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Tag Archives: columbia river gorge

Railroad Plans Will Run Us Over, Say Windsurfers

A railroad company will be constructing a mile and a half of siding this year near one of the Gorge’s primo windsurfing and kiteboarding spots, Doug’s Beach, just east of Lyle. So reports the White Salmon Enterprise. The paper says that windsurfers are worried that construction will further reduce Doug’s Beach State Park’s already-cramped parking on peak summer days — perhaps cutting as many as 80 out of 220 parking spots...

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“Death of Celilo Falls” Offers Look At Pivotal History in the Gorge

When it comes to a top-shelf history of American Indians in the West, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee is the perennial classic. And for those in the Northwest, particularly on the east side of the Cascades, the Thunder Over the Ochoco series is hard to top. There’s a potential new addition to the canon: Katrine Barber’s Death of Celilo Falls. I haven’t read the book (yet), but its subject is our Columbia Gorge history; in particular, the history building up to that day in March 1957 when the gates of The Dalles Dam closed, and the Columbia River engulfed Celilo Falls, the spiritual and communal center of Columbia-area tribes...

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Walden Won’t Get Lonely: He Has Four Challengers for Congress Seat

Since we first reported that Rep. Greg Walden, the Hood River Republican Congressman who represents eastern Oregon, may have a challenger in Bend activist Scott Silver, things have gotten interesting. Now, there are not one, but three Democrats who hope to challenge him, and one fellow Republican. ...

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Oregon’s Property Rights Movement Is A Windfall For Old-Timers

One depressing thing I’ve noticed about Measure 37 applicants is that many of these would-be developers are old-timers. They’ve got few years left, statistically, and what’s one of their final wishes? To carve up Oregon farmland and forest to make a killing in the real estate market. That’s a heck of a legacy. Measure 37 poster-senior Dorothy English is in her 90s. And then there’s Robert L. Hemstreet, who has the largest claim in Yamhill County. He wants to turn an 850-acre tree farm into 850-lot subdivision near McMinnville, southwest of Portland. He values the project at $35 million. Hemstreet is 81. He’s also the uncle of Oregon hotelier Mark Hemstreet; presumably the guy has plenty of money. Presumably, he’s not making this proposal out of desperation in his twilight years.

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Supremes: M37 Is Perfectly Legal; Let the Developing Commence

The Oregon Supreme Court unanimously upheld Measure 37 in a ruling released Tuesday — a boon to would-be home builders and developers who chafe under the restrictions of state land use laws. Now, several thousand claimants representing 66,000 acres of Oregon land have a green-light from the highest court in the state. Measure 37 allows property owners to apply for a waiver from land use rules they say harm their property's value. In other words, a waiver to bypass land use laws and develop their private property. This, said the Supreme Court, is perfectly constitutional. 1000 Friends of Oregon was one of the groups challenging Measure 37 in court. Now, 1000 Friends is likely to challenge the side-effects of Measure 37 with one or more ballot initiatives for voters this November, said the group's governmental affairs director...

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Club Hosts Gorge Casino Forum, in Portland

If you're interested in the proposed Cascade Locks casino, or just want to watch a rousing forum, then Tuesday is your day. The Portland Garden Club is hosting a pro-and-con panel discussion on the proposed Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Casino in Cascade Locks...

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A Scene of Freezing Spring

There were bright skies in the Gorge this weekend so we were encouraged to go hiking, but the brisk air and biting gusts made us glad to be layered up. We saw the same dichotomy in several creeks: They were were running full like in spring, but the water was bitterly cold. Stone were shelled with ice, and splashing water froze along logs and even, as in this picture, the thinnest hanging vines, forming crystalline bells.

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Forest Service Sales “Violates a Covenant,” Says Gorge Environmentalist

Kevin Gorman, executive director of Friends of the Columbia Gorge, says the U.S. Forest Service's plan to sell 730 acres in the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area violates a covenant. The proposed sale is part of a national plan to sell public forest lands. But the Bush Administration’s would-be sales plan runs counter, locally, to 20 years of Gorge lands acquisition, notes Gorman, in an Oregonian guest editorial: "Despite two decades and the purchase of 35,000 acres of land to protect and enhance the gorge, the Bush administration is looking for a short-term revenue boost by selling off parts of this internationally recognized treasure."

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Third Sexual Assault In Hood River Results in Arrest

It's been a tough new year Hood River's sense of tranquility: A spree of rapes and attempted rapes has hurt a couple women, and frightened who knows how many more. There was the Jan. 12 rape of a Markham Road woman; the attempted assault of a woman in the Heights on Jan. 23; then, a Collins Road woman was raped at knifepoint in her home Tuesday morning. This time, though, the alleged attacker didn't get far: The brave woman freed herself and alerted authorities, who captured a suspect within half an hour, reported the Hood River News.

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Westlund Makes Like Perot, Announces Independent Candidacy

Do you hear the rustle of the newspapers? The tapping of the blogosphere? That may be from of a breeze starting through the state — a wind that could shake up Oregon's fractious and stale political life. Consider: Portland is starting public funding of elections. A former governor is pushing revolutionary health and energy ballot inititiatives. Another initiative proposes to force open Oregon's party-dominated ballots. And, we have a serious independent contender in the 2006 governor's race. This week, Central Oregon state Senator Ben Westlund dropped his Republican party affiliation and announced his independent bid to be Oregon's next governor.

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