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Posts published in “Day: September 8, 2014”

End of the food chain

rainey BARRETT


Collectively, Barb and I’ve lived in many different environments across our very large country. New York City (9 million folks) to Middleton, Idaho, when it was about 1,200. Always new experiences. But we’ve never lived in a more remote, end-of-the-food-chain location than the Oregon coast.

Lots of people want to live by the sea. Even many who’ve never seen more water in one place than a swimming pool. The idea’s been so romanticized - and commercialized - that many folks spend lots of time poring over computer-enhanced pictures of coastlines, ships, lighthouses and empty oceanscapes. Being an old Oregonian, I’ve fantasized about it for years. So, when the wife decided that’s where we ought to be, I was O.K. with it.

And here we are.

To make my point of being unaware of life’s little things we take for granted, here’s something you might not know. Every President of the United States during my lifetime has made the same personal admission after being in that office a few months. Different words, maybe, but same thought. Long-term politician or newbies in national politics, all of them - all - have admitted they never really knew the full scope of the job. Even Bush-the-elder - with decades of elective and appointive experience - said the day-to-day experience of being President was something he was not totally prepared for.

Well, my friends, so is the awakening to the realities of living on the Oregon coast. Don’t get me wrong. It’s fine. Most of the time. We like it. We’re adjusting. But, like Bush-the-first, the realities are not something we were entirely prepared for.

In the month of May, I wanted a new long-sleeved shirt for some reason. There was one “department” store in our area - the only one within 50 miles. I looked and looked but could find only short-sleeved. When I asked the clerk where the long-sleeved ones were, she said “We only stock them September through April.” I made do. We’ve learned to “make do” a lot.

There’s one store in our town that sells TVs. Just one. I was in the other day and counted six. Not six of one size. Six in ALL sizes.

There are three new car dealers 30 miles from where we live. All in the same town. I recently had the need for someone to apply some striping and decals to our new RV. At all three dealers I was told, “Well, there’s this one guy we use. But he’s going through a messy divorce right now and doesn’t want to be bothered.” The decals are still in the shipping box. And will likely stay there until that one guy gets his life reorganized. (more…)

In the Briefings

Ice Harbor Dam

Ice Harbor Dam, on the lower Snake River near Pasco, has been a fruitful site for technical innovations that are helping increase the survival of endangered and threatened fish passing federal dams. (Photo/ U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, by David G. Rigg)


A week of fall kicking in: Football at Seattle and the opening of schools around the state. Otherwise, a relatively quiet news week. But with campaigns about to kick in, that won't last long.

Check the massive proposal project coming to the Port of Portland (see the economics section in the Oregon issue). This is a potentially major project, with all kinds of implications, which so far has gotten very little reaction or reportage in regional news media.

In Idaho: The decision was only preliminary – not deciding the case but only choosing to keep it alive – but the decision by Federal Judge Lynn Winmill on the state's “ag-gag” law will be closely parsed in coming weeks. A close reading finds some suggestion that Winmill sees significant argument for tossing the law. What kind of negotiations may be quietly underway in this area over the next few weeks?

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On the front pages


Here’s what public affairs news made the front page of newspapers in the Northwest today, excluding local crime, features and sports stories. (Newspaper names contracted with location)

Gay marriage cases go to appeals court (Boise Statesman, Lewiston Tribune, Moscow News)
Ombudsman considers records law changes (Lewiston Tribune, TF Times News)
Public reviews Nampa charter school plan (Nampa Press Tribune)
Growing the Caldwell greenbelt (Nampa Press Tribune)
Luna awards $271 in staff bonuses (TF Times News)

Timberhill fire called human-caused (Corvallis Gazette)
UO program focuses on childhood obesity (Eugene Register Guard)
Western gay marriage cases in court (Eugene Register Guard)
Smoke from fire may go away today (Eugene Register Guard, Medford Tribune)
State helps Phoenix employment hub (Medford Tribune)
Cogen becomes charter school group leader (Portland Oregonian)
Riverfront Park sees pipeline costs (Salem Statesman Journal)

New hardware tore in Bremerton (Bremerton Sun)
Possible new forest rules on logging safety (Everett Herald)
Jail considers ICE deportation procedures (Everett Herald)
Reviewing 4th district House race (Kennewick Herald)
Damage from abandoned crab pots (Olympian)
Lewis-McChord soldiers sent to Asia (Olympian)
Sequim considers city hall building options (Port Angeles News)
Mars Hill church cutting back, laying off (Seattle Times)
The battles over wind power (Seattle Times)
Massage parlor licenses yanked at Yakima (Yakima Herald Republic)
Look ahead to hospital consolidation (Yakima Herald Republic)