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Rita Hibbard's picture

Just say 'no' to plastic and paper - bring your own bags until lawmakers - and voters - get the courage to act

Just say no.

To paper and plastic.

An Oregon lawmaker is backing legislation to ban plastic bags. A big fight is shaping up, with plastic bag makers pointing to the  harmful effects of paper, and asking 'who can say paper is worse than plastic?' In Seattle last year, rita_hibbardwebvoters bowed to big spending by big plastic and chemical interests and voted down a proposal to  impose fees on all disposable bags.

The Oregon battle, a long shot to begin with, will be a tough one, marked by rhetoric and big spending by corporate interests that have derailed similar efforts around the nation. Expect that to continue. Why? Because nationwide, grocery stores and pharmacies go through about 92 billion plastic bags a year, compared to about 5 billion paper bags.

“The plastic industry … will try to win local battle by local battle,”  Marc Mihaly, director of the environmental law center at Vermont Law School, says of such contests. “They will intimidate where they can. If they can’t intimidate … they will try to influence legislators.”

But all of us could make the decision ourselves, and just bring our own re-usable bags. Yeah, it's hard to remember.  And really annoying to carry five oranges, a jar of honey and three cans of dog food out of the store with no bag. But, sigh, we could save a lot of money and energy and advertising brochures headed for the landfill if we just said 'no.'  To non-reusable bags, that is.

The Oregonian's Scott Learn writes that State Sen.

Daniel Lathrop's picture

Pew: OR, AZ, NV may go broke like CA

According to a new report from Pew Center for the States, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada are  among the nine state governments most likely to go into a California-like financial meltdown. The sobering report, called "Beyond California" identifies nine states likely to Californicate based on their poor fiscal health. The Oregonian has a quick take on the issue if you don't have time to read through the entire 65-page report.

-- Daniel Lathrop

Daniel Lathrop's picture

SBA loan defaults at record level

An Associated Press investigation datelined Redwood City, Calif., finds that small businesses are going bust in record numbers -- and leaving then federal government responsible for government-backed loans made to small businesses.

Daniel Lathrop's picture

Reno sees fewer arrests, more gangs

What ever happened to the good-old-days when we called organized criminals "racketeers" or "gangsters"? In the politically-correct era, they are now "gang members." In any case, the Reno Gazette-Journal has a "Q & A" with the head of the local gang task. The best quote is this one: "There are 30 documented gangs in the county, and we deal with about 10 percent of them on a consistent basis." Wow.

Daniel Lathrop's picture

Antedilluvian thinking in CA

Not in the sense of outdated, but in the literal meaning of "before the flood." The LA Daily News has a fascinating story about planning underway in California if climate change (or other bad luck) leads to a cataclysmic flood in the Golden State. The online presentation pushes the scare button a little too hard, but the story seems well done.

Daniel Lathrop's picture

OC Register story shows housing crisis not going away

In a great read from the front page of this morning's Orange County Register, here is part one of a two-part story on how OC's "REO King" (REO is industry a jargon for a foreclosed house) has become the number one real estate broker in Orange County, Calif. Foreclosures mean decreased home values, and decreased home values create more "underwater" homes --  dwellings that are worth less than what is owed on them.  Apparently the fed's "stimulus" is not working in Orange County.