March 30, 2010  1:09 PM

In the news: Metro media hotsheet, Mar. 31, 2010


Read recent news coverage of Metro and related topics in local and national media. Link to online stories from newspapers, radio, television and blogs.

Metro coverage

New direction urged for Columbia River Crossing

The Columbian, Mar. 30, 2010

It's easy to vilify the proposed Columbia River Crossing. Depending on your point of view, the 10-lane freeway bridge is a sprawl-inducing ode to a bygone era or a multibillion-dollar experiment in misguided social engineering - or both. It connects two states across one of the great rivers of the world, yet it has all the charm of a parking garage... "I'm pretty well convinced there's not a bridge out there that gives everybody everything they want," said Don Wagner, co-director of the bistate Columbia River Crossing office in Vancouver. Metro council President David Bragdon said the current design isn't even close... "Politically, it's stalled right now because the states are trying to force this monster down our region's throat," Bragdon said in an interview after attending the design panel at the arts college. "It's not financeable. It has huge detrimental impacts on communities in our region, so the approach they're taking isn't going to work." Go to the article

Tea party ignites passions

The Gresham Outlook, Mar. 30, 2010

Democrats dismiss them as cranky right-wingers and nut cases. Libertarians hail them as new recruits to the cause.
Republicans view them - sometimes warily - as a force to be harnessed to help re-energize the conservative movement. They're participants in the local "tea party" movement, a motley mix of new political activists and longtime true believers in limited government... Several local tea party-identified candidates did file to run in this year's races for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, Metro, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and several Oregon legislative districts. However, in many cases they stepped up when no "name" Republicans entered. Most are considered long shots. Go to the article

Metro's growth plans envision grand future 

The Oregonian, Mar. 29, 2010

Metro, the regional government for the greater Portland area, has an ambitious catchphrase to describe the work now engaging its planners, researchers and elected officials. They call it, "Making the Greatest Place." Cynics quickly respond, "According to whom?" Planners, academics and bloggers cast Portland as either a model or a bad example for future American cities, and their views fuel the argument over how to handle the growth that will swamp the region during the next couple decades. Go to the article

Bragdon has fun with April 1 Metro agenda

The Hillsboro Argus, Mar. 29, 2010

If you've ever wondered how regional planners come up with committee acronyms, the Metro Council might be approaching an answer. But you'll have to wait until after they take over TriMet. The council is scheduled to hold public hearings Thursday about a possible takeover of TriMet, the establishment of the Regional Acronym Planning Advisory Committee and granting "technical personhood" to a cat, then appointing that cat to MPAC, the Metro Policy Advisory Committee. Wait, what? These, among other items on the April 1 Metro Council agenda, came from the lame duck mind of David Bragdon, the Metro Council president who is term-limited out of office later this year. Go to the article

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Other items of interest

Bike plan for 2030: New questions on sewer money for bike boulevards

Willamette Week, Mar. 30, 2010

Mayor Sam Adams' decision to take $20 million from the Bureau of Environmental Services to support the Bicycle Plan for 2030 is a done deal... Now the question is where to spend the money. And if that seems like an easy set of decisions to make, well, that's not the case in Portland. Adams, committed to promoting "equity" in spending across the city, has asked BES to spread the money for bicycle boulevards and "green streets" equally around all five sections of Portland - North, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Northwest. Trouble is, according to BES, the parts of town that could most benefit from "green streets," which help to reduce stormwater runoff and calm traffic, happen to be for the most part in inner Northeast and Southeast Portland. Those sections, from the Willamette River to about 60th Avenue, are where homeowners and businesses frequently experience sewer backups and basement flooding due to inadequate infrastructure. Go to the article

What is bike culture? 

