Monday, December 6, 2010

Morning Glory gives a better look at network news

What would happen if you put Tom Brokaw and Katie Couric together on the same set? Well, that's just what you'll see in the movie "Morning Glory" starring Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton.

The movie is about a young television news producer Becky Fuller played by McAdams, who is given the opportunity to revive a struggling network morning show as the over worked, under experienced and under paid Executive Producer. After firing a crass and sexist male co-host from the show, Fuller is Tasked with finding a replacement and forces the job on the washed up hard edged news anchor Mike Pomeroy played by Ford. Pomeroy's co-host is a one time beauty queen that is the center of her universe, Colleen Peck played by Keaton.

Pomeroy's hard edge news reporting doesn't mix well with the shows theme of entertaining the viewers and this leads to a surprisingly comical interplay with Peck both on the air and off.

Although the storyline was a bit played out and a little exaggerated the story was believable and entertaining. Anyone that knows people in the TV news world will tell you that it is a busy, demanding and cutthroat business where mistakes made by one person opens the door for the next great and often short lived talent.

All that said, I left the theatre with the feeling that audiences will enjoy this movie and that I would add this title to my home movie collection. At least that way I wouldn't have to listen to the irate elderly man in front of me complain about his seat while he and his date wrestle with their plastic salad boxes that they smuggled in the theatre.

At A Glance:
For more information on this movie
and it's cast, visit

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Hatfield Exhibit gets a Makeover by LBCC Graphic Arts

     The Hatfield Marine Science Center has given the LBCC Graphic Arts students an opportunity to give an otherwise boring exhibit a complete makeover.

     Mark Farley, the exhibit designer at the Hatfield asked the students to redesign the “Dive and Explore” exhibit, which is sponsored by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

     The current display is not much more than a grey box with three monitors that show a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) recovering a rumbleometer, which is also part of the exhibit. The rumbleometer is a large underwater instrument package that measures changes on the ocean floor and was deployed on the Axial Volcano off the Oregon/Washington coast.

     This is not the first time the graphic arts students have helped out at the science center said John Aikman, faculty advisor for the graphic arts department. Last year the students redesigned and replaced old and aging signage throughout the Science Center.

                              Exhibit model constructed by graphic arts students Jessica Bonnett, Morgan Ulrich and Jawann Venavle.                                                                               Photo Provided by Harold Wood                     
     The process for the display started last spring when all of the 15 students where given the assignment to create their own version of the exhibit. The criterion for the display was that it had to be fun and educational. From the 15 displays five solutions where chosen based on suggestions from John Aikman, the student advisor and from Farley.

     The students where then divided into five groups and worked to design displays based on a common theme. From these five only two where chosen and presented to a panel of judges at the Hatfield, which is made up of, members form each department.

     “A selection will be made after the holidays’” said Farley, “After which a grant will be written and the displays will be built.”

     There’s not a definite timeline for the completion of the exhibit but the graphic arts students will be included in the construction and the new exhibit.

Brass Media Visits LBCC

          Brandon Goldner from Brass Magazine visited the journalism class at LBCC to share his views about journalism and his role at the magazine.

          Brass Magazine is a quarterly magazine which has two publications, one geared towards high school age students and the other geared towards college age students and distributed through credit unions. The magazine's focus is to help students better understand money.

          Goldner expressed that you shouldn't be afraid to take criticism about your work and ask questions. He stated, "your peers are a good source of what you can do better."

          If you're passionate about what you want to do then do anything you can to get your foot in the door. It is important to keep trying and never give up on your goals no matter what you're striving to achieve. One of Goldners' first jobs in journalism was working at The Commuter at LBCC as a editor and writer. He later to a position at the Albany Democrat Herald working part time at the front counter. While working at the Herald and going to school full time Goldner applied for an internship at Brass Media.

           "You need to find a balance in life," said Goldner, "don't burn yourself out."

          If we really love to write then you have to put yourself out there and find opportunities to write. Put as much effort into what you want to do as you can. Even if you fail, keep trying and your efforts will pay eventually pay off.

          One very important point that was made was that when you are writing you need to research your subject in great detail even if it seems trivial to you, it can be an important detail to your readers. Be engaged during your interviews and follow up after your interviews with more research.

          "Let your stories adapt," stated Goldner regarding writing your story and where it goes by the way the subject plays out.

