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God Bless The First Lady Of France Who Is Her Husband's Senior By 24-Years - Her Husband, The President Of France. ~~~ J. B. Robinson


NORTH TO ALASKA



By: Richard Senate
Posted: 09/22/17

The big white ship loomed like a floating seventeen-story hotel at her berth in Seattle, Washington where we checked in and then passed thought tight security. This was the Emerald Princess. one of the newest cruise ships in the Princess fleet of vessels, this one would take we passengers on a voyage of discovery to Alaska.

The journey would be a one-week round-trip from Seattle to Seattle with stops at The Gold Rush towns of Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway. There was a short stop at Victoria, British Columbia, Canada before returning. Like on all cruise ships there was constant activities and endless food offered in lavish buffets. The quality of the food was never in question from classic American dishes to exotic cuisine from around the world, from Morocco, to India, China to Mexico.

Entertainment was first rate, unlike some cruise ships where the quality of the singers and bands are like Vegas lounge act rejects. Movies were offered with first run films, documentaries, and concerts. A day at sea was extraordinaire. Our first stop was the charming false fronted gold rush town that dated back to the Alaskan Gold Rush of 1898-99. We took the walking tour with a Native American Tour Guide, who explained the unique elements of this town, started by gold and prospered with salmon fishing and canning. We discovered there were five different species of Pacific: Salmon, Chum, Sockeye, King, Silver and Pink.

The tour included the historic Red Light District on Creek Street, built over a surging river. Now, it's place is filled with shops and museums, where once "Ladies of the Night" once performed their ancient trade. Next the ship sailed for the Alaskan Capital of Juneau - a really small town of some 30,000. There we visited the Nevada State Museum that told the story of Native peoples and the story of the Russians, who once owned and colonized Alaska followed by the coming of the Americans and the gold rush. The museum had large boats, totem poles, and the story of Alaska in World War II when Japanese forces invaded two islands off Alaska and were driven back with great effort.

The cruise continued onto Skagway, another gold rush town that could be called the "Ghost Capital of Alaska" It is a small art community today of less than a thousand people. The principle attraction is the haunted saloon and former brothel called "The Red Onion". Here the ghost of a hooker walks.

We returned to the ship to sail for and tour Victoria, in Canada where we visited the opulent Victorian mansion called the Craigdarroch Castle that is also haunted. We were pleased to take many pictures and even got the phantom image of a cat! Then it was back to Seattle with a tour of Pikes Market and the futuristic Space Needle that reminded me of Disneyland's Tomorrowland.

It was a relaxing journey to the 49th state, a trip with magnificent landscapes, towering mountains, waterfalls, and wildlife. The people were friendly and warm, ship a real treat in every way. I would recommend the Emerald Princess to anyone who wished a relaxing trip where a couple can make memories of a lifetime.


FIRECRACKERS SET COLUMBIA
GORGE ABLAZE CLOSING
INTERSTATE FREEWAY

By: J. B. Robinson
Posted: 09/26/17

While the news media carried the horrific-destructive stories of the hurricanes that have hit Texas, Florida, East Coast and Puerto Rico, one 15-year old set off firecrackers starting a fire in the Columbia River Gorge - a fire that grew to be the #1 priority fire to be put out in the nation.

The fire started on 09/02/17; two days later on 09/04/17, I-84 was closed both directions from Troutdale to The Dallas, OR. I-84 Westbound reopened on 09/14/17; whereas, eastbound traffic remained closed until 09/23/17. Shutdowns forced transportation including big rig trucks to either travel on the Washington side of the Columbia River out of Vancouver, WA and then cross the river on the bridge to The Dallas, Oregon or go over Mt. Hood and come down the north side of the mountain or visa-a-versa to travel westbound.*

The gorge in part was turned to ashes outside Cascade Locks, OR as the winds blew westward toward Portland and then back eastward toward The Dallas. The losses would not only be for the resident, but also, horrendous loss for those depending on tourism, plus for the hikers and the tourists themselves who loved this scenic highway with its forest: the trees, the animals, the birds, the sky, and the beautiful river below. The public is highly concerned and rightfully so about whether nature's animals did survive the fire; if so, even though they are instinctive creatures, it would be a miracle. Their loss, the animals, birds, and fish is to insurmountable to think about.

Watching through one's minds eyes, one can envision the animals as they scurried through the forest - the rodents: families of chipmunks, squirrels, possums, raccoons, mice, rats, skunks, porcupines, weasels, and beavers. Far ahead of the race were the elk, deer, bear, mountain cats and coyotes. Meantime, Canada Geese, Osprey, Great Blue Heron, California Gulls, ring-billed Gulls and Caspian Terns and other birds took cover in the sky by flying away. Because of the depth of the river, few if any, animals were able to flee the fire by the safety of the water. Those that could, burrowed under the earth for safe cover.

Like soldiers in front of a firing squad, the tall trees and shrubbery stood patiently awaiting their certain death. Some of the people are angry while others teary eyed, envisioning the view and the beauty of the landscape along one of the most scenic rivers in North America in part mostly gone.

On the ground were baby-size pinecones, large-narrow pinecones and shorter stubby cones - pinecones that will not grace Thanksgiving and Christmas table decorations or Christmas wreaths that should hang from doors. They would not come from this part of the woods for many years to come.

