Audio

Portland’s Streetcar Audit: What Went Wrong?

Last Thursday, auditors released a report questioning the Portland Streetcar’s performance. Ridership counts were inflated by 19%. Several additional metrics, including hourly vehicle operating costs and on-time performance, were either unreported or deemed not suitable for use. What went wrong? First, too much data wasn’t reported. This includes measures for frequency of service, vehicle failure, […]

0COMMENTS

Why Do City Leaders Keep Portland in the “Transportation Dark Ages?”

In November, Beaverton, Gresham, Hillsboro, and Tigard joined Vancouver, Washington in welcoming ridesharing juggernaut Uber to operate legally in their cities. Last weekend, Uber began operating in Portland without permission, in effect daring the authorities to stop it. While the City has issued a cease-and-desist order against Uber, more than 10,000 people have signed an […]

0COMMENTS

The Governor’s Budget: Much More Than Beer Money

Governor John Kitzhaber released his proposed 2015-17 budget this week. Critics were quick to argue that it’s either too much or too little, depending on their point of view. Media reports focused on his General Fund budget which, at $18.6 billion, would be an eleven percent increase over the current budget. In an attempt to […]

0COMMENTS

Scare Tactics Not Working in Road Tax Debates

The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) recently issued a report describing the deteriorating condition of Oregon highways. The authors estimate that the cumulative cost to the state economy from poor roads will be $94 billion by 2035. At the same time, the Portland City Council is considering a new local income tax to pay for […]

4COMMENTS

Arizonans Gain the “Right to Try” to Save Their Lives

Amid last week’s election excitement, Arizonans overwhelmingly approved their “Right to Try” referendum, allowing terminally ill patients access to experimental drugs that have completed basic FDA safety testing but are still awaiting further approval. With seventy-eight percent of the vote, Arizona becomes the fifth state to pass Right to Try legislation this year. Momentum is […]

0COMMENTS

A Time for Choosing

Did you choose between a left or right in yesterday’s election? If that phrase sounds familiar, perhaps you watched an emerging leader utter it 50 years ago last week. In 1964 an actor named Ronald Reagan gave what has become known simply as “The Speech” on behalf of his ill-fated Presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. The […]

0COMMENTS

$15 Minimum Wage? More May Turn Out to Be Less

Last summer, Seattle passed an ordinance raising its minimum wage to $15 per hour. A Portland-area restaurant owner recently explained in The Oregonian how a $15-per-hour minimum wage here would spell lower total wages and less opportunity for his employees. Lee Spectator wrote: “I start most of my new hires at minimum wage, then, based […]

3COMMENTS

Shouldn’t the Terminally Ill Have the “Right to Try” to Save Their Lives?

Last Friday, Michigan approved Right to Try legislation with overwhelming bipartisan support. Colorado, Missouri, and Louisiana all passed similar measures this year, with Arizonans voting on the issue this November. What is Right to Try and why is it gaining steam?

Spearheaded by the Goldwater Institute, an Arizona-based public policy organization, Right to Try legislation allows terminally ill patients access to drugs, biotics, and implants that have completed basic FDA safety testing but are still awaiting further approval.

0COMMENTS

Dissing Online Education

One can imagine that blacksmiths and buggy whip makers didn’t take kindly to the automobile revolution that started in the late 19th century. Those at risk of losing their horse-related jobs likely made the case for resisting the new, glitchy, and dangerous metal machines. We all know how that rivalry turned out. Today, another revolution […]

1COMMENTS

Time for a “New Business Model” for the Elliott State Forest

Oregon’s political leaders have the chance to do what they frequently ask of the state legislature: provide more money to Oregon’s schools. So why aren’t they doing it? The Elliott State Forest on Oregon’s South Coast is an endowment asset for Oregon public schools and is supposed to be making money through timber sales. Unfortunately, […]

0COMMENTS