HJM 15 – Comments on the feasibility study for revealing Celilo Falls

 

April 13, 2015

From: The Friends of Celilo Falls

To:

State Representative Brian Clem, Committee Chair
House Committee on Rural Communities, Land Use and Water
Oregon State Capitol
By email

RE: HJM 15 Celilo Falls feasibility study

Dear Chair Clem and Members of the Committee:

The Friends of Cellilo Falls is a new public benefit nonprofit organization registered in Oregon.

We are tribal and nontribal people with a shared vision: to see the ancient tribal fishery centered at Celilo Falls—along with the vast archaeological/cultural area that surrounds it—restored and protected forever under the permanent stewardship of the Columbia River tribes.

We do not speak for any of the tribes or for the people at Celilo Village—the oldest continuously-inhabited settlement in North America—but only for our own membership, and for future generations of human beings, for our own great grandchildren.

We support HJM 15, the call for a feasibility study of a temporary lowering of Lake Celilo to reveal Celilo Falls, but will likely oppose any actual temporary lowering.

We also would respectfully ask for an amendment at line 16, inserting “in consultation with and with the permission of the Columbia River tribes with treaty rights to the areas affected” after “U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.”

We are aware that the 2014-2024 Columbia River Treaty Review is under way, a process that will determine the long-term future of how the River is managed, and encourage the Committee to examine the issue of Celilo Falls in the context of the Treaty Review.

The Final Recommendation of the Northwest Entity to the U.S. State Department is to add “ecosystem function” as a third fundamental purpose of the treaty between the United States and Canada. The Friends of Celilo Falls supports this recommendation, as well as those elements that improve fish passage, fish habitat and water quality, that speed the flow of the River, and that respect the treaty rights of the Columbia River tribes.

We are aware that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Bonneville Power Administration and other participants in the Treaty Review have been modeling future projections taking into account a warming climate and reduced snow pack, and we respectfully request that the Committee ask for that information as part of the feasibility study.

We are aware that the modeling compares the rate at which the River flows currently (450,000 cfs as measured at The Dalles) and at a projected 600,000 cfs, and we respectfully ask the Committee to consider that information in the feasibility study.

We hope that the Committee’s work on this issue will lead to the 2015 Legislative Assembly taking a formal position on the 2014 – 2024 Columbia River Treaty Review, and sending that statement to Oregon’s Congressional delegation and others, as the legislature deems appropriate.

We ask the Committee to consider this line from Senate Concurrent Resolution 10 (2007), a statement mourning the loss of Celilo Falls, co-sponsored by Senator Avel Gordly and then-Speaker of the House Jeff Merkley:

“Whereas on March 10, 1957, the waters held back by The Dalles Dam flooded and silenced the awesome and sacred roar of Celilo Falls, severing a great spiritual connection between the Creator, Mother Earth and the Native Peoples of Oregon;”

We ask the Committee to consider the issue and opportunities of restoring and protecting Celilo Falls and the Columbia Gorge as similar to Oregon’s Beach Bill of the 1960s, and this line by former Governor Oswald West and cited by former Governor Tom McCall (updated, as the present and future threats to the Columbia Gorge are not local, but distant):

“No… selfish interest should be permitted, through politics or otherwise, to destroy or even impair this great birthright of our people.”

We ask the Committee to consider the testimony in Senate Judiciary Committee and the statements on the Senate floor regarding SJM 7 and SCR 10 as the 2007 Legislative Assembly collectively mourned the loss of Celilo Falls:

Oregon Senate Mourns the Flooding of Celilo Falls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQBU0tzqcWQ

Mourning the loss of Celilo Falls: tribal members speak to Oregon Senate Judiciary

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5TK5Ydcmdc

We ask the Committee to consider also the role of Oregon’s Environmental Justice Task Force in these discussions, created by Senator Avel Gordly’s SB 420 (2007), sections 3-5:

SECTION 3. The Environmental Justice Task Force shall:

(1) Advise the Governor on environmental justice issues;
(2) Advise natural resource agencies on environmental justice issues, including community concerns and public participation processes;
(3) Identify, in cooperation with natural resource agencies, minority and low-income communities that may be affected by environmental decisions made by the agencies;
(4) Meet with environmental justice communities and make recommendations to the Governor regarding concerns raised by these communities; and
(5) Define environmental justice issues in the state.

