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Tag Archives: columbia river gorge

They Really Are Watching…Your Crops

January's been a dark, dreary month when it comes to personal privacy — it's being eroded faster than a Louisiana shoreline. Not to worry, you say? You'll just drop out of the matrix, unplug your appliances and live on your farm? Ah, well, your efforts may not go unnoticed there, either: It turns out, the government is monitoring its crop insurance program with satellites, using the eyes in the sky to see if people are growing what they say they're growing...

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My Rights, Your Rights, and Seeing Our Way Through

The Portland Tribune has a Metro-centric article that poses a potent question for all Oregonians: Why should builders have more property rights than existing owners? That question strikes at the heart of Oregon's vital, and volatile, land-use debate. In this case, an existing tower of condo owners is losing its treasured views to a newly erected tower, which blocks the long-timers' vista only to sell that same view to newcomers. As one condo resident says, "I’ve been looking at Mount Hood for 25 years. Now someone else gets to look at it." But the issue could easily be replicated anywhere in the state. Props to blogger Worldwide Pablo for catching the idea and amplifying on it. This is just one hurtling stone in an avalanche of recent land-use articles...

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Schools Look For Elbow-Room

Gorge-area schools have set out some building plans and possibilities. In Hood River, school and parks officials are talking about teaming up to construct athletic facilities. In The Dalles, the new unified school board is considering where to place a new high school that can serve 1,500 students. This isn't huge news to New West Columbia Gorge readers, who know, having read here, that school expansion will be one of the year's biggest stories in the Gorge.

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Towering

This mist-shrouded tower, several hundred feet high, was the destination of a bit of exploratory hiking this weekend near Wyeth, in the Gorge. The tower's composed of rotten-looking, mossy stone (Columbia Gorge standard, you might say), and probably thus unclimbable; or, at least, not worth the effort. From a distance, though, this tower is inspiring, as it loomed above us in the rain.

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A Shape Whose Time Has Come

A correspondent has sent us photos of her recent toy, the newest thing on the water: This parabolic kayak. (Pictured here next to a traditionally shaped kayak.) Called the Diversion, the crafter, Evolution Kayaks, has replaced the traditional cigar-shaped hull with a narrow hourglass, apparently inspired by the "shaped" snow skis. The cockpit, instead of being the widest part of the craft, is the narrowest, and closest to the water. Based on our correspondent's paddling habits, expect to start seeing this kayak at play on the Columbia River this spring, particularly in the Stevenson and Beacon Rock areas.

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Gorge Orchardist Appointed To Gov’s Land-Use Task Force

There's a vital bit of thinking underway for Oregon called the Big Look, and a Columbia Gorge orchardist is one of the central players. Ken Bailey, vice president of Orchard View Farms, based in The Dalles, is one of ten Oregonians on a task force that will travel the state and make recommendations for revamping state land-use regulations. Bailey and the other nine, in other words, will form important ideas on one of the most pressing issues of our day: How can we preserve what's most beautiful and important in our landscape, and also preserve property rights? Bailey, reached by email Friday, took a few minutes to outline for New West Columbia Gorge his thoughts on the next few years...

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Goldendale Residents Pose Idea of Renewable Energy Co-Op

The last place one might expect would be on the cutting edge of alternative energy is Klickitat County, Washington, what with its anemic, postindustrial slump and ranch-based economy, plus its right-wing political tendencies. But energy makes interesting bedfellows. A huge new wind-power project is underway near Bickleton, east of Goldendale. Then, last month, "a small band of people gathered at the WSU Learning Center in Gldendale to brainstorm about forming a renewable energy co-op."

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Providence Bares Patients’ All In Records Theft

In what must rank among the top (bottom?) examples of corporate jack-assery, Providence health group has lost medical records for 365,000 patients. Or, rather, 365,000 Oregonians and Washingtonians have lost their medical records — and, in many cases, their Social Security numbers and other identity information — to a thief, who stole a set of backup computer disks. Unencrypted disks. From a Portland-area Providence employee's car. Which was left unsecured in a driveway. Overnight.

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Millions Given To Study Sagebrush

One of the unique aspects of the Columbia Gorge is the continuum of ecosystems — how quickly it goes from lush forests and mountains near Cascade Locks to high desert, just east of The Dalles. The desert, or palouse as they say in Eastern Washington, has its stark beauty, but it's rarely the scenery snapped for postcards, or given much thought by anybody else. Oregon State University is interested, though: The university has won a $3.6 million grant for sagebrush ecosystem restoration.

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Two Rivers, One Artist

by Tomi Owens The large-as-life belly dancer shimmies under an ancient archway, a flash of gold from a string of coins jingling on her hip brings motion and light to the sultry, sensual tableau. She tempts us to celebrate with her an art that is both forbidden and revered. She beckons with her dark, seductive smile for us to join her on the banks of the Nile... The Nile and the Columbia — two of the world's great waterways and seemingly worlds apart. But for artist Amirra Malak, these rivers and their contrasting cultures both inspire her work and define her life. A collection of Amirra’s paintings is currently being exhibited at Jean’s@110 coffee shop, on 5th Street in Hood River.

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