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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Elephant in the DEIS

Quick, if you were spotted a C and two Os, could you tell what's missing from the DEIS (supposedly stands for "Draft Environmental Impact Statement" but with equal or greater truth could be said to stand for Deceptive Evasive Insidious Scam)? The latest from the "Salem River Crossing" (3rd bridge) boondoggle, the last gasp of the megaproject boondoggle mentality, still limping along squandering millions of dollars while Oregon's budget situation goes from bleak to disastrous:
DEIS Update

The Natural Environment

When the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is released this fall, it will discuss potential impacts to the natural environment. Some common questions that the DEIS will answer include:

  • How will wildlife or fish habitat be affected by building a new bridge?
  • Will air quality in the region be better or worse if a project is built or if construction does not occur?
  • Are there any earthquake hazards that we should be aware of before selecting a preferred alternative?
  • How will the project affect wetlands, vegetation, and wildlife habitat?
  • How will project construction address stormwater runoff?
Schedule Update

The DEIS will provide detailed analysis of the potential natural environment impacts and will show how the impacts are different among alternatives. These impacts, as well as any steps to offset the impacts, will be part of the public discussion for deciding on a preferred alternative.

Since the last email update, staff have been working on completing the technical reports on which the DEIS is based. Most of the reports have been completed and are currently being reviewed and summarized by project staff. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the DEIS and the impacts to the natural environment, along with other impacts, when the DEIS is published this fall.

Please watch for future updates on the Salem River Crossing project and check the website for more ways to get involved later this year. If you have any questions, please contact us. If you would like to be removed from the mailing list, please let us know.
This misbegotten attempt to continue the auto uber alles mindset in Salem is getting ripe for a court challenge should the project backers (primarily ODOT and the construction/highway lobby -- or is that redundant?) attempt to proceed. Now that the Feds have recognized CO2 as a pollutant, a massive $600 million boondoggle that worsens our CO2 emissions is going to have a hard time pretending that it's still the 1950s and 60s.
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Glacier Change and the Future of Sea Level Rise (Free talk 5/27)

Thursday, May 27, 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Straub Environmental Lecture Series: Dr. Andrew Fountain

Glacier Change and the Future of Sea Level Rise

Loucks Auditorium, Salem Public Library, 585 Liberty Street SE, Salem

In the old days, advancing or retreating glaciers and ice sheets were viewed as interesting oddities. We now realize that they are a major controlling factor in global sea level change. Understanding how and why these ice masses shrink and lose water to the ocean (it’s not that obvious) is fundamental to our ability to predict global sea level rise. Interestingly, not all these ice masses are reacting the same – and these differences are important. Free and open to the public; no RSVP required. Call or email 503-391-4145 or fselc@fselc.org for more information.

(Further sobering reading on the subject: Storms of My Grandchildren.)

Sad: Schrader votes against Net Neutrality

Your representative in the House [Kurt Schrader] just sold you out to Comcast, Verizon and AT&T.

Rep. Kurt Schrader has joined 73 other Democrats in signing an industry-written letter telling the FCC to abandon its efforts to protect Internet users and stop big companies from blocking Internet traffic.

It’s yet another example of dirty politics destroying our democracy, and it has to stop.

Tell Washington: Rep. Schrader Doesn’t Speak for Me

The nasty little secret that everybody knows? Almost every one of these representatives has accepted massive contributions from the phone and cable lobby. Now the industry is demanding a return on its investment.

By signing the industry letter, your representative has drastically undercut the FCC’s ability to get a fast, affordable and open Internet to everyone in America. Your representative is actually taking a position against the interests of rural and low-income communities.

We aren’t going to let this outrageous and unethical behavior stand. Today, we’re asking hundreds of thousands of Americans to sign our own letter telling the FCC and Congress that Rep. Schrader doesn’t speak for us, President Obama or the millions of other Americans who support an open and affordable Internet.

Dear Rep. Schrader : Don’t Let Dirty Politics Kill an Open Internet

That Rep. Schrader would intentionally sell out the public may be hard to imagine. Perhaps these representatives didn’t know what they were signing. Or perhaps this is just business as usual, another D.C. betrayal of the public trust. (Is it any wonder the latest Gallup public opinion poll counts a congressional disapproval rating of 73 percent?)

These members of Congress acted on blind faith that phone and cable companies have the best interests of Americans in mind.

But Comcast and AT&T can no better police themselves to protect the open Internet than BP can police itself to protect the oceans. And we already know how that ends.

Congress can’t hand the future of communications over to these companies. The results would be disastrous.

By taking action today, you’re telling Rep. Schrader that bad deeds won’t go unnoticed.

Thank you,

Timothy Karr
Free Press Action Fund
http://www.SavetheInternet.com
http://www.FreePress.net

P.S. Be sure to sign this letter to Washington.