The United States Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx, appointed Travel Oregon CEO, Todd Davidson to serve on the National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure (NACTTI).   “I am honored to be appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Travel and Tourism Infrastructure,” said Todd Davidson, CEO of theContinue Reading

(Salem, OR) — Governor Kate Brown today named Eloisa Miller as her Economic and Business Equity Manager. Miller will focus on addressing issues of equity and advancing priorities for Minority-owned, Woman-owned, Emerging Small Businesses, and Service-Disabled Veteran Business Enterprises (Certified Firms).   “Eloisa has a strong commitment to equity andContinue Reading

Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) announced today a new state-federal partnership that will bolster state efforts to improve the physical and mental health of Washington families and transform the state’s Apple Health (Medicaid) program to control costs. After months of detailed negotiations, the HCA—inContinue Reading

OLYMPIA — The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture have announced this year’s recipients of Specialty Crop Block Grant Program funds, including $4.3 million for Washington state. The 2016 USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant will fund 21 projects managed by WSDA in partnership with otherContinue Reading

  Margie Harris receives the 2016 Champion of Energy Efficiency in Buildings Award from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy   PORTLAND, Ore. — August 24, 2016 — Margie Harris, founding executive director of Energy Trust of Oregon, received an award yesterday from the American Council for an EnergyEfficientContinue Reading

Hundreds of Washington workers will have opportunities for job-based apprenticeships, thanks to a new $2.7 million federal grant the state will receive over the next 18 months. Washington state and federal leaders announced today that the U.S. Department of Labor has chosen Washington as one of 37 grantees to helpContinue Reading

Recognized for Best Broadcast Advertising for 7 Wonders of Oregon Television Spots   Winners of the National Council of State Tourism Directors (NCSTD) 2016 Mercury awards were announced this week during U.S. Travel Association’s annual Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference held this year in Boca Raton, Fla. TheContinue Reading

Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management and Dark Horse Comics released their newest collaboration just in time to prepare for the Great ShakeOut. This 16-page colorful story sequence teaches tsunami preparedness. SALEM, Ore. — Oct. 12, 2016 — Oregon’s Office of Emergency Management and Dark Horse Comics team up to prepareContinue Reading

A sudden burst of giggles and chatter fills the halls. At Columbia Basin Care, the elderly residents perk up with anticipation as youngsters rush in to greet the “grandpas and grandmas.”   Columbia Basin Care, a long-term care facility, has partnered with the Head Start preschool program to encourage socializationContinue Reading

Since the beginning of his Administration, President Obama has focused on creating an economy that works for every American. Under his leadership, our businesses have added 15.3 million jobs since early 2010, and the economy has seen the longest streak of job creation on record. However, more work needs toContinue Reading

Gov. Jay Inslee and the Washington State Health Care Authority (HCA) announced today a new state-federal partnership that will bolster state efforts to improve the physical and mental health of Washington families and transform the state’s Apple Health (Medicaid) program to control costs.   After months of detailed negotiations, theContinue Reading

Oregon state government is launching a new effort to support deaf and hard of hearing Oregonians. Held quarterly, New American Sign Language (ASL) video workshops tap native-speaking ASL interpreters to convert agency messages into video instructions that improve access to online services for these traditionally underserved residents.   In recentContinue Reading

It’s becoming increasingly difficult for older farmers to hand over their operations or keep them in the family. It’s as challenging as ever for younger would-be farm operators to gain access to the land. The graying of Oregon’s farmers and ranchers is an issue receiving a closer look this fallContinue Reading

There is never a lack of stories when it comes to writing about Northeast Oregon and the Gorge, but there is the lack of time to write them all. With 2016 quickly coming to a close I guess it is time to think about the future and what it mayContinue Reading

By Lori Kimbel   The second annual Robins Equity Research Roundup, presented by Catalyst Research Management Group, was held in Hood River and brought small and microcap equities together with portfolio managers, hedge fund managers, retail brokers, mutual fund managers, and individual investors.   According to Marc Robins, creator ofContinue Reading

With winter holidays fast approaching and a time when many people are visiting the Oregon coast, it’s important to know tsunami safety. To that end, the Oregon Office of Emergency Management (OEM) offers “Tsunami Safe: Hospitality Begins with Safety,” a free program aimed at the hospitality industry along the OregonContinue Reading

