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Posts Tagged ‘Oregon’

Oregon Lawmakers Propose Mileage Tax On Fuel Efficient Vehicles

January 3rd, 2013 01:47 admin View Comments

Government

Hugh Pickens writes writes “Facing a $10 billion dollar revenue shortfall for transportation financing, the Oregon Legislature is expected to consider a bill to require drivers with a vehicle getting at least 55 miles per gallon of gasoline to pay a per-mile tax after 2015 to offset the loss in tax revenue for fuel efficient cars at the gas pump where the government has traditionally collected money to build and fix roads. Oregonians currently pay 30 cents per gallon, a tax that is automatically added at the pump but as cars become more fuel efficient and alternative fuel sources are identified, state officials project gas tax revenue will decline. ‘Everybody uses the road, and if some pay and some don’t, then that’s an unfair situation that’s got to be resolved,’ says Jim Whitty of the Department of Transportation. Opponents of the Oregon proposal say it will hurt a new industry. ‘It will be one more obstacle that the industry and auto dealers will face in convincing consumers to buy these new cars,’ says Paul Cosgrove, a lobbyist for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. Other states, such as Nevada and Washington, are also looking at a per-mile charge and a Washington law that would charge electric car owners an annual fee goes into effect in February. Oregon did a pilot study of the mileage tax (PDF) where participants paid 1.56 cents per mile and got a credit for any gasoline tax they paid at the pump. According to the study although initial media portrayals of the system were almost uniformly negative 91% of test participants preferred the mileage tax to paying gas taxes.”

Source: Oregon Lawmakers Propose Mileage Tax On Fuel Efficient Vehicles

Net Neutrality Bill Aimed At ISP Data Caps Introduced In US Senate

December 21st, 2012 12:00 admin View Comments

Communications

New submitter Likes Microsoft writes “Yesterday, Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced a Net Neutrality bill aimed at ISPs using data caps soley for profiteering purposes, rather than the ‘traffic management’ purpose they often claim. The text of the bill is available at Wyden’s Senate page. It would require ISPs to be certified by the FCC before implementing data caps. It says, in part, ‘The [FCC] shall evaluate a data cap proposed by an Internet service provider to determine whether the data cap functions to reasonably limit network congestion in a manner that does not unnecessarily discourage use of the Internet.’ In a statement, Wyden said, ‘Americans are increasingly tethered to the Internet and connecting more devices to it, but they don’t really have the tools to effectively manage data consumption across their networks. Data caps create challenges for consumers and run the risk of undermining innovation in the digital economy if they are imposed bluntly and not designed to truly manage network congestion.’”

Source: Net Neutrality Bill Aimed At ISP Data Caps Introduced In US Senate

Geomapping Racism With Twitter

November 11th, 2012 11:15 admin View Comments

Twitter

Hugh Pickens writes writes “Megan Garber writes that in the age of the quantified self, biases are just one more thing that can be measured, analyzed, and publicized. The day after Barack Obama won a second term as president of the United States, a group of geography academics took advantage of the fact that many tweets are geocoded to search Twitter for racism-revealing terms that appeared in the context of tweets that mentioned ‘Obama,’ ‘re-elected,’ or ‘won,’ sorting the tweets according to the state they were sent from and comparing the racist tweets to the total number of geocoded tweets coming from that state during the same time period. Their findings? Alabama and Mississippi have the highest measures followed closely by Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee forming a fairly distinctive cluster in the southeast. Beyond that cluster North Dakota and Utah both had relatively high scores (3.5 each), as did Missouri, Oregon, and Minnesota. ‘These findings support the idea that there are some fairly strong clustering of hate tweets centered in southeastern U.S. which has a much higher rate than the national average,’ writes Matthew Zook. ‘But lest anyone elsewhere become too complacent, the unfortunate fact is that most states are not immune from this kind of activity. Racist behavior, particularly directed at African Americans in the U.S., is all too easy to find both offline and in information space.’”

Source: Geomapping Racism With Twitter

Massachusetts May Soon Change How the Nation Dies

November 2nd, 2012 11:05 admin View Comments

Medicine

Hugh Pickens writes “Lewis M. Cohen reports that this Election Day, Massachusetts is poised to approve the Death With Dignity Act, a modernized, sanitized, politically palatable term that replaces the now-antiquated expression ‘physician-assisted suicide.’ Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act has been in effect for the past 14 years, and the state of Washington followed suit with a similar law in 2008. But the Massachusetts ballot question has the potential to turn death with dignity from a legislative experiment into the new national norm, because the state is the home of America’s leading medical publication (the New England Journal of Medicine), hospital (Massachusetts General), and four medical schools (Harvard, Boston University, University of Massachusetts, and Tufts). If the act passes in Massachusetts, other states that have previously had unsuccessful campaigns will certainly be emboldened to revisit this subject. The initiative would allow terminally ill patients with six months or less to live to request from their doctor a prescription for a lethal dose of a drug. Doctors do not have to offer the option at all, and patients must make three requests, two verbal and one written. They must self-administer the drug, which would be ingested. The patients must be deemed capable of making an informed decision. ‘It’s all about choice,’ says George Eighmey, a key player in instituting the Oregon law, defending it against repeal and shepherding it into reality. ‘You decide. No one else can decide for you. No can can force you into it, coerce you into it or even suggest it to you unless you make a statement: “I don’t want to live like this any more” or “I’m interested in that law out there, doctor, can you give me something to alleviate this pain and suffering.”‘”

