The Columbia River Ship Report

January 26, 2009

By Joanne Rideout- “Good morning, it’s time for the Columbia River Ship Report on Coast Community Radio, I’m your host Joanne Rideout.” For the past five years on weekday mornings I’ve greeted listeners with those words, from the station’s studios on the banks

Carl Wirkkala

October 5, 2008

Making Music On His Own Terms

By Jim LeMonds

Carl Wirkkala would love to make a splash on the country music scene. But if it happens, it will be on his terms.

The 33-year-old Castle Rock resident has written nearly 200 songs-a handful of which are currently being considered by publishers and producers-and released four albums. His sound is a combination of blues, folk, and old-school country. Something you might hear if Johnny Cash and Buzz Martin sat down to jam with Bob Dylan and Tracy Chapman.

Although Wirkkala writes about “the West” in general, his music is pertinent to the Pacific Northwest in particular, with subject matter that includes logging, mill closures, and used-up towns. Read more

Eating Local: The Farm to Table Movement

July 29, 2008

by Suzanne Martinson

Here a locavore, there a locavore, everywhere a locavore.

A locavore - the word of the year in the New Oxford American Dictionary – is someone who seeks locally produced food.

Their numbers here are sprouting.

Farmers markets in the region have been growing in size and numbers the past several years. And in Longview, a new group has taken farm fresh to a new plateau as it helps locavores connect with the farm fresh food they crave. Read more

Anchored In Astoria

June 9, 2008

By Donna Quinn

   In an age where generic big box chain culture and soulless cookie-cutter developments are rapidly changing cities and transforming landscapes, special communities with a unique and powerful sense of place offer a deep connection with the authentic. Psychologists posit that when we are detached from the place we live in, we are detached from our deepest selves as well. Perhaps the old adage that “we can’t know who we are until we know where we are” is truer today than ever. 

   Astoria, Oregon defies easy labels and descriptions. While it may seem unconventional to use an Italian fish soup to describe a town steeped in Scandinavian heritage, Astoria is much like a hearty bowl of Cioppino. Begin with one small historic town with Victorian homes on tree covered hillside promontories, and surround on three sides with water, water and more water. Add world-class views of the mouth of the Mighty Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. Throw in rugged, dramatic and changeable weather, an iconic bridge, salty people, zesty artists, and a real working waterfront. Mix in eccentric characters, salmon-salmon-salmon and old-old-old along with ghosts of the past, and you may get a taste of Astoria, a place still filled with mysteries, stories, and the scent of home. Read more

The Search For Station Camp

May 28, 2008

By Brian F. Harrison

   A stark gray wooden church, some weather-wrecked remains of small buildings standing amid scotch broom and canary grass. A wooded hillside to the north, the Columbia River on the south. I was standing on an arc of sandy riverbank, ready to begin the most important archaeological project of my career, and wondered if we would end up finding anything.

   I had driven past this area a hundred times, thinking the church photogenic. But I dismissed the few acres around it as a pretty boring piece of landscape, albeit with a spectacular view of the river. Now I was responsible for figuring out the history of the place, the lives and behaviors of those who had lived here, and whether enough remained of their activities to make the site significant to America’s sense of itself. Read more