Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University Vancouver
Radio Segments from 2020 Documenting Pacific Northwest Fossil Fuel Resistance

Media Matters

Radio Segments


Radio Segments–2020

For 2019 segments and earlier, go to:

Kalama Methanol Another Time Around

Airdate: Sept. 28, 2020, KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein for “Locus Focus”


Oregon on Fire

Air date: Oct. 21, 2020 for KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein for “Locus Focus”

All summer Trump has ranted about how Portland is being burned down by radical anarchist Antifa mobs. Of course Portland has not burned down, but as we speak, much of Oregon actually is on fire, wildfires inflamed by Trump’s flagrant disregard and denial of impending climate chaos.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Allie Rosenbluth, with Rogue Climate in Phoenix, Oregon and Dominick DellaSala, with Wild Heritage in Talent, who were both forced to evacuate from their homes in Talent last week. Later we’ll also talk with former wildfire fighter and founder of Fire Fighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology, Tim Ingalsbee in Eugene and Eric de Place, with Sightline Institute in Seattle. These conversations are taking place as smoke chokes the Pacific Northwest and massive fires are still burning across the region.

If you want to help support relief efforts in Southern Oregon, you can contribute to Rogue Valley Relief Fund. Go to and click on Donate.

If you live in the Portland area and would like to donate essential supplies to displaced people in Southern Oregon, you can drop them off at the Oregon Sierra Club Office at 1821 SE Ankeny St in Portland. Check the  Oregon Chapter Sierra Club Facebook for an evolving list of needed supplies. They have already sent over a dozen large vehicles full of supplies to partners on the ground in Southern Oregon and across the state and will send more throughout this week!

Fire Season in the Time of COVID-19–An Encore Presentation

Air date: Sept. 7, 2020 for KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein for “Locus Focus”

In a time of global pandemic, this summer’s fire season – which is now upon us – poses new dire threats. Federal and state agencies have resurrected the obsolete policy of aggressively attacking all wildfires in all places in order to limit wildfire smoke. This fire policy from the 1930s was abandoned decades ago, because it is ecologically harmful, economically unsustainable, and puts firefighters at unnecessary extra peril. The risk of the pandemic threatens crews with new dangers. An internal study by United States Forest Service scientists has determined that in a worst case scenario up to 10% of wildland firefighters could die this summer, with the number of deaths due to Covid-19 surpassing all other causes of firefighter fatalities.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Timothy Ingasbee, Executive Director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology, about how the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic will play out with particular cruelty for wildland firefighters and how potential major pandemic disasters sweeping through fire camps, could ultimately leave rural residents on their own


River of Dreams

Air date: Aug. 31, 2020 for KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein and KBOO for “Locus Focus”

Ursula LeGuin’s story “The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” describes a utopian city where everyone lives good lives, except for the neglected child chained in a basement. Portland, which prides itself on its progressive attitudes, also has such a metaphorical child: the communities in North and Northwest Portland, that were once thriving neighborhoods, now displaced and defiled by the growing pains of the Port of Portland.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Elijah Cetas, with the Braided River Campaign, about how this coalition of neighborhood groups and climate activists has organized to tell these forgotten stories, while addressing city and regional policies that have created industrial sacrifice zones along the Willamette River.

For more information on ongoing efforts to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund Site, contact the Portland Harbor Community Coalition and Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group and for more on the ongoing organizing against the Zenith oil terminal in Portland, follow Center for Sustainable Economy, a member of the Braided River campaign.

The campaign welcomes your support creating art in the fossil fuel hub of NW Portland, and in bringing community to the table for the City’s Economic Opportunity Analysis update. For questions, or to get involved, contact Here are some excerpts from a letter the Braided River Campaign sent a letter to the city of Portland last week regarding the City’s Economic Opportunity Analysis.

The Braided River Campaign is a project of community members, Willamette River advocates, and residents of North and Northwest Portland. We have come together to elevate the experiences of those impacted by the legacy of industrial developments and fossil fuel infrastructure in the North Portland Harbor, from the Broadway Bridge to Sauvie Island. We are committed to working with the City of Portland and other government partners to create a community conversation and new vision for our future relationship with these lands and waters.

Today, we are writing to convey our priorities for a more inclusive and comprehensive Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) update.

This update is important to us, as its outcome will undergird and define important City plans affecting the Willamette River and our communities, including the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, the North Reach River Plan, and the goals of the Climate Emergency Declaration. Despite the significance of this analysis, past EOAs have historically lacked the inclusion and participation of those who live closest to the industrial areas being assessed. They have relied on the premise that more industrial lands means more jobs, and narrow definitions of economic growth as representing economic opportunity. This in turn has created the unacceptable situation where industrial landowners’ desires for further acreage of available industrial lands is valued above the health and wellbeing of our communities, the river, and the climate. It is imperative that this upcoming EOA not replicate business-as-usual practices, but instead lay a foundation for a future working waterfront that is both more environmentally sound, more economically beneficial, and more just. . .

This EOA is a crucial opportunity to set a course for climate action in our City and across our region. The climate crisis is unleashing devastating impacts that worsen every year. These impacts are not equally distributed; Indigenous, Black and immigrant communities in low income neighborhoods face these mounting disasters first and worst, including the neighborhoods of North and Northwest Portland. . . Fenceline communities and workers in the fossil fuel industry and other highly polluting jobs deserve to have a seat at the table as we collectively plan for the managed decline of fossil fuel infrastructure and a new, green economy. This EOA must establish this vision outright to make this necessary transition possible and just. Failing to do so only postpones the inevitable, burdening future generations with this difficult task.

