In the summer of 1988, Portland City Commissioner Bob Koch introduced an ordinance to ban the use of polystyrene foam (PSF) for prepared food in restaurants, grocery stores and other retail establishments. He hoped that this would address perceived environmental issues with PSF, commonly known by the trade name Styrofoam. However, the proposal was quickly withdrawn when Commissioner Koch discovered that the alleged problems with PSF did not actually exist and that the measure had the potential to increase rather than decrease environmental impacts. (more…)
This week US Senate Majority leader Bill Frist took a position in favor of further federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Some observers felt morally betrayed, while others hailed it as a step toward scientific progress. However, the issue that has been lost in the discussion is whether the federal government should be subsidizing such research in the first place.
Contrary to popular belief, stem cell research is not (more…)
A recent front-page photograph in The Oregonian featured two retired public school teachers, sunbathing and enjoying their full-pay retirements in Sun City, Arizona. The accompanying story revealed that Oregon taxpayers are paying 55 percent above the national average for school employee health and retirement benefits, an additional cost of $500 million per year.
Although this is great for some teachers and retirees, it’s fraught with (more…)