News from around the Pacific Northwest
First non-profit pub in the United States, possibly the world, set to open in Portland
The first non-profit pub in the United States, maybe even the world, will be opening this fall in Northeast Portland. It will be called the Oregon Public House, and, once it opens, it could put $10,000 dollars each month into local charities and community organizations; the customers themselves will be able to choose where they want their money to go. Once open, money could also be used for raising funds to start the Public House’s own independent brewery, so that its operations can be completely self-sustaining, and the business can have complete control over selection of its local ingredients. The business owner hopes that the model will be successful and that others will also begin following similar financial paths. Construction is about 90 percent complete, and the pub could open as soon as this fall.
Scientists Report – Cascadia likely to break off, form independent nation/landmass within next 50 years
A comprehensive analysis of the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Pacific Northwest coast confirms that the region has had numerous earthquakes over the past 10,000 years, many reaching towards 9.0 magnitude, and suggests that the southern Oregon coast may be the most vulnerable to the shakes and quakes. Written by researchers at Oregon State University, and published online by the U.S. Geological Survey, the study concludes that there is a 40 percent chance of a major earthquake in the Coos Bay, Ore., region during the next 50 years, bolstering Cascadian Independence Project claims that the Pacific Northwest (as a landmass) has been attempting to break free of American hegemony since 1713, both geologically and politically, and that we may all be destroyed at any given time. This new Cascadia island state may be a great boon to helping repopulate many endangered species of fish, since the I-5 corridor west of the Cascades will likely be underwater.
Redmond Rocketeers celebrate the success of the Mars Landing
The engineers who work at the Redmond based Aerojet, which constructed the rocket propulsion systems for the recent successful NASA mission to Mars spent a morning celebrating after an anxious night awaiting the final results. From the spacecraft’s launch last November to its contact with Martian soil, 36 engines from Aerojet’s Redmond operation played a role in the $2.5 billion mission. Founded by former Boeing engineers and entrepreneurs in 1959, the Curiosity is the 13th Mars-bound spacecraft Aerojet has worked on; in another impressive Cascadian feat, the company has worked on every single NASA mission going back to Viking 1 in 1979.
Strongest Perseid Meteor Shower of 2012
In the night time skies of August 11th and 12th, the Pacific Northwest was showered with a strong showing of Perseid Meteors, sometimes at a rate of more than 100 per hour. The annual show, which is strongest in the July, August and September months, happens when debris left by the leftover remnants of a flyby of the comet Swift-Tuttle, which is on a 130 year orbit around the sun, crosses the orbit of Earth. Most of the debris is more than 130 years old, but some newer filaments were pulled away on its 1862 flyby of earth. This year, viewers were also lucky to see the storm as Jupiter and Venus also aligned themselves and a waning moon created optimal viewing conditions.
Columbia River crossing identified in new federal initiative
The Columbia River crossing has been identified as one of 4 key transportation projects expedited by the U.S. federal government, recognizing the regional and national significance of the project, in a move praised in a joint press release by Gov. John Kitzhaber of Oregon and Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, who touted the importance to the regional economy. The $3.5 billion Columbia River Crossing project will replace the I-5 bridges over the Columbia River connecting Vancouver, WA to Portland, OR and also extend an existing light rail system, making a long sought after rail transit link between Portland and Vancouver finally possible. The project also includes the reconstruction of highway interchanges, improved freight access, the procurement of light rail vehicles, and the construction of park-and-ride spaces. It is a multimodal project focused on increasing mobility of motorists, freight traffic, transit riders, bicyclists, and pedestrians. The project is a long-term, comprehensive solution highlighting the importance of Pacific Northwest interagency coordination to resolve complex issues and define a clear path forward. The Interstate 5 bridge structures between Oregon and Washington were built in 1917 and 1958 and their current wooden pilings are set into liquefiable soil and are at risk in the event of an earthquake. The bridge is a critical link for freight between the Pacific Northwest, Canada and all the way down to Mexico, and is one of the worst freight bottlenecks in the United States. Today, I-5 carries more than $40 billion in freight each year; it is expected to carry $71 billion in 2030.