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Tag Archives: Columbia gorge

Oregon’s Land Rush, A Gorge Court Case, and Light-Hearted About Biofuel

A note to our more sensitive readers: This article contains mildly opinionated statements, and an exclamation point. I made up one word, too. This week includes a deadline for Measure 37 development claims in Oregon (not the deadline, but a significant one, in that hereafter claimants must have a use for their land that central-planning types have actually turned down, and not just pie-in-the-sky statements on their claim forms), and hundreds of landowners, big and small, have rushed to demand the right to pole-vault over Oregon's hurdleanimous land-use laws. The Oregonian’s Laura Oppenheimer wrote a worthwhile overview of the land rush. One interesting quote is from state Rep. Bill Garrard, R-Klamath Falls, who supports Measure 37 and says that many Oregonians have “a lot of misunderstanding” about the law. (It’s simple enough in concept: People should be able to use their land however they want, the heck with the neighbors and with land-use laws enacted since they bought the land.) Says Garrard, “I feel it is the Legislature's responsibility to do something about it." Well, sha-freakin’-zam!...

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Gorge Adventurer Showing Expedition Film in Hood River

Local publisher and adventurer Dave Waag will be presenting a film about a team of friends, skiers, who made an expedition to the remote Altai Mountains in China. The one-hour film, Journey to the Source: The Search for Skiing’s Ancient Roots, will play Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at Dog River Coffee, in Hood River. Waag is probably best known as publisher of Off Piste, the back country ski magazine. He was one of the three members of the Altai expedition; it was a six-week outing in the spring of 2005. The Altai comprise a range of mountains between China, Mongolia and Russia. Besides remote and much un-schussed terrain, the mountains are home to a hardy, semi-nomadic people for whom skiing is a way of life. Some people believe that skiing began in this region of Central Asia, and later migrated to Scandinavia, later to emerge in Alpine Europe and the United States. Waag recently consented to answer a few questions in advance of the film: New West: How did the Altai expedition come about?...

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Buff Daddy’s Place: Open for Business

In the long-running battle between the owners of the Viewpoint Inn and, oh, seemingly every official in the Gorge, we have a winner: the Inn is open for business. A Multnomah County hearing officer approved a conditional-use permit for the historic Corbett inn earlier this month. Owners Geoff “Buff Daddy” Thompson and partner Angelo Simione say they’re taking summer wedding reservations, and could have the restaurant portion of the inn open in several weeks. The saga of the Viewpoint Inn...

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Coming of Age in the Gorge: The Next Generation Gets Online

Several years ago I read (in a ‘top ten best places to live’ list in some glossy, outdoorsy mag or another) that status in Hood River was determined “by the size of the rack on the top of your Subaru.” The implication was that Gorge folks are both obsessive adventure junkies and spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing our adventures. … Well, the same is true for our kids. Many people move to the area expressly to raise a family (that was my excuse.) Not only do Gorge children live large and play hard in the outdoors, but there are dozens of youth appropriate entertainment and cultural events available every month. The only problem was that our region, divided as it is between two states and comprising several distinct townships, lacked a unified source of information and event listings. Web designer Dee Holzman saw a need for a family oriented, Gorge-wide information clearing house and in 2000 launched the gorgekids.com website. I interviewed Dee about her hugely successful, ongoing project which is probably the most recognizable regional online community in the Gorge...

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Meadows Cut Off: Skiers Cope With Road Closure

Gorge skiers and Riders gathered last night at the Hood River Middle School auditorium for a showing of Warren Miller’s latest film, “Off The Grid”. The crowd was surprisingly upbeat considering that Mount Hood Meadows is, for the time being, almost totally cut off from the rest of the world and, more importantly, from us. Massive lanslides caused by the recent heavy rains have wiped out sections of Highway 35 on both sides of our local resort and according to the Oregon Department of Transportation our mountain is officially ‘off the grid.’ (I don’t think this is what Warren had in mind.) The buzz of rumors about just how much damage was done and just how long it will be before Hwy. 35 reopens was incessant before, during and after the slick ski flick. And all the snippets of conversation I overheard were filled with the kind of giddy optimism that Titanic passengers must have felt as they made snowballs from chunks of iceberg. For example...

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“Property Rights” Measures Rejected In Washington and Other States

The West-wide property rights campaign to force governments to back off from limiting development on private property came to a showdown Tuesday, and supporters won big — in Arizona. The regulatory takings campaign stalled in every other state, though, being either stricken by courts or rejected by voters in five states. Voters in Washington, California and Idaho said no to the idea in balloting Tuesday. In the campaign around the West, regulatory takings was tarted up with emotional arguments against eminent domain, funded by wealthy activists, and hawked with the fervor of true believers. The supporters, from the Ayn Rand school of libertarian thought, had an impressively bold idea: Strike at the heart of government’s ability to tell people what to do by making it waive its property regulations. The result would have — could be? — a fundamental reshaping of the American scene, starting in the West, with its penchent for property rights and wide-open ballot initiative systems. In other words, reconfigure American political thought by taking a populist-sounding idea straight to the voters. The voters, it turns out, mostly said no thanks...

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Oregon Election Results

UPDATED, 11-7 These results are initial, people, but it looks like Ted has pulled out the win. The Oregon Secretary of State’s office has voters supporting incumbent Ted Kulongoski (D) for governor over Ron Saxton (R), by 54 to 40 percent. This is as of 8:45 p.m., Tuesday, with 291,583 votes cast. Oregon’s election results won’t be official for some days — but, check out how the commentators and informed observers predicted the results (they guessed Kulongoski would beat Saxton handily). That’s right, it’s the 2006 Oregon Punditology Challenge! Oh, you want election results? They’ll be available beginning at 8:05 p.m., here. Other early results show a sweep

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Clouds Wringing Themselves Out Over Oregon

Heavy autumn rains are swelling rivers and closing roads around Oregon this election evening. And it’s not just the coast and the Willamette Valley getting hammered — highway officials have closed Oregon Highway 35 south of Hood River at White River due to boulders and debris on the the road. (This is as of Tuesday evening.) The Hood River itself Tuesday rose as high as the railroad bridge. (Photos courtesy of Dave Waag, of Hood River. Thanks, Dave!) For more, and larger, photos, click to the jump.

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Neighbors, Takings and Money Refused — A Roundup of Interesting Landuse Stories

There are several interesting little property rights stories floating around just ahead of the big vote in the West this week on various Measure 37 spinoffs. ”¢ First... across Ol’ Windy in Skamania County, property developers are threatening to sue the county if it enacts a zoning plan around Swift Reservoir. Their beef? They say that putting in protections after they’ve bought spec land with hopes of building hundreds of houses would be — you guessed it — illegal taking. The threat comes just ahead of Washington’s vote on a statewide takings initiative, I-933. ”¢ Second...

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Heartwarming Art for a Cold First Friday

The Hood River First Friday Artwalk might be a bit chilly tonight but the subject matter should make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside. Columbia Center for the Arts has joined with PROD (Promoting Responsible Ownership of Dogs), to bring to the Gorge a series of art events featuring local pets Yes—our beloved local pets! Now, it is no secret that Gorge-folks are gaga about their dogs or that Hood River’s predilection for whimsical, off-beat art consistently sets the tone for local flair. So, it was only a matter of time before someone combined these two fanciful tendencies of Gorge life. And that someone was Judie Hanel, former director of the CCA and now curator of the “Paw Prints” art show, a month long series of events celebrating pets in art and pets at art.

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