News

NYT Politics

Voters in Two States Report Threatening ‘Vote for Trump’ Emails
Author: Nick Corasaniti, Ben Decker and Stephanie Saul
One of the emails, obtained by The Times, seemed to suggest that it was sent by an American far-right group, but its metadata showed that it originated from an Estonian server.
Trump’s Campaign Cash Dwindled to $63 Million Entering October
Author: Shane Goldmacher and Rachel Shorey
New financial filings showed the extent of the president’s cash troubles, as he is now badly outmatched by Joe Biden.
Trump Calls on Barr to ‘Act’ Against Biden Before Election
Author: Maggie Haberman and Michael Crowley
The president is increasingly fixated on seeing criminal action against his political opponents.
Trump Records Shed New Light on Chinese Business Pursuits
Author: Mike McIntire, Russ Buettner and Susanne Craig
As he raises questions about his opponent’s standing with China, President Trump’s taxes reveal details about his own activities there, including a previously unknown bank account.

Seattle Times Politics

Seattle leaders announce flu vaccination sites, urge residents to get shots as COVID-19 cases climb
Author: Daniel Beekman

The Seattle Visiting Nurse Association is offering walk-up/drive-through flu shots at more than a dozen schools and other public sites in and near Seattle.
Seattle City Council could consider new car-tab fees after I-976 thrown out in court
Author: Heidi Groover

Less than a week after the Washington Supreme Court struck down an initiative limiting car-tab taxes, Seattle City Council members might consider new vehicle fees to help address looming budget shortfalls.  Councilmember Andrew Lewis on Tuesday said the council should discuss going back to voters to renew a $60 car-tab fee that funds bus service […]

Columbian Newspaper

NASA craft touches asteroid’s surface
Author: MARCIA DUNN, Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A NASA spacecraft descended to an asteroid Tuesday and, dodging boulders the size of buildings, momentarily touched the surface to collect a handful of cosmic rubble for return to Earth.

It was a first for the United States — only Japan has scored asteroid samples.

“Touchdown declared,” a flight controller announced to cheers and applause. “Sampling is in progress.”

Confirmation came from the Osiris-Rex spacecraft as it made contact with the surface of the asteroid Bennu more than 200 million miles away. But it could be a week before scientists know how much, if much of anything, was grabbed and whether another try will be needed. If successful, Osiris-Rex will return the samples in 2023.

“I can’t believe we actually pulled this off,” said lead scientist Dante Lauretta of the University of Arizona. “The spacecraft did everything it was supposed to do.”

Osiris-Rex took 4 1/2 hours to make its way down from its tight orbit around Bennu, following commands sent well in advance by ground controllers near Denver.

Bennu’s gravity was too low for the spacecraft to land — the asteroid is just 1,670 feet across. As a result, it had to reach out with its 11-foot robot arm and attempt to grab at least 2 ounces of Bennu.

The University of Arizona’s Heather Enos, deputy scientist for the mission, described it as “kissing the surface with a short touch-and-go measured in just seconds.” At Mission Control for spacecraft builder Lockheed Martin, controllers on the TAG team — for touch-and-go — wore royal blue polo shirts and black masks with the mission patch. The coronavirus pandemic had resulted in a two-month delay.

Tuesday’s operation was considered the most harrowing part of the mission, which began with a launch from Cape Canaveral back in 2016.

A van-sized spacecraft with an Egyptian-inspired name, Osiris-Rex aimed for a spot equivalent to a few parking spaces on Earth in the middle of the asteroid’s Nightingale Crater. After nearly two years orbiting the boulder-packed Bennu, the spacecraft found this location to have the biggest patch of particles small enough to be swallowed up.

After determining that the coast was clear, Osiris-Rex closed in the final few yards for the sampling. The spacecraft was programmed to shoot out pressurized nitrogen gas to stir up the surface, then suck up any loose pebbles or dust, before backing away.

Osiris-Rex could make two more touch-and-go maneuvers if Tuesday’s sample comes up short.

Group completes Frog Ferry water taxi study, eyes Vancouver’s Terminal 1
Author: Anthony Macuk

Friends of Frog Ferry, the nonprofit group working to bring a water taxi service to the Portland area, announced Tuesday that it had finished an operational feasibility study and finance plan including some basic cost and timeline estimates for development of the service.

The group hopes to launch an initial proof-of-concept route in 2022 that would not include Vancouver, but the plan calls for the city to join the route a couple years later.

The study includes Vancouver as part of the line’s “core route,” serving as its northern terminus.

Friends of Frog Ferry founder Susan Bladholm and consultant John Sainsbury outlined the results of the study at a virtual press conference Tuesday morning, along with the group’s plans for developing the 26.1-nautical mile route.

