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Opinion

Lydia White is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

Lydia White is a Research Associate at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

In accordance with House Bill 2941, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) is making recommendations to the Oregon State Legislature to ensure Oregon’s solar energy incentives are equitable, efficient, and effective.

One recommendation is to modify the compensation method for solar energy, net metering. Under net metering, solar owners consume energy their panels produce. When energy produced is insufficient, solar owners purchase additional energy from traditional sources. When excess energy is produced, solar owners sell energy. Solar owners are compensated at above-market rates and are exempt from paying their portion of incurred costs. Such costs include operation and maintenance of the grid and “spinning reserves,” the alternative power source utility companies run continuously in case solar produces less energy than projected. The state’s incentive structure shifts costs from solar owners to non-solar ratepayers. As the number of solar owners increases, ratepayers bear higher costs. The PUC is recommending these costs instead be shifted to taxpayers. While the PUC proposal’s efforts to alleviate inequity are commendable, their proposed recommendations still constrain Oregonians. Continue reading

Lori Porter

Lori Porter, Parent Rights In Education

On August 22, 2016, United States District Judge Reed O’Connor issued a nationwide preliminary injunction which blocked the Obama administration’s Title IX “Guidelines.”

This federal case (U.S District Court, Northern District of Texas, Wichita Falls Division Preliminary Injunction Order: State of Texas v. United States of America et al ) included twelve other states and two school districts suing the U.S. DOE, DOJ, EEOC and DOL. Additional states have since joined, making a total of 23 states involved in this case. This Order allows school districts around the country the ability to maintain: “[T]he status quo as of the date of issuance of this Order and this preliminary injunction will remain in effect until the Court rules on the merits of this claim, or until further direction from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.” Continue reading

Pixie dust

Pixie dust

Democrats fight climate change with renewable pixie dust, while rest of world burns fossil fuels

“There’s been a record six straight years of job growth, and new Census numbers show incomes have increased at a record rate after years of stagnation,” NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt misinformed Americans, as he launched the first Trump-Clinton presidential debate September 26. Continue reading

Microsoft Word - Document3What if we could have an experiment to compare the two systems? Wait – we already did.

Experimentation is a major tool in the scientist’s arsenal. We can put the same strain of bacteria into two Petri dishes, for example, and compare the relative effects of two different antibiotics.

What if we could do the same with economic systems? We could take a country and destroy its political and economic fabric through, say, a natural disaster or widespread pestilence – or a war. War is the ultimate political and economic cleansing agent. Its full devastation can send a country back almost to the beginning of civilization. Continue reading

cr-other-risks-graphicDetecting Cr-6 droplets in Olympic-sized swimming pool doesn’t equal health or cancer risks

Erin Brockovich became rich and famous by promoting the notion that people in Hinkley, CA got cancer because of hexavalent chromium (Chromium-6) in drinking water. Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) settled a 1993 lawsuit for $333 million, rather than risk trial by a jury frightened by a steady drumbeat of horror stories from lawyers, activists, celebrities, “journalists” and hired “experts.” The lawyers got $134 million in fees, and Ms. Brockovich pocketed a cool $2-million bonus – plus movie royalties and other cash. Continue reading

By Stacey Seaman, Executive Director, Blackbox Foundation of Casa Grande, AZ

By Stacey Seaman, Executive Director, Blackbox Foundation of Casa Grande, AZ

Nonprofit Director Offers Thoughts On Daily Living

Someone asked me the other day if it’s all worth it.

oct16_bbf-logoThey saw me on a day that I was particularly frustrated about something or another. It was hot, and I was running late, and was stressed, and when they asked me…well, in that moment, I wasn’t sure it was worth it.

Because this is hard. Don’t ever let anyone tell you it’s not hard to build a dream from the ground up. Its early mornings, late nights and never enough time in between. It’s missing your family and spending too much time with your volunteers. Its too many bills and not enough pay checks. It’s some people not knowing your business’ name and others dragging that name through the mud. Its broken air conditioners, dirty floors, stuck doors and drawers and sweat from your pores and my God, what is it all for? Continue reading

1966 photo of Mazamas on the summit of Pico de Orizaba at 18, 491 feet above sea level, the third highest mountain in North America and the second most prominent volcano in the world after Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Half the earth's atmosphere lies below these climbers. The author is fifth from the right.

1966 photo of Mazamas on the summit of Pico de Orizaba at 18, 491 feet above sea level, the third highest mountain in North America and the second most prominent volcano in the world after Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa. Half the earth’s atmosphere lies below these climbers. The author is fifth from the right.

When I was a boy, my mother introduced me to mountaineering through a friend of hers who had undertaken many outdoor adventures. All it took was one trip into the mountains to convince me that this was a great sport. I joined the mountaineering club in Portland that my mother joined during the 1930s and have now been a Mazama for 55 years.

A proud mountaineering tradition

A proud mountaineering tradition

A couple of years later, I organized a trek down the Oregon Skyline Trail. My brother and I hiked 200 miles through mountains neither of us had seen before. And, we carried all of our supplies with us to prove the Seattle Mountaineers wrong. They had claimed that self-sufficient three week trips were impossible. It was a great adventure for teenagers who lived in Chicago at the time.

I also rendezvoused with the Mazamas in Mexico City to successfully climb the third, fifth, and seventh highest mountains in North America. It was one of their first major expeditions that was celebrated recently on its 50th anniversary. Again, we did it all ourselves.

But things change in half a century. Outdoor clubs now want to be about so much more than merely recreation. They want to be big businesses that have many members, many programs, many employees, and impressive facilities. That takes far more money than outdoor enthusiasts typically have. So they look for a money stream. Continue reading

Kathryn Hickok

By Kathryn Hickok, Publications Director, Cascade Policy Institute

By Steve Buckstein, Senior Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

By Steve Buckstein, Senior Policy Analyst, Cascade Policy Institute

Last month, National Employee Freedom Week (August 14-20, 2016) called attention to the rights of union members to opt out of union membership if they choose and to stop paying dues and fees to unions they do not support. National Employee Freedom Week has conducted surveys of union members and households. One of this year’s significant findings is that a strong majority of union members nationwide agree that if members opt out of paying union dues and fees, they should represent themselves in negotiations with employers. Continue reading

Clackamas County Commission Chair John Ludlow

Clackamas County Commission Chair John Ludlow

As I campaign for re-election, I occasionally hear about how some folks misrepresented the disagreements between Clackamas County and Metro. My opponents were not helping as they would have voters falsely presume our county commission just can’t get along with the regional government.
To give you a clearer picture…
No one at Metro has been or is representing Clackamas County interests…not with land use, transportation planning, or growth management.
The reality is our regional planners and Metro councilors have hurt our county.
On land use, it all comes down to how Metro has purposefully over-restricted the county’s buildable land supply for housing, industry, and jobs. Continue reading

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