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Living With Gratitude

Parkdale entrepreneur brings community together in giving thanks By Drew Myron In a year marked with death, illness, and isolation, Sara Rose Donahue is determined to find the bright side. “It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude,” she says. “It’s gratitude that brings us happiness.” The Parkdale native is the creator of Gratitude University, a […]

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Trail Keepers

Volunteers build trails—and appreciation—through recreation paradise By Drew Myron Dense forests, dramatic basalt cliffs, majestic river views: The Columbia Gorge is a recreation mecca. Thanks to three volunteer groups, the area’s best—and most popular—trails survive and thrive. While on one of these paths through paradise, recreationists should give a nod to Hood River Area Trail […]

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Lead with a Whisper

Kristin Reese empowers others in supporting role Story and photos by Drew Myron Everyone loves Kristin Reese, but she doesn’t want to hear it. Though she has earned awards, fellowships, and adoration from area youth, Kristin turns from attention. “Oh, I don’t want to talk about me,” she says, in a practiced pivot. “I want […]

Martha Verduzco speaking to a crowd at a rally
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A Voice for Justice

By Drew Myron Martha Verduzco rallies for change Even without a megaphone, Martha Verduzco commands a crowd—not because she is loud, but because she is driven, energized, and working hard for change. A leader in Hood River’s Latino community, Martha has been called a true force in the Gorge. “Martha is fire, and she is […]

A woman outside ordering at the window from a girl.
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Pour Girls Success

In tough times, an outdoor diner finds its niche Story and photos by Drew Myron Never made coffee. Nearly no food experience. A global health crisis. This is not the recipe for success. Against all odds and timing, Pour Girls is experiencing unexpected achievement. What began as a coffee cart on a struggling corner lot […]

Lisa Perry standing next to a full box of pears.
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Coping With COVID-19

Hood River Valley growers work through new rules By Drew Myron Maija Yasui is searching for toilets. At the peak of harvest, her family farm employs 140 workers, and she is working hard to keep them safe. “We need more port-a-potties,” she says, calculating the sweeping changes a pandemic brings. “They must be no more […]