Think Out Loud

Think Out Loud

OPB's daily conversation covering news, politics, culture and the arts.

Episodes

July 6, 2022 21 min
Over 3,000 athletes and team officials from across the globe will be making their way to Oregon. They are all coming to compete in this year’s World Athletics Championship, which begins next week. This will be the event's first year to take place in the U.S. and will be held in what’s known as Tracktown USA. Sasha Spencer is the athletics and team experience director for the World Athletics Championships. Todd Davidson is the C...
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If you’re looking to buy or rent a home in Oregon and feeling extremely frustrated, you’re not alone. Housing prices have gone up considerably in recent years and high mortgage rates aren’t helping. We hear from Josh Lehner, an economist with the state of Oregon, about where things stand now and what to expect in the future.
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In many west coast cities, housing has become more expensive and homeless populations have grown. Police arrest people experiencing homelessness at a greater rate than the general population. In Portland, the numbers are particularly striking. Melissa Lewis is a data reporter for the radio show and podcast "Reveal." She found that over the last 10 years, rents rose twice as fast in Portland compared with the rest of the cou...
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The Hearing Voices Network is a global affiliation of support groups where people who hear voices or see visions can find support and be believed, rather than pushed towards medication. The group was started in the 80’s and has chapters all over the world, including the Pacific Northwest. One of their fundamental precepts is that trying to convince people that their experiences aren’t real isn’t effective. Kate Hill is the director...
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Rodents, overflowing trash cans and poor wastewater management are just a few issues facing food cart pods in Multnomah County. Back in January, the county implemented a new set of safety rules and a license system for pods, requiring them to provide certain amenities for their carts. We’ll hear from Jeff Martin, environmental health manager for Multnomah County, on what some food carts were experiencing and how the new system is r...
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About 15% people incarcerated in Oregon prisons are reading below an eighth grade level. That’s according to a recent investigation done by the Statesman Journal. It found that while state laws require the majority of people incarcerated to be taking classes, nearly half of those designated as low-level readers aren’t enrolled in any courses. We’ll hear from education reporter Natalie Pate on her reporting and the unique challenge...
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After months of delays, momentum is now building to create a stabilization center to treat people experiencing a mental health crisis due to methamphetamines, according to new reporting by The Lund Report. Multnomah County and the City of Portland signed a memorandum of understanding in May to partner on the center, which would be the first of its kind in Oregon. Unlike other sobering facilities, the stabilization center would allo...
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Snow Spotter is a citizen science project where volunteers around the world scan time lapse images of forested canopies in Washington, Alaska, California, Colorado and Europe for the presence of snow on tree tops. Since its launch in 2017, the project has grown to include other sites around the world and has been helping University of Washington researchers refine models for predicting how much annual water a region gets from melti...
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Approximately 80,000 Oregon homes and other buildings are in areas of high or extreme wildfire risk. That’s according to a new map the Oregon Department of Forestry released Thursday. This means that those property owners may be subject to new building code and defensible space requirements to mitigate the risk from future wildfires. The new requirements are still going through a public process and property owners can appeal their ...
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On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court released a ruling in the West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency case, which will restrict the federal agency’s power to regulate carbon emissions. Oregon Governor Kate Brown was quick to say that the decision will not deter efforts to curb carbon emissions and address climate change at the state level. We hear more specifics from Greer Ryan, the clean buildings policy manager for Climat...
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A new documentary features a hundred years of Boy Scouts of America history and the claims of more than 82,000 former scouts who reported they were sexually abused by troop leaders. The BSA declared bankruptcy in order to pay for the $2.7 billion settlement with abuse survivors. It's the largest sexual abuse settlement in history. “Leave No Trace” relies on first person accounts, interviews, financial records and organization a...
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The Black Resilience Fund started during the pandemic to offer emergency relief to Black Portlanders. Now, the program is shifting to a guaranteed basic income model. The program is backed by the nonprofit Brown Hope. Organizers recently announced plans to support as many as 50 people with up to $2,000 per month over a three-year period. We’ll hear from Brown Hope CEO Cameron Whitten about the intentions behind this new initiative ...
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When Oregon Health & Science University's new gun research collaborative launched in May, it was the culmination of the research that director Kathleen Carlson had centered her career around. Since the late ’90s, federally funded research was halted by what’s known as the Dickey Amendment, but resumed under the Obama presidency after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012. Carlson successfully applied for the first federally funde...
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“Lowriders to the Rescue” is the fourth book in a series of graphic novels for kids by Portland author Cathy Camper and illustrator Raúl The Third. The book opens with a forest fire started by a firecracker, which Camper says was a reference to the 2017 Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge. In addition to the series’ main characters — Lupe Impala, an octopus named El Chavo Flapjack, and a mosquito named Elirio Malaria — the...
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Students may have been back in classrooms this year, but it was still a difficult time for educators across the country. We talk to three teachers about the challenges both students and teachers faced this last year, as well as what they hope for the year to come. Chris Riser is an 8th grade social studies teacher at Ockley Green Middle School in Portland. Ethelyn Tumalad is an English and AVID teacher at Clackamas High School. And...
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Four dams in the Klamath River along the Oregon and California border are in the process of being removed. But that means reservoirs previously used as a water source for firefighting will ultimately be gone too. The Klamath River Renewal Corporation is overseeing the removal of the dams. We learn more from Mark Bransom, CEO of the organization, about what’s being done to balance dam removal and firefighting in the region.
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The new novel from Oregon author Lidia Yuknavitch is anything but straightforward. The story - or collection of stories - travels through time, exploring different moments on the edges of America’s history. There is no main character, but a turtle and an aquatic young girl do play a role in guiding the reader from one scene to the next. The book is very much a response to the crises of the present moment - e.g., climate change, the...
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On the night of August 21, 1945, Portland police officers arrived at the home of Ervin Jones, a Black man who had moved with his wife and two young children from Louisiana to work in the nearby shipyards during World War II. According to witness testimony, the plainclothes officers never identified themselves while demanding to be let in, mistakenly believing that a murder suspect was sheltering inside the home. Jones was shot by o...
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There are no certified sexual assault nurse examiners who are based on Oregon’s North Coast. Currently, there is one certified nurse who is based in Portland and works intermittently in Astoria. This means for those who choose to report their assault, they will likely need to travel to Portland for an examination when this nurse is unavailable. Survivors are often told to wait for several hours until a certified nurse is available ...
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The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded Oregon nearly $7 million to help landowners protect working farmland. Farmers work with regional land trusts to conserve land from development. Sarahlee Lawrence is the founder of Rainshadow Organics, a “full diet” farm that offers certified organic fruits, vegetables, grains and meats. Lawrence has applied to have land that she works on protected ...
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