Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Youth Climate Advocates to Gather at Mahonia Hall Tomorrow the 15th

On Thursday the 15th youth advocates from Portland are taking the train to Salem "to demand Governor Kate Brown keep her promises and be a climate leader." They'll be at Mahonia Hall in mid-afternoon after assembling in Bush Park.

via Twitter (more in full thread)

Governor Brown has not distinguished herself on climate and transportation, indulging in too much highway expansion, letting ODOT run with insufficient oversight, and in thrall generally to autoism and EV mania.

We need to drive less, and the State has made no serious attempt at this yet, just Potemkin signalling and symbol.

See a longer note at BikePortland for more information.

School District isn't Much Better

Somewhat related, it was interesting on a recent walk to check out the progress at South High and the old Leslie Junior High. The new construction along Church Street mimicked the original 1950s facade, but around the corner on Howard Street the facade was in a more contemporary style.

It would have been interesting to learn more specifically about why Leslie needed to be demolished, but Parrish and North, nearly the same age, have not been deemed obsolete. Was Leslie really in significantly worse shape?

Still, a century of use seems like a reasonable lifespan for an institutional building like a school, and it does not seem worth too much angst.

But you know what is a profligate loss?

Pool crater now a swampy swale with swoopy drive

Just to the east and down the hill, the old Leslie swimming pool and one ballfield have just been wasted. 

The pool site is a crater with a swampy swale that doesn't seem like it should be swampy right now in the middle of our drought. (Though it might also testify to seeps and springs over which the school was built.) The heat wave, and the prospect of future ones, suggest we will miss public pools even more.

Ballfield (2012) now a parking lot

The ballfield is a parking lot, an inducement to driving. There is no reason we should be expanding parking lots for school-aged children, even if the neighbors complain about students parking on the side streets, but every school project funded under the bond seems to have parking lot expansion. There is no sense for this, and even less when we think about the future.

Front page, Seattle Times last Wednesday

SF Chronicle yesterday

So many things we hold dear are in peril.

But driving is what we choose to protect.

Postscript, Saturday, the 17th

It was nice to see Thursday's protest at Mahonia Hall on the front page today. The advocates deserve great attention.

Front page today

They were dismayed, though, that the Governor was out posing with Secretary Pete and not yet engaging the full substance of our climate emergency and of ODOT's continuing autoism. Later, the paper said,

In a statement, Brown's deputy communication director Charles Boyle said the governor has made climate action a top priority for the state and is pleased with the actions the Legislature took this past legislative session....

"She appreciates the passion of Oregon’s young climate leaders, and she shares their sense of urgency to take climate action," Boyle said.

via Twitter

The former chair of Metro in Portland, and a critic of ODOT, responded and suggested that Governor Brown doesn't yet care enough. (On ODOT and the OTC see here, here, here, especially, from 2015.)

via Twitter

At the same time, the news is full of terrible loss, and the cheery visages of Governor Brown and Secretary Pete are a more than a little discordant. Is she sure she shares their urgency?

"conditions that we usually see in mid-August"
Seattle Times front page today

NY Times front page today:
"latest signs of climate crisis"

1 comment:

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Added a PS on coverage in the SJ, Gov. Brown's activities with Sec. Pete, and a knowledgeable critique from a former elected official.