A Community Newspaper for the way we live



John A. Charles, Jr.

Cascade Policy Institute has released a new report examining the links between anti-sprawl, “smart growth” regulations and increasing housing costs in Oregon. The report measures the extent of supply restrictions in Oregon and their impact on housing prices. It concludes that “smart growth” policies contribute substantially to the decrease in affordable housing and single-family housing options in Oregon.

The report, The Housing Affordability Crisis: The Role of Anti-Sprawl Policy, was written by Randall Pozdena, Ph.D. Pozdena is president of QuantEcon, Inc., an Oregon-based economics consultancy. Continue reading

Whether or not you have ever visited a national park, you have contributed to their budgets by paying a federal income tax. These funds help to pay for operational services like removing trash, operating camp grounds, and maintaining roads.

If you want to enjoy a national park in person, you’ll (usually) also pay an entrance fee. Under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, park fees are designated for “repair, maintenance, and facility enhancement related directly to visitor enjoyment, visitor access…” and other visitor services. Under this law, entrance fees do not fund the previously mentioned park operations. Continue reading

Bobbie Jager

As a mother of 13 children (no, that’s not a typo) and grandmother of 17 more, I understand the critical role that parents play in the lives of their children. Education can make or break a child’s future, and school choice gives parents the power—and the responsibility—to decide what education options fit their children best. That’s why I support school choice and National School Choice Week.

Every January, National School Choice Week (www.schoolchoiceweek.com) shines a spotlight on effective education options for all children. A nonpartisan and nonpolitical celebration of educational choice, the Week raises awareness of the different K-12 education options available to Continue reading

Miranda Bonifield

TriMet’s ridership has been steadily declining in recent years, to the great concern of transit advocates and fiscally conscious citizens alike. Proposed solutions involve sending expensive new bus and rail lines to underserved locations. But what if TriMet could reach new customers at a fraction of that cost?

Cascade Policy Institute recently released a study by economist Dr. Eric Fruits which found one or more high-cost and low-ridership bus lines could be replaced by facilitating the use of ride-hailing services in partnership with transit. Riders within particular areas could call an Uber or Lyft, ride to the bus, and then take public transit the rest of the way—a much more efficient and comfortable method than Continue reading

Tom Tamarkin

Why Big Green energy investors rely on the man-made global warming myth

Supposedly “green” or “renewable” energy has become a trillion-dollar-plus annual industry that has spawned tens of thousands of new businesses worldwide. The total Climate-Industrial Complex is a $2-trillion-per-year business. Major fossil fuel companies like Shell Energy now have green energy divisions.

These companies are virtually 100% dependent on the politically driven notion of “dangerous manmade global warming and climate change.” The media, public and political establishment constantly recite the assertion that 97% of scientists say the problem is real and manmade carbon dioxide (CO2) is the cause. Continue reading

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)

University of Washington Professor of Atmospheric Sciences Cliff Mass

With each new year we are ever hopeful that we will see a re-dedication to the principles that made America so successful. FAT CHANCE this year! The forces of darkness are out in full force to try to separate President Donald Trump from the Presidency and science from the truth. The two are interrelated because the President magnificently stands up to the darkness and strongly supports the truth even if, in the case of science, he does not always understand it.

So there is a chance that we will be better off twelve months from now, but it all rests on the shoulders of one man. And half the nation wants him to fail, regardless of the consequences for America. That is very dangerous for everyone. Our totalitarian enemies, from China to Russia to ISIS, have to be rejoicing at our disarray. They need do nothing except watch us self-destruct.

The American experiment with democracy is only about 250 years old, with each year making us stronger – until recently. Personal liberty to speak our minds and make our own economic decisions have been deciding factors in our success versus the rest of the world.

The entire modern world was built with science as its foundation. But science, like America, is only a few centuries old and inherently fragile. When science Continue reading

Justus Armstrong, Cascade Policy Institute

The Oregon Department of Transportation recently published its Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Oregon Passenger Rail Project, which plans to expand and improve passenger rail service between Eugene and Portland and increase Amtrak Cascades rail service from two to six round trips per day. Out of two potential build alternatives—Alternative 1, which would improve the existing Amtrak route, and Alternative 2, which would create a new route along Interstate 5 between Springfield and Oregon City—ODOT has identified Alternative 1 as the preferred alternative. Many are optimistic about improved passenger rail options, but Alternative 1 would include anywhere from $870 to $1,025 million in capital costs. Is the project worth such a high price?

One of the stated goals of the Passenger Rail plan is to implement a cost-effective project, but based on ODOT’s own testimony, it appears that Amtrak is actually becoming less cost-effective. In a 2017 Legislative report on passenger rail performance, ODOT reported that “[t]he gap between revenue and costs continues to increase.…It is likely the costs to operate the service will increase in the coming years.” Continue reading

Many Portland drivers probably wonder why there are so many curb pop-outs on Portland streets. The pop-outs, also called bioswales, are usually shaped like rectangles or triangles and filled with plants, grass and a drain pipe.

While advocates think the bioswales are important to protect water quality, a new report https://www.portlandoregon.gov/auditservices/article/705164 released by the Portland Auditor shows that there is little evidence to support such claims. The problem is the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services doesn’t have a monitoring plan. Continue reading

Steve Bates

50 years ago today, over 500,000 United States military personnel were deployed to Vietnam.  The New Year of 1969 brought many of the same experiences of 1968.  1968 was the year of the greatest number of casualties during the Vietnam War.  Almost 3 million warriors served in Vietnam.  Thousands were from Oregon.   All totaled, there were over 58,000 American troops who died in Vietnam; 710 of them were Oregonians.

These were the sons and daughters of the Greatest Generation.  The Vietnam generation of warriors went to war and served their country well.  Yet, when they returned from serving their nation, they did not get a Thank You, let alone a “Welcome Home”. Continue reading

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