Cascadia Daily Jan. 5, 2018

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Trump wants to drill for oil off Cascadia’s coast

Today, Ryan Zinke, Trump’s interior secretary, announced the administration’s plan to allow offshore oil and gas drilling off the west coast of the United States for the first time since 1984. It’s a huge shift from Obama administration policy, and the governors of Washington and Oregon were quick to denounce the plan, according to a report at KUOW. OR governor Kate Brown announced, “I’m appalled that our president would move contrary to Oregon values, frankly contrary to West Coast values, and frankly these moves will be very damaging to our coastal economies — both the natural resources economy and the recreational and tourism economy.”

Vancouver small businesses struggle with high rents

It’s well known that those seeking to rent or buy a place to live in Vancouver are facing astronomical rent increases (the benchmark is now at $1 million), but a less-documented but equally disturbing trend is the limiting effect high rents are having on small, independent businesses, according a report at CBC. “It’s difficult for small independents to compete with the big-box stores, says grocery owner Darcy Houser, “they have the deep pockets to pay the high rents…”

BC courts favor Indigenous hunter in border dispute

KNKX reports on a fascinating case that could set precedent for aboriginal groups on both sides of the WA-BC border. Courts ruled in favor of Rick Desautel, a member of the Colville Tribe in Washington, who crossed into BC in 2010 and shot an elk. The BC supreme court was persuaded by Desautel’s argument that he was a descendant of the Sinixt people, who have traditionally hunted for millennia in a vast area on both sides of the border.

Why you should be fascinated with corvids

There are few places you can go in Cascadia and not see corvids — the smart, ubiquitous family of birds that includes ravens, crows, and jays. In an essay for Grist, Jesse Nichols talks about his current obsession with corvids, and especially the Twitter feed of University of Washington scientist Kaeli Swift, whose #CrowOrNo challenges readers to identify the birds.

A wealth of visual arts shows in Portland

Barry Johnson, editor of Oregon Arts Watch, offers a detailed guide to gallery shows coming up in Portland in January, including a show by Michael Brophy at Russo Lee from Jan. 4-27. Also at Oregon Arts Watch, you can read an extensive interview with Brophy, who creates neo-romantic, massive paintings of clearcuts and other human interactions with Cascadia ecosytems.

An interview with Victoria-based poet Shane Book

The Victoria BC-based literary magazine Malahat Review celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and to celebrate they’ve published an extensive collection of writing from Victoria-based writers–past and present. One highlight is an interview with poet Shane Book, who grew up in Canada and Ghana. “I like that Victoria is pretty chill,” he says, “I think it’ll be a good place to get a lot of work done.”


That’s all today’s news and arts from the Cascadia bio-region. Here’s to having a brave and fun weekend in the Northwest! –Andrew Engelson

Photo credit: Forest and Clearing Peak, a painting by Michael Brophy, courtesy of Russo Lee Gallery