At A Glance
For more information on Brass Magazine or becoming a freelance writer
contact Brass Media at:
Brass Media Inc
PO Box 1220
Corvallis, OR 97339
Tel/ (541) 753-8546
Fax/ (541) 753-8548

Contact Brandon Goldner at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Suprising facts about the business of NEWSPAPERS

Our journalism class took a tour of the Albany Democrat Herald this Wednesday to see how the news room and paper operate. The production of a newspaper can be very stressful but rewarding. The demands placed on reporters to get the story and finish it can at times be unnerving as deadlines draw near.

In the newsroom at the Democrat Herald this didn't seem the case now that the paper has switch to a morning edition. Reporters and editor where still busy at work to write and edit stories but the demand to finish before going to press was more relaxed.

The Democrat Herald has two editions of the paper, one being of course the printed copy and the other is online. With the exception of breaking news, the online edition takes more of a back seat. Stories are posted online after the printed edition has been edited and gone to press.

"The last thing I want to do at the end of the day is post the online edition," said Steve Lundeberg, one of the editors at the paper and our tour guide.

It suprised me to hear that the online edition was not taken more serious as the business of reporting news has made a shift to more electronic copy. "I feel that there will always be a need for local papers," said Lundeberg.

The Democrat Herald also prints sales circulars for inserts and mail and the paper also prints the Gazette Times which corvers the news in Corvallis. The D.H. and the G.T. are owned by Lee Enterprises out of Davenport, IA.

In today's economic standing, the main costs for newspaper are the newsprint and employees. A roll of paper can weight 900 lbs and the printing press can go through a lot of paper each day. Advertisements is the main resource to offset the costs of production. What used to be the biggest ads where car sales, real estate and career, have now dwindled with the start of web sites such as Craigslist.

The Democrat Herald has on a staff of approximately 100 employees which includes reporters, photographers, editors, printers, marketing, and other production staff. Some of the staff members are also responsible for covering events for the Gazette Times. What surprised me was that there are only two photographers at the paper and some times they have to cover for both papers. This makes for a very busy schedule.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Albany Honors Veterans on Veterans Day

Members of the National Guard marching band lead the parade

The streets of downtown Albany were lined on both sides by people numbering over 40,000 braving the cold morning in anticipation of the annual Veterans Day Parade on Thursday. 

The parade started at the police station on Jackson St SE and followed a route that took it over the overpass on Pacific Highway, then right on Lyons, left on 2nd to Ferry St., left to 4th, ending at the Linn County courthouse at 300 3rd Ave. SW.

The parade was lead by a very large group of motorcyclists and was followed by the Army Band. Many thanks and cheers went out by the crowd to the men and women of the armed forces as each group marched by.

A large group of motorcycles lead the parade
Some of the high lights of this years parade were fly-by's from the Coast Guard with one of their HH-65C Dolphin helicopters and a fly-by of a F-15 Eagle from the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland.

"I didn't see that one coming", one of the spectators said as the F-15 screamed overhead.

Local high school and middle school bands marched in the parade playing up-beat  patriotic music. Each marching band as well as groups from military ROTC, The Boy and Girl Scouts of America, Civil War reenactment groups and other clubs and auxiliaries, were competing for ribbons and trophies that were presented after the parade's conclusion.
F-15 from the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland flew over Albany during the Veterans Day Parade
Winners of the marching bands were the West Albany High School and the North Albany Middle School bands.

"The is the second year in a row that we have won first place", stated Nicolas Anderson, a band member from North Albany Middle School.

West Albany High School band march down Ferry Street
North Albany Middle School Varsity Band marches
The city of Albany states a claim that Albany hosts the largest Veterans Day parade West of the Mississippi. Not a bad claim make given the parade is done completely by volunteers.

We must never forget that our freedom comes at a price and the service men and women of Albany has helped to insure that freedom.

Thank you.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Road Show Plays Showcase Talent of Youth

One night, four hours, 20 performances by ten youth groups at two locations. You think this sounds like an undertaking for the brave to take on? You're absolutely correct. This was the challenge that the youth groups from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Albany and Lebanon area had to face in performing a road show on Oct. 23.

A road show is a fifteen minute performance that has movable backgrounds, props and must be performed in two or more locations. These shows are written, produced and directed by local youth and their leaders and performed by kids from 12 to 18 years of age. Each performance has a theme that is moral based and each group chooses their own theme without the knowledge of the other groups.

