Sightline Daily top picks 04/13/2009

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Sightline Daily | Northwest News That Matters

Top Picks of the Day

1. Oregon’s ‘New West’ economy goes bust

Bend’s transformation from timber town to outdoor recreation mecca once defined the booming “New West” economy. Now, it’s one of Oregon’s hardest hit areas, with hundreds of empty homes and carpenters, masons, mortgage brokers, real-estate agents, architects and others struggling to make a living when there is no need for big new subdivisions. Seattle Times 04/12/2009
2. Obama too cautious on climate change?

President Obama’s budget initially included roughly $650 billion in revenue over 10 years from a cap-and-trade emissions plan, but he did not fight to keep cap-and-trade in the budget resolutions that Congress passed last week. Has the administration scaled back its global-warming goals, at least for this year, or is it engaged in sophisticated misdirection? New York Times 04/12/2009
3. Best bang for energy efficiency bucks

Community organizers want the WA Legislature to set aside up to $30 million in federal stimulus funds for energy upgrades on middle-class homes and small businesses, from installing new insulation to replacing oil-burning furnaces. But some want the freedom to spend it on other energy-saving measures, such as retrofitting power-sucking hospitals and other large buildings. Tacoma News Tribune 04/12/2009
4. Oil industry braces for drop in US thirst for gas

Since Henry Ford began mass production of the Model T nearly a century ago, car-loving Americans have gulped ever-increasing volumes of gasoline. A growing number of industry players believe that era is over. The result could be profoundly transformational, since much of contemporary America — from the design of its cities to its tax code and its foreign policy — is predicated on a growing thirst for gasoline. Wall Street Journal 04/12/2009
5. Muckleshoots worry 520 tunnel could harm salmon

With Olympia locked in a power struggle over plans to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct and the 520 floating bridge, the Muckleshoot tribe is raising concerns about a 520 tunnel idea favored by neighbors along western Lake Washington. The area is already a gauntlet where the lake’s seagoing salmon must pass on their way to and from the ocean. Seattle Times 04/12/2009
6. N. Idaho city may ban drive-throughs

To better handle growth and make a more attractive city, Sandpoint, ID is considering banning drive-through restaurants, banks, coffee shops, pharmacies, dry cleaners and other businesses that cater to customers in cars. Seattle Times 04/12/2009
7. Honeybee, be mine

Beekeeping is all the buzz among a rising class of urban gardeners, organic hipsters and retired hobbyists. Some want pollinators to work their vegetable gardens, or just fresh honey, but many are worried about colony collapse disorder. Oregonian 04/12/2009
8. Portland couple makes freight deliveries by bike

A husband and wife team are biking freight — yes, that’s right, heavy freight — around downtown Portland, in an effort to replace trucks. Oregon Public Broadcasting 04/13/2009
9. In an age of austerity, the miserly thrive

Americans’ spending is down and their personal savings are up – sharply. The savings rate in the United States, which had fallen steadily since the early 1980s, has recently spiked to 5 percent. The gleefully frugal happily seek new ways to economize and take pride in outsaving the Joneses. The mantra is cut, cut, cut – magazine and cable subscriptions, credit cards, fancy coffee drinks and your own hair. New York Times 04/12/2009
10. ‘Toxic toy’ tests delayed

Local toy makers and sellers have gotten a one-year reprieve for testing and certification requirements for some children’s products. The U.S. law was introduced after a wave of recalled toxic toys, many from China, but local sellers believe it’s poorly crafted. Everett Herald 04/13/2009

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