Oregon150 » Blog http://www.oregon150.org Happy Birthday, Oregon! Wed, 30 Sep 2009 19:03:24 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 © orstories@oregon150.org () orstories@oregon150.org() Happy Birthday, Oregon! orstories@oregon150.org No no http://or150.eroi.com/wp-content/plugins/podpress/images/powered_by_podpress.jpg Oregon150 http://www.oregon150.org 144 144 Remembering the Sesquicentennial http://www.oregon150.org/2009/09/28/remembering-the-sesquicentennial/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/09/28/remembering-the-sesquicentennial/#comments Mon, 28 Sep 2009 23:23:50 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=6352

Dear Oregonians:kulongoski-color-2007-trk-headshot2

Our sesquicentennial year is coming to a close. The celebration that started on February 14, 2009, has been extraordinary for many reasons. We have learned together, remembered together, had fun together, and most of all – pulled together. In a year that was difficult for many Oregon families, our celebration of 150 years of statehood reminded all of us who we are as a people, why we love Oregon, and how blessed we are to live here.

It also gave us the opportunity to honor our diversity, breathtaking landscapes and seascapes, and cultural traditions that form the mosaic we call Oregon.

There are many people and organizations to thank for making our sesquicentennial an unqualified success, starting with the board of Oregon 150, our dedicated and hardworking staff, and countless volunteers, who together and without a lot of fanfare, pulled off one of the biggest birthday celebrations in Oregon history. But the work of the board and staff would not have been possible without the generous support of partners – individuals, tribes, state agencies, businesses and non-profit organizations – that stepped up with donations of money and services. Without their help, turning the board’s strategic plan for the sesquicentennial into reality would not have been possible. But our biggest thank you goes to the citizens of Oregon. You embraced our birthday celebration by partnering with Oregon 150, creating and holding community events and clean-ups, traveling the state, posting your Oregon Stories on the Oregon 150 website, sharing family histories, and setting the stage for Oregon’s bicentennial in 2059.

The board’s strategic plan included six signature projects, which you can read more about in this report. They were:

  • Oregon Stories
  • Take Care of Oregon
  • Travel Oregon 150
  • Imagine Oregon Blog
  • The Youth Legacy Projects
  • Oregon! Oregon!

We hope you enjoy reading about all that you and your fellow Oregonians accomplished during this great sesquicentennial year. You’ll find descriptions of projects, testimonials and recollections, and lots of pictures. So enjoy. And please remember that while the official sesquicentennial celebration will soon be over – the spirit, enthusiasm, hope and joy we found together this year will continue. Because that’s what it means to be an Oregonian.

Sincerely yours,

Ted Kulongoski

Governor

Mary Oberst

President of Oregon 150, Inc.

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Tough Love http://www.oregon150.org/2009/09/21/tough-love/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/09/21/tough-love/#comments Mon, 21 Sep 2009 19:51:00 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=5808 neil2

By: Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps

It’s easy to praise Oregon on her 150th birthday. Our state is gorgeous and livable, a national leader in the art and science of what makes a region work.

Yes, Oregon asks a lot of us. Where else is civic duty so celebrated and public planning so exhaustively scrutinized? Yet we know that the choices we make directly affect our own daily lives, and those of our children and grandchildren. And so we make them carefully.

Our civic dues are a fair price for the privilege of living on this beautiful land. Our forebears made some wise decisions so that we can live as we do, and we owe them a debt of gratitude even as we carry on the work they began.

It is easy to praise Oregon.

Oregon has been a wonderful home for Mercy Corps for 30 years. That’s why we have chosen to stay here, to invest in Oregon, to build our new headquarters here.

Here we draw strength from a community whose people are a model of engaged, connected citizenry. In a recent study, the Portland metro area ranked #2 nationally in volunteerism. Even during the current downturn, the number of people giving their time to help others hasn’t wavered. And the metro area ranked first among states in the volunteerism of our young people – the so-called “millenials” born on or after 1982. What a testament to the willingness of our youth to walk the talk.

Oregonians were among the first to travel to New York after 9/11 and to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, bringing our powerful homegrown blend of concern and can-do spirit to people struggling to recover from catastrophe. Oregonians generously support Mercy Corps and other international agencies, extending their compassion to help people around the world who are applying their own grit and determination to overcome the most daunting hardship.

