Too Much Rain in Rose City

The Pacific Northwest is known for its beautiful green landscapes, but at what cost? Rain. Rain is the price Rose City residents pay for all the trees. The area is under the direct path of a jet stream that encircles the northern hemisphere around the Canadian-U.S. border. The jet stream creates a low-pressure system that produces heavy rains, nay, chubby rains. Although Rose City’s average inches of rain is less than that of New York City, New York or Mobile, Alabama, the rain falls for a longer period of time

“This is terrible! It’s just wet everywhere! I wish our government would do something about it!” proclaimed Jolie Turtlesloth, of Grease Ham. Rose City citizen Meegan Shearshoot, on the other hand, loves the rain. “It’s soothing. I like the color of the sky when it rains. It’s this beautiful green. I like being out there,” said the retired 77-year-old.

To the whiners, Shearshoot said: “I don’t have a lot of patience. If they don’t like it, move.”

The Rose City council declined to comment on any plans to stop the torrent of water from above.

Rose City in Gas Crisis

Just the thought of pumping their own gas has sent some Rose Cityians into panic mode.

Here’s what happened: Residents in some rural counties will soon be allowed to pump their own gas thanks to a new law.

The Legislature passed it in May and it was signed into law in June. The law affects counties with 40,000 residents or less.

Rose City is currently residing in one of two states that does not allow customers to pump their gas (the other is New Jersey).

Some gas station managers said that their attendants would continue servicing patron’s cars just as it has been done since 1951.

“Our regular, longtime customers love coming here and talking to us while we pump their gas,” said Shelby Perkins, a cashier at a 76 gas station in Prineville.

She added that wasn’t sure regular customers even knew how to operate the pumps.

Darlene Forseth, manager at Main Station Express in Prineville and Justin Bidiman, owner of the Metolius Market in Metolius, said they will continue relying on attendants since their stations are not equipped for self-service.

“My equipment is not set up for credit cards,” he said, “so we don’t have any way of recording the gallons.”

The Culver Shell & Feed in Prineville is part of the handful of gas stations that are ready for self-service, said owner Jeffrey Honeywell.

“We are going to take advantage of it,” he said.

His gas station had changed to “sundown to sun-up” self-serve gas when the state legalized it in 2015.

There will be someone available to assist customers, Honeywell said.

No More Freeways in Rose City

By Humble Twiliger

Many people on Twitter were intrigued by the Rose City Council conversation Nov. 30, about adding variable-priced tolls to area roadways. Some wondered why Mayor Ted Wheeler would say the City will not build any new freeways. Others wondered specifically about the statement by Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson that affluent people drive more than people living on low incomes.

Mayor Ted Wheeler:

“It’s obvious to everybody that we live in a region that’s abundant with natural beauty and resources. We’re seeing that our economy is vibrant and continues to grow. One of the side effects of that good news is that we’re also seeing significant growth in congestion on our roadways. These same factors make Rose City such a wonderful place to live, work and recreate but they also attract new residents. That, of course, includes increased housing and increased pressure on our roadways.

While I am mayor, I want to be clear, we’re not building any more freeways in the City of Rose City. Congestion pricing not only funds and maintains our transportation system, but also is a very effective tool for managing the traffic that will continue as Rose City grows and changes. We also can’t lose sight of the impact traffic emissions have on our public health and our overall environment. Air quality has been and will continue to be a key issue for me as mayor. We can’t deny that vehicles continue to be a source of pollution in the air we breathe. Today’s resolution is not only a statement of our values – advancing our community’s health, protecting our environment and achieving our equity goals – it is also a path forward to better achieve these goals.”

Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson:

“Congestion pricing can have benefits for both people who drive and people who use transit. And most importantly for me, it can have benefits for low-income residents as well. While tolls could be regressive, not all low-income people drive. Many low-income people don’t own cars, so tolls may not hurt the most vulnerable and may even help if reduced traffic congestion lets buses travel faster, improve frequency and expands bus lines – all of which should be part of a successful congestion pricing plan.

For the many low-income people who do drive, tolls may burden them, but tolls can generate revenue that we can use to offset costs for those low-income drivers.

What we don’t want to do is to assume that the current system of free roads benefits everyone equally. It doesn’t. Driving is expensive. It requires a car, gas, insurance, maintenance, registration fees, the list goes on. That’s why the affluent drive much more than the poor and take more advantage of our current road system.

We have the opportunity now to build a congestion pricing system that’s right for all of our community.”

Existing Conditions, Findings and Opportunities Report for the Regional Active Transportation Plan is based on the state Household Activity Survey. It shows the people in lower-income households (with incomes below $50,000) represent 46.4% of the overall population but represent only 34.8% of all driving. On the other hand, people in households with more than $75,000 annual income represent 35.2% of the population and 46.8% of all driving. Thus, it is people from the higher income brackets that seem more dependent on automobiles than those at lower wages.

