine for Children 5 to 11 is Safe with Robust Antibody Response

These are the first such results released for this age group for a US Covid-19 vaccine. Pfizer said it plans to submit to the U.S....

Chris Rock Says he Has Covid-19 and Tells People to Get Vaccinated

The 56-year-old comedian wrote on Twitter: “Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this. Get...

Rep. Beatty Introduces Legislation to Establish National Rosa Parks Day

In coordination with Reps. Jim Cooper and Terri Sewell, U.S. Congresswoman and Congressional Black Caucus Chair Joyce Beatty...

Immigrant rights activist targeted for deportation can stay

SEATTLE (AP) — A Northwest immigrant rights activist who had been facing deportation said Tuesday she can now remain in the U.S., after the Department of Homeland Security agreed to drop her case. Maru Mora Villalpando, a Mexico City native, has been in the U.S. since...

Southern Resident grandmother orca missing and likely dead

SEATTLE (AP) — The Center for Whale Research has declared an orca in one of the Puget Sound’s endangered Southern Resident killer whale pods “missing and likely dead.” The Bellingham Herald reports mother and grandmother L47, or Marina as she was also known, was missing...

Bazelak, Missouri make quick work of SE Missouri, 59-28

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Connor Bazelak squeezed a full day of production into one half Saturday as he led Missouri to a 59-28 victory over Southeast Missouri. Bazelak completed 21 of 30 passes for 346 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers (2-1). “You...

CMU's McElwain relishes return to LSU's Death Valley

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Central Michigan coach Jim McElwain and the Chippewas have demonstrated already this season that they can go into an SEC stadium and be competitive. Yet McElwain is reluctant to characterize a visit to LSU’s 102,000-seat Death Valley, where the...


American Business Leaders Step Up to Fight Inequities in the South

With COVID-19 still an omnipresent concern and the country’s recovery still very much in jeopardy, individuals, families, and communities are struggling to deal with issues that have only been exacerbated by the pandemic. ...

Waters Statement on 20th Anniversary of September 11 Attacks

Twenty years ago today, our nation suffered devastating terrorist attacks on our soil and against our people that wholly and completely changed the world as we knew it. ...

Letter to the Editor: Reform the Recall

Any completely unqualified attention seeker with ,000 for the candidate‘s filing fee can be the largest state in the Union’s next governor ...

Grassroots Organizers Should Be Celebrated in Georgia’s 95% Voter Registration Rate

The recent release of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s biennial report brought welcome news that 95% of Georgia’s voting-eligible population is currently registered to vote. ...


Wray: Afghanistan unrest could inspire extremism inside US

WASHINGTON (AP) — The possibility of a 9/11-type attack has diminished over the last 20 years, but the Taliban victory in Afghanistan could embolden U.S.-based extremists at the same time that the FBI is confronting increasing threats from individuals motivated by racial and political grievances,...

Review: Johnson explores violence against Native Americans

“Daughter of the Morning Star,” by Craig Johnson (Viking) Cheyenne Tribal Police Chief Lolo Long’s niece, Jayla, star of the Lame Deer Lady Stars High School basketball team, is in danger. The girl has been getting credible death threats, so Long asks her friend, Absaroka...

Workers reinstall Wisconsin statues downed in 2020 protest

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin workers reinstalled two statues Tuesday on the state Capitol grounds that protesters ripped down during a demonstration last year in the wake of George Floyd's death. Workers reinstalled a 9-foot-6-inch statue of Wisconsin abolitionist Col. Hans...


In ‘This is the Night,’ a love letter to cinema, ‘Rocky III’

Filmmaker James DeMonaco remembers the day “Rocky III” hit theaters as if it were yesterday. On Staten Island in 1982, it was an all-out event. He waited four hours in line to get tickets and saw it twice in a day. Kids at his school carried the poster around like a trophy....

Review: 'Echoes of the Dead' is a fast-paced thriller

“Echoes of the Dead,” by Spencer Kope (Minotaur) When four wealthy men, one of them a congressman, disappear on their annual fishing trip to the Upper Kern River near Bakersfield, California, Magnus “Steps” Craig of the F.B.I. Special Tracking Unit senses real trouble. ...

Review: 'True Raiders' a fun read about true treasure hunt

“True Raiders” by Brad Ricca (St. Martin’s Press) For fans of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” there’s something just as exciting as seeing Indiana Jones swashbuckling his way through the jungles in search of treasure. That thing is hearing Dr. Henry Jones describe the...


Haitian trip to Texas border often starts in South America

TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Robins Exile downed a traditional meal of plantains and chicken at a restaurant run by...

Mexico buses, flies Haitians from remote area on US border

CIUDAD ACUNA, Mexico (AP) — Mexico has begun busing and flying Haitian migrants away from the U.S. border,...

'The world must wake up': Tasks daunting as UN meeting opens

NEW YORK (AP) — In person and on screen, world leaders returned to the United Nations' foremost gathering for...

Brazil's Bolsonaro rebuffs criticism on pandemic, Amazon

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro issued a defense of his administration at the U.N....

At UN, Moon pushes peace with NKorea after missile tests

Never once mentioning missiles, South Korean President Moon Jae-in again pushed for peace and reconciliation with...

