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|Articles - June 2011|
|Wednesday, May 18, 2011|
When the Sendai quake and tsunami hit last March, many Japanese residents took refuge in “vertical evacuation structures,” reinforced concrete buildings that were strong enough — and tall enough — to withstand the force of the waves. Now officials in Cannon Beach aim to build a similar tsunami-resistant structure — the first in the United States.
Raised 15 feet off the ground, the two-story building, tentatively sited at the intersection of Gower and Hemlock streets, would provide shelter for about 1,500 people and also serve as a new city hall. “The goal is to save lives and provide continuity of government,” says Jay Raskin, an architect and former mayor of Cannon Beach who is spearheading the design process.
Just 50 miles off the Oregon Coast is the Cascadia Subduction Zone, a 600-mile fault that many scientists say is overdue for a rupture, producing a massive quake and tsunami that could engulf seaside towns. “We’re going to get what Japan got and we’re in a window of it happening within our lifetime,” says Patrick Corcoran, an Oregon State University coastal outreach hazards specialist. The proposed design was developed with assistance from Oregon State University and the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries.
Several questions remain before the project can move forward. Although the conceptual plans follow guidelines from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), there is no federal or state funding for the structure, which is expected to cost about $4 million — about twice the cost of a conventional building.
OSU researchers are also conducting an evacuation simulation study to see how effective the proposed building would be compared to a base case without the building.
Despite the uncertainties hanging over the pioneering project, Oregon needs vertical evacuation strategies, says Jennifer Chamberlain, Oregon Office of Emergency Management spokeswoman. That’s because in many areas of the coast, people won’t have time to walk — or run — to high ground before the tsunami strikes. “There is no safe haven,” says Chamberlain.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Thursday, May 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
There are more than 160 farmers markets in Oregon, contributing an estimated $50 million in sales, according to the Oregon Farmers Markets Association. We checked in on the Forest Grove market, which for several years has brought local produce and food vendors to Main Street in the center of town.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Friday, June 05, 2015
As temperatures in Oregon creep into the 90s this weekend, Oregonians' thoughts are turning to — summer baseball.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
As the recession recedes and tourism grows, Central Oregon resorts redefine themselves for a new generation.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.
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