63 results for author: Devon Downeysmith


Rally for clean energy jobs and a prosperous Oregon

More than 160 Oregonians from across the state turned out in Salem this week to show support for SB 557, the Clean Energy Jobs bill. This bill would cap and price pollution, hold polluters accountable for the climate destabilizing pollution they pump into our air and water, and invest in solutions to help Oregon transition to a clean energy economy. The day began with a rally on the capitol steps, followed by a press conference and then hearing of the Senate Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. The crowd packed the hearing room (and two overflow rooms) - representing scientists, clean energy workers, environmentalists, youth ...

An Oregon school with no school buses

Bus service to W.L. Henry Elementary School in Hillsboro, Oregon was cut in 2009 due to budget constraints. “It has had a negative impact on our students,” according to Marianna Roman a Hispanic outreach coordinator at the school. All students live within a mile of the school, which is why under current state law they are ineligible to be reimbursed by the state for the cost of busing. Losing bus service created an inconvenience and also added one more barrier for families already struggling. W.L. Henry Elementary is identified as one of the nation’s highest poverty schools. More than three-quarters of its students are English Language ...

Public Transit Makes the Difference: Maggie & Mika’s Story

We all know that public transit connects communities and helps people get where they need to go. But for some, it’s more than a help - it’s a vital resource. Maggie Ota can attest to this. A Forest Grove resident for the past three years, a big reason her family relocated to the area was because of the school district’s integrated programs for disabled students. In the Forest Grove School District her son, Mika, is able to attend a regular classroom with other kids - just like everyone else. This may not sound special, but in his previous school experience in California, disabled children were separated from other children - whether that ...

New public health plan tackles climate change in Oregon

Guest Blog Post by Alex Garcia, Oregon Climate and Health Program, AmeriCorps VISTA Team Member Oregon’s public health sector is committed to taking care of Oregonians, especially those most vulnerable amongst us. That is why addressing and preparing for climate change, one of the greatest threat multipliers for public health, is a priority for the Oregon Health Authority. Yesterday, the Oregon Public Health Division released the Oregon Climate and Health Resilience Plan, a new climate resilience plan for Oregon’s Public Health system. The plan outlines a set of actions that the public health workforce specifically can take to address ...

A Report Card for our Climate: Oregon Gets Graded

Wonder how Oregon is doing at meeting climate and clean energy goals? A new, visually-compelling Clean Energy Report Card grades Oregon’s progress toward a clean energy economy, and shows a suite of solutions which will create good paying jobs, make the air cleaner and promote healthy communities. The Report Card also provides inspiring examples of clean energy solutions--like how Pendelton has become a leader in solar installations. It includes surprising facts, including that transit projects create 70% more jobs compared to highway projects. It underscores that Oregon needs several solutions working together to accelerate the clean energy ...

REPORT: Oregon Faces Climate Threats; We Are Committed to Solutions

The Oregon Climate Change Research Institute just released their third Oregon Climate Assessment Report, and the results are foreboding. Off the top, it clearly states the problem: “burning fossil fuels to run our factories, heat our homes and drive our cars produces heat-trapping gasses that unequivocally warm the planet.” The report presents compelling evidence as to how our state is already experiencing the effects of climate change, and the various threats that lie ahead. Key takeaways: A majority of Oregonians are concerned about climate change: Two-thirds (67%) of Oregonians believe that climate change is happening (Howe et al., 2015). ...

How To Raise Children Who Want to Save the World (It’s Easier Than You Think)

There are many difficult topics that we, as parents, must discuss with our kids at some point in time. The list is seemingly endless --- and overwhelming. We wonder: how do we introduce these topics not unnecessarily too soon, but also before they've heard the information from another source? How do we shelter our children from harsh truths, while also preparing them for reality? How do we delicately explain things to them, while also being authentic in our delivery? Most dauntingly, how do we give them the priceless gift of a carefree childhood while also giving them the life skills to be ready for adulthood? This is the delicate balance that every ...

The Cold Side of Climate Change

It's hard to believe with the weather we’ve seen these past couple of weeks, but at the beginning of December The Oregonian published an article titled "What's with all these early blooms?" Unseasonably high temperatures and excessive rain had led to strange winter growth, and plants thought it was spring. Kathy Dello of the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute was quoted as saying "we're looking at one of the warmest years in the history of Oregon." This warming and subsequent early blooms were a problem in and of themselves -- but what about now? This past weekend we saw our second winter freeze in just two weeks. Our in-house agricult...

Portland Leads On Climate – Again!

Scores, labels and ratings -- they're all a regular part of how we communicate information. We consult miles-per-gallon ratings on cars, nutrition labels on food, and Energy Guide labels on appliances to make informed consumer decisions. But consumer labeling for homes have been inconsistent and unavailable in most real estate markets. Not so anymore for the Portland market. Yesterday Mayor Hales' office announced that the Portland City Council has adopted a new Home Energy Score Policy to reduce both utility bills carbon emissions. The new policy will provide sellers and buyers with valuable information on energy use, energy costs and home ...

Just How Essential Is the EPA Anyway?

It isn’t just federal protections that are at stake. The EPA has been an essential partner working to protect the environment here in Oregon.