Cascadia Daily Dec. 6, 2017

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How will Cascadia cities deal with skyrocketing rents?

The Seattle Times reports that Seattle rents are now in the top 5 in the US, and Portland’s rate of increase is also in the top 5. Over at the Vancouver Observer, David Champagne wonders if green, sustainable cities like Vancouver and Toronto are destined to be only for the wealthy.
How to fix the problem? A Washington legislator from Seattle will introduce a bill that would repeal the state’s ban on rent control. Sightline Institute’s Dan Bertolet insists, however, that the solution is more housing, including backyard cotttages and duplexes. Sightline’s great 2-minute video explains why fighting for scarce housing is driving up rents.

Is British Columbia failing to support women victims of violence?

Time magazine announced its Person of the Year for 2017 are the “Silence Breakers,” seven women who’ve spoken out about sexual assault and inspired the #MeToo movement. Today is also Canada’s National Day of Remembrance, honoring the women killed in a shooting in Montreal in 1989. In honor of that day, the Georgia Straight talks to the Vancouver Rape Relief and Women’s Shelter, which had to turn away more than 600 women in the past year for lack of space. “there were five rape-crisis centres in B.C. when there really need to be 50.”

Decision on controversial dam in BC expected soon

A decision is expected any day from BC premier John Horgan on the $9 billion Site C Dam hydropower project. The Tyee reports that construction unions are pushing hard for approval, and that costs may  reach as high as $12.5 billion. The Tyee in another article notes that cancellation costs may have been overstated. In other river-related news, the Canadian government is recommending Fraser River sockeye salmon should be listed as threatened under the Species at Risk act.

Cuts to federal children’s health program hit Washington, too

Yesterday we noted that elimination of the US health program called CHIP would hit Oregon hard, where one in 10 children are insured by it. Today, the Seattle Times reports on how failure to fund the program would effect WA. More than 50,000 children — most of them living below the poverty line — depend on the program, and states are scrambling to find ways to continue their care.

Portland writer Lidia Yuknavitch’s favorite books of 2017

Writing for The Millions, Oregon’s Lidia Yuknavitch, author of The Book of Joan and The Misfit’s Manifesto, reflects on the books that helped her get through the first year of Trump’s presidency, including novels by Jesmyn Ward and Jeff VanderMeer and a memoir by Roxane Gay.

A poet’s response to Native Ground

On the Vancouver campus of UBC, a series of road signs make visitors and students aware they’re walking on native lands never formally ceded to white settlers. The artwork, Native Ground, was created by Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds, and installed in 2007. At the Capilano Review, you can read (and listen to) Nisga’a writer and scholar Jordan Abel’s response to the work:
“…Today your hosts are the high and countless summits. Today your hosts are the people. Today your hosts are the inclines and the hills and the approaching morning…”

That’s today’s wrap-up of news & arts from the bioregion. –Andrew Engelson

Photo credit: Hock E Aye VI Edgar Heap of Birds’ Native Hosts by Akos Kokai, CC BY-SA 2.0