We must act swiftly. As we move forward, in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crash, we have the opportunity to work together to prevent the documented risks that industrial sacrifice zones create for our most marginalized communities. We know now that we can, as a city, state and region, plan for a cleaner, safer and more equitable transition to a healthy, safe, and working waterfront.


Hot Dams on the Columbia

Air date: Aug. 24 for KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein and KBOO for “Locus Focus”

Right now salmon are making the miraculous journey from the Pacific Ocean, up the Columbia, to the place each fish was born. All salmon ask for is a river with cool flowing water. But because of the stagnant reservoirs behind dams as well as climate change, the Columbia heats up in July and August way above the safe level for salmon.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director of Columbia Riverkeeper about what can be done to cool the water so that salmon can safely return to their spawning grounds.


Seattle Cruise Control

Air date: Aug. 17 for KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein & KBOO for “Locus Focus”

Cruise ships are three times as polluting as airplanes, spew carcinogenic and other toxic particles from their smokestacks, and pump sewage and fuel oil contaminants into the ocean. Yet the Port of Seattle is largely dependent upon the cruise ship industry and is now planning a new cruise ship terminal in Pioneer Square. Seattle already has two terminals; a third would mean more air, water and climate pollution, threatening public health and harming the marine environment.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Elizabeth Burton with Seattle Cruise Control, and Seattle climate chemist Heather Price about why so many people in the Puget Sound area oppose Port of Seattle’s proposed Terminal 46 cruise ship terminal.

Seattle Cruise Control is a growing coalition of people who oppose the Port of Seattle’s proposed Terminal 46 cruise ship terminal due to the negative impacts cruise travel has on the environment and its marine wildlife, public health, and the local economy, as well as the environmental and economic effects that cruise travel has on coastal communities from Seattle to Alaska.

Webinar: The Long and Twisted Tale of Jordan Cove LNG

Published: July 31 for KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

The Salem Progressive Film Series and KBOO Community Radio present The Long and Twisted Tale of Jordan Cove LNG – Zoom Documentary Slideshow Presentation

The Salem Progressive Film Series in collaboration with KBOO Community Radio and the Media Project

The Long and Twisted Tale of Jordan Cove LNG, a slideshow that accompanies Part Two of Barbara Bernstein’s “Holding the Thin Green Line” radio documentary series. From July 27 to July 31, you can watch this slideshow video at your own convenience at .

This slideshow was conceived originally to show at community gatherings around the Northwest to educate the wider public about what’s at stake for the people of Southern Oregon – as well as our entire region – and the planet – if the Jordan Cove LNG Export Terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline get built. But until the COVID-19 pandemic is over we are resorting to Zoom and You Tube to create these community gatherings. The Salem Progressive Film Series has moved its operations online and is providing an opportunity for people across the region to watch The Long and Twisted Tale of Jordan Cove LNG at home and then join in an online discussion. This slideshow puts faces to the people whose stories are told in the radio documentary and shows the landscapes that would be destroyed by this fracked gas pipeline and export terminal.

Sam Robinson Tells the Story of the Chinook People

Air date: Aug. 3, 2020 for KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein and KBOO for “Locus Focus”

In mid July I went out to Chinook Point on the Washington side of the Columbia River near its mouth, to talk with Sam Robinson, a longtime Lower Chinook Tribal Council member. He told about the history of his people and the land they know better than any of us whose ancestors are from elsewhere.

On this episode of Locus Focus we listen to that conversation, in which Sam tells stories of his people, from pre-contact time to their encounters with Lewis & Clark, their unsuccessful efforts to sign a treaty with the United States government that did not rob them of their land and their amazing ability to survive and begin to thrive, despite losing their land and nearly losing their heritage.

Oil and LNG Trains on the Rise

Air date: July 6, 2020, KBOO Radio, Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein & KBOO for “Locus Focus”

While the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the world is wracked by the COVID-19 pandemic, another kind of pandemic threatens our region – an increasing number of oil trains, each loaded with 3 million gallons of crude oil, traveling down the Columbia River and through Portland. Even though the Tesora-Savage Oil-by-rail terminal in Vancouver, WA, which would have been North America’s largest oil-by-rail terminal, was stopped two and a half-years ago, other oil transloading facilities are rearing their ugly heads in Portland and at Global Partners’ facility at Port Westward near Clatskanie, Oregon.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Dr. Patsy Kullberg, with Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, and  Dan Serres, Conservation Director for Columbia Riverkeeper, about why Global Partners’ lack of transparency and long track record of environmental violations in Oregon, and elsewhere around the country, makes them an unreliable partner for Oregon communities.

Patsy Kullberg is a retired public health doctor and one of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility’s chief spokespeople. She is also a writer and the engineer for Locus Focus (or will be again when we return to live broadcasts from KBOO’s studios).

Dan Serres is the Conservation Director for Columbia Riverkeeper and their point person for fighting fossil fuel projects along the Columbia River.

Methanol Madness

Air date: June 29, 2020 for KBOO Radio in Portland, OR

Produced by Barbara Bernstein & KBOO Radio for “Locus Focus”

In the wake of proposals to build unpopular massive LNG and methanol projects around the Northwest, the gas industry feels like it’s under attack. In fact a PR campaign being promoted by gas utilities in Washington and Oregon claims that their industry is facing an existential threat. But according to climate activists and community members working to stop these projects, unfettered natural gas development is in fact, an existential threat to our communities and to the planet.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk again with Seattle atmospheric chemist Heather Price about the science and dangerous nature of methane—the key component of what is called natural gas—and why the gas industry’s greenwashing campaign is disingenuous and dangerous.

Heather Price is an atmospheric chemist, climate scientist, researcher, educator and climate activist in Seattle Washington. She is co-Coordinator of the Chemistry Faculty Department at North Seattle College.