Think Oregon

2011-Summer-Oregon-Politics-Health-Care-Advocate-OSPIRG-Laura-Etherton

Influence and the Health Insurance Exchange

The federal Affordable Care Act frames health insurance exchanges as a transparent and competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can get the same health insurance benefits as large corporations.

2011-Summer-Oregon-Travel-Willamette-Valley-Independence-fountain

Independence

Once the hops capital of the world, Independence has becom a well-preserved warren of historical buildings down Main Street and an energetic community scene centered on its Willamette riverfront amphitheater.

oregon artists, hans magden

An Artist, Retrained

“I usually go into a trance for twelve straight hours and then I’m done,” he says. The creative urge lasts long enough to produce an image, a facial expression, a memory, or a feeling on the square or rectangle before him. “I never know exactly what the meaning is, but it works itself out.”

rainn wilson, sisters, central oregon, oregon celebrities

The Office’s Rainn Wilson on Sisters

At this point in his bizarre life much is known about Dwight “Danger” Schrute III, an under-appreciated second-tier paper salesman in NBC’s hit series “The Office.” Actor Rainn Wilson plays the socially awkward, confrontational character who plies children with true/false questions such as, “The black bear is the greatest known bear alive,” only to blurt out, “False! All bears are the greatest known bears alive.” Like many aspiring salesmen, Dwight’s wardrobe is an ill-advised étude in mustard-colored shirtsleeves. Perhaps more troubling than his fashion sense, are his supernatural claims. Foremost among these is his power to recall his own singleton birth after he “resorbed” his twin in utero. A little-known fact about actor Rainn Wilson is his connection to Oregon. Wilson’s wife went to high school in Portland, and the couple and their young son are also part-time residents of Sisters, Oregon, where they own a small cabin. Wilson was…

2011-Spring-Oregon-Music-Portland-Mel-Brown-drums-play-jazz

New Jazz in Portland

Jazz in the Rose City is blossoming with youthful innovation these days in a Pacific Northwestern cult fueled by creativity. While expressing the independent spirit of Oregon, this emerging jazz culture also remains connected to the past.

2011-Spring-Eastern-Oregon-Wallowas-McClaran-Ranch-Jill-McClaran-on-horseback

Oregon Grass-Fed Beef

Jill McClaran wears her blonde hair to her waist and spurs on her cowboy boots. The 27-year-old spends her days in the saddle herding cattle along the basalt rims and airy benches of Hell’s Canyon. Out of cell phone range and hours from the nearest town, this University of Idaho graduate looks over a thousand McClaran Ranch cattle as they graze the rugged and wild eastern Oregon grasslands.

2011-Winter-Oregon-Politics-Horizon-Wind-Energy-Valerie-Franklin

Windfall or Windbag?

In February 2006, Governor Kulongoski called for 25 percent of all Oregon’s energy to come from renewable resources by 2025. Since the governor’s Action Plan For Energy, the state has courted and installed energy projects in solar, geothermal, wave and wind. In October 2009, Texas-based Horizon Wind Energy filed an application as Antelope Ridge Wind Power Project for a 300-megawatt facility on private grazing lands ten miles southeast of La Grande. 

eastern oregon, heppner oregon, st patricks oregon

Lucky in Heppner

While vestiges of the Heppner Flood remain everywhere, the small rural town at the foot of the Blue Mountains is channeling the luck of the Irish with a Celtic history that remains today. Its St. Patrick’s Day celebration is great shillelagh and shenanigans.

2011-Winter-Oregon-People-John-Callahan-author

A Conversation with John Callahan

John Callahan, a white boy from Connecticut, was an oddball choice to be named the literary executor of an African-American great novelist who becamce known for his one racially themed novel, Invisible Man. Yet Ralph Ellison’s wife chose a kindred soul in Callahan, whose own writings are interested in race and ethnicity.

jan sonnenmair, oregon artists, oregon art, pottery

Potter Douglas Sigstad Goes Organic

Problem solver and potter Douglas Sigstad abandoned aeronautics for classes in clay and glaze at Portland Community College. Since then, he has begun creating and cataloguing a library of stunning glazes that challenge the status quo.