The envisioned route along the Willamette and Columbia Rivers would be divided into two sections — an “upper river” portion that would run between downtown Portland and Oregon City (or possibly just Lake Oswego at first) and a “lower river” section that would run between Portland and Vancouver.

“One of the first things we realized in doing our route assessment is those two sections of the river, the lower river and the upper river, are very different,” Sainsbury said.

The upper river section would use shorter, more maneuverable vessels due to the area’s constrained geography and higher river traffic levels. Both routes would use low-wake “catamaran”-style hulls, in single-deck configurations in order to fit under Portland’s Steel Bridge without needing a bridge lift.

A trip from Vancouver to Portland would take about 55 minutes, Sainsbury said, including a stop at Cathedral Park in north Portland, or 44 minutes on a direct “express” trip, which Bladholm said the service could potentially include.

The study found that the line would require seven vessels — six for the upper river route, two for the lower river and one as a backup. Vessels on each route section would operate with 30-minute headways. The ferries would carry 70 or 100 passengers, depending on the size, which the group claimed would translate to moving about 3,000 passengers per day.

The service would cost $40 million to start up, according to the study, with about $6.8 million in operating costs — or about $8.50 per passenger. Regular passenger tickets would be priced at $5, Bladholm said, and a $2.5 million annual subsidy would be needed to cover the remainder of the operational costs.

Bladholm said the group’s next steps will be to develop an operational plan and map out funding opportunities. The nonprofit hopes to win federal funding for the project, which would require partnering with a public agency that could receive the funds.

The goal would be to plan out the pilot version of the service, which would only run as far north as Cathedral Park in Portland, next year and bring it online in 2022, Bladholm said, with full-route service targeted to begin in 2024.

The feasibility study identified Terminal 1 as an ideal location for a Vancouver ferry stop, although it states that the terminal’s current dock would need major modifications such as a physical extension with a ferry-only landing zone and a new ADA-compliant access ramp. The report estimated the total cost of the modifications at $725,000.

Some of the needed improvements, such as enhanced pedestrian access to the dock area, will happen as part of the Port of Vancouver’s planned redevelopment of Terminal 1. The study report indicates that the ferry supporters are hoping that the remaining improvements can be added to the scope of the redevelopment project.

“We have been in conversations with the Friends of Frog Ferry and while Terminal 1 is not part of Frog Ferry’s initial launch, we will continue to stay engaged with Friends of Frog Ferry and monitor the progress of this interesting project,” port spokeswoman Therese Lang said in a statement. “It’s too early for us to make any commitments at this stage, especially because the port is so focused on the construction of the landing project at this time. But we are looking forward to seeing how the Frog Ferry project evolves and will look for potential opportunities to partner with the Friends of Frog Ferry in the future.”

 

Martinez: Call goes out for nominations for classic prep football playoff games to revisit
Author: Tim Martinez

The leaves are starting to change color. The days are getting cooler and shorter.

It’s the heart of autumn in Washington, and this week should have been Week 8 of the high school football season.

But this year, it is not.

And as frustrating as that is, we hope that our Friday Night Flashback series is helping to fill that void in a little way.

In addition as serving as a reminder of games in years past – or even introducing you to games that you knew very little about – talking to participants in these classic games have also brought to light details that I hadn’t previously heard.

That’s been my favorite.

Here are the game’s that we have revisited to date.

And we will complete the regular-season portion of our schedule with:

  • Oct. 23: Toledo 33, Ridgefield 27, 7 OTs, from 1983.
  • Oct. 30: Union 14, Camas 13, from 2017.

After that, we will move to postseason game, which are some of the most memorable games in prep history in Southwest Washington.

And, once again, we are asking fans to submit suggestions on which games we should revisit.

To help stir up some ideas, we offered up about a dozen playoff games over the past two decades on our high school sports blog. But I’ll admit my ability to offer games from even farther back in history are a challenge.

When we get more suggestions, we’ll add them to this list. And then we’ll put those suggestions up to a fan vote to help us select the top six postseason games to spotlight.

So drop us a tweet at @360preps or @360TMart, leave us a comment on our website or Facebook page or send us an email at sports@columbian.com if you have a game to suggest.

Deputies respond to stabbing in Northeast Hazel Dell
Author: Jerzy Shedlock

Law enforcement and medics responded to a stabbing Tuesday in Northeast Hazel Dell.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched around 5 p.m. to the 7000 block of Northeast 31st Avenue for the report of an assault with a weapon.

Emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian indicated that the incident involved roommates.

The victim had reportedly been stabbed in the chest with a short switchblade, according to the radio traffic.

About 15 minutes after the initial emergency dispatch, police were attempting to contact the suspect. It was unclear if they were still inside the residence. The victim apparently escaped and was speaking with police.

This story will be updated.

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