Sense of Place, A Sense of Honor: How Community Members Supported Japanese Americans during World War II, Linda Tamura

Although Hood River garnered national notoriety for anti-Japanese American sentiments during World War II, it’s noteworthy that a small number of local citizens stepped forward on behalf of their neighbors. In individual acts of support for Japanese Americans and – in some cases – as members of the League for Liberty and Justice, they demonstrated courage and a respect for civil rights. Join Gorge Owned for this Sense of Place program as we welcome Linda Tamura to reflect on incidents of that time and place. She will be joined by community members Sydney Babson Blaine, Jack Sheppard and Dorothy & Joan Laurance who will recall stories of their families’ acts during and leading up to the Internment. We will reflect on the past while also recognizing lessons for our community’s future.

Tamura will summarize the immigration, wartime incarceration, and return to the valley of local Japanese Americans. Integrated throughout will be remembrances of locals about their own family members. We also plan to invite and recognize family members of affected individuals during the program. This program will be appropriate for youth as well as adults.

Tamura is Professor Emerita, Willamette University and author of two books about her hometown, Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: Coming Home to Hood River (University of Washington Press, 2013) and Hood River Issei: An Oral History of Japanese Settlers in Oregon’s Hood River Valley (University of Illinois Press, 1994). She also co-curated “What If Heroes Were Not Welcome Home?” an exhibit, now traveling, through the Oregon Historical Society.

Sydney Babson Blaine of Parkdale is granddaughter of an East Coast settler who hired and befriended Japanese workers. Her family dedicated a plaque at the Mt. Hood Railroad Depot in 2012 to memorialize the forced removal of local Japanese Americans.

Jack Sheppard is retired businessman and son of the co-founder of Shepard’s downtown farm machinery business. He discovered correspondence between his father and Japanese Americans whom he endeavored to support during and after the war.

Dorothy and Joan Laurance, both of Hood River, are the widow and daughter of the late Capt. Sheldon Laurance, who apologized to a Japanese American veteran who had been denied a haircut by a downtown barber. Capt. Laurance wore a letter, published in the Oregonian in 1945, decrying “such unjustified prejudices and insults to…some of the nation’s best fighting men…”

Tamura will speak on Wednesday, March 15, at Columbia Center for the Arts. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the lecture begins at 7 p.m. Come early to enjoy a glass of wine or beer and meet others in the community. Gorge Owned’s (GO!) Sense of Place is an annual lecture series that seeks to foster a deeper understanding of and connection to our landscape and to one another.

Video: Australian teen skips school, gets to play onstage with Springsteen

The Huffington Post reports that 14-year-old Nathan Testa got the rock-and-roll lesson of a lifetime when he was tutored by none other than Bruce Springsteen on stage in front of thousands of people.

Testa was at The Boss’ show at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre last Thursday when he held up a sign saying he had skipped school to be there and wanted to play “Growin’ Up” with Springsteen, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Testa not only played the song with Springsteen and the E Street Band, he even received a few lessons in how to hold the guitar like a rock star:

Yakama Nation celebrates reburial of their relative, the Ancient One

Toppenish, Wash. The following statement is from JoDe Goudy, Chairman of the Yakama Nation Tribal Council:.

“The return of our ancestor to Mother Earth is a blessing for all Yakama people. The Ancient One (also known as the “Kennewick Man”) may now finally find peace, and we, his relatives, will equally feel content knowing that this work has been completed on his behalf. For more than two decades we have fought on behalf of our ancestors. The unity of the native people during our collective efforts to bring the Ancient One home is a glimpse of how life once was, when we were all one people.”

“We humble ourselves before our Creator knowing that without the practice of our way of life, we cease to be Yakamas. When this work is completed, we will respectfully step forth to continue the work that lies before all of us. Throughout the lands, there are countless other relatives, artifacts, and possessions that lie within various collections, amongst various entities, governed by various laws. Our work will continue on their behalf because they must be returned to their appropriate resting place. We must fix the governing laws that allow such disrespect to continue to be dictated to our collective peoples.”

“We thank all of those who stood with us and helped us bring the Ancient One home, including, President Barack Obama and Governor Jay Inslee. We would also like to thank Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) along with Congressmen Heck (D-WA), Kilmer (D-WA), Newhouse (R-WA), and Walden (R-OR) for their efforts in Congress. And we are especially grateful for Dr. Allyson Brooks, the Washington State Historic Preservation Officer, whose advocacy for justice in this case was critical to our victory we celebrate today. Finally, we are appreciative to the Burke Museum and Staff, who have respectfully cared for our relative for the past two decades, while he awaited his return home. We hope our continued work will see equal, if not perhaps even greater support from all who are in positions of authority to do so.”

