Oregon

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Posted by kaori 02/25/2009 @ 18:21

Tags : oregon, states, us

News headlines
Oregon man faces charges after puppies found dead - Seattle Times
A Talent man is facing felony animal abuse charges after a litter of puppies was found suffocated in plastic bags dumped at the Southern Oregon Humane Society. By The Associated Press MEDFORD, Ore. — A Talent man is facing felony animal abuse charges...
Switched at Birth, Women Find New Identity - New York Times
EJ Harris/East Oregonian, via AP Kay Rene Qualls, left, and DeeAnn Shafer recently learned they had been switched shortly after their births in Oregon. By WILLIAM YARDLEY PASCO, Wash. — They are calling themselves “twisters.” After all, the standard...
Chrysler wants to close 9 dealerships in Oregon - KTVZ
(AP) - 9 of the dealerships that Chrysler LLC wants to close to make themselves more competitive are located in Oregon. In a bankruptcy court filing in New York, the company listed 789 companies around the country that sell too few cars and trucks,...
Verizon to sell Oregon rural phone line business to Frontier - Bizjournals.com
Verizon Communications Inc. said it will sell its landline phone business in Oregon and 13 other states to Frontier Communications in a deal worth $8.6 billion. Across all 14 states, the operations serve roughly 4.8 million local phone lines and 2.2...
Oregon senators say gun vote protects state rights - Seattle Times
WASHINGTON, DC — Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley say they were acting to preserve states' rights when they voted in favor of an amendment allowing loaded guns in national parks and wildlife refuges. By The Associated Press WASHINGTON,...
Hispanic surge is reshaping Oregon - OregonLive.com
Since 2000, Oregon's white majority population has grown slower and had fewer children, while Hispanics continue to increase their share -- particularly with a big surge in people younger than 20. The latest US Census figures for the state mirror a...
Ugandan exchange students take home some Oregon - OregonLive.com
The storytellers will talk about plump Oregon raindrops that fell on their noses and how the Northwest climate is more frigid than that of their country nestled near the equator. These are just a fraction of the tales four Ugandan students and one of...
Oregon Man Finds Lotto Ticket Worth $2.6M While Cleaning His Car - FOXNews
PORTLAND, Ore. — It took five months, but a Portland man has come forward to claim a $2.6 million Megabucks jackpot. A lottery spokesman says Gordon Carnese bought a $5 Quick Pick ticket for the Dec. 8 drawing, and it included the winning numbers of...
Oregon lawyer gets probation for taking baby - Houston Chronicle
A Portland attorney who set off a nationwide search when she fled to Texas with her 2-month-old son in a custody dispute with the Oregon child welfare agency has been sentenced to probation. The Oregonian reported that 31-year-old Amanda Lynn Stanley...

Eugene, Oregon

Official seal of Eugene, Oregon

The city of Eugene (pronounced /juːˈdʒiːn/) is the county seat of Lane County, Oregon, United States. It is located at the south end of the Willamette Valley, at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette rivers, about 60 miles (100 km) east of the Oregon Coast. According to the official 2008 population figures Eugene is the second largest city in the state of Oregon, with an estimated population of 154,620, and center of the third largest metropolitan population. Eugene has long been the state's second largest city after Portland, but was briefly overtaken by Salem in terms of population, between 2005 to 2007. Eugene has since overtaken Salem as Oregon's second largest city.

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon. The city is also noted for its natural beauty, activist political leanings, alternative lifestyles, recreational opportunities (especially bicycling, rafting, and kayaking), and focus on the arts. Eugene's motto is "The World's Greatest City of the Arts and Outdoors." It is also referred to as "Track Town, USA," the "Emerald City" and "The People's Republic of Eugene." The Nike corporation had its beginnings in Eugene.

Eugene is named after its founder, Eugene Franklin Skinner. In 1846, Skinner erected the first cabin in the area. It was used as a trading post and was registered as an official post office on January 8, 1850. At this time the location was known as Skinner's Mudhole. Skinner founded Eugene in 1862 and later ran a ferry service across the Willamette River where the Ferry Street Bridge now stands.

The first major educational institution in the area was Columbia College. It was founded a few years earlier than the University of Oregon. It fell victim to two major fires in four years, and after the second fire the college decided not to rebuild again. The part of south Eugene known as College Hill was the former location of Columbia College. There is no college there today.

The town raised the initial funding to start a public university, which later became the University of Oregon, with the hope of turning the small town into a cultural center of learning. In 1872, the Legislative Assembly passed a bill creating the University of Oregon as a state institution. Eugene bested the nearby town of Albany in the competition for the state university. In 1873, community member J. H. D. Henderson donated the hilltop land for the campus, overlooking the city.

The University of Oregon has been a leader in diversity since its very beginning. Its inaugural class included two Japanese students.

Eugene is the home of Oregon's largest publicly owned water and power utility, the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB). EWEB got its start in the first decade of the 20th century, after a typhoid epidemic was traced to the groundwater supply. The city of Eugene condemned the private utility and began treating river water (first the Willamette; later the McKenzie) for domestic use. EWEB got into the electric business when power was needed for the water pumps. Excess electricity was used for street lighting.

Eugene is perhaps most noted for its "community inventiveness." Many U.S. trends in community development originated here. The University of Oregon's participatory planning process, known as The Oregon Experiment, was the result of student protests in the early 1970s. The book of the same name is a major document in modern enlightenment thinking in planning and architectural circles. The process, still used by the University in modified form, was created by Christopher Alexander, whose works also directly inspired the creation of the Wiki. Some of the research for the book A Pattern Language, which inspired the Design Patterns movement and Extreme Programming, was done by Alexander in Eugene. Not coincidentally, those engineering movements also had origins here. A Pattern Language is the best-selling book on architecture and planning of all time.

Eugene was the birthplace of the earliest incarnation of a psychoeducational model now known as Health Realization, which has received accolades for its contributions to community mental health in low income communities around the United States. Started by Roger C. Mills and George Pransky working under a National Institute of Mental Health grant through the University of Oregon, Health Realization arose from these psychologists' attempts (beginning circa 1976) to turn the teachings of Sydney Banks, into a new psychology focusing on what makes mentally healthy people healthy.

In the 1970s, Eugene was packed with cooperative and community projects. It still has small natural food stores in many neighborhoods, some of the oldest student cooperatives in the country, and alternative schools have been part of the school district since 1971. The old Grower's Market, downtown near the Amtrak depot, is the only food cooperative in the U.S. with no employees. It is possible to see Eugene's trend-setting non-profit tendencies in much newer projects, such as the Tango Center and the Center for Appropriate Transport. In 2006, an initiative began to create a tenant-run development process for Downtown Eugene.

The Eugene anarchist movement grew out of the treesits and forest defense camps of the 1990s and soon began staging demonstrations and riots in Eugene, notably during a Reclaim the Streets event on June 18, 1999, when protesters blocked downtown streets and smashed the windows of three stores. Some rioters threw stones and bottles at police. The anarcho-primitivist author John Zerzan, known for being a confidant of the Unabomber, lives in Eugene.

Some of the anarchist activity could be said to have had its start in a "mud people's" protest. On that day, the participants noticed two blocks of trees, in a parking lot near the downtown area, were slated for removal the following Sunday. The ensuing "treesit" protest on June 1, 1997 was reported widely, as it lasted several hours before the crowd became violent and the police were forced to use copious amounts of pepper spray. A lawsuit by protesters against police response to that protest was settled five years later.

Anarchist activity in Eugene has declined in the public sphere since September 11, 2001, but the ongoing trials of accused eco-terrorists continue to keep Eugene in the same spotlight.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 40.6 square miles (105.0 km²). 40.5 square miles (104.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 km² (0.04 sq mi or 0.10%) of it is water. Eugene is located at an elevation of 426 feet.

To the north of downtown is Skinner Butte. The Coburg Hills is to the northeast of Eugene. Spencer Butte is a prominent landmark south of the city. Mount Pisgah is southeast of Eugene and includes Mount Pisgah Arboretum and Howard Buford Recreation Area, a Lane County Park.

The Willamette and McKenzie rivers run through Eugene and neighboring city, Springfield. Another important stream is Amazon Creek, whose headwaters are near Spencer Butte. The creek discharges into Fern Ridge Reservoir west of the city.