SECTION 4. In order to provide greater public participation and to ensure that all persons affected by decisions of the natural resource agencies have a voice in those decisions, each natural resource agency shall:

(1) In making a determination whether and how to act, consider the effects of the action on environmental justice issues.
(2) Hold hearings at times and in locations that are convenient for people in the communities that will be affected by the decisions stemming from the hearings.
(3) Engage in public outreach activities in the communities that will be affected by decisions of the agency.
(4) Create a citizen advocate position that is responsible for:
(a) Encouraging public participation;
(b) Ensuring that the agency considers environmental justice issues; and
(c) Informing the agency of the effect of its decisions on communities traditionally underrepresented in public processes.

SECTION 5. All directors of natural resource agencies, and other agency directors as the Governor may designate, shall report annually to the Environmental Justice Task Force and to the Governor on the results of the agenciesefforts to:

(1) Address environmental justice issues;
(2) Increase public participation of individuals and communities affected by agenciesdecisions;
(3) Determine the effect of the agenciesdecisions on traditionally underrepresented communities; and
(4) Improve plans to further the progress of environmental justice in Oregon.

Lastly, we ask the Committee to consider through the feasibility study the economics of maintaining barging (navigation) above The Dalles dam, including the public subsidies and public risk associated with navigation, versus the economic and job creation benefits of investing in the infrastructure and services that would lead to a permanently restored and protected Celilo Falls and environs, perhaps as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

We look forward to participating in all relevant discussions pertaining to the future management of the Columbia River.

Best wishes,

Sean Aaron Cruz

Sean Aaron Cruz
Executive Director, The Friends of Celilo Falls

cc: State Representative Ken Helm
Governor Kate Brown
Legislative Commission on Indian Services
The Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs Indian Reservation
The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation
The Nez Perce Tribe
The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation
The Columbia River Intertribal Fish Commission
The Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force
The Friends of Celilo Falls board of directors
Other interested parties

The Friends of Celilo Falls
http://www.friendsofcelilofalls.org
takeaction@friendsofcelilofalls.org

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Crude Oil Trains Threaten the Columbia River Gorge

by Sean Aaron Cruz

Portland, Oregon–

Crude oil trains are passing within 100 feet of both banks of the Columbia River at Celilo/Wishram. See video link below:

BNSF runs its bomb trains on the Washington side, Union Pacific runs its bomb trains on the Oregon side, rolling the dice through every community in the Columbia Gorge….

No place in the entire Columbia River Gorge is ready or equipped to deal with a crude oil incident, whether derailment, leakage, fire or explosion, and the train tracks run through every community, close by schools and hospitals, homes and businesses. The railroads refuse to warn emergency workers or residents when they are sending the bomb trains through, and it is up to the communities (and taxpayers) to pay for and provide training, personnel and emergency equipment to deal with an incident.

For more than 80 miles, the railroad tracks line both banks of the Columbia River and its vital salmon fishery.

The railroads and the crude oil export industry want to increase the number of oil trains they run through the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area, in all kinds of weather and track conditions.

Who will stop these crude oil bomb trains before a catastrophe takes place?

It is up to you….

celilo scouting jun 26 012

Wishram, Washington on left  — Celilo Falls in between — Celilo Village, Oregon on right

Washington: BNSF RR                             Oregon: Union Pacific RR

 

celilo scouting jun 26 103

Wishram, Washington, BNSF rail yard looking south at Celilo Village, Oregon

See video:

Bomb Trains” The Crude Gamble of Oil By Rail

https://news.vice.com/video/bomb-trains

The Friends of Celilo Falls is forming:

www.friendsofcelilofalls.org

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheFriendsOfCeliloFalls

 

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Columbia River Gorge Commission calls for moratorium on coal and oil shipments

“…Unacceptable risks…”

G211

Celilo Falls

The Columbia River Gorge Commission (CRGC) issued a landmark resolution opposing coal and oil transport through the National Scenic Area “by any means and from any source.”

The Commission unanimously agreed that “coal and oil transport through the Columbia River Gorge present(s) unacceptable risks to Gorge resources and threaten(s) the health, safety and economy of Gorge communities.”

Link to complete resolution:

CRGC Resolution on Coal and Oil Transport – 7 17 2014

Link to CRGC letter to Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber:

CRGC letter to Governor Kitzhaber re Coal and Oil Transport 7 17 2014

Link to CRGC letter to Washington Governor Jay Inslee:

CRGC letter to Governor Inslee re Coal and Oil Transport 7 17 2014

 

 

 

 

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The Friends of Celilo Falls supports Columbia River Gorge Commission’s moratorium on coal and crude oil

 

the most valuable fish

 

The Friends of Celilo Falls joined the Friends of the Columbia Gorge and other opponents of crude oil and coal shipments through the Gorge in testimony today before the Columbia River Gorge Commission. In addition to providing the statement below, we offered verbal comments noting that state and local governments can defeat the federal preemption on the regulation of interstate commerce as a matter of public safety.

