As the State Turns

New Air Pollution Protocols Proposed
In relation to last year’s Cleaner Air Oregon program, official-esque humans are putting forth suggestions for new pollution rules that would seek to control how much nasty stuff each and every stinking, filthy, polluting place can unleash within the surrounding area. They’re apparently targeting a whole mess of polluters who haven’t even been tracked down yet, so they can reel in their practices within the next half decade or so. The goal? To reduce overall pollution and mitigate cancer rates and all that jazz. A totally bonkers plan, I know.

The new system specifically would be looking to require businesses to report about 250 chemicals and another 600 emissions that have been linked to cancer or other bodily issues.

For affected Oregon businesses, all of this could mean new regulation fees to help cover the costs. Those behind the effort say that without approval for these fees from the state Legislature, the program would be reduced to a mere shadow of itself. Considering how much we’ve come to realize in the last year about the massive holes in our state pollution regulations (see: super high levels of all kinds of nastiness found in Portland), you’d hope that the plan is sound and our lawmakers agree. One way or another, something has got to be done – unless you want your kids to be born with three eyeballs or something. Although if all three worked, that might be cool.

As the debate unfolds, most people in the know are expecting a fight over whether or not the regulations go too far. Total shocker there.

ICE, ICE Baby
This headline would’ve worked a lot better if there were an actual baby involved here, but I was afraid I’d forget about it by the time I came across one. In retrospect, I should probably keep this information to myself.

Anyhow, a man was detained by ICE agents in Beaverton recently and the whole thing was caught on tape. The taper, George Cardenas, says that the agents cartwheeled onto private property for the arrest without a warrant. He calls them out on it right to their faces, but after a short, mostly-civil argument on the matter, they eventually just say screw it and snag the “alien.”

A day or so later, they released the guy and claimed the detainment was a mistake. Right.

There’s supposed to be a review into this matter, but I won’t be holding my breath. And not just because I can only do that for like a minute or so.

In related news, the feds tried to get lawsuits regarding sanctuary city policies filed by Portland and Seattle tossed out, however a judge of the federal variety told them where they could stick their request. Hint: right up their Mar-a-Lago.

Fire, Fire Baby
The DA in Hood River filed misdemeanor charges against a 15-year-old from Vancouver last week for setting the Eagle Creek blaze after chucking a firecracker into a canyon. Oops. If found responsible, they could face community service and time in a juvenile facility. Given the fact that this kid had received death threats over the whole ordeal, it could have been a lot worse. Due to investigators determining that the act wasn’t intentional, felonies were off the table.

The fire in question, which isn’t out yet, has torched almost 50,000 acres of forest. This has pissed a lot of people off because that area is majestic and sh*t. On the bright side, at least I was able to get that Vanilla Ice headline going after all.

Portland Greenlights Housing Plan
Though the project has yet to sort out funding, approval was given last week to cobble together 2,000 or more homes that will be dedicated as supportive housing, or housing designed to help those in need. Fighting chronic housing and homelessness issues, Portland’s City Council hopes this plan will come to fruition, and help put a dent in the nearly 4,200 reported homeless currently living in the city.

Several months back, Portland voters chimed in and passed a bond measure allocating over $250 million for reduced cost housing. This new project is estimated to require over $400 million additional smackeroos. A small price to pay for changing lives. And I really mean that. You can tell because I’m not going to do the math to find out how many burritos we could get for $650 million.

By Johnny Beaver

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