I attended the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce board meeting on Monday, August 15th. I saw candidate Tamie Tlustos–Arnold appear to do the bidding of a few key people who are financially supporting her election bid for state senate over what I would consider to be the best interests of the residents and business community of Troutdale. Along with candidate John Wilson who is seeking reelection to the Troutdale City Council, and Matt Wand, who is the general counsel for Eastwinds Development LLC and Eastwinds key negotiator for Troutdale urban renewal, they were encouraging the creation of a Government Affairs Committee that amongst other duties will suggest candidate endorsements for the upcoming general election. If confirmed by the chamber board, then a PAC of a similar name made up of some of the same people including Matt Wand and former Troutdale City Councilor Eric Anderson may fund the endorsed candidates.
Earlier, when like-minded people controlled the city council, Councilors Larry Morgan, John Wilson, Eric Anderson, and Mayor Doug Daoust passed a letter of intent for a future deal involving the sale of 12 city-owned commercial acres east of the factory outlet mall with a northern portion along the Sandy River. The adjacent outlet mall recently sold for over $28 million, but the deal considers the city property to only be worth $1.5 million even though it was appraised for $6 million, according to the Gresham Outlook article titled “Troutdale gives Eastwind the green light” dated February 19th, 2016. This deal has a contingency for a condemnation of private property and a road through the middle of the outlet mall at an unknown expense to the city somewhere in the millions. Continue reading
The Dahlia: Daisy Family Compositae
Dahlia is a genus of bushy, summer–and autumn–flowering, tuberous perennial plants native to Mexico, where they are the national flower. The Aztecs gathered and cultivated the dahlia for food, ceremony as well as decorative purposes , and the long woody stem of one variety was used for small pipes.
In 1872 a box of Dahlia roots were sent from Mexico to the Netherlands. Only one plant survived the trip, but produced spectacular red flowers with pointed petals. Nurserymen in Europe bred from this plant, which was named Dahlia juarezii with parents of Dahlias discovered earlier and these are the progenitors of all modern Dahlia hybrids. Continue reading
Recently my family and I drove to Mount Rainier for a long weekend of camping, and a long weekend of camping grime and dirty fingernails – it goes with the territory. The weather smiled upon us and the mountain proved itself as spectacular as ever. We encountered a lot of snow low on the mountain near Paradise which made for slippery, short-lived hikes with a seven-year-old and his ill-prepared parents, but it was nevertheless beautiful. Other trails at lower elevations were a delight to explore.
We stayed at a campground where wood smoke filtered through tall evergreen trees in the evening and the smell of camp food occasionally wafted through our area. All of this stirred my memories of hitting various campgrounds, mostly around Oregon, as a child with my family. And while there is nothing quite like snuggling up with your parents or siblings in a tent when you are a kid, there is also something magical about going to summer camp without the parental units around. Continue reading
Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth’s rite of Passage?
His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him and leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone.
Once he survives the night, he is a MAN.
He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.
The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him . Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man! Continue reading
You know that startled feeling you get when a bee buzzes right past your ear or a mosquito appears out of nowhere and hums its gonna-getcha song before it lays in for the puncture? Those sounds can make you swat madly at the air, shake your head violently, and duck and cover with futility. Last week, as I hunched over the backyard garden beds digging out Japanese clover and the random tarragon that reseeded, I nearly jumped out of my skin from a loud vibration and whirring near my head. But contrary to the “yikes” feeling an insect stirs in me, this little engine sound delighted me. It came from an Anna’s hummingbird. Continue reading
As Carol and I traveled the Interstate Highway recently through Idaho, Utah and Wyoming, we talked about the pioneers who came through this area many years ago. So many things have changed. We covered more miles in an hour than they did in a week. Our ride was on smooth roads in a comfortable car with air conditioning. Theirs was in a wagon – much of the time walking – over dusty prairies.
My mind cannot grasp the reality of what those brave people endured. There is no comparison between what they experienced and what we enjoyed. I am quick to admit that I am not the kind of person it would take to do what they did, and I am humbly grateful for their efforts. What we enjoy today in the Pacific Northwest is the result of what they did. Continue reading
This was the BEST day of my life.
It started months ago
First, a light touch
Then whispers of my beauty
Then talks of how unhappy he was in his marriage
It finally happened…We snuck away and went to bed…
After our lovemaking I drifted into a peaceful sleep…
Suddenly, this became the WORST day of my life.
I was awakened by… angry voices… voices inside the house…
The door burst open and the room swarmed with angry men. Continue reading
Multnomah County Deputy Todd Weber remembers the night as if it had just happened. He can provide remarkable details from that event thirteen years ago. He made a traffic stop at 2:30 a.m. He did a background check based on the license plate of the car. Immediately the passenger opened the door and made a run for it. The male passenger had an outstanding warrant which is plenty of reason for him to bolt from the car. Along Deputy Weber immediately called for backup since the driver was still in the car. What came next as part of his call for backup was to change his professional career. An officer showed up with a K-9 and within minutes the Drago had the passenger cornered. Although not visible to the deputies the criminal was hidden only two yards away.
After that demonstration Deputy Weber made a decision that he wanted to be a K-9 Officer. Early on the County decided to raise their K-9 dogs from pups. That attempt failed for Deputy Weber but he was not easily discouraged. His current K-9 German Shepherd, who is five years old, comes from the Netherlands. Rangers’ commands are in Dutch although he appears to be bilingual and understands some English words. The dogs like their deputies are highly trained and spend hundreds of hours in training with other K-9 units from other agencies. For master trainers they will spend 400 hours, 10 weeks in a row. Each dog is valued at between $9 and $10,000. The dog’s personalities are matched to that of the deputies. Continue reading
Your average high school students may not be able to explain a fictional company’s dividends to a lecture hall full of adults from the business world. But after five days at Young Entrepreneurs Business Week, they could.
YEBW is a nonprofit annual summer camp founded in 2005 by young Oregon entrepreneurs Nick and Maurissa Fisher, hosted on the campuses of the University of Portland, Oregon State University, and University of Oregon. From 75 students on one campus during its first year, YEBW has grown to more than 400 participants on three campuses in 2016.
YEBW’s founders shared a concern that young people of all educational and economic backgrounds often leave high school with no practical business knowledge, hindering their ability to innovate, create, and produce the kinds of goods and services key to Oregon communities’ growth and success. They sought to fill the gap by drawing together curriculum developers, business professionals, educators, and successful youth-focused program leaders to launch an innovative educational program for high school students. Continue reading
Many Portlandians worry more about invasive plants than they do about undocumented immigrants. My yard is overrun with invasive plants. Since I never plant anything, this state of affairs is not entirely my fault. Somehow the invasives just got here. I have no doubt that their ancestors have lived here since before I was born.
But it certainly has gotten worse since I purchased the 1926 cottage in 1999.
My yard is not politically correct. With Oregon’s climate working against me–months of replenishing rain followed by a temperate summer season—the fallow winter yields to a spring onslaught of every non-indigenous chlorophyllian spawn that can cross a lot or be carried on the wind.
I’ve had estimates of three-to-five thousand dollars to remedy the situation. To whack everything down, uproot the roots, chemicals as needed, and start from square one. Some other expenditure always rises in priority. See, I like my politically incorrect yard, a mutant green and occasionally flowering jungle that looks the way something looks when nature, good and bad, takes over. Continue reading