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Winter Fishtrap was a big hit

Who’s going to take over for an ever-aging population of farmers and ranchers?

Published on February 20, 2018 2:45PM

Kudos to Fishtrap on the remarkable success of the first Winter Fishtrap in many years. “The New Agrarians” was by all measuring sticks a huge success.

The discussions provided an educational component on the struggles of agriculture that isn’t generally available.

I was particularly struck by the succession issues. Who’s going to take over for an ever-aging population of farmers and ranchers? And what happens to those of us who enjoy eating if no one steps up?

I was also struck by some of the similarities between what’s occurring in agriculture and the plight newspapers face.

As the business model becomes increasingly more broken each year, where do you find young people who are willing to step in and commit themselves to a life of informing and educating the public sometimes for very little reward?

I am thinking “The New Agrarians II” might be a good theme for the next Winter Fishtrap.

Don’t forget, The Big Read kicks off Thursday night with what promises to be a great event.

IT WAS a bit of a shocker to wake up to four inches of snow in Enterprise Sunday morning. For a lot of people who depend on water from the high country, you could probably call it a million-dollar snowfall.

From all indications, it’s a lot dryer up there than anyone is comfortable with. March and April can produce a good amount of snow, however, so all hope is not lost.

Overall, we’ve had a blessedly mild winter, at least compared with last year’s adventure in pain.

ANOTHER FOOTNOTE on our recent trip to Portland. Maybe after living here for nearly a year, I’ve lost my taste for traffic jams.

We were out in the suburban area around Clackamus. The traffic was beyond horrific.

Governments classify roads by something called Level of Service, a term used to qualitatively describe the operating conditions of a roadway based on factors such as speed, travel time, maneuverability, delay and safety.

The level of service is designated with a letter, A to F, with A representing the best operating conditions and F the worst.

Most of the roads we were on received an F grade, which is similar to when you get an F on your report card in school. It’s not good.

We lived in suburban Minneapolis for 18 years. The Minneapolis area is roughly 3.2 million, Portland is less than 750,000. We never saw congestion in suburban Minneapolis like we saw in suburban Portland. The good residents of Minnesota would have stormed the Bastille.

I guess the intelligent traffic planners don’t work in Portland. There were roads where it was impossible to make a left-hand turn in the middle of the day. By rush hour, you couldn’t make a left-hand or a right-hand turn. And the endless stream of traffic lights only made things worse.

I breathed a sign of relief when we turned off the freeway and headed back to Wallowa County. No more traffic headaches until the next trip to the “big city.”


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