Gone is the storage of acorns - forest tree seeds and a food stock for winter by squirrels to nibble. Others retrieved the food supplies stored in the tree and instinctively buried them under the ground. There would be little if any replenishing or reseeding of the earth for new trees once the acorns were ablaze. It will take an army of scouts and forest workers to replant this forest; and, it will take years for re-growth - more years than some of us have to live out our lives on the earth. The word that comes to mind is "tragic".

* I-84 is sometimes referred to as the "Banfield Freeway" or simply "the Banfield". This freeway is named after Thomas H."Harry" Banfield (1885-1950), the Chairman of the Oregon Transportation Commission from 1943 to 1950. This freeway, I-84 is one of the highest traveled freeways in the State of Oregon including passenger traffic and major truck transportation moving the economy in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Utah.

The bottom line for trucking is if you as a man like to eat and you as a woman like to shop, then the trucking industry is important to you. Trucks deliver food and boutique/clothing items. In Oregon, I-84 runs parallel with the Columbia River, the border between the States of Oregon and Washington. The river originates in British Columbia, in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and winds its way through the State of Washington in the United States flowing 1,243 miles into the Pacific Ocean claiming to the be the largest river to flow in the Pacific Northwest region of North America.

The first ship to sail its way up the Columbia River was in the late 18th century; it was a private American ship to enter the river - one that was followed by a British explorer, who navigated past the Oregon Coast Range into the Willamette Valley. In the following decades, fur-trading companies used the Columbia as a key transportation route. For years actually decades, ships have traveled past the Port of Portland onto the Port of The Dallas, Oregon approximately 181 miles due east from the Pacific Ocean. Amidst this Pacific Northwest waterway east of Portland, OR is the Columbia River Gorge - a canyon encompassing downward to 4,000 feet deep. The canyon stretches for over 80 miles and has often been referred as one of the "Ten Most Beautiful Sites On The Earth".


WANDERING BEAR (CUB) SAFELY RELOCATED TO THE LOS PADRES NATIONAL FOREST

By: Captain James Fryhoff
Posted: 08/10/17

On 08-30-17 at 10:30 AM deputies responded to a bear in the area of the 100 block of North Felix Drive in Meiners Oaks. The cub ran up a tree and was stationary for some time. After a consultation with Department of Fish and Wildlife, the instructions were to leave the cub alone and it would likely come down at dusk and head back for the mountains. Fish and Wildlife officials indicated that based on the size of the cub, it was not likely to have a "momma bear" with it. However, at 2:00 p.m. the cub came down from the tree and was walking through yards in the 100 block of North Lomita Avenue. Patrol deputies responded again and contacted Fish and Wildlife again who responded. While deputies were on scene, the cub climbed a tree in the 100 block of North Lomita Avenue. The cub stayed in the area until Fish and Wildlife arrived.

Once on scene, Fish and Wildlife official, Lieutenant JC Healy, in conjunction with deputies from the Ojai station came up with a plan to set up a perimeter and immobilize the cub so it could be safely relocated. The two agencies kept public safety and the cub's safety in mind in every decision. The cub was successfully immobilized and relocated to the Los Padres National Forest.

Units Responsible Parties:
Ojai Patrol Station
California Department of Fish and Wildlife


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A FORGOTTEN EVENT
THE GREAT FLU EPIDEMIC OF 1918


By: Richard Senate
Posted: 09/23/17

With flu season upon us, it is time to remember to get that flu shot and take precautions by washing our hands, watching out for those sneezers, get plenty of rest, and the like.

Few history books tell of the great tragedy of 1918. It wasn't the horrors of the first world war that killed 11 million. It was worse. The massive pandemic took an estimated 60 million lives worldwide. In America over 400,000 perished and in the month of October, 1918, among which 100,000 Americans died.

It was called "the Spanish Flu"; however, it didn't originate in Spain. It was called that because the first well known-person to die of the illness was the Queen of Spain. Today most researchers say it originated in Southern China. Whatever the place of origin, because of the movement of troops due to the war, the sickness spread all over the world. It was a deadly strain of the influenza virus, spread by a single cough. It would kill in three days; and, it seemed to target the healthy adults with a death rate of 20%. Oddly enough, it didn't take many children (who have stronger immune systems) or the elderly (who had lived though an earlier flu, called "the Russian Flu," that wasn't as deadly, however, gave the survivors some immunity to its deadly cousin).

Hospitals workers were hit hard, as were doctors; many fell victims to the air born sickness. The Red Cross asked for volunteers to step forward and lend a hand. Many bravely stepped forward to become aides and nurses. Many paid for their bravery with their own lives. Special "Flu Hospitals" were set up all over the nation, in churches and closed schools. Theaters, schools and public spaces were closed as it could provide places of inflection. It swept the nation with an almost Biblical effect. Some said it was God's Punishment for national sin. Others said it was the end of the world. Caskets were stacked in the streets of the Midwest where the ground was too frozen for burials.

In Ventura one out of ten were sickened. The flu hit Filmore hard, Santa Paula lost many citizens. It really didn't strike Ventura County until October of 1918. Before that, most rashly believe Ventura had been spared-but when it hit-it hit hard!. In a year the virus mutated to a less deadly form and the pandemic was over.

Perhaps, as 2018 approaches some sort of remembrance should be held? Maybe a special monument or statue erected at Ivy Lawn where many of the victims rest. That or a monument to the Red Cross workers and volunteers who came forward and risked their lives to help fellow Venturans, some who were stricken and perished. We should remember what happened 100 years ago; because, hopefully it won't; however, it may well happen again!

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