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Dr. Know: Attack of the Electric Squirrels

How does one squirrel take down a power station?


Dr. Know
Just saw a news item entitled “Squirrel knocks out power for 7,400 Southeast Portland PGE customers.” This demands an insta-response from Dr. Know: How does one squirrel take down a power statio   More
 
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Ore or OR

Why is Oregon often abbreviated as Ore.?


Dr. Know
I often see “Oregon” abbreviated as “Ore.” Yet we all know the official two-letter U.S. postal-code abbreviation for our state is “OR.” What gives? —Brett S. Please don’t be offe   More
 
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Carbon Footprints in the Sand

Is cycling worse for the environment than driving?


Dr. Know
Is cycling worse for the environment than driving? The theory I’ve heard is that cycling requires energy from food, which needs to be grown, transported and cooked, and doing all that is worse t   More
 
Wednesday, July 17, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Gratuitous Advice

What’s the tipping etiquette for counter service?


Dr. Know
Growing up, I learned you should tip 15 percent at lunch and 18 to 20 percent for dinner. But what about at a place like Laughing Planet, where you order at the counter? What’s the tipping eti   More
 
Wednesday, July 10, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Mocha-vores

Is there a locally grown morning jump-start?


Dr. Know
Portland is the land of the coffee hound, but it’s also the home of zealous locavores. Coffee won’t grow anywhere near Oregon, so it’s hard to be both of those things at the same time. Is th   More
 
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Communi-Posting

Why can't apartment complexes have compost collection?


Dr. Know
I live in a 10-unit apartment complex. Why aren’t we allowed to compost like single-family homes? Our dumpster is overflowing, and the recycling is stuffed with pizza boxes. Shouldn’t we get   More
 
Wednesday, June 26, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Weakly by the Willamette

Are there any major cities besides Portland that use the weak-mayor system?


Dr. Know
Portland has a “weak mayor” system of governance where the mayor shares power with four commissioners. It took me a little while to wrap my head around that. Are there any other major cities   More
 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Man's Best Temp


Dr. Know
They’ve taken down the “Temporary Dog Play Area” signs at Northwest 12th Avenue and Overton Street. Now where do I take my temporary dog to play? She’s not much of a dog, but she’s all I   More
 
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Rubble Rousing

What's with the pile of rock and broken cement at Southeast Water Avenue?


Dr. Know
I drive the Marquam Bridge daily, and on the east end by Southeast Water Avenue is a pile of rock and broken cement that neither grows nor gets smaller, even though giant backhoes are active the   More
 
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 MARTY SMITH

Dr. Know: Horning In

Why do trains still have to blow their horns in town?


Dr. Know
Why in the name of the Almighty Monkey do we still have to suffer through trains blowing their horns as they crawl through town? I mean, this is 2013—can’t they figure out some better option t   More
 
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 MARTY SMITH
 

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