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Soul liberation going on in TD

— I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.

— Maya Angelou

Finding ways to give: So many people have asked this week how they can show their gratitude for the immense effort under way in our community to battle wildfire raging outside the community and to help those who have been most severely affected by it. Some local businesses have found ways to contribute:

• Auction Sales Company, Fort Dalles Rodeo Association and Fort Dalles Riders’ Club are offering livestock boarding for those affected by the fire. Home at Last and Sound Equine Options are also offering animal assistance.

• Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is offering RV and vehicle parking in their lot.

• Omeg Family Orchards is providing water from its irrigation well to the tenders fighting the fire up Threemile Road. “Otherwise, they would have to drive to town to fill,” Mike Omeg said. “It saves them a ton of time.”

• Fred Meyer and Home Depot combined donated 110 cases of water to Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue.

• Dominos took pizza up to the Red Cross shelter at Dry Hollow Elementary School Tuesday afternoon for the families and Red Cross workers there.

• Petco and Coastal Farm and Ranch have contributed pet crates and animal food for displaced animals.

• Dutch Bros. Coffee in The Dalles is giving firefighters free drinks all day today as a “Thank You” gesture, from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. After today, drinks will be $1 for firefighters for the duration of the wildfires.

• Grinders also offered free drinks for firefighters today.

A number of private citizens, including youth from Life in Christ, have donated homemade food items to Incident Command. As heartfelt as those gestures are, commanders said at last night’s community meeting that they cannot accept these donations.

Instead, they suggested donations and volunteering center on the American Red Cross, which is a vital partner in their community-based firefighting effort. Find out how to do that online at www.redcross.org.

Gorge Networks heads south: Gorge Networks has announced the purchase of Johnson Networks, an Internet service provider based out of The Dalles that provides wireless broadband to businesses and residents throughout Southern Wasco County, including Pine Hollow, Maupin, Tygh Valley, Juniper Flat, Pine Grove, Dufur and Sportsman’s Park. The purchase will allow Gorge Networks to expand its service area to nearly all of Wasco County.

The company plans to continue to serve existing customers and expand and improve upon the existing network of wireless towers it has just acquired. The initial focus will be to integrate the two networks with the goal of adding voice services by early 2014.

For details, call Gorge Networks at 541-386-8300.

On the move on Second Street: Paul Anderson’s new fly shop at left isn’t the only change in the 100 block shopping mall on East Second. A veritable game of musical chairs is under way in the mall operated by Jerry Jeffers.

Savvy Seconds has moved from its original location to a larger storefront at 107A E. Second.

Jeffers has opened his own shop at 107B, called the Third Hand Store, where he is liquidating an intriguing collection of personal possessions.

Attorney Kevin Hashizume recently moved into 107C.

Visitors will now access the Augustinian Center from 113A. The chapel itself isn’t moving, but it will have a storefront entrance and more space, instead of requiring visitors to meander through the mall hallways to reach it.

Come downtown for music: Don’t forget, tonight Tony Garcia and Tracy Klas perform at the Heart of the Gorge in Summer Concert. The free concert starts at 5:30 p.m. at the Lewis and Clark Festival Park.

The tour boats keep coming: The City of The Dalles has announced a new schedule for Lewis and Clark Festival Park. The Queen of the West has signed now signed for the 2015 year.

The river boat continues to visit The Dalles weekly. They are here today and other alternating Wednesdays for a six-hour stay. On alternating Mondays, they arrive around 1 p.m. for an overnight stay with Monday, Aug. 26, as their next stop.

September brings even more boats to the docks, with day-long stays from the Safari Legacy on Sept. 12, 19 and 26. The National Geographic (NG) Sea Lion docks overnight, arriving at 8 p.m., Sept. 15. The next day, Sept. 16, the NG Sea Bird arrives at 8 p.m. for an overnight stay until 2 p.m. the next afternoon.

The Sea Lion and Sea Bird will be back overnight again Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 respectively. The Sea Bird will make one last September stop on Saturday, Sept. 28.

It’s a chance for some creative entrepreneurs to carve out their own niche in the tourism economy.

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