Cassandra Profita

Reporter for Earthfix
Cassandra Profita / Earthfix

A lot of energy in the Northwest comes from hydropower and wind turbines – all carbon-free.
There will be even less greenhouse gas pollution in the coming years, because the only coal plants in Oregon and Washington are scheduled to shut down. But that won’t stop coal-fired power from flowing into the region from out-of-state plants. So, Northwest clean energy advocates are taking aim at coal plants in Wyoming, Montana and Utah.

Davis: "The next level's the coal bunkers."

Stephen Baboi / Earthfix

Some people ride a bike instead of driving a car to reduce their contributions to climate change. Others shrink their carbon footprint by installing solar panels on their rooftops. Now, a Portland brewery has another suggestion: Something sold by the pint.

It's opening night for a new beer at Migration Brewing in Portland.

"Can I get a couple tasters of the low-carbon beer?"

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.

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”

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.

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:

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.

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!"

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.”

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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