Cassandra Profita

Reporter for Earthfix
Measure 92
5:40 am
Wed December 10, 2014

Judge Denies Measure 92 Supporters' Request To Halt Certification Of Vote

Credit Lindsay Eyink

A judge has denied the request from supporters of a food labeling measure in Oregon to block the certification of election results.

Measure 92 would require food manufacturers and retailers to label genetically engineered foods. It fell just 800 votes short in the November election, and a statewide recount is underway.

Supporters filed a lawsuit Monday to get the state to count around 46 hundred ballots that had been rejected for invalid signatures.

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Food Waste
7:14 am
Wed November 19, 2014

The Future Of Food Waste: Powering Our Homes, Cars And Buses

The City of San Diego runs its fleet of buses on compressed natural gas. It is the first customer for the biogas that a company called Novus Pacific plans to make out of onion and potato manufacturing waste in Boardman, Oregon.
Credit City of San Diego

A pile of food waste can make rich compost for the garden. But some Northwest companies are going beyond composting. This week we’ve been bringing you stories on the challenges of wasted food. We discovered three companies that are using it to power homes, race cars and city buses.

Remember that last scene in Back to the Future?

Doc: “Marty you’ve got to come with me.”
Marty: “Where?”
Doc: “Back to the Future.”

Doc tears into Marty’s driveway in the DeLorean time machine and raids the trash can.

Doc: “I need fuel”

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Food Waste
7:28 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Curbside Composting: No One Said It Would Be Easy

awrence Klein, facility manager of the Seattle-based composting company Cedar Grove, walks past rows of maturing compost. Plastic and metal in the food waste adds to the cost of turning waste into compost for yards and gardens.
Credit Katie Campbell / Earthfix

Portland and Seattle are working to reduce the environmental impacts of food waste by offering curbside composting. But no one said it would be easy. We’ve been taking a look this week at the challenges and opportunities of wasted food.  Cassandra Profita from our EarthFix team looks at what two Northwest cities are doing to get people to put the right things in the compost bin.

Paul Kelly was assigned a new task this year. He's standing in a lake of purple liquid, picking through a pile of rotting food with a pitchfork.

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Food Waste
6:54 am
Mon November 17, 2014

How Northwest Cities Are Reducing The Impacts Of Food Waste

In the U.S., we waste about 40 percent of all of the food we produce. A lot of that food winds up rotting in landfills and releasing air pollution. But many cities are trying to turn it into something more valuable and less harmful to the environment. EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita kicks off our series of reports this week on food waste by exploring the virtues of curbside composting:

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Sea Stars
6:44 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Oregon Divers Find Hope In Thousands Of Young Sea Stars

Divers with the Oregon Coast Aquarium discovered thousands of juvenile sea stars in Florence.
Credit Oregon Coast Aquarium

A team of divers has discovered thousands of young sea stars off the Oregon coast near Florence. Some say it could be a sign of recovery from a disease that's been wiping out sea stars all along the Pacific coast.

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Wilderness
7:14 am
Thu September 4, 2014

The Wilderness Act Part III: The Future Of Wilderness

Locals in Oregon's Malheur County worry that a wilderness designation on the Owyhee canyonlands will close roads and restrict access to the land they love to explore.
Credit Stephen Baboi / Earthfix

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. The landmark environmental law requires that wilderness areas remain roadless and untrammeled by people. As part of our series on the law, EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita visited a proposed wilderness area in the southeast corner of Oregon. She explains why it's harder to create wilderness now than it was half a century ago.
 

Hansen: "Echo!"

Chris Hansen calls out into a desert canyon in Southeast Oregon's Leslie Gulch.

Hansen: "Hello!"

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Honeybees
6:45 am
Mon August 18, 2014

The Perilous Life Of A Professional Honeybee

Beekeeper George Hansen pulls on a protective suit.
Credit Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

The death and disappearance of  bees is raising questions and concerns from Northwest neighborhoods all the way up to the White House. Some attribute bee declines to the use of certain pesticides – especially after chemicals killed thousands of bees in Oregon. But as EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita explains, researchers are still trying to determine how much of the nation’s bee problem stems from pesticide exposure.

Beekeeper George Hansen just got some good news.

Hansen: “So they’ve made some honey here.”

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Northwest Beer
7:26 am
Thu June 19, 2014

Tasting Old Growth Forest In Your Beer

Matt Wagoner points to a standing dead tree on a recent hike.
Credit Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

Some Portland brewers have a challenge for you. Can you taste the forest in their beer? Is it an old growth forest or one that's been logged? They’ve been collecting wild yeast from both types of forest and using it to ferment some beer. EarthFix reporter Cassandra Profita joined a recent hiking group that tasted the results.

Wagoner: "Alright, let's stop right here."

Matt Wagoner of the Forest Park Conservancy, is leading a hike through a little known parcel of old growth forest. It's about 20 minutes from downtown Portland.

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Wetlands
7:21 am
Tue May 6, 2014

The Wetland That Saved Highway 101 From Flooding

Allowing the Necanicum River to flood this pasture kept Highway 101 dry this winter.
Credit Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

Video: “Here we go, through the water!”

You can see the extent of the Highway 101 flooding in YouTube videos made by people driving through it. In this one, the car radio plays a local commercial while a woman in the front passenger seat films the view from the dashboard. It’s all water.

Video: “Oh, my God. Um. This is a lot worse than I thought it was going to be.”

At one point, she turns the camera to the right. The water level is almost as high as the passenger window.

Video: “We are in a lake.”

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Elliott State Forest
8:41 am
Tue April 22, 2014

Lawsuit Challenges Sale Of Elliott State Forest Parcel

Credit Oregon Department of Forestry

Logging in the Elliott has been restricted to protect a threatened seabird called the Marbled murrelet. As a result, the state is selling five parcels of the forest to make up for lost revenue.

The Audubon Society, Cascadia Wildlands and the Center for Biological Diversity say the state can't legally sell one of those parcels.

That's because the tract used to be part of the Siuslaw National Forest. The groups say Oregon has a law that prohibits the sale of state forest land if it used to be part of a national forest.

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