|Koch-backed group buys $3.1M in Oregon Senate ads|
|Novick poll: Tax the rich to repair streets|
|Delta, United cancel US flights to Israel|
|Marijuana legalization in Oregon going to a vote|
|Blue Lake to reopen to swimmers on Wednesday|
|ODOT still examining troubled Hwy 217 on ramp|
Do You Want To Build a Spider Gun? Sung to the tune of "Do You Wanna Build a Snowman", this instructional video answers the question, how can I get rid of that scary creature hiding in my bathroom without killing it! Believe it or not, putting a spider gun together is quite involved!
Keeping Your Bike Safe -- If you'd like to make your bike less vulnerable to thieves, there is a way to do it. Register it with Bike Index https://bikeindex.org/. Many bike shops do it for you now when you buy it, but if you've had your bike for a number of years (like I have) its nice to have the same protection. You will need to know your bike's serial number to register it properly. You can also upload photos to go with it. Its also a good site to check if you are buying a used bike, to make sure you aren't buying something that's been stolen. And cops can check it too, when they confiscate a bike, to see if it belongs to someone.
The Saga of the Scale – Didn’t feel right not to give you the final chapter in the story of the Bathroom Scale! Yes, this is the same scale that sat out on my corner in Montavilla (the neighborhood where EVERYTHING disappears from the corner, if you set it out overnight…even used toilets!). When we last left our working, and perfectly functional scale, it was in the KPAM Lunchroom. That’s another place where unattached or unclaimed items will magically disappear. (Sometimes even your sandwich!) You will also recall I was offering this scale up to the universe as my way of letting go of all the silly trials and tribulations I (and many people I know) put themselves through over what the number says on the scale. We will NOT be dominated in our thoughts, words and deeds by such an object….oh NO! In the case of this particular scale though, it has taken up a lot more time than I would have liked. Finally, after a couple of weeks in the lunchroom here at the mighty AM 860, it showed signs of taking up permanent residence. I grabbed it, feeling responsible for everyone’s misery at having to look at the darn thing, and put it in the bags I was taking to Goodwill.
Finally got to the drop site a couple weeks ago and handed over, without ceremony, my three bags of clothes “I’ve-been-hanging-onto-because-they’ll-fit-someday” – can anyone relate? I felt very free as I drove away, leaving behind all of that stuff that had cluttered up my life, and knowing my scale was FINALLY gone! I breathed deep breaths, experienced great joy, there was a rainbow in my path – ok, I’m exaggerating about the rainbow – but it did feel good to get all of that taken care of.
So, a week ago, I’m rearranging the back of my SUV so I can get four humongous bags of potting soil in back, and you will NEVER guess what I found. Or you will guess! Yup, that damn scale!! Could not BELIEVE IT. It must have fallen out of the Goodwill bags, or I have a magnet attached to my rear end that pulled it out. Take your pick. I did laugh pretty hard when I saw it.
You will be happy to know it is finally gone. The next day, when I came to work, I tossed it into the dumpster. I tried to avoid that by passing it along to someone who could use it, but apparently no one really wants a scale, let alone me. Sorry, I added to the pile of trash our planet has to deal with. But the good news is that scale isn’t haunting me anymore. If it shows up at your house, I’m sorry.
The Dude – Yes, we all know he abides. And The Big Lebowski is one of my favorite movies, so it abides as well, at least in my book. I love the Jeff Bridges character of Jeffery Lebowski, and I often think if I bowled more, and could wear my bathrobe to work, I could be a laid back as he is! Tim Hohl and I get a chance to get our “Lebowski” on this weekend at Big Al’s in Beaverton, bowling for a very good cause.
Sleep Country Pajama Bowl --- You may have heard of the “Sleep Country Pajama Bowl”, and know it’s a fundraiser for kids in foster care. Cute kids on the ads you’ll hear tell you about what its like in care, and that pajamas are “like a hug”. (I must agree with that last statement, they are. I love jamies)
The company, Sleep Country (yes, the place where I bought my VERY comfy Serti-i-comfort mattress) does this particular fundraiser every year. They have been doing it for some time -- and have raised over 750 thousand dollars, thanks to the help of 56 hundred people. The generosity of Sleep Country and the volunteers for this event and others is one of the major reasons I am so happy to be telling you about Sleep Country every day on the radio. They have made it their mission to make sure kids in foster care have what they need. And their need is great.
Years ago, I worked at the YWCA of Clark County, with teens in Foster Care; these were kids just getting out of high school and making their way out into the world. And the stories I heard from these kids would tear your heart out. They don’t have the usual supports that most kids take for granted. Who’s going to make sure they have the extra money to play baseball, or even have a mitt. What if they need new shoes, a new coat, and new p.j’s?? Who's going to step up and buy their graduation gown? There are limited funds available to help these kids, and as you know with your own kids, the price of raising children goes up every day. By Sleep Country taking on, what I consider, a noble effort, plenty of kids in care are getting the extra support they need. The kids also find out people care about them. That is HUGE!! As one of my foster kids, in my program at the “Y” put it…’we aren’t problem kids, we are kids who have problems’. And the biggest obstacle they have, in most cases, is there aren’t caring adults in their own homes who can properly care and provide for their physical, emotional and intellectual needs. There is no place that’s safe. They can find that in care, and you can help them feel that safety.
So on Sunday at Big Al’s we’re bowling our hearts out for Foster Kids…and luckily, we don’t have to be good bowlers to help raise money and awareness. Our station is sponsoring two teams, making a generous contribution. And you can too. Take a look at this link, and see if there is some way you can help. Or you can come by and root on the KPAM Kingpins. We'll be the ones in pajamas! (Actually everybody will be!) Help support kids in care because, believe me, there is a kid in foster care in our town who will be the better for it.
