alternative press serving the lower columbia pacific region


Be in a Guinness World Record Swimming Event – Sunset Park & Rec Hosts!

SwimmerOn Tuesday, June 14th, 2011, thousands of kids and adults at aquatics facilities around the globe will unite to set a new global record for The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson™ (WLSL). Sunset Empire Park & Recreation District is an official Host Location for the 2011 WLSL record-setting event, taking place at 3pm GMT, 8 am Pacific.

The inaugural WLSL event established the Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous swimming lesson ever conducted in 2010 when almost 4,000 participants across 34 states, five countries and 3 continents participated to build awareness about the vital importance of teaching children to swim to prevent drowning.
Tragically, drowning is the second leading cause of unintended, injury related death of children ages 1-14 in the US. In fact, more than one in four fatal drowning victims are children 14 and younger.  And, research shows if a child doesn’t learn to swim before the 3rd grade, they likely never will. The threat of childhood drowning is even greater around the globe.

The WLSL program works to promote drowning prevention through education by focusing the energy of thousands of participants on a clear and specific message all at the same time. In 2010, aquatic facilities, from Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon near Orlando, Florida to swim schools in Orange Country, CA, to parks & recreation centers in the Bronx, to locations in Mexico, Dubai and the USAG Humphreys in South Korea, all taught the same swimming lesson at the same time with one goal in mind  – send the message that Swimming Lessons Save Lives™.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park near Orlando has been designated as the official headquarters location for the international event for the second year.

Gold Medalists’ Rowdy Gaines and Janet Evans are official spokespeople for the WLSL event for the second year to help convey that loss of life from drowning can be prevented through awareness and training.  As parents, both athletes feel a strong commitment to teaching children how to be safe in and around the water.  Gaines, 11-time world record holder and “voice of American swimming” for the Olympic Games, will be master of ceremonies for the WLSL event at Typhoon Lagoon.

For more information on this important and fun event, to find out how you can join the WLSL record breaking call 503-738-3311 or via e-mail Aquatic Manager Genesee Dennis: or visit

Garden Tour July 9 – Fundraiser for the Lower Columbia Preservation Society

The Lower Columbia Preservation Society’s 11th annual garden tour will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2011.  The self-guided tour is from 10am to 3pm. A reception will be held from 3-4:30 p.m. The tickets can be purchased on the day of the tour at 690 17th Street in Astoria, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Raffle tickets can also be purchased at this time: $1 each or 15 for $10.00.  Winners need not be present to win.  Admission is $15.00 for nonmembers and $10.00 for LCPS members. For information call 503-325-8024.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection Event to be held in June

Hazardous Waste Collection DayCLATSOP COUNTY, in conjunction with Western Oregon Waste (WOW), will be holding a household hazardous waste collection event at WOW headquarters on Airport Road near the Astoria Airport in Warrenton on Saturday, June 11, from 9 am – 3 pm. Wastes such as used or leftover pesticides, paints, poisons, fertilizers, solvents, batteries, automotive fluids, thermometers and light bulbs will be accepted for free from Clatsop County residents only. No medications, medical sharps, explosives, radioactive waste or waste from businesses will be accepted. For more information, contact the county at 503-325-8500.

Free workshop – Become a licensed child care provider

On Tuesday, June 7th, from 6:00pm – 9:00pm, the Child Care Resource & Referral in Clatsop County will hold a class for individuals interested in becoming Registered Family Child Care providers. The informational session will cover the rules and regulations for state registration, the services of the Child Care Resource & Referral, the business aspects of child care, information on quality child care, and other agencies that work to support child care providers. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions you might have about providing child care.
vBeing a child care provider is a very important job. Clatsop County’s workforce includes increasing numbers of working parents who must have child care in order to go to work and keep their jobs. Providing quality child care is a vital service for parents and employers and an important part of improving the economic development of our county.

The class will be held at OSU Extension Service, 2001 Marine Drive in Astoria . To register for this class, or for more information, please call the Child Care Resource & Referral at 503-325-1220 or 877-333-4960.

LNG Fast Track Bill HB 2700 Passes

Pipeline graphicOn Tuesday, May 31, 2011 the state Senate passed HB 2700, the bill that allows a company to apply for and receive removal/fill permits on private property without landowner knowledge or consent. The current bill would allow out-of-state profit-making corporations to obtain dredge-and-fill permits on private land without the permission or even knowledge of the landowner. The passage of this bill infringes on private property rights by allowing companies building LNG-related pipelines to begin the state permitting process without landowners having a say about proposed activities on their property.

In the media over the last three years, this has been called the “LNG fast-track bill,” and NO LNG activists have been working hard to fight the passage of this bill. The bill’s backers in the legislature have refused requests to amend it to exclude LNG pipelines.  The bill already passed the House, it now sits on Governor Kitzhaber’s desk awaiting his signature.

The bill passed the Senate 20-9. No votes were: Senators Atkinson, Johnson, Bates, Bonamici, Dingfielder, Ferrioli, Girod, Prozanski, and Whitsett.

If you are a landowner along the pipeline route and you receive notice from LNG companies or the Department of State Lands that they issued a permit for your property, please let us know immediately. If you receive a notice of a pipeline permit on your property, please contact Monica Vaughan at (541) 521-1832;, or Dan Serres at (503) 890-2441;

The passage of HB 2700 does not mean that LNG projects will prevail, but it does make the job of stopping these projects more complicated and difficult. Yes votes on this bill do not represent a yes vote on LNG.

Many legislators believe that this bill is needed for municipalities and believe that it does not impact LNG, that LNG is no longer a threat to Oregon or that the LNG proposals are already dead.

According to River Keeper representative Monica Vaughan, “while it is unfortunate that some of the legislators are misinformed, that does not mean they support the LNG projects.”

North Coast Land Conservancy Meet & Greet – 25th Anniversary Celebration

THE NORTH COAST LAND CONSERVANCY is taking its Anniversary Celebration to the communities who have made their work possible. From 5:00 to 7:00 pm join the staff and board for light refreshments and birthday cake and celebrate 25 years of conservation connections on the Oregon Coast. Check out photos and presentations about the conservation work NCLC is doing in the area where you live.

Speak with NCLC staff and board members about the work they do. Join the celebration, and find out more about how you can get involved and make a difference on the North Oregon Coast! FMI: (503) 738-9126 or


Stanley Marsh Stewardship

Stanley Marsh Stewardship

NCLC 25th Anniversary Celebrations:
All Events 5pm – 7pm

June 15  • ASTORIA
Columbia Room, Clatsop Community College, 1651 Lexington Avenue

June 16 • Cannon Beach
Community Hall, 207 N. Spruce Street

June 21 •  Gearhart
Trails End Art Gallery, 656 A Street

June 22 • Warrenton
Community Center, 170 S.W 3rd Street

June 28 • Seaside
Old City Hall Building, Corner of Broadway and Highway 101

June 29 • Nehalem
North County Recreation District Building, 36155 9th Street

ALSO: Pick up a copy of the NCLC 25th ANNIVERSARY PUBLICATION featuring stories about lands they conserve, people who have been key supporters throughout the years, and of course many stunning photos of this beautiful North Coast landscape that NCLC works to conserve and protect.