Yes, Oregonians seem to get it: Our lives on this precious planet are bound together by shared needs and interests. When we remember that, and work together, we can achieve remarkable things.

But I didn’t join this discussion simply to sing praises. We Oregonians prefer straight talk – and tough love, as well.

Here it is:

With all due respect, we are too self-satisfied. We too often show smug pride about the “Oregon way” – as if we already have it all figured out – that limits our capacity for greatness. We can be parochial and insular, shut off from new ideas and influences. We aren’t concerned enough about the kind of society we are becoming. And our standards should be higher.

Oregon should aim to lead the nation, or at the least be among the top ten states, in every quality-of-life metric. Right now, we’re nowhere near that.

Take unemployment. Our jobless rate – at 12.2% in June 2009, the third-worst in the country – is unacceptable. Or hunger. In the three-year period before the current recession, Oregon was ranked third in the nation for hunger and food insecurity – a dramatic increase from our ranking of 18th in the previous reporting period.

Our schools are foundering too. In reading, Oregon fourth graders ranked 40th in the nation, while eighth graders ranked 23rd. In math, Oregon fourth graders ranked 42nd and eighth graders ranked 19th. In science, Oregon fourth graders ranked 25th, while eighth graders ranked 20th. And, as reported on August 6 in The Oregonian, “the number of Portland and east metro schools that face federal sanctions for failing to meet standards has doubled, from nine in 2008 to 18 this year.”

As for income inequality, between the late 1980s and 2006, the gap between our middle 20% and our richest 20% increased more than in any other state except Connecticut. It is unacceptable that almost 17% of Oregon’s children live in poverty.

It is simply intolerable for Oregon, which has the resources, the capacity, and so many smart, progressive and good citizens, to not aim to lead.

We should be at the forefront in caring for our children. In health, education and employment. In income opportunity and sustainability. That’s how we live up to the dream of our beautiful state. That’s the real Oregon way.

We may debate the politics of getting there, even as we rally around the value of community service and of setting high standards for leadership.

When each of us makes the personal commitment to act, there’s nothing we cannot accomplish together. Will you choose one or two great local organizations to volunteer with? What if every single Oregonian volunteered? We would have a cadre of 3.8 million people working to better our state. Wow. Now that’s an unstoppable force.

As for Mercy Corps, our local affiliate, Mercy Corps Northwest, works with low-income entrepreneurs here in the Pacific Northwest. Just like people around the world who are trying to build a better life for their families, our neighbors here – many of them minorities or immigrants – just need an opportunity to get ahead. We offer a hand up so they can apply their own ideas and energy to start a business and create a brighter future for their children.

Mercy Corps welcomes Oregonians and visitors alike into our new Action Center in Old Town Portland, after it opens on October 9. There you’ll learn more ways you can help people in your community – and your world.

I’d love to hear your thoughts. What cause or issue or organization is closest to your heart? What’s the connection to your own life? Are you passionate to help others overcome an obstacle that you yourself faced? How are you going to make that happen?

There has never been a better – or a more urgent – time to build a stronger Oregon. Let’s get going now, so that in 2059 this sesquicentennial will be remembered as the turning point, the time when Oregonians stood up and said: “Enough. Too many people are lagging behind. We can do better. And I’m going to help.”

An African proverb says, “The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is today.”

Oregonians, let’s get planting!

Neal Keny-Guyer, CEO of Mercy Corps, encourages everyone to visit Mercy Corps’ new Portland Action Center (28 S.W. First Avenue, information at actioncenter.org/portland), after it opens on October 9, for ideas about engagement and service.

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Youth Merit Voice in Decisions today http://www.oregon150.org/2009/08/24/youth-merit-voice-in-decisions-today/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/08/24/youth-merit-voice-in-decisions-today/#comments Mon, 24 Aug 2009 20:23:39 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=5464 small_aristrudler1

The following opinion editorial was submitted to The Oregonian by Ari Strudler and was published on Sunday, August 23rd, 2009.

By: Ari Strudler- Junior at LEP High School, Portland, Oregon

Youth across Oregon are standing up for what they believe in. Whether they are young voters who recently cast their first ballots or dedicated high school students, they are making change.

