Saturday, June 28, 2014

How the Sugar Industry Gums Up Science

How the Sugar Industry Gums Up Science Miller-McCune Online

The mortal dangers of sugar are being covered up and tangled in misinformation by an industry that uses the same tactics adopted by tobacco companies and the climate change-denying fossil fuel interests.

Great follow up to this piece at Daily Kos (h/t to L.S. For the link):

Friday, June 27, 2014

Tax Fairness Oregon on Taxing Everyone to Support the 1%, Transportation Edition

Mostly we're examining the current round of ConnectOregon, a $42 million expenditure for multi-model transportation projects. Some of what we've found is great: a way to get bikers and pedestrians in Tualatin from one side of I-5 to the other without crossing seven lanes of on and off ramps, for example, is critically needed. But we've also found several projects that squander the public purse, including $7 million in giveaways to help move coal and oil through Oregon. Really? We're GIVING away tax money for this? You can bet we notified the environmental community and the press about this outrage!

ConnectOregon is designed to accomplish important things; we have no doubt about that. But it's supposed to be a loan and grant program, yet there are never any loans. Instead, the program passes out gifts averaging $1.5 million to private businesses, ports, airports, rails and cities, even when loans would be more appropriate. The program certainly "reduces business costs," as David's analysis of the White's Hauling application shows. But, when did "reducing business costs" become a key goal of state government?

Building common-use infrastructure is clearly something government does best. But shouldn't users of that infrastructure pay most of the bill? Road users do [not actually true! but a widely held myth] why not port, train or airport users?

The airport applications are the most outrageous. Most ask to use state taxpayer dollars to match federal taxpayer dollars, with zero from the airport users, who are mostly private businesses and individuals who own planes.

Obviously, money spent on ConnectOregon is money not available for drug treatment, 2nd grade classrooms, state troopers, or tuition grants. Thirty seven projects are up for approval, with a public hearing in Salem on July 17th. We need to be ready to testify.

We're looking for help reading and analyzing these grant applications. 

To join in this vital work, contact TFO via

It's not vaccines, it's Industrial Agribusiness: Pesticides and Autism

Thursday, June 26, 2014

VITAL: Dazed and Confused | Sightline Daily

Dazed and Confused | Sightline Daily

Dazed and Confused

The case for comprehensive sex ed for children and teens.

Can a girl get pregnant if she has sex standing up?
Will my boyfriend be able to feel my IUD?
What are dental dams, and why do people use them for sex?
Does everybody shave or trim down there?
If a guy pays for dinner, what does a girl owe him?

If the goal of school is to help kids become healthy, prosperous adults who contribute to thriving communities, then one of the most leveraged classes they can take is sex ed.

Teen pregnancy is both an effect and a cause of poverty. It can erect insurmountable obstacles for a young woman who may dream of a better life. Of girls who give birth while in high school, fewer than half graduate, and only 2 percent complete a college degree by age 30. Two-thirds receive public assistance in the first year after giving birth—and half are living in poverty three years later. The girls hit the hardest are often those already fighting an uphill battle: black and Latina girls born into impoverished families and hardscrabble communities.

Negative impacts of teenage childbearing persist even after accounting for the fact that many teen moms faced challenges before they got pregnant. New media love to tell stories about the exceptions to the rule, the determined young women who fight their way through the obstacles and end up flourishing. Such women provide crucial inspiration for girls who have given birth and need both hope and role models for how to forge ahead.

But the fact is that when girls get pregnant before they're ready, the odds are stacked against them.

Comprehensive Sex Education

Here's another fact: Comprehensive sex education that discusses the range of prevention options is one of the most effective tools we have for reducing unwanted teen pregnancy.

In 2008, researchers at the University of Washington compared teens who had received comprehensive sex ed with those who received abstinence-only education or none at all prior to their first sexual intercourse. They found that the kids who received comprehensive sex ed were 50 percent less likely to report a teen pregnancy than those who received abstinence-only education and 60 percent less likely than those who got no sex ed at all. Some parents fear that teaching young people how to prevent pregnancy will make them promiscuous, but data trend in the opposite direction: kids who are taught about pregnancy prevention tend toward later sexual initiation and fewer partners. Sex ed works.

