Year 19 • Issue 41 08 July 2013 1. Meet the One City in America Where Cars Have Been Banned Since 1898 2. Here’s One Smart Way to Fight Big-Box Stores 3. Canola Ban Clears Legislature 4. Poverty Maps From 1980 Look Astonishingly Different Compared to 2010 5. Craft Beer in Cans 6. Farm Free or Die! Maine Towns Rebel Against Food Rules 7. 6 Facts About Hunger That Demonstrate the Shameful Excesses of American Capitalism 8. CEO’s Make 273 Times the Average Worker 9. Oregon Transportation Summit 10. Wolf Tourism in Eastern Oregon 11. Introducing the 21st-Century City Hall 1.
Meet the One City in America Where Cars Have Been Banned Since 1898 When early automobiles first arrived on the scene in the late 19th century, few people could have imagined that they would one day take over the world. In fact, some towns found the noise and exhaust from these novelty 'horseless carriages' so off-putting that early cars were actually outlawed in some places. In time, of course, restrictions were lifted and the car soon became ubiquitous across the country -- but there is still one place in the United States that has yet to change its mind. Meet Mackinac Island, where cars have been banned since 1898.
Quote of the Week: “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~Anais Nin Oregon Fast Fact #30: Tillamook is home to Oregon's largest cheese factory.
Located just offshore of mainland Michagan, in Lake Huron, Mackinac Island and its namesake city have long been a favorite spot for a relaxing getaway. So, when automobiles first began to arrive, loudly sputtering along the island's once-quiet roadways, startling horses and spitting out smoke, it quickly became apparent to locals that this new invention was not for them. To access the full story, click here. 2. Here’s One Smart Way to Fight Big-Box Stores This month, citizens and planning officials in Cape Cod, Mass., will get a chance to do what almost no one else in the U.S. is allowed to do when deciding whether to approve or reject a big-box retail development: weigh the likely impacts on the region’s economy. Thousands of proposals to build big-box stores and shopping centers will be submitted to cities and towns this year. (Walmart alone is pushing to open 220 new stores by January.) In almost every case, local planning policies will limit any review of these projects to conventional
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zoning issues, like how much traffic the store will generate and whether the site has sufficient landscaping. To access the full story, click here. 3. Canola Ban Clears Legislature A bill to keep commercial canola production out of the Willamette Valley for at least five more years cleared the Legislature today and now goes to the governor’s desk for signature. The Oregon Senate voted 18-12 on Monday to pass the measure, which cleared the House on an equally close vote last week. “I am just delighted,” said Rep. Sara Gelser, D-Corvallis, one of the bill’s chief sponsors. “This is a big win for specialty seed farmers in the Willamette Valley.” The Willamette Valley has a worldwide reputation for producing high-quality vegetable and flower seeds, and specialty seed growers reacted with dismay this spring when the Oregon Department of Agriculture lifted a longtime ban on planting canola in the region. To access the full story, click here. 4. Poverty Maps From 1980 Look Astonishingly Different Compared to 2010 Poverty in the United States doesn't look like it did just a few decades ago. In many metro areas, it touches more people today than in 1980. The demographics have changed too, with new and expanding communities of the Hispanic poor in cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas. And the geography has shifted – as we've previously written, following the work of Brookings Institution researchers Alan Berube and Elizabeth Kneebone, poverty now stretches well into the suburbs. To get a better picture of what all these changes look like over time, the Urban Institute recently created a helpful new mapping tool that tracks fine-grained Census data on poverty for every metropolitan area of the country, spanning the years from 1980-2010. The patterns vary by city (Chicago Magazine has a good discussion of what the tool illustrates there). Just about everywhere, however, poverty appears to be spreading. To access the full story, click here. 5.
Craft Beer in Cans Nearly 80 years ago, Richmond revolutionized the beer world. For it was in this Southern city in 1935 that canned beer — complete with how-to instructions — was first sold. Krueger’s Cream Ale and its punch-top can became an instant hit, propelling the humble beer can to iconic status. That is, until Americans returned to bottles and the beloved craft brews they contained, a cultural turn that left canned beer looking decidedly lowbrow. But more recently, craft brewers rediscovered cans, realizing that they weren’t just retro-cool, but with a few tweaks might even be able to kick bottles in the can. Welcome to the beer can revolution, 2013-style. Technology once again is transforming how Americans drink their beer.
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Today, Budweiser sells a bow tie-shaped can that mirrors its iconic logo, Miller Lite sports a punchtop can, drinkers know their Coors Light is cold when the mountains on the can turn blue, Sam Adams Boston Lager comes in cans designed to improve the taste, and now Sly Fox Brewing Co. sells beer in “topless” cans designed to turn into cups when opened. To access the full story, click here. 6. Farm Free Or Die! Maine Towns Rebel Against Food Rules New Englanders have never been shy about revolting against what they see as unfair food regulations. Remember that whole thing? So perhaps it's not so surprising that in Maine, towns have been staging another revolution: They've declared independence from state and federal regulations on locally produced foods. In May, the tiny Isle of Haut became the in the state to pass what's known as a food sovereignty ordinance. Essentially, these resolutions claim that small local food producers don't have to abide by state or federal licensing and inspection regulations if they are selling directly to consumers. The idea is to spare farmers from burdensome regulations that are "squeezing the smallest of the small," says of the advocacy group Food For Maine's Future. To access the full story, click here. 7.