Pile burning planned near Upper Major Creek in Columbia River Gorge

Hood River, Ore. – Fire managers at the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area are planning to conduct pile burns near the upper East Fork of Major Creek in Klickitat County, Washington this month.

The piles of woody and vegetative material come from thinning and vegetation management activities conducted in recent years to remove flammable natural fuels from the landscape. Each burn is the culmination of years of planning and preparation. Thinning helps fire managers reduce the threat and intensity of wildfires and restores a forest structure in which large, widely-spaced pine and oak trees dominate the landscape.

The actual day of ignition for the pile burning projects depends on factors such as humidity, wind speed and direction, temperature, moisture levels of understory vegetation. Burns only occur on days when the Washington State Smoke Management Office indicates suitable weather conditions for smoke dispersal are present.

Smoke may be visible in surrounding communities, and piles may smolder, burn, and produce smoke for several days after ignition. Where necessary, motorists should reduce speeds and turn on headlights. If unsure whether smoke or a fire is from a planned pile burn, citizens can contact their local fire department or the National Scenic Area at 541-308-1700.

For updates on the planned pile burning, follow the National Scenic Area’s social media accounts at or Learn more about Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area at


The Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area encompasses 292,500 acres of Washington and Oregon, where the Columbia River cuts a spectacular river canyon through the Cascade Mountains. The USDA Forest Service manages National Forest lands in the National Scenic Area and works with the Gorge Commission, states, counties, treaty tribes, and partners to protect and enhance scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational resources of the Columbia River Gorge while encouraging local economic development consistent with that protection.

Weekend events – food, fun and the flicks

Tonight the 11th Annual Italian Night and Raffle, hosted by the Beneventi family from 5 to 8 pm at Grace Baptist Church in White Salmon The all-you-can-eat lasagna served at this event has been called “the best in the Gorge,” and Beneventi’s doesn’t have it on their menu. The Annual Italian Night is the only place to get it! There’s also outstanding vegetarian lasagna, chicken parmesan, penne pasta, garlic bread, salad, and dessert. The event features a raffle with countless prizes; everything from gift cards to handmade goods and awesome gift baskets. Tickets $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-10, free for 4 and younger. All proceeds will benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Columbia Gorge

Join the Goldendale Equestrian Team for a Monterrey Taco Dinner and Silent Auction from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Goldendale American Legion. Silent Auction items donated by local businesses and Artisans who wish to help this extraordinary team of girls who are dedicated equestrians and honor students at Goldendale High School.

Can three people really cover thirty-seven Shakespeare plays in less than two hours? The fast-firing comedy titled The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) does just that as it parodies all of the Shakespeare plays (plus the sonnets!) with only three performers in two acts. This play is full of energy as the characters run across the stage and keep you guessing how they will pull off the next play. Performances tonight and Saturday night at 7 pm, Sunday 2 pm at the lecture hall on the 3rd floor of building 2 at the Columbia Gorge Community College campus. Tickets $10, and $5 for 13 and under, available at Klindts.


Free Saturday morning movies continue at Columbia Cinemas in The Dalles, with doors open at 9:15 and the movie at 10 am. Tomorrow’s animated feature is Surf’s Up. Youth Think will collect cans of food for the food bank.

The Dalles Civic Auditorium is pleased to partner with Discover Rentals and The Dalles Wedding Place again this year for the Columbia River Gorge Bridal Show February 18th, 2017 from 11-4. They will have more than 25 exhibitors and three bridal fashion shows. There is a $5.00 admission fee, with the first 100 brides receiving a swag bag. Come connect with the professionals that will make your wedding day perfect!

“Art Deco Architecture: The Gorge” is the title of Saturday’s history program at the Original Wasco County Courthouse, presented by Hood River freelance writer and architectural historian Ellen Shapley. The program begins at 1:30 p.m. in the 1859 Courthouse at 410 West Second Place, The Dalles. Saturday’s presenter owns Architouring. She began leading tours for the Chicago Architecture Foundation 25 years ago. Her passion for history and the design of the built environment is currently focused on Portland and the Gorge. There is a TV monitor on the ground floor of the 1859 courthouse to serve those unable to climb the stairs. Coffee and cookies will be served after the program.

Want to spend time with your little princess? Come to the Royal Daddy Daughter Dance. Saturday 6 to 9 pm at the Readiness Center in The Dalles. The dance is open for any girl between the ages of 4 – 12 years old and is escorted by their father. Dress up in your nicest clothes and dance the night away, or until bedtime. Tickets $30 per couple, $10 each additional daughter.

