News briefs

Portland State professors received a one-year grant to study the carbon footprints of food delivery. Carbon footprints are a measure of greenhouse gases produced by human activity on the environment, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

Faculty earns grant for carbon footprinting

Portland State professors received a one-year grant to study the carbon footprints of food delivery. Carbon footprints are a measure of greenhouse gases produced by human activity on the environment, measured in units of carbon dioxide.

Business administration faculty members Scott Marshall, Darrell Brown and Mellie Pullman, as well as system sciences associate professor Wayne Wakeland, will examine how food comes into restaurants, and what the carbon footprint would be for different methods, Pullman said.

“Olive oil might come in a five-gallon steel drum or in a bunch of smaller containers from California,” Pullman said.

Software simulation programs computing the products’ origins and energy requirements for transporting the food will be used, according to Pullman. The research group is currently trying to incorporate the footprints of different packaging into the program. The grant is being funded by the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium.

Talmage Garn

National Geographic gives grant to PSU

Teresa Bulman, a professor of geography at Portland State, has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the National Geographic Society Education Foundation. The grant will help fund development and support for Oregon K-12 geography programs and summer programs.

One such project funded in part by the grant is the Oregon Geographic Alliance’s Oregon atlas project, whose goal is a free-access online Oregon atlas designed for elementary and middle school students. The online version of the atlas will be available for public use, and hard copies will be available for purchase for use in classrooms throughout Oregon.

Since 2003, Bulman has received nearly $380,000 in grant funds toward continued support of projects she is working on throughout Oregon.

Melinda Freeland

Scottish Parliament member speaking today

Brian Adam, Chief Whip of the Scottish National Party, will be visiting Portland State on Oct. 10.

Adam, a member of Scottish Parliament, will hold a lecture called “Scotland’s Road to Independence” Wednesday in Smith Memorial Student Union, Room 328/9, followed by a general question and answer session.

As Chief Whip of the Scottish National Party, Adam ensures that party members vote together to support their parliamentary agenda. Adam convenes and serves on numerous parliamentary committees, including those dealing with the Energy, Economy and Tourism Committee, and those focusing on natural resource policy, media and culture in Scotland.

The Scottish Parliament won an historic victory during Scotland’s national elections in May of this year. This year’s elections mark the first time the Scottish National Party has been the majority party in Scotland. The lecture is open to the public and is free of charge.

Molly McCarthy

Study shows Oregon needs higher wages

A new study says Oregonians have seen the gap between their actual wages and the wages needed to live and grow in recent years.

The report, released Tuesday, was conducted by the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations.

It finds that the amount of money an individual or family needs to meet their basic needs has grown 1.5 times faster than actual wages between 2002 and 2006.

The organization is a coalition of state groups representing low-income families. It says the high cost of health care, housing, utilities and transportation are to blame for the increased cost of living wages.

Opposition fails to curb same-sex law

State election officials say opponents failed to turn in enough valid signatures to block Oregon’s new domestic partnership law for same-sex couples.

State elections officials reported Monday that the effort fell 116 valid signatures short of the 55,179 needed to suspend the law and place it on the November 2008 ballot for a popular vote.

That means that as of Jan. 1, Oregon will join eight other states that have approved spousal rights in some form for same-sex couples-Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Maine, California, Washington and Hawaii. Massachusetts is the only state that allows gay couples to marry.

Later this week, word is expected on whether opponents gathered enough signatures to block a gay rights law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation–though that effort, as well, appears to be lacking sufficient signatures.

Social conservative and church groups mounted the signature-gathering drive after the two gay rights laws were approved by the Democratic-controlled Oregon Legislature with strong backing from Gov. Ted Kulongoski, also a Democrat.

The state’s largest gay rights group called Monday’s announcement a “proud day for Oregon.”

“In refusing to sign these petitions, Oregonians showed that they aren’t interested in rolling back our anti-discrimination laws,” said John Hummel, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon.

Associated Press