We stated that The Friends of Celilo Falls categorically opposes any development that threatens the future recovery of Celilo Falls.

The Columbia River Gorge Commissioners voted to add language to their draft resolution and draft letters to Governors Kitzhaber and Inslee calling for a moratorium on coal and crude oil shipments until certain conditions are met.

The Friends of Celilo Falls endorses the proposed moratorium.

 

The Friends of Celilo Falls

July 7, 2014

To the Columbia River Gorge Commission:

Greetings:

The Friends of Celilo Falls board of directors supports the Columbia River Gorge Commission’s draft resolution and its draft letter to Governor Kitzhaber and Governor Inslee, with a sense of great urgency.

We are very much concerned about the threats that coal export proposals pose, and we will oppose these and every other future effort to expand the use of the Scenic Protection Area as an increasingly internationalized industrial corridor.

We urge Governor Kitzhaber and Governor Inslee to halt all coal export proposals until the 2014 – 2024 Columbia River Treaty Review is complete and the concerns outlined in the Columbia River Gorge Commission’s resolution are met.

We are also much concerned about the very real threats that the transport of crude oil by train through the Gorge poses to people, housing and infrastructure, and all living beings in the Gorge. We urge Governor Kitzhaber and Governor Inslee to ban the transport of crude oil through the Gorge.

We look forward to working with the Commission in its future efforts to protect the scenic, natural, cultural and spiritual resources of the Gorge and to develop jobs that serve the interest of the Columbia River Gorge as a place, rather than as a route.

Sincerely,

Sean Aaron Cruz

Executive Director

 Cc: The Friends of Celilo Falls board of directors

 The Friends of Celilo Falls is registered as an Oregon nonprofit

contact: takeaction@friendsofcelilofalls.org

www,friendsofcelilofalls.org

 

 

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Jim Pepper’s Powwow documentary in Portland May 22

Pepper’s Powwow

Sandra Osawa’s award-winning documentary

on the life and music of Jim Pepper (Kaw/Creek) 1941-1992

and

video highlights of Jim PepperFest 2013

 Thursday May 22 at Rosewood Initiative Community Center

Jim Pepper - Pepper's Powwow

“A captivating look at the life of Native American jazz saxophone pioneer Jim Pepper, the first musician to fuse Native American music with jazz. The documentary soars with diverse musical highlights, including Pepper’s grandfather’s recording of the peyote chant “Witchi Tai To,” which Pepper developed into a crossover hit on both the jazz and Top 40 charts. Pepper’s life and music harmonized two distinct cultures, and serve as a poetic example for all indigenous people, ‘walking in two worlds with one spirit.’” –The Independent Television Service (ITVS)

 Thursday May 22 at Rosewood Initiative Community Center

16126 SE Stark Street, Portland

Doors open – 5:30 pm  Program – 6:00 to 8:00 pm

 Free admission, donation requested, everyone welcome, family friendly

 Mark your calendars: The Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival will be back at Parkrose HS Performing Arts Center on Saturday, September 13, 2014. Schedules and artists TBA.

 Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival: www.Jimpepperfest.net

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Mayimba Music is new Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival sponsor  

New York City-based Mayimba Music, a music publishing company with an international reach, has become the Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival’s first out-of-Oregon partner with a generous $ 2,000 contribution to support our work.

 Marti Cuevas, Mayimba Music’s President, became a fan of Jim Pepper’s the first time she heard him, and she has contributed the story of that encounter below.

marti cuevas  Marti Cuevas

 After spending 10 years as a working musician in Madrid, Spain, Marti Cuevas relocated to New York City in the 1980s with two small children in tow. Her dream was to play saxophone in the Big Apple, working part time to assuage the instability of a musical career. Marti landed a job with legendary music business attorney William Krasilovsky, and in 1991 was hired to administer J & N Records, where she worked while playing saxophone in the meringue scene. She founded Mayimba Music in 1999.

Marti Cuevas, on Jim Pepper:

“In the early 80s I was living in Madrid, Spain.   In those days we were total “bohemios.”  We didn’t give a shit about money, and all we did was practice all day, and go play at night.  Returning to the United States was a culture shock and a jolt to a sad reality.   I was a mom with two kids, and I was forced to explore ways to generate enough dough to pay the rent.   Showing up for my children pushed me into the music BUSINESS.

