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

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

 

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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How Oregon Lakes Got Their Names 
I didn’t see much in paddling news over the last month, and at this writing the fates of SB 2320 and SB 2321 are unclear, but here’s a fun little article on Oregon lake names, from the Oregonian: http://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/06/how_oregons_lakes_got_their_na.html#incart_river_index

 

Nature and the Environment

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Farmers Paid Billions to Save It, Let Soil Blow Away 
Efforts to protect the delicate soils of Dust Bowl country are being undermined by economic opportunism. As a result, soils are being lost and dust storms are on the rise. NPR has troubling story: http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/06/07/531894461/u-s-pays-farmers-billions-to-save-the-soil-but-its-blowing-away

Birds & Bees Battle for Nesting Amid Habitat Loss 
Research suggests that early nesting species are getting the jump on competitors, dominating available nesting areas, and driving some of the differences in species declines. The BBC reports: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40260319

Southern Resident Orca Pregnancies Failing 
Studying the hormone residues in orca feces, scientists were able to determine two-thirds of the Puget Sound’s Southern Resident community’s pregnancies fail. A lack of food appears to be the prime culprit, but pollution is thought to play a role, as well. The Smithsonian elaborates: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/two-thirds-southern-resident-orca-pregnancies-fail-180963884/

Large Study Shows Neonics Harm Bees 
The largest study of its kind so far, in Europe, concluded that neonicotinoid pesticides are harmful to wild and honey bees. The chemical industry, however, is resisting the findings. The BBC has more: http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-40382086

 

Health, Fitness and Safety

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Jellyfish Sting Cures Debunked 
If you ply Oregon’s coastal waters, you should know that recent research has shown many long-accepted, folk remedies for jellyfish stings do more harm than good. The Smithsonian serves the news, along with advice as to best practices: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/how-fix-jellyfish-sting-180963582/

Home Blood Pressure Monitors Faulty 
Researchers testing home blood pressure monitors found that a whopping 70% of them gave faulty readings. This despite the fact many were validated by regulatory agencies. Ars Technica has the unsettling details: https://arstechnica.com/science/2017/06/monitoring-your-blood-pressure-careful-70-of-home-devices-may-be-inaccurate/

A Smartphone Makes You Dumber – Even Off 
A study from the University of Texas found that the mere presence of a smartphone caused diminished cognitive capacity in test subjects. I’ll let UTNews give you the lowdown: https://news.utexas.edu/2017/06/26/the-mere-presence-of-your-smartphone-reduces-brain-power

Aspirin Bleeding Risk Found to Increase With Age 
A study by Oxford University found that the incidence of major stomach bleeding in those taking daily doses of aspirin was much higher in the elderly. While patients are advised against stopping a prescribed regimen, the matter may be worth reviewing with your physician. The BBC reports: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-40262771

Yoga Equal to Physical Therapy for Back Pain 
A study that looked into the relative effectiveness of yoga versus physical therapy has concluded the two treatments offer equivalent outcomes. Time has the story: http://time.com/4825261/back-pain-yoga-physical-therapy/

 

July Excursions

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

July 16
Willamette River, Buena Vista to Independence – Class A – 12 miles
The Rogue Ales tasting room should be open, so we’ll give it a visit. Both food and potables can be had at Rogue, though bring adequate provisions if you won’t be availing yourself of the hospitality.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

July 30
North Santiam, Greens Bridge to Jefferson – Class 1 Whitewater – length 3.5 ± miles
It should be a good day to enjoy a leisurely pace, to better appreciate the height of summer. Bring appropriate staples and potables.
Jim Bradley
jim.cascadepaddlers@gmail.com

Paddlesports, Outdoors and Wildlife

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Legislative Update 
The two bills, HB 2320 and HB 2321, put forth by the Oregon State Marine Board, seem to be progressing at very different rates. HB 2321, the bill to extend invasive species permits to all boats, has progressed with numerous hearings and work sessions over the past few months. In comparison, 2320 – intended to place fees on any boat used to navigate Oregon’s waters – shows no activity since the beginning of March. This may only be because it has been referred to a backlogged committee, Ways and Means. On the other hand, we might hope that some legislators have come to realize the folly 2320 is and the price the state will pay if it is passed. But that’s probably just wishful thinking.

Guided Willamette Tour June 17 
Oregon Parks and Recreation in conjunction with the Willamette Riverkeeper will be hosting a free, guided tour of the Willamette from Salem to Wheatland. Even those without boats will be accommodated, as some canoes are available, without charge. The Statesman Journal elaborates: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/travel/outdoors/2017/05/30/free-guided-canoe-and-kayak-tour-willamette-june-17/102270492/ 

New Hazards Await on Area Waterways 
As evinced by hazard advisories from the OSMB regarding the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers, the high water we experienced earlier in the season moved wood around, creating new hazards and challenges on familiar runs. Go forth informed and go forth wary, in this budding, summer paddling season. The water is still cold and strainers are still unforgiving. The marine board hosts a page listing reported hazards, here: http://www.oregon.gov/OSMB/Pages/Reported-Obstructions-Alerts.aspx