Qatar's ruler urges world leaders not to boycott Taliban

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The ruling emir of Qatar, whose nation has played a pivotal role in...

Portland Mayor Sam Adams

(Editor's note: This is the complete statement issued by Mayor Sam Adams this morning after the new Interstate Bridge design proposal was submitted to the Columbia River Crossing Advisory Committee.)

For reasons that are both fiscal and political, I believe the ground has recently shifted under the proposal for a new I-5 Columbia River Crossing (CRC).
First, a little history. On July 9, 2008 in an Oregonian guest editorial, I wrote:
"A bridge, yes, but only the right bridge…I will strongly oppose a final Columbia River Crossing project proposal that fails to address Portland's goals. I would rather miss this round of federal funding and live with the challenges and vulnerabilities of the current bridge for the next 10 or 20 years than build a bad bridge that would punish Portland for perhaps another 100 years."
Today, I am even more committed to this statement.
I intend to continue working to shape this bridge, even though it is not a city-led project. In early spring of this year, policy and political differences among project sponsors risked sinking the entire project in cross-river disagreement. I have great respect for Vancouver, Washington Mayor Royce Pollard, although we do not always agree. We did find enough common ground to offer a compromise in a February 25, 2009 joint guest editorial titled "The way forward across the Columbia," proposing:
"… [a] new cross-river partnership [agreement] that actively manages daily mobility to get the most out of our investment…[like] no other jurisdiction in the nation has done… to blaze a new trail toward smart transportation management and protect our investment for generations to come."
Our February agreement assumed tolls on the project, and separated into two parts the controversial issue of how big to build the bridge versus how many lanes to actually open to traffic.
We proposed that the bridge be built to accommodate up to three add/drop lanes and three through-lanes. Those lanes would not be created equal. The lanes would be phased in and managed over time.
Decisions about when to open lanes – and how many – would be made based on the goals of improving freight movement and reducing vehicle miles traveled and pollution.
Our fact-based decision-making process noted that on-the-ground success for both our cities had much riding on details that were yet to be determined.
"Done right, the project promises safer and more reliable multimodal travel for people and goods while reducing negative impacts on our environment. Done wrong, today's gridlock will move south to downtown Portland. And 20 years from now the bridge will once again be filled with stop-and-go traffic."
Since this compromise last February, several things have changed.
The project budget must be cut. The project has a price tag that we now know far exceeds likely available funds. Our federal legislators have made it clear that we need to scale back the project to win their support.
Tolls are in question. A mayoral election in Vancouver has called into question whether tolls will be included to help underwrite the cost of building and maintaining a new bridge.
Local funding of light rail is unknown. Based on public support for a "no tolls" option in Vancouver, I have new concerns about whether Vancouver voters will approve a required sales tax increase for light rail line operating funds.
I will not get involved in the Vancouver mayoral election. And I accept the will of the voters in Vancouver and Clark County on light rail and the CRC.
But out of respect for our cross-river neighbors I want to ensure clear communication between us, so I must reiterate my stance: no tolls, no new bridge. No light rail, no Columbia River Crossing project.
I agreed to a compromise in February because of the promised benefits of the CRC project: improved freight movement, reduced congestion, and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Without tolls and light rail, I do not believe these benefits can be achieved.
Tolls and light rail offer our strongest tool to manage demand and regulate congestion. I believe an untolled bridge of any size – or a crossing without light rail – will invite more freeway trips, leading to even greater sprawl and congestion.
That congestion hurts freight movement and increases greenhouse gas emissions. And without tolls to moderate demand and light rail to get cars off the road, today's congestion at the bridge moves south to the heart of Portland.
Back in February, I agreed to move forward with a bridge structure to accommodate up to 12 lanes -- emphasis added -- contingent on performance. Today, faced with financial realities and the fact that the project might not win Vancouver's approval for tolls and light rail funding, I believe we need to define and apply those performance goals now, and use them to make smart cost-cutting decisions.
The fiscal context for the CRC project has changed dramatically. The political assumptions for the CRC project are no longer on solid ground. Thus, I am suspending my support for the compromise agreement I helped fashion in February.
And it must meet a clear-eyed cost/benefit analysis in light of today's financial realities – an analysis based on the performance goals on which we, as a region, must all agree.
For example the benefits of the proposed 11th and 12th lanes are marginal compared to other aspects of the project. The range of lanes we must look at likely is not the previous 8 to 12 lanes but 6 to 10 lanes.
We cannot wait until the new bridge is built to apply the performance goals we're developing. We need to use these performance goals to help us weigh the costs and benefits of the proposed budget cuts before us – and decide how big the bridge will be.
Regardless of what happens on this project, I will work to solve the problems that have driven Portland's participation in this project all
along: to improve better freight connections to I-5 and I-205, ensure safer access options for Hayden Island and extend light rail to it.
I remain committed to helping a new crossing get built but has to be the right kind of project.
The right bridge is one that will improve safety, moves freight better, reduces congestion, and protects our natural environment – all at a price tag we can truly afford. It includes light rail and it must be tolled to manage demand as well as pay for the project.

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