How to defend against angry mountain goats

The widow of a man gored to death in 2010 by a mountain goat while hiking in the Olympics has lost a lawsuit accusing National Park officials of negligence.
     The incident was unusual because mountain goats typically are shy and docile. But some can be aggressive nuisances when they crave minerals...

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Don’t let your home be a mosquito haven

It’s a bad year for mosquito-borne West Nile Virus, and Oregon officials offer help – obvious and not-so-obvious – for how to lessen your risk of infection.
     The obvious: wear long-sleeved shirts and full-length pants when hiking. Ensure your screens on doors and windows have no holes. Eliminate...

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Water supplies fair; fire chiefs map tanks, pools

Citing “fair” water supplies, Puget Sound-area city officials urge homeowners to conserve water until fall rains replenish reservoirs.
     Everett, Seattle, and Tacoma officials say their supplies should last through summer, but homes and businesses can save water to ensure that happens. You’ll find...

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Wolf likely killed livestock near Cle Elum

It’s a sticky, inevitable dilemma. For years, one school of thought clamored for reintroducing wolves to Washington’s wildlands, while rural livestock ranchers opposed it.
     The wolves returned, dispersing from northwest Montana in recent years. Occasionally, they hunted cattle in the remote...

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Desolate two-lane highways offer vistas, serenity

Can you truly take a summer road trip on Northwest highways void of traffic and tension?
     Yes! I know because we just did that. Four fun days of leisurely cruising.
     The trick is simple: avoid freeways and divided highways. Seek out small towns and big rewards.
     Look at a road map of...

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Self-sufficient homeowners build their own fire gear

Wildfires continue to burn across the Northwest, prompting some rural residents to not only “Firewise” their property but to protect themselves with homemade fire trucks.
     Some of these makeshift rigs are pretty sophisticated.
     A recent Seattle Times article noted an Okanogan County retiree...

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Heatwave, so what? NW folks ignore AC

Just 39% of Northwest residents have air conditioning in their homes, and of those, only 51% use it regularly when it’s hot.
     That’s what we learned from the latest PEMCO Poll.
     If those folks already have AC at home, why don’t they use it? One-fourth said it’s too costly on the energy bill,...

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Damage from overdue Cascadia quake will be massive

The Great Cascadia Earthquake is coming, and a sobering article about it in The New Yorker is gaining attention.
     A key theme: Despite scientific knowledge proving the threat is real – and overdue – Northwest officials have not taken enough serious steps toward saving people before the megaquake...

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One sandwich fuels newlyweds’ climbing weekend

I was shaming myself yesterday for being a bit soft during a tiring weekend adventure in the mountains.
     Then I read about Morris and Sue Jenkins’ honeymoon spent scaling peaks, clambering down cliffs, and rafting across an alpine lake, and I felt downright wussy.
     My saga began last Friday...

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How ice caves form, recede – and crumble

Officials revealed today that the person who died July 6 when a Big Four Ice Caves ceiling collapsed was a 34-year-old California woman from Riverside County.
     The caves claimed three lives in the 1990s when ice crashed down.
     Big Four can be dangerous because “ice caves” is a misnomer. The...

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