The daily Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) 1961-current, December 21, 2017, Image 20

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145TH YEAR, NO. 124 // THURSDAY, DECEMBER 21, 2017
‘Cap and
invest’ bill
takes shape
Aimed at reducing
greenhouse gases
Capital Bureau
PORTLAND — Two Democratic
lawmakers have released details of a
carbon “cap and invest” bill that their
party has prioritized for approval
during Oregon’s legislative session in
Modeled after a program in Cal-
ifornia, their proposal would effec-
tively charge Oregon industry for
emitting carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere. The goal of the program
is to encourage businesses to embrace
technologies and practices that curb
the release of greenhouse gases that
warm the climate and to invest in
projects that help the general popula-
tion reduce their carbon footprint.
“We have two competing
needs: We want to reduce
emissions, but we don’t
want to put businesses out
of business so their progress
is light in the early years.”
Michael Dembrow
State senator of Portland
Photos by Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
A worker navigates scaffolding underneath the Astoria Bridge in April.
By JACK HEFFERNAN | The Daily Astorian
n what has become a rarity this decade, drivers and busi-
nesses will not need to concern themselves with pro-
longed closures next year on the major bridges surround-
ing Astoria and Warrenton.
The state Department of Transportation is in dif-
ferent phases of refurbishment projects on the Astoria
Bridge, New Youngs Bay Bridge, Lewis and Clark River
Bridge and Old Youngs Bay Bridge. The Old Youngs Bay and
Lewis and Clark projects are nearly complete, while repairs on
the other two are scheduled to take place in 2019 and beyond.
Though some smaller closures may still occur, it will mark the
first time in at least six years that travelers are not expected to
endure extended delays, ODOT spokesman Lou Torres said.
“It has to do with funding. You fit them into different steps
and you have different funding windows,” he said. “It will prob-
ably be a welcomed break for everybody.”
See BRIDGES, Page 4A
Work to repair the Old Youngs Bay Bridge was completed ear-
lier this year.
A similar bill in 2016 drew strong
opposition from certain Oregon busi-
ness groups, including Associated
Oregon Industries, since merged into
Oregon Business & Industry.
Since then, state Sen. Michael
Dembrow of Portland and Rep. Ken
Helm of Beaverton have assembled
a series of work groups to address
concerns from business and indus-
try, environmentalists and advocates
for minorities and residents of rural
A bill summary released Wednes-
day outlines changes to the proposal
that address some of those concerns.
“We have two competing needs:
We want to reduce emissions, but
we don’t want to put businesses out
of business so their progress is light
in the early years,” Dembrow said.
“Heavy emitters that are at risk of
competition from other states or coun-
tries that don’t have high standards,
they are going to be given allowances
in early years to help them transition
into the program. We want to keep it
predictable and not have rate shocks.”
The bill is scheduled to be drafted
and released to the public in early
January. Some of the highlights of the
changes are:
• About 20 percent of the hun-
dreds of millions of dollars generated
from carbon allowance sales would
See BILL, Page 4A
Downtown ambassador — with ticket power
New parking enforcement officer in Astoria
The Daily Astorian
Ronni Harris promises she won’t
be a parking Nazi.
The local artist was hired as Asto-
ria’s new community outreach officer
to enforce parking rules and help visi-
tors navigate downtown.
Her role is “educating, and then
also writing tickets, but also being a
friendly downtown Astoria ambassa-
dor,” she said.
Harris is a part-time employee
funded by lodging taxes in the city’s
Promote Astoria fund whose hours
will mirror the times of metered
downtown parking. Sarah Lu Heath,
the director of the Astoria Downtown
Historic District Association, said the
city had requested the partnership and
will receive any of the money from
tickets, while the downtown associa-
tion gets an ambassador to help direct
The city has long had a downtown
parking district between Seventh to
16th streets and the Astoria Riverwalk
to Franklin Avenue where parking is
mostly limited to two hours or less.
Parking is also prohibited to business
owners, employees and downtown
residents to help create turnover for
visitors and customers.
Colin Murphey/The Daily Astorian
See PARKING, Page 4A
Ronni Harris, Astoria’s new community outreach officer, crosses
Commercial Street in downtown Astoria.