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Driving To A Cleaner Future

Cascadia Center “Jump Start” Conference Live-Blog Post #1 REDMOND, WA — Political and business leaders along with consumers are mobilizing to minimize man’s contribution to climate change and global warming. Even as mass transit spreads, personal vehicles will indisputably remain vital for many commuters, especially those with multi-stop “trip chains”. Cleaner fuels and cars are considered essential, and the popularity of the Toyota Prius electric-gas hybrid is a leading indicator. There are varied reasons why we need to wean our nation off foreign oil while embracing clean electric and renewable fuel sources, and plug-in hybrids which can double the excellent mileage of the Prius. National security and environmental protection rank high on the list, as Cascadia Center for Regional Development’s Read More ›

Cascadia Center Audio & Video Page

(Last updated Sept. 27, 2007) Links below are to audio and video from news and other sources on Cascadia Center events and initiatives and related public policy. (To come…….)

Electronic Tolling Comes To Washington

Yesterday was the first day for office sales of electronic toll stickers for use later this year by drivers on the new eastbound, Route 16 Tacoma Narrows Bridge. State transportation officials by mid-day had sold or mailed out to customers 2,654 of the stickers, to be read by overhead transponders which automatically deduct toll costs from drivers’ pre-paid accounts. (UPDATE: registrations had grown to 6,131 by mid-day today, but with some short-term DOT server glitches, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports). This DOT animation contrasts the more free-flowing “Good To Go” electronic toll lanes, and the slower toll booth lanes for single-purchase customers. The animation also demonstrates how overhead cameras will capture the license plate numbers of scofflaws, who will be issued Read More ›

Green Idaho A Harbinger

The Idaho Statesman reports: The most conservative state in the union is a part of a remarkable cultural shift toward environmental values. Consider: • Al Gore attracts 10,000 people to his slide show on global warming at Taco Bell Arena in January. • Bill Moyers highlights Boise’s evangelical Vineyard Fellowship for its environmental message and acts in the PBS special “Is God Green?” last fall. • Former Gov. Jim Risch gets a standing ovation from a largely Republican crowd when he announces in Twin Falls last year that Idaho plans to opt out of a mercury pollution trading program, keeping coal-fired power plants out of the state. Growing concerns about climate change are pegged as one big reason for Idaho’s Read More ›

Cayo: Don’t Let Density, Taxes Chase Business Out Of Vancouver

Via the Web site of Vancouver, B.C. Mayor Sam Sullivan comes a full text version of a recent and thoughtful column that’s otherwise now parked behind a subscriber-only firewall. It’s by the Vancouver Sun’s Don Cayo, on the importance of leaving room for business as the city’s residential density continues to intensify. Writes Cayo: It makes complete sense to develop policies that allow and encourage people to live closer to where they work. The EcoDensity discussion is focused on an important half of the equation — where people will live. But what about the other half? If we succeed in gracefully accommodating a lot more residents within the boundaries of the city, as I think we can, where on earth Read More ›

Toll Premiums = Congestion Insurance

In a Puget Sound Business Journal op-ed, Cascadia Center’s Co-Directors Bruce Agnew and Tom Till make the case for regional transportation governance and tolling. They write: People in Puget Sound want politicians to solve the traffic congestion problem. They have supported two statewide gas-tax packages since 2003. While other regions fund transportation with a mix of public and private funding, our state has been reluctant to embrace such partnerships and tolling. Elected leaders are gun shy about too much talk of new tolls, except for those on the 520 bridge. Politicians risk being accused of bait and switch, however, if they promise to complete all the projects without the help of tolls. A new report to the state calls for Read More ›

“Cascadia: More Than A Dream”

Miro Cernetig of the Vancouver Sun takes a in-depth look at the economic and environmental firmament of North America’s upper lefthand corner, in an article titled, “Cascadia – More Than A Dream.” Where you will find Cascadia…is in the mindset of the millions of people who live on the continent’s western edge…Cascadia’s guiding principle today isn’t nationhood but what might be best called regionhood — the sense that Alaska, the Yukon, B.C., Alberta and the states of Washington, Oregon, Montana and Idaho — often share similar regional goals and ambitions….these range from environmental issues, a heightened sense that their collective futures are tied to the Asia-Pacific and a desire for more autonomy from federal governments that are thousands of kilometres Read More ›

“Saving The Earth Sensibly” With A Carbon Tax

In “Go Green? Go West,” Los Angeles Times opinion columnist Ronald Brownstein writes that the Western U.S. is poised to lead on alternative energy. The “sagebrush rebellion” resource extraction push of decades past has given way to “a renewable revolution” bearing both real promise and all the expected consumer cost caveats, Brownstein posits. Across the West, governors from both parties are advancing the nation’s most ambitious policies to promote clean energy, encourage conservation and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases…leaders in the West are…drawing support from ideologically diverse local coalitions that include new residents concerned about preserving an attractive environment and agricultural and tourism interests fearful that global warming may undermine their industries. Even major utilities across the West have enlisted. Read More ›

Linnea Noreen Bio

Ms. Noreen has worked for over seven years in nonprofit management, creating and directing programs that train and connect young professionals with community leadership opportunities. To that end, she co-created The Bridge, a program that trains over 150 young professionals in nonprofit and public board service every year. In partnership with Seattle Works, she spearheaded an effort to collect the opinions of Seattle’s 20- and 30- somethings, culminating in a series of conversations and interactive events involving over 300 people in the area. Most recently, she ran for public office as an independent. Prior to her work at Seattle Works, she directed programs at the YMCA to engage the next generation in Seattle’s civic life. She has also managed the Read More ›

State Treasurer Urges More Tolling For SR 520 Bridge Rebuild Tab

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer’s Chris McGann reports today Washington State Treasurer Michael Murphy urges tolls on both the State Route 520 bridge and Interstate 90, to help fill a funding gap of at least $2.7 billion in the planned six-lane replacement for the former. The state has been considering 520 tolling to help pay for the bridge replacement, but not I-90 tolling; that would require federal approval. Currently, the state transportation commission oversees what very limited tolling is currently planned for implementation in Washington, and under proposed legislation, tolls would have to be approved by the state legislature. However, best practices might well suggest that regional transportation project funding decisions including tolling would be made by a regional transportation commission, if Read More ›