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Nature Caught in the Crosshairs at Oregon Militia Standoff

A year after Cliven Bundy’s famous face off with feds, self-styled “Patriots” are refusing to bend to the BLM’s environmental regulations.

A scene from the BLM standoff with Cliven Bundy

It’s been a year since a big-bellied, nap-taking, and explicitly racist Nevada rancher named Cliven Bundy incited an armed standoff against the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in southern Nevada. Bundy backlogged $1 million in unpaid grazing fees owed to the BLM (more than all other ranchers combined) for releasing way too many cattle on 578,000 acres of precious public land that’s also the habitat for the endangered desert tortoise. This anniversary is important because the legacy of that confrontation has not been forgotten in the sprawling and unpeopled wild areas blanketing the west. Now, at a gold mine in Oregon, another right-wing group is taking a stand against the BLM, its authority, and its regulations, environmental and otherwise.

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How the Towns of Bland, Dull, and Boring Made Their Lame Names Work for Them

Small towns stuck with unfortunate or unusual appellations are a surprise hit with tourists

Last year, three little, oft-maligned towns across the world decided it was time to transcend their stigma and use their unfortunate names as a force for good. United by common pain—and the prospect of a little extra tourism—the municipalities of Bland, Australia; Boring, Oregon; and Dull, Scotland teamed up to create what they call the League of Extraordinary Communities, but which many have dubbed the Trinity of Tedium. Although part of the union is about reclaiming the joke of their names and having a good laugh themselves, it’s also just one of many strange bids by small towns to bring in a few extra dollars. And it appears to be working, which we can only hope means we’ll see more such confederacies soon.

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Tsunami Debris Is Washing Up in Oregon

A 132-ton mass of steel and concrete that floated across the Pacific from Misawa, Japan, will be turned into a memorial.

Well, pieces of debris, some of them very large, from last year's devastating tsunami in Japan, are starting to wash up on the West Coast. A 132-ton mass of steel and concrete from Misawa, Japan, recently ended its journey across the Pacific and landed on the shores of Agate Beach, Oregon.

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Oregon Makes High Schoolers Apply to College to Get a Diploma

But is this actually going to help anyone (other than the politicians)?

This week the Oregon House of Representatives passed a bill that will deny graduating seniors their diplomas until they “showed proof of application to college, the U.S. armed forces or into an apprenticeship program." One the bill's sponsors, Rep. Tobias Read, says the bill isn't "about telling someone what is right for them but helping them make sure they're considering the choices and taking a step towards an option that's right for them." In other words, students are required to start planning for life after graduation. That can't be so bad, right?

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Cascadia: The West Coast Fault Line That Is "Nine Months Pregnant"

The fault zone that produced the largest known earthquake in the Lower 48 is "nine months pregnant and overdue." This time line illustrates it.

Ever since the massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck Japan, I've been thinking a lot about my friends in Oregon. Why? Because the impending "Big One" that Californians are nervous about is actually a lot more likely to occur off the coast of Oregon—and would be an even "Bigger One" there.

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In Portland, Open Data Makes It Easier to Get Around

By making public transportation data public, Portland, Oregon's TriMet system has fostered an explosion of useful information.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-uoyjSjp_E

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