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Bits and Pieces

It's almost ski season!

Mount Hood resorts are gearing up for their skiing and snowboarding seasons, offering special rates on passes.

Timberline and Skibowl are once again offering their Mt. Hood Fusion Pass. Purchase before Nov. 6, and it's $475 (adults), $365 (teens) and $355 (juniors/ seniors). Tickets are available at www.mthoodfusionpass.com.

Mt. Hood Meadows' early rates, if passes are purchased before Nov. 6, are $499 (ages 23-64), $379 (15-22) and $259 (7-14). A 10-time pass is $379. Its website is www.skihood.com.

Passes can also be purchased at the Ski Fever and Snowboard Show, Nov. 4-6, at the Expo Center.

We'll be waiting on snow, but Timberline anticipates opening its Palmer lift Sept. 30. At Meadows, folks are gearing up for the opening of the new Stadium Express quad lift.

With expected La Niña conditions, the resorts would be getting lower temperatures and more precipitation - snow.

Toasting Portland

Portland has been named the top city in the country for book lovers, according to www.liveability.com, a website offering in-depth information about America's best places to live. Editors researched more than 500 livable communities to find the top cities with thriving independent bookstores and vibrant literary scenes.

The rest of the top 10: Kansas City, Mo., San Jose, Calif., Charlottesville, Va., Iowa City, Iowa, Traverse City, Mich., Pueblo, Colo., Coral Gables, Fla., Spokane, Wash., and Charlotte, N.C.

A Typhoon! closes

Due to the recent death of co- owner Steve Kline and its well-documented financial and other problems, Typhoon! Inc. has closed its Broadway location and the adjacent Bo's RestoBar.

'Water Hero'

The Tualatin Valley Water District has named Catlin Gabel School as its 'Water Hero' for the school's significant reduction in water usage. Eric Shawn, the school's facilities manager, and Mike Wilson, grounds supervisor, have implemented a wide-ranging plan to save water, including irrigating from a well and replacing old equipment, and it has resulted in a 44-percent drop in water usage in the past six years.