Think Oregon

Oregon Innovators Then and Now

A look back, and ahead, at Oregon Innovators written by James Sinks In the yellowed pages of history, the promise of Oregon Innovators bade explorers to plunge headlong into the rugged—and often damp— frontier. It was no place for fear of the unknown. at same unforgiving ethos goes for the Oregon trailblazers of the business sort. “ The cowards never started and the weak died along the way,” said Nike co-founder Phil Knight, in his bestselling memoir, Shoe Dog.  The Oregon economy of today has been shaped by big thinkers, like Knight and others, whose ideas and dogged tenacity created opportunities and jobs by the thousands, spawned spinoffs, saved lives and—to help all of us celebrate more effectively—made vineyards more productive. Of course, some Oregon inventions are just plain fun, and tasty. The beanbag Hacky Sack that helped occupy the time of countless college students before dating apps? Created in 1972 in…

Austin Wallace Is Making Animal Welfare A Priority

A Special Agent Is Making Animal Welfare A Priority interview by Sheila G. Miller A special agent commissioned with the Oregon State Police and employed by the Oregon Humane Society, Austin Wallace is in his thirteenth year serving in this role. He’s worked in law enforcement and animal welfare around the country for nearly twenty years. As a child in Scotland, he grew up with budgies (Scottish slang for parakeets) and felt a kinship with animals. He got into law enforcement, first covering the animal control officer on vacation and eventually taking over the position full time. “It wasn’t my main career goal, but it found me,” he said. The Oregon Humane Society, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary, receives more than 5,000 calls and emails to its investigations line each year, and Wallace and the rest of the team work on more than 1,000 of those. “Call in,”…

The Portland Spoon Company

Russell Clark of the Portland Spoon Company uses tree waste for spoons written by Katrina Emery The Portland Spoon Company was born out of an excess of wood and a little hobby. Russell Clark, a carver, works by day as an arborist in the Portland Metro area. From tending to the dead and downed trees, he saw so much wood go through the chipper that when he picked up spoon carving he found himself with a glut of material. He taught himself from books, videos and fellow carvers, online or in person. “The first few were terrible,” he laughed, but he now sells the beautiful spoons, ladles and spatulas online and in a handful of shops around Portland, like the Hoyt Arboretum gift shop. With all the tips and tricks in his arsenal, and so much passion for the craft, he’s partnered with Wildcraft Studio School to teach spoon carving…

Pop of Joy Makes Weddings Manageable and Memorable

Pop of Joy is keeping it simple and wants to keep your wedding manageable, simple and beautiful written by Sheila G. Miller | photography by Road 40 Pop of Joy believes that weddings are supposed to be about one thing—two people declaring their love and commitment to one another. But over the years, they’ve also morphed into focusing on other things, like twenty bridesmaids and photo booths and donut walls and sparkler sendoffs and coordinated dances and multiple dress changes. Now, Sharayah Dancer has a plan to bring the meaning back into focus with her new company, Pop of Joy. “We want to make sure to make it so easy for brides,” Dancer said. “Weddings get crazy and so stressful, and there are so many parts to weddings that people don’t understand until they start planning.” Dancer, with a business partner, used to run Blush Events, a wedding planning company…

Roger Nichols Is Still Making Iconic Music

Local Bend resident Roger Nichols is still making iconic music written by Holly Hutchins | photography by Joe Kline It started as a Crocker Bank TV commercial. It evolved into one of popular music’s most iconic songs, eventually voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. “We’ve Only Just Begun,” made famous by Richard and Karen Carpenter in 1970, owes its origin to legendary songwriter and longtime Bend resident Roger Nichols. To date, this classic has played on the air more than 4 million times, earning the distinction of being one of the top fifty songs of the twentieth century. Over the years, Nichols’ music, co-written with Paul Williams, Tony Asher, Bill Lane and other notable lyricists, has been recorded by hundreds of artists worldwide, including Barbra Streisand, Three Dog Night, Barry Manilow, Paul Anka, Johnny Mathis and on and on. Nichols also composed commercial spots for a client list…

Reed College Professor Derek A. Applewhite

In 2017, Applewhite received two large-scale grants—one from the National Science Foundation for $589,000 and another from the National Institutes of Health for nearly $400,000.

Matthew Carter of Carter Knife Co.

Originally from the Midwest, Carter traveled to Bend on a whim to visit a friend and ended up staying. He finished up his bachelor’s degree in social science at Oregon State University-Cascades. Carter remembers going to lectures all day and grinding metal at night. He admits his knives were amateur at first, but that didn’t stop friends and family from wanting to buy them. Carter Knife Co. was born.

Hells Canyon Fifty-Year Anniversary

In the late 1960s, a small band of passionate, committed conservationists battled to save Hells Canyon from additional dams on the Snake River.

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