Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Homeland Security vital interest in... Rubik's Cube

A toy shop owner in St. Helens was ordered by Homeland Security to remove a Rubik's Cube clone from her store. (Another link here.) Really.

Sleep tight, Oregon; they can't be bothered to inspect 95% of imported cargo containers, any one of which could contain

• a dirty bomb,

• a Soviet or Pakistani nuke sold to either North Korea or the jihad du jour, or

• some of the thousands of tons of weaponized anthrax or smallpox the Evil Empire made to destroy us with during the Cold War.

But, they can invest time in enforcing a patent which expired decades ago.

Regime change begins at home. Go vote.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Missing ballots in Clackamas County? ??

Brad Schmidt of the Oregonian writes today regarding possible missing ballots in Clackamas County.

About half the county's voters have already sent theirs in. The story refers to folks who have not yet received theirs in the mail.
A last-minute rush of voters registering before the Oct. 12 deadline created a backlog that county officials are still sorting through. Elections officials are now urging voters who haven't received ballots to contact their county elections office.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

New Tri-Met PDA schedules are out, & discussion group for TriMet

New Tri-Met PDA schedules are out. These include a free program, for Palm and for WinCE/PocketPC, so you can call up any bus, specify the date, and see the scheduled time for the next three buses to call on your stop.

And, if you'd like to participate in a discussion group for Tri-Met riders and drivers, I've set one up at Yahoo Groups with free membership and posting.

Free, yes, free Internet Access - to parts of Milwaukie and Clackamas plus Portland for today has the details. Not a ripoff, but a genuine and useful offer.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Lake Oswego: South Shore Boulevard closure for bridge repair

LAKE OSWEGO - Slated for replacement in the coming year, the deficient bridge over the Oswego Canal on South Shore Boulevard will be the topic of a public open house meeting and the cause of lane closures next week.

Starting next Tuesday, October 26, three days of drilling through the bridge deck and into the canal bottom will require closure of the sidewalk and westbound lane of traffic on the bridge between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The drilling will yield valuable information about the depth and stability of bedrock, upon which contractors will construct the new bridge.

Geo Tech Explorations of Tualatin will conduct the work, and all efforts will be made to ensure the protection of water quality and public safety. Flaggers will be on hand to direct traffic. While there will be some related noise, the rotary drill being used is not particularly loud and should not cause disruptions for nearby residents.

You can learn more about the full project timeline and preferred concepts for the new bridge at a public open house on October 28, from 6 to 8 p.m., in the gymnasium at Bryant Elementary. A public steering committee has been providing guidance and feedback to the City's contract bridge engineers during the initial design phases, and this event will provide an opportunity for the public to see what plans are in the works.

With state funds provided during the last legislative session, the preliminary project schedule calls for the design phase to be underway in November, with selection of a construction contractor by May 2005. Construction could begin as early as June 2005, with the bridge opening to traffic before the end of the year. During much of the demolition and construction work next year, the crossing will be closed completely, and South Shore Boulevard will be rerouted via detours.

South Shore Boulevard was closed on December 10, 2002, between Canal Circle and Kelok Road, after a resident noticed the bridge was failing. Separated joints, obvious grade deflection, and surface water ponding on the bridge led City staff to request an immediate closure and temporary fix for the crumbling support pilings. Since then, another temporary solution was instituted when worsening conditions were discovered.

For more information about the Oswego Canal Bridge on South Shore Boulevard, call the Engineering Department at 503-635-0270.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Construction zone speed limit enforced by covert cop

On October 21, 2004 at 11:00 am Clackamas County Sheriff's deputies will be out in force on Hwy 26 at Aldercreek Road enforcing the construction speed limit at the approximate 1.5-mile construction zone that is located there.

A Sheriff's deputy will be dressed as a survey worker; the deputy will be equipped with a tripod and will pretend to be surveying the roadways. In reality, the surveying deputy will be equipped with a laser that will be mounted to the top of his tripod. The surveying deputy will be taking speed measurements of traffic as it travels through the construction zone. Additional deputies will be waiting down the road where the surveying deputy will radio the speeds of traffic through the construction zone. The awaiting deputies will stop and cite motorists violating the construction speeds.

This is the first operation of its kind known in the state of Oregon where a deputy enforcing speed laws is disguised as a construction worker. This type of enforcement strategy has been done in the state of Washington and it was quite successful there. It is our intent to get violators to slow down and to think about their speeds prior to entering construction zones.

The media will have access to film deputies who are participating in this project.

Four Legged Friday at the Clarkes General Store

"Any customer arriving on a horse gets a free medium pizza.
Rain kept anyone from riding up Oct. 8, and the offer next is valid Friday."
A nice slice-of-life story from Jim Kadera at One of America's Newspapers.