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Items on Oneonta Tunnel, 'Green Friday' parking, Artists Sunday and Shayla Montgomery.

COURTESY PHOTO: DVM PHOTOGRAPHY - Shayla Montgomery was first runner-up at the national pageant after being crownd Oregon Teen USA in January (above).Artists Sunday

More than 400 communities, including city, county and state art agencies, as well as well as more than 3,000 individual artists and makers nationwide are participating in Artists Sunday, which promotes Sunday, Nov. 29 as a day to support local artists by purchasing art as gifts.

Oregon Arts Commission is a partner in Artists Sunday, which joins Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday as prominent days to shop for holiday gifts.

Said Christopher Sherman, Artists Sunday executive director:

"Big box stores are always promoting their Black Friday and online stores are always promoting Cyber Monday but individual artists and photographers are all out there hustling independently, trying to make sales. There's no unified voice promoting all the fantastic artists out there.  

"We've created a unified approach with artists and art organizations across the country all championing the same message: 'Shop art for the holidays' and help artists nationwide and eventually worldwide generate more sales."

For more: www.artistssunday.com, www.oregonartscommission.org.

Tunnel restoration

Work has begun on a landmark damaged by a famous wildfire. From the Gresham Outlook:

Restoration work has begun to reopen a historic tunnel in the Columbia River Gorge that has been closed since being damaged during the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire.

The Oregon Department of Transportation has started working to reopen the Oneonta Tunnel on the Historic Columbia River Highway. Travelers should expect single lane closures on the highway with flaggers directing traffic near the tunnel. Most of the work will occur during daylight hours on weekdays, with no traffic impacts on the weekend.

The restoration is needed after the Eagle Creek Fire badly damaged the tunnel's wood lining. The work was done in two phases. In February 2020, crews addressed rockfall concerns on the hillside, at and above the tunnel.

The second phase, which will continue through summer 2021, will restore the tunnel. The project is funded by emergency response dollars through the Federal Highway Administration.

The 125-foot Oneonta Tunnel originally was opened in 1914 as part of the Historic Columbia River Highway. It was used to cut through Oneonta Bluff and avoid moving a railroad that was snug against the base of the bluff.

In 1948, ODOT redirected traffic around the tunnel and filled it with rubble. The tunnel was restored for bicycle and pedestrian use in 2009, as part of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail.

Free parking

Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is offering free day-use parking at its 25 Oregon state parks on Green Friday, Nov. 27.

The department, however, asks users to limit their visits to six people and two households. For more: www.stateparks.oregon.gov.

First runner-up

Milwaukie's Shayla Montgomery represented Oregon well, bringing back the first runner-up award from the 2020 Miss Teen USA pageant Nov. 7.

"This honor, to me, is amazing, because I put Oregon back on the map," Montgomery said. "The week of Miss Teen USA was magical even though we are experiencing a global pandemic."

Montgomery was named Miss Oregon Teen USA 2020 in January.


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