Back to the Future?


High-speed rail is coming to California. The $68.4 billion project – most expensive public-works in U.S. history – will transport passengers at speeds up to 220 miles per hour between Los Angeles and San Francisco, making the 500-mile trip in 2 hours and 40 minutes. California voters in 2008 approved a ballot measure authorizing $9.95 billion general obligation bonds. At that time the estimated cost was $40 billion.

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Nuns and Bowie Kuhn

cold playoffs
Cubs and Mets 2015 National League Championship Series

Last night the Kansas City Royals beat the New York Metropolitans – Mets for short – in the first game of the World Series. They did it in fourteen innings played over five hours in fifty-five degree weather. The last time a World Series game went that many innings was in 2005 when the White Sox beat the Astros in game three. (The White Sox swept the Series in four games.) That game lasted five hours and forty-one minutes. It hasn’t always been this way. In 1916, the Red Sox beat the Brooklyn Robins – aka Dodgers – in fourteen innings. That game lasted 2:32.

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Tilikum Crossing

With great fanfare, Portland opened its new bridge across the Willamette River. The Tilikum Crossing, or “Bridge of the People,” is open to pedestrians, bicyclists, buses, streetcars, light rail, and emergency vehicles. Private automobiles and trucks are not allowed on the bridge.

The name comes from the Native-American Chinook Jargon, meaning people, tribe or family.

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Atlas Obscura

Ever wonder about package delivery before Amazon? Do you know why millipedes in Sequoia National Park glow in the dark? Maybe a cafe shaped like a camera, where you can sit inside and look out through a lens would make you want to travel  to Seoul, Korea? Want something that will help you to spend more time on the Internet? The answer is Atlas Obscura.

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We Love Our Dogs

Yes, everybody loves dogs. A person’s dog is part of the image one wants to present to others. In Portland, it’s common to find water bowls outside the entrances to businesses.

After years of planning and work, the city of Portland officially opened the South Waterfront Greenway in what was previously a heavy industrial area.

Late last May the fences came down from around the new sod. Here’s what it looked like: lush green grass.

South Waterfront Greenway - May 2015
South Waterfront Greenway – May 2015

Perfect for walking your dog. Here’s what it looks like less than two months later.

South Waterfront Greenway - July 2015
South Waterfront Greenway – July 2015

Water Fight

California’s San Joaquin Valley produces 25% of our nation’s table food using 1% of the nation’s land. Grapes – table, raisin and wine – cotton, nuts – especially almonds and pistachios – lettuce, citrus, tomatoes are among the more than 250 crops grown in the area. Pretty impressive for what is basically a desert. But it’s using up what water it has available.

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