Think Oregon

Blue Zone Helps Oregonians Make Healthy Choices

Choosing to live a healthy life can be di cult, but four communities in Oregon are working hard to change that. Each community—Klamath Falls, The Dalles, Umpqua Valley and Grants Pass—is a certified Blue Zones Project

Independence, Oregon: A Small Town with Advancing Technology

Independence, Oregon: A Small Town with Advancing Technology

How one small town is embracing tech written by Sheila G. Miller EVERY FOURTH OF JULY, as many as 25,000 people flock to the city of Independence, Oregon — population 9,666 — to celebrate the holiday with a multiday festival. “The town grinds to a halt,” said Shaun Irvine, the city’s economic development director. “Staffing is never quite enough. We needed a way to be more efficient.” This year, it would be different. Working with TeamDev, the city plans to create a virtual situation room to make the festival smarter. Irvine described it as, essentially, a map of the community with real-time updates—traffic incidents, police calls, live video streams, employees’ locations. Garbage can sensors can tell employees when it’s time to empty them. Employees will be able to monitor social media. “We’ll be able to know if someone’s in the park and tweets at a friend that the bathroom is…

What’s Going Up: New Oregon Retirement Facilities

Retirees in the Portland area will have a new option when Touchmark in the West Hills opens this summer. The community will have two lodges—one with 130 one- and two-bedroom independent living units, and another with 146 units that will provide memory care and other assisted living options. In 2019, the community will add single-family and “garden homes,” which will be two-story buildings with four units, two on each floor and with an elevator. The facility will also feature several dining options and a health and fitness club with a heated indoor pool.

Bibliophile: Willy Vlautin

Willy Vlautin grew up in Reno, Nevada, where “dented” people and cheap motels became his muses. His characters struggle in hard lives and tough relationships, often living in motels. Alcohol looms large, providing comfort, escape and plausible excuses in his novels.

Corner Gospel Explosion: A New Approach

Things were rolling along nicely for Corner Gospel Explosion. The Bend-based quartet formed in 2015 and quickly gained a following. Later that year, they were named Central Oregon’s best band by the local alt-weekly. In early 2016, they released their first album, Tension.

Howard B. Taylor’s Living Rock Pictures

Howard B. Taylor and his family and friends built Living Rock Studios over a ten-year period, and made a unique and permanent contribution to art in Oregon.

Making an Effort to Prevent Wildfires in Oregon

Will the 2017 wildfire season change the way Oregonians fight fire? written by Sophia McDonald It’s common for people to remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they received the news of the wildfire. Kevin Gorman is no different. On September 2, 2017, the executive director of Friends of the Columbia Gorge was at his Portland-area home enjoying a relaxing Memorial Day weekend. That came to an abrupt end mid-afternoon. “A friend of mine texted me a picture from Multnomah Falls with plume of smoke and said, ‘Do you know about this?’” he recalled. “It was within about twenty minutes of it starting, so I didn’t.” Gorman hopped online just in time to see the first news of the Eagle Creek Fire. He was glued to his computer for the rest of the weekend, and he wasn’t the only one. Millions of people across Oregon watched…