Even so, across the United States, policies and practices are wildly inconsistent, shaped as much by culture and religion as by research. Only 22 states require any form of sexual health education, and only 18 say that such education, if provided, must include information about contraception. As an accommodation to conservative religious sensibilities, 37 states allow parents to excuse their children from any class that addresses sexual health. Worse, in a recent survey by the CDC, 83 percent of girls aged 15–17 said their first formal reproductive health class came after their first sexual contact.

How Cascadia Compares

The Cascadia region does better than the American South and Southwest when it comes to teen pregnancy and sexual health education, but even here, standards vary widely.

  • Washington does not require sex ed but does insist that when provided, it must be medically accurate. Parents must be notified and given a chance to opt out.
  • Oregon does require sex ed, which must be medically accurate. Parents must be notified and given a chance to opt out.
  • Idaho has no legal requirements other than the right of parents to opt out of any offerings.
  • British Columbia offers comprehensive sexual health education in keeping with national standards. Parents have the right to opt out.

National Research-Based Standards

North of the border, the Canadian government publishes a manual called "Canadian Guidelines for Sexual Health Education." These guidelines reference international human rights standards, which include the right to sexuality education, and they inform education policy across the country. A set of questions and answers for parents calls abstinence-only education "inappropriate and ineffective." The Canadian guidelines comprise a "living document," meaning that they are updated and revised as new research becomes available.

In 2011, a collaborative project called the Future of Sexual Education produced a similar document, a set of National Sexual Health Education Standards for the United States. The project brought together national experts, led by Advocates for Youth, the Answer Program at Rutgers University, and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the U.S. Their goals (condensed and paraphrased here) were ambitious:

  • Outline essential knowledge and skills
  • Assist in designing curricula that are evidence-informed, age-appropriate, and theory driven
  • Focus on content that is teen relevant and affects high school graduation rates
  • Present sexual development as a normal, healthy part of human development
  • Translate the emerging research into practice in the classroom

The resulting document has not been endorsed or adopted yet by the federal government. Even so, the ripple effects have been exciting. Last year, following the National Sexual Health Education Standards, the Chicago school system—the third largest in the country—approved a new policy that sex ed should be offered in kindergarten through 12th grade. The curriculum will focus on anatomy and personal safety starting in kindergarten, and sexual health topics from fifth grade on. In May, the sixth-largest district, Broward County, Florida (which also has the country's highest AIDS rate), used the standards to inform a transition from abstinence only to comprehensive sex ed. Student advocates armed with data and expert opinion led the way.

Expert Educators

Even with a solid curriculum in place, some teachers are reluctant participants in sex ed, and their students get shortchanged. A Seattle project aims to correct that.

Neighborcare Health is the largest provider of primary care for low-income people in King County, so their staff witness firsthand the challenges faced by young parents. In addition, they manage clinics in three of Seattle's high schools. Last year Neighborcare hired a full-time reproductive health educator whose job includes fostering conversation in health and science classes, responding to parent inquiries, and providing information to high school students about all aspects of sexual development and health, including new long-acting reversible contraceptives that are now considered top tier for teens.

Janet Cady, medical director of Neighborcare's school-based clinics, says that young people who talk with the educator then spread what they learn: "Male and female students have engaged with the health educator individually and in group settings. In turn, these youth have expanded accurate health information among their peers and, in many cases, within their families."

Youth-Friendly Media

Some health advocates are taking youth-friendly messages about sex and pregnancy prevention to the web or the airwaves. Others are working to bring web content and media into the classroom. MTV's series 16 and Pregnant is back by popular demand, along with downloadable discussion guides from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy., a funny, smart, award-winning contraception go-to website for youth, gets rave reviews from college and high school students.