"Whatever you read, listen to, or look at has an effect on you. Therefore, choose only entertainment and media that uplift you. Good entertainment will help you to have good thoughts and make righteous choices". This is quoted from the pamphlet, "For the Strength of the Youth" written by The First Presidency of the LDS church.

The LDS church has activities and functions for the youth members which give the youth a chance to grow their talents and to share them with the community. Each year the church has a major function for the youth. This year's function was the road show.

You might think that with 10 groups, someone might choose the same theme or story but that wasn't the case. Each group created their own costumes and backgrounds and scripts. Each performance shared a message that was uplifting, funny and thought provoking. The performances were judged for creativity, showmanship and how their story played out.

The Springhill youth group performs during the dress rehearsal.
 The opening act was based on a theme the Cookie Monster eating too many cookies and needing to add more fruits and vegetables in his diet. The act included music from the 80's and choreographed dancing. The children in the audience gave loud cheers and laughter when Elmo, Big Bird, The Count and Oscar the Grouch came on stage.

A cast party was held on Nov. 10 in Lebanon where all the youth and leaders gathered to watch a video of all the acts and to receive their awards. The grand prize winners are the Springhill youth. Their act was titled "Hercules and the Quest" which was loosely based sketches from Monty Pythons "The Holy Grail" and Greek mythology. A boy named Hercules was mistaken for the demigod and sent on a quest to take a package to the king. His journey was met with danger and adventure while avoiding the town bully and his group of minions. The story was well put together and the climatic ending was entertaining and surprising.

Other acts portrayed characters from nursery rhythms like "Little Bo Peep" and popular musicals such as "The Wizard of Oz".

"Everyone did a remarkable job and all the kids performed great considering some had little help and had to over come a lot of obstacles", stated Diane Allen who was one of the coordinators of the road show. Allen also had children performing in the Springhill group and she did a lot of behind the scene work for them.

The groups have a warm up act called an oleo that gives them just a few minutes to set there stage and prepare for their act. The act opens, the curtain is drawn and the timer starts. Fifteen minutes and the act is over, the curtain closes and the stage is broke down and moved off so that the next group can set the stage for their act. One set of performances in LDS church Albany on Grand Prairie and Waverly and the other set of performances where at the LDS church in Lebanon on South 5th st.

"Our performance was much better in Lebanon then Albany", stated Beth Young, one of the creative team of the Sweet Home group.

There is a short break between acts which gives the actors a chance to watch some of the other acts before a one-hour dinner break and travel time to the next location. Then the process starts over again.

These kids and leaders put on a fantastic show for the audience and judges and their parents have a lot to proud of. It just goes to show that hard work and lots of practice really pays off.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same in the Newspaper Business

Photo by
Have you ever wondered what goes into printing a newpaper like the Albany Democrat Herald and how much technology has advanced the business of NEWS?

Technology has made it easy to report the news and publish papers and books but the process of printing hasn't changed much. Gone are the typesetters of the past, replaced by computer word processing programs and page designers.  Each page is edited and designed so that the stories and ads fit the columns and pages and then sent to the print editor for print processing.

Typesetter lays out pages.
Photo provided by
Each page is then transferred to thin metal plates which are covered in a light sensitive  emulsion. These plates used to be made of precious metals such as silver and gold.

This is still the process used by newspapers and publishing company today like the Democrat Herald in Albany.

"We don't use plates with silver anymore" stated John Rehley, the commercial press and pre-print supervisor at the Democrat Herald in Albany.

The plates are exposed using a laser and the put through the developing process.The images on the plate are seen as reverse images until they are printed.
The Linotype Model 3. Photo provided by

The plates are then put on the printers drum and transferred to a rubber blanket and then to the printing surface. This technique is called offset printing. According to Wikipedia, the first rotary offset lithographic printing press was created in England and patented in 1875 by Robert Barclay. This process was later developed in the 19th century to a printing press process called offset lithograph very much like the presses used in today's publishing.

Page Editor at the Democrat Herald work to insure that the pages are ready for publication.

Page editors look over each page on their computer screens for errors and to make sure that all the articles fit the page. Mike Henneke is responsible for editing the obituaries as well as other pages for the Democrat Herald. "I make sure that each obituary is easy for family and friends to cut them out", Henneke stated.

Printer technicians at the Democrat Herald inspect the newspaper for correct alignment.

