September Excursions

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TERMS, CONDITIONS, DISCLAIMERS AND WAIVERS CAN BE FOUND ON THE “ABOUT” PAGE.

September 17
North Santiam, Greens Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 3.5 ± miles
It’s the last weekend of summer, so let’s hit this favorite as a last blast. The usual considerations apply.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

October 1
Willamette River, Buena Vista to Independence – Class A – 12 miles
The Rogue Ales tasting room is always a popular stop, on this well-liked run. It’s a longer trip, so come prepared.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

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Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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Mad River Builds Explorer 16 in T-Formex 
The whitewater canoe community has been in turmoil since the favored material for their boats, Royalex, went out of production. Now, another ABS plastic composite, T-Formex has been developed by the Canadian builder, Esquif. The Mad River Explorer 16 is a legendary boat, significant in the rise of the original Mad River Canoe Company, and highly prized by wilderness trippers. Canoeroots has the story: https://www.rapidmedia.com/canoeroots/categories/8731-first-look-mad-river-canoe-explorer-16-in-t-formex

 

Nature and the Environment

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Artificial Light Threatens Pollination 
Lights at night are causing dramatic reductions in nighttime pollination. While not as well known as diurnal pollinators, such as honeybees, nocturnal pollinators are important to many wild plants and crops. Pollinators are declining, worldwide, at the same time the use of artificial lights at night is steadily increasing. The BBC reports: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40803960

Pets Big Contributors to Global Warming 
Researchers at UCLA have quantified the impacts that feeding dogs and cats meat-based diets has on the environment. It isn’t pretty. The Hollywood Patch gives its take: https://patch.com/california/hollywood/fido-fluffy-are-hurting-environment-ucla-study-says

Government Climate Report Outed 
In case you missed it, a draft of a mandated, federal, multi-agency report on climate was unofficially published, last month. The report takes a disquieting view of the situation and the prospects, a view at odds with the current administration in Washington, many note. Ars Technica has a readable treatment of the matter: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/08/us-government-scientists-finish-climate-study-will-it-be-published/

Weed-killer, Dicambra, Under Fire 
Monsanto’s “miracle” herbicide, dicambra, is implicated in a growing number of instances where crops and other non-pest plants have been adversely affected. The issue appears to stem from the pesticides tendency to drift far from the application site. The Oregonian looks into the issue, with some depth: http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2017/08/the_miracle_weed_killer_meant.html#incart_river_index

At the same time, dicambra’s usage instructions are drawing criticism for being complex and confusing. Reuters has that story: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pesticides-labels/u-s-farmers-confused-by-monsanto-weed-killers-complex-instructions-idUSKCN1B110K

And, on another front, Monsanto emails more than suggest the corporation was gaming the research on Roundup, another product under scrutiny for toxic effects on the environment and human health. The New York Times has coverage: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/01/business/monsantos-sway-over-research-is-seen-in-disclosed-emails.html

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

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Renewables’ Health Effects Offset All Subsidies 
If you were looking for another reason to like solar and wind power, here’s a good one: By reducing pollution, clean, renewable power is saving lives. A recent paper has concluded the benefit to society at least counterbalances the costs of subsidies. So, even without the environmental benefits, renewable power is still a win-win. Ars Technica gives the details: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/08/wind-and-solar-energy-have-saved-thousands-of-lives-since-2007/

Alternative Medicine Cancer Deaths 5X Higher 
Crunching the numbers, researchers at Yale have found that alternative medicine has a dismal record when it comes to treating cancer patients. While the study is not without its limitations, it still raises some pretty big red flags. Ars Technica reports: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/08/alternative-medicines-toll-on-cancer-patients-death-rate-up-to-5x-higher/

Treatment for Peanut Allergy “lasts up to four years” 
Some research from Australia using a probiotic bacillus in conjunction with peanut protein to treat peanut allergies in children had very encouraging results. The BBC has the details: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40960754

 

Travel and Photography

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Ecology Photo Contest Highlights 
The Smithsonian magazine has some highlights from a photo contest held by BMC Ecology, an open access journal. You can find the eye candy, here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/tiny-ant-sneaky-octopus-photo-competition-highlights-splendor-earths-ecosystems-180964591/

Kiwi Cutie Hatched at Smithsonian 
The Smitty is proudly showing off a new arrival at its Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. You can see her, here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/smithsonian-conservationists-hatch-cutie-pie-kiwi-180964421/

 

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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HB 2320 and HB 2321 Died In Committee 
Both the controversial bill to charge all boaters wishing to navigate Oregon waters, HB 2320, and the less contested legislation aimed at extending PFD and invasive species permit requirements, HB 2321, languished in the Ways and Means Committee when the legislature reached adjournment. This is likely not the last we will see of such proposals, and we, as a community, should be prepared to address the issues raised when that happens. If the OSMB continues to pursue the agency’s interests ahead of the public’s, we should be prepared not only to address that concern, but to offer better solutions, as well.

