1. Mercy Corps workers in Lebanon are not having a nice summer vacation. It's hard enough hearing news of the superpowers playing dodge ball with human lives. But if a ceasefire is not negotiated soon, a ceasefood is the future in Lebanon...
2. Two tracts of public land on Mt Hood. Some people say the land is a wilderness treasure. Others see it purely in terms of treasure. The land is up for trades with land owned by a developer in the Cooper Spur area, who will end up with more Mt. Hood Meadows land and a huge gain in assets.
3. Road Kill: Logging begins today at noon in the pristine Mike's Gulch. It the first roadless area to come under the ax since Bush rolled back the Roadless Conservation rule in 2001.
4. A deal between local ranchers and the Oregon Water Trust will mean more water for spring Chinook and summer steelhead in the Middle Fork John Day River. Ranchers are going to be paid not to irrigate. (Why not give them windfarms and buy the energy from them? It would cost about the same... )
5. Oregon Parks and Recreation is proposing to restrict the use of ATV's by young riders (I say, let those babies ride! It cleans up the gene pool... )
6. Jackson County officials are considering a mental health court that would operate much as the drug courts do in many Oregon counties, focusing on treatment rather than incarceration.
7. Eureka! Department: Having tried everything else, Central Oregon land managers have turned to Mother Nature for help controlling fires. The idea is to just let them burn (Though, not, of course, if the fire is threatening a million dollar condo... ). Natural burns, thin trees, improve soil, and add diversity to landscapes, in short, they provide for healthy forests. Why didn't they think of it before?
8. Another good idea whose time has come... back: In northeastern Montana, they've got a plan that includes herds of wild buffalo, prairie dog towns, wolves, elk, grizzly's, bighorn sheep, and of course tourists to take pictures of the abovementioned.
9. BP Exploration Alaska is shutting down its Prudhoe Bay field because of a leak. BP officials say it's just a tiny leak, really hardly a leak at all... but they want to be careful. (I'm suspicious whenever a huge oil company says it wants to lose money because the environment comes first... )
10. Cindy Sheehan is back in Crawford Texas. Just not camped in a ditch. A benefactor bought a house on property near Bush's ranch and Sheehan have set up bushwatch. Yesterday the peaceworkers held a ceremony celebrating the handing over of the keys to the peace camp. (Now if we only had the keys to peace... .)
11. we had a live interview with KBOO's Martha Odom. She is in Crawford with Sheehan and compatriots.
12. A UN ceasefire initiative for Lebanon went down in flames because it says that Israel must stop all-offensive military activity directed at Lebanon. And therein lies the rub: if Israel decides to nuke Lebanon (and don't imagine that the thought hasn't crossed the Israeli mind), it would explain that the attack was in "self-defense."
13. A poll shows that half of all Americans still think that Iraq had Weapons of Mass Destruction. (As contrasted with peaceful countries such as America and Israel... )
14. The Cuban people had a good laugh (And Gawd knows they deserve one) at Condoleeza Rice's speech exhorting them to push for democracy. (Finish this sentence: 'Cubans! Push for democracy a.) or else. B.) or we will. C.) Orwell was right.)
15. Israel stepped up attacks after Hezbollah managed to lob a few hits of its own.
16. Arab states buried Condoleeza Rice's ceasefire plan in amendments because the stench was so overpowering.
17. US troops in Iraq are concentrating their efforts on Baghdad where hundreds of thousands of Sadr City residents marched in protests over the violence and the occupation. Officially the troops are preventing civil war. Unofficially they are in the middle of a civil ear.
18. Teheran says Bush and Blair are guilty of war crimes.
19. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, international observers say that although the election went smoothly enough, votes were dumped in the rubbish and the tallies of surviving ballots didn't add up to the official outcome.
20. Turkey ahs begun building a major dam, despite criticism that the project will ruin an ancient archaeological site and displace thousands of people.
21. Lopez Obrador's hundreds of thousands of supporters camped out in the streets of Mexico city aren't moving until they get a full recount - of the votes that weren't dumped in the rubbish, of course. Not much they can do about that...
22. Bolivian president Evo Morales campaigned on a promise to give more power and opportunity to his country's indigenous majority. And now he has officially opened a Constitution Assembly to rewrite Bolivia's constitution - as promised and right on time.
23. In Sri Lanka fifteen local aid staff working on tsunami reconstruction have been found executed.
24. The high-tech biometric passports used by Britain and other countries have been hacked by a computer expert... and it seemed like such a good idea at the time...