6 Facts About Hunger That Demonstrate the Shameful Excesses of American Capitalism Of all the miseries placed on human beings in their everyday lives, the lack of food may be the most inexcusable. Even in a world controlled by unbending attitudes of self-reliance and individual responsibility, the reality of children and seniors and disabled citizens going hungry is a stain on humanity, a shameful testament to the capitalist goal of profit without conscience. The facts presented here all touch on the lives of human beings, in the U.S. and beyond, who lack food or the means to pay for it. To access the full story, click here.
8. CEO’s Make 273 Times the Average Worker If you’re the CEO of a major company today, you make, on average, about 273 times more than the average worker. That’s according to a recent analysis by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) of the CEO-to-worker pay ratio at top 350 firms. The average pay, EPI found, was $14.1 million in 2012, up 12.7 percent from 2011. That’s a big change from a half-century ago. In 1965, the CEO-to-worker pay ratio was about 20-to1, but it grew over the next three decades, and that growth picked up speed in the ’90s. It peaked in 2000 before the early 2000s recession, with a CEO-to-worker pay ratio of 383.4-to-1. It hit a lesser peak again in 2007, before the Great Recession, with a ratio of 351.3-to-1. During the recovery, CEO pay has been climbing upward once more. At the same time, for most Americans, wages have remained stagnant at best. To access the full story, click here.
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9. Oregon Transportation Summit Monday, September 16, 2013 Smith Memorial Union, Portland State University The Oregon Transportation Summit brings together Oregon’s academic and practicing transportation professionals to advance the state of the art by accelerating new research into practice and shaping the agenda for future research. The summit features a plenary session, a luncheon program and a variety of workshop sessions. OTREC produces the summit in partnership with the Portland Chapter of the Women’s Transportation Seminar, the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Oregon Section of the Institute for Transportation Engineers. The highlights of the 5th Annual Oregon Transportation Summit include: OTREC Research Poster Exhibit (7-8am and during breaks) Plenary session on MAP21 with Adie Tomer (Brookings Institution) and Rep. Tobias Read Keynote presentation by author Taras Grescoe (Straphanger) Eight workshops on topics ranging from bike/ped safety to connected vehicles Register now! Members of WTS, ITE and APA can register for $100, non-members for $150 and students for $50. A late registration fee takes effect on August 26th. A $25 discount is available if you want to bring your own lunch. 10. Wolf Tourism in Eastern Oregon "Hot diggety, that’s fresh,” exclaims 67-year-old Wally Sykes, a longtime Wallowa County resident whose family used to hunt wolves in Alaska. He points to a pile of wolf scat on the disused forest service road in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest in Eastern Oregon where we are hiking. Larger than a dog’s, the clumped scat is tapered at the ends and full of reddish elk hair and small bone fragments. Sykes points to the flies buzzing around it. “Can’t be more than 12 hours old, maybe less,” he muses, rubbing the white stubble on his chin and quickening his pace. Though he grew up shooting woodchucks for fun, Sykes has become an advocate for wolves and other wildlife in Eastern Oregon, the heartbreakingly beautiful region far east of the Cascade mountains that comprises about half the state’s land but has a population of only some 100,000 people, depending how you tally it. The backbone of Eastern Oregon’s economy has historically been mining, logging and agriculture. As mining became almost nonexistent and the timber industry has declined, the region has been reinventing itself in recent years, advertising its natural beauty, outdoor recreation and abundant wildlife to attract visitors. To access the full story, click here. 11. Introducing the 21st-Century City Hall New platforms are transforming the idea of civic duty and reinventing how citizens engage with government. These tools allow users to interact and share feedback with government entities in creative, convenient ways. Here are five platforms that are helping redefine civic engagement. Neighborland: A new way to rally residents If you’ve ever tried drumming up support for a neighborhood project, you know firsthand how difficult the effort can be. From diverse work schedules to just plain indifference, capturing a Page 4 of 5
community’s attention and rallying residents on an issue can seem impossible at times. Neighborland was created to make that task easier. The online social engagement platform helps citizens and public officials connect on ideas and plans for a community. After creating a profile on Neighborland, users can post questions or ideas using words and pictures. The posts can be categorized by topic, and users can suggest related actions such as fundraisers and meetings. Users who support an idea can click a “me too” button — similar to “liking” a Facebook post. The information is then presented in an open, transparent way indicating the will of the community, complementing city council hearings and other traditional forms of communication. To access the full story, click here.
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