We’re heading north!

Two years and a couple weeks, I wrote a post with this exact title. We were moving north from San Jose, California to Eugene, Oregon. At the time we were living with my mom after having finished Peace Corps service. Laura was working for Franklin-McKinley School District as a 2nd grade teacher and I did work for SUN Microsystems. We were coming to Eugene so I could begin graduate school at the University of Oregon and Laura could work for the local school districts.
Continue reading “We’re heading north!”

Ethan’s First Camping Experience

Strawberry Wilderness
Strawberry Wilderness in eastern Oregon

Last week, we packed up the Subaru and made our way to eastern Oregon where we experienced three days/two nights of wonderful eastern Oregon beauty. Personally, I find eastern Oregon to be more enriching and exciting than western Oregon. Laura is more keen to the coast and Ethan just goes with the flow.

Prior to our departure, we purchased our first family tent; the Sierra Design Bedouin Annex 4+2. This tent proved to be a great tent that allowed Ethan to roll around without getting too dirty. In addition, we bought a Coleman queen size air mattress. Oh yeah! I love my backpacking air mattress pads, but we’re car camping. If we have the room then throw it on in.

We camped at Strawberry Campground on the Malheur National Forest. The trailhead to Strawberry Lake is located here. The lake lies in the Strawberry Wilderness and is a beautiful sight. We did a 5-mile hike to the lake and base of Strawberry Falls where Laura and I enjoyed them, but Ethan slept the entire time we were there.

Overall, it was a great trip for the family. We look forward to going out again, but perhaps when Ethan is walking around. Enjoy the photos.

You Are Invited to Brett Holt’s Defense

We want everyone to feel included as we wind down this chapter of our lives. Here is the official evite for Brett’s defense next week. I’ll put a PDF of the project on the website when I finish all the edits in a few weeks. Also, here is the link to the invitation on the PPPM website. Thanks!

You are invited to attend Brett Holt’s exit project defense
Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 9:00am
University of Oregon EMU Coquille Room

Perception to Inception: Assessing Contractor Capacity to Utilize Woody Biomass for Energy Production in Lane County, Oregon

Brett W. Holt

Master of Community and Regional Planning, June 2008


Events such as global warming, peak oil, and catastrophic wildfires are bringing government officials, community members, conservation organizations, timber industry officials, and other stakeholders together to explore sustainable long-term solutions to create healthy and vibrant communities. The utilization of woody biomass is being explored as a solution because of its ability to minimize the effects of these events, as well as meet economic development, renewable energy, and ecological objectives. On the front lines to promoting woody biomass is the timber industry. Though they stand to benefit economically, there are challenges they face before fully committing to utilizing woody biomass.

To better understand the opportunities and challenges the timber industry faces in the Southern Willamette Valley, this study accomplished two main objectives. The first objective was to understand the capacity of firms either engaged in or have the potential to engage in woody biomass collecting, processing and transportation services. The second objective was to determine the willingness and interest of firms to participate in biomass utilization efforts and what barriers prevent them from engaging in or supporting woody biomass utilization.

As part of the study, we interviewed key individuals involved in the collection, transportation, and/or utilization of timber in the Southern Willamette Valley. The results of the study provide a better understanding of the competition surrounding the region’s existing supply of woody biomass and the perceived challenges and limitations of increasing specific woody biomass opportunities. Findings suggest opportunities are limited due to supply availability, firms have an inconsistent definition of what woody biomass is and its uses, and the industry may benefit from increased government subsidies.

Barack Obama in Eugene, Oregon!

7:45pm: So Laura decides she wants to get out of the house this evening since my mom is in town and will be able to watch Ethan. I was in for the evening, having settled into a cozy pair of sweats and sitting on the couch reading the latest issue of Mother Earth News. I decide what the heck since we don’t get out much. We drive around a bit and Laura says she would like to go by the University of Oregon and see how long the line is to hear Obama speak tonight.

This event was the big thing in town tonight, and with the arena having a capacity of 9,000 or so, I knew we would not get in. People had been in line for hours waiting to see him. I am all for it though, even if it meant we just have a nice walk across campus holding hands. Well, we park the car and walk about 10 minutes only to find a line of thousands. We walk past the rec center, the soccer fields, Hayward Field and finally come to the end of the line. We realize we won’t make it in, but let’s just wait until someone says its full. Keep in mind, this event is free. About two minutes later, groups of people are walking past us, saying the arena is full and we should head to the overflow area to hear him speak in 45 minutes. We following the small groups heading to the overflow area (the back of the arena) where we end up standing about 7 or 8 feet from a barricade. Speakers are playing the opening acts for the event. These are state politicians speaking inside the arena, but no one outside is really listening.

Obama in EugeneWe stand around from 8:30 until 9:12pm when Obama comes walking down a ramp with secret service in tow. The thousands outside scream and chant “Yes We Can” as he takes a microphone and addresses the crowd. He spoke only for a few minutes and then proceeded to shake hundreds of hands. We had a great location because he was about 7 feet from us. He then made his way inside the arena where 10,000 are waiting to hear him speak for the next 45 minutes. It was a wonderful to be part of history.

Here is a video of Obama speaking to the crowd we were in. You can only hear him because of the angle of the person filming.

Here is the video of what he said inside the arena, and what we watched at a local bar with others who didn’t get inside.