News roundup

Flir violates trade agreements, Vancouver B.C.’s mindboggling transit investments; Adidas prez steps down as neighbors complain.

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Will April showers bring May flowers?  We suspect many in this city are hoping next week ushers in a brighter month.

The Portland Business Journal reports that defense contractor Flir was slapped with a $30 million fine for trade violations. Flir apparently violated parts of the Arms Export Control Act and ITAR more than 300 times. The countries involved included Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Cuba.

Adidas announces president Mark King will step down from his position on July 1, Oregonlive reports. A company statement denies a link between the changing of the guard and the ongoing federal investigation into Adida’s basketball program.  Meanwhile PBJ reports that neighbors oppose Adidas campus expansion plans in North Portland.

Earth Day has come and gone, but the plastics waste catastrophe is here to stay.

Research editor Kim Moore has two stories on the scop of the problem and possible solutions. In this Q&A, Daniella Russo, CEO of Think Beyond Plastic, a California business incubator, explains the scope of the problem.  And this article here discusses responses to China’s ban on U.S. imports of recylcable waste. 

Traffic stops. As Portland struggles to address congestion, Seattle is looking to Vancouver B.C for solutions.  The Seattle Times published a lengthy discussion of the Canadian city’s huge investment in public transit, including light rail trains that come every 100 seconds during peak hours and and high density development constructed on top of light rail stations.

Plus, as one Vancouver official says:  “There’s always been recognition that frequent bus service is core to system.”

An observation: The B.C. transit experts quoted made no mention of either road building or ride-sharing/mobile technologies, both of which seem to play a comparatively large role in the congestion relief discussion in Portland and Oregon. For more on that, read Caleb Diehl’s profile of Moovel CEO Nat Parker, which appeared in our February issue.

In related news: Moveforward spoke with Jeff Owen, senior planner for active transportation for TriMet about the viability of microtransit systems.  

The political primaries continue to heat up. Read reporter Caleb Diehl’s  Q&A roundup with the leading contenders for Portland City Council member Dan Saltzman’s vaant seat.

Hacking homelessness. I spoke with New Avenues for Youth, Street Roots and socially minded PSU GIS and urban planning grad students about how service providers can use tech to improve the lives of their clients. They also talk about the negative impacts of tech on vulnerable populations.

Algal blooms complicated commercial Dungeness crab seasons on the Oregon Coast. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission voted in new rules that among other things definine distinct crabbing zones to limit closure impacts on fishermen.  Not everyone is happy.  The Daily Astorian reports.


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