Business

oregon writers, oregon authors, portland, roland smith

What I’m Working On

When Roland Smith was an aspiring writer attending Portland State University, he took a part-time job working with animals at a zoo.

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Empty Bowls

Potters come together to create and fill bowls for those in need.

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Laurence Bennett: The Extended Interview

Lean and tan, Laurence Bennett looks every bit the movie star. But as a production designer, Bennett is actually the wizard behind the lens. We all have a sense of what a cinematographer, an editor and a director does, but the production designer’s role is often cloaked in mystery. Bennett’s job is what he calls “the artistic author, responsible for bringing to life the entire world the characters inhabit on film.” Bennett’s film and TV credits include the just-released The Company You Keep and five-time Academy Award-winning The Artist, as well as Crash, The Valley of Elah, Freedom Writers, The Next Three Days, “Grey’s Anatomy” and “EZ Streets.” We caught up with Bennett at his restored 1904 farmhouse in Estacada. Here, with his wife, Nina, and a menagerie, Bennett is able to recharge.

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Butte Creek Mill: In-Grained in Tradition

“I have always wanted to own a historical building,” says Butte Creek Mill owner and operator, Bob Russell, as he strolls through his water-driven mill in Eagle Point. The retired sales manager from Portland crossed over the battered metal threshold of the once-dilapidated mill in 2005 and knew he was home. Russell, who is also mayor of Eagle Point, and his wife, Debbie, together run the Butte Creek Mill, mercantile, and adjacent antiques store seven days a week.

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SeQuential Fuels the Next Generation

In Eugene, two royal blue and goldenrod yellow SeQuential Biofuels stations stand out among a sea of Shell, 76 and Chevron gas stations. The latter group is of the typical gas-and-go variety with unleaded outside and trans-fat snacks on the inside. The other sells biodiesel, yerba mate and organic produce under a green roof.

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Macs to the People

During Lorrain Kerwood’s first year at Lane Community College, she bought a new computer, only to have it crash. She remembers approaching the problem with relentless drive. “I tried to fix it myself, but instead of pulling out the main power supply,” she says, “I managed to damage my hard drive. I turned to the Internet and found regular people, just like myself, who gave me everything I needed to know about how to repair my computer,” Kerwood recalls.

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Keeping Up With the Best of Them

Much like an Olympic athlete, Ralph Reiff, M.Ed., LAT, ATC, is living the dream. Reiff is the Executive Director of St. Vincent Sports Performance in Indianapolis, an organization that is gaining attention for its high performance workshops. Each clinic follows a “one stop shop” model by gathering a range of sports professionals (including athletic trainers, nutritionists and sports psychologists) in one place to meet with participants. Athletes and coaches go from person to person to discuss their strengths and weaknesses in each area. Trainers give customized homework to help the athlete make improvements. They go home, do their assignments, and come back for successive rounds of consultation. Track & field stars Matt Tegenkamp and Jesse Williams are among the people who have taken advantage of the program.

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The Dog Days Aren’t Over in Cannon Beach

Dog owners beam at the antics and carefree jaunts of their four-legged family members all along Oregon’s coastline. The public nature of our beaches means that dogs are welcome anywhere they can run on the sandy shores. Leashes are forsaken (legally as long as the dog is “within voice control”) in favor of Frisbees and makeshift driftwood for fetching. One town in particular is any proud pet owner’s dream. Cannon Beach welcomes four legs with open arms and offers a variety of pet-friendly recreation and accommodations.

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Guns in Schools

In 2009, police arrested a Western Oregon University student at the student union with a concealed handgun and knife in his pocket. Later, the Newberg School District sought, and failed, to keep guns from its schools. These cases ignited a strongly-contested conflict about guns on the campus of Oregon state universities and other state schools.