I had a chance to take a Willamette Jet Boat tour last Sunday. My son loved the fast speed of the boat and, of course, he loved when the driver made us spin out. Yes, we got a little wet but not as wet as the poor passengers a few rows back. But what most impressed me was all the information that came along with the trip. I've lived here 13 years now and had no idea all the history and industry you can still find along the river. You can see remnants of the old ferry system that connected both sides of Portland and petroglyphics left behind by Native Americans down by Willamette Falls. You can also see exactly where workers were Shanghai'd from an all night bender only to wake up on ships miles out at sea. You can also see the remains of too many closed up factories and stories of too many jobs lost to China. What an education. Two hours on the river flew by on a beautiful fall day. The bad news is, it was the last ride of the season. If this sounds good to you, check it out next spring. Just keep "Willamette Jet Boat" on your to-do list. It was really worth it.
PS--They did not pay me to say this. :)
It's the latest round over the controversial man whose AR-15 bullet pierced the back of Aaron Campbell on the night of January 29th, 2010. Ronald Frashour's high powered rifle ended Campbell's life and created a firestorm of controversy. Campbell, it turned out, was unarmed, although Frashour testified he pulled the trigger because it appeared Campbell may have been reaching for a gun in his waistband.
Although a Multnomah County grand jury later cleared Frashour of any criminal wrongdoing in Campbell's death, a police review found that he had violated bureau policy and he was fired. Since that time the police union has fought the termination, and two employee relations boards have ordered that he be reinstated. Mayor Adams has resisted and promised to appeal.
This latest round will require the approval of the city council, and so far Adams has the support of Nick Fish, Amanda Fritz and Randy Leonard. Only former police commissioner Dan Saltzman has not spoken out, although he has been out of the office recently. In a quote to The Oregonian, Randy Leonard admitted there is little chance such an appeal will succeed, but they feel it necessary to take that chance. Fellow commissioner Amanda Fritz has promised that, should Frashour ultimately be given his job back, it may be time to go to the State Legislature and ask lawmakers to consider changing rules that make it nearly impossible to fire a police officer.
The first Presidential debate of the 2012 election is coming up on Wednesday, October 3rd. Would you like to watch it with us, here at KXL? We are looking for people who can react and give us opinions on what they think. Different debates cover different things and the topic of this one is domestic policy, something that effects us all. That's why it doesn't matter if you're a fan of Mitt Romney, Barack Obama, or no one, we'd love to have you in attendance.
We would need you here at the KXL studios in downtown Portland at 5:30. We won't hold you hostage for more than a few hours, and you will get dinner. Although no promises on the menu. :-)
If you're interested, please email me with PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE in the subject line.
Even though it’s been several months since police say James Holmes walked into a Colorado movie theatre and opened fire, killing a dozen people and injuring scores more, I’m still thinking about that horrible day…and how the debate over gun ownership rages on.
Left, versus right, Republican v. Democrat. Heck, one of our talk show hosts here at kxl carries a gun (he's licensed), and asks me almost daily if I'm going to get registered (so far I'm not). Don't expect to hear much from the White House, or Mitt Romney's campaign about this topic, after all, they both have an election to try and win in a few weeks, and taking a stance on something as controversial as gun control will cost both candidates votes.
Most polls find that as Americans, we believe we have a constitutional right to own a gun. The discussion I find myself getting into more often than not isn't whether you should be allowed to own one, it's what kind of gun should you be allowed to own? And my friends and family overseas, well, they just don't understand how easy it is for almost anyone here to legally get their hands on a weapon that can fire any type of bullet. So that’s a conversation I try and steer clear of.
However, for or against, debate is healthy, and I'm glad to hear so many people still discussing this issue. But remember, it's an election year, and a topic like this is bound to stir emotions as both parties play to the extreme left and right. I hope you question what you hear, and fact check the news stories you watch on TV and read on-line. And above all, try to remember that this debate isn't going to go away just because a Republican or Democrat is in the White House. It's an issue that no single...or two term president...is likely to resolve.
And the debate continues....
It was the end to a debate that has raged for much of the last month, with fluoride advocates and opponents sparring in the media and on city sidewalks. The pro side believes adding fluoride will mean healthier teeth and lower health expenses, especially for the city's poor and under-privileged. Those opposed call fluoride a poison that builds in the human body, responsible for any number of maladies, especially amongst children.
Every commissioner said they'd received thousands of phone calls and e-mails from people on both sides of the issue, but all said they'd been convinced the health benefits outweigh the risks, and that cost gains from a healthier population will more than offset the expense of adding fluoride to the water.
It's unlikely this is the end of the debate. Between now and whenever the water bureau can begin pumping fluoride into the system, voters will likely attempt to gather enough signatures to put the issue on a ballot. Stay tuned to FM News 101 and KXL.com for all the latest on this continuing story, and be sure to sound off on our Facebook page.
An Oregonian editorial indicated that the HOV lane from Portland to Vancouver is being abused by solo drivers and that most people are not carpooling anyway, especially in this economy when many people are without work. That leaves a lane that is not used in the way it was intended. It also leaves the remaining lanes virtual parking lots during afternoon rush hour. We can't help but think that all those idling cars and trucks are damaging the environment. Are we missing something here? Do statistics show these HOV lanes ARE working even if we can't see it?
According to Oregonian transportation reporter Joseph Rose (heard Monday's on KXL), the compliance rate fell from 92 percent in 2001 to 80 percent in 2007, the latest year made available by state officials.
So if that's the case, will it ever go back up again? If not, isn't it time to open the lane to all drivers until the CRC can come up with a new bridge?
Let us know what you think.
~Rebecca, Steve and the morning crew.
Shortly after this was posted, Dave Thompson with Oregon's Department of Transportation issued the following response to The Oregonian editorial article to KXL reporter Chris Brown:
HOV lanes are typically measured in four ways:
So in three of the four usual measures, this HOV lane fares very well.
But that doesn't satisfy the good people sitting in those two other lanes. I feel their frustration! When they look over to the right, they see (a) an empty lane; and/or (b) people using it who shouldn't be. That's VERY frustrating. And it's natural to think: Hmmm...if two lanes of traffic could use THREE lanes, everyone would move faster!
That's not true in this case, as counter-intuitive as that may seem. While you may get more CARS through, you'll get fewer PEOPLE through. The HOV lane moves many more people than each of the two general-purpose lanes; if you make the HOV lane a general purpose lane, you lose that. You're making it slightly better for the two lanes, but so much worse for the third lane, that the overall effect on the entire system--measured in terms of moving PEOPLE--is worse.
There are three popular reasons for opposing HOV lanes: