Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines
December 11, 2013
The lives of SeaTac residents making a $15 minimum wage will not be lavish. Working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, they will bring in $31,200 a year. But here’s what that wage difference might mean: Moving a family with kids into a 2-bedroom apartment, fewer boxed mac and cheese dinners, being able to repair a car, and, just maybe, a vacation.
Think Progress | Economy
Augers, tubes and a crane are standing by at the Highway 99 tunnel job site, to help workers drill 60 feet deep and remove the unidentified buried object that blocks boring machine Bertha. Is it a large boulder? Did Seattle settlers bury boat hull or a train car? Stay tuned.
The Seattle Times | Transportation
If fossil fuel companies succeed in shipping the volumes of fuel they have planned, they will—by sheer physical necessity—disrupt vehicle and rail traffic all along the rail route. In our final chapter of the series, we examine the effects in Skagit and Whatcom Counties, where train traffic will triple and streets will close for hours daily.
Sightline | Fossil fuels
Over the course of 20 minutes, an economist dissects Canada’s oil policies in recent years and says Canadians have been losing out.
Vancouver Observer | Fossil fuels
Before gay marriage was legalized in Washington state, wedding planner Jenny Harding organized about two same-sex weddings a year. Last year? Sixteen. These days, gay weddings make up 17 percent of all weddings in Washington state. In Clark County, across the border from Oregon where gay marriage is not legal, a third of the couples applying for licenses are gay.
KUOW | Equality
New apartment developments are popping up in cities like Boston, Seattle, and Miami without one key feature: on-site parking. These projects prove that providing parking isn’t necessary to lure residents, even in cities not named New York.
Planetizen | Housing
Reporter Ashley Ahearn moderates a Town Hall discussion with Lummi councilmember Jay Julius and tribal law experts Mason Morisett and Knoll Lowney about an ongoing battle over a coal terminal proposed to be built at a sacred site for the Lummi, and the non-permitted disturbances of their ancestors.
EarthFix | Native People
A team of heavy hitters from Portland’s private, public and nonprofit sectors has teamed up to create what looks like Oregon’s most important new transportation nonprofit in years. “Move Oregon” is setting out to be, in a sense, public transportation’s answer to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance or to AAA Oregon.
Bike Portland | Transportation
Vancouver WA neighborhoods cut off from fire and police protection by increased train traffic. A highly volatile commodity traveling near homes. An industrial area prone to liquefying in an earthquake. Those are among more than 100 areas of concern the city of Vancouver wants state regulators to include in their examination of the environmental impacts of a proposed oil-by-rail operation at the Port of Vancouver.
Vancouver Columbian | Fossil fuels
Some holiday cheer from an unexpected source.
The Georgia Straight | Transportation
More News from December 11, 2013
It was not that long ago that BC was being hailed as a leader in the fight against rising greenhouse gas emissions. Former premier Gordon Campbell was the toast of enviro-crusaders everywhere, his bold reduction targets held up as an example of the kind of brave political leadership required to save the Earth from burning up. Now, with a change in leadership, his bold green dreams appear dead.
Toronto Globe and Mail | Politics
A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the dangers of trying to save a few seconds in traffic by sneaking past TriMet buses making scheduled stops. Apparently, the driver of an RV in Gresham didn’t read it.
The Oregonian | Transportation
There is no question that the success of SeaTac’s Prop. 1 is a win for workers. But it is also a win for transit-oriented development and our region’s environmental goals. Here is why: the $15 airport living wage means more families will be able to live in their communities of choice.
Given the substantial differences in housing and living costs across US cities and metros, a single minimum wage makes little sense. Workers need much more to get by in San Francisco or New York than in smaller, less expensive cities. Already, state and municipal governments are at the leading edge of efforts to raise the minimum wage, adopting local minimums significantly above the federal requirements.
Atlantic Cities | Economy
President Obama is getting a new high-level adviser who cares a lot about climate change and doesn’t care much at all for the Keystone XL pipeline.
Grist | Climate
BC Hydro considered but rejected six alternatives to the Site C dam, including a series of seven small, cascading dams, the chief project engineer for the dam said Tuesday.
Vancouver Sun | Water
Will climate change leave your investment portfolio stranded like a polar bear on melting ice floe? If your pension fund or 401(k) manager invests in fossil fuel companies, it just might.
Grist | Economy
TriMet’s survival as a transit agency depends on two things: getting its costs under control, and coaxing more people out of their cars and onto a bus or train for commuting and errands. With those goals in mind, the TriMet board of directors on Wednesday should reject a proposed expansion of rider benefits that could cost the agency millions in forgone revenue.
The Oregonian | Transportation
Any food stamp cut disproportionately hits Oregon, because it’s still a particularly hungry state. But this cut’s structure hits Oregon even more directly.
The Oregonian | Food