Nicholas Kristof — The Next Governor of Oregon?

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A columnist has only one boss, his editor, who can also stand between him and angry detractors. A governor—even a candidate for governor—is naked against the scorn. Even veterans of other offices are often surprised by how incredibly personal being a governor can be, and how lonely. 

At Last! Back to BC. Here’s Where to Go

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It will be grand to cross the (water and land) boundary again and share the region. A writer for Macleans, the Canadian magazine, once described British Columbians as a privileged people surrounded entirely by envy.

Beleaguered Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler Faces Recall

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The recall movement, which claims to have close to 200 volunteers, began just last Friday, July 9, hours after city regulators approved the filing, and organizer have until September 6 to collect the necessary valid signatures.

The Oregon Coast: Lots Of Jobs But Nowhere to Live

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“In the past, we’ve hired people living out of their cars. We had one kid from somewhere in the Midwest who worked a deal at a motel so he could shower there, and then he’d sleep in his car.”

Postcard from Wallowa: Heat in the Northwest Back Country

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I’m worrying about the unseasonable heat along with the heightened potential for wildfires. It seems like climate change is shouting at us, but our hearing isn’t very good.

But Wait! There’s More!: Adventures in Buying an Electric Car in Italy

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The savings from not buying gas, not maintaining an internal combustion car, not paying the normal taxes, no ZTL fines, no speeding tickets, and not needing to rent cars for long road trips means buying an electric car virtually pays for itself. Not quite, but close. Close enough for it to make a lot of sense.

Cautiously: BC Loosens its COVID Shutdown

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The border, closed to non-commercial travel since March of last year, remains shut until at least July 21. Cruise ships cannot use Canadian ports until March of next year.

Portland: Down in the Dumps

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These days, Portland is struggling with the question of what it takes to make a city safe and how to rebuild it too, as it gradually opens up from the Covid-19 shutdowns.

Taking Hawaii Back: COVID Pause forces rethink of Over-tourism

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While Hawaii rebuilds a shattered economy that lost tens of thousands of jobs during the pandemic, there’s growing pressure to tamp down on the excesses of over-tourism.

Italy: Rethinking Tourism before the Hordes Return?

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Italy is returning to normal, which is a relief. But now the country, as many places, has to figure out how not to return to the normal of harmful, soulless tourism.

Back to the Wallowas

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“Private Property” was a concept that European immigrants to America brought with them, but which was alien to American Indians. Euro-Americans kept trying to get Indians to “settle down” and farm a particular plot of land. Though some did, it was alien to their culture, at least to the Nez Perce culture.

San Juan County, like Seattle, Takes Aim at Reforming its Charter

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San Juan's modern county charter allows for a ready path to modifying it. Voters may soon get to vote on environmental and equity issues.

Oregon Gains a Congressional Seat (But Where?)

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So, slam dunk for the Dems to score again in 2022, as new congressional borders are drawn? There is predictable pressure from Republicans to rebalance the delegation by drawing a new district that would look purple but could turn red. But it’s a long shot.

Lost in Time: Australia during COVID

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I see nothing for most people to complain about and don’t understand why, now the restrictions here have for the most part been put away, so many people are acting as if they have been let out of jail, or just got their sight back.

Explaining Idaho: Growing Fast and Changing Politically

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My North Idaho neighborhood is a tiny blue puddle in a sea of red. For all the talk (hope?) that the influx of newcomers would moderate the politics of Idaho, the opposite is the reality. The last Democrat to win an Idaho presidential election was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

“Lying Cow”? Breathtaking Misogyny and Political Malpractice in Australia

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The coinciding scandals spurred massive March 4 Women protests that drew 110,000 into the streets of dozens of cities under the banner of “Enough is Enough.”

The Year of Living Pandemically — Italian-Style

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The First Wave of Covid hit like a freight train. Then came a second wave, even worse. But the government has adapted and neighbors have turned out to help small businesses.

Working with the Land: New In US, Centuries-in-the-Making in Italy

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The practices that seemed dramatically innovative in the U.S. have been in use for centuries here. One simply does not build inside, or near, a floodplain.

Wintery Dispatches from Nez Perce Country

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So, what do you do when dining outside in White Salmon at 29 degrees? Order Margaritas of course! Dinner was great.

“Drive-By Chalking”: The Sheep and Jackasses of Ferry County

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The commissioners wanted motor bikes on the trail, which follows an old railroad bed. Crusty Commissioner Michael Blankenship described as “sheep” and “jackasses” advocates of a walking, jogging, and pedaling trail.

Postcard from Italy: A Town of Music

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The couple is determined to make the best of the limitations imposed during the pandemic. With performance venues closed, they have turned to the medium of the internet.

Italian Diary: View from a Cold December

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Although there is a modest ant-vax movement in Italy, it doesn’t seem to feed itself on fantastical conspiracy theories about Bill Gates’ plans for world domination, 5G towers, and nefarious nanotechnologies. Since Italians appreciate their medical system, they trust their doctors to offer sound advice.

Letter from Italy: Another Lockdown — Mezza Mezza

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We are not homebound. We get all our daily needs met by the shops within our village. There is none of the toilet paper shelf-clearing that appears to be happening in the U.S. again. Deliveries happen every day; we have noticed no big change in the availability of goods and services.

British Columbia hit hard by Post-Thanksgiving COVID

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Students in British Columbia went back to school this fall. But now that the pandemic is spreading to this once-spared province, health offices and the education ministry are considering an option of starting the winter school break early in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

The Robin Hood of Piedmont

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This morning Rome’s La repubblica reported that Alberto Cirio, the president of Italy's heavily industrialized province Piedmont, has introduced a bill to introduce a supertax on the proceeds of web-based businesses grossing more than €5.5 million a year in Italy and €750 million worldwide.

Taken for a Walk: The Mythologies of Car-free Communities

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The New York Times recently featured a development project in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area that claims it will be car-free. Its future 1000...

Election Lessons from Portland

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Portland, with 77 percent white population is one of the nation’s whitest cities, yet it will be majority-minority on the new city council. The city remains among the most liberal in terms of social policy, but the mayor’s victory plus this shift on the council may signal a police-reform agenda that would not be radical.

Letter from Italy: A Deflated Country Locks Down Again

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One friend in the Italian countryside represents the generation that feels like their formative years of socializing and dating are being stunted. He may put on smiling face but he is noticeably distraught.

A BC Snap Election Gives Government a Reinforced Majority

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The pandemic has been well managed, textbook-style. Even so, the pandemic has hit hard, notably cratering the province’s tourism industry from cruise ships to wine tourism in the south Okanagan.

Amazon in Italy: A Clash of Culture?

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People know that shopping locally helps their neighbors and their families. So shop they do, have friendly conversations, share latest news, and perhaps chat about an upcoming festival. Making purchases isn’t just a commercial transaction – an exchange of money for goods or services. Its about reaffirming your connections with other people.