Newspapers are stack and banded together ready for distribution.
 You would think that with the technology advances of today we could find a better way to publish books and newspapers but it goes back to the old adage of, "if it's not broke don't fix it".

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Three things I feel are the most important of the "100 Things a Reporter Should Not Do

The Golden Rule should be first and foremost in everybody's rule book so why can't we follow it. As a reporter, in any aspect we have a longer list of rules that must be followed, that is unless your a tabloid reporter.

Here are my top three picks from Poynter's "100 Things a Reporter Should Not Do."

#1. Journalists should never stop learning. Even 15 minutes a day helps; learn a new skill or sharpen an old one.

Confucius says,"I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there". In journalism, seeking knowledge and truth is paramount in writing the story. There is always something you can learn from others no matter how young or old they may be. Knowledge is golden.

#2. Journalists should be active community members. If you aren't of the people, you aren't by the people or for the people.

Benjamin Franklin was an inventor, a scientist, a signer of the constitution and a printer and publisher. Franklin founded the Pennsylvania Gazette in 1728 and in 1732 began the publication of Poor Richard's Almanac. Franklin set the bar high for a journalist as he was for the people and extremely active in his community and his country.

Report the news and you become part of something different but something that helped establish this the United States of America.

#3. Journalists should know when stories are best told using words, photos, graphics, video, audio, data or a combination.

What impact does the words on a page give a story? Now couple those words with a photo and your reader is held captive by an image that they will never forget. An example of this is a simple photos taken in 1963 of a young boy saluting his father's casket; that boy was John F. Kennedy, Jr.

September 11, 2001 photos of the World Trade Center attack where all over the front pages of newspapers all over the world, not to mention video of the attack by news agency's and amateur photographers and videographers. This was an event that changed the lives of many americans and those images tell the story.

This is my opinion but I know that there are many people that would agree with me. Remember to do the right thing and don't be evil. Tell the story!

Friday, October 8, 2010

LBCC Visual Arts Club

Art is all around us. It is in the architecture of the buildings we live and work in. It is in the books, magazines and newspapers we read. Art has been used to tell stories, ideas and laws. The artist's job is to communicate and interpret ideas to a visual median.

The graphic artist by definition is a professional who assembles together images to create a piece of design primarily for publications, prints and advertisements. Graphic Artist are often overlooked but their work is evident everywhere.

LBCC has a great Graphics Arts program that prepares students for a career in the arts. Students that are in the program also becomes members of the Visual Arts Club.

The visual arts club at LBCC was first suggested in 1985 by John Aikman who has been an instructor for the graphic design program for 30 years.

"The club has been sighted several times as the most active club on campus and has done many things for charity organizations," stated John Aikman.

The club is one of, if not the only club that will give zero interest signature loans of $100 to students of the graphics program to assist them if needed. Currently the club has approximately 25 members but fine arts major student as well as others are welcome to join.

Each year the graphic arts club holds events to help raise money for the graphic arts program such as valentine boxes, greeting card and post cards. Jasper Hostler, the current club President and his team have organized several events for the club. Coming up for October the club members and other volunteers will be painting pumpkins that will be sold in the courtyard in celebration of Halloween. Please come out and support them and buy a pumpkin.

Jasper Holstler asks, "We need all the help we can get from our club members, and we need our second year students to check in."

Club adviser John Aikman talks to club members about the club and upcoming events.

At a Glance 
The Visual Arts Club meets every Tuesday at 10:30
Location: Graphic Arts room.
General membership is students in the graphic art program but all art students are welcome to join.
Club President: Jasper Hostler
Contact the advisor: John Aikman, 541-917-4545

Friday, June 4, 2010

Bee's Good for Life

     A new box of Queen Honey Bees arrive with worker bees in order to keep the queen warm.

    The European or Western Honey Bee (Apis millifera) is not native to the Americas. They where brought to the Americas by settlers in the early 1800. Now, have you every stopped to wonder how life would be if the Honey Bee's where to disappear? Well think about this, each day farmers around the world have thousands of tiny winged workers pollinating the crops of the food that we eat and the plants we use.

    Why is that so important? Tree's and plants need to mate just like animals and humans and the offspring of the mating process are the fruits and vegetables we eat. Pollen is the male germ cells produced by all flowering plants for fertilization and plant embryo formation. The Honeybee uses pollen as a food. Flowers would also be at risk of decline if they are not pollinated. Bees are the main source of pollination and bees make up 80% of the insect world.