StayTeen offers age-appropriate information for middle-schoolers, while Hooking Up and Staying Hooked provides candid, playful advice for boys within a framework of mutual respect and safety. SexEtc. has content by teens for teens and features what the site's editors think are the best sex ed videos on the web.

Peer-to-Peer Education

Savvy educators realize that one of the best ways to reach teens is via other empowered, knowledgeable teens. "I took five different friends to get Mirenas [a type of IUD] at Planned Parenthood in my senior year," says Jenna, age 19. Jenna had learned about the contraceptive on her own, from a friend. But programs like Planned Parenthood's Teen Council provide interested girls with training and support so that peers can turn to them as trusted information sources. Teen Council is selective, and girls who get accepted receive 50 or more hours of training about sexual health in the company of—you got it—like-minded peers. They make presentations in their schools and community settings, opening the door for less formal conversations with schoolmates and friends. The program started in King County, Washington, and has spread to eight states.

Shaping the Future

With abstinence-only education thoroughly discredited, evidence-based curricula, candid teen-friendly media, empowered peer counselors, and clinic-school partnerships may be the shape of things to come. Since 1995, May has been designated as National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. This May, youth advocates launched a campaign to pass legislation called the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act. Their tools include Washington, D.C., savvy and grassroots organizing (you can sign a petition here), and their goal is to get the National Sexual Health Education Standards turned into law. And funded.

In the meantime, those local, district-level upgrades are touching lives. The Chicago and Broward County school systems together will provide real sexual health information to over 650,000 young people each year. One student in Broward County, Keyanna Suarez, crowed about the change in her district: "There's not gonna be a taboo about anything. Everyone's gonna be able to open up, ask questions, and get the info they need to make these decisions because some parents aren't giving them education at home."

Next up on the request list from students: honest conversations about sexual pleasure.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Solstice June 21, 2014

Ivory Tower film

Many young and some not-so-young folks in Salem are drowning in debt due to student loans.  We are greatly hobbling our future by loading young adults up with debt when they will spend their lives in an era of economic contraction rather than continuous growth.  Turns out the Ed bubble is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, bubbles of all.

 Review: Documentary "Ivory Tower" is a Sobering Look at the Cost of Higher Education 
(via Indie Wire)

"Ivory Tower" is compelling viewing, particularly if you feel close to the crisis. Authors, current and former students, faculty and business people share their thoughts on the state of the system, with some sobering statistics that punctuate the more personal moments. The film traces the evolution of higher education: from being something for the elite to a basic human right, and back again as costs continue to rise.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A model for Salem: Italian town sees sustainable efforts benefit community, economy

Italian town sees sustainable efforts benefit community, economy
Christian Science Monitor

An Italian small town began to transition toward becoming sustainable in food and energy 20 years ago to better its community and economy. Since then, 108 organic farms supply 98 percent of the town's produce, meat, and dairy. 

Original Article:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I know where we could save $400-$800 million

Gosh, if we can't afford to maintain what we have already built, surely only fools or scoundrels would seek to lure Salem into spending hundreds of millions on a huge new bridge built over soils that will liquefy during a quake.

What the story blames on the Prius (declining gas tax revenue) is actually only the tip of the iceberg. Because we blew through all the easy, cheap oil (back in the 50s and 60s when it was funding all those massive building projects), now we can have all the oil we want . . . but only at prices we can't afford.  Those are also the prices that lead to even more drops in driving (recession and drops in driving because of unaffordability ), and even more drops in gas tax revenue.

The only solution is to stop building new completely, and reprogram the money into getting more value from the existing roads, which means preservation, elimination of studded tire use, and a massive increase in transit (more value per road mile, rather than getting less value from more road miles, which further drives up maintenance costs).

By 2030, the state will need to put nearly $6 billion into replacing infrastructure, the audit found. By 2040, repairs and replacements will together cost nearly $7 billion.

Oregon does not have that kind of money for infrastructure projects.