Union Bank® Small Business Economic Survey: Pacific Northwest small Businesses optimistic about direction of the national and local economies

To hear our Feb. 15 interview with Nicole Lapin, click on the grey podcast button at the bottom of the page.
Los Angeles, CA – Small business owners across the Pacific Northwest are more confident about the national and local economies this year, according to results from the 18th annual Small Business Economic Survey released today by Union Bank.
The survey found that more than half of small business owners in Oregon and Washington State said the national and local economies are headed in the right direction, up 14 points and 17 points respectively from January 2016. This raised level of confidence extends to their own businesses, with nearly 96 percent of respondents expressing confidence in their company, an increase of 17 points from January 2016.
“It is very encouraging to see more business owners holding a positive view of U.S. economy
compared to last January,” said Union Bank Managing Director Todd Hollander, Head of
Business Banking. “This confidence is essential if further job growth and expansion is to occur.”
However, small business owners in the Pacific Northwest region are significantly less optimistic
about the direction of the U.S. than their West Coast peers. One-quarter of small business owners
in the Pacific Northwest believe the U.S., as an entity, is headed in the right direction compared
to 38 percent of West Coast businesses.
Small business owners in the Pacific Northwest are also more pessimistic about the future
business climate than their counterparts in California. Nearly half (47 percent) of Pacific
Northwest respondents believe the business climate will worsen over the next two years. This
compares to 32 percent of all California survey participants.
Staffing, Sales and Capital Expenditures
One-quarter of small business owners in the Pacific Northwest hired new employees in 2016, on
par with results across the West Coast (28 percent). However, the vast majority (90 percent) said
they will keep personnel levels in line with last year.
Slightly more than half (55 percent) of Pacific Northwest small business owners reported stable
sales for 2016, similar to the West Coast average of 49 percent. Generally, small business owners
plan to keep costs and prices consistent this year, which follows trends across the West Coast.
Still, one in four plan to increase prices.
Referrals from existing clients remain the most common means of generating new business,
followed by networking and additional spending on marketing and advertising. Two-thirds of
small business owners expect to keep capital expenditures the same in 2017.
Impacts of Jobs Act, Affordable Care Act, Minimum Wage
Pacific Northwest small business owners are significantly more likely than the West Coast
average to say they have felt no impact from the Small Business Jobs Act (80 percent versus 70
Small business owners in the Pacific Northwest are divided on the issue of health care costs. Half
of small business owners reported no change to health care costs as a result of the health care
changes, though 42 percent said their health care costs have “somewhat or greatly” risen.
However, 8 in 10 respondents said the Affordable Care Act has not impacted employment.
The Pacific Northwest’s small business owners are less worried about proposed changes to the
minimum wage than other West Coast businesses. Just 16 percent noted they were either
“extremely concerned” or “very concerned” about the proposed changes, compared to 23 percent
of all survey participants.
Federal Support for Small Businesses
Although small business owners in the Pacific Northwest do not favorably rate the federal
government’s efforts to stimulate small business growth, they agree with other West Coast
business owners that more government programs are a top way to grow small business. This is
followed by lower interest rates (30 percent) and greater access to capital and credit (24 percent).
In response to questions about equal pay, 60 percent of Pacific Northwest small business owners
said these policies remain a low priority and they have not made any conscious efforts to address
the issue.
Access to Credit, Spending
Nearly three-quarters of small business owners in the Pacific Northwest said that access to credit
has remained the same for the past two years. Only 13 percent applied for credit in 2016 and just
half of that (6 percent) plan to apply for credit this year.
Pacific Northwest small business owners are split when asked if they are prepared for changing
interest rates. A majority (56 percent) said they are prepared, while 44 percent said they are
either unsure or admit to being unprepared. This is similar to the West Coast average.
Over half (56 percent) of small business owners said they are working the same number of hours
in early 2017 as they did during the same time last year; 28 percent said they are working more;
and 16 percent said they are working “somewhat or a lot less.”
Planning the Future: Ownership Structure
The proportion of small business owners planning changes to ownership structure remains
constant, with 88 percent reporting that their business will continue to operate in its current form. This is similar to the West Coast average of 82 percent.

Wasco County Executive encourages Citizens to attend Gorge Commission Listening Session

Wasco County executive Tyler Stone, county planner Angie Brewer and Port of The Dalles Manager Andrea Klaus made the trip to Vancouver Tuesday to testify at the Gorge Commission. The commission has begun a 2 and a half year process to update the Management Plan that governs land use in the National Scenic Area and is looking for testimony from as many people as possible. Stone urged the Commission to pay particular attention to the cities and counties that have to live under the Gorge Commision rules, and at a meeting of the Wasco County Commissioners Wednesday, he encouraged people to get to the listening session set for February 28 at 6 pm at the Readiness Center. And he asked them to comment online.

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