   Without the bees the farmers would have to find other way to pollinate which would be time consuming and costly to the farmers and to the consumers.

Dirk Olsen of Olsen Honey Farms of Albany prepares for the day as bee crews load the truck with feeder bottles to be distributed to the hives.

     The Beekeepers job is to help this process along and Commercial Beekeepers like Dirk Olsen of Olsen Honey Farms make a living working with honey bees. Dirk Olsen has two subspecies of western honey bees, the Italian and the Carniolan bee.

     Dirk and his beekeeping crews start early in the morning in order to check the hives, move the hives and feed the bees for more than 100 sites. Feeding the bees cost Olsen Honey Farms $2000 a day. Feeder jugs are filled with sugar water and placed on top of the hives. Without this food during the winter the bees would die. Olsen Honey Farms provides bees to almond orchards in central California as well as meadow foam fields in Oregon.

     Farmers pay $48 per hives at two hives an acre in order to have bees placed on their farms to pollinate crops such as kale, turnips, clover, pumpkin, cherry, almonds and much more.

Feeder bottles are filled full of sugar water and are lined up in boxes in the warehouse at Olsen Honey Farms. The feeders will be loaded onto a truck and taken out to the bee hives so that the bees can eat.

 Andy Gambardella fills a feeder bottle with sugar water.  

Andy Gambardella and Pablo Möller distribute feeder bottles to the hives as Dirk Olsen (seated) follows with a forklift carring a box of feeder bottles.
     A hive consists of two boxes which is where the Queen lays her eggs and up to seven supers which are used just for honey production. Boxes and supers are divided by a metal barrier that prevents the Queen from entering into the super and laying eggs but allows the workers to enter and fill the combs with honey. The honey is then extracted from the combs to be sold at the market. Dirk Olsen also sells the beeswax which is use to make candles, molds, and much more. The wax is also used in grafting grapes and beeswax can be used for cosmetics.

Diana Olsen of Olsen Honey Farms sells honey at the farmers market in downtown Albany.
    A colony of bees consist of one queen per hive, 200 to approximately 500 drones and thousands of workers. The drones are the only males in the hive and their only job is to mate with the queen. Drones are formed from an unfertilized egg from the queen and the female workers are formed from fertilized eggs. The queen mates only once in her life but she will mate with several drones and stores the sperm in a sac called the spermatheca. After the drone mates, his penis will break off and he will die. If drones remain during the winter months, they are removed from the hives and they will die.

Dirk Olsen of Olsen Honey Farms inspects a hives for the condition of the colony.

     Bee hives must be check regularly to determine if the queen is producing and to check on the condition of the colony. If a queen is not producing the she is destroyed and replaced with a new queen by the bee keeper. Hive population has suffered due to the cold and wet weather conditions. In the United States alone we have seen a decline in the bee population due to a syndrome called Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) wherein the worker bees are disappearing.

    Although there is no definitive answer as to why this phenomenon is occurring, researchers and beekeepers have found some contributing causes. Dirk Olsen said that some of the causes are varroa mites, disease, and the lack of greater genetic diversity of the queens.

Greg Hansen of Olsen Honey Farms prepares a smoker for inspecting the bee hives. Burlap is burned in the smoker to calm the bees. Experts say that the bees, sensing the smoke, go into a survival stage rather then protecting the hive by gathering as much food as they can from the combs. 

The Queen Bee pictured just left of the center is the largest bee in the colony and the only bee that lays eggs. Seen here, the worker bees will make a pathway for the queen as she moves about the hive.

     Varroa mites are one of the largest contributor of CCD. Varroa mites can be seen with the naked eye as a small red or brown spot on the bee's thorax. Varroa mites feed off the bodily fluids of adult, pupal and larval honey bees. Varroa are carriers for a virus that is particularly damaging to the bees. Bees that are infected with this virus during their development will often have visibly deformed wings.

     The disease nosema lives in the stomach of the bee and is widespread among adult honey bees. The symptoms of the Nosema are relatively nonspecific. This makes it easy to confuse with other diseases of the honeybee. It arises mostly in the spring after periods of bad weather, although it may also be a winter disease that is only noticed in the spring when beekeepers first inspect their hives.

