02-19-2017  3:26 pm      •     

Music by Blue Lake returns this summer with free concerts on Friday evenings, Aug. 18 and 25, at Blue Lake Regional Park. Bands will perform from 6 to 8 p.m.
Blue Lake Regional Park is a wonderful venue for an evening of music with family or friends. Bring a blanket and spread out under leafy shade or pick a spot to enjoy the breeze off the lake, views of Mt. Hood and the warmth of the setting sun.
On Friday, Aug. 18, Moondance will keep park visitors on their feet with their high-energy dance music. Pulling from a wide range of popular classics from the 1950s through the 1980s, these veterans of rock-and-roll always entertain. Take a break or dance your socks off to the familiar sounds of The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Van Morrison and more. Additional band information can be found at www.moon-dance.org.
The show on Friday, Aug. 25, will feature Fools in Paradise. This eclectic six-person group brings a variety of African music and instruments to the park. The selections include traditional Zimbabwean mbira (thumb piano) songs and rousing marimba music from Zimbabwe, South Africa, Ghana and Guinea.
Inspired by the beautiful music they've learned, their original material combines African melodies with moving and thought-provoking lyrics. Saxophone, congas, djembe, electric bass kalimba, shakers and vocal harmonies round out the sound. Additional band information can be found at www.foolsinparadise.com.
Purchase dinner at the park or bring a picnic. Food concessions including yakisoba noodles, espresso, Italian sodas, sno-cones and more will be offered for sale each evening. No alcohol is allowed at Blue Lake Regional Park without an alcohol permit. All concerts are free with a $4 park vehicle entry fee. For more information, visit www.metro-region.org/bluelake or call 503-797-1850.
Blue Lake Regional Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to legal sunset. Most of the park facilities are wheelchair accessible including parking areas, restrooms, picnic areas, playgrounds, park paths, the wetlands observation deck and trail loop. Pets are not permitted at Blue Lake Regional Park.
Blue Lake Regional Park is between Northeast Marine Drive and Sandy Boulevard off Northeast 223rd Avenue.
From Interstate 84, take the Fairview exit (14) and go north on 207th Avenue to Sandy Boulevard. Turn right onto Sandy and travel east to 223rd and turn left. Proceed north to Blue Lake Road and the park.

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All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. 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"I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. 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Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. 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