Browsed by
Category: Local Interest

Gerrymandering – Its something Oregon apparently does very well

Gerrymandering – Its something Oregon apparently does very well

Princeton University’s non-partisan Gerrymander Project report on Oregon:

Brian Smith, a Democratic campaign consultant and member of the Muscogee Nation who works to elect Democratic candidates of color, agrees with Schrader.

“I joked with some colleagues the day after the election that Oregon Democrats can’t even get their gerrymandering right,” he said.

https://www.oregonlive.com/politics/2022/11/democrats-fall-short-republicans-advance-in-first-test-of-new-oregon-congressional-map.html
Over-conservation and forest fires

Over-conservation and forest fires

Paul Hessburg gave this amazing TED talk in Oregon. Combined with Oregon’s increasingly hotter and drier summers (which will only increase), he says that our well-meaning efforts at forest conservation have actually led us to have very unhealthy forests that are ripe for megafires. He gave this talk years ago, but it has turned out to be even worse than he knew. The Pacific Northwest now has summers with massive forest fires – and air quality so bad that is now regularly off the chart and worst in the world. Most summers you can no longer have campfires in federal, state, or local forests. Unless we change our unhealthy forest management, we should expect bigger and bigger megafires as well as massive forest diseases.

It’s another example of unintended consequences of human actions. Sometimes, as we’re finding, over-conservation is turning out to be just as damaging as unmanaged forest destruction.

Haunted Houses evaluated by an Architect

Haunted Houses evaluated by an Architect

An architect reviews iconic houses in Psycho, Beetlejuice, House on Haunted Hill, and The Shining. I learned a lot of cool stuff!

Fun fact, the ‘dilapidated’ house he shows at 1:24 looked familiar – and it turns out to be located at 627 15th St, Astoria, OR 97103.

And of course, the Overlook hotel is actually Timberline Lodge – a place I’ve stayed and skied at over the years. I enjoyed the atmosphere so much that I attended a murder mystery party and one of their Halloween ‘Fright Night’ events.

RKC Sleep Shop – A Local Secret?

RKC Sleep Shop – A Local Secret?

Need a new mattress but don’t want to pay the highway robbery prices of mattress stores that are often about as honest as used car sales and mattress review websites that are basically paid ads?

I was going to try out RKC sleep for my next mattress as a local option (I heard good things about a the Beautyrest Black hybrid). I’ve been told they sell top brand mattresses at amazing discounts – often well below wholesale. If you don’t mind the no-frills shopping experience in search of top name mattresses for super-cheap – give them a shot.

The Tattooed Monk

The Tattooed Monk

If there is something that is unique about spiritual life – is that the inner hunger we all experience for meaning and love is universal.

Six years ago, Mount Angel Abbey’s serene hilltop campus shook, as leather-clad Bobby Love rolled in on his motorcycle. Love removed his helmet revealing pierced ears and a mop of dreadlocks. With tattoos on his hands, arms and neck, he looked like an extra on “Sons of Anarchy” not a someone attending a retreat for those who might become Catholic monks.

Learn more about his unique path here. Or, check out the recent movie that takes place partly at Mt Angel – Father Stu It is also a great example of how God calls even the most unlikely people.

Armed Portland Protesters

Armed Portland Protesters

It doesn’t get a lot of press, but Portland protest groups are much more routinely armed and open carrying firearms and assault rifles. This is not the Proud Boys (who also bring weapons), but local Portland protesters/antifa.

Unfortunately, more and more armed people are showing up at these events – which took a deadly turn when protest confrontations have turned to shootings in 2022:

Oregon drug decriminalization – How’s that going after 2 years?

Oregon drug decriminalization – How’s that going after 2 years?

In 2020, Oregon voters passed the Drug Addiction Treatment and Recovery Act in 2020 which decriminalized possession of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs.

So how is it going?

Oregon still has among the highest addiction rates in the country. Fatal overdoses have increased almost 20% over the previous year, with over a thousand dead. Of 16,000 people who were picked up in the first year of decriminalization, only 0.85% entered treatment. But around 60% of them accepted free needles.

Steve Allen, behavioral health director, said that they needed millions more and more time for the “bold and transformative approach.” Unfortunately, experts like addiction researcher, professor at Stanford University, and former senior adviser in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Keith Humphreys said, “If there is no formal or informal pressure on addicted people to seek treatment and recovery and thereby stop using drugs, we should expect continuing high rates of drug use, addiction and attendant harm,”

The key piece that seems to be missing is enforcement. Places like Europe that decriminalized drugs also heavily enforce requiring addicts get into treatment programs, shut down drug dens, and still put people in jail if they don’t seek help. Even with all of that, the approach also still has some conflicting results.

It seems like Oregon’s picked the worst of the policies – legalization with no enforcement and no consequences. Unfortunately, the real losers are the thousands of addicts that are now dead. Sadly, it seems that our politicians are more interested in making shows of public policy instead of actually saving lives.

Source of good local shows

Source of good local shows

Staying on top of the latest shows, music, bands, plays, and events in your area often involves digging around on lots of venue sites. It’s time consuming and error prone. I definitely have missed some of my favorites when they came into town – only to hear about the show a month later.

Besides the really cool app NearHear that finds local shows within a radius of you, Portland Theater website also offers a very comprehensive list of shows so you don’t have to dig around on various venue websites only to find out the show you wanted to go to was sold out days ago.

Last Blockbuster is now an AirBnb

Last Blockbuster is now an AirBnb

I have been to the Last Blockbuster in Bend Oregon. It’s a real treat and blast from the past. But now, you can have your own amazing movie night – by renting out the store!

Starting August 17 at 1 p.m. PST on Airbnb, Deschutes County residents can call dibs on (aka book) a totally rad, yet intimate slumber party at the world’s last BLOCKBUSTER store by requesting to book one of the three individual, one-night reservations that will take place on September 18, 19 and 20. While a movie rental will cost you $3.99, for just a penny more you can book one of these stays for $4 (plus taxes and fees) for an unlimited movie marathon.