September Excursions

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

September 22
North Santiam, Greens Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 3.5 ± miles
Celebrate the onset of fall on one of our favorite fall runs. Bonus: the gate at the put in should be open, now.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

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Paddlesports and the Outdoors

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Lake Oswego Access Fight Lingers On 
Last month, the Oregon Supreme Court returned, to a lower court, a case that pits recreationists against property owners in Lake Oswego. The recreationists want the right to use the lake’s waters; the landowners want the lake itself treated as private property, barring the public. The Oregonian investigates the numerous facets of the situation: https://www.oregonlive.com/news/2019/08/oregon-supreme-court-doesnt-rule-on-central-question-is-oswego-lake-private-or-must-it-be-open-to-all.html

New Access on the John Day River
Newly purchased public lands on the John Day River, in Eastern Oregon, offer the public a variety of recreation opportunities, including a new public access point adjacent to Thirtymile Creek. The Statesman Journal has more: https://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/2019/08/23/oregon-john-day-river-rafting-access-clarno-cottonwood-canyon-public-land/2085984001/

Collapsing Glacier Drenches Kayakers 
Some paddlers in Alaska got a little too close to a glacier as it collapsed. They ended up with some thrilling video, but encountered significant peril in the process. The BBC provides the footage: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-49389883/we-survived-collapsing-glacier-soaks-kayakers

 

Nature and the Environment

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It’s Raining Plastic, Everywhere
A short time ago, researchers found microscopic plastic fibers in the pristine snows of the Pyrenees. It seemed unlikely to be an isolated case, and indeed, reports from the Rocky Mountains and the Arctic now demonstrate the problem is probably ubiquitous across the planet. The Guardian explores the disturbing news from the Rockies: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/12/raining-plastic-colorado-usgs-microplastics The BBC informs regarding the Arctic: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-49295051

Private Satellites Finger Greenhouse Gas Emitters 
As the fight against climate change gathers steam, new players are entering the fray. Now, private satellite networks are being tasked with identifying where methane gas emissions are happening. Tracking down the sources of the gas, and stopping them, stands to be of significant benefit; methane is reported to be 80 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in its greenhouse effects. Scientific American has the story: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/private-space-race-targets-greenhouse-gas-emitters/

Pesticides Said Driving “Insect Apocalypse” 
The long-term build-up of neonicotinoid pesticide residues is turning the American landscape itself toxic. That is the conclusion of a recent study involving four American research institutions. By their estimation, the agricultural landscape has become 48 times more toxic to insects than it was 25 years ago. The National Geographic elaborates: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/08/insect-apocalypse-under-way-toxic-pesticides-agriculture/

Western Oregon Conifers Still Show Drought Damage 
Despite our mild summer, a wide range of conifer species, damaged by our years of drought, are still struggling. Big trees need water, too, and you may need to irrigate yours. The Oregon State University Extension Service has been looking at the problem, as detailed in this Oregonian article: https://www.oregonlive.com/hg/2019/08/western-oregon-conifers-continue-to-show-damage-from-drought.html

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

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A Mental Health Cost From Air Pollution 
Increasingly, studies are implicating air pollution for a range of medical conditions beyond respiratory health. Recently, researchers at the University of Chicago found what they believe is evidence that air pollution affects mental health, fostering increases in such illnesses as depression and bipolar disorder. SudyFinds reports the controversial news: https://www.studyfinds.org/smog-sadness-study-suggests-link-between-air-pollution-psychiatric-disorders/

Four-in-one Pill Said to Prevent Heart Problems 
A recent study published in the eminent publication, the Lancet, found that a pill combining aspirin, a statin, and two blood-pressure-control medications helped to lower the risk of heart attacks and stroke by a third. The combination is low-cost and low-risk. The BBC reports: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-49434337

“Authorized Generics” Inflating Pharmaceutical Prices 
A report by Kaiser has implicated big pharma in a ruse designed to keep drug prices high. So-called “authorized generics”, produced by the major manufacturers themselves to create a false impression of competition, are the culprit. Ars Technica explains: https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/08/big-pharma-is-using-faux-generics-to-keep-drug-prices-high-critics-say/

 

Travel, Photography and Animals

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Dolphin Juggles Jellyfish 
A dolphin was spotted, in the Danish harbor of Sonderborg, playing by tossing a jellyfish in the air, repeatedly. The BBC has a video of the odd behavior: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/science-environment-49304458/dolphin-spotted-juggling-with-jellyfish-in-denmark

Fox Cubs Play on Trampoline 
The BBC also have a video of fox cubs playfully bouncing on a Cardiff family’s trampoline, which is good for a smile: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-wales-49344714/fox-cubs-bounce-on-trampoline-in-cardiff-garden

Australian Geographic’s Nature Photographer Competition 
A selection of striking photographs from the competition is featured, here: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-australia-49365922

 

