Top Northwest Sustainability Headlines

August 28, 2014

1. Views: We need a new labor movement

Looking forward to a long weekend away from the job? Having a holiday Monday, and even having a weekend to begin with, are the results of struggles by previous generations to make life better for Americans who earn a wage. We need a revival of that united effort right now.

The Seattle Times | Labor Rights

2. BNSF exec says safer tanker car can lower risk

BNSF Railways’ executive chairman Matthew Rose says his company wants safer ways to haul volatile oil by rail from the Bakken fields of North Dakota to refineries and terminals in Washington and around the country that have seen rapidly increasing traffic since 2011.

Bellingham Herald | Oil trains

3. 3 ways insurers can discourage sick from enrolling

Insurers can no longer reject customers with expensive medical conditions thanks to the health care overhaul. But consumer advocates warn that companies are still using wiggle room to discourage the sickest — and costliest — patients from enrolling.

The Associated Press | Health care

4. Eyman wants $1.1M to roll back minimum wage

Initiative promoter Tim Eyman is asking the restaurant and lodging industries to pony up $1.1 million for a signature blitzkrieg that would put on the ballot an initiative to repeal Seattle’s new $15-an-hour minimum wage.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Politics

5. Vancouver’s separated bike lanes a big draw

Five years after it began a rapid expansion of separated bike lanes, Vancouver is seeing record number of cyclists use the facilities.

Vancouver Sun | Bicycling

6. Emergency water releases OK’d to help salmon

A federal judge denied a request by irrigation suppliers in California’s Central Valley to stop emergency water releases intended to help salmon hundreds of miles away in the Klamath Basin survive the drought.

The Associated Press | Salmon

7. OR wolf pack gets another strike

A wolf pack in eastern Oregon is one strike away from a possible state kill order after a sheep was killed in an Aug. 20 attack in Umatilla County.

The Oregonian | Wolves

8. The biggest thing that blue states are screwing up

Between 2000 and 2012, the blue-born population living in red states grew over 20 percent to 11.5 million, while the red-born population living in blue states shrank to 7.3 million from 8.4 million. Liberals might want to do some reflecting about the fact that Americans are voting with their feet against blue states.

Vox | Housing

9. Managing park-and-ride demand

There’s an undeniable economist’s appeal to using price as a way to rationalize demand for a scarce resource like parking, and charging money for spots is absolutely the right thing to do.

Seattle Transit Blog | Transit

10. Extreme walking commuter puts feet first

In a city known for terrible traffic, some commuters find relief on their own two feet. Fremont resident Luke Baylor is one such walking commuter.

The Seattle Times | Walking

More News from August 28, 2014

King County’s living wage? Way more than $15

Child care costs more than rent, and transportation is a significant expense for King County employees. And the city’s new minimum wage? Well, $15 per hour just won’t cut it if you want to live and work in Washington state’s largest metropolitan area. Those are the findings from a new report.

Puget Sound Business Journal | Minimum wage

Vancouver Aquarium fights breeding ban

The park board doesn’t have the legal jurisdiction to pass resolutions about how the Vancouver Aquarium acquires or keeps whales, dolphins and porpoises, says John Nightingale, the aquarium’s CEO and president.

Vancouver Sun | Wildlife

Portland buys 25 acres for bike haven

Efforts to build a nature-friendly bike haven in east Portland moved forward as the City Council agreed to buy 25 acres for a future park.

The Oregonian | Bicycling

Full extent of global coal ‘binge’ is hidden

The climate impacts of the world’s fossil-fuelled power plants are being underestimated because of poor accounting, say researchers.

BBC News | Fossil fuels

The new face of electricity

The race for energy storage is on. Tesla’s lithium ion is in the lead, but other companies think they can invent a better, cheaper battery.

Aljazeera America | Green Energy

Collaring OR-7 could take a while

Biologists trying to put a new GPS tracking collar on Oregon’s famous wandering wolf, OR-7, could be camping out in the southern Oregon Cascades for weeks before they are successful.

EarthFix | Wolves