Download a PDF version at  If you’d like to get a printed copy to read, stop by Seaside office or call to find out locations around the North Coast where you can pick one up.


Tillamook Estuaries Partnership Hosts: 8th Annual Bounty of the Bay Fundraiser and Fishing Tournament
Fishing enthusiasts gather JUNE 3-4,  for the Annual Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) Bounty on the Bay.  Now in its eighth year, Bounty on the Bay has become one of the most anticipated spring events for anglers on the North Coast.

This weekend event highlights the best Tillamook Bay has to offer: amazing scenery, humongous fish, great local food, and jovial company. Now an anticipated tradition, Bounty on the Bay features two days of revelry: kicking off on Friday night with a Dinner and Salmon Fishing Demonstration, featuring tips that are bound to come in handy during Saturday’s Premier Fishing Tournament, and the grande finale: a sumptuous Seafood Feast (with fish donated by long time supporter Pacific Seafood and Oyster), Awards Ceremony, and Silent Auction.

Both events take place at the historic Old Mill in Garibaldi. TEP is proud to present local pros John Kirby and Bob Rees who will lead the Salmon Fishing Demo on Friday night during the BBQ Pork Dinner, followed by our esteemed guest speaker, Jim Martin (former Chief of Fisheries, ODFW) on Saturday night. This year is not just for the fishermen- those interested in a different bay adventure can participate in a guided kayak tour of the Garibaldi harbor.  This action-packed weekend will raise vital funds to support TEP’s local grant program that encourages research, habitat restoration, and education projects throughout Tillamook County.

Registration is open and necessary for all facets of the event.

Please register by May 31st!  Registration forms are available online by going to or, to obtain more information regarding the event, contact Sierra Lauder by phone at (503) 322-2222 or by email at

This annual fundraiser supports TEP’s efforts to implement the Tillamook Bay Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP). ##

Garage Sale
The Cannon Beach Women’s Auxiliary, American Legion, will hold their annual Garage Sale on SATURDAY MAY 21ST, 2011, from 9am to 4pm. The Sale is held at the Legion Hall in Mid-town.  This sale features lamps, furniture, bedding, kitchen wares, holiday decorations, books and much more.  Sorry, no clothing, shoes or large appaliances.

Anyone wishing to donate to the sale can bring items to the Legion Hall on Thursday or Friday, May l9th and 20th, for sorting and pricing.

Funds from the sale help the Legion Auxiliary to contribute to local high school scholarships, veterans hospitals, Xmas baskets and other community activities.

Open Air Markets – Food, plus handicrafts, art and more

Cowlitz Community Farmers Market. Saturdays, through October, 9am – 2pm. At the Cowlitz Expo Center in Longview, WA.

Kelso Bridge Market. Sundays, May – September, 10am – 3pm. At Rotary Spray Park, on the lawn of Catlin Hall in Kelso, WA.

Two Islands Farm Market. Fridays, 3 – 6:30pm, May – October. 59 W. Birnie Slough Rd on Puget Island. Trolley shuttle available from the Elochoman Marina at 3, 4, & 5pm and stops at the Chamber of Commerce in Cathlamet, WA.

Weekend Market. Fridays and Saturdays on the first and third weekends of the month, 10am – 4pm. At the Long Beach Grange on Sandridge Road in Long Beach, WA.

Saturday Market at the Port. Saturdays, April – September, 10am – 4pm. Along the waterfront in Ilwaco, WA.

Astoria Sunday Market. Sundays, May 8 – October 9, 10am – 3pm. On 12th St in downtown Astoria.

Manzanita Farmer’s Market. Fridays, June 10 – September 23, 5 – 8pm (5 – 7pm after September 9). At the Windermere parking lot on Laneda in Manzanita.

Saturday Farmer’s Market. Saturdays, May 7 – October 29. 9am – 1pm at City Hall in Newport. EBT, WIC,  Senior Nutrition, credit and debit cards accepted.

Farmer’s Markets – Food, flowers and plants only

Cannon Beach Farmer's Market

Cannon Beach Farmer's Market. Every Tuesday, 2-5 pm, June 14-Sept 24.

Columbia-Pacific Farmer’s Market. Fridays, 3 – 7pm, May Through September. In downtown Long Beach, WA.

River People’s Farmer’s Market. Thursdays, 3 – 7pm, June 23 through September, possible into October. At the parking lot in front of Astoria Indoor Garden Supply on 13th St in Astoria.  The market accepts EBT, and WIC and Senior Nutrition coupons.

Seaside Farmer’s Market. Saturdays, July 2 – September 24 (excluding August 27), 1 – 4pm at the TLC Credit Union Parking Lot.

Cannon Beach Farmer’s Market. Tuesdays, June 14 – September 27, 2 – 5pm. Located in the Midtown area of Cannon Beach. EBT, Visa, and Mastercard accepted.

Tillamook Farmer’s Market. Saturdays, June 11 – September 24, 9am – 2pm. At Laurel & 2nd St in Tillamook.

Workshops, Classes, How-Tos, Events . . . .

Hoop House How-to.
Slide Shows Online. Learn how to build your own hoop house by watching a series of slide shows put together by the Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Prospective builders are taken step by step through the construction process. Cost estimates, a list of resources, and links to websites with more information are presented. To see the slideshows, visit:

Northwest Earth Institute Gathering in Sept.
Northwest Earth Institute will hold their Annual North American Gathering September 15 – 18 at Fort Worden State Park and Conference Center in Port Townsend, WA. This year’s gathering is entitled “If Not Me, Then Who? Building Healthy Communities and Local Food Systems One Day at a Time.” Events at the gathering include workshops on sustainable food, edible landscaping, dynamic community organizing, networking and community building. Will Allen, named one of Time’s top 100 most influential people in the world in 2010 because of his inspiring food justice work in low-income neighborhoods, is this year’s keynote speaker. Space at the gathering is limited, early registration is encouraged. For schedule, fees, and registration:

Collecting Rainwater for Future Use. $10 suggested donation. June 8 at 6pm at the Long Beach Grange on Sand Ridge Rd in Long Beach, WA
Build a Solar/Wood-Fired Bath House. A 7-day intensive workshop. June 13 – 19 from 8am – 5pm. The hand-on course will cover the process of building a passive solar bathhouse from siting through site preparation, design, utilization of available resources, building codes, tool use, construction techniques, and time permitting, basic electrical and plumbing. The workshop costs $700 and includes breakfast, lunch, and all materials needed. Class will be held at R-evolution Gardens east of Nehalem. FMI:

Local Charcuterie Workshop
September 26 from 8am – 4pm at the EVOO Cooking School in Cannon Beach.  OSU Extension Clatsop County and the Small Farm Program are offering a workshop for North Coast farmers and chefs on making delicious, legal, and safe charcuterie with locally raised meats. Talks in the morning will cover relevant regulations and best practices for controlling pathogens during meat curing. Speakers include Maureen Taylor of Clatsop County Environmental Health, Will Fargo of Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Division, and Dr. Karen Killinger of the Food Science department at Washington State University. In the afternoon, expert salumist Elias Cairo and Tyler Gaston from Portland’s Olympic Provisions will demonstrate techniques and best practices. Tuition is $25 (includes lunch). Space is limited. For reservations, please call Kristin Frost Albrecht @ (503)325-8573  or stop by OSU Extension Clatsop County, 2001 Marine Drive, Room 210, Astoria, Oregon  97103.

