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2015’s Forward-Looking Celebration of School Choice

Next week is National School Choice Week. Every January, National School Choice Week highlights the need for effective educational options for all children “in a positive, forward-looking, fun, nonpolitical, and nonpartisan way.” Planned by a diverse coalition of individuals and organizations, National School Choice Week features special events and activities that support school choice programs […]

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Equal Outcome Is the Wrong Goal

In Governor Kitzhaber’s final inaugural address this week, he focused on the themes of equality and community. Specifically, he wants to reduce the gap between rich and poor. He also believes that only through collective action can we achieve that goal. Unfortunately, his obsession with “equal outcome” guarantees that we will lose “equal opportunity.” For […]

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The Regime Trembles at the Sight of a Smartphone

“The regime trembles at the sight of a smartphone.”* That quote comes from Portland-based independent journalist and world traveler Michael J. Totten. One might guess that he wrote it about Portland’s city government and its aversion to ridesharing services like Uber that rely on smartphone apps to put riders and drivers together. But he didn’t. […]

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No Wonder Portland Can’t Afford to Maintain Streets

The Portland City Council seems determined to raise taxes to pay for street maintenance. But the City doesn’t have a revenue shortage problem; it has a spending misallocation problem, which continues to grow. The latest example is a proposal to begin collecting and publicizing energy consumption data from about 1,000 of the largest commercial buildings […]

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Tide Goes Out on Ocean Energy

A new report released by Cascade Policy Institute concludes that the public-private partnership Oregon Wave Energy Trust has failed to achieve a return on public investment. The Oregon Wave Energy Trust (OWET) is a nonprofit, public-private partnership established by the Oregon State Legislature that works to “responsibly develop ocean energy by connecting stakeholders, supporting research […]

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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, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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