The Alialujah Choir was born in graveyard. The Lone Fir Cemetery in SE Portland to be exact. In 2008, Kate Sokoloff had an idea to raise money for the endangered property, and commissioned a compilation of songs by some of Portland’s most well-known folk artists called (D)early Departed. She invited Weinland’s front man and singer-songwriter, Adam Shearer to contribute. Shearer, a long-time mental health professional, was drawn to the real-life story of Dr. J. C. Hawthorne, who is buried at Lone Pine along with many of his patients.
In 1892, a twenty dollar gold piece was sewn into the back of a jacket, worn by a gangly youth, en route to SanFrancisco. A quarter century of drawing pictures on walls and boxes led to this departure. Homer Calvin Davenport of Silverton left the nest of this rural nineteenth century Oregon town bound for the cutthroat world of a daily newspaper’s art department. Raw, self-taught talent, coupled with family connections, helped grease the skids of Davenport’s departure and eventual success.
Bobbie Bustamante moved to The Dalles a year and a half ago. She had lived 130 miles east in Pendleton and 975 miles south in Anaheim, California before that. “The Dalles is a place where people really get out of their cars and get outdoors,” says the recreational runner. While the hills surrounding The Dalles offer challenging running workouts, the Columbia River is a relaxing sanctuary for her, her boyfriend and their kids.
This year, the “Today” show celebrated sixty years on air with passersby gawking through the studio windows of NBC at the Rockefeller Center. At the same time, “Today” co-host and Oregonian, Ann Curry, is moving into her fifteenth year with the show and her second year in the iconic morning show’s top job.
Shoukhrat Mitalipov is a molecular biologist at OHSU’s National Primate Research Center in Beaverton. Recently, he announced, through the science journal Nature, breakthrough research in which he created mitochondrial disease-free monkey offspring by replacing the diseased parental mitochondria with disease-free donor mitochondria. The upshot of Dr. Mitalipov’s research could help parents have their own biological children without the risk of inherited mitochondrial diseases. That’s huge. At least one in 200 born childen inherits mitochondrial mutations that can lead to disease. The problem now is navigating political and regulatory barriers in the U.S., while the U.K. embraces Mitalipov’s research.
One of my favorite things to do is to find things happening in Oregon that are well out of my everyday experience. I can’t recall exactly how I came across the Sunset Speedway, but it fit the bill exactly. Last year, I headed out for a gorgeous evening of dirt track racing. I walked among the drivers and their cars, talked with them, took in the heavy aroma of combusted fuel, the roar of big block engines and caught the spray of clay coming up off the track. Between the drivers and their fans, there was a palpable passion for this gritty, unforgiving sport. There is a camaraderie that grows weekend after weekend.
In Oregon, there are six primary state forests. Altogether, these account for 3 percent of forestland in Oregon. The Tillamook State Forest is an 800-square-mile forest eighty miles west of Portland. As a state forest, the land is managed by the board of the Oregon Department of Forestry, which is composed of seven members appointed by the governor and confirmed by the state senate. The Department of Forestry is charged with managing forestlands to balance social, environmental and economic interests under a doctrine known as “greatest permanent value.”