Sightline Daily top picks 07/06/2009

1. A better bike share for Portland

Once again Portland, Ore., is considering a bicycle sharing program, this time with user fees and better bikes. Think of it as a Zipcar with pedals. Oregonian 07/05/2009
2. Empty lot, anyone?

The high-rise boom has gone quiet, and a new challenge faces San Francisco and other urban areas: deciding what to do with land cleared for towers that may not rise for another decade – if at all. Some alternatives to parking lots: sculpture exhibitions, temporary parks and, in Seattle, food vendors serving up pork near the Pike Place Market. San Francisco Chronicle 07/05/2009
3. Vancouver BC takes on slum landlords

Vancouver BC’s city council is poised to use new powers to crack down on landlords of decrepit buildings. But the city walks a fine line between shutting buildings down and maintaining access to affordable, but well-maintained housing, Vancouver Sun 07/05/2009
4. From okra to orcas, it’s all connected

A plan to restore salmon runs on California’s Sacramento River that could curtail water in the nation’s most productive farm region could also help revive killer whale populations 700 miles to the north in Puget Sound, as federal scientists struggle to protect endangered species in a complex ecosystem along the Pacific Coast. Bellingham Herald 07/05/2009
5. Seattle may allow backyard cottages

Seattle officials are considering allowing detached cottages to be built in back yards across the city, calling them a “real-life solution” for people who want to downsize, make a place for a family member to live or need affordable housing. But some neighborhoods have not been convinced. Seattle Times 07/06/2009
6. Gleaners clean up on food

In a tough Oregon economy, an increasing number of families are are gathering food from fields, orchards, grocery stores and commercial food producers that would otherwise go to waste or be discarded. Gleaners take home half of what they gather, and the other half goes to disabled residents or senior citizens who cannot do the work themselves. Eugene Register Guard 07/06/2009
7. Inmates stunningly successful at raising frogs

An inmate at WA’s Cedar Creek Corrections Center smiles like a proud parent holding the squirmy green-and-black endangered Oregon spotted frogs he babied from eggs to tadpoles to juvenile frogs only steps from his prison cell. The success of the inmates’ 85-cent-per-hour job has stunned researchers. Seattle Times 07/06/2009
8. Chasing butterflies

The Fender’s blue butterfly does a lot of living in a very short time. It has to. In its adult form, the silver dollar-sized pollinator has only 10 days to find a mate before it dies. Benton County, OR, is drafting a conservation plan for it and other prairie plants and animals once common in the Willamette Valley but now facing the possibility of extinction. Corvallis Gazette Times 07/05/2009
9. Green jobs sprout in Oregon

A new Oregon state report found an estimated 51,402 green jobs in 2008 spread across 5,025 employers. The industry with the most? Construction. Salem Statesman Journal 07/05/2009

10. Iconic skyscrapers invigorated by going green
Buildings that define city skylines across the country, some national icons, are catching up to the sleek, new structures designed with efficiency in mind. Environmental retrofits have begun to pay off for owners and tenants alike as new technology at older buildings has started to translate into higher property values, leases and occupancy rates. Seattle Times 07/05/2009

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