Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts published in “Day: November 16, 2008”

NW: Looking ahead


1SUPERBUG AT THE HOSPITAL There have been a few national stories about new unusually dangerous microscopic organisms which have gotten their big boost by way of hospitals, but most of those cases have been on the east coast. The Seattle Times has an outstanding report out today about "MRSA, a drug-resistant germ, [which] lurks in Washington hospitals, carried by patients and staff and fueled by inconsistent infection control. This stubborn germ is spreading here at an alarming rate, but no one has tracked these cases — until now." (And again: Stay out of hospitals if you can . . .)

2WISH LIST What should the Obama Administration do early on? This may be the time to get those preferences in, and the Bend Bulletin has one of the best regional wish-list pieces out so far. Their request includes three items Obama specifically called for in his campaign: "including tens of billions in road and infrastructure investment in an economic stimulus package; extending the tax credits for renewable energy producers for 10 years, rather than one; and fixing the cycle of catastrophic wildfires and underfunded federal agencies that leeches money from popular recreation and environmental programs on an annual basis." (Haven't been able to find a free link yet, unfortunately.)

3THE SWITCHYARD Sometimes obscure government grants can have profound effects, an in the case of a rail switchyard upgrade which would be important both for Roseburg and Coos Bay. Rogue Pundit has a useful followup out.

4HOUSING DEFICIENCIES Lots and lots and lots of new houses were built in the last few years, in the Northwest as elsewhere, but hardly any for lower-income people. In a Eugene Register-Guard general package on the squeeze placed on lower-income people, was this item on lack of affordable housing: "Just about 4,800 affordable housing units and Section 8 low-income housing vouchers are available to the more than 20,000 people in the county who qualified for low-income housing based on the 2000 census, Eugene Urban Services Manager Richie Weinman said. And only about 100 new units of affordable housing are added each year, he said."

The other side of Idaho Falls

The protests against California's Proposition 8 - the voter-passed measure which sought to overturn a state Supreme Court decision in favor of same sex marriage - which spread around the country on Saturday were no big surprise in many places. Large rallies in Seattle and Portland - local officials (including Portland's gay mayor-elect) even lending their support - were pretty much what you'd expect. But another regional story jumped out:

The Idaho Falls Post-Register (the story is behind a pay wall) reports today that on Saturday, "Roughly 50 people gathered in front of the Bonneville County Courthouse with signs such as 'Say No to Hate,' 'Hate is not a family value' and 'What if your children grow up to be gay?'"

They did not specifically take aim at the LDS Church, key members of which were central in the push to pass Prop 8. Or the array of local community leaders who sent the big bucks to California to support its passage. (The Post Register reports that $100,000 came from the prominent VanderSloot family, among about 50 area residents who sent in $1,000 or more each.) But their visible presence on the street, in Idaho Falls, had to come as something of a shock.