Annually, TriMet uses an estimated 6 million gallons of diesel fuel every year in the Portland area, resulting in around 57,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air, and while riders who opt for transit instead of cars do help lower the amount of pollution, the agency admits this is still far from ideal.
TriMet’s executive director of public affairs, Bernie Bottomly, commented in an interview with The Oregonion, “We want to make an effort to move in this direction and address what is a gigantic issue around climate change.”
As such, the plan to cut back on diesel fuel was suggested as a long-term solution. The agency stated that new single battery-electric buses are being tested with a 2016 federal grant, and they are hoping to order 80 new battery-electric buses over the course of five years using $53 million allotted to TriMet in the 2017 statewide transportation package. But with battery-electric buses still in testing, TriMet is not sure if battery power is the long-term solution and is still searching for other alternative fuels, like hydrogen.
This year, the agency will discuss future sources of funds for the project, one possible proposal is to introduce a carbon-pricing bill in 2019.
Read The Oregonian article for more information on the TriMet project.
Local veteran, Charles Patrick, is a Purple Heart recipient who served in the Oregon Army National Guard for nearly six years. While deployed in Afghanistan in 2010, Charles hit an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) and suffered severe back problems that would lead to several surgeries and rehabilitation.
This Saturday, Charles received a special gift from the “Military Warriors Support Foundation” for his service: a new home in Jefferson that was mortgage-free along with a financial advisor for the next three years, all to help him adjust to civilian life and thrive as a honored veteran. Patrick aspires to attend Oregon State University to learn engineering.
In an interview with KATU2, Patrick stated, “Not only do I get a chance to have a house, but to really have a home. It’s crazy, and it’s just such an honor and it’s amazing. Luckily I don’t have to worry about buying the house, it’s just able to be provided. And like I said, it’s going to be life-alerting in a massively great way.”
Lear more about Patrick’s gift by watching the interview on KATU2.
Multnomah County has been taking multiple measures this past year to challenge the stigma of mental health, and they recently introduced a new initiative that will involve TriMet.
Ads will be placed on the backs of buses, on benches, and at bus stops to share the stories of those struggling with mental illnesses. Leticia Sainz, in an interview with KATU2, explained their reasoning for sharing stories rather than statistics and facts. “Storytelling and stories is the way to change people’s hearts and minds around stigma. . . Our goal is to really tell just a small story about people in our community who have mental health challenges. These are people we all know and love, come from different walks of life.”
While not real people are used in the advertisements, the program made sure to pick images that would relate to the majority of diverse communities in Multnomah County, whether it is different ethnicities, ages, or gender.
Sainz concluded by stating, “We definitely hope that people get another insight into the people around them in our community and how prevalent it is to have people who are struggling with mental health concerns. . .That’s the story we’re telling because that’s the story of mental health in our community.”
Ads are already appearing on the back of buses and more will be revealed in the upcoming months.
Last Saturday, July 21st, over six hundred families rallied together in the morning for a “reunion” in front of the Randall Children’s Hospital. Each family had surrendered a newly-born family member to the neonatal intensive care unit in the hopes of saving a loved one’s life. Now, whether they had visited the NICU several months ago or many years ago, all gathered together to celebrate life with music and other activities.
Another event took place in front of Randall Children’s Hospital later that day to raise money for cancer research through the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. The event, titled “Shave to Save a Life,” gathered together current and former patients, families, staff, and friends to shave heads to raise awareness and money for the cause. A diverse crowd offered up their hair for the cause, including young children, teens, and adults from all walks of life. The foundation funds more childhood cancer research grants than any other private organization in the United States.
View an article on Fox12 Oregon for more information, pictures, and videos of the two events.
From 10am on July 14th to 10am on July 15th, participants in the Relay for Life walked the track of Fowler Middle School in Tigard, battling the heat wave that has taken over Portland this last week. The event was held to raise money for cancer research through the American Cancer Society. The goal was to raise $66,000 in 24 hours.
The only time the participants stopped was to participate in the Luminaria Ceremony, in which candles were lit for those who had passed away from cancer, battled cancer and survived, or who are currently fighting cancer.
By the time the event was concluded, over $77,000 had been raised.
Burt Waugh, a cancer survivor, said in an interview with KATU2, “Being a survivor, it certainly means a lot to me and a lot of people within the company and relatives and friends that have had cancer.”
The event is open to more donations on their website until August 31st.