The federal gas tax has not been raised since 1993, and average fuel economy has increased by 22 percent over the past decade. Congress has passed legislation to temporarily supplement that lost revenue, and Oregon has passed three bonding packages in 2001, 2003 and 2009. (The most recent package included an increase to Oregon's gas tax.)

Today, bonds make up 40 percent of ODOT's $1.9 billion budget and pay for dozens of projects, which has increased the department's workload at the same time it has been forced to cut staff.

The "Salem River Crossing" -- the F-35 of Highway Projects

This is insanely great -- Canadian media, naturally. The payoff of this profoundly awesome
10 minutes of straight talk is when he explains, in response to the interviewer's question about "well, what is it good at then?":

"Delivering money to Lockheed"

Just like the purpose of the Bridgasaurus Boondogglus is not about actually solving any problems, but is instead is about one thing: delivering money to the companies in the Salem Chamber of the 1%.

So instead of the smartest, fastest, lowest cost solution to the advertised problems with our auto dependency, it's intentionally the high cost, overbuilt kludge, designed for an ever hanging rationale for an ever changing audience, with only one real unswerving goal: hundreds of millions poured into concrete to promote even more sprawl to follow.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Absolutely Nothing: A Veteran’s Savage Indictment of the Iraq War | Americans Against the Tea Party

WORD: Sam Smith nails it

Pocket paradigm

The problem with urban planners is two fold.

First, they work for the wrong people, the government, rather than for the citizens. As local governments have become more corrupt and more beholden to the interests of a small number of developers and other businesses, urban planning has inevitably come to reflect these perverse priorities.

Second, urban planners believe in sweeping physical solutions to social problems. The idea, Richard Sennett has written, goes back to the 1860s design for Paris by Baron Haussmann. Haussmann, Sennett suggests, bequeathed us the notion that we could alter social patterns by changing the physical landscape. This approach was not about urban amenities such as park benches and gas lighting or technological improvements such as indoor plumbing but about what G. K. Chesterton called the huge modern heresy of "altering the human soul to fit its conditions, instead of altering human conditions to fit the human soul." -- Sam Smith

Sunday, June 15, 2014

After the harvest - learning to leave the planet gracefully [feedly]

After the harvest - learning to leave the planet gracefully

Short excerpt, whole thing well worth reading

Mainstream environmental groups — in fact, mainstream groups of any kind — avoid these questions, but that doesn't mean people aren't struggling with those realities and assessments, typically alone or in small groups. Koplin saw no evidence that any society was ready to engage in the necessary discussions or consider the necessary changes, least of all the United States, which was not an easy conclusion for him to reach because he loved so deeply. All of his friends experienced that love with him, and watched him love the living world with a reverence that led one of those friends to describe him as a "nature mystic."

That's why Koplin thought our task was to leave the planet gracefully, because he loved us and loved the world that is our home. He loved people and planet in a way that made him yearn for a graceful, peaceful ending, much as one wishes for a graceful and peaceful ending for a person coming to the end of an individual life.

But Koplin also knew that such an elegant ending was unlikely, which is why he also told his closest friends: "I wake up every morning in a state of profound grief." Again, he was not a scripture-quoting fellow, but again the words of Jeremiah echo: "My grief is beyond healing, my heart is sick within me." (Jeremiah 8:18)

Just as his comment about leaving the planet wasn't flippant, neither was his description of his grief. Koplin was not a demonstrative person emotionally, and many who knew him superficially might even say he could be standoffish and aloof. But that was because he felt deeply and was aware of how easily those feelings could overwhelm him. So, he was careful in public.

In another of our early morning coffee sessions, Koplin told me that he remembered the moment as a young person when he realized that every human being's brain worked the same way, which meant that every human being alive on the planet had the capacity to experience exactly the same range of emotions as he did. It was at that moment that the abstract idea of equality became real to him — we really are all the same, at the deepest and most basic level — and that the suffering of people everywhere became real, and overwhelming, to him. Koplin said that daily life was manageable because he had found ways to wall himself off from that realization, for to try to live with that awareness always present would be to court suicide.

