Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Innovation: Handcycle Attachment Turns Wheelchair Into a Motorbike

Happened across these two videos and just had to share. I love innovation, especially when it helps people. First thing I noticed in the first video was - NO sidewalk.

Ever since the County forced that sidewalk on our street, I've been observing the changes in how my neighbors navigate the space.

My impression is that due to an engineering error, no topography maps were incorporated into the "post controversy do anything you can to calm down the people down" last minute redesign, which resulted in the sidewalk looking even more out of place than it had to, with really janky curb cuts and many, many tripping hazards.

I have watched one particularly frail wheelchair bound neighbor struggle while trying to navigate the ups and downs of the curb cuts and driveways. On at least one occasion, I found myself wanting to help him, but then stepped back because I didn't want to intrude on his sense of independence.
Enter this awesome invention - and there goes the lame argument that we need a sidewalk on our street to help our wheelchair bound citizens.
Thank you to Rio Mobility for thinking outside the sidewalk.
And to Krafty Kuts for the share. Btw - check out their beats!


(I guess I might be obsessed. It's a matter of principle, and you would be too if you had to look at the million dollar mistake every day. I have a problem with politicians who ignore their constituents, especially when we are pointing out misappropriation of funding. Long story.)

--- MMT

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Public Comment Process for Cascade Locks Water Swap Starts Next Week

Under the proposed transfer, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife would permanently give up 225 gallons per minute of spring water. That water would go to the city Of Cascade Locks.  
That sounds like a lot, but it is a small fraction of the water the state controls to supply the Oxbow Fish Hatchery, located in Cascade Locks.  
In exchange, the city would give the fish hatchery the right to some water from its wells.   Cascade Locks wants to sell the spring water to Nestle, which has proposed building a bottling plant for its Arrowhead brand.  
Environmental groups and consumer groups object to the water rights transfer. They say the city and the company are trying to sidestep a public review process. And they argue Nestle won’t pay enough for the water, given how much they sell it for.  
The City Administrator of Cascade Locks said the bottling plant will create 50 jobs. The city’s unemployment rate is close to 19 percent.  
The public comment period on the water swap begins next week.  
Here is a petition : 
More Info :

Also - check out Flow - the FILM

Want to Be a Movie Producer? Story of Stuff Is Making a Movie to Raise Awareness About Banning the Microbead

The Story of Stuff Project needs to raise $10,000 to make a movie that will raise awareness about the growing microbead pollution problem.

What are microbeads, you ask?

They are the tiny bits of plastic that companies are putting in everything from body scrubs to toothpaste.
These plastic beads escape most water treatment systems, and scientists believe the toxins they absorb along the way may be building up in the bodies of fish, marine mammals, and even humans.

Here are a couple of stories about plastic microbeads in toothpaste:

Rated TRUE on Snopes:

So, if you want to help some good change happen, consider donating to help make this Story of Stuff film about microbeads. Any contribution amount brings them closer to being able to give this problem the attention it deserves.

Donate today to make their new movie a reality, so they can make this story - and their campaign - go viral until the mess is cleaned up.

Contributions of $100 or more will be recognized with a producer credit on their website.

Never heard of the "Story of Stuff" team? Check this out:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Distracted Driving : #itsnotworthit #justdrive

Hey Everybody!
Hope this email finds you well and happy.

Hang Up and Drive!

As part of the Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign, the Mill Valley Police Department will be actively ticketing those drivers texting or operating hand-held devices during the entire month of April. Drivers who break the law and place themselves and others in danger will be cited with no warnings given. 

This April  - all California law enforcement agencies, along with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), will be conducting zero tolerance enforcement under the state's Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) campaign called "It's Not Worth It." The current minimum ticket cost is $159, with subsequent tickets costing at least $281.

Using an electronic device while driving is a serious traffic safety concern that puts everyone on the road at risk. In recent years, thousands have been killed and seriously injured in California as a result of collisions that involved at least one driver who was distracted. Nationally, an estimated 3,328 people were killed and 424,000 were injured in 2012 due to distracted driving. As a result, law enforcement across the state, including the Mill Valley Police Department, are cracking down on cell phone use and texting.

Statistical Information:
Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times more likely to get into serious-injury crashes. Younger, inexperienced drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. Texting while driving can delay a driver's reaction time just as severely as having a blood alcohol content of a legally drunk driver. There is no difference in the risks between hands-free and hand-held cell phone conversations because they both result in "inattention blindness" that occurs when the brain isn't seeing what is clearly visible because over one-third of the driver's brain is focused on the conversation not on driving. Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. A three second glance at freeway speed means a driver has traveled the distance of a football field.
To avoid a distracted driving ticket -  or worse yet, a CRASH - the Mill Valley Police Department offers the following tips:
Turn off your phone and/or put it out of reach while driving.
Don't call or text anyone at a time when you think they may be driving
Include in your outgoing phone message that you can't answer while you are driving
Avoid all distractions while driving -- eating/drinking, programming a GPS, reaching for something that fell, or being involved with your passengers The National Safety Council has more information on distracted driving and Toyota has a program directly targeted to teens and safe driving.