“My friend Barry Wedgle, a New York jazz guitarist and extraordinary composer, was part a member of our close-knit musical community in Madrid, and we were good buddies – we often played together.  So when the Joe Lovano Quartet, featuring Jim Pepper, came to town, Barry told me I had to go – I simply could not miss it.  Barry had been Jim Pepper’s roommate in NYC, and was a first hand witness to Jim’s huge, juicy tenor sound.  He told me that Jim filled the entire apartment building with music every day. (https://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/BarryWedgle)

“I was already a fan of Joe Lovano, but I had never heard of Jim Pepper.  However, as Jim blew his first note, I became an instant convert.   I thought I had never heard a more amazing, gorgeous tenor sound – ever.  And of course, apart from an exceptional, soulful, humungous tone, his approach to improvisation was not typical, overly academic  – it was totally personal and fresh.  For years after that performance, Jim’s playing was on my mind.

“As time passed and my life path became complex and intertwined with money-making enterprise, I forgot about Jim – until last year.  I had recently become totally fixated on Native American culture, and his name came up, stirring dormant memories.  So I started downloading all of Jim’s music, reluctantly admitting that the digital delivery of music has definitely brought us easy access to a super-wide spectrum of music;   some of Jim’s albums were instantly available.

“That was when I came across the Oregon ArtBeat videos (links below) where I heard the story of a person who had moved into a house in Portland, Oregon; and who subsequently – and mysteriously – fell in love with Native American culture.  After a time, this person – who I now know to be Sean Aaron Cruz, discovered he was living IN Jim Pepper’s house.  And since then, Sean has been on a mission to promote Jim’s musical legacy, keeping a promise he made to the artist’s mother, and to bring to the forefront the amazing Native American cultures in the Portland area that have been marginalized and ignored through the decades.

“Kudos to Jim – R.I.P. and kudos to Sean – may Jim’s music continue to inspire!”

Oregon ArtBeat: Jim Pepper, pt 1

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGaq0lmUli8&index=3&list=PLpKzgs5ESjoUcTQogI3zmg_HE_JjPevnY

Oregon ArtBeat: Jim Pepper, pt 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXjhW4RnL2U&index=4&list=PLpKzgs5ESjoUcTQogI3zmg_HE_JjPevnY

Mayimba Music is an award-winning full-spectrum music company specializing in Spanish language styles. A music publisher since 1999, we also offer music licensing and publishing administration services for third party publishers and independent composers. In addition, we offer full administration services for record labels. We produce, release & distribute records, both physically & digitally. http://www.mayimbamusic.com/news

Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival

www.Jimpepperfest.net

Find us on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/JimPepperNativeArtsFestival

YouTube channel:  http://youtu.be/nZPYVpnNcEQ

The Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival is a 1000 Nations Production.

Contact: music@jimpepperfest.net

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Jim PepperFest 2014: The Rosewood Initiative Series

Jim Pepper - Pepper's Powwow

The Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival will produce a series of monthly events at The Rosewood Initiative, 16126 SE Stark Street in Portland, beginning the evening of April 13, 2014, 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Admission will be free to the community, donation requested.

Opening the series will be a showing of Pepper’s Powwow, Sandra Osawa’s award-winning documentary about Jim Pepper.

“A captivating look at the life of Native American jazz saxophone pioneer Jim Pepper, the first musician to fuse Native American music with jazz. The documentary soars with diverse musical highlights, including Pepper’s grandfather’s recording of the peyote chant “Witchi Tai To,” which Pepper developed into a crossover hit on both the jazz and Top 40 charts. Pepper’s life and music harmonized two distinct cultures, and serve as a poetic example for all indigenous people, ‘walking in two worlds with one spirit.’” — The Independent Television Service (ITVS)

Also on the April 13 program: Highlights of Jim PepperFest 2013, featuring the Turquoise Pride drum.

turquoise pride

Turquoise Pride at Jim PepperFest 2013

 Your hosts for the evening: Luciana Proaño and Tony Garcia

For directions to The Rosewood Initiative: http://rosewoodinitiative.org/

Mark your calendars: The Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival will be back at Parkrose HS Performing Arts Center on Saturday, September 13, 2014. Schedules and artists TBA.

Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival: www.Jimpepperfest.net

Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JimPepperNativeArtsFestival

YouTube channel: http://youtu.be/nZPYVpnNcEQ

Contact: music@jimpepperfest.net

Jim Pepper Native Arts Festival Executive Committee:

Luciana Proaño

Tony Garcia

Sean Aaron Cruz

 

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