Ambre Energy’s Troubled History: Greatest Hits Edition!

The "thin green line" of the PNW puts Ambre in its place.
No coal trains sign, at a home in Bow, WA. Photo by Pam MacRae.

No coal trains sign, at a home in Bow, WA. by Pam MacRae (Used with permission.)

In case you missed the news on Monday, the Oregon Department of State Lands denied a crucial permit for Ambre Energy’s plans to build a coal export terminal along the Columbia River capable of shipping 8.8 million tons per year.

It’s hard to overstate the significance of this ruling. It’s the first major regulatory decision on any coal terminal permit in the Northwest states. It was an unambiguous victory for opponents of coal export terminals, particularly the tribes that have  …  read more »

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EVENTS: Coal & Oil Trains in Bellingham, Everett

Two public panel discussions on Northwest fossil fuel exports.
Everett Coal & Oil Trains Panel Discussion, 2014_0822

I’ll be participating in two panel talks on coal and oil trains, one this Friday and one next week. Both promise to be interesting.


This Friday, come ask your toughest questions at a free, public panel discussion on coal and oil trains. I’ll be joining Ross Macfarlane of Climate Solutions, Sean Ardussi of Puget Sound Regional Council, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling, BNSF Consultant Terry Finn, and Joe Ritzman of SSA Marine to talk about everything from public safety concerns  …  read more »

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(Pay To) Park and Ride?

How user fees will produce parking sanity.
Photo taken by Jerrell B. Whitehead (used with permission).

Photo taken by Jerrell B. Whitehead (used with permission). Rider Alert by Jerrell B. Whitehead

In July 2013, board members of the Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority, better known as Sound Transit, unanimously approved a pilot program to test several efficiency-boosting strategies for a woefully oversubscribed parking system. The pilot scheme was budgeted at $495,000 and set for a 2014 roll out, with three key measures:

  • Parking permits;
  • Real-time information on parking availability;
  • Rideshare collaboration.

Unsurprisingly, the introduction of parking permits became the most controversial part of this new program. Following the announcement, Internet news forums were ablaze with  …  read more »


Weekend Reading 8/15/14

Photos: Living off the grid; #IfTheyGunnedMeDown; and more.
Original illustration by Nina Montenegro of


Heads up to a great event happening next Saturday, August 23: the 9th Annual Duwamish River Fest! It’s a completely free afternoon of food, art, boat and kayak rides, kids’ activities, live music, and more. I’ll be there and volunteering (still a few more spots to fill!), so come out with the fam for some local river fun.

Wow, this is powerful. After the controversial shooting of black teen Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, last weekend, this hashtag  …  read more »

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The Holy Grail of Parenting

A photoessay on urban spaces that work equally for parents AND kids. (Please send us yours!)

Messaging Basics to Live By

Our favorite Flashcard tips: Go viral, show your true colors, and optimize your photos.

Big Is Beautiful

Michael Lind, contra E.F. Schumacher.

A Rx for Family-Sized Housing in Seattle

If we don't build it, they aren't likely to come.

Weekend Reading 8/8/14

The most playful playground, Hollywood's whitewashing wonders, and more.

Carbon Pricing and Northwest Businesses

A match made in tax-swap heaven?