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December 4th, 2013 WW Editorial Staff | Murmurs
 

Murmurs: News That Burns No Carbon.

murmurs_4005Image courtesy Organic Transit
     
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  • Portland is getting an ELF for Christmas. That’s the name of a bike-car hybrid built by Durham, N.C.-based company Organic Transit, which announced Dec. 2 it will open its third manufacturing facility in Portland. The ovoid metal ELF, which retails starting at $4,995, is powered by an electric motor, solar panels and foot pedals. The Huffington Post says the three-wheel vehicle looks like “the closest thing yet to Fred Flintstone’s footmobile.” Bikeportland.com broke the news of the company’s plans. Organic Transit opened a factory in San Jose, Calif., in September. The ELF’s inventor, Rob Cotter, tells WW the Portland facility might employ 20 to 30 people. 
  • Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick are chasing new taxes and fees to fund the cash-strapped Portland Bureau of Transportation. People who have seen the proposals say they include a city gas tax and a street-maintenance fee—ideas floated in 2012 by then-Mayor Sam Adams. City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade scolded the City Council this year for approving PBOT’s $341 million annual budget that fails to set aside enough money for basic road upkeep. Novick tells WW that voters will back new taxes or fees if they know they are for sidewalks and other safety-related projects. “I think,” Novick says, “it’s a case we can make.”
  • Feeling giddy over the Portland Trail Blazers’ scorching 15-3 start? You have good reason, says WW basketball columnist Mike Acker, who notes the last time the Blazers opened this hot was back in 1999, when they finished one victory shy of the NBA Finals. Another reason for  confidence? The addition of center Robin Lopez, who is providing inside help for All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge. “[Lopez] being physical and trying to control the paint,” Aldridge tells WW. “That’s what every team needs.” Read more of Acker’s “From the Elbow” column here.
  • Give!Guide update: Giving Tuesday has pushed WW’s 2013 G!G over the $520,000 mark, three days ahead of when it reached that mark last year. That puts G!G’s fundraising 9 percent ahead of 2012, when we raised $1.97 million for local nonprofits. G!G aims to increase charitable giving from people under 36, and donations by younger Portlanders have increased overlast year. To see G!G’s 2013 video—featuring City Commissioner Nick Fish, New Seasons Market CEO Wendy Collie, stellar chef Naomi Pomeroy and G!G executive director and local heartthrob Nick Johnson—go to vimeo.com/78569763.
 
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