Governor Kate Brown today announced the appointment of Kay Erickson as the Director of the Oregon Employment Department, effective August 16, 2016, pending confirmation by the Oregon Senate. She served as the agency’s acting director since January.   “Kay’s considerable management experience helped her transition quickly and maintain stability atContinue Reading

by Marc Robins CFA   Nearly two decades ago, I was the CEO of Moonstruck Chocolate for about a year. The Robins Group had been associated with the upstart Chocolatier helping to raise money, give guidance and on a more personal note sponsor and co-finance the “new” Chocolate Café thatContinue Reading

By Lori Kimbel   Rob Chimelak, board member of Athletes4Cancer and active volunteer at the Hood River Kiteboarding 4 Cancer event, was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer in October of 2012, at the age of 29. It was then and there that he decided he was going to takeContinue Reading

As part of an improvement project emphasizing good health, Columbia Basin Care is creating a park for residents, families, and staff.   Beep! beep! beep! That’s the music of construction as Columbia Basin Care dramatically improves its outdoor space with the creation of a park featuring a picnic pavilion andContinue Reading

Wow! What a summer! I hope your summer has been every bit as fun as mine has. This past Saturday I attended the annual Timber Tiger Lodge party, which takes place on the side of the Elkhorn Mountains, overlooking the entire Baker Valley. The food was fabulous, the band wasContinue Reading

Gorge-wide buy local campaign partners with Chinook Book to make it easier for residents and visitors to locate and support local businesses.     In anticipation of the holiday shopping and giving season, Gorge Owned is partnering with local businesses and Portland-based Chinook Book ( to increase the economic impactContinue Reading

By Lori Kimbel Twenty seven year old Andrew Muse is living a life full of adventure and excitement. A life many would love to have just a taste of. Traveling the country with his Golden Retriever, canine companion, Kicker, Muse is seen with a genuine smile with each new-found, adrenaline-chargedContinue Reading

by Norbert Fensterwald Growing up in the 50s and 60s in NE Portland, there weren’t a whole lot of organized things to do or manufactured toys with which to play. We amused ourselves with ball in vacant lots, “Red-light, Green-Light” in the street at night, Army throughout most of theContinue Reading

At 95, this war veteran plays golf, cracks jokes, and rebounds from a setback.   At 95, Alex Currie has no regrets.   “I had my day in the sun,” says the bright-eyed, chatty man who has lived in The Dalles since 1953 and made his mark as a businessmanContinue Reading

The Renewal Workshop Launches at Sustainable Brands Conference to Redefine Waste in the Apparel Industry New Factory in America Refurbishes Unsold Inventory Creating a Circular Economy for Apparel   The Renewal Workshop partners with the world’s best-loved apparel brands and retailers to refurbish their “unsellable” returns and excess inventory. InContinue Reading

In June of 2016, six teachers and 18 to 24 high school students from rural eastern Oregon communities will spend a week at Oregon’s newest and second largest state park, Cottonwood Canyon State Park in eastern Oregon, as part of the second session of the Cottonwood Crossing Summer Institute. HereContinue Reading

Travel and tourism industry grows to $10.8 billion, fuels economic activity statewide with travel-related spending and employment   The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, confirms that 2015 was the travel industry’s sixth consecutive year of accelerated growth and economic impact, reaching new heights in revenues for the state. IndependentContinue Reading

Cormorant Nesting Colony Targeted by Federal Agencies Suffers Complete Failure   On May 19, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced that the East Sand Island Cormorant Nesting Colony had suffered catastrophic failure with upwards of 16,000 Double-crested Cormorants abandoning their nests which were then quickly predated by scavengers suchContinue Reading

The Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon) is proud to announce the recipients of the 2015 Travel and Tourism Industry Achievement Awards, presented at the 2016 Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Pendleton, Ore.   The annual awards recognize people and organizations across the state that go the extra mile toContinue Reading

by Marc Robins CFA Nothing confounds me more than the fact that our collective society (and government) is (are) more worried about “Climate Change”, “global warming”, or “Climate Disruption” that may occur some 25 to 50 years out in the future (and the operative word is “may”), while zoonotic viralContinue Reading

Former industry executive and business-government-economics school dean at Seattle Pacific University will serve as principal adviser to Governor Inslee, director of economic development for the information and communication technology industry sector in Washington state.   The Washington State Department of Commerce announced today that Dr. Joseph Williams will lead theContinue Reading