An example is the youth leadership summit in Salem, where I and more than 60 high school students debated Oregon’s future. The Aug. 7-8 summit at Willamette University gave students the opportunity to present their vision of an ideal Oregon to Gov. Ted Kulongoski and state schools Superintendent Susan Castillo.

The summit, presented by Oregon 150 as part of its Project 2059 online social network, was called Activate Oregon. The speakers challenged the students, the activities sparked creative energy and, most importantly, the presence of different-minded people created debate.

The power of the youth voice at Activate Oregon was remarkable, and it left some adults provoked with thought and new ideas. Martin Tull, a committed environmentalist and a facilitator at the summit, said: “There’s an opportunity to blend youth leadership and enthusiasm with the existing process, and really, the best solutions will come from existing leadership and new vision.”

We high school students are the people who will deal with the repercussions of choices made now. The bailouts, plans and choices that lawmakers push through are going to have consequences. Whether these consequences are good or bad, in 50 years today’s students will be in their 60s and living with the decisions their parents and grandparents made.

If what is being decided now is going to affect my age group the most, it’s important that my generation has more of a voice. We have goals and opinions about every single issue in Oregon. We want more foreign language and government in school, environmental progress, equal rights and an end to homelessness. In four years, today’s high school freshmen will be old enough to vote. We will change Oregon when we exercise that right.

Until then, high school students are speaking out. We are going to summits, talking to officials and learning about the political process. At Activate Oregon, Kulongoski and Castillo were seen taking notes on students’ presentations. Theirs is a good example to the older generations and future generations to come.

Take note. This is a time of change, and today’s high school students will be spearheading this change.

About: Ari Strudler is a junior at LEP High School in Portland. She is an intern at Oregon 150 and a youth adviser to state schools Superintendent Susan Castillo.

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In Tune With Ourselves and Our Environment http://www.oregon150.org/2009/07/17/in-tune-with-ourselves-and-our-environment/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/07/17/in-tune-with-ourselves-and-our-environment/#comments Fri, 17 Jul 2009 21:29:08 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=5171 dawn_20073
By Dawn Rasmussen

As a non-native Oregonian transplanted almost 25 years ago to this incredible state, I’ve grown accustomed to thinking about everything I do in a green way since setting foot here.  From recycling or composting as much waste as possible, to not consuming as much, to consciously thinking about how I am going to connect various errands so I reduce my driving (and subsequent carbon footprint), it’s a green way of thinking.   I probably wouldn’t have adopted this perspective if I had stayed in any of my previous residences in Wisconsin, North Carolina, or Louisiana.  It’s a different mentality in those states.  To me, Oregon’s forward-thinking is completely cutting-edge, and is producing some of the technology that will provide power and resources for future generations.  The Green Revolution is starting right here with the explosion of renewable energy companies, recycling programs, connections to local producers, and mass transit.  And it is extremely exciting to be at the heart of all of this enterprise!

Maybe this evolution of thinking has a lot to do with the hordes of outdoor enthusiasts (I count myself among them) that are out in nature in all seasons, reveling in nature’s majesty.  Being in the outdoors brings you closer to environmental impacts.  I’ve seen a profound respect and awareness for our environment here, and how it impacts us really become a core belief to many residents. This is shaping what we do now on a daily basis, and how we will live in years to come.

Out of this synergy for our environment has also come a sense of responsibility. I can tell you that there is one secret spot that I enjoy visiting in Eastern  Oregon, far up in the vast folds of a wilderness area, where the only sound you’ll hear is the wind soughing in the tops of the mountain pines, and the occasional bird calls.  It is peaceful, serene, and ageless, without disruption from humans.

That, to me, is the sound of infinity, and as stewards of this great state, it is ever so important to protect and preserve this for not just future generations, but for the planet as well.   Will development ever touch this region, I wonder? I sure hope not.  These isolated pockets of undisturbed natural landscape may play an even greater role in the future health of the planet than we might even suspect.

I spend a lot of time in reflection while visiting these sacred remote areas, thinking about how I can do a better job of being a caretaker of this planet.  I feel grateful that Oregon has taken giant leaps forward to instill in every citizen a sense of responsibility, including the child that came up with the sign posted near curbside storm drains “DUMP NO WASTE-DRAINS TO RIVER” - the messages are everywhere.  Little things add up to big things, and that’s where momentum begins.

