Think Oregon

A mother-daughter duo writes a YA novel set on the Oregon Coast

A mother-daughter duo writes a YA novel set on the Oregon Coast

interview by Sheila Miller Kim Cooper Findling and her daughter, 14-year-old Libby Findling, seem to have pulled off a near-impossible mother-daughter feat—they’ve completed a major project together and are still on speaking terms. The Findlings started writing a novel together four years ago, working together on the plot, developing the characters and crafting the story. Fast-forward four years and the book, The Sixth Storm, is a young-adult novel from Dancing Moon Press, which Cooper Findling purchased last year. The duo has traveled around Oregon doing readings, school visits and other publicity for the book, which The Oregonian recently named a new and notable YA title.  The young adult novel, set in a fictional Oregon Coast town called Starfish Cove, follows Skye Clancy, a girl whose family has a strange relationship with the weather, which has wrought death and destruction on them for decades. While the story is fictional, it picks…

Tetherow home

An architect and interior designer fashion a modern Tetherow home befitting the high desert

written by Melissa Dalton In this house, the formality of a traditional enclosed entryway is a thing of the past. Step inside the front door and you’re greeted with an immediate view out the back—a 12-foot-high wall of glass that frames a grove of Ponderosa pine trees, desert scrub brush and several Cascade peaks in the distance. Putting that view upfront was a priority for Anne Mastalir. When Mastalir and her family relocated to Central Oregon from Portland in 2013, the move was an opportunity for the interior designer and owner of Pringle Design to craft a house that was not only a calling card for her work, but an ode to her new home. “It was important to us to design and build a home that fit in well with the surrounding landscape and fit the Bend environment,” Mastalir said. I figured out a very long time ago that…

Summit Arts Center

Summit Arts Center’s creativity stems from a desire to preserve history in Government Camp

written by Catie Joyce-Bulay photography by Daniel Stark Most people head to Mount Hood for the epic skiing and hiking, but there’s also a vibrant art community keeping traditions of craftsmanship alive. The story of Summit Arts Center, formerly known as Cascadia Center for Arts and Crafts, began in the 1930s when the cabins housing its studios were first built for U.S. Forest Service personnel. In 1936, construction began on nearby Timberline Lodge as a Works Progress Administration project, providing employment during the Great Depression. As the lodge flourished as a popular tourist destination and historic landmark, the original Forest Service cabins fell into disrepair. Fast forward more than sixty years—the cabins were slated for demolition for lack of funds to repair them. Enter Betsy Valian, a nearby Government Camp resident and glass artist who couldn’t bear to see such an important part of the region’s history disappear. It was…

solar bee

A solar apiary combines solar power and pollination

written by James Sinks Honeybees dance and dip among the lightly shaded wildflowers in this patch of Rogue Valley farmland, zipping between splotches of color and—when filled with pollen—curl back to their boxed hives to offload their cargo, and then start anew. It’s almost a normal agricultural view. Until you look upward. The canopy above the carpet of wildflowers is not made up of tree branches, but rather rows of solar power panels, covering some 40 acres near Eagle Point. The installation came online in 2016 and produces 10 megawatts of renewable electricity—enough to supply the power needs of roughly 8,000 houses.  To Rogue River beekeeper John Jacob, the dual-use solar site—the nation’s largest “solar apiary”—is a thoughtful example of how farms of the future can coexist with renewable energy, and make the world better. And importantly, he said, the sites can act as organic refuges for stressed pollinators, who…

Nataki Garrett

New Oregon Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Nataki Garrett seeks to broaden marketing and season

What I’m Workin On interview by Sheila G. Miller The Oregon Shakespeare Festival announced earlier this year that its new artistic director will be Nataki Garrett, a veteran stage director and the festival’s first African-American leader. She will be responsible for the artistic vision of the festival, which was founded in 1935 and has grown over the decades to become one of the biggest nonprofit theaters in the country. Garrett isn’t starting out slowly. While she takes over as the artistic director in August, she has been on site since April and will also direct a play, “How to Catch Creation,” at OSF in July. What exactly goes into being the artistic director?  I am the figurehead for artistic leadership, but I am also responsible for basically two-thirds of everything that happens in our organization. I’m responsible for all things in production such as choosing plays, hiring artists for plays…

tintype photographer

The Tintype Photographer

photography by Joe Kline Look through an old family photo album or peruse a historical society or museum, and you’ll find eerie tintype photography of years ago. Using a Civil War-era photographic process to make one-of-a-kind portraits of his subjects, Jason Chinchen is harking back to those olden times. The images are created by applying a light-sensitive silver emulsion to a thin piece of metal and then exposing it in a camera and developing it. Chinchen’s business, Analogue Tintypes, travels to various pop-up events around Central Oregon making tintype portraits for the public, and makes portraits in private sittings as well.

Liberty Bell in Oregon

When the Liberty Bell Came to Oregon

In 1915, the Liberty Bell came to Oregon as part of a patriotism-raising event in the lead up to WWI. Oregonians swooned. he 1915 annual Umatilla Reservation Indian Festival was in full swing on July 12 when it was upstaged by a remarkable sight. Arriving on a specially designed train, the nation’s Liberty Bell, on tour from Philadelphia, chugged into the Cayuse depot. Indians in full regalia, Chinese in native dress, and hundreds of others gaped at the Liberty Bell. Liberty Bell officials and the train crew gaped back. The bell’s official photographers took photos and recorded film. “It is doubtful whether the red people were half as interested in the bell as the Philadelphians were in them,” The Daily East Oregonian reported. As the Liberty Bell Special made its 10,000-mile journey across the United States that summer, stopping at 275 cities, towns and hamlets, a quarter of all Americans…

Oregon Granges continue to connect rural communities

written by Katie Chamberlain photography by Thomas Boyd ON A DRIZZLY OCTOBER MORNING, Jay Sexton dug through the archives of Marys River Grange with a quiet enthusiasm to show me the roster and photos of the grange’s original members, and poems describing the tightly knit grange community. Founding members of this grange, located in Philomath, heaved logs donated from nearby mills to construct the log cabin hall over several years in the early 1930s. The grange is tightly woven into the community’s landscape: Many of the nearby roads were named for families who were active in the grange during its early years. These historic halls, dotting Oregon’s back roads from Sixes to Enterprise, offer a window into Oregon’s agrarian past—and a glimpse into modern rural life. “People think of us as the building, but it’s more than the building,” said Sexton, steward of Marys River and state grange overseer. Sexton,…

GoCamp Is a Dream Deliverer

GoCamp gets camper vans in on the sharing economy and delivers adventure written by Sheila G. Miller Instagram posts with the hashtag #vanlife have become all the rage in recent years. I can’t possibly be the only Oregonian who looks wistfully at the wild vistas and the perfectly kitted vans and thinks, “Why not me?” Here’s why not: a new or gently used camper van can set you back between $20,000 and $100,000 and aren’t necessarily realistic for daily driving. Most of us will never own one. But that doesn’t mean the dream is dead—that’s where GoCamp comes in. Deborah Kane started GoCamp partly out of a desire to get others out into the wilderness and partly to prevent her camper van from sitting in her driveway all the time. Kane, who rents out her basement apartment in Southeast Portland using Airbnb, had her a-ha moment in 2017. “Through my…