Congratulations – You live in the fittest city in America! That’s according to the latest issue of Men’s Fitness magazine. The story says 86 percent of Portlanders exercise. But apparently that’s not the only reason we came out on top for sweating. We also like being outdoors, we make working out fun, we hop on our bikes at every opportunity, we live in a city that’s conducive to fitness and we eat right. Don’t worry, we aren’t perfect. About 25 percent of us are obese. So we have some work to do.
Speaking of eating right….
Bike and Food Carts – This Thursday you can do both, ride and take in some of Portland’s best neighborhoods and food cart food. Portland’s Pedal Bike Tours is offering one of its Food Cart Crawl’s. Weather should be perfect. The company even provides bikes if you don’t have quite the ride you’d like to have. Check here for more information. The company does a variety of tours around town.
Bike Share – Sounds like the city’s program is going to be put off for another year. Its not clear exactly what the holdup is…but from what we read in Jonathan Maus’ BikePortland blog, it has something to do with the main supplier Alta bikes. We look forward to hearing from the city’s transportation bureau – we have calls into officials there, but haven’t had those calls returned. The entire program has been pushed back several times. Last we heard it was supposed to open this year. Now its looking more like Spring of 2015.
Happy Trails --- A new trail stretching from Washington County to the Oregon Coast is under discussion in Salem. The “Salmonberry Trail” would follow an old railroad bed from Banks to Tillamook for 86 miles. The total cost of the project is expected to be in the millions but supporters say the money would come from grants and private donations. Property owners in the area aren’t exactly crazy about the idea, they’re worried about vandalism and other problems. Supporters say the trail would be a national draw for hikers cyclists and horseback riders. Senate Bill 1516 would give the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department direction to move forward on the project.
Happy Lobbying --- Wednesday is lobbying day on Capitol Hill for Bike activists at the National Bike Summit. Oregon is represented by about 20 people to urge for support on projects that will increase biking and walking access across the state. BikePortland blogger Jonathan Maus is at the summit, twittering and blogging. Following him is a great way to keep up on what's going on.
Happy Alice Awards --- The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is taking nominations for its annual “Alice” Awards until March 7th. Every year the BTA hosts a party to celebrate the contributions by citizens, businesses, and organizations who support better biking. This year’s program highlights those who “Invest in the Movement”. That could mean investing in the outdoors, in people, in new ideas, or bike tourism. If you’d like to nominate someone or an organization or business – here’s where to do it:http://btaoregon.org/alice/
The Big Reveal - Tomorrow night we will all know where Cycle Oregon will be heading this September -- and plenty of cyclists will be heading over to the kick off party to find out. For a change, it will be held at the Portland Art Museum...there will be food, drinks, music and dancing. The first 500-people in the door are GURANTEED a spot on the ride! And organizers promise they've got a new registration system that won't have the same bugs as last year's. The party starts at 6.
Ride of the Penguins – That’s what the “Worst Ride of the Year” could literally turn out to be this Saturday. In the past, plenty of people have shown up in penguin suits to have a little fun. After all, Puddles the Penguin is the mascot of the ride. This year, it may look like the South Pole though. The forecast is calling for up to six inches of snow. The ride could really live up to its name.
Oh Tri Met...what do you think? -- If you've ever had to hoist a hefty bike up on one of the hooks on a Max train, you know it can be a real pain. And couple that with trying to do it in a crowded train, you know how much fun you can have, getting grease on your fellow passengers. The folks down in San Francisco who run BART have a better idea, and its one we think looks pretty good. The new bike racks are on the ground, you just roll your bike into them and they are secure. Your bike won't go swinging side to side. Can we have some, please?
Saddle Up -- The newest section of bikeway in Portland is now open… along the Columbia Slough. The one-point-two mile section is above the Slough, between N. Vancouver and Denver Avenue and cost 610-thousand dollars. From the path you can see birds and other wildlife in the slough. Its also a safer than riding on Schmeer Road. The new path will also make a direction connection across Denver to another section of the Columbia Slough path, another new bikeway adjacent to Denver Avenue.
Will We Ever Get To Share? The last time with talked with someone from the Portland Bureau of Transportation about Portland's Bike Share Project, they told us it would be on the road this spring. This after it was delayed by months because of financial considerations. Now it sounds like finances are still a problem. Negotiations with a title sponsor are reportedly still ongoing. A recent story in the Mercury says sponsorship money has been “tricky to come by”. PBOT is projecting its still on track to have the project on the road this spring. But staffers estimate its going to take six months to set things up, once the money is in place.
How popular has bike sharing become? Here’s a little research for you. The number of programs around the world, and number of bikes in use, pretty flat until 2006. That appears to be the tipping point. Bike programs really took off after that. By the end of this past year, there were more than 700,000 bikes being formally shared through city bike-share programs worldwide. As simply a point of reference, that’s about 34 bike-share bikes available for every Starbucks store in the world.
The trigger, was Paris’s bike-share program, launched in 2001. The mayor of Paris spearheaded the creation of hundreds of kilometers of new bike lanes, but they were being lightly used. The city studied to find out why: “Most apartments were too small to store a bicycle, and people did not feel safe parking their bikes on the street overnight.”
Paris’s program — and its accompanying technology-enabled features that made it newly easy to track bikes and handle payment — was born, providing a model that other cities have tried and reworked as their own.