Food Love – Fish On!

Frowny CatSOMEWHERE in my mid-twenties a surfer boyfriend introduced me to he and his buddies’ Mexico surf trip staple, the fish taco, and this dee-lish meal-in-one permanently settled in my fave food archive. Fish tacos say travel and summer to me, and provide an instant holiday fiesta in my mouth whenever I eat them. Infinite in variety, the fish taco combines the best of fresh wherever you are—Hawaii, Mexico, the Pacific Northwest. I’m not talkin’ bout those insipid facsimiles you get at chain taco stands, with a floppy fish stick—please!—enclosed inside a soggy tortilla, garnished with unripe tomatoes and mayonnaise. I’m referring to the fresh corn tortilla bursting with seasoned fish, sautéed veggies or imaginative salad, and garnished with a chunky salsa.

Mexican inspired tacos might include snapper quick grilled in olive oil, with cumin, cayenne, and coriander and then flaked into luscious chunks. Julienned fresh red and green peppers, along with slivers of onion sautéed with a little salt and pepper can accompany the fish. Top with a just-made pico de gallo. Don’t stint on the extra cilantro and a dusting of cotija cheese.

Island style fish tacos explode with tropical fishes such as mahi-mahi, ono, or ahi. Grilling the fish is the way to go, after a good soak in a marinade of sesame oil, garlic, ginger, tamari, and lime. Asian inspired flavors beg a fresh Japanese cucumber and fruit salsa—imagine pineapple, mango, or papaya with minced onion and cilantro. Sprinkle with fresh ground pepper and red tinged Haleakala sea salt.

Bigstock fishComing home to the Northwest, a summer fish taco feast could include salmon, steelhead, or sturgeon. In line with seasonality, I like these firmer fish barbequed—not too well done!—with fresh herbs from the garden and a squeeze of lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Sautee up a batch of kale, garlic, and capers and top with a chiffonade of basil and Italian parsley. Or try a raw chop of mizuna and garden-harvested salad greens and a chipotle kissed apple salsa. Top generously with cilantro or Italian parsley and skip the cheese—these flavoricious tacos don’t need it!

Rice and a slaw or simple salad are great accompaniments to fish tacos, and I always prefer to use corn tortillas. Get creative and use shrimp or crab instead of fish. Possibilities of veg combos are endless, and really any fish lends itself to the taco form. Summer anyone?

Fish Taco

Sensational Summer Salsas!

Fresh Apple Salsa
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon finely chopped canned chipotles
1 tablespoon adobo sauce from canned chipotles
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt, as needed
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro
kosher salt, to taste

2 medium apples, one red and one green. Whisk together vinegar, lime juice, adobo sauce, and honey. Toss with chopped ingredients, adding the apples just before serving.

Island Style
1 small japanese cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ cup diced jicama (or more if you love it)
Chopped cilantro
1 med Maui onion, minced
1 or 2 large minced jalepenos
2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
1 large mango, diced (pineapple works when mango isn’t in season, or papaya)
chunks of fresh, creamy Maui avocado
squeeze of fresh lime juice

Chop, mix, taste, serve.

Pico de Gallo
1/2 cantaloupe
1 cucumber
1 jicama
2 oranges
2 mangoes or papaya
4 cups watermelon
6 limes, juiced
pico de gallo powdered seasoning (or a mix of cayenne, chili powder, and salt—to taste)

Chop, mix, serve. This is great as a salad on it’s own too. For salsa make the chop a little finer.

Wine and Art in Astoria Saturday June 11

Wine and Art in AstoriaEnjoy a great pairing of wine and art at the annual Wine Walk in historic downtown Astoria in conjunction with the 2nd Saturday Art Walk on June 11. “We pair a selection of art venues with local restaurants providing wine and appetizers,” explained Art Walk Chair Deborah Starr. “There are also some great new gallery installations opening in June so this is the perfect opportunity to see some interesting and spectacular new works here in Astoria.” The Wine Walk takes place from 5 to 9 pm. Wine Walk glasses are available for $10 at Commercial Street Antiques (959 Commercial) and Nepal on Exchange (1421 Commercial).

Glasses become available for sale starting at 4:30pm on the day of the event and include up to six tastings per glass. For more information call 503-791-7940.

Sponsored by Wauna Federal Credit Union, proceeds from the Wine Walk benefit the Astoria Downtown Historic District Association. The real benefit, however, is enjoying this historic town while discovering great new works at local galleries and shops while sipping specially selected wines by local restaurants.

La Cabana Opens in South Astoria

La Cabana
Astoria’s former High Wheeler restaurant, which closed early this year, is under new ownership and has been repurposed into Restaurante “La Cabana”. La Cabana opened on May 28, serving a limited menu of authentic Mexican food. The eclectic seating fixtures and gorgeous views of Youngs Bay have been retained from the eatery’s previous incarnation.

The food at La Cabana is fast, inexpensive, and good. Tacos, gorditas, burritos and sopes are made fresh to order. Tortillas are homemade on site. Menudo is available on Saturdays and Sundays. Entrees are $5.99 (or $1.75 for a single taco).

Soft drinks are available and include Jarritos, Mexican Coca Cola, horchata (made fresh daily), as well as generous pours of Pepsi products, all ranging from  $1.75 – $2.

Note: Payment at La Cabana is currently cash only (as of May 30).  Checks and debit/credit cards are not accepted at this time, but the restaurant owners hope to change this policy in the near future. Look for expanded menu offerings soon.

Restaurante “La Cabana”
Open 9am – 8pm every day.
35431 Highway 101 Business, Astoria

Hanks’s Daily Farm Stand • A fix for your daily veg habit

Hank's Daily Farm StandFancy a stroll down the beach to pick up some tasty local food for supper? Nehalem farmer Hank Tallman of Lunasea Gardens continues his popular daily farm stand stocked with fresh and local food goodies from his own and neighboring farms and gardens.

“I want to get the word out to people who won’t go to a farmers market because they have the assumption that it’s not for them. Organic food is seen as a high class thing; which is great—that has incubated the market, but there needs to be more access for economically challenged people. Everybody deserves to have fresh and local food; my hope is to offer organic produce at a lower cost that conventional items at the grocery,” Tallman states.

The farm stand opened last summer, but a challenging growing season led to a slow start. Tallman is optimistic about this year, though of course farming is always a gamble. Jamie Ehrke, owner of Longevity, where the stand is located, says “The feedback last year was great. People were totally excited about it; I got tons of people asking if we were doing it again.”

Tallman encourages local gardeners and other producers (eggs, honey, flowers, value-added products like soap, salsas, jams) to contact him with items they would like to sell. Meadow Harvest grass-fed beef and lamb will be available, as well as Tallwoman Tonics and herbs.