As difficult as these feelings were for him, Koplin knew that our only real basis for hope comes in the embrace of this grief. Not an abstract hope that somehow, magically, everything will turn out OK, but the hope that we can speak honestly with others and form the small groups and communities that can foster the radical analysis of hierarchies and illegitimate authority, along with the traditional values of frugality and mutual obligation. This is what I call being a "plain radical," and Koplin was the most plainly radical person I have ever known.

Eisenhower on Common Core


A distinguishing characteristic of our nation - and a great strength - is the development of our institutions within the concept of individual worth and dignity. Our schools are among the guardians of that principle. Consequently . . . and deliberately their control and support throughout our history have been - and are - a state and local responsibility. . . . Thus was established a fundamental element of the American public school system - local direction by boards of education responsible immediately to the parents of children. Diffusion of authority among tens of thousands of school districts is a safeguard against centralized control and abuse of the educational system that must be maintained. We believe that to take away the responsibility of communities and states in educating our children is to undermine not only a basic element of our freedoms but a basic right of our citizens. - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Friday, June 13, 2014

A terrific volunteer opportunity: Pantry Partners

Marion-Polk Food Share

 Passionate About Vegetables or Healthy Eating?

Our Pantries are looking for you! 
Become a Pantry Partner Volunteer
Join us!

Safe Food-Sampling Training

When:  Wednesday June 25
2-3pm or 6-7pm

Location: Marion-Polk Food Share Community Room

Click here to RSVP to one of the trainings.

Event Sponsors

Learn the basics of Safe-Food Sampling
then become a dedicated Pantry Partner Volunteer!

What do I do as a Pantry Partner Volunteer?
  • sample food at your local food pantry once a month (dates scheduled with the pantry)
  • talk to people at the pantry about great veggies and whole grains
  • food is prepared ahead of time so all you have to do is pick up your samples to reheat
  • have fun - You gain amazing relationships with pantry guests and volunteers!

Why is Food-Sampling important?

  • It engages clients and gives them an understanding of the product they will be taking home
  • Provides an opportunity to give out recipes
  • A product is less likely to be rejected if the client is familiar with how it tastes  

What will you learn?
1. SAFETY of:
  • preparing food for sampling
  • serving a sample
  • maintaining a clean sampling area
2.  Hear details about the revitalized Tasting Table Program for your agency. Program will include monthly recipes and pre-made samples of that recipe to hand out to clients.

Ready to sign-up?
Click here to sign-up as a Pantry Partner volunteer wanting to help an agency or to sign-up volunteers from your agency to learn how to safely sample food at your pantry or meal site.
Hint: Avid cooks and gardeners are great resources for sampling volunteers.  This can be a good opportunity to recruit new help for your agency!
Questions?  Call or email Megan Rivera, Americorps VISTA nutrition specialist

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Reminder: blowing $400-$800 million on a boondoggle is immoral

It's not a victimless crime. Taxing and tolling the poor to sluice money into the already overflowing pockets in the Chamber of the 1% is immoral, especially in a city that strands anyone dependent on transit on weekends.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

7 reasons America will fail on climate change

7 reasons America will fail on climate change - Vox
The Chamber of the 1% can rejoice -- at least those without kids or grand kids, or hopes to have any in the future:  the threat of sensible action to avoid the worst of climate disruption and mass extinctions seems to have been averted, and many astute observers have concluded that we (humanity) are like the astronauts in the Challenger Space Shuttle at the moment of launch on the too-cold morning in 1986: our doom is sealed, but we don't know it yet.

And as for those in the Chamber -- well we can just hope that they are so darn proud of their righteousness that they take the time to record prominently for history exactly how hard they fought against the hoax of global warming, and how they helped defend freedom by ensuring that nothing interfered with the absolute right of the ruling class to treat the planet as their personal toilet without any restraint at all.  