     The most notable symptom is dysentery. This appears as yellow stripes on the outside of the hive and in severe cases, inside the hive. Bees may also be unable to fly (“crawling”) due to disjointed wings. Further symptoms include increased girth of the abdomen, missing sting reflex and early supersedure of the queen. If the queen is infected, its ovaries degenerate and ovum production drops due to atrophy of the ova, after which it is likely to be superseded.

     Even though bee population has been down in the United States, beekeepers are building their hives back up. Ongoing research will determine the causes of CCD, but ultimately it will take the diligent efforts of the ever watchful beekeeper to ensure the successful restoration of the bee population.

A closeup of the Italian honey bee shows just how hairy the bee is. This hair is essential for gathering pollen dust. Once the bee gathers all she can carry she will return to the hive.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Entertaining for Diversity

LBCC held the annual diversity awareness event on May 26 in the campus quad. Groups from several cultural and interests backgrounds displayed information and helped educate those in attendance about diversity on campus and in life.

Special guests performers from the Woodburn High School Mariachi Band captivated spectators with their upbeat music.
Band members from the Woodburn High School Mariachi Band entertained attendees of the Diversity Awareness events at LBCC.

Emily Hinderer from the WoodburnHigh School Mariachi Band sings as band members accompany her with band members Richard Prewitt on flute and Pablo Guzman on trumpet are seen in the background.

Guitar player Feliz Bautsita of the Woodburn High School Mariachi Band play a traditional Mexican song at the LBCC Diversity Awareness event.

I have always enjoyed a diverse selection of music but there is just something that hits me with joy as I listen to the guitars and brass instruments being played in a mariachi band.

A special thank you goes out to the Woodburn High School Mariachi Band for driving about 50 miles to the LBCC Albany campus from Woodburn Oregon just to play at the event. They where a big hit.


Friday, May 21, 2010

Dancing in the Dark

Last week you got a sneak peak of the Rainbow Dance Theatre production in the Russell Tripp Theatre at Linn Benton Community College.
If you made it to the performance then you will remember these moments. Those that did not attend missed out but they can see the dancers at future performances.

Just a side note; I too have performed on stage in plays, dance, improv and music. that said, I have a great appreciation for the time and energy that these talented people dedicate in perfecting their skills. Now as I promised last week, here are just a few pictures of the dancers in action.

Darryl Thomas and Carl Massey perform a spin and lift during a West African wedding dance at the Linn Benton Community Colleges' Russell Tripp Theatre on May 11.

Sam Hobbs and Jessica Evans leap in unison while performing final dance titled "One Village One Voice."

Darryl Thomas jumps high above the stage during a West African wedding dance.

Sam Cunningham dances during the "One Village One Voice" dance at the Russell Tripp Theatre at LBCC on May 11.

Upcoming performances for 2010 areas follows:
June 10-12               Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle, WA
June 13-26               People's Republic of China
June 27                    World Beat Festival, Salem, OR*
Aug 28-Sept 19        Danza Contemporanea, Mexico City, D. F.       

Too find out more about the Rainbow Dance Theatre visit the web site at

Until next week,

Monday, May 17, 2010

Local News

Dancers from the Rainbow Dance Theatre in Monmouth Oregon graced the Russell Tripp Theatre stage at Linn Benton Community College on Tuesday May 11th with dance styles ranges from Hip Hop to African tribal dances.

Rainbow Dance Theatre members Jessica Evans, Sam Hobbs, Carl Massey and Kailee McMurran go vogue for a mock runway dance routine at the Russell Tripp Theatre at LBCC on May 11.

The show played to a full audience at the theatre and members of the audience where invited to the stage to participate in a well known dance from the 80's, the Electric Slide.

Carl Massey of the Rainbow Dance Theatre strikes a pose for the camera while performing a tap dance number at the Russell Tripp Theatre on May 11. Carl and his family will be featured on an upcoming episode of Fox Reality summer hit So You Think You Can Dance which premiers it's seventh season on May 27th.

The performance was wonderful and a great opportunity for all in attendance to learn about the dances of other cultures and a little history on the songs and movements that accompany them.

To learn more about the Rainbow Dance Theatre, it's members or to find out about upcoming shows in your area, check out their web site at

Stay tuned next week for more exciting photo's from this show.


Monday, May 10, 2010

Albany Oregon, My Neighborhood

Growing up in the chicken capital of the United States was fun but I still can't get the smell of fresh chicken poop from my memory. All of my friends that read this will understand exactly what I'm talking about.

My childhood home