The New York Times, Mar. 30, 2010

With an increasingly permanent network of lanes and legal access to office buildings around the city, the bicycle is becoming more entrenched as a mode of transportation. An entity no less mainstream than the United States Department of Transportation is on board, recently describing bicycles and pedestrians as "equals" to trains, planes and automobiles and encouraging further development of cycling infrastructure at the state and federal level... Ah, bike culture. Many claim to represent it, but none have been able to fully lay claim to its meaning. As riders surge onto the streets this summer, numerous bike tribes will be represented in New York, not to mention outside of the city, in cycling centers like Portland, Ore., and Madison, Wisc. Go to the article

It's 'all aboard' time for high-speed rail

The Oregonian, guest column by the Mayor of Eugene, Mar. 30, 2010

At the Northwest Corridor Rail Summit held earlier this month in Eugene, Rep. Peter DeFazio said the federal government is "ready, now, to begin to deliver on a new vision of a high-speed 21st-century rail network for the United States of America." This is a critical time for high-speed rail -- a moment of opportunity, not only in Oregon and Washington, but across this nation. As the federal government begins to step up and make high-speed rail a priority, so must Oregon take the vision and move it to reality. The Northwest rail corridor was recently awarded $598 million in federal stimulus funds to add sidings and improve signaling on the rail line between Seattle and Portland. Unfortunately, Oregon received only $8 million of the $598 million because Oregon doesn't have an updated rail plan, which is necessary to receive significant federal funds. We have much to do and a long way to go, but we can -- and must -- get there. Go to the article

Milwaukie business finds tricky way out of MAX line's path

The Daily Journal of Commerce, Mar. 29, 2010

To build the Portland-to-Milwaukie light-rail line, transit agency TriMet must move a nearly immovable object. The line will run through the center of what is now Beaver Heat Treating in north Milwaukie's industrial area. Transit-line expansions often force property owners to move. But relocation of this business, which treats metal equipment for clients including Ford and the U.S. military, is more problematic than most, said John Baker, real property acquisition manager for TriMet... "The equipment we use in heat treating can't be shut off," Moran said. "We have to let it idle at temperature during the weekend. "(TriMet is) trying to figure out, ‘How do you move a facility that's never off?' " he said. Go to the article

The EPA weighs the hidden costs of carbon

Grist, Mar. 30, 2010

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency will do more than set new fuel efficiency standards for cars. It will put a price on carbon. Within this historic climate change regulation is a powerful new way of thinking about greenhouse gas emissions: as costs that will borne by society. Burning oil in cars imposes a steep price tag, from dirtier air now, to more expensive flood insurance in a decade, to potential climate catastrophe for our grandchildren. The federal government has taken note of these hidden costs and is now using them to weigh the benefits of curbing our emissions. It's a smart move: regulations might not seem worth doing if we pretend these price tags said "free." But when the real costs of business as usual are recognized, the need to rein-in emissions is obvious. Go to the article 

Candidates for governor debate environmental issues

The Portland Observer, Mar. 31, 2010

On Tuesday evening, three candidates vying to be Oregon's next governor squared off at an event hosted by a coalition of green groups to debate environmental issues facing the state. A crowd of over a thousand overwhelmingly white people gathered in a ballroom at Portland State University's Smith Memorial Student Center to hear the two Democratic frontrunners, former governor John Kitzhaber and former Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, debate each other and businessman and Republican candidate Allen Alley on all things green. The debate- sponsored by Environment Oregon, the Sierra Club, Natural Oregon and the Oregon League of Conversation Voters- revealed sharp philosophical and policy difference between Alley and his Democratic counterparts on issues including land use, liquified natural gas, salmon restoration, and balancing economic and environmental priorities. Go to the article

Green schools designed to catch students' eyes

The Daily Journal of Commerce, Mar. 30, 2010

Students in the past may not have given much thought to how much energy their schools consume. But perhaps pupils will ask more questions when they see what makes their schools greener. More architects nowadays are choosing to open students' eyes to green design by designing new school buildings with solar arrays, storm-water drainage systems and other sustainable building features exposed intentionally. According to Scott Rose, a principal with DLR Group working on the new Petersen Elementary School in Scappoose, youths have minds like sponges, and will benefit from being able to see green building systems in action. Go to the article

Paper recycling hits record high

Earth911, Mar. 29, 2010

A record-high 63.4 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2009, according, which is funded by the American Forest & Paper Association. The all-time high exceeds the industry's 60 percent recovery goal three years ahead of schedule... In 2009 the amount of paper recovered for recycling averaged 325 pounds for each man, woman and child in the United States. Go to the article

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