The stand will be open daily from 10am to 7pm at Longevity, 123 Laneda Ave. in Manzanita. Contact Tallman Tel: 503-368-FARM or Email:

Network – Community Listings


Two Part Pottery Workshop for Children. On Saturday, June 8, kids will be making handmade pasta bowls. The second session on Saturday, June 25 will focus on colorful glazing techniques in the Italian tradition. Free, 1 – 3pm both days, at the Seaside Library.

Scene Writing in Seven Steps. Saturday, June 18. With Jennifer Lauck. Learn the key ingredients to formulating the single most important aspect of good writing–the scene–with Jennifer Lauck who has created a recipe all writers can follow in order to create a juicy, tactile, focused and depth filled scene.   All levels and genres welcome. $50, 10am – 3pm at the Hoffman Center in Manzanita. Download a registration form here:

Painting Coastal Color and Light. June 22, 23, 24. With Michael Orwick. Join this noted plein air artist in scenic Cannon Beach and learn how to put life and personality into your landscapes. The workshop is scheduled from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. each day, but Michael is also inviting students to join him for informal sunrise and sunset paint outs at no additional charge. Open to painters of any level. For more information, contact DragonFire Gallery. 503-436-1533.

Attract Songbirds to Your Yard. A free talk entitled “How to Attract Songbirds to Your Backyard” will be given by Dawn Graf of US Fish and Wildlife on Friday June 10 at 7 PM at the Cannon Beach Chamber/Community Hall. Dawn will also lead a songbird hike on the Cannon Beach Trail the following morning, Saturday June 11 at 8 AM. Please meet at the birding platform near the Cannon Beach lagoons at the east end of 2nd Street. All are welcome! This event is sponsored by the Ecola Creek Awareness Project (ECAP). For questions call Jan at 503-436-0143.

Beginning Birding. June 28. Discovery Coast Coordinator Mary Atherton will teach a one hour beginning birding class on the 4th Tuesday of each month, emphasizing a different group of birds each month. Free, 2pm at the Lighthouse Oceanfront resort in Long Beach, WA Space is limited, please RSVP at

Tide Pool Edibles. June 19 or July 3. With Lee Gray, the Wild Gourmet. $30 for adults, children under 12 $15. ODFW license required. 9am for June 19, 8am for July 2, at NW 15th St beach access in Lincoln City. 541-992-3798

Hawaiian Small Plates Demo Class. $50, includes meal & wine. 11am – 2pm at the Culinary Center in Lincoln City.

COURAGE TO HEAL. There is a free workshop coming up in Tillamook County called, “Courage to Heal.”  It is a free workshop for women survivors of child sexual abuse.  This workshop runs annually during the summer months, and generally lasts about ten weeks.  The group meets once a week.One in three girls will be sexually abused by the age of 16, yet many survivors feel alone and ashamed.  This workshop is healing, empowering, and supportive. The local facilitator of this group is Rhonda Bolow, and she can be reached at 503-801-5064.  Once Rhonda has spoken with participants, days/times of meetings will be set, based on what is most convenient for the group.  You can also contact the Women’s Resource Center at 503-842-9486 for more info.  Please pass this on to anyone who might be interested.

DOES FOOD RUN YOUR LIFE? Come to Overeaters Anonymous every Wednesday from 7-8pm in the Seaside Public Library, Board Room B. No dues, fees or weigh-ins. Everyone welcome! (if you have questions call 503-505-1721).

FREE COMPUTER CLASSES AT TILLAMOOK COUNTY LIBRARIES. Tillamook County Libraries will be offering free basic computer classes this fall. Sign up for a free one-on-one session where you can ask questions and learn at your own pace. Classes will be held on Saturdays at the Tillamook County Library September 11th, 18th and 25th and October 2nd and 9th. Additional sessions will be held at library branches in October and November. Registration is limited, so contact your local library soon and reserve your space.

SPIRITUAL WRITING FOR MEN AND WOMEN. Instructor Gail Balden is a writer, educator and workshop presenter with over 30 years of teaching experience. Her work has been published in anthologies, literary journals and national magazines. She teaches one-day writing workshops and writes a monthly column on the joys of small town life for the North Coast Citizen. Visit her web site at

French Conversation Group Re-Start. The group is devoted to speaking French only. It is NOT a class, so please do not show up expecting to learn French from scratch. Once you step through the door of the Riverbend Room, it is French only. It will be on Saturdays, from 1-3pm at NCRD in the Riverbend Room. There is a nominal charge of $1/person/time. For more information email Jane or call her 503-368-3901 or, call Paul Miller at 503-368-5715.

Library2Go Basics. Second Saturday of each month 9:00am-10:00am. Over 5000 audio books and videos can be downloaded to computers and digital devices through the Library2Go database accessible through the Astoria Public Library web site. All downloads are free to access with your library card. Learn the how to make the most of this extraordinary resource. Free, at the Astoria Public Library.

Computer Basics. Third Saturday of each month 9:00am-10:00am. If you’re new to PC computers or just needing to update basic skills, this class is for you. Each class is tailored to meet the needs of participants. Free, at the Astoria Public Library.

The Lower Columbia Classics Car Club. Invitation to all who are interested in Collector Cars to attend one of our monthly meetings. The meetings are held at Steve Jordan’s Shop Building, located at 35232 Helligso Lane in rural Astoria – meet on the 3rd Thursday of each month. If you are interested and need the directions to get there, you may call Steve Jordan at 503-325-1807

Library2Go. Classes will be held on the 2nd Saturday of each month, in the Flag Room of the Astoria Public Library, 450 10th Street, Astoria. This class is free of charge and open to everyone. Please contact the library for details and registration at 503-325-7323 or

Open Art Night. 5:30 to 7 PM –1st & 3rd Weds. Bay City Arts Center, Bay City.

Life Drawing. 6 to 9 PM. Every 2nd & 4th Weds. Bay City Arts Center, Bay City.

Toddler Arts Group. Every Monday, 10:30 to 11:30 –Get your toddler started in the arts! Activities are geared towards ages 1–3, but age birth–5 are welcome. All children must be accompanied by a caregiver. Bay City Arts Center, Bay City. t

CELEBRATE RECOVERY • Nazarene Church, 2611 3rd St, Tillamook. Adult & teen 12 step program. Child care provided. Call 503-812-3522 for more information. Tuesdays, 7-9, Dinner at 6 by donation.

OPEN ART NIGHT WITH PHAEDRA. Bay City Arts Center, 5680 A St, 5-7pm on Wednesdays.


YOGA NAMASTE. The Spring 2011 Yoga schedule starts March 28 and ends June 4, 2011. During the 10 week term you can enjoy GENTLE YOGA-LEVEL 1 at 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays. LEVEL 1-2 (Beginner and Intermediate) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Level 2-3 (Intermediate and Advanced) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 6:15 to 8:45 a.m. LEVEL 1-2 Yoga flow at 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays. For more information: or call: 503 440 9761YOGA RESTORATIVE. Private Individual Therapeutic and Restorative Yoga instruction with certified, Yoga Alliance registered yoga teacher SarahFawn Wilson, MA, RYT-500. Private group classes also available. For more information and for public class schedule, please call 503-440-6738 or email

ECSTATIC DANCE. Ecstatic, trance, yogic, spirit filled), playful, improvisational, freestyle – We’re Dancing! Wed. at 6:30 at Pine Grove Community House, 225 Laneda Ave. in Manzanita. No experience necessary. You are welcome to bring Instruments of any sort to play along with what we’ve got going. Cost is a sliding scale from $5 – $7, or free if you really need to just be there.