Like the rest of the Willamette Valley, Eugene lies in the Marine west coast climate zone, with some characteristics of the Mediterranean climate. Temperatures are mild year round, with warm, dry summers and mild, wet winters. Spring and fall are also moist seasons, with light rain falling for long periods of time. Winter snowfall does occur, but it is sporadic and rarely accumulates in large amounts. Eugene's average annual temperature is 52.1 °F (11.2 °C); its annual rainfall is 50.9 inches (1293 mm). Eugene is actually slightly colder on average than Portland, despite being located about 100 miles (approx. 160 km) south and having only a marginally higher elevation. Eugene's average July low temperature is 52.7 °F (11.5 °C), while Portland's average July low is 56.5 °F (13.6 °C). Average winter temperatures (and summer high temperatures) are similar for the two cities. This disparity may be largely caused by Portland's urban heat island, where the combination of black pavement and urban energy use can actually raise the temperature. A lesser heat island may also exist in the immediate downtown of Eugene.

As of the census of 2000, there were 137,893 people, 58,110 households, and 31,321 families residing in the city of Eugene. As of July 1, 2003, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Eugene's population to be 142,185. The city's population is expected to grow to 228,400 by 2017. The population density was 3,403.2 people per square mile (1,313.9/km²). There were 61,444 housing units at an average density of 1,516.4/sq mi (585.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.15% White, 3.57% Asian, 1.25% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 0.21% Pacific Islander, 2.18% from other races, and 3.72% from two or more races. 4.96% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 58,110 households, of which 25.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.1% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.87.

In the city, the population was spread out with 20.3% under the age of 18, 17.3% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,850, and the median income for a family was $48,527. Males had a median income of $35,549 versus $26,721 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,315. About 8.7% of families and 17.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.8% of those under age 18 and 7.1% of those age 65 or over.

The largest employers are the University of Oregon, local government, and Sacred Heart Medical Center. Eugene's largest industries are wood products manufacturing and recreational vehicle manufacturing.

Corporate headquarters for the employee-owned Bi-Mart corporation and family-owned Market of Choice are located in Eugene. The Monaco Coach Corporation and Marathon Coach have their headquarters in nearby Coburg, Oregon. Hynix Semiconductor America announced on July 23, 2008 that it will close its large semiconductor plant in west Eugene. Emporium Department Stores, which was founded in North Bend, Oregon, had its headquarters in Eugene, but closed all stores in 2002. Organically Grown Company, the largest distributor of organic fruits and vegetables in the northwest, started in Eugene in 1978 as a non-profit co-op for organic farmers. Several local food processors, many of whom manufacture certified organic products, are nationally successful. These companies include Golden Temple (Yogi Tea), Mountain Rose Herbs, The Merry Hempsters, Surata Tofu, Toby's Tofu, Emerald Valley Kitchen, Turtle Mountain Foods (Soy Delicious Ice Cream) and Springfield Creamery (Nancy's Yogurt).

Several locally-developed small businesses have formed a coalition called Unique Eugene, which coordinates advertising and promotion, and shares its pool of customers.

Many multinational businesses were launched in Eugene. Some of the most famous include Nike, Taco Time, Aldus Software (now part of Adobe Systems) and Broderbund Software.

Eugene has a significant population of people in pursuit of alternative ideas, and a large, though aging, hippie population. There is also a significant population of outdoor enthusiasts and young retirees from California, the Northeast and elsewhere.

Beginning in the 1960s, the countercultural ideas and viewpoints espoused by Ken Kesey became established as the seminal elements of the vibrant social tapestry that continue to define Eugene. The Merry Prankster, as Kesey was known, has arguably left the most indelible imprint of any cultural icon in his hometown. He is best known as the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and as the male protagonist in Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

Eugene museums include the University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Museum of Natural and Cultural History, the Oregon Air and Space Museum, Conger Street Clock Museum, Lane County Historical Museum, Maude Kerns Art Museum, Shelton McMurphey House, and the Science Factory Children's Museum & Planetarium.

The largest library in Oregon is the University of Oregon's Knight Library, with collections totaling more than 2 million volumes and approximately 17,000 journals. The Eugene Public Library moved into a new, larger building downtown in 2002. The four-story library is an increase from 38,000 square feet (3,500 m2) to 130,000 square feet.

Eugene is home to numerous cultural organizations, including the Eugene Symphony, the Eugene Ballet, the Eugene Opera, the Eugene Concert Choir, the Northwest Christian University Community Choir, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Oregon Children's Choir, the Eugene Youth Symphony and Oregon Festival of American Music. Principal performing arts venues include the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts ("The Shedd"), Beall Concert Hall and the Erb Memorial Union ballroom on the University of Oregon campus, the McDonald Theatre, and W.O.W. Hall.

A number of live theater groups are based in Eugene, including Lord Leebrick Theatre, The Very Little Theatre, Actors Cabaret, LCC Theatre, and University Theatre. Each has its own performance venue.

In addition, Eugene is home to the Bijou Art Cinemas, an independent movie theater.

Because of its status as a college town, Eugene has been home to many musicians and bands, ranging from mainstream garage rock, to hip hop, folk and heavy metal. Eugene also has a growing reggae and street-performing bluegrass and jug band scene. Multi-genre act the Cherry Poppin' Daddies became a prominent figure in Eugene's music scene and became the house band at Eugene's W.O.W. Hall. In the late 1990s, their contributions to the swing revival movement propelled them to national stardom.

Dick Hyman, noted jazz pianist and musical director for many of Woody Allen's films, designs and hosts the annual Now Hear This! jazz festival at the Oregon Festival of American Music (OFAM). OFAM and the Hult Center routinely draw major jazz talent for concerts.

Eugene is also home to a large Zimbabwean music community. Kutsinhira Cultural Arts Center, which is "dedicated to the music and people of Zimbabwe," is based in Eugene.

Downtown Eugene has three major dedicated partner-dance venues. The largest is The Tango Center, a collectively-run non-profit dedicated to Argentine Tango, which also hosts the ELLA Swing Dance Club. A free swing dance calendar for Eugene, OR can be found at EugeneSwing.com. Studio B is the oldest of the group, hosting Ballroom, Salsa, and Argentine Tango events and classes. Staver Dancesport, the newest facility, hosts Ballroom and Salsa, in a street-level dance hall like the Tango Center's. The University of Oregon and Lane Community College teach a full range of partner dancing classes as well as hosting the Oregon Ballroom Dance Club and student-run Swing and Argentine Tango events. Approximately 10 other venues in town host partner-dances. The oldest social dance group in town is the Eugene Folklore Society, which currently hosts Contra and Zydeco dances at various venues.

Annual visual arts events include the Mayor's Art Show and Art and the Vineyard.

The Reconstructionist Temple Beth Israel is Eugene's largest Jewish congregation. It was also, for many decades, Eugene's only synagogue, until Orthodox members broke away in 1992 and formed "Congregation Ahavas Torah".

Most of Eugene's interest in sports surrounds the Oregon Ducks, part of the Pacific 10 Conference (Pac 10). American football is especially popular, with intense rivalries between the Ducks and both the Oregon State University Beavers and the University of Washington Huskies. Autzen Stadium is home to Duck football, with a seating capacity of 59,000. It is often considered one of the toughest places to play in all of college football: "Autzen's 59,000 strong make the Big House collectively sound like a pathetic whimper. It's louder than 'The Swamp' at Florida, 'The Shoe' in Columbus and 'Death Valley' at Louisiana State. Autzen Stadium is where great teams go to die." — Michigan Daily, September 2003.

For nearly 40 years, Eugene has been the "Track Capital of the World." Oregon's most famous track icon is the late world-class distance runner Steve Prefontaine, who was killed in a car crash in 1975. "Pre" has become a legendary figure among Eugene runners for his guts and lack of fear in races.

Eugene's excellent jogging trails include Pre's Trail in Alton Baker Park, Rexius Trail, the Adidas Oregon Trail, and the Ridgeline Trail. Jogging was introduced to the U.S. through Eugene, brought from New Zealand by Bill Bowerman, who wrote the best-selling book "Jogging", and coached the champion University of Oregon track and cross country teams. During Bowerman's tenure, his "Men of Oregon" won 24 individual NCAA titles, including titles in 15 out of the 19 events contested. During Bowerman's 24 years at Oregon, his track teams finished in the top ten at the NCAA championships 16 times, including four team titles (1962,'64,'65,'70), and two second-place trophies. His teams also posted a dual meet record of 114-20.

Bowerman also invented the waffle sole for running shoes in Eugene (legend has it that he made the first soles with his wife's waffle iron), and with U of O alumnus Phil Knight founded shoe giant Nike, Inc. The Nike Store in Eugene includes a museum of this slice of track history. Eugene's miles of running trails, through its unusually large park system, are the most extensive in the US. The city has dozens of running clubs. The climate is cool and temperate, good both for jogging and record-setting. Eugene is home to the University of Oregon's Hayward Field track, which hosts numerous collegiate and amateur track and field meets throughout the year, most notably the Prefontaine Classic. Hayward Field was host to the 2004 AAU Junior Olympic Games, the 2006 Pacific 10 track and field championships, and the 1972, 1976, 1980, and 2008 US Olympic track and field trials, and will host the latter again in 2012. A few feet from Hayward Field, the earth's oldest pairs of running shoes are on display, at the Museum of Natural History.