Russia ignores ban of killer robots

Russian Robot Prototype

By Taylor Hornswaggle

Russian diplomats delivered a message for those who want to ban killer robots: Russia will build them no matter what. That is the sum total of what happened during a week of discussion on the issue of weapons and vehicles operated by artificial intelligence in Geneva.

The Russian hard line comes as questions percolate about Russian compliance with other arms control treaties. Russia has already been accused of violating the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, prompting the United States to begin development of a new ground-launched cruise missile.

A report noted that Russia’s force of Tu-22M3 Backfire bombers may have been modified in a manner that fits the definition of strategic bombers under the New START Treaty.

In the past, some arms control treaties have not prevented bad guys from using banned weapons. The Chemical Weapons Convention did not prevent the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria from using mustard agent against American troops in 2016.

President Vladimir Putin as reportedly sent a picture of him topless and giving the finger to high officials within the U.N.

Outlaw sworn in as police chief

ROSE CITY – Danielle Outlaw has been sworn in as chief of the Rose City Police Bureau.

Outlaw is the third woman, and first black woman, to become chief of police in Rose City.

Rose City Mayor Ted Wheeler hired Outlaw this summer following a national search. Wheeler said he and Outlaw are both dedicated to increasing diversity and embracing equality.

Outlaw was sworn in Monday by city auditor Mary Hull Caballero during a private ceremony at the Justice Center in downtown Rose City.

Outlaw was most recently a deputy chief for the Oakland Police Department.

Self-service gas bill heads to capital

By Gordon T. Fisherman

CHERRY CITY- A bill to allow self-service gas in several rural counties will land on the governor’s desk after passing the state Senate Tuesday.

The bill allows people to pump their own gas at all hours in Malheur, Union, Wasco, Hood River, Jefferson, Crook, Baker, Morrow, Lake, Grant, Harney, Wallowa, Gilliam, Sherman, and Wheeler counties. Drivers in Tillamook, Curry and Clatsop counties would be allowed self-service fueling between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Gas stations with convenience stores would still have to offer full-service fueling during business hours.

The bill passed 26-1, with Senate Majority Leader Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, the only “no” vote. — Gordon T. Fisherman

Radiation Leak

Contamination Area

Authorities at Hanford nuclear waste site are investigating a possible leak after discovering radioactive material on a worker’s clothing. The discovery follows an incident early last week in which a site tunnel collapsed, sparking fears of radiation exposure. 

Hanford River Protection Solutions, a contractor working at the site, on Thursday detected high readings of radiation on a robotic device known as a crawler that workers were pulling out of a nuclear waste tank. Contamination was also discovered on the clothing of one of the workers. 

Using leak-detection instruments, HRPS said it did not find liquid escaping the tank. However, workers are preparing a plan to conduct a visual inspection by video. 

State officials are also urging the US Department of Energy to investigate the incident and determine the safety of the site. 

“We are not aware of any nuclear waste leaking outside the AZ-101 double-shelled tank, but we expect the US Department of Energy to immediately investigate and report on the source of contamination,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. 

“We’re calling for an immediate investigation by US Department of Energy into contamination & potential leak in a Hanford nuclear waste tank.”

Explosion by Hawthorne vaporizes building

An explosion erupted at on 20th and SE Madison in Southeast Rose City Saturday afternoon, vaporizing a corner office building. A loud explosion shook nearby buildings about 3:15 p.m. Two people had minor injuries and were treated at the scene, a firefighter said.

The area was closed between Hawthorne Blvd and Main, the Rose City Bureau of Transportation said. 19th to 23rd AVE. were also closed.

All roads had reopened shortly after 5 p.m., but delays may continue, transportation officials said.
Fire officials have no indication that any fire codes were violated.

Hazmat hit by Hazmat truck

By Milla Meowmix

CHERRY CITY– Local hero and corn chip enthusiast, Hazmat, was hit and killed by a Hazardous Materials truck Monday while jaywalking.

The accident happened around 10:30 a.m. near SE Ferry St. and NE Liberty St.

Hazmat died at the scene, police said in a news release. The semi-truck driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Hazmat is one half of the Cherry City Costume Crusaders. His partner, The Rev, could not be reached at the time of the accident.

Hazmat is survived by his wife, Nightingale, and their son, Oxidizer 5.1.

The semi-truck driver stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators.

Brewery Explosion

By Jim Chimichangas

ROSE CITY – Firefighters were called to Widmer Brothers Brewery Thursday night after reports of a major explosion.

It happened just before 10:30 p.m. at the brewing facility located at 929 on N Russell near Interstate Ave.

Crews arrived to find an experimental beer tank had exploded, which tore open part of an outer wall of the building.

Several people were hurt in the accident and some were horribly mutated by the craft beer. Investigators haven’t said yet what may have caused the explosion. Brewery officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.