Sportsmen have been fighting for years to move these conservation priorities across the finish line   The Senate has just passed a comprehensive energy reform bill that includes key conservation provisions to benefit fish, wildlife, and sportsmen’s access. This is a true bipartisan achievement that highlights our uniquely American conservationContinue Reading

The Oregon Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network has been awarded national accreditation without conditions by America’s SBDC, its national association. Blue Mountain Community College hosts the local SBDC for northeastern Oregon.   Every five years, SBDC networks throughout the country are required to go through an accreditation process withContinue Reading

Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner) was honored this week with two prestigious recognitions. The first is from the Oregon Fairs Association (OFA), which supports Oregon’s 36 county fairs. ​Also honoring Rep. Smith was the Oregon Concrete and Aggregate Producers Association (OCAPA), an organization that is working to build Oregon’s economy andContinue Reading

Governor Kate Brown has announced the appointment of State Representative Greg Smith (R-Heppner) to the Small Business Advisory Cabinet. The Cabinet is charged with developing recommendations on how state government can support small business owners and emerging entrepreneurs and advance statewide economic growth. Representative Greg Smith is one of nineContinue Reading

By Anthony K. Smith   Passed by voters nearly 14 years ago, Measure 25 promised to take the minimum-wage issue out of politics for good, by linking it forever to annual increases in the federal Consumer Price Index.   “Measure 25 fixes the problem, and takes the issue out ofContinue Reading

By Norbert Fensterwald When the ‘War Department’ and I decided to move-out of the big city and to the Gorge, we knew our period of adjustment to the new environs would take some time and involve an array of activities not previously explored or participated in as “City Mice.” ToContinue Reading

ODF committee begins work on finding solutions to address Oregon’s increasing wildfire activity Oregon experienced a significant increase in wildfires over the past several years. Not only have these fires increased damages and costs to Oregon’s forests, landowners, and local communities but they have stretched the state’s “complete and coordinatedContinue Reading

A federal council today released a plan that identifies specific goals, actions, and recommendations for improving the status of urban and community forestry for the U.S. and its territories. The plan serves as a framework for awarding nearly $1 million in U.S. Forest Service grants to organizations, including grassroots nonprofits,Continue Reading

The Pendleton Round-Up Association has installed four new Directors to the Official Board of this 105 year old iconic Oregon event. The new directors join a sixteen member board with wide-ranging separate assignments encompassing responsibilities from publicity to hay and barns. New director Tiah DeGrofft will be the 2016 SponsorsContinue Reading

Red Rock Biofuels LLC, a pioneer in renewable biofuels, announced today that it will produce approximately three million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel per year for FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. (NYSE:FDX). The agreement runs through 2024, with first delivery expected in 2017. FedEx joins Southwest AirlinesContinue Reading

U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) announced that he has secured language in the final congressional transportation agreement to help improve roads and bridges in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (NSA). The long-term, bipartisan transportation agreement between the Senate and the House reauthorizes and reforms federal highway, transit,Continue Reading

The U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Region released 17 travel analysis reports this week that outline existing road systems and identify opportunities to achieve a more sustainable system of roads for each national forest in the Pacific Northwest. These travel analysis reports are part of nationwide requirement involving national forestsContinue Reading

Community Bank, headquartered in Joseph, Oregon, recently received the highest possible rating from the FDIC for its most recent performance under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA). The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 requires federally insured depository institutions to support the borrowing needs of all the communities where they do business,Continue Reading

GreenWood Resources, Inc., a Portland-based global investment and timber management company, has received a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Leadership Award, which recognizes excellence in the use of FSC-certified products and a commitment to responsible forest management.   Thirteen companies from across the country earned awards from FSC, an independent nonprofitContinue Reading

Anticipating ongoing strong Demand for Organic Grain-based Products, Ardent Mills Takes Bold Action   Leading the way to meet growing customer and consumer demand, Ardent Mills, the premier flour-milling and ingredient company, is announcing a new organic initiative committed to helping U.S. wheat growers double organic wheat acres by 2019.Continue Reading

Oregon’s population now tops 4 million people. Whether the continued population increase negatively impacts agriculture remains to be seen, but the state’s land use protections are more important than ever, according to officials with the Oregon Department of Agriculture.   “Two must-haves for Oregon agriculture are land and water,” saysContinue Reading