Eugene is also home to the Eugene Emeralds, a short-season Class A minor-league baseball team. The "Ems" play their home games in 71-year-old Civic Stadium, once the home of Eugene high-school football.

The Eugene Generals are a tier III Junior A amateur hockey club, playing its home games at Lane County Ice on the Fairgrounds.

The Nationwide Tour's golfing event Oregon Classic takes place at Shadow Hills Country Club, just north of Eugene. The event has been played every year since 1998, except in 2001 when it was slated to begin the day after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Oregon Classic alumni have well over 100 wins on the PGA Tour. The $450,000 dollar purse and attendance make it the second largest-sporting event in Eugene behind Duck football. The top 20 players from the Nationwide Tour are promoted to the PGA Tour for the following year.

Hendricks Park, situated upon a knoll to the east of downtown, is known for its rhododendron garden and nearby memorial to Steve Prefontaine, known as Pre's Rock, where the legendary University of Oregon runner was killed in an auto accident. Alton Baker Park, next to the Willamette River, contains Pre's Trail. Also located next to the Willamette is the Owen Memorial Rose Garden, which is home to more than 4,500 roses of over 400 varieties, and the 150-year-old Black Tartarian Cherry tree, an Oregon Heritage Tree.

The city of Eugene maintains an urban forest. The University of Oregon campus is an arboretum, with over 500 species of trees. The city operates and maintains scenic hiking trails that pass through and across the ridges of a cluster of hills in the southern portion of the city, on the fringe of residential neighborhoods. Some trails allow biking and others are for hikers and runners only.

The nearest ski resort, Willamette Pass, is one hour from Eugene by car. On the way, along Oregon Route 58, are several reservoirs and lakes, the Oakridge mountain bike trails, hot springs, and waterfalls within Willamette National Forest. Eugene residents also frequent Hoodoo and Mount Bachelor ski resorts. The Three Sisters Wilderness, the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and Smith Rock are just a short drive away.

In 1944, Eugene adopted a council-manager form of government, replacing the day-to-day management of city affairs by the part-time mayor and volunteer city council with a full-time professional city manager. The subsequent history of Eugene city government has largely been one of the dynamics—often contentious—between the city manager, the mayor and city council.

Ten people have held the city manager position. These include Deane Seeger (1945-49), Oren King (1949-53), Robert Finlayson (1953-59), Hugh McKinley (1959-75), Charles Henry (1975-80), Mike Gleason (1981-96), Vicki Elmer (1996-98), Jim Johnson (1998-2002), Dennis Taylor (2002-2007), Angel Jones (2007-2008) and Jon Ruiz (2008-present).

Recent mayors include Edwin Cone (1958-69), Les Anderson (1969-77) Gus Keller (1977-84), Brian Obie (1985-88), Jeff Miller (1989-92), Ruth Bascom (1993-96), Jim Torrey (1997-2004) and Kitty Piercy (2005-present).

Eugene is home to the University of Oregon. Other institutions of higher learning include Northwest Christian University, Lane Community College, Eugene Bible College, Gutenberg College, and Pacific University's Eugene Campus.

The Eugene School District include four full-service high schools. Churchill (1966) serves the southwest portion of Eugene, as well as rural areas south and west of the city. North Eugene (1957) serves the River Road and Santa Clara neighborhoods north of Eugene proper. Sheldon High (1963) students come from the Coburg Road area north of downtown Eugene, as well as the city of Coburg and the rural area in between. South Eugene (1901), formerly Eugene High, is the district's oldest high school. It serves the city south and east of the downtown area and the University of Oregon.

Magnet schools and alternative education are also key elements of the Eugene School District. The district has many private and alternative schools, including The Little French School, which is a pre-kindergarten through kindergarten program that provides immersion in a second language, the Eugene Waldorf School, an anthroposophical kindergarten through eighth grade school. Within the school district, there are also several elementary schools that immerse the students in a foreign language for half of the day: Buena Vista Spanish immersion, Yujin Gakuen Japanese immersion, and Charlemagne French immersion.

Bethel School District serves children in the Bethel neighborhood on the northwest edge of Eugene. The district's full-service high school is Willamette High School (1949).

Other alternative schools in Eugene include three Montessori schools: Eugene Montessori, Far Horizon Montessori, and Ridgeline Montessori Public Charter School. The curriculum of the Network Charter School, in downtown Eugene, is drawn from an alliance of local businesses and non-profits. Wellsprings Friends School, founded in 1994 by members of the Eugene Friends Meeting, educates 60 students in grades 9-12.

The largest newspaper serving the area is The Register-Guard, a daily newspaper with a circulation of about 70,000, published independently by the Baker family of Eugene. Other newspapers serving the area include the Eugene Weekly, the Oregon Daily Emerald, the student-run independent newspaper at the University of Oregon;The Torch, the student-run newspaper at Lane Community College, and The Mishpat, the student-run newspaper at Northwest Christian University. Eugene Magazine, Lane County's Lifestyle Quarterly and Eugene Living, Sustainable Home and Garden magazine also serves the area. Local television stations include KMTR (NBC), KVAL (CBS), KLSR-TV (FOX), KEVU, KEZI (ABC), KEPB (PBS), and KTVC (independent).

The local NPR affiliate is KLCC. The Pacifica Radio affiliate (airing Democracy Now! and FreeSpeech Radio News) is the University of Oregon student-run radio station, KWVA. Additionally, the community supports two other radio stations: KWAX (classical) and KRVM (alternative). Eugene has the distinction of having the most radio stations per capita of any other metropolitan area in the country, with 28 FM and AM stations serving approximately 300,000 people.

Lane Transit District (LTD), a public transportation agency formed in 1970, covers 240 square miles (620 km²) of Lane County, including Creswell, Cottage Grove, Junction City and Veneta. Operating more than 90 buses during peak hours, LTD carries riders on 3.7 million trips every year. LTD's Eugene Station, downtown, covers nearly a city block, and is easily the busiest public plaza outside of the University. LTD recently opened a Bus Rapid Transit line between Eugene and Springfield, much of which runs in its own lane. The Emerald Express, as it is called, started running in January 2007.

Cycling is popular in Eugene. Summertime events and festivals frequently have bike parking "corrals" that many times are filled to capacity by three hundred or more bikes. Many people commute to work by bicycle every month of the year. Numerous bike shops provide the finest rain gear products, running lights and everything a biker needs to ride and stay comfortable in heavy rain. Bike trails take commuting and recreational bikers along the Willamette River past a scenic rose garden, along Amazon Creek, through the downtown, and through the University of Oregon campus.

The 1908 Amtrak depot downtown was restored in 2004; it is the southern terminus for two daily runs of the Amtrak Cascades, and a stop along the route in each direction for the daily Coast Starlight. Air traffic is served by the Eugene Airport, also known as Mahlon Sweet Field, which is the fifth largest airport in the Northwest.

Much of Eugene's water and electric service is provided by the Eugene Water and Electric Board (EWEB).

The Eugene area is home to three hospitals: McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center and Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend in Springfield, and Sacred Heart Medical Center University District, in Eugene. The two Sacred Heart facilities are owned by PeaceHealth.

The Eugene area has been been used as a filming location for several Hollywood films, most famously for 1978's National Lampoon's Animal House, which was also filmed in nearby Cottage Grove. John Belushi had the idea for the film The Blues Brothers during filming of Animal House when he happened to meet Curtis Salgado at what was then the Eugene Hotel.

Getting Straight, starring Elliott Gould and Candice Bergen, was filmed at Lane Community College in 1969. As the campus was still under construction at the time, the "occupation scenes" were easier to shoot.

The "Chicken Salad on Toast" scene in the 1970 Jack Nicholson movie Five Easy Pieces was filmed at the Denny's restaurant at the southern I-5 freeway interchange near Glenwood. Nicholson directed the 1971 film Drive, He Said in Eugene.

How to Beat the High Co$t of Living, starring Jane Curtin, Jessica Lange and Susan St. James, was filmed in Eugene in the fall of 1979. Locations included Valley River Center, Skinner Butte, the Willamette River and River Road Hardware.

