Sunday, June 03, 2007

Spanning the State--TJ as Carla's Imposter Edition

Since I have a confusing tendency to not notice when Blogger has auto-logged me in under "loadedorygun," which puts Carla's name on the post because she started the account for us, it only seems natural that while I fill in for her this weekend on Spanning the State I should just let the universe turn. So it's TJ, being Carla. Maybe that will make the transition more comfortable for those of you who make Sundays with Carla a weekly thing. Or maybe it's just more confusing. Turn, universe, turn! (And as it passes over Oregon, let's look down and see what's happening this weekend...)


Congrats to the threepeating Lakeridge High boys' lacrosse team! For the third straight year the Pacers from south Lake Oswego defeated Oregon Episcopal School at the state final, in their fourth straight meeting there. If you want more continuity, the same player for Lakeridge scored the winning goal the last two years, and while last year's won it with three seconds remaining, Max Schlesinger amped up the drama yesterday by waiting until sudden-death overtime to cap a perfect 18-0 season for his team. Watch out New York, Baltimore and Carolina; here comes Western lacrosse.


Ever slumped into your seat at the beginning of another cramped nightmare of a flight somewhere, just wanting to be left alone? Maybe it pays to be social and open to new people; you never know who you'll meet or what it will lead to. When Cascade Locks Fire Chief Jeff Pricher got on a plane in Chicago to come home, he didn't know being friendly to his seatmate would lead to a donation of high-quality water pumps crucial to the wildfire fighting his department gets called to do. But maybe because he was talking to fellow social Portlander Jack Makin, who ran wildfire fighting equipment maker Wildfire, shortly after arriving home Makin stopped by to donate two of those pumps--no charge, no fanfare, no problem. So at least say Hi to your seatneighbor next time, even if that's the only word you exchange. Who knows what it will lead to?


Dang--thanks to the Democrats in the Legislature the OSP will get at least another 100 troopers to hit the roads, but this surely isn't much of a recruiting poster. Down by La Grande Thursday night, an OSP Sergeant was tooling down I-84 when an elk--yes, a bull elk--leaped out of the darkness and onto the hood of his patrol car. Spinning out of control, the car headed down an embankment before recovering. Sgt Robert Cannon was taken to the hospital with facial injuries, broken bones and contusions, but was released Friday morning. Tough bastard! If that scenario sounds
a little crazy to us urbanites, it's not an altogether uncommon happenstance in rural areas. The Observer uses the incident to refresh memories on what to do to avoid hitting wildlife, and how to handle it if you do.


Compliant and indulgent caregiver, or elder abuse perpetrator? That's what they're trying to figure out down in Yamhill, as Mistydawn Viles(!!) stands accused of the latter against Newberg resident Anthony Rinkes. (Ignore the fact that the News-Register calls him Viles at first). I've read the account of trial proceedings a couple of times, and while usually I can get a sense of the defendant's probable guilt or innocence, I'm still not sure about this one. She claims he asked her to withdraw money, let him break his diet, and act as power of attorney for his real estate holdings. What do you think?


I think most Native American folks must find the new stereotype of 'casino worker' nearly as pernicious as "drunk non-worker," but it's true that the native communities are split about the positive vs. negative regarding building tribe economies on a platform of gambling resorts. Certainly there must be other industries that tribes could find niches in? The Coquile of North Bend are willing to explore the idea of biomass energy--taking basic yard waste and forest slash material and turning it into power. They in turn learned it at a conference on the Warm Springs Reservation. It's certainly a smart idea to include our native Oregonians in any state plan the Guv and Legislature might have for renewable energy development; whether they do or not it appears the tribes aren't waiting to be asked.

Kick ass! The Willamette Water Trail is finally open from Eugene to the Columbia. The Guv'nah dedicated the northern stretch yesterday, and now there is a fully designed recreational route for canoers and kayakers. Plus it establishes the covered areas as places of focus for restoring the river to its preceding glory, working with groups like Riverkeepers. Anything that's good for outdoor recreation in Oregon is good for the people that live here, and profitable for those who take care of the people who visit--and people absolutely come to this state to play in its beauty. Treasure it.

Happy June! Carla's back tomorrow.