Think Oregon

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…

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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.

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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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Stoller Vineyards

Bill Stoller never pictured himself settling down in his hometown of Dayton, Oregon, but an interest in wine and a passion for farming brought the multimillion dollar business owner back to his roots. “You can take the boy out of the country,” Stoller says, “but you can’t take the country out of the boy.”

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Economic Intuition

Over the past three years, the U.S. economy flew off the tracks and along with it Oregon. There was the housing crisis in which no one could say definitively who owned their mortgage; the credit crunch in which banks were given free money but would not lend it; the overt failure of the financial system in which Wall Street once again reminded us that it cares for none but its own and owns Washington; the once-a-decade failure of credit rating agencies, building on their Enron and Worldcom successes and still well compensated by the businesses they objectively scrutinize.

chris johns, national geographic, albany oregon, medford oregon

Top 5 with Nat. Geo’s Chris Johns

Since 1888, there have been twenty-two U.S. presidents, ten Supreme Court chief justices, but just nine editors in chief of the venerable National Geographic. In 2005, Chris Johns, a small-town boy who grew up in Central Point, Oregon, became the ninth editor of the magazine and the first to rise to that title fromits photography ranks.

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The Toughest Job on Water

Columbia River Bar Pilots put their lives—and millions of dollars of commerce—into play each day as they jump aboard commercial vessels trying to navigate the turbulent mouth of the Columbia River and a narrow channel where inches are the difference between success and failure.