Several track and field movies have used Eugene as a setting and/or a filming location. Personal Best, starring Mariel Hemingway, was filmed in Eugene in 1982. The film centered on a group of women who are trying to qualify for the Olympic track and field team. Two track and field movies about the life of Steve Prefontaine, Prefontaine and Without Limits were released within a year of each other in 1997-1998. Kenny Moore, Eugene-trained Olympic runner and co-star in Prefontaine, co-wrote the screenplay for Without Limits. Prefontaine was filmed in Washington because the Without Limits production bought out Hayward Field for the summer to prevent its competition from shooting there. Kenny Moore also wrote a biography of Bill Bowerman, played in Without Limits by Donald Sutherland.

Stealing Time, a 2003 independent film, was partially filmed in Eugene. When the film premiered in June 2001 at the Seattle International Film Festival, it was titled Rennie's Landing after a popular bar near the University of Oregon campus. The title was changed for its DVD release. Zerophilia was filmed in Eugene in 2006.

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Oregon

The flags of the United States and Oregon flown side-by-side in downtown Portland.

Oregon ( /ˈɒrɨɡən/ (help·info), or-ə-gən) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. The area was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before the arrival of traders, explorers and settlers. The Oregon Territory was created in 1848 after American settlement began in earnest in the 1840s. Oregon became a state (33rd) on February 14, 1859. Oregon is located on the Pacific coast between Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries respectively. Salem is the state's third most populous city and the state capital, with Portland the most populous. Portland is currently the 30th largest U.S. city with a population of 575,930 (2008 estimate) and a metro population of 2,175,133 (2007 estimate), 23rd largest U.S. metro area.

The valley of the Willamette River in western Oregon is the most densely populated and agriculturally productive region of the state and is home to eight of the ten most populous cities. Oregon's population in 2000 was about 3.5 million, a 20.3% increase over 1990; it is estimated to have reached 3.7 million by 2006. Oregon's largest for-profit private employer is Intel, located in the Silicon Forest area on Portland's west side. The state has 199 public school districts, with Portland Public Schools as the largest. There are 17 community colleges, and seven publicly financed colleges in the Oregon University System. Oregon State University in Corvallis and the University of Oregon in Eugene are the two flagship universities of the state, while Portland State University has the largest enrollment.

Major highways include Interstate 5 which runs the entire north-south length of the state, Interstate 84 that runs east-west, U.S. Route 97 that crosses the middle of the state, U.S. Route 101 that travels the entire coastline, and U.S. Route 20 and U.S. Route 26 that run east-west, among many other highways. Portland International Airport is the busiest commercial airport in the state and is operated as part of the Port of Portland, the busiest port. Rail service includes Union Pacific Railroad and BNSF Railway freight service, Amtrak passenger service, as well as light rail and street car routes in the Portland metro area.

Oregon enjoys a diverse landscape including a scenic and windswept Pacific coastline, the volcanoes of a rugged and glaciated Cascade Mountain Range, dense evergreen forests, and high desert across much of the eastern portion of the state. The towering Douglas firs and redwoods along the rainy Western Oregon coast provide a dramatic contrast with the lower density and fire prone pine tree and juniper forests covering portions of the Eastern half of the state. The eastern portion of the state also includes semi-arid scrublands, prairies, deserts, and meadows. These drier areas stretch east from Central Oregon. Mount Hood is the highest point in the state at 11,239 feet (3,425 m) above sea-level. Crater Lake National Park is the only National Park in Oregon. Oregon is the United States's leader in forest fires; in 2007 Oregon had over 1,000 forest fires.

Human habitation of the Pacific Northwest began at least 15,000 years ago, with the oldest evidence of habitation in Oregon found at Fort Rock Cave and the Paisley Caves in Lake County. Archaeologist Luther Cressman dated material from Fort Rock to 13,200 years ago. By 8000 B.C. there were settlements throughout the state, with populations concentrated along the lower Columbia River, in the western valleys, and around coastal estuaries.

By the 16th century Oregon was home to many Native American groups, including the Bannock, Chasta, Chinook, Kalapuya, Klamath, Molalla, Nez Perce, Takelma, and Umpqua.

James Cook explored the coast in 1778 in search of the Northwest Passage. The Lewis and Clark Expedition traveled through the region during their expedition to explore the Louisiana Purchase. They built their winter fort at Fort Clatsop, near the mouth of the Columbia River.

Overland exploration was conducted by Lewis and Clark (1805–1806) and British explorer David Thompson. In 1811, David Thompson, of the Northwest Company, became the first European to navigate the entire length of the Columbia River Stopping on the way, at the junction of the Snake river, he posted a claim to the region for Great Britain and the Northwest Company. Upon returning to Montreal, he publicized the abundance of fur-bearing animals in the area.

Also in 1811, New Yorker John Jacob Astor financed the establishment of Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River as a western outpost to his Pacific Fur Company; this was the first permanent Caucasian settlement in Oregon.

In the War of 1812, the British gained control of all of the Pacific Fur Company posts. The Treaty of 1818 established joint British and American occupancy of the region west of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. By the 1820s and 1830s, the Hudson's Bay Company dominated the Pacific Northwest from its Columbia District headquarters at Fort Vancouver (built in 1825 by the District's Chief Factor John McLoughlin across the Columbia from present-day Portland).

In 1841, the master trapper and entrepreneur Ewing Young died leaving considerable wealth and no apparent heir, and no system to probate his estate. A meeting followed Young's funeral at which a probate government was proposed. Doctor Ira Babcock of Jason Lee's Methodist Mission was elected Supreme Judge. Babcock chaired two meetings in 1842 at Champoeg (half way between Lee's mission and Oregon City) to discuss wolves and other animals of contemporary concern. These meetings were precursors to an all-citizen meeting in 1843, which instituted a provisional government headed by an executive committee made up of David Hill, Alanson Beers, and Joseph Gale. This government was the first acting public government of the Oregon Country before annexation by the government of the United States.

Also in 1841, Sir George Simpson Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, reversed the Hudson Bay Company's longstanding policy of discouraging settlement because it interfered with the lucrative fur trade. He directed that some 200 Red River Colony settlers be relocated to HBC farms near Fort Vancouver, (the James Sinclair (fur trapper) expedition), in an attempt to hold Columbia District.

Starting in 1842–1843, the Oregon Trail brought many new American settlers to Oregon Country. For some time, it seemed that these two nations would go to war for a third time in 75 years (see Oregon boundary dispute), but the border was defined peacefully in 1846 by the Oregon Treaty. The border between the United States and British North America was set at the 49th parallel. The Oregon Territory was officially organized in 1848.

Settlement increased because of the Donation Land Claim Act of 1850, in conjunction with the forced relocation of the native population to Indian reservations in Oregon. The state was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1859.

At the outbreak of the American Civil War, regular U.S. troops were withdrawn and sent east. Volunteer cavalry were recruited in California and sent north to Oregon to keep peace and protect the populace. The First Oregon Cavalry served until June 1865.

In the 1880s, the proliferation of railroads assisted in marketing of the state's lumber and wheat, as well as the more rapid growth of its cities.

Industrial expansion began in earnest following the construction of the Bonneville Dam in 1933–1937 on the Columbia River. Hydroelectric power, food, and lumber provided by Oregon helped fuel the development of the West, although the periodic fluctuations in the U.S. building industry have hurt the state's economy on multiple occasions.

In 1902, Oregon introduced a system of direct legislation by the state’s citizens by way of initiative and referendum, known as the Oregon System. Oregon state ballots often include politically conservative proposals side-by-side with politically liberal ones, illustrating the wide spectrum of political thought in the state.

The origin of the name "Oregon" is unknown. One theory is that French explorers called the Columbia River "Hurricane River" (le fleuve aux ouragans), because of the strong winds of the Columbia Gorge.

The rout . . . is from the Great Lakes towards the Head of the Mississippi, and from thence to the River called by the Indians Ouragon. . . .

One account, endorsed as the "most plausible explanation" in the book Oregon Geographic Names, was advanced by George R. Stewart in a 1944 article in American Speech. According to Stewart, the name came from an engraver's error in a French map published in the early 1700s, on which the Ouisiconsink (Wisconsin) River was spelled "Ouaricon-sint", broken on two lines with the -sint below, so that there appeared to be a river flowing to the west named "Ouaricon".

According to the Oregon Tourism Commission (also known as Travel Oregon), present-day Oregonians (pronounced /ˌɒrɨˈgoʊniɨnz/) pronounce the state's name as "OR-UH-GUN never OR-EE-GONE".

However, many Oregonians, including former Oregon Ducks quarterback Joey Harrington, pronounce the state as "ORYGUN." After being drafted by the Detroit Lions in 2002, Harrington distributed "ORYGUN" stickers (sold by the University of Oregon Bookstore, which actually credits the spelling as a joke "meant for Oregonians everywhere who get a kick out of this hilarious mispronunciation of our state.") to members of the media as a reminder of how to pronounce his home state.