Others from outside the area may scoff at the “Greenie” Oregonians, but if they look a little closer, they will realize that there’s a reason why we want to protect this precious resource.  It’s our living room. Our dinner table.  Our vacation spot.  Our livelihood. Our home.

I predict that there will be a day when gasoline will be a faded memory, and the days of supermarkets being chock-full of vegetables and products literally from around the world will seem the epitome of excess and gluttony.  We currently take it for granted, not really factoring in the amount of travel a vegetable from California or a wine from Chile had to reach our local grocery store shelf.

Understanding how intertwined our commerce is with transportation systems will help us plan for the future of our state, our nation and our planet.  As economic conditions fluctuate and businesses go boom or bust, it is also important to take individual responsibility to do better despite external market forces.  Use more efficiently.  Buy less. Be innovative.  Demand technologies that will help us be less wasteful.  It’s not just an economic condition, but an environmental one too, as global climate change continues to shift weather patterns and alter our environment forever.

Oregon is home to an amazing blend of rural and urban landscapes, scenic beauty, and diverse peoples.  It’s also a hotbed of ideas, can-do innovation, and a careful concern for others and the environment.  I feel lucky to be part of an amazing area that is getting in tune with the surroundings and taking steps to protect it. For all of our sake.

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Notes From The Road http://www.oregon150.org/2009/07/06/notes-from-the-road/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/07/06/notes-from-the-road/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2009 19:41:38 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=5080

By Travis Huntington, Project 2059

Continued from last weeks post for Project 2059travis1

We left Portland on a picture-perfect, sunny Saturday afternoon in mid-May, armed with a camera and a wellspring of excitement to start hearing and sharing what Oregon’s youth have to say about Oregon and our future.  For the first leg of the journey, we covered 1,050 miles—ten towns in four days. The weather was incredible and the tour of the rural, eastern part of the state was educational for this native son of Oregon.  The young people that I talked to had a lot to say about what’s important to them in their communities and in Oregon as a whole. Most students pointed to the economy as an area of great concern, with the lack of available jobs being pointed to as the biggest problem.  Gangs have also been highlighted as a problem. Other youth celebrated the many outdoor pursuits that are possible in Oregon, a state that is so full of diverse terrain–mountains, deserts, ocean, forests, rivers, and so on– but lamented environmental problems such as deforestation and pollution.

The next leg of the journey led Project 2059 from Portland to St Helens to Astoria, Oregon, and carried us all the way down the coast to Brookings.  From there we cut inland, cheating a little and winding through the redwoods of Northern California on the easterly highway, and making our way back to the I-5 corridor to Ashland, and on up through Grants Pass, Medford, Eugene, Corvallis, and Salem.  Yes, that’s a lot.  That’s 18 towns in three days!

The following leg spanned 879 miles on (mostly) Oregon ground.  This leg of the trip revealed more insight on the part of the bright and vibrant youth that live in this great state.  Community engagement continued to be a concern, with many young people either praising the opportunities for engagement that exist in their communities, or stressing that more opportunities were needed.

Given that Oregon is made up mostly of many smaller towns, community was an important element to almost every person we talked to.  People know each other, support each other, and hold each other accountable, and many of the young people that we talked to cited their close-knit communities as the very thing that helped them to stay on a “good” track and become the engaged people that they are today.

The final leg of the journey led us back to the greater Portland area, where Project 2059 visited schools in Arlington, The Dalles, Hillsboro, Forest Grove, and, lastly, Portland itself.   Things of importance to Oregon’s youth continued to reflect a concern for the economy and the environment, and community engagement and strong community programs were stressed.   While many of the youth said that the educational system in Oregon is great or “phenomenal,” some expressed worry at the seemingly never-ending budget cuts and the subsequent cutting of what some considered to be essential programs.

From the arid side of Oregon to the green and rainy coastal areas, young people in Oregon love the weather.  They love the mountains, they love the desert, they love the ocean, they love the sunshine and the rain.  They worry about the economy and wish there were more jobs out there for their struggling family members.  They plan to go to college, and most of those asked expressed that they would be taking the more economically feasible route and go to community college before transferring to a four-year university.

