There's no hiding it, leather comes from cows — specifically dead cows. And with fewer people eating red meat due to high prices and diet fads, fewer cows are being slaughtered. This is great news for cows, but bad news for tanners, who now have to pay a premium for what leather is available. While luxury leather goods makers couldn't care less, the outfits that supply low-margin apparel — like leather laces — are hurting right now. So, this weekend, go ahead and grill a fat porterhouse, the future of the small tannery is at stake.
Or at steak. Your call. Personally, I'm grilling a prime-grade t-bone this evening.
Jane Leo, governmental affairs director for PMAR, said the new methodology will bring the parks fee impact on a 30-year mortgage to more than $28,000 for a 2,000-square-foot home being built outside the central city.
"By the council's action today," she said in the release, "the city has made that dream (of home ownership) impossible for many who desire to live here."
And it's not just would-be homeowners; renters also get the shaft. But it doesn't stop there: "business-friendly" Porkland makes sure that commerce takes a huge hit as well -
Under the changes approved by the council in a 3-2 vote, new businesses will pay for impact on parks based both on the workers who live in Portland and those workers who commute into the city.
I can't recall the last time I visited a city park, but while I don't mind supporting them to some degree, it seems that the least the City Council could do would be to take you out to dinner first.
Up there in the Great White North, Canada's government has decided to flush their tampon tax. All I can say is that it's about bloody time.
Closer to home, Portland City Council member Amanda Fritz has decided to chop the tree fee that the City Council decided to impose earlier this year: now, if you cut down a tree on "your property" and fail to plant a city-approved replacement (or set of replacements) they won't charge you $6,000; they'll only charge you $1200.
The prosecutor’s office now threatening to bring criminal charges in the leak of former Gov. John Kitzhaber’s emails has an ethical conflict of interest in the case.
It turns out that a nephew of Kitzhaber’s is a senior prosecutor in the Marion County District Attorney's office—the same office that this month threatened the leaker of the Kitzhaber emails, Michael Rodgers, with thousands of counts of official misconduct.
Rodgers is the state official who prevented Kitzhaber's office from deleting the emails from state servers.
If you can't trust anyone in state government - which is riddled with corruption - the only option for an honest person is to take what they know to the media. Ethics? We don't need no steekin' ethics here in a state controlled by Democratics.
The latest escalation in the war against invading sea lions in the beleaguered Port of Astoria in northwest Oregon involves stringing beach balls along the docks to frighten them away. Apparently, harbor seals don't mind them, but sea lions are put off. The ongoing battle has taken a lot of twists and turns, as the packed tons of animals break flotation and electrical systems and the Port tries to find ways to get them off the docks.
They've tried chicken wire, little flapping flags, and electrified mats without a great deal of success. And in addition to battling the sea lions themselves, they have to deal with the general level of idiocy that the California transplants brought up.
The Sea Lion Defense Brigade and Veronica Montoya are classic examples:
“I guess if it works, it’s OK; as long as it doesn’t hurt the sea lions,” Montoya said of the beach balls. “But I think that they should leave these animals alone, because they’re such a huge draw.”
No, Veronica, they're a huge expense, and they create a huge mess.
She's really going to be unhappy when Port officials deploy the newest toy in their toolbox - a 30-foot, remote-controlled fiberglass killer whale.
It turns out that Oregon has some of the slowest drivers in the country, which may not be all that bad. We've got the lowest highway speeds in the West, for one thing. And Portland's streets are short and skinny, which aren't conducive to high-speed driving.
And then there's just the general level of politeness - or outright idiocy:
The preservationists now have something else to get their panties in a twist about: computer chip substrates made of wood. That means: cutting down trees!
The above chips are composed almost entirely of wood, which is epoxy-treated, but nonetheless biodegrades. This means that rather than dumping your old cell phone into a landfill, you could just toss it into your yard.
“Now the chips are so safe you can put them in the forest and fungus will degrade it,” says Professor Zhenqiang Ma, who led the team. “They become as safe as fertilizer.”
Every little bit helps. Perhaps it can be applied to solar cells - there's a reason why the rooftop solar companies "give" you full ownership of the arrays as they reach the end of their useful lifespan: the gallium arsenide components are toxic, and the companies certainly don't want to pay for removal and disposal of hazardous material.