The mountainous regions of western Oregon, home to four of the most prominent mountain peaks of the United States including Mount Hood, were formed by the volcanic activity of Juan de Fuca Plate, a tectonic plate that poses a continued threat of volcanic activity and earthquakes in the region. The most recent major activity was the 1700 Cascadia earthquake; Washington's Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980, an event which was visible from Oregon.

The Columbia River, which constitutes much of the northern border of Oregon, also played a major role in the region's geological evolution, as well as its economic and cultural development. The Columbia is one of North America's largest rivers, and the only river to cut through the Cascades. About 15,000 years ago, the Columbia repeatedly flooded much of Oregon during the Missoula Floods; the modern fertility of the Willamette Valley is largely a result of those floods. Plentiful salmon made parts of the river, such as Celilo Falls, hubs of economic activity for thousands of years. In the 20th century, numerous hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia, with major impacts on salmon, transportation and commerce, electric power, and flood control.

Today, Oregon's landscape varies from rainforest in the Coast Range to barren desert in the southeast, which still meets the technical definition of a frontier.

Oregon is 295 miles (475 km) north to south at longest distance, and 395 miles (636 km) east to west at longest distance. In terms of land and water area, Oregon is the ninth largest state, covering 98,381 square miles (254,810 km2). The highest point in Oregon is the summit of Mount Hood, at 11,239 feet (3,426 m), and its lowest point is sea level of the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon coast. Its mean elevation is 3,300 feet (1,006 m). Crater Lake National Park is the state's only National Park and the site of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the U.S. at 1,943 feet (592 m). Oregon claims the D River is the shortest river in the world, though the American state of Montana makes the same claim of its Roe River. Oregon is also home to Mill Ends Park (in Portland), the smallest park in the world at 452 square inches (0.29 m2).

Oregon is home to what is considered the largest single organism in the world, an Armillaria ostoyae fungus beneath the Malheur National Forest of eastern Oregon.

Mount Hood, with Trillium Lake in the foreground.

An aerial View of Crater Lake in Oregon.

Southern view of the Oregon coast from Ecola State Park, with Haystack Rock in the distance.

Sunset over Malheur Butte, an extinct volcanic cinder cone near Ontario, Oregon.

Map of Oregon's population density.

Nearly half of Oregon's land is held by the National Forest Service or the Bureau of Land Management.

Oregon's population is largely concentrated in the Willamette Valley, which stretches from Eugene in the south (home of the University of Oregon, second largest city in Oregon) through Corvallis (home of Oregon State University) and Salem (the capital, third largest) to Portland (Oregon's largest city).

Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River, was the first permanent English-speaking settlement west of Rockies in what is now the United States. Oregon City, at the end of the Oregon Trail, was the Oregon Territory's first incorporated city, and was its first capital from 1848 until 1852, when the capital was moved to Salem. Bend, near the geographic center of the state, is one of the ten fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the United States. In the southern part of the state, Medford is a rapidly growing metro area, which is home to The Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, the third-busiest airport in the state. Further to the south, near the California-Oregon border, is the community of Ashland, home of the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Oregon's climate—especially in the western part of the state—is heavily influenced by the Pacific Ocean. The climate is generally mild, but periods of extreme hot and cold can affect parts of the state. Precipitation in the state varies widely: the deserts of eastern Oregon, such as the Alvord Desert (in the rain shadow of Steens Mountain), get as little as 200 mm (8 inches) annually, while some western coastal slopes approach 5000 mm (200 inches) annually. Oregon's population centers, which lie mostly in the western part of the state, are generally moist and mild, while the lightly populated high deserts of Central and Eastern Oregon are much drier.

The Oregon Country functioned as an independent republic with a three-person executive office and a chief executive until August 13, 1848, when Oregon was annexed by the United States, at which time a territorial government was established. Oregon maintained a territorial government until February 14, 1859, when it was granted statehood.

Governors in Oregon serve four year terms and are limited to two consecutive terms, but an unlimited number of total terms. Oregon has no Lieutenant Governor; in the event that the office of Governor is vacated, Article V, Section 8a of the Oregon Constitution specifies that the Secretary of State is first in line for succession. The other statewide officers are Treasurer, Attorney General, Superintendent, and Labor Commissioner. The biennial Oregon Legislative Assembly consists of a thirty-member Senate and a sixty-member House. The state supreme court has seven elected justices, currently including the only two openly gay state supreme court justices in the nation. They choose one of their own to serve a six-year term as Chief Justice. The only court that may reverse or modify a decision of the Oregon Supreme Court is the Supreme Court of the United States.

The debate over whether to move to annual sessions is a long-standing battle in Oregon politics, but the voters have resisted the move from citizen legislators to professional lawmakers. Because Oregon's state budget is written in two year increments and, having no sales tax, its revenue is based largely on income taxes, it is often significantly over- or under-budget. Recent legislatures have had to be called into special session repeatedly to address revenue shortfalls resulting from economic downturns, bringing to a head the need for more frequent legislative sessions.

Oregonians have voted for the Democratic Presidential candidate in every election since 1988. In 2004 and 2006, Democrats won control of the state Senate and then the House. Since the late 1990s, Oregon has been represented by four Democrats and one Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, and by one U.S. Senator from each party. Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski defeated Republicans in 2002 and 2006, defeating conservative Kevin Mannix and the more moderate Ron Saxton respectively.

The base of Democratic support is largely concentrated in the urban centers of the Willamette Valley. In both 2000 and 2004, the Democratic Presidential candidate won Oregon, but did so with majorities in only eight of Oregon's 36 counties. The eastern two-thirds of the state beyond the Cascade Mountains often votes Republican; in 2000 and 2004, George W. Bush carried every county east of the Cascades. However, the region's sparse population means that the more populous counties in the Willamette Valley usually carry the day in statewide elections.

Oregon's politics are largely similar to those of neighboring Washington, for instance in the contrast between urban and rural issues.

In the 2004 general election, Oregon voters passed ballot measures banning gay marriage, and restricting land use regulation. In the 2006 general election, voters restricted the use of eminent domain and extended the state's discount prescription drug coverage.

The distribution, sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages are regulated in the state by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. Thus, Oregon is an Alcoholic beverage control state. While wine and beer are available in most grocery stores, comparatively few stores sell hard liquor.

Like all U.S. states, Oregon is represented by two U.S. Senators. Since the 1980 census Oregon has had five Congressional districts.

After Oregon was admitted to the Union, it began with a single member in the House of Representatives (La Fayette Grover, who served in the 35th United States Congress for less than a month). Congressional apportionment led to the addition of new members following the censuses of 1890, 1910, 1940, and 1980. A detailed list of the past and present Congressional delegations from Oregon is available.

The United States District Court for the District of Oregon hears Federal cases in the state. The court has courthouses in Portland, Eugene, Medford, and Pendleton. Also in Portland is the federal bankruptcy court, with a second branch in Eugene. Oregon (among other western states and territories) is in the 9th Court of Appeals. One of the court's meeting places is at the Pioneer Courthouse in downtown Portland, a National Historic Landmark built in 1869.

The state has been thought of as politically split by the Mountains, with western Oregon being liberal and Eastern Oregon being conservative. Lately however, Oregon has supported the Democratic Presidential candidate in every election since 1988.

During Oregon's history it has adopted many electoral reforms proposed during the Progressive Era, through the efforts of William S. U'Ren and his Direct Legislation League. Under his leadership, the state overwhelmingly approved a ballot measure in 1902 that created the initiative and referendum processes for citizens to directly introduce or approve proposed laws or amendments to the state constitution, making Oregon the first state to adopt such a system. Today, roughly half of U.S. states do so. In following years, the primary election to select party candidates was adopted in 1904, and in 1908 the Oregon Constitution was amended to include recall of public officials. More recent amendments include the nation's first doctor-assisted suicide law, called the Death with Dignity law (which was challenged, unsuccessfully, in 2005 by the Bush administration in a case heard by the U.S. Supreme Court), legalization of medical cannabis, and among the nation's strongest anti-urban sprawl and pro-environment laws. More recently, 2004's Measure 37 reflects a backlash against such land use laws. However, a further ballot measure in 2007, Measure 49, curtailed many of the provisions of 37.

Of the measures placed on the ballot since 1902, the people have passed 99 of the 288 initiatives and 25 of the 61 referendums on the ballot, though not all of them survived challenges in courts (see Pierce v. Society of Sisters, for an example). During the same period, the legislature has referred 363 measures to the people, of which 206 have passed.

Oregon pioneered the American use of postal voting, beginning with experimentation authorized by the Oregon Legislative Assembly in 1981 and culminating with a 1998 ballot measure mandating that all counties conduct elections by mail.

