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August 3rd, 2011 12:01 am WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs

All The News We Had Time To Fit In.


    It was a bike crash heard around the nation: On Sunday night, July 31, former University of Oregon and NFL quarterback Joey Harrington, 33, was hospitalized with a broken clavicle, broken rib and punctured lung after reportedly being struck from behind by an SUV while riding his bike westbound on Southeast Foster Road near 88th Avenue. The bike lane on Foster ends at 92nd Avenue, and it’s a high-traffic corridor considered notoriously dangerous by some cyclists—a fact noted on local blogs BikePortland.org and Bojack.org. Rob Sadowsky, head of Portland’s Bicycle Transportation Alliance, says the accident brings new urgency to a long-term Powell Corridor Safety Plan already in the works at City Hall. Harrington had “a right to be on that road,” Sadowsky says. “There are clear gaps in the [bike lane] network right there…. We need to close those gaps.”
  • Some Buckman residents are wary of Central Catholic High School’s plans to expand, arguing that they could make parking worse and harm the residential character of the neighborhood. The private school at Southeast 24th Avenue and Stark Street has a master building plan that calls for a new wing, larger classrooms, a student counseling center and a commons. A city hearings officer has OK’d a conditional-use permit for the project, but the Buckman Community Association has appealed the decision. President Susan Lindsay says her group supports the school’s improvements but is contending its plans to put in a new parking lot off Southeast 24th Avenue on two residential lots the school owns; she says her groups is seeking a delay until a compromise is reached over ongoing parking issues. “The school is nestled in an area that doesn’t have the capacity for all the activities and the kids and their cars,” Lindsay says. Central Catholic President John Harrington (father of the former NFL quarterback, above) says the school’s plans are aimed at addressing parking concerns. “We’re trying to do what we can,” Harrington says. “There is no perfect answer.”
  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said late last month it may reconsider the toxicity of Bisphenol A, better known as BPA, used in an array of consumer products, including some plastic bottles. The Oregon Legislature considered—but failed to pass—a limited BPA ban this year. Now Jeff Cogen, the Multnomah County Commission chairman, and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman are examining how a local BPA ban might work. Cogen’s policy adviser, Emerald Bogue, has begun looking into the potential costs and legal considerations of a ban. While the Legislature considered a limited ban on sippy cups, Cogen notes that health and environmental activists have been pushing for broader restrictions. “We saw the special interests kill the statewide effort to do this,” Cogen tells WW. “We know BPA is a poison, and they’re using it in baby bottles. So we want to do something locally.”
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