The youth are the future.  Young people know that what happens today affects the reality of tomorrow, and most of them think that their voice should be heard (save two home-schooled girls from near Medford, Oregon who believed that their voice should matter when they became old enough to vote).

Therefore, in an attempt to build something sustainable, Project 2059 will seek to facilitate a new community of statewide youth focused on understanding the trade offs of change, active and more importantly vocal in their communities and finally, engaged in crafting elements to help Oregon continue its proud legacy of resource stewardship, emerging industries and provocative culture.

About: Travis is the key program architect for Project 2059.His roles in Project 2059 include:Core Team Orientation & Planning & Steering, Strategic Communications planning and execution, Peer Community Development, Earned media, Youth facilitator, Media mentor, Executive media producer, Media spokesperson.

Photo Caption: Travis interviewing a student about the future of Oregon  on his trip across the state.

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Project 2059 http://www.oregon150.org/2009/06/26/project-2059-2/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/06/26/project-2059-2/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2009 18:17:15 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=5032 By: Travis Huntingtondsc_02902
We all start with an idea. Who are we? Where are we? What do we want? How are we going to get it? So marks the era of human evolution spanning several ages, continents and life ways. One hundred and fifty years later, Oregon celebrates its past, its present and, with Project 2059, its future. How do we celebrate the future? By reaching out to the next tangible thing. Our youth.

Have we done our job as a community to raise productive, wise and functional prodigy? Perhaps. Regardless, they’re out there. Walking the streets, attending our schools, patronizing local businesses and learning how to overcome issues they have been given as a condition of citizenship.

Given that change is on the rise, it makes sense to engage those who will usher in the results of our work now, while there’s still room for them to help make decisions. Project 2059 began with a series of assumptions: the youth of Oregon have something to say. They care about their future, and given the opportunity, they would collaborate in creating a vision for what Oregon should look like in the future, and would come up with some ideas for what needs to be done to ensure that the future that they envision can be realized.

With that notion the youth visioning portion of Project 2059 began with a series of questions.

* Who are the youth of Oregon?
* What do these young people think are the most important issues facing their communities, and Oregon as a whole?
* Do they feel empowered, that their voice matters, that their voice has weight on issues that pertain to them or their future?

Stay tuned: Later this week we will have “Notes from the Road” an account of Travis’ travels around the state talking to youth about the future of Oregon and what is important to them.

About: Travis is the key program architect for Project 2059.His roles in Project 2059 include:Core Team Orientation & Planning & Steering, Strategic Communications planning and execution, Peer Community Development, Earned media, Youth facilitator, Media mentor, Executive media producer, Media spokesperson

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The Written Word http://www.oregon150.org/2009/06/09/the-written-word/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/06/09/the-written-word/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2009 17:57:47 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=4869 By: Ellen Waterston, The Nature of Words
ellen-waterston-ecolorhr

I’m all about the written word.

Why all this fuss about the written word? I am persuaded that the ability to clearly articulate one’s place in the world through writing goes a long way toward ensuring a more informed and “present” present as well as enlightened future. I’m convinced that the ability to step back and put oneself in context and consider others’ perspectives produces individuals with more compassion and understanding of themselves and the world they live in. Sitting down at a desk with the intention of writing about something is not the same as talking, e-mailing, Twittering, Facebooking, MySpacing. The act of creative writing starts with an honest Q&A with self with no real or imagined audience. When done well oddly it guarantees a universal audience, engages others, inspires their own honest expression.

In addition, putting this rich English language to work in imaginative and provocative ways keeps the language alive as much as the act of writing enlivens the writer. English, historically a rich blend of Germanic, Latin and French, and now more recent contributions from all over the world and from new technology, has more words than any other language. This is a big and colorful box of paints.

There are a growing number of nationally acclaimed writers from Oregon, many of whom are showcased at annual literary events throughout the state. These authors and poets are making waves on the national level by not only retooling their Oregon experiences into stories but also by using the language in a distinctly Oregon way. Regional writing at its best. The Oregon Stories Project, as part of Oregon 150’s celebration, is a grassroots example of the richness of regional language and experience shared through writing and underscores the truth (and urgency) of the old adage: “We can’t know where we’re going unless we know where we’ve been.”

