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Thursday, February 28, 2013

From Matt Wuerker

Copyright 2013 by Matt Wuerker. Used by permission.

Comments (15)

"I'm sorry, but with the sequester, there won't be any campaign contributions. At all. To anyone."

Obama and Simpson and Bowles came up with this idea, and Obama liked it, then. Now, not so much. Or even way less than that.

My wife sexquestered me about 10 years ago, and there has been little or no compromise by her in all of that time. I am beginning to think the cuts may be permanent.

What percentage of the proposed budget is being sequestered?

How much is spending being reduced compared to last year?

The year before?


Jim Karlock,
Did I read you want the bridge - just higher with no train - but you think we need a new bridge? I know we've disagreed on some things, but I always like to factor in your opinion.

Oh, and you're right about this sequestration thing. It's a charade wrapped in a pageant.

Did I read you want the bridge - just higher with no train - but you think we need a new bridge?
JK: My opinion is a bit undecided, except:
1. No light rail
2. No BRT
3. No tolls.

Beyond that there is a need to improve the cross river capacity, but building at another location first makes a lot of sense in earthquake territory in a time of terrorism.

If they just have to have it at I5 then see: NoBridgeTolls.com also CRCfacts.info, noTolls.com couv.com


The fact that you don't dismiss the need for a bridge makes me feel better about my stance. I'm starting from the earthquake/infrastructure angle and trying to ignore the cast of opportunists who've shown up to feast.

For years, I've brought up the idea of having temporary bridges stashed around just in case they all go out in a 9.0 quake, so I'd feel hypocritical if I was against upgrading our river crossing capacity now.

Of course, I feel a little like an alarmist, but you read what the scientists say, and you can't help but be. In fact, we might be downplaying the risks here:

There's one Big Worry on the Northwest List that I haven't seen explored: The interaction between the Big One, Hanford and the Columbia.

"The big one"

I have a close friend in risk management with Bonneville. His team has studied the effects of a major Cascadia subduction zone quake extensively.

His take is currently this:

Bonneville Dam and parts East will fare well. The dividing line is pretty much a jig saw line that forms the foothills of the cascades. Most of the valley and coast/coast range near the quake is toast due to liquification of the upper soils. Not much infrastructure will remain intact.

The resistance to severe shaking starts at around 1000ft in the foothills of the cascades, and depends on how far you are from the epicenter. Bottom line: unless you're high in the Cascades or on the East side of the Pacific Crest trail, you are at risk when "the big one" hits...

I wonder what your friend thinks we should do about the CRC.

As far as Hanford, where we currently have 6 leaking waste tanks, an earthquake can't help. By the way, replacement tanks cost 150 to 500 million each. If there's anything we've learned from Fukushima it's that the initial quake and tsunami can fade leaving us with a much bigger nuclear disaster. The current tanks are around 5 to 7 miles from the river leaking 1000 gallons of the most God-awful stuff on earth each year. But how does that change after a big event? How vulnerable is Hanford to the Big One or any quake? Here's part of one article:

"You think about the Cascades as being a big façade -- a big edifice that looks like it blocks (seismic activity)," Sherrod says. But he and his comrades have detected similar magnetic alignments on either side of the Cascades, some at depths indicating that the faults formed long before the range's volcanoes did. That suggests, Sherrod says, that they extend all the way through the mountain range -- a major shift in the geologic understanding of the region.


Those leaking tanks at Hanford ought to be a priority as far as spending dollars. Yes it would be a disaster on the current bridge if an earthquake, but more disastrous on those leaking tanks if not taken care of. It would be good to know all the details needed to make best decisions possible, not the ones that have been made based on politics.

Dear Mr. McDonald, smartass though you are (thankfully), you are also wise. The 'Big One' worries me. Hanford terrifies me. My (worthless) brother is a Nuke engineer. He worked at Hanford many years ago and told me much about how inept the whole situation was managed - by people with no education in nuclear science. It remains the same today as near as I can tell. I am a 'downwinder', and continue to pay the price. I do not have many years left, but I am deeply concerned about the young people down river of Hanford - and apparently helpless to do any thing about it.

B.P. Red,
Thanks for the kind words.

Summing up the situation with the tanks: The Governor of Washington says there's currently no technology to plug these leaks. Another article says new tanks run 150 to 500 million each. There are 6 leaking now with 177 tanks total.

We might as well build a new bridge. We could need it to flee north.

Bill McDonald: The fact that you don't dismiss the need for a bridge makes me feel better about my stance. I'm starting from the earthquake/infrastructure angle and trying to ignore the cast of opportunists who've shown up to feast.
JK: The most pathetic aspect of the CRC is some earlier tolling study that said if we tolled the current bridge, that would cure the congestion problem. Of course the toll would hurt people, but the promoters never mention that.

The bridges are near/over capacity and we really need redundancy across the river. Several locations have been suggested including the West Side Bypass going North from Beaverton/Hillsborro to something around Troutdale. Of course none of these meets the purpose and need of the CRC project because they cannot improve bike/ped/transit in the I5 corridor. And most important of all, only the current location works with the Goldschmit toy train.

Another seldom mentioned fact is that a simple bridge would cost around $½ Billion, so we could build 7 of them for the cost of this Goldschmidt toy.

PS: I don’t know how many people here realize that the minimum rush hour toll will be $4 each way, or about $2000 just to get to work if you work across the river. All that harm to working people, just to build a expensive, slow, inconvenient toy train for the air heads at Metro.


Can we sequester the Milwaukie light rail, and the CRC light rail? Wouldn't that be like 2-3% of the total sequester right there?

Oh, and this idea of budget sequestration isn't new - they tried it in 1985 when parties couldn't agree, and they just worked around in through the maze that is federal law.

It was repealed, and all those holes were closed up. What's old is suddenly new again, except the holes aren't there for them to weasel around it this time.

Bad policy never magically turns into good policy, but apparently our Congress Critters (and our President) haven't figured that out.

Fred --

One of the morning news shows today (march 1) listed among the horribles coming the suspension of Social Security and old age and disability payments due to folks being laid off sometime in April at both Treasury and SSA.

Wanna' bet that nobody at Treasury, now run by Jack Lew, the inventor of "sequesration", ever suggests delaying an ineres paymen to he Chinese due to a lack of folks to set up he electronic transfers?

The Obama administration lacks all shame, as well as all sense.

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