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PORTLAND IS A CITY that's looking ahead and one well worth looking at. It's a fine place for a convention now and promises to be a better one in 1997.

It is part, too, of a region that shares the same character, and we will work with other newspapers of Oregon and Washington to give a Portland convention a truly Pacific North-west flavor.

Many issues of prime concern to the region promise to remain topical nationally in 1997 and be relevant to your communities, too.

There's the question of how state land-use planning can guide population growth, a controversial subject on which Oregon has been a national pace-setter.

We'll be able to examine how well the Clinton administration did in implementing new federal resource-management policies from fish to fowl. If all goes right in the meantime, we might be able to show you a spotted owl and feed you a salmon.

The region's trade and cultural connections with the rest of the Pacific Rim make experts readily available to discuss business and political trends involving Asia and North America. With Nike headquartered here, you can even learn about the shoe business.

Who knows what high technology will bring between now and 1997? But the presence of many high-tech firms in the Portland and Seattle areas gives us a chance to bring in local talent to brief us on the future.

Plus, of course, there are those "quality of life" issues that Northwesterners have gained national attention for dealing with. That's where policy and pleasure merge. From a centrally situated hotel close to the Willamette River, you can stroll to the city's Riverside complex of shops and restaurants, meander along the waterfront park, explore the still-vigorous downtown and ride the light-rail system affectionately known as MAX -- for free in the downtown portion.

You also can browse Powell's Books, said to be the nation's largest bookstore, visit the zoo's noted elephant herd and nature exhibits, and drop in at several museums. A reception at the hilltop Pittock Mansion would offer a chance to look out over the city toward the snowcapped peaks of the Cascade Range.

Speaking of those peaks, a possible out-of-town excursion is to the Mount St. Helens National Historic Monument to survey the aftermath of the 1980 eruption -- a source of outstanding material for columns. Or you can loop around Mount Hood, visit historic Timberline Lodge, and return through the scenic cliff-lined Columbia Gorge.

For those who can stay awhile (and why hurry to leave?) Portland is a fine jumping-off place for a longer vacation. The magnificent Oregon coast is an hour-and-a-half's drive away, and Seattle is a short hop to the north.

More than 500 daily flights by a variety of major airlines make Portland readily accessible, even if we can't quite claim it's centrally located. And hotel and meal rates compare very favorably to those of other West Coast destinations.

What else will Portland offer NCEW in '97? Hard to say. This city and region are still growing and changing -- that's part of the fun. So head west and check it out. We'll be delighted to see you.

NCEW member Phil Cogswell is deputy editorial page editor of The Oregonian in Portland.
COPYRIGHT 1993 National Conference of Editorial Writers
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Convention '93; Portland, Oregon
Author:Cogswell, Phil
Publication:The Masthead
Date:Sep 22, 1993
Words:535
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