Because their progeny and descendants-- all mankind, really -- should know exactly who is responsible for all that freedom that we will leave them.

Elevate People, Not Boondoggles!


As consultants and construction contractors in the Chamber of the 1% salivate over the prospect of spending further millions of your money to lay the groundwork to grab hundreds of millions more, it’s time for the people of Salem to send a clear message to every elected official within 100 miles:

It’s an obscenity to pour money down the planning rathole for a project that backers are trying to sell with an ever-changing rationale but will never be built, in a city that is so apathetic to the actual residents’ needs that it doesn’t even provide weekend bus service.

We’re against blowing four to eight hundred million dollars on an enormous elevated boondoggle. 

What are we for instead? It’s simple: we are for ELEVATING what’s right, not what’s wrong.

·      We support elevating people, not pork-barrel bridges.

·      We support elevating transit in Salem above the level of a third-world country.

·      We support elevating transparency over the backroom, backscratching maneuvers by politicians conspiring with their campaign funders, the maneuvers that produced this camel pretending to be a racehorse.

·      We support elevating honest government instead of the profits of the CH2M-Hills and the others sucking at the teat of a giant pork project.

·      We support elevating health for people by spending on projects that support biking and pedestrians, not just drivers.

·      We support elevating downtown Salem businesses, not the ones in Keizer and beyond West Salem.

·      We support elevating the needs of the “bridgehead” neighborhoods over the profits of the contractors who want to destroy those neighborhoods.

For all those reasons and more, that is why we support elevating the “Salem River Crossing” just enough to drop it in the trash can and move on to more important things.

Salem and ODOT in a few graceful sentences

The most insidious result of the car-first development pattern is the constituency of car owners it creates. Once you own a car - and so mentally discount the cost of insuring, maintaining, fuelling the car - then every trip looks free. Political discussions and public investment decisions begin to assume that everybody comes with a machine; they conflate 'driver' with citizen, and relegate non-cyborg humans to a category of 'other', the 'pedestrian' who isn't naturally considered first in site layout or public space design, but who must be 'accommodated' by so-called 'complete' streets and 'extra' features like crosswalks.

(Hat tip to Strong Towns blog)

Marginal cost of transportation: robotaxis and sprawl repair

Jun 09, 2014 05:00 am | Neil Salmond

The most insidious result of the car-first development pattern is the constituency of car owners it creates. Once you own a car - and so mentally discount the cost of insuring, maintaining, fuelling the car - then every trip looks free. Political discussions and public investment decisions begin to assume that everybody comes with a machine; they conflate 'driver' with citizen, and relegate non-cyborg humans to a category of 'other', the 'pedestrian' who isn't naturally considered first in site layout or public space design, but who must be 'accommodated' by so-called 'complete' streets and 'extra' features like crosswalks. Sidewalks are the original war on the car.
Read More

Autosprawl is killing our future

Organizing Salem around cars and pouring money into autosprawl amenities like the Bridgasaurus Boondogglus is killing us.

The millions squandered on that should be spent on making Salem safe, convenient and accessible for all, rich and poor, young and old, with or without disabilities. That means first a robust transit system and then sustained, amply funded attention to bike and pedestrian access, not yet more money to serve single occupant vehicles and promote sprawl to the west of town.

We need to make it a priority to ensure that every child in Salem gets abundant, daily physical exercise, and has a working bicycle and lots of safe routes to ride on. That would be an outstanding use for the money we are currently giving CH2M-Hill to plot how to worsen our city.

> Without taking measures such as weight loss and increased exercise, 15 percent to 30 percent of people with prediabetes typically go on to develop type 2 diabetes within five years, the CDC report said. . . .

> Left untreated, diabetes boosts the risk of serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke, vision loss, kidney failure, limb amputation and premature death. Diabetes can be managed through physical activity, diet and the use of insulin and medications to lower blood sugar levels.

