As the State Turns

First World Problems
The Northwest is a cool place. I mean hey, sure it was founded as a white utopian nightmare of douchebaggery, but it’s cool now. Beards, flannel, sandals in winter, VooDoo donuts, goofy as* idyllic  imagery all over the place of salmon jumping out of waters surrounded by trees – a lone buck’s head poking out from the underbrush as if to say, “Hey. Hey you. Yes, I can talk. No, you’re not on acid. Okay, maybe you are.” Also, all sorts of other clichés. Good, yes. Established.

Another thing that makes us cool (that isn’t sarcasm) is our trends towards renewable energy sources. That’s right kids, we’re talkin’ wind… solar… wind. Solar. The problem, however, is that we’ve sometimes got too much clean energy. And when there’s too much, it just goes poof, like magic, and is wasted. In response – and not just because there’s a legal requirement, I swear – Portland General Electric is toying around with some proposals that seek to store this extra energy for later consumption. At our convenience.

The previously-hinted-at legislation was dropped in 2015 and says that these mega-utility companies have to… do something. Sorry, I just looked at House Bill 2193, and there’s no way in hell I’m reading that. You’re on your own, dudes. The point being however, is that they’re going to try to meet and exceed the requirements so our state grids are more efficient and cleaner. They’re looking at batteries (a little bigger than AA’s), biomass facilities (for burninating the countryside’s leftovers), and… well, that seems to be mostly it. But they’re thinking about the potential for installing batteries in peoples’ homes, which is an interesting proposition.

Hell, maybe we’ll all wind up with super cheap, abundant power! Nope. But this is all a welcome move anyway. Aside from the $100 million price tag, anyway.

Abortion FTW
You may have noticed that not everyone out there wants legal abortion. And then there are some that do. If you need a moment to adjust to the shock, please relax for a bit before continuing to read.

Anyway. Continuing the theme from the last section, the Northwest isn’t the worst place in the country if you need to get an abortion. Access is widely available and all that. But access doesn’t pay the bills (conversely, it creates the bills), and according to an Oregon Public Broadcasting article on the topic, it can cost about $650 to do the deed. Thankfully though, we’ve got groups like the Network for Reproductive Options, and The CAIR Project (of Washington) around to help dispatch those bills so women in need can get care. Better yet? They’re about to join forces, which will create a super-fund that will cover Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska – the largest geographic area of coverage for such a thing yet. We’re not sure what cool name it’ll have (please be The Dragons), but this move will put it in third place across the nation, as far as people served and budget goes.

That stuff up there, in the last paragraph… that’s a big deal. According to reports, these two groups combined receive sometimes upwards of 70 calls for help a week. And helping people is good, right?

I suppose that’s up for debate.

Rand Paul Gets Tackled While Mowing the Lawn
Not in our state, but funny enough to get a line or two. Especially the part where he thanked people for their “thoughts and prayers” on Twitter. Speaking of, remember to pray for me the next time I get bum rushed in my yard. Given all the ludicrous emails I get from people that somehow have managed to convince themselves that this column is anything but satire in a character’s voice, it seems inevitable that I’ll be ambushed by some well-to-do middle aged man in bike shorts at some point.

Jackson County’s ‘Dead Indian Memorial Road’
Yes, that’s a thing. It is actually called that. And despite receiving over 188 “change the damn name” messages to 14 “don’t change the damn name” messages in a poll conducted by the Roads and Parks Department, the Jackson County Board of Commissioners thought… “Meh, let’s not change it now. 200-ish is hardly a lot of people.” Fair enough, I guess. Responsibility to proper process and all that. Sucks to be them, because they sound like total as*holes as a result.

I mean, Dead Indian Memorial Road? Holy sh*t. Can we not fix that based on principle?

By Johnny Beaver