A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Science at work: The effect of AC

Written December 26th, 2012 by

I see in the paper that scientists have made another breakthrough. They have studied the issue long and hard and discovered that since the advent of air conditioning, deaths from high heat in the United States have declined. At least that’s the conclusion the Washington Post reported in a story that made local papers on […]

And now — Merry Christmas!

Written December 24th, 2012 by

For weeks now people have been wishing each other “Merry Christmas” or “Happy Holidays” or some such thing. The phrase has become as common a “Have a nice day” and sounds about as sincere. I realize that people mouthing the words mean well, or at least they don’t mean to be a nuisance. Still, you’d […]

Posted in: Commentary

A little pollution reminder

Written December 22nd, 2012 by

Here’s a little example of oil or gas pollution from parking lots and city streets that might end up in our rivers unless cities find a way to treat urban runoff.

Posted in: Uncategorized, Videos

Surprise! The Earth continues

Written December 21st, 2012 by

So we’re still here, more or less. What did the ancient Mayans know anyway? If they had been as smart as their calendar implies, they might still be around. Then they could explain the apparent ending date of their cosmos, or at least their way of reckoning time. But alas, they didn’t endure nearly as […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

An Albany issue: What kind of majority?

Written December 21st, 2012 by

Albany faces a possible complication with a voter initiative coming up for an election in three months. The issue could be explosive, but it need not be if handled with common sense. The initiative, one of two launched by North Albany resident Tom Cordier, attempts to limit the city government’s debt to the amount that […]

Prison terms need reform

Written December 20th, 2012 by

Oregon could do a better job managing how it sentences criminals to prison, and if it did, it would save tons of money. In a nutshell that’s the finding of the Governor’s Commission on Public Safety, one of whose members was state Rep. Andy Olson, R-Albany. The commission’s report, delivered to the governor on Dec. […]

Gun control: What kind?

Written December 19th, 2012 by

Everywhere you turn now, on the air and in print, there is talk about new efforts at more “gun control.” Nobody so far has explained what that would mean in detail, and depending on the details, how it would prevent shootings in places where there are a lot of people, whether it’s an assembly hall […]

Posted in: Uncategorized

Look at ‘global warming’ today

Written December 18th, 2012 by

That’s what climate change looked like in North Albany on Tuesday morning, Dec. 18, 2012 — if that’s what it was. Actually, it looked morer like a common December morning when a cold front moves through.

Posted in: Uncategorized, Videos

Passenger rail: The solution

Written December 18th, 2012 by

In regard to passenger rail in the Willamette Valley, the meetings continue. Whether they will accomplish anything, though, is open to grave doubt. As previous studies have estimated, improving either the main line of the Union Pacific or the old Oregon Electric to carry more and faster passenger trains is going to cost around $2 […]

The Nike session — and an idea

Written December 17th, 2012 by

So what was the real point of the one-day special session of the Oregon legislature last Friday? The lawmakers passed one bill with, by the way, the support of all the members representing parts of Linn County as well as Corvallis. But when you read the bill, the need for a special session to act […]

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