My dream for Oregon’s future is that schools and colleges continue to make skilled written communication a priority, that all Oregon’s young children are taught to read and to make reading a lifelong habit, and that the fruits of these educational efforts are manifested in the high level of informed discussion between all Oregonians and an every-growing number of outstanding authors and poets from Oregon who help keep us honest.

Relative to this dream and to writing in general, I have some questions I’d love your help with:

Is written expression, creative and literary, under assault or being enriched by all the different ways of communicating that currently exist?

With the advent of electronic, “virtual” books, will only the rich be able to afford the real thing? Does it matter?

Is the best way to encourage reading through writing or vice versa?
Is the English language being strengthened or weakened due to texting, e-mails and Twitter or is it being reduced to its lowest common denominator? Can a language only grow richer as it adapts to new uses or can it be reduced in variety and texture?

Can you picture?

About: Ellen is a writer and the founder and director of The Nature of Words, a literary non-profit in Bend, Oregon.
Check out the website: http://www.thenatureofwords.org/

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Leave Oregon Better http://www.oregon150.org/2009/05/29/leave-oregon-better/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/05/29/leave-oregon-better/#comments Fri, 29 May 2009 17:59:24 +0000 Lee Weinstein http://www.oregon150.org/?p=4656 lee-solv3

Leave Oregon Better
By: Lee Weinstein

“Do we want to breathe? Do we want to drink water? Do we care about all the other species not only man? It’s turning in to a toilet out there.”
– Ringo Starr, responding that the environment is the most pressing issue facing mankind, Rolling Stone, 2007

My dream for Oregon for the coming 50 years is that we agree to pass down our values to each generation about what it means to be an Oregonian.

Growing up in Salem in the early 1970s, I well remember some of the No Litter campaigns of the time and, particularly, the posters that SOLV (then ‘Stop Oregon Litter and Vandalism’) sent to me, one of which was “Get Up Off Your Apathy.”

The antilittering efforts during the Gov. Tom McCall era led to our state’s passage of the first Bottle Bill in the nation – legislation that will hopefully be reinvigorated by the current Legislature.

Keep America Beautiful national campaigns from the era are still deeply embedded in my generation’s memories, especially the “Crying Indian. Watch it here

Oregon is a spectacular state, but at 150 years, the fraying around the edges caused by mankind’s presence is noticeable. Litter is bountiful alongside Oregon’s highways. Plastic grocery bags adorn many a bush. And not a stream or lake in Oregon doesn’t contain refuse.

As part of this month’s Oregon 150’s Take Care of Oregon Days, we spent last Friday with neighbors cleaning up trash along Skyline Road here in The Dalles. More than 20,000 Oregonians are out volunteering around the state this month. It’s truly been inspiring!

We found the usual beer cans and trash, but also 14 tires, an oven, 3 refrigerators, a car engine and more. It felt good to clean up “Whiskey Gulch” and we vowed to return regularly to keep it that way.

When was the last time Oregon had a strong antilitter public service campaign that resonated with the public? No Oregonian should litter.

Community is defined as “a group of people with a common background or with shared interests within society.” Do we have a sense of community in Oregon? I read that 54 percent of the people now living here weren’t born in Oregon. How many people know who Tom McCall was? Why we have strong land use planning laws?

Every Oregonian who wants to drive gets a drivers manual. What if everyone who they also received an Oregon Owners Manual? That manual could include our antilittering values and other maxims about what citizenship entails in Oregon.

SOLV produced a terrific Oregon Owner’s Manual in 2002. What if we started with that? The Oregon Owners Manual could even be paid for with a $1 drivers license surcharge.

Every generation has a responsibility to Leave Oregon Better. I for one hope Take Care of Oregon Days isn’t a sesquicentennial one shot, but a movement that grows, and that we look for ways to all become better citizens, and to pass down our values.

We are truly fortunate to live in the best place in the world. Let’s keep it that way.

