08.11.13 Your Morning Buzz

High 5

  • Amid Pipeline Debate, Two Costly Cleanups Forever Change Towns – As the Obama administration inches closer to a decision on whether to approve construction of the much-debated Keystone XL pipeline, costly cleanup efforts in two communities stricken by oil spills portend the potential hazards of transporting heavy Canadian crude.

The Electeds

For Freshmen in the House, Seats of Plenty – The House Financial Services Committee, critics say, is a place with big incentives for freshman members of Congress to do special favors for the finance industry.

Oregon Republican Party Chairwoman steps down ahead of recall vote – Suzanne Gallagher was elected to lead the statewide party in February, but frustrated party members began circulating a recall petition in July charging that she hadmismanaged the organization and misallocated party resources.

Trump: GOP will get ‘drubbed’ without perfect nominee in 2016 – Donald Trump, who briefly flirted with a presidential run in 2012, warned Republicans Saturday that they will get “drubbed” by Hillary Clinton in 2016 if they don’t pick a “perfect” nominee.

Fund Balance

Reviewing this year’s tax breaks – There’s something for everyone to like — or hate — in the package of tax breaks Oregon lawmakers approved this year.

2 Michigan resort towns divided over move to unite them through merger – Those connections have brought together a group of citizens in both cities fighting for the chance to link the enclaves even more by merging the two, and saving an estimated $500,000 a year in the process.

Detroit Fight Shows Why Public Pensions Are Bound For Problems – One of the many points of contention in Detroit’s bankruptcy is how underfunded the city’s pension systems are. Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s state-appointed emergency manager, says the pension funds are underfunded by $3.5 billion, out of $18 billion in total city liabilities. The funds’ managers say they are only short by $650 million, because they use more aggressive assumptions that lead to a higher estimate of fund assets and a lower estimate of liabilities.


Oregon City Wants ‘Fun’ Police Chief After Years of Internal Conflict – Hillsboro, Oregon is looking for a new Police Chief. And one thing they want to communicate with their tax-payer funded recruitment video is that the new Police Chief better be someone who knows how to have “fun.”

(Un)Screwed – Beneath your tires, the Morrison Bridge is coming undone, a lawsuit says.

EDA plans ‘projecting’ signs project – In an effort to make downtown more “pedestrian friendly,” the Estacada Development Association has launched a program to help businesses fund large projecting signs

Will county voters back vehicle fee? Online survey will help commissioners make a decision Washington County Chairman Andy Duyck is convinced the county needs to raise additional revenue to pay for road maintenance.

No November vote for Damascus comprehensive plan – In the wake of last week’s failure to reopen Damascus’ comprehensive plan process to public hearings — in essence dashing hopes of it appearing on the November ballot for citizen approval — Mayor Steve Spinnett has unveiled his Plan B, called “The People’s Plan.”

Documents reveal police tensions – As Hillsboro begins actively searching for its next police chief, recently-released documents are shedding light on the turmoil within the department under its two previous leaders.


New era brewing  in the Whiteaker – Tasting rooms bring economic benefits and safety concerns

Q&A: Yakima’s city manager, one year on – It’s been a busy first year for Yakima City Manager Tony O’Rourke. The city has started working to bring people and business back to downtown Yakima, taken over the airport, conducted two annual citizen surveys, cracked down on code violations at motels and hotels, started cleaning up North First Street, began implementing the Gang Free Initiative, put more money into road repairs and negotiated labor contracts with most of its largest unions.

A call to support public transportation’s growth – Intercity Transit heads into its annual fall strategic planning session with a new general manager and a recent performance report

Centralia councilman may face multiple charges – Henderson is accused of using his former position as a Lewis County veterans specialist to help one of his own tenants pay for a delinquent account at Centralia City Light, according to findings in a Chehalis Police Department investigation.

Other 48 States

The Perfect Candidate – Why Janet Napolitano will fit right in leading the diversity-mad University of California

Through a forgotten bridge engineer, a vision of Los Angeles – Henry G. Parker’s bridges were meant to inspire. A century after his death in a sewer sluiceway, the misty remnants of his creations are still eloquent

Albany, Long Buried in Paper, Resolves to Save a Small Forest – In the waning days of the legislative session this year, document clerks piled a metal cart and hand truck high with sheaves of paper and wheeled them into the Senate and Assembly chambers. Bill after bill was stashed under desks, where each remained, occasionally kicked but seldom read.

Get on the Bus – Improving bus service—not building new trains—offers the best route to better mass transit.

From wheels to bricks, a retail truck sets down some roots in St. Louis – The retail truck movement in St. Louis is much younger and still finding its legs. But Styles’ experience thus far shows that it’s already become a successful incubator for new businesses.

How San Diego’s Transit System Stacks Up Nationally, in Four Charts – The trolley’s blue line, the most successful leg of the existing network, is heading toward final approval of an extension that would allow a rider to head from University City, through downtown San Diego, to the U.S.-Mexico border without a transfer.

California’s Continuing Prison Crisis – The Supreme Court orders the release of 10,000 more inmates, but the state’s criminal justice problems run deeper.

Career Center


The 25 Most Meaningful Jobs That Pay Well – Maybe your job pays really well, but you don’t necessarily feel good about the work you do. Perhaps your job makes the world a better place, but your paycheck doesn’t satisfy.

Out of Work Over 9 Months? Good Luck Finding a Job – Do the long-term unemployed face a stigma that keeps them from finding jobs? A new experiment suggests the answer is “yes” — at least for low-skilled workers.

For Jeff Bezos, a new frontier – The inquisitive child has since become the creator ofAmazon.com, a virtual retail empire built of that same determination and cleverness. He is now a billionaire. Others had thought of selling things online; Bezos perfected the business with attention to low prices, Web site design, a technologically advancedwarehouse operation and devoted customer service.

Exit Interviews and Skype Missteps – A new advice column on workplace manners and mores.

How to graduate with a job – The key is not what you major in, but what you learn within your major. That is: do what a robot cannot.

World Wide Web

ELGL Social Network: FacebookGoogle+LinkedInPinterest, and Twitter

Army’s internal social web grows with Twitter-Feedly hybrid – Behind the Defense Department firewall, the Pentagon has created versions of several popular social networking platforms — YouTube became milTube, Wikipedia became milWiki, LinkedIn became milBook.

Scientists show that “liking” is contagious – According to researchers, “liking” something on Facebook or another social network encourages others to follow your example—and may even trigger an avalanche of approval.

Facebook doled out more than $1 million to hackers who breached its security – It’s also, probably, a lot cheaper. Each year, for just just $500,000, hundreds of hackers around the world scour Facebook’s servers and public code, prodding for any point of weakness. Hiring each of those hackers on a full time or even part time basis would be orders of magnitude more expensive.

Simplify Your Tech Life, Thoreau-Style – Even an avowed naturalist would have a hard time totally unplugging today. Here’s how to take refuge from banal Facebook posts and incessant phone alerts without retreating to a tiny cabin in the woods.

It's No Day at the Beach with the 'Party of No'