LOTUS YOGA. 1230 Marine Drive, Downtown Astoria. Ongoing classes on a month to month basis. Evening Classes Monday thru Thursday 6:00 PM: Monday Level 1 Yoga for Relaxation. Tuesday Level 2 Strengthening. Wednesday Level 1 Beginning Flow. Thursday Level 2 Advanced Flow. Morning class Friday 9:00AM All Level THERAPEUTIC Yoga. Dedicated to making Yoga an accessible part of everyday living. Call (503)298-3874, Email, website for more information.

YOGA NAMASTÉ.The Spring 2011 Yoga schedule at Yoga Namasté starts March 28 and ends June 4. During the 11 week term you can enjoy GENTLE YOGA-LEVEL 1 at 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays and Fridays. LEVEL 1-2 (Beginner and Intermediate) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 8:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Level 2-3 (Intermediate and Advanced) Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays at 6:15 to 8:45 a.m. LEVEL 1-2 Yoga flow at 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays. For more information: or call: 503 440 9761

YOGA SMA EXPLORATION. Yoga instructor Linda Sanderlin LMT, introduces SMA yoga, a practice evolved from Feldenkrais and Alexander technique, found to be very effective for people with a limited range of motion. Tues and Sat. classes at Parinamah in Manzanita. $5 p/class. FMI: Call Linda (503)867-3943; or via e-mail:

YOGA NCRD. Monday, Yoga Of The Heart, 8:15 am – 9:45 am Instructor: Lorraine Ortiz (no drop ins). Monday, Level II, 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm Instructor: Nicole Hamic Wednesday, Yoga Stretch, 8:15 am – 9:45 am Instructor: Lucy Brook Thursday, Level I, 5:45 pm – 7:15 pm Instructor: Charlene Gernert Friday, Very Gentle Yoga, 8:15 am – 9:45 am Instructor: Lucy Brook Saturday, Mixed Levels, 8:00 am – 9:30 am Instructor: Lorraine Ortiz.

YOGA • Manzanita. The Center for the Contemplative Arts, Manzanita: Tuesday evenings 5 – 5:45pm. $35 for 5 classes. Call 368-6227 for more info.

Yoga in Gearhart. Gearhart Workout. For more information log on to 3470 Hwy. 101 N. Suite 104 in Gearhart

YOGA • Nehalem. Ongoing yoga classes at NCRD are as follows: Monday, Level II, 5:15-6:45 pm, Nicole Hamic; Wednesday, Morning Yoga Stretch, 8-9:30 am, Lucy Brook; Thursday, Yoga for Parents & Kids, 3:45-4:45 pm, Charlene Gernert; Thursday, Level I, 5:45 – 7:15 pm, Charlene Gernet; Friday, Very Gentle Yoga, 8-9:30 am, Lucy Brook.

T’AI CHI. The Center for the Contemplative Arts, Manzanita: Wednesday Mornings 10-11:30. $30/month. Call 368-6227 for more info.

TAEKWON-DO. Confidence, discipline, self-esteem and respect are only a few of the traits you will develop in this class while improving overall fitness. Ages: 8 -Adult families welcome! Mondays / Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:00pm, through June 17th. Session Fee: $24 Resident’s Card / $36 Non-resident. Location: Bob Chisholm Community Center – 1225 Ave. A, Seaside For Registration call the POOl: 503:738-3311 Center – 1225 Ave. A, Seaside For Registration call the POOl: 503:738-3311 POOl: 503:738-3311 Center – 1225 Ave. A, Seaside For Registration call the POOl: 503:738-3311

LEARN SELF DEFENSE IN ILWACO. Kenpo Karate for Adults. River City School, 127 SE Lake St, Tuesdays @ 7:00pm – 8:45pm, $45/mo Inquire /sign up: phone: 360-665-0860. 7:00pm – 8:45pm, KENPOKarate for Kids -River City School, 127 Lake Street SE, Ilwaco, Every Thursday @ 4:00pm – 5:00pm, $45/mo.


TIBETAN BUDDHIST DHARMA GROUP. Dharma River, meets Mondays 7:30 – 9 pm, 1230 Marine Dr., Suite 304 in Lotus Yoga’s studio. Meditation, sadhana practice, teachings & discussion. Dharma River is a satellite of the Portland Sakya Center. Contact Dharma teacher, Rosetta Hurley, 338-9704 for more info.

Center For Spiritual Living of the North Coast. CSLNC is for those who want to grow spiritually, all faiths and paths welcome. Sunday Celebration and Children’s Church 10:30 a.m, 66 4th St., Warrenton. and 503-791-2192.

A SILENT MEDITATION • with Lola Sacks. St. Catherine’s Center for the Contemplative Arts, Manzanita: Monday Nights 5 – 5:45 Call 368-6227 for more info.

LECTIO DIVINA • Meditation with Holy Scripture. The Center for the Contemplative Arts, Manzanita: Tuesday Mornings 10-11:30. Call 368-6227 for more info.

LABYRINTH WALK • Grace Episcopal Church, 1545 Franklin St, Astoria, 3-6. Every 1st Sunday.


SHARE YOUR MUSICAL TALENT. If you have musical or performance talents to share, we need you at Nehalem Valley Care Center in Wheeler, Oregon. We are a skilled care center and our residents enjoy, and benefit from, music therapies and entertainment. Professionals and amateurs welcome – all ages!! CONTACT: Katherine Mace, Activity Director, Nehalem Valley Care Center,, 503-368-5171

Weekly Alder Creek Farm Community Garden. Work Parties – Tuesdays, 10 am – Noon. Help out the Coastal Food Ecology Center, community garden, permaculture garden and harvesting for the Wheeler Food Bank. Tasks may include: greenhouse and garden weeding, planting, and watering.


ENCORE Retirement Learning Community. Is an association of retirement-age people who share a love of learning. Established in 2001 by a Steering Committee of retired adults, ENCORE is sponsored by Clatsop Community College. We meet for lunch the first Tuesday of every month. We try to alternate between North and South County, so look for these Community Notes in your local Newspaper to see the place of choice. Our Lunch Bunch get-togethers are a wonderful venue for meeting classmates over lunch, as well as new friends. Remember all guests that might be interested in ENCORE, or just want to know what we’re all about, are welcome. Please call Madeline Gobel, 503 325-3330.

BREASTFEEDING INFORMATION & SUPPORT. La Leche League’s monthly support group meetings provide an opportunity for both new and experienced mothers to share their questions or concerns, and to talk with each other about the special joys and challenges of parenting. We especially encourage expectant and new mothers to join us. Healthy babies and toddlers are always welcome at La Leche League meetings. We look forward to seeing you soon. Second Monday of the month at 10am- Astoria.


