1. BikePortland seems mystified by the fact that girls are more likely to believe they'll be hurt by riding bikes after they turn 14. Our theory: Good, old-fashioned sexism (which, news flash, tells girls they're delicate creatures more likely to be hurt by rough play).
2. State Sen. Mike Carrell, R-28, died of complications related to treatment of a pre-cancerous condition today, leaving the state senate at a 24-24 impasse (between the 24 minority Democrats and the Republican-led Majority Coalition Caucus, which includes two Democratic members); the Capitol Record reports that it could take up to two weeks to replace Carrell with another Republican.
3. In the wake of new laws legalizing the recreational sale and use of marijuana, NPR reports that some doctors are saying pot brownies (and any products made with liquid pot distillations) should be kept in childproof containers, to ensure that they don't end up in kids' hands.
According to the story, "'The legalization of recreational marijuana, especially the solid and liquid-infused forms permitted in Washington, will provide children greater access to cookies, candies, brownies and beverages that contain marijuana,' write Dr. William Hurley of the University of Washington and Washington Poison Center, and Suzan Mazor from Seattle Children's Hospital."
4. Apartment Therapy, the nationwide lifestyle blog, profiles Seattle's P-Patch system, which provides apartment dwellers and others seeking urban food-gardening space with 100-square-foot lots for the low price of $37 a year plus eight hour of volunteer service.
5. The Economic Policy Institute has a new report concluding that high-interest payday loans harm not just individual loan recipients but the economy and jobs, by reducing consumer spending to the tune of nearly $775 million. "
"On a micro level, the study found that each dollar of interest paid subtracted $1.94 from the economy due to reduced household spending, while only adding $1.70 to payday lending establishments." Grain of salt, though: That's a nationwide number; Washington state law caps payday lending interest rates at 36 percent, compared to interest rates in other states that can rise to several hundred percent more than the value of the initial loan.