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|Thursday, August 19, 2010|
There aren’t a lot of counties in Oregon with unemployment rates lower than the national average, but there are three of them in the Columbia River Gorge. Even as the state's economy has stagnated, the awesome rise of the robot plane pioneer Insitu as an aerospace powerhouse and other positive developments have done wonders for communities on both sides of the river, especially in the vicinity of Hood River.
I took a drive out to tiny Bingen, Washington just across the bridge from Hood River the other day, and it was nothing like it was in the not-so-distant past. No more cheap fried chicken at the convenience store as you pass through; we’re talking gluten free crust on the pizza, locally brewed beers for four and a half bucks apiece, and specialty products like goat’s milk hand lotion and local honey for sale by the register.
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