Slug Soup. Art for Young People with Unique Tastes – Children’s Art Day Camp. June 27 – July 1. 10am – 2pm at Nestucca Junior/Senior High School in Cloverdale. Contact: Kim Cavatorta 503-392-4581

Beach Art. June 27 – July 1. New projects each day. Stepping stones, garden flags & beads, Beach find art, paint brush handle art, notecards, memory book, and homemade ice cream. $12/day or $50 for the week. 10am – 1:30pm, lunch included. At the Bay City Arts Center. 503-377-9620

Spend the Week Outdoors at Nature Adventure Camp & Naturalist Survival Camp
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
July 11-15 & July 18-22

L&C CampCampers can choose from TWO exciting camps in Summer 2011 as educators from the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership and Lewis and Clark National Historical Park join together to explore the area’s trails, water and animals.

Nature Adventure Camp, held July 11-15, features a week’s worth of adventures at the park and nearby, as well as an overnight in Fort Clatsop! Nature Adventure Camp is open to students entering fourth grade through sixth grade. The cost is $125.

Naturalist Survival Camp, held July 18-22, takes campers on the water and to the woods, deep into the park and other sites, as they explore and practice skills to survive and thrive in nature, including an overnight camping trip at the beach. This camp is open to students entering seventh and eighth grades. The cost is $135.

Hours for both camps are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. For the Thursday overnights, drop off is at 9 a.m. Thursday and pickup is at 11 a.m. Friday. Enrollment for both camps is limited and scholarships are available.

The registration deadline for both camps is July 1. To register, visit For more information, please call Annie Kleffner at (503) 226-1565, Ext. 225. You can also find out more by calling (503) 861-4422.


Most people relate to the word energy around their electric bill and what kind of ‘energy’ is good for the environment.  Taking a much closer look, the human body is surrounded and managed by its very own energy field.  The aura is made up of energy and is directly related to seven energy centers or chakras.

The ancient Hindu Sanskrit word means wheel and views the chakras as whorls of energy permeating, from a point on the physical body entering into the layers of the subtle bodies known as the aura.  Rotating in a clockwise direction, they are considered the focal points for the reception and transmission of energies.
The chakras are connected by energy to the center of the body into the vertical power current.  This fantastic energy source in your body goes all the way up to the heavens and all the way through your body deep into the Earth.   The energy in our auric field has everything to do with our current state of health.  Managing the care for our energy is as important as the care for the physical body.

The planet and every living organism are made up of energy.  We take home rocks from the ocean that have been tumbled to the shore and those rocks have an ‘energy’ that is from deep within the ocean.  That energy can affect us as much as going to the office where we experience a stomach ache while at the morning meeting.  That very stomach ache is often energy.  The energy that we feel is a vibrational match for others in the room. The stomach is governed by the third chakra and often symbolized person power.

We as humans are very sensitive beings.  Most people are highly kinesthetic and feel everything.  This can be extremely debilitating if you do not know how to manage that sensitivity.  Children often feel hyper sensitive and lack direction for gifts that go unrecognized.  As children develop into adults they can experience many coping systems that keep them from feeling this highly charged sensory system.  As a society we witness weight gain or addictions to cope.  It is often a physical crisis that brings us to our energy body.

Everyone has experienced standing next to someone they don’t know and moving away because it didn’t feel right.  That is energy!  Your energy protects you and keeps you safe.  When we keep our energy field clear of unwanted congestion from our daily lives we raise our vibrational rate and consciousness!  Creating a healthy body means addressing the very layers of the auric field.  The physical, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies all affect our energy.
This is where managing and caring for one’s energy is critical.  If we are not grounding our energy through meditation we appropriately or inappropriately extend our energy to others.   When we feel drained at the end of the day it is often due to the mismanagement of our energy.  Regaining our balance means taking the time to do the one thing that was compromised long ago; feel our feelings.

If we allow ourselves to embrace our sensitivity we are better equipped to deal with the Earth’s changes. The Earth is a reflection of the same energy systems.  There is energy throughout her body with the atmosphere representing her auric field.   When we understand our own energy system, we can better understand the Earth and the galaxy around us.

We are currently experiencing a reconstruction of the grid system in our galaxy.  As the vibration is raised in our galaxy, humanity will experience a shift into the fifth dimension. Many have noticed their physical forms affected by this energy as more frequent headaches, muscle and body aches as well as dizziness have been prevalent.  The Earth as well has shown us that she too experiences the shift in energy.   Our entire Universe creates energy way beyond what science understands today.  Our attention to our own energy field is the microcosm to the macrocosm of the Universe.

Betrayal, Anyone?

BETRAYAL is such an ugly concept. Trust and innocence go by the wayside. Pain and grief take their place.  So many versions of it exist. Marital, friendship, business relations, confidential partnerships – all have the potential for betrayal. Many a great drama  (think Shakespeare!) has been built around betrayal, probably because it deals with unmet expectations, lies, deception, and ultimately a loss of some kind, be it love, innocence or even life.

It’s a topic that is only shared between confidantes, perhaps. I share my story, you share yours. It can be such a painful subject that to revisit the psychic scene can be choosing to revisit an unresolved experience. One’s blood pressure rises. There is also the idea that to be betrayed implies some sort of ignorance, a blindness to the facts. A certain shame for having been deceived sets in, as if some one smarter would have seen it immediately or some one more worthy would not be subject to betrayal. We don’t understand it so we analyze it endlessly and find ourselves baffled. It is often not something one wants to acknowledge freely to just anyone at all. But since one’s ability to trust has suffered a blow, trusting again – even to share one’s story –  is fraught with hesitation.

I remember someone stating to me that it was not my fault if someone worked hard and succeeded in deceiving me. That made me feel better. In any betrayal, I always have whined, “How could I not know? Why did that person lie to me?” etc. Silly me, I took it personally.

Now that I am older and wiser…. yes, go ahead, laugh with me at this point.

The older I get, the more protective of myself I get. I also feel free to place back on others that which belongs to others. Betrayal belongs to the betrayer. I realized I had the freedom to move forward. The betrayer has to carry that burden for a long time, maybe forever.

Why am I writing about this now? I realize the media exposes betrayals. I realize I react. I have an emotional reaction to betrayals that play out in public. (Specifically, the latest Schwarzenegger thing is out and about, but a few years ago, Enron scandal also impacted me. Betrayal by any other name…. )

Arnold (as in Schwarzenegger)  did not know that his actions would impact me so. And probably millions of other folks.  His shoddy behavior clicks in with previous personal betrayals, ones that have left nicks and scars on my heart. Did he really think no one would ever know? Did he think his wife was stupid? I don’t know, but there’s great arrogance behind such a double life.  My heart gets heavy automatically.

So, thanks, Arnold, for refreshing my memories about betrayal. It feels icky. The betrayer, Arnold, is icky. Makes me get depressed for all of humanity. I will have to take myself out for a hot fudge sundae, just to feel better.

After a few moments of this fleeting wave of emotional yuk, I remind myself, cognitively, that betrayal involves secrets, selfishness and a certain arrogance. I, and most people, can move forward from its impact. Those that practice betrayal get to live with themselves forever.

And that, my friends, makes me feel much better.

Got Questions?