Photo caption: The Dalles residents Lee Weinstein, Melinda Weinstein, Steve Talbot, Judith Rizzio (arm raised), Jim Dixon and Tim McClure cleaning up Skyline Road

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Keeping It Fresh. Keeping It Oregon http://www.oregon150.org/2009/05/12/keeping-it-fresh-keeping-it-oregon/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/05/12/keeping-it-fresh-keeping-it-oregon/#comments Tue, 12 May 2009 19:50:32 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=4538 By: Doug Zanger, Founder of Xhang Creative

One of the greatest things about Oregon is the food. There is no denying that it is the best on the planet. Now that rhubarb and asparagus are in season, my mouth is watering even more as the other seasons approach. When I first moved here in 1992, I didn’t really have as much appreciation for the bounty of Oregon as I do today. My family and I love going to the Beaverton Farmer’s Market. We live very close to farm stores west of Murray Hill off of Scholls Ferry Road. At each point in the season, we have the opportunity to really feel (and taste) what Oregon has to offer. When the berries come out, we head out to Smith Berry Barn to pick. When the apples are harvested, we go to Oregon Heritage Farms to load up. (We do the same when it’s time to pick our pumpkin for Halloween) When walnuts and hazelnuts call it a season, we visit Loughridge Farms. One of my favorite summer dishes is potato salad using fresh reds from Baggenstos Farm Store. It makes me feel good to know that the potatoes are being grown just around the corner and it’s obvious that the taste is unmatched.

Though these observations are just about produce, every individual that works in agriculture works very hard to ensure that we have the very best. From fishing to ranchers and everywhere in between, I can’t think of a better group of people who are endlessly passionate about the possibilities of what we can raise and grow. Our agricultural industry is vibrant and I’m sure that all of us want to keep it that way. We all can do our part by consistently supporting the industry. And it’s not just about buying Oregon. It’s about sharing stories of why we love everything that is so delicious about the state we all love so much. Now, tell us, what do you do to support local businesses?

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Do you support the Oregon National Guard? Why? http://www.oregon150.org/2009/04/23/oregon-national-guard-oregons-best-ambassador/ http://www.oregon150.org/2009/04/23/oregon-national-guard-oregons-best-ambassador/#comments Thu, 23 Apr 2009 21:16:37 +0000 oregon http://www.oregon150.org/?p=4223 By Lt. Col. Alisha Hamel, Oregon National Guardalisha-in-sa1

My name is Lt. Col. Alisha Hamel, and I joined the Oregon National Guard after I finished ROTC at Portland State University.

Can you imagine going to PSU during the 1980s and having to wear your uniform on campus on Tuesdays? I solved that problem by not scheduling any classes except ROTC on Tuesdays.

Things are much different now. I deployed shortly after getting commissioned as a second lieutenant as part of the 206th Air Terminal Movement Control Detachment. We were the first Oregon Army Guardsmen to be deployed as a unit in 49 years since WWII.
After I returned from my deployment to Saudi Arabia, my step-father, a door gunner during Vietnam, thanked me and my fellow soldiers because for the first time he was getting some respect for his own service because of our work. I think our return to the United States was much more positive because previous generations made sure we were treated better after our deployments were over.

The Oregon National Guard is now sending close to 3,000 soldiers to Iraq. This is the largest deployment of soldiers from the Oregon National Guard since the 41st Infantry Division was activated in September 1940. These soldiers go because they volunteered to serve their country. I hope that Oregonians support them as well as they did when the 41st Infantry went during WWII, and when I went during Desert Storm.

The thing that I love most about being in the Oregon National Guard is that we are truly a cross section of Oregonians. We are conservative, liberal, good and the not so good. We are the best and brightest, and the ones who need a little extra help to make it through this life.

We are all brothers and sisters. We are your brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, neighbors. We are Oregonians, and we are so proud of that. Ask anyone wherever we go, we are bragging about being from this wonderful state of Oregon. We are the best ambassadors for Oregon that we can be.

Lets talk, I want to know your thoughts. Who do you know in the National Guard? What part do you see the Oregon National Guard playing in Oregon’s future?
We have been here since before Oregon became a state. What will we be doing when Oregon turns 200 years old? Will we continue to have our dual mission of supporting Oregonians during crisis and supporting federal missions overseas? Will the National Guard become streamlined? Will we have the most up-to-date equipment?

Photo Caption: Lt. Col. Hamel in Saudi Arabia

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