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Health & Environment

Health, Science & Environment

American-made streetcars: Portland company rebuilds lost industry

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  • More than 65 U.S. cities are currently looking into implementing streetcars. Portland, though, is leading the way in public transportation.
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  • Minneapolis City Council keeps streetcars on track
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Jacob Wheeler, People's World

United Streetcar, a union company in Portland, Ore., and wholly owned subsidiary of Oregon Iron Works, has built the first American-made streetcar in over half a century. United Streetcar already has a deal in place to build thirteen of its streetcars for the cities of Portland and Tucson, Ariz.

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The initial streetcar was unveiled in July 2009 in a ceremony attended by Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who called Portland the transportation, streetcar and livable community capital of the United States. "I believe this is the dawn of a new era for public transportation in the United States," said LaHood. "A new opportunity to claim ‘Made in America.' It's a chance to generate good-paying union jobs right here in the region."

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Related:

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Minneapolis City Council keeps streetcars on track, Hart Van Denburg, City Pages | MN
"Last Friday (April 2), the Council took a big step forward toward make sure we put modern streetcars where they belong -- along the commercial corridors in Minneapolis that used to have them." -- RT Ryback, Minneapolis Mayor

The Lunatic’s Manual


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War is a meat grinder for service members and their families. It grinds people up without mercy, killing them and inflicting the worst kinds of wounds imaginable, physical and psychological.

Bob Herbert, New York Times | NY

Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Coleen Rowley

The Army, to its credit, tells the story of a middle-aged lieutenant colonel who had served multiple combat tours and was suffering the agonizing effects of traumatic brain injury and dementia. He also had difficulty sleeping. Several medications were prescribed.

On a visit to an emergency room, he was given a 30-tablet refill of Ambien. He went to his car and killed himself by ingesting the entire prescription with a quantity of rum. He left a suicide note that said his headaches and other pain were unbearable.

As if there is not enough that has gone tragically wrong in this era of endless warfare, the military is facing an epidemic of suicides. In the year that ended Sept. 30, 2009, 160 active duty soldiers took their own lives — a record for the Army. The Marines set their own tragic record in 2009 with 52 suicides. And this past June, another record was set — 32 military suicides in just one month.

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Gulf of Mexico Has Long Been Dumping Site

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“This has been the nation’s sacrifice zone, and has been for 50-plus years.” Aaron Viles, campaign director for the Gulf Restoration Network, a nonprofit group.

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Campbell Robertson, New York Times

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Submitted by Evergreene Digest Contributing Editor Ken Mitchell

Derick E. Hingle/Bloomberg News

Loulan Pitre Sr. was born on the Gulf Coast in 1921, the son of an oysterman. Nearly all his life, he worked on the water, abiding by the widely shared faith that the resources of the Gulf of Mexico were limitless.

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As a young Marine staff sergeant, back home after fighting in the South Pacific, he stood on barges in the gulf and watched as surplus mines, bombs and ammunition were pushed over the side.

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He helped build the gulf’s very first offshore oil drilling platforms in the late 1940s, installing bolts on perilously high perches over the water. He worked on a shrimp boat, and later as the captain of a service boat for drilling platforms.

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New Republican Genius Plan: Defund Suddenly Popular Health Care Bill!

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  • The Republican leadership is practically cackling with glee at the prospect of reducing the health care law to “swiss cheese” by not paying for stuff.
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  • Starve the Beast
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Wonkette

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The Health Care Reform law that recently passed included a single fatal flaw: instead of being physically installed in our constitution, along with the rights to free abortions and nonstop sodomy, it was merely passed as a “law” that could potentially be repealed. That probably won’t happen so long as Dr. Obama can veto things; but, instead of just giving the new Death Panel Czar the key to the Treasury, the law put Congress in charge of appropriating the money to pay for various important Health Care dealies! And this is not subject to veto, apparently? There was no “Schoolhouse Rock” on the topic, so we wouldn’t know. Anyway, now many Republicans are just running on a “we will not pay for this health care, even though the law requires us to” platform, which should go over great with an electorate that has discovered that it loves the law after all.

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Summary: Gulf Coast Oil Spill Disaster: Week of August 1

3 New Items including:

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  • Video series: The human toll of the BP blowout
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  • A Tale of Two Spills
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David Culver, ed., Evergreene Digest

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Tom Toles

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A chronology of the ongoing administration-wide response to the Deepwater BP Oil Spill, The White House
The most comprehensive, detailed information is available at this Website, especially in the Daily Updates

Video series: The human toll of the BP blowout, World Socialist Website

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  • The economic impact
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  • The effect on human health
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  • The social impact
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  • The environment
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  • Residents respond to the disaster
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A Tale of Two Spills, Antonia Juhasz, Dollars & Sense
Want to know how long it will take to clean up the BP spill, and how little BP could end up paying? Take a look at the Exxon Valdez spill, 20+ years on.
To make BP pay, Obama must learn from his predecessors’ mistakes.

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