This month I want to take time to answer a few questions.  These are either from you, my readers, or frequently asked from my patients.  I always welcome questions and comments as they often give me great ideas for upcoming articles, so keep them coming to

What are the best sweeteners?  Many of us are turning up our noses at artificial sweeteners (thankfully), and so what should we use instead?  There are indeed a litany of options from table sugar to honey so let’s go through some of these ‘sugars’ to find out what they are and which suits our health best.

Let’s begin with the sources that are least refined and closest to how nature intended…honey, maple syrup, fruit and fruit juices.  In my mind these are the ideal sugars to utilize in our diets because they are food and take little to no refining from their natural form to make things a little sweeter.  Honey quite specifically has some wonderful health benefits in that it contains vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, and can improve immune function in conditions like allergies.  Similarly maple syrup and fruits offer some terrific health benefits.  Along with molasses (a refined product from sugar cane which is incredibly nutritious), these are my sugars of choice!

Now there are many refined sugars which are touted to be more natural and healthy than table sugar…some examples are turbinado, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, and fructose.  The similarities with these is that they are all refined sweeteners, the difference is their source.  Turbinado comes from sugar cane (like white table sugar) but is a little more raw (less processed) therefore has larger crystals and is a tan color due to the retention of some of the molasses within the cane itself.  The syrups come from the plants mentioned and fructose is the sugar within fruits, which is refined into a powder.  There are pluses and minuses to each of these so my advise would be to use sparingly.

White table sugar, commonly from sugar cane or sugar beets, is the most refined sugar product, and while if given the choice of this over aspartame I would choose this every time it is still not a nutritious option for our bodies…so I put it on the generally avoid list.

The newest member to the sweetener family is Stevia, a plant which has an extreme sweetness concentration.  The interesting thing about Stevia is its positive effects on blood sugars despite its sweetness; BUT mind you these studies were done with crude herb not stevia sweetened blueberry muffins, so while I am considering this to be a worthwhile option I am keeping a scrutinizing eye on this trend.  You can find Stevia in powdered form and in lots of prepackaged products.

Remember the big picture here is our obsession with sweetness not solely the sweetener itself.  So yes for those with an extreme sweet tooth finding healthier options is worthwhile, but appreciating other flavors (bitter, savory, spicey, etc.) is key!

Antibiotics, I get a lot of questions about antibiotics.  If they’re needed, dangerous, what other things can be used instead of them and how to recover from their use.  All good questions!  Without getting too specific, there are indeed some situations where antibiotics are absolutely warranted, and that is best evaluated in a doctor’s office.  Yes, naturopaths can prescribe antibiotics.  No, antibiotics are not inherently dangerous, it is their overuse which is concerning; and I’m not talking solely about those that are prescribed, but those that are also in our food supply/farming practices, and homes (i.e. hand sanitizers).  Our microbe paranoia is making our medicines weaker and them stronger, and that is concerning.  Yes!  There are situations where natural medicines can certainly be employed, again under the guidance of a licensed professional.  Herbal medicine and nutritional supplements can create weakness in microbial growth along with immune strengthening to make for a powerful healing combination.  Making sure that there are adequate levels of good/normal microbes in the digestive system is a key to avoiding infection as well as recovering from antibiotic use.  I’m talking probiotics here, you can take these with your antibiotics and definitely following.  Yes, there are so many choices (get something with multiple organisms on the list of contents, and refrigerated…take more than once a day) and yes there are foods, which when eaten regularly, can enhance your probiotics status (yogurt, miso, tempeh, raw sauerkraut, kim chi, Kombucha, Kefir, etc).

Insurance coverage is certainly a common question I get regarding my care.  Thankfully many insurance companies are carrying plans that cover naturopaths.  BUT those same companies usually have a variety of different plans with a variety of coverage options.  So it’s not always as simple as asking ‘do you take such and such a company?”.  I always advise my new patients to call their insurance company and ask whether naturopathic care is covered under their plan prior to our initial visit.  Another thing to remember is that many plans have a deductible, a set amount of money that must be spent by you BEFORE the insurance company begins to pay anything; yet another detail to understand prior to an office visit.  This may mean that the insurance accepts the visit and applies it to the deductible but you are still responsible for paying the doctor.  Remember that insurance is a contract between you and the company, that we the doctors are dealing with multiple companies so are not going to be nearly as well versed in the language of your insurance plan as the company itself.  And a final note is that Medicare does not recognize naturopathic physicians at all, so this means they will not cover our care and often the secondary or supplementary insurance will not either as they are generally abiding by the same rules as Medicare.  It is a confusing and convoluted system, and you the consumer have more power to change it than me the doctor, so make sure and speak up about what type of coverage you would spend your dollars to use…change is slow but possible!

Hope that clears the air a bit at least for these few questions…again keep them coming and remember…DO something you love, BE with someone you love, EAT your vegetables, DRINK clean water, BREATHE deeply and MOVE your body EVERYDAY!!

Free Will Astrology – June 2011

ARIES (March 21-April 19): The film The Men Who Stare at Goats tells the story of the U.S. army’s efforts to harness psychic powers for military purposes. It’s not entirely a work of the imagination. In fact, there’s substantial evidence that such a program actually existed. As the movie begins, a caption on the screen informs viewers that “More of this is true than you would believe.” I suspect there’ll be a comparable situation unfolding in your life in the coming weeks, Aries. As you experience a rather unusual departure from your regularly scheduled reality, fact and fiction may be deeply intertwined. Will you be able to tell them apart?

TAURUS (April 20-May 20): I dreamed you were a member of an indigenous tribe in what Westerners call New Guinea. You had recently begun to show unusual behavior that suggested you were developing enhanced cognitive abilities. You’d solved one of the tribe’s long-standing problems, were spontaneously spouting improvised poetry, and had been spotted outside late at night having animated conversations with the stars. Some of your friends and relatives were now referring to you by a new name that in your native tongue meant “the one who dances naked with the deities.” How would you interpret my dream, Taurus? I think it suggests you could be on the verge of growing an intriguing new capacity or two.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): In the far northern reaches of Ilulissat, a town in Greenland, the sun sets for good on November 29 every year and doesn’t rise again until January 13. Or at least that was the case until 2011. This year, to the shock of locals, sunlight broke over the horizon on January 11 — two days ahead of schedule. Though a few alarmists theorized that this disturbance in the age-old rhythm was due to a shift in the earth’s axis or rotation, scientists suggested that the cause was global warming: Melting ice has caused the horizon to sink. I expect something equally monumental to make an appearance in your world soon, Gemini. Can you handle an increased amount of light?

CANCER (June 21-July 22): I’m not a big fan of the “No Pain, No Gain” school of thought. Personally, I have drummed up more marvels and wonders through the power of rowdy bliss than I have from hauling thousand-pound burdens across the wasteland. But I do recognize that in my own story as well as in others’, hardship can sometimes provoke inspiration. I think it may be one of those moments for you, Cancerian. Please accept this medicinal prod from the ancient Roman poet Horace: “Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents that in times of prosperity would have lain dormant.”