The Oregonian’s Favorite Portland Kayaking Venues 
The Oregonian has compiled a short list of waterways, in and around Portland, which are favorable to paddlesport. For the most part they are well-known, but still worth keeping in mind: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/07/best_places_to_kayak_in_portla.html#incart_river_index

 

Nature and the Environment

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Plastic Bottles – “As dangerous as climate change”? 
The world is awash in plastic, yet more is added every day. The numbers are staggering: A million plastic bottles change hands every minute. In 2016 480,000,000,000 plastic drinking bottles alone were sold. The Guardian explores the issue, here: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/jun/28/a-million-a-minute-worlds-plastic-bottle-binge-as-dangerous-as-climate-change

Solar Panel Waste a Serious Concern 
While in operation, solar panels are known for being light on environmental impact. Unfortunately, at the end of its life, a solar panel represents a tortuous mess of toxic substances. Furthermore, efforts to recycle the materials are met with a host of difficulties in finding a practical solution. The National Review delves into the conundrum: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449026/solar-panel-waste-environmental-threat-clean-energy

The Environmental Dangers Lurking in Laundry 
With concentrations of plastics, perfluorinated chemicals, and other man-made substances in our fabrics, doing laundry has a big environmental footprint. As the BBC explains, researchers are only beginning to understand the toxic stew that comes out with the wash: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40498292

North Fork Smith River Gets Protection 
The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission has designated the North Fork of the Smith River as Outstanding Resource Waters. The protection is likely to stymie efforts to locate mining projects in the watershed. The Statesman Journal elaborates: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2017/07/15/north-fork-smith-river-oregon-mining-red-flat-nickel/480775001/

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

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Sponges Still Septic After Microwave/Dishwasher 
Kitchen sponges are the perfect breeding ground for all kinds of microorganisms, including pathogens. Now we learn that two popular ways which have developed to disinfect sponges just plain don’t work; microwaving them or putting them through the dishwasher leaves loads of viable microbes intact. Curiously, the study that found these results didn’t appear to assess disinfecting solutions, such as bleach, the standard approach in food service. At any rate, Ars Technica has the story: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/kitchen-sponges-are-festering-germ-dens-and-sanitizing-them-doesnt-help/

Drug Expiration Dates Described as “Myth” 
Most drugs have rather short assigned shelf lives. Characteristically, once past their expiration date, such drugs are discarded, at significant financial and environmental cost. This leaves researchers with few samples of aged drugs to test for potency, so you can imagine the excitement some felt to discover a cache of forgotten prescription drugs dating to the 1960s. The results of testing those pharmaceuticals were eye opening. The great majority of the drugs had maintained potency at or near original levels. ProPublica reports: https://www.propublica.org/article/the-myth-of-drug-expiration-dates

Acetaminophen Found to Inhibit Empathy 
It looks like you may have to add acetaminophen to the list of mood-altering drugs, and not for the better. A couple recent experiments suggest the drug reduces a person’s ability to feel empathetic. The Washington Post has an account of the news: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2016/05/12/this-popular-painkiller-also-kills-kindness/?utm_term=.1b7f175174c8

Area of the Brain Promotes Physical Youth 
Evidence is growing that the hypothalamus plays a key role in aging. Recent research with mice found that neural stem cells in that part of the brain seemed key to the rate of aging. Ars Technica has more: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/07/neural-stem-cells-linked-to-maintenance-of-youth/

 

Travel and Photography

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Panda Cub Climbing Antics 
The Smithsonian National Zoo’s charismatic, young panda, Bei Bei, clearly knows how to have fun climbing up and falling from trees. The video evidence can be found here: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/video-panda-cubs-favorite-game-belly-flopping-out-trees-180963988/

A Gallery of Hells Canyon Views by the  Oregonian 
This OregonLive article provides directions to several Hells Canyon viewpoints, along with samples of the sights: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/07/3_great_viewpoints_of_hells_ca.html#incart_2box_travel

 

August Excursions

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TERMS, CONDITIONS, DISCLAIMERS AND WAIVERS CAN BE FOUND ON THE “ABOUT” PAGE.

August 13
Luckiamute River, Luckiamute Landing to Buena Vista – Class A – length 3± miles
The mud has abated the most it will. Explore the Luckiamute while you can keep your sandals! It’s a short, but slow trip, so bring adequate resources.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

August 27
North Santiam, Greens Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 3.5 ± miles
Time to enjoy this run, before the corps starts draining Detroit; last chance to get in on the lower, warmer water. Bring provisions and be prepared for a leisurely pace.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com