In the U.S. Electoral College, Oregon casts seven votes. Oregon has supported Democratic candidates in the last six elections. Democrat Barack Obama won the state in 2008 by a margin of fifteen percentage points, with 56% of the popular vote.

Land in the Willamette Valley owes its fertility to the Missoula Floods, which deposited lake sediment from Lake Missoula in western Montana onto the valley floor. This soil is the source of a wealth of agricultural products, including potatoes, peppermint, hops, apples and other fruits.

Oregon is also one of four major world hazelnut growing regions, and produces 95% of the domestic hazelnuts in the United States. While the history of the wine production in Oregon can be traced to before Prohibition, it became a significant industry beginning in the 1970s. In 2005, Oregon ranked third among U.S. states with 303 wineries. Due to regional similarities in climate and soil, the grapes planted in Oregon are often the same varieties found in the French regions of Alsace and Burgundy. In the northeastern region of the state, particularly around Pendleton, both irrigated and dry land wheat is grown. Oregon farmers and ranchers also produce cattle, sheep, dairy products, eggs and poultry.

Vast forests have historically made Oregon one of the nation's major timber production and logging states, but forest fires (such as the Tillamook Burn), over-harvesting, and lawsuits over the proper management of the extensive federal forest holdings have reduced the amount of timber produced. According to the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, between 1989 and 2001 the amount of timber harvested from federal lands dropped some 96%, from 4,333 million to 173 million board feet (10,000,000 to 408,000 m³), although harvest levels on private land have remained relatively constant. Even the shift in recent years towards finished goods such as paper and building materials has not slowed the decline of the timber industry in the state. The effects of this decline have included Weyerhaeuser's acquisition of Portland-based Willamette Industries in January 2002, the relocation of Louisiana Pacific's corporate headquarters from Portland to Nashville, and the decline of former lumber company towns such as Gilchrist. Despite these changes, Oregon still leads the United States in softwood lumber production; in 2001, 6,056 million board feet (14,000,000 m³) was produced in Oregon, compared to 4,257 million board feet (10,050,000 m³) in Washington, 2,731 million board feet (6,444,000 m³) in California, 2,413 million board feet (5,694,000 m³) in Georgia, and 2,327 million board feet (5,491,000 m³) in Mississippi. The effect of the forest industry crunch is still extensive unemployment in rural Oregon and is a bone of contention between rural and urban Oregon.

Oregon occasionally hosts film shoots. Movies wholly or partially filmed in Oregon include Rooster Cogburn,The Goonies, National Lampoon's Animal House, Stand By Me, Kindergarten Cop, Overboard, The River Wild, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Paint Your Wagon, The Hunted, Sometimes a Great Notion, Elephant, Bandits, The Ring, The Ring 2, Quarterback Princess, Mr. Brooks, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3, Short Circuit, Come See The Paradise, The Shining, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, The Postman, Homeward Bound, Free Willy, Free Willy 2, 1941, Swordfish, Twilight and Untraceable. Oregon native Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, has incorporated many references from his hometown of Portland into the TV series. Oregon's scenic coastal and mountain highways are frequently seen in automobile commercials.

In late 2008, Hells Canyon and Oregon's southeast badlands were a set location for an episode of Man vs. Wild, due for the new season in 2009.

High technology industries and services have been a major employer since the 1970s. Tektronix was the largest private employer in Oregon until the late 1980s. Intel's creation and expansion of several facilities in eastern Washington County continued the growth that Tektronix had started. Intel, the state's largest for-profit private employer, operates four large facilities, with Ronler Acres, Jones Farm and Hawthorn Farm all located in Hillsboro. The spinoffs and startups that were produced by these two companies led to the establishment in that area of the so-called Silicon Forest. The recession and dot-com bust of 2001 hit the region hard; many high technology employers reduced the number of their employees or went out of business. OSDL made news in 2004 when they hired Linus Torvalds, developer of the Linux kernel. Recently, biotechnology giant Genentech purchased several acres of land in Hillsboro in an effort to expand its production capabilities.

Oregon is also the home of large corporations in other industries. The world headquarters of Nike, Inc. are located near Beaverton. Medford is home to two of the largest mail order companies in the country: Harry and David Operations Corp. which sells gift items under several brands, and Musician's Friend, an international catalog and Internet retailer of musical instruments and related products.Medford is also home to the national headquarters of the Fortune 1000 company, Lithia Motors. Portland is home to one of the West's largest trade book publishing houses, Graphic Arts Center Publishing.

Oregon has one of the largest salmon-fishing industries in the world, although ocean fisheries have reduced the river fisheries in recent years. Tourism is also strong in the state; Oregon's evergreen mountain forests, waterfalls, pristine lakes (including Crater Lake National Park), and scenic beaches draw visitors year round. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, held in Ashland, is a tourist draw which complements the southern region of the state's scenic beauty and opportunity for outdoor activities.

Oregon is home to a number of smaller breweries and Portland has the largest number of breweries of any city in the world.

Portland reportedly has more strip clubs per capita than both Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Oregon's gross state product is $132.66 billion as of 2006, making it the 27th largest GSP in the nation.

Oregon's biennial state budget, $42.4 billion as of 2007, comprises General Funds, Federal Funds, Lottery Funds, and Other Funds. Personal income taxes account for 88% of the General Fund's projected funds. The Lottery Fund, which has grown steadily since the lottery was approved in 1984, exceeded expectations in the 2007 fiscal years, at $604 million.

Oregon is one of only five states that have no sales tax. Oregon voters have been resolute in their opposition to a sales tax, voting proposals down each of the nine times they have been presented. The last vote, for 1993's Measure 1, was defeated by a 72–24% margin.

The state also has a minimum corporate tax of only $10 per year, amounting to 5.6% of the General Fund in the 2005–2007 biennium; data about what businesses pay the minimum is not available to the public. As a result, the state relies almost entirely on property and income taxes for its revenue. Oregon has the fifth highest personal income tax per person in the nation. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Oregon ranked 41st out of the 50 states in taxes per person in 2005. The average paid of $1,791.45 is higher than only nine other states.

Some local governments levy sales taxes on services: the city of Ashland, for example, collects a 5% sales tax on prepared food.

Oregon is one of six states with a revenue limit. The "kicker law" stipulates that when income tax collections exceed state economists' estimates by 2 percent or more, all of the excess must be returned to taxpayers. Since the inception of the law in 1979, refunds have been issued for seven of the eleven biennia. In 2000, Ballot Measure 86 converted the "kicker" law from statute to the Oregon Constitution, and changed some of its provisions.

Federal payments to county governments, which were granted to replace timber revenue when logging in National Forests was restricted in the 1990s, have been under threat of suspension for several years. This issue dominates the future revenue of rural counties, which have come to rely on the payments in providing essential services.

55% of state revenues are spent on public education, 23% on human services (child protective services, Medicaid, and senior services), 17% on public safety, and 5% on other services.

As of 2005, Oregon has an estimated population of 3,641,056, which is an increase of 49,693, or 1.4%, from the prior year and an increase of 219,620, or 6.4%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 75,196 people (that is 236,557 births minus 161,361 deaths) and an increase due to net migration of 150,084 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 72,263 people, and migration within the country produced a net increase of 77,821 people.

The center of population of Oregon is located in Linn County, in the city of Lyons. More than 42% of the state's population lives in the Portland Metropolitan area.

The largest reported ancestry groups in Oregon are: German (20.5%), English (13.2%), Irish (11.9%), American (6.2%), and Mexican (5.5%). Most Oregon counties are inhabited principally by residents of European ancestry. Concentrations of Mexican-Americans are highest in Malheur and Jefferson counties.

The majority of the diversity in Oregon is in the Portland Metropolitan Area.

Oregon ranks 16th highest for population that is "white alone," with 86.1% in 2006. Over two-thirds of Oregon's African-American population lives in Portland.

6.5% of Oregon's population were reported as less than 5 years old, 24.7% under 18, and 12.8% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.4% of the population.

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2000 were the Roman Catholic Church with 348,239; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with 104,312; and the Assemblies of God with 49,357.

Of the U.S. states, Oregon has the fourth largest percentage of people identifying themselves as "non-religious", at 21 percent, after Colorado, Washington, and Vermont. However, 75–79% of Oregonians identify themselves as being Christian , and some hold deeply conservative convictions. During much of the 1990s a group of conservative Christians formed the Oregon Citizens Alliance, and unsuccessfully tried to pass legislation to prevent "gay sensitivity training" in public schools and legal benefits for homosexual couples.