Source: Massachusetts May Soon Change How the Nation Dies

Volcano Power Plan Gets US Go-Ahead

November 2nd, 2012 11:02 admin View Comments

Power

cylonlover writes “Having successfully negotiated the challenging regulatory slopes of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Energy, and a host of Oregon state agencies, the Newberry Enhanced Geothermal Systems (EGS) demonstration project is in the process of creating a new geothermal reservoir in central Oregon. The core of the new reservoir is a two mile (3.2 km) deep well drilled about four miles (6.4 km) from the center of Newberry Volcano. The rock surrounding the wellbore reaches temperatures in the order of 600 F (300 C), and is nearly impermeable to water. That, however, is about to change. Newberry Volcano is one of the largest and youngest volcanoes in the United States. Having last erupted about 1,300 years ago, it consists of over 400 individual volcanic vents, which, when combined, form a broad mounded landform referred to as a shield volcano. The Newberry EGS Demonstration geothermal reservoir is being formed in the high-temperature, low-permeability deep lava of the volcano’s northwest flank.”

Source: Volcano Power Plan Gets US Go-Ahead

Obama Blocks Chinese Wind Farms In Oregon Over National Security

October 1st, 2012 10:33 admin View Comments

The Military

Hugh Pickens writes writes “Reuters reports that President Barack Obama has invoked a little-used law to block a privately owned Chinese company from building wind turbines close to a Navy military site in Oregon due to national security concerns. ‘There is credible evidence that leads me to believe’ that Ralls Corp, Sany Group and the two Sany Group executives who own Ralls ‘might take action that threatens to impair the national security of the United States,’ said Obama in issuing his decision. The military uses the Oregon naval facility to test unmanned drones and the EA-18G ‘Growler.’ The electronic warfare aircraft accompanies US fighter bombers on missions and protectively jams enemy radar, destroying them with missiles along the way. At the Oregon site, the planes fly as low as 60 m and at almost 480 km/h. The administration would not say what risks the wind farm purchases presented but the Treasury Department said the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States, known as CFIUS, made its recommendation to Obama after receiving an analysis of the potential threats from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. The last time a president used the law to block a transaction was in 1990, when George H.W. Bush voided the sale of an aerospace company, Mamco Manufacturing, to a Chinese agency.”

Source: Obama Blocks Chinese Wind Farms In Oregon Over National Security

The Pacific Ocean Is Polluted With Coffee

August 6th, 2012 08:01 admin View Comments

Earth

An anonymous reader writes in with this excerpt from Inhabitat:“People aren’t the only ones getting a jolt from caffeine these days; in a new study published in Marine Pollution Bulletin, scientists found elevated concentrations of caffeine in the Pacific Ocean in areas off the coast of Oregon. With all those coffee drinkers in the Pacific Northwest, it should be no surprise that human waste containing caffeine would ultimately make its way through municipal water systems and out to sea – but how will the presence of caffeine in our oceans affect human health and natural ecosystems?”

Source: The Pacific Ocean Is Polluted With Coffee

Man Who Protested TSA By Stripping Is Acquitted By Judge

July 19th, 2012 07:26 admin View Comments

Security

AbrasiveCat writes “In an update to an earlier Slashdot story, the Portland Oregon man who was arrested after stripping naked at a TSA checkpoint at Portland Airport was acquitted of indecent exposure charges. He successfully argued that he was protesting TSA actions, and his actions were protected speech under the Oregon Constitution.”

Source: Man Who Protested TSA By Stripping Is Acquitted By Judge

Bad Weather Brings Down Lawn Chair Balloonists

July 16th, 2012 07:21 admin View Comments

Image

Kent Couch and Fareed Lafta had their dreams of setting a world’s record for the longest two-man cluster balloon flight dashed by bad weather and not kids with bb guns as you might expect. The men tied 350 balloons to lawn chairs and planned on flying from Bend, Oregon to Montana. The pair flew for about 30 minutes before having to land. From the article: “A post at the Facebook page for the project said wind had turned the balloonists around and pushed them back toward the town of Prineville, Oregon, and that thunderstorms heading toward the area were ‘simply too much’ for the balloons.”

Source: Bad Weather Brings Down Lawn Chair Balloonists

Black Death Discovered In Oregon

June 16th, 2012 06:02 admin View Comments

Medicine

redletterdave writes “The Black Death, a strain of bubonic plague that destroyed nearly a third of Europe’s entire population between 1347 and 1369, has been found in Oregon. Health officials in Portland have confirmed that a man contracted the plague after getting bitten by a cat. The unidentified man, who is currently in his 50s, had tried to pry a dead mouse from a stray cat’s mouth on June 2 when the cat attacked him. Days later, fever and sickness drove the man to check himself into Oregon’s St. Charles Medical Center, where he is currently in ‘critical condition.’”

Source: Black Death Discovered In Oregon

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