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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WSU Students Paddle Chinook Canoe 
As part of their studies at Washington State University Vancouver, students paddled an authentic Chinook canoe and learned about Chinook culture from tribal members. The Oregonian has the story: https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/2019/07/paddling-in-chinook-canoe-students-learn-native-american-history-first-hand.html

The 2019 Portland Big Float 
The turnout for the 2019 Big Float festival exceeded 4,000, with proceeds going to restore the Willamette and improve access. The Oregonian has the story: https://expo.oregonlive.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/07/10a360ad634767/the-big-float-2019-over-4000-flood-willamette-river-making-it-into-an-inflatable-playground-.html

Rafters Survive Accidental Waterfall Run 
Demonstrating how not to do it, six unprepared rafters, apparently unclear where the take out was, plunged over a Class V waterfall in Pennsylvania. It was captured on camera and all survived, but the raw terror of the moment is preserved. The BBC provides: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-us-canada-48996845/rafters-accidentally-plunge-over-waterfall-in-pennsylvania

 

Nature and the Environment

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The 2019 Oregon Legislature’s Environmental Record 
Although the fireworks over the greenhouse-gas cap-and-trade bill were what made the news, it was hardly the only bill with environmental ramifications to run the legislative gauntlet. Some passed, some failed, and the Oregonian has the scorecard: https://www.oregonlive.com/environment/2019/07/everything-oregons-legislature-did-and-didnt-do-for-the-environment.html

“One Climate Crisis Disaster Every Week”
One high-ranking UN authority has pointed out that the larger climate-spawned disasters – massive fires, widespread droughts, decimating storms – are distracting from a troubling reality: smaller crises are happening across the globe, on an ongoing basis. The Smithsonian has the story: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/un-expert-warns-one-climate-crisis-disaster-occurs-every-week-180972573/

Many Climate References Lost from Government Sites Under Trump 
A new report documents the loss of references to and information on climate change, from government web sites. The researchers found that 26 percent of such references on government websites two years ago are now gone. Vice can fill you in: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/kzmmwe/under-trump-26-of-climate-change-references-have-vanished-from-gov-sites

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

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Five Basic Things to Lower Alzheimer’s Risk 60% 
A large study, out of Chicago, has concluded that just a handful of moderate changes to one’s lifestyle can pay dramatic dividends in reducing the odds of developing Alzheimer’s. It is said the researchers expected to find a healthier lifestyle helped against developing dementia, but “they were floored by the ‘magnitude of the effect'”. The publication SFGate can fill you in: https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Doing-these-five-things-could-decrease-your-risk-14094544.php

3,400 Drug Prices Raised in Past 6 Months 
Despite public and political pressure, big pharma has, in just the first half of the year, raised drug prices on thousands of pharmaceuticals, by as much as 879%. Ars Technica expands: https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/07/big-pharma-raising-drug-prices-even-more-in-2019-3400-hikes-as-high-as-879/

Millions Advised to Stop Aspirin for Heart 
The advice from the American Heart Association regarding who should take aspirin for heart-attack prevention has changed, with dramatic result. While the drug still is recommended for some, large numbers of people are now taking it who shouldn’t. The Oregonian explains: https://www.oregonlive.com/health/2019/07/study-millions-should-stop-taking-aspirin-for-heart-health.html

Sunscreen Safety Examined 
In recent years, the safety of some sunscreen ingredients has come into question; European authorities recently rescinded GRAS (generally recognized as safe) certification from 14 chemicals common in sunscreen. Of particular concern is the most popular ingredient, oxybenzone, as the BBC will explain: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20190722-sunscreen-safe-or-toxic

 

Travel and Photography

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Baleen Whale Gulps Surprised Sea Lion 
Described as “a once-in-a-lifetime event”, photographer Chase Dekker was in the right place at the right time to catch a probably very surprised pair of marine mammals, when a humpback whale scooped up a seal lion along with his krill as the BBC recounts: https://www.bbc.com/news/newsbeat-49161923

Giant Jellyfish Filmed 
Off the Cornwall coast, divers encountered a rare barrel jellyfish as big as a person. The resulting video reveals a remarkably lovely and graceful creature, courtesy the BBC: https://www.bbc.com/news/av/uk-england-cornwall-48956818/giant-jellyfish-spotted-off-cornwall-coast

The 2019 Audubon Photography Award Winners 
The Smithsonian has a selection of the Audubon Society’s annual contest winners. It provides striking insights into the lives of wild birds. You can find it, here: https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/audubon-photography-award-winners-show-breathtaking-beauty-wild-birds-180972651/

 

August Excursions

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

August 18
Luckiamute River, Luckiamute Landing to Buena Vista – Class A – length 3± miles
Despite the low water, this run continues to delight with its beauty, and its lovely spots for repose. It’s a short trip, but we’ll take our time, so bring provisions.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

August 28
North Santiam, Greens Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 3.5 ± miles
A rare mid-week trip, for those who can make it, to enjoy a favorite run without the weekend crowds.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com