Oregon also contains the largest community of Russian Old Believers to be found in the United States. Additionally, Oregon, particularly the Portland metropolitan area, has become known as a center of non-mainstream spirituality. The Northwest Tibetan Cultural Association, reported to be the largest such institution of its kind, is headquartered in Portland, and the popular New Age film What the Bleep Do We Know? was filmed and had its premiere in Portland. There are an estimated 6 to 10 thousand Muslims of various ethnic backgrounds in Oregon.

Estimates released September 2004 show double-digit growth in Latino and Asian American populations since the 2000 Census. About 60% of the 138,197 new residents come from ethnic and racial minorities. Asian growth is located mostly in the metropolitan areas of Portland, Salem, Medford and Eugene; Hispanic population growth is across the state.

As of 2005, the state had 559,215 students in public primary and secondary schools. There were 199 public school districts at that time, served by 20 education service districts. The five largest school districts as of 2007 were: Portland Public Schools (46,262 students), Salem-Keizer School District (40,106), Beaverton School District (37,821), Hillsboro School District (20,401), and Eugene School District (18,025).

The Oregon University System supports seven public universities and one affiliate in the state. The University of Oregon in Eugene is Oregon's flagship liberal arts institution, and was the state's only nationally ranked university by US News & World Reports. Oregon State University is located in Corvallis and holds the distinction of being the state's flagship in science, engineering and agricultural research and academics. The university is also the state's highest ranking university/college in a world survey of academic merit.

The State has three regional universities: Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Southern Oregon University in Ashland, and Eastern Oregon University in La Grande. Portland State University is Oregon's largest. The Oregon Institute of Technology has its campus in Klamath Falls. The affiliate Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) comprises a medical, dental, and nursing school in Portland and a science and engineering school in Hillsboro.

Oregon has historically struggled to fund higher education. Recently, Oregon has cut its higher education budget over 2002–2006 and now Oregon ranks 46th in the country in state spending per student. However, 2007 legislation forced tuition increases to cap at 3% per year, and funded the OUS far beyond the requested governor's budget.

The state also supports 17 community colleges.

Oregon is home to a wide variety of private colleges. The University of Portland and Marylhurst University are Catholic institutions in the Portland area. Concordia University, Lewis & Clark College, Multnomah Bible College, Portland Bible College, Reed College, Warner Pacific College, Cascade College, and the National College of Natural Medicine are also in Portland. Pacific University is in the Portland suburb of Forest Grove.

There are also private colleges further south in the Willamette Valley. McMinnville has Linfield College, while nearby Newberg is home to George Fox University. Salem is home to two private schools, Willamette University (the state's oldest, established during the provisional period) and Corban College. Also located near Salem is Mount Angel Seminary, one of America's largest Roman Catholic seminaries. Eugene is home to three private colleges: Northwest Christian University, Eugene Bible College, and Gutenberg College.

The only major professional sports team in Oregon is the Portland Trail Blazers of the National Basketball Association. From the 1970s to the 1990s, the team was one of the most successful teams in the NBA in terms of both win-loss record and attendance. In the early 2000s, the team's popularity declined due to personnel and financial issues, but revived after the departure of controversial players and the acquisition of new players such as Brandon Roy and Greg Oden.

The Blazers play in the Rose Garden in Portland's Lloyd District, which is also home to the Portland LumberJax of the National Lacrosse League and the Portland Winter Hawks of the junior-league Western Hockey League.

Portland has two minor-league sports teams who play at PGE Park: The Portland Timbers of the USL First Division are a very popular soccer team, and the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League are the Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. Portland has actively pursued a Major League Baseball team.

Eugene and Salem also have minor-league baseball teams. The Eugene Emeralds and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes both play in the Single-A Northwest League. Oregon also has four teams in the fledgling International Basketball League: the Portland Chinooks, Central Oregon Hotshots, Salem Stampede, and the Eugene Chargers.

The Oregon State Beavers and the University of Oregon Ducks football teams of the Pacific-10 Conference meet annually in the Civil War, one of the oldest college football rivalries in the United States, dating back to 1894. Both schools have had recent success in other sports as well: Oregon State won back-to-back college baseball championships in 2006 and 2007, and the University of Oregon won back-to-back NCAA men's cross country championships in 2007 and 2008.

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Oregon wine

The Columbia River (shown here in Hood River County, Oregon) is at the heart of the Columbia Gorge AVA

The state of Oregon in the United States has established an international reputation for its production of wine. Oregon has several different growing regions within the state's borders which are well-suited to the cultivation of grapes; additional regions straddle the border between Oregon and the states of Washington and Idaho. Wine making dates back to pioneer times in the 1840s, with commercial production beginning in the 1960s.

American Viticultural Areas entirely within the state include the Willamette Valley, Southern Oregon, Umpqua Valley, and Rogue Valley AVAs. Parts of the Columbia Gorge, Walla Walla Valley, and Snake River Valley AVAs lie within Oregon. Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris are the top two grapes grown, with over 16,000 tons (14,515 metric tons) harvested in 2005. As of 2005, Oregon wine makers produced over 1.5 million cases combined.

With 303 wineries in Oregon, a tourism industry has developed around wine tasting. Much of the tourism focuses on the wineries and tasting rooms in and around the Yamhill Valley southwest of Portland. In 2004, it was estimated that wine tourism contributed USD $92 million to the state economy, excluding winery and tasting room sales.

Wine has been produced in Oregon since the Oregon Territory was settled in the 1840s; however, winemaking has only been a significant industry in the state since the 1960s. Grapes were first planted in the Oregon Territory in 1847, with the first recorded winery being established in 1850 in Jacksonville. Throughout the 19th century, there was experimentation with various varietals by immigrants to the state. In 1904, an Oregon winemaker won a prize at the St. Louis World's Fair. Wine production stopped in the United States during Prohibition. As in other states, the Oregon wine industry lay dormant for thirty years after Prohibition was repealed.

The Oregon wine industry started to rebuild in the 1960s, when California winemakers opened several vineyards in the state. This included the planting of Pinot Noir grapes in the Willamette Valley, a region long thought too cold to be suitable for viticulture. In the 1970s, more out-of-state winemakers migrated to the state and started to organize as an industry. The state's land use laws had prevented rural hillsides from being turned into housing tracts, preserving a significant amount of land suitable for vineyards. In 1979, Eyrie Vineyards entered a 1975 Pinot Noir in the Wine Olympics; the wine was rated among the top Pinots in the world, thus gaining the region its first international recognition.

The accolades continued into the 1980s, and the Oregon wine industry continued to add both wineries and vineyards. The state industry continued to market itself, establishing the first of several AVAs (American Viticulture Areas) in the state. The state also grew strong ties with the Burgundy region of France, as Oregon's governor paid an official visit to Burgundy and a leading French winemaking family bought land in Dundee.

In the early 1990s, the wine industry was threatened by a Phylloxera infestation in the state, but winemakers quickly turned to the use of resistant rootstocks to prevent any serious damage. The state legislature enacted several new laws designed to promote winemaking and wine distribution. The state found a newfound focus on "green" winemaking, leading the global wine industry into more environmentally friendly practices. Several new AVAs were established. By 2005, there were 314 wineries and 519 vineyards in operation in Oregon.

Like other wines produced in the United States, Oregon wines are marketed as varietals. Oregon law requires that wines produced in the state must be identified by the grape variety from which it was made, and must contain at least 90% of that variety. Oregon law has long forbidden use of place names, except as appellations of origin. Oregon is most famous for its Pinot Noir, which is produced throughout the state. Pinot Noirs from the Willamette Valley have received much critical acclaim from wine connoisseurs and critics, and Oregon is regarded as one of the premier Pinot-producing regions in the world.

Other varieties with significant production in Oregon include Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Pinot blanc, Sauvignon blanc, Sémillon, and Syrah. V. vinifera based wines produced in smaller quantities include Arneis, Baco noir, Cabernet franc, Chenin blanc, Dolcetto, Gamay Noir, Grenache, Marechal Foch, Malbec, Muscat, Nebbiolo, Petite Syrah, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Viognier, and Zinfandel. The state also produces sparkling wine, late harvest wine, ice wine, and dessert wine.

As of the 2005 wine growing season, the state of Oregon has 303 bonded wineries, 384 wine brands, and 734 vineyards growing Vitis vinifera, composing a total of 14,100 acres (57 km2) of which 11,800 acres (48 km2) were harvested in 2005. Out of all US wine growing regions, Oregon ranked third in number of wineries and fourth in production. Nearly 1.6 million cases of Oregon wine were sold in 2005. The retail value of these cases was $184.7 million, a 24% increase over the previous vintage.

The industry has had a significant economic impact on the state. The industry contributed a total of USD $1.4 billion to the Oregon economy. Of that figure, over USD $800 million is directly provided by wineries and vineyards via sales, wages, and spending. It is estimated that the industry contributed 8,479 wine-related jobs and USD $203 million in wages. Exports to other states in 2004 were USD $64.1 million.

