Thank you for continuing to read and support The Gorge Business News. Lori and I truly love meeting the wonderful people in the Gorge and hearing your stories, some about business, some about activities and events, and some are just about everyday life. We are all connected in one way or another, whether we realize it or not. Now, on to review our stories for this issue!

We have been very busy the last couple of months and weren’t able to get everything in the paper we wanted to, but it has been a fun summer. We try to balance the coverage and include happenings on both sides of the river but there is always so much going on in the Gorge and unfortunately we only have so much space…and time…and energy.

Groundbreaking for Thunder Island Brewing Co.’s new 10,000 sq ft purpose-built brewery and restaurant illustrated the success that can be achieved when small businesses and municipalities work together for the common good of the Gorge. Kudos to the Port of Cascade Locks for being an economic driver in the Gorge.

I also attended a “Coffee with the Commissioners” session at the Port of Camas Washougal and learned of their importance to the Gorge. They not only own and operate the marina but also own and operate Grove Airport and have a massive waterfront revitalization project underway, recently completing the $1.7M grant funded Washougal waterfront trail and family park.

Visiting Cedar Creek Alpacas gave me a glimpse of a unique business that offers a fun experience for kids and families and hand-made Alpaca wool garments are available in the boutique on the grounds. It also serves as an activity center for children as far away as China. Learning about Camp Beyond, an organization that arranges activities in the U.S. for Chinese students, while at Cedar Creek brought back memories of sponsoring cultural exchange trips to China when I worked in higher education.

The importance of the Gorge as a recreation venue for millions of people each year was evident in the opening of a new section of the Columbia River Historic Highway and Trails System near Wyeth Trailhead. I also learned of the need to resolve the increasing traffic congestion through mass-transportation solutions for visitors from the nearby metropolitan area.

Skyline Hospital’s recent acquisition of new cutting-edge, world-class mammography equipment is an enormous step in providing excellent health care and early detection of breast cancer, the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The Kiteboard 4 Cancer event was held at Hood River July 12-14 for the thirteenth year and is a unique approach to helping cancer survivors establish community with camaraderie through activities and experiences with fellow cancer survivors.

The AMA National Motocross Championship races at Washougal MX park was one of my favorite events this year. It brought back memories of riding dirt bikes through the trails of Oregon during my youth and the bonding experience it was to ride with my dad and brothers.

Upcoming events such as Logtoberfest and the American Red Cross Get Ready events promise to be fun and educational as we head into fall.

The Hood River Hops Fest will be another fun Gorge event for beer aficionados, of which there are multitudes in the PNW, and an economic boost to the area.

And while Pendleton is not in the Gorge the Pendleton Round-Up is an important traditional event for the state of Oregon and will be teaming up with Farmers Ending Hunger again this year to raise money to provide food to hungry families in Oregon.