> Unless diabetes can be prevented or well treated and blood sugar controlled, we face an escalating and devastating future of human and financial cost," she said.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Frighteningly accurate prophecy

In the 1960s, John Brunner wrote two astoundingly prescient novels, Stand on Zanzibar and The Sheep Look Up.  

In these dystopian times, it is a strange sensation to greet each new horror (like today's shooting in Troutdale) with a sad feeling of recognition and to think, "Ah, so he was right about that too."

Get a gift match 1-1: Only 3 days left!

$10 could buy you a nice lunch or a new book. Most of the time $10 donated to Marion-Polk Food Share provides 1 family with a 3-4 day supply of emergency food. For 3 more days only your $10 can provide assistance for up to 7 hungry families.
Your impact with generous match.
You will help more families thanks to a generous match. Click here to see full infographic.
Thanks to the CenturyLink Foundation any gift given as a part of the CenturyLink Backpack Buddies Feed the Children Food Drive will be generously matched!

This is a great opportunity for you to help even more children, seniors and families access needed emergency food. 
If you're interested in giving at this time  click here to make an online donation. For your donation to be matched it needs to be in the doors here at Marion-Polk Food Share by 5pm on Friday, June 13th, and designated as a part of the CenturyLink Food Drive.

I've already made a contribution of my own and I hope you will join me in this great opportunity to feed even more families.

Thank you,
Rick Gaupo signature  
Rick Gaupo
President & CEO
Marion-Polk Food Share

P.S. - If you have already heard about the match and have made a gift thank you! I will be sure to let you know your impact as soon as all of the numbers are tallied.
 Click Here to Give Today

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Going to Eugene this Summer?

Consider trying the Amtrak Cascades, a nice way to go.  
With a nice 30% fare discount running until Sep. 12

Take Amtrak Cascades to Eugene: Leave your car and save big! (PDF attached) 06/04/2014

June 4, 2014

For more information: Shelley M. Snow, ODOT Public Affairs, (503) 986-3438, mobile/text: (503) 881-5362

SALEM - The Oregon Department of Transportation is partnering with Amtrak Cascades and Lane Transit District for the ninth annual "Dump the Pump" campaign, encouraging commuters and other travelers to take an alternative to a personal car on an upcoming journey or two...or ten!

During June, if your destination, via Amtrak Cascades or POINT (Amtrak Thruway) bus, is Eugene*, then you get a free day pass for Lane Transit District (LTD). LTD provides connections in Eugene, Springfield and throughout Lane County – even up to the McKenzie River area. It just goes to show: sometimes you can get around without a car!

National "Dump the Pump Day," Thursday, June 19, is aimed at raising awareness of the financial and environmental benefits of choosing a commute option other than driving alone (use an alternate mode of transportation, and you don't have to go to the gas pump!). In addition to saving on LTD bus fares, travelers on Amtrak Cascades in the Willamette Valley may take advantage of a 30% discount running now until Sept. 12. (You must use this link to access the discount.)

"We're hoping people who haven't taken our passenger trains lately, or ever, will venture out," said Hal Gard, ODOT Rail & Public Transit Division Administrator. "We have the two new trainsets now, so we're encouraging everyone to consider the train/bus option. Give it a try – you might find you really like it."

Get the details (PDF attached) on the free day pass from LTD, and prepare to dump the pump!


*Take the train or bus from Portland, Oregon City, Woodburn, Salem or Albany. For 30% off details, visit


Second of Two Great Events (starting) at Straub, Sunday June 15

Subject: Two Events at Straub Environmental Center this coming weekend!
Reply-To: FSELC Upcoming Events <>

Spring Nature Hike
Sunday, June 15th
Kingston Prairie
Meet at Straub Environmental Center to carpool
8am - 11:30am

This 52-acre Nature Conservancy Preserve southeast of Stayton is the best example of native prairie remaining in the Central Willamette Valley. Both wet and dry habitats harbor native grasses and a host of wildflowers. The hike is free and open to the public.

To register and get carpooling instructions, call John Savage at 503-399-8615 after 7p.m.