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): In his 1934 book Beyond the Mexican Bay, British author Aldous Huxley observed that “the natural rhythm of human life is routine punctuated by orgies.” He was using the word “orgies” in its broadest sense — not to refer to wild sex parties, but rather to cathartic eruptions of passion, uninhibited indulgence in revelry, and spirited rituals of relief and release. That’s the kind of orgy you’re due for, Leo. It’s high time to punctuate your routine.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): “The great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do,” wrote the essayist Walter Bagehot. Personally, I don’t think that’s the supreme joy possible to a human being; but it definitely has a provocative appeal. May I recommend that you explore it in the coming weeks, Virgo? The astrological omens suggest you’re in an excellent position to succeed at an undertaking you’ve been told is unlikely or even impossible for you to accomplish.

LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): When people unsubscribe from my newsletter, they’re asked to say why they’re leaving. In a recent note, a dissatisfied customer wrote, “Because you are a crackhead who makes no sense. You sound like you write these horoscopes while you’re stoned on mushrooms.” For the record, I not only refrain from crack and magic mushrooms while crafting your oracles; I don’t partake of any intoxicants at any other time, either — not even beer or pot. I’m secretly a bit proud, however, that the irate ex-reader thinks my drug-free mind is so wild. In the coming weeks, Libra, I invite you to try an experiment inspired by this scenario: Without losing your mind, see if you can shed some of the habitual restrictions you allow to impinge on the free and creative play of your mind.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): The roots of big old trees are your power objects. I advise you to visualize them in your mind’s eye for a few minutes each day, maybe even go look at actual trees whose roots are showing above ground. Doing this will strengthen your resolve and increase your patience and help you find the deeper sources of nurturing you need. Another exercise that’s likely to energize you in just the right way is to picture yourself at age 77. I suggest you create a detailed vision of who you’ll be at that time. See yourself drinking a cup of tea as you gaze out over a verdant valley on a sunny afternoon in June. What are you wearing? What kind of tea is it? What birds do you see? What are your favorite memories of the last 30 years?

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): If you’re a physicist or Wall Street broker, your assignment this week is to read the poetry of Pablo Neruda ( If you’re a kirtan-chanting yogini or the author of a New Age self-help newsletter, your task is to read up on the scientific method ( If you’re white, be black, and vice versa. If you’re yellow, be violet, and if red, be green. If you’re a tight-fisted control freak, try being a laid-back connoisseur of the mellowest vibes imaginable — and vice versa. It’s Mix-It-Up Month, Sagittarius — a time to play with flipping and flopping your usual perspectives, roles, and angles.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Describing muckraking journalist Peter Freyne, Senator Patrick Leahy said, “He knew the difference between healthy skepticism and hollow cynicism.” Mastering that distinction happens to be your next assignment, Capricorn. Can you distinguish between your tendency to make compulsive negative judgments and your skill at practicing thoughtful and compassionate discernment? My reading of the astrological omens suggests that you will have a successful month if you do. Not only that: The universe will conspire to bring you blessings you didn’t even realize you needed.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): “There is time for work,” said fashion designer Coco Chanel, “and time for love. That leaves no other time.” I understand and sympathize with that perspective. But I’m going to beg you to make an exception to it in the coming weeks, Aquarius. In addition to getting a healthy quota of work and love, please do your best to carve out a few hours specifically devoted to engaging in unadulterated, unapologetic, unbridled play — the kind of flat-out, free-form, full-tilt fun and games that has the effect of permanently increasing your levels of liberation.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Although I myself have an intimate ongoing relationship with the Divine Wow, it’s perfectly fine with me if other people don’t. Some of my best friends are atheists and agnostics. But I must admit that I laughed derisively when I heard that the supposed genius named Stephen Hawking declared, with the fanatical certainty of a religious fundamentalist, that heaven does not exist. How unscientific of him! The intellectually honest perspective is, of course, that there’s no way to know for sure about that possibility. I bring this up, Pisces, as an example of what not to do. It’s particularly important right now that you not be blinded by your theories about the way things work. If you put the emphasis on your raw experience rather than your preconceived biases, you will be blessed with as much beauty and truth as you can handle.

HOMEWORK: Talk about a time when an unexpected visitation cracked open a hole in your shrunken reality so as to let juicy eternity pour in:

Triumph Over Lycra: When Commuters Get the Urge to Compete

At the sight of a brightly colored, faster-than-light object growing larger in my rear-view mirror, I resign myself to being passed by a competition cyclist excited to be on the road after a winter confined to indoor training. My husband, Seth Goldstein, has a different reaction. Deep in his normally mild-mannered brain, a velocity gland releases a chemical that smells like burning rubber and activates the urge to race with the jet-propelled rider.

Riding and racing vintage styleHaving spent his youth training with Olympic cycling hopefuls and endowed with a greyhound’s physique, Seth is equipped to give the speedsters a run for their money. I, on the other hand, travel at a single speed—cruising—all day with no ill effects or need for glowing green energy-renewing concoctions.

If the need for speed comes upon you at the approach of a human missile, here are Seth’s tips for coming in first and defending the honor of commuters everywhere.

Shift strategically. For me, shifting gears has always been a pragmatic matter: lower gears for going uphill or fighting wind and higher gears for going downhill or cruising on flats. As the masters of spin like Seth know, using a lower gear, and hence adopting a higher cadence, produces rapid acceleration. Upon reaching the desired speed, you can shift to a higher gear for more power—and less effort at maintaining your speed. Familiarizing yourself with your gears will yield the best combination for you.

Develop your cruising speed. Seth has found that many racers are sprinters: they’ll accelerate to zip by the pokey (or so they assume) commuter in waterproof clothing but then slow down once they’re a blur in the distance. Seth’s secret to keeping up is to train for endurance. Practice accelerating to a comfortable cruising speed and see how long you can keep it up. Your aim is to encourage your competitor to drop by the wayside because you can maintain that speed longer than he/she can. Depending upon the kind of race your Spandex-wearing compatriot is preparing for, as a commuter, you might already have an endurance edge from riding longer distances on a regular basis.

Practice tactical eating. A pre-ride meal that emphasizes complex carbohydrates (vegetables and fruits), protein, and healthy fat will give you the long-haul energy you need, but bring along something for a quick spurt of energy, such as dried fruits or an energy bar. (Always check with your health care provider before adopting a new diet.) The sprinting style of riding requires more frequent refueling so you can summon those reserves.

Stand up for yourself. When accelerating, Seth leans into his pedals for more power. If he’s on his recumbent bike, he sits back and pushes against the seat (counterintuitive for upright bike riders but ergonomic for a reclining bike). Leaning forward, rather than standing fully, can be enough to blast off without going off course if you have concerns about balance.

Alas, genetics plays a role. The aerodynamic people who zip by me (but not Seth) have more fast-twitch muscle fiber, which makes racing come naturally. Sports-specific training can improve your chances, but with my mesomorph body type and years of attempting to go faster than the “mellow” setting, I’ve accepted that cheetah cycling isn’t my forte. When the rainbow-colored projectile explodes over the horizon, I watch Seth take off and eventually catch up to him as he’s enjoying his well-deserved energy bar at the end of the impromptu competition.

Then there’s the jet pack you can purchase online…