Think Oregon

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Mat Kearney’s Top 5

Mat Kearney was born in Eugene, played soccer at South Eugene High and again at Chico State University, a Division II program in California. It was there that he picked up his roommate’s guitar and distinguished himself as a talented crooner and balladeer.

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Interview: Solar Energy Research

Wei Wang sat down in his lab at Oregon State University with an inkjet printer and an interesting question. Why can’t solar cells be made simply by printing them with an inkjet printer filled with a solution of solar-transmitting compound? His answer was the subject of a four-page research paper published in the industry journal Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells and the focus of an article from the BBC. The 28-year-old Ph.D. candidate from Shanxi Province, China had discovered an easy process for making solar cells with a printer, a substrate and a combination of metal salts called CIGS. Wang’s discovery could revolutionize the solar industry as a cheap and environmentally friendly alternative to the traditional siliconbased solar cell, and, as a by-product, bring inkjets back into the avant garde.

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Oregon Food Bank

It is an understatement to say that Rachel Bristol is passionate about her work. Vigor, pride and frustration are Bristol’s constant companions after twenty years as chief executive officer for the Oregon Food Bank. Her deep concern for the people of Oregon who struggle to feed themselves and their families is palpable and her enthusiasm to bring change is contagious.

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Life on the Rogue

Rounding a bend in the Rogue River’s Wild and Scenic section near Winkle Bar, rafter and guide Eddy Miller pointed to a clearing on a hillside along the river’s northern banks. “There,’ he pointed, “is Happy Hill.’

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An Apple Refined

Kevin Zielinski’s eyes light up as he names the apple varieties he tends at his Willamette Valley orchard, just outside of Salem. Champagne Rienette. Douce Moën. Muscadet de Lense. St. Martine. The sinuous vowels and soft consonants even sound delicious. Eventually, they become fluid when Zielinski transforms these French heirloom apples into a traditional sparkling hard cider that leaves many searching for words.

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Sound Off: Skyline Forest

The Skyline Forest is a 33,000-acre tree farm west of Bend that was once owned by timber company Crown Pacific. In 2003, Crown Pacific filed for bankruptcy, and its assets went to its creditors. Ownership of Skyline Forest fell to Fidelity National Financial of Jacksonville, Florida and its subsidiary, Fidelity National Timber Resources. The dissolution of Crown Pacific and its use as timber lands led to a struggle with many stakeholders. The plot’s owner, Fidelity, seeks legislation that would change Skyline Forest’s land use to accommodate residential units.

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Oregon Ballet Theatre’s Lucas Threefoot

In a darkened photographer’s studio on Portland’s Eastbank, Lucas Threefoot is jumping so high, his torso nearly clears a tall backdrop. That athletic artistry is also vaulting his career as a ballet dancer known for his classic and contemporary hybrid style. “I’m riding a wave right now,” Threefoot smiles. “A good wave.”

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Grain Elevators in Eastern Oregon

We sent photographer Aubrie LeGault out to Heppner and highways 207 and 74 to capture what we thought might make an interesting photo subject—grain elevators. She stunned us with this beautiful tribute to farmers in the Blue Mountain Valley. Her photos represent a heightened attention to detail and a love affair with the subject. Here we created an online gallery for Aubrie’s excellent photos.

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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.”

shannon bex, portland trailblazers, danity kane, oregon celebrities, oregon artists

Top 5 with Shannon Bex

written by Kevin Max | photo by Paula Watts A native of Bend, Shannon Bex, 31, started her career as one of the Portland Trailblazer dancers and front woman for the band 5 Guys Named Moe. Since then, she was first runner-up on the NBC reality show “Fame.” In 2005, Sean “Diddy” Combs selected her to join his MTV hit reality show “Making The Band,” in which contestants compete to be members of a band. Bex made the band and became a member of the multi-platinum selling group, Danity Kane. Danity Kane’s first and second albums released at the top of the Billboard Top 200 chart, earning the group a Guinness Book of World Record distinction as the first female group in Billboard history to make two consecutive albums at the top of the charts. Though the group had international recognition and saw much success in their four years together,…