Oregon produces wine on a much smaller scale than the California wine industry. Oregon's biggest producer ships only 125,000 cases per year and most produce under 35,000 cases. The state features many small wineries which produce less than 5,000 cases per year. In contrast, E & J Gallo Winery, the United States' largest winery, produced 65 million cases of wine in 2002. The majority of wineries in the state operate their own vineyards, although some purchase grapes on the market. Oregon contains a significant number of independent vineyards.

The Oregon wine industry focuses on the higher-priced segments of the wine market. Oregon growers receive a higher average return per ton and a higher average revenue per case than do growers in other wine-producing regions in the United States. Despite producing a much smaller volume of wine, Oregon winery revenues per capita are comparable to those of New York and Washington.

There are, loosely speaking, three main wine producing regions with a major presence in the state of Oregon, as defined by non-overlapping American Viticultural Areas. Two of them—the Willamette Valley AVA and the Southern Oregon AVA—are wholly contained within Oregon; a third, the Columbia Gorge AVA straddles the Columbia River and includes territory in both Oregon and Washington; however, this AVA is considered to be an Oregon AVA. Portions of the Walla Walla Valley AVA, an area which is primarily in Washington (along with the Columbia Valley AVA which contains it), descend into Oregon in the Milton-Freewater area. The Southern Oregon AVA was recently created as the union of two Southern Oregon winegrowing regions long considered distinct, the Rogue Valley and the Umpqua Valley. Several other smaller AVAs are found within some of these larger regions. The Snake River Valley AVA, which straddles Oregon's border with Idaho along the Snake River, is the first AVA to include a part of Eastern Oregon.

The Willamette Valley AVA is the wine growing region which encompasses the Willamette Valley. It stretches from the Columbia River in the north to just south of Eugene in the south, where the Willamette Valley ends; and from the Oregon Coast Range in the West to the Cascade Mountains in the East. At 5,200 square miles (13,500 km2), it is the largest AVA in the state, and contains most of the state's wineries; approximately 200 as of 2006.

The climate of Willamette Valley is mild year-round, with cool, wet winters and warm, dry summers; extreme temperatures are uncommon. Most rainfall occurs outside the growing season and the valley gets relatively little snow. Not all parts of the Valley are suitable for viticulture, and most wineries and vineyards are found west of the Willamette River, with the largest concentration in Yamhill County.

This region is most famous for its Pinot Noir, and also produces large amounts of Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay. The region also produces Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, Müller-Thurgau, Sémillon, and Zinfandel grapes, but in far smaller quantities.

The region is divided into four subordinate AVAs: Dundee Hills AVA, McMinnville AVA, Ribbon Ridge AVA, and the Yamhill-Carlton District AVA. Two more AVA applications are pending. In addition, many wine connoisseurs further divide the Willamette Valley into northern and southern regions approximately at the latitude of Salem.

The Southern Oregon AVA is an AVA which was formed as the union of two existing AVAs—the Rogue Valley AVA and the Umpqua Valley AVA. (A small strip of connecting territory is included in the Southern Oregon AVA to make it a contiguous region; however, this strip passes through mountains regions not suitable for vineyards.) This AVA was established in 2004 to allow the two principal regions in Southern Oregon to jointly market themselves. As the Rogue Valley and Umpqua Valley regions produce different grapes and different varietals, they are examined separately.

The Umpqua Valley AVA contains the drainage basin of the Umpqua River, excluding mountainous regions. The Umpqua Valley has a warmer climate than the Willamette Valley, but is cooler than the Rogue Valley to the south. Grapes grown here include Pinot Noir, with smaller amounts of Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Riesling, as well as several French-American hybrids. The region includes one sub-AVA, the Red Hill Douglas County, Oregon AVA.

The Rogue Valley AVA includes the drainage basin of the Rogue River and several tributaries, including the Illinois River, the Applegate River, and Bear Creek. Most wineries in the region are found along one of these three tributaries, rather than along the Rogue River itself. The region is 70 miles (110 km) wide by 60 miles (100 km) long (although much of the land within the AVA is not suitable for grape cultivation); there are less than 20 wineries with only 1,100 acres (4 km2) planted. The three valleys differ greatly in terroir, with the easternmost Bear Creek valley being warmest and driest, and the westernmost Illinois River valley being coolest and wettest. Each river valley has a unique climate and grows different varieties of grapes. Overall, however, this region is the warmest and driest of Oregon's wine-growing regions. The region has one sub-AVA, the Applegate Valley AVA.

The Columbia Gorge AVA is found in the Columbia Gorge. This region straddles the Columbia River, and thus lies in both Oregon and Washington; it is made up of Hood River and Wasco counties in Oregon, and Skamania and Klickitat counties in Washington. The region lies to the east of the summits of nearby Mount Hood and Mount Adams, situated in their rain shadows; thus, the region is significantly drier than the Willamette Valley. It also exhibits significant differences in elevation due to gorge geography, and strong winds common in the area also play a factor in the region's climate. This allows a wide variety of grapes to be grown in the Columbia Gorge. The region has nearly 40 vineyards, growing a wide variety of grapes, including Syrah, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Zinfandel, Cabernet, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Sangiovese.

Portions of northeastern Oregon (in the vicinity of Milton-Freewater) are part of the Walla Walla Valley AVA, which was established in 1984. This appellation, which is part of the Columbia Valley AVA, lies primarily within Washington state. This region has nearly 100 wineries and 1,200 acres (5 km2) planted. Wines grown in the valley include Syrah, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as Sangiovese and a few exotic varietals including Counoise, Carmenère, Mourvèdre, Cabernet Franc, Nebbiolo and Barbera.

A new viticultural area along the Snake River was established on April 9, 2007. Principally located in Idaho, the area also encompasses two large counties in Eastern Oregon, Baker County and Malheur County. The region's climate is unique among AVAs in Oregon; the average temperature is relatively cool and rainfall is low, creating a shorter growing season. Current production is led by hardy grapes such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Chardonnay. The climate also lends itself extremely well to the production of ice wine. However, the AVA is quite large and warmer microclimates within the area can also support different types of grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

With the continuing improvement in the region's winemaking reputation, wine tourism in Oregon has become a significant industry in its own right. On-site sales are becoming an increasingly important part of the business of Oregon winemaking, and other businesses which cater to wine tourists, such as lodging, fine restaurants, art gallerys, have been appearing in places like Dundee, many of which have long been rural farming communities. Wine festivals and tastings are commonplace. It is estimated that wine tourism contributed USD $92 million to the state economy in 2004, excluding sales at wineries and tasting rooms. There are approximately 1.48 million visits to Oregon wineries each year, 49% by Oregonians and 51% from out of state visitors. Major events which draw significant numbers of tourists to wine country include the International Pinot Noir Celebration and the Oregon Pinot Camp.

Facilities for wine tourists in Oregon are considered underdeveloped compared to wine regions in California, especially premium growing regions like the Napa Valley AVA. Only 5% of overnight leisure trips in the state involve visits to wineries, a much smaller figure than comparable Californian growing regions which range from 10%–25%. Oregon lacks many accommodations found in wine growing regions in other states such as luxury hotels, resorts, and other attractions suitable for well-heeled tourists. As of August 2006, a resort hotel is being planned in Dundee, which would be located near notable wineries such as Domaine Drouhin Oregon. A local developer and businessman has proposed construction of a 50-room hotel, spa and restaurant in the Dundee Hills region, but has met with opposition from many notable vintners, including David Lett, who fear that such a development would dramatically alter the landscape of the region. Concern has also been raised by vintners that the proposed site is on prime growing land that should be used for wine production rather than a resort hotel.

The increase in winery-related tourism, as well as the presence of a casino in the Willamette Valley, has greatly impacted the region's transportation infrastructure. Oregon Route 99W, the highway which runs through the heart of Willamette Valley wine country (and which is the main street in towns such as Newberg and Dundee), is plagued with frequent traffic jams. Plans to construct a freeway bypass around Newberg and Dundee (avoiding the prime growing areas in the hills) are in motion, but are highly controversial. Currently, construction of the highway project is unfunded, and the Oregon Department of Transportation has proposed making the new bypass a toll road, highly unusual for Oregon. Tolls have also been proposed on the existing route of OR 99W, in addition to the new bypass. This proposal has proven to be highly controversial, with many local residents opposing the plan, primarily due to potential negative effects on businesses located on 99W and a general aversion to tolling existing roads.

Oregon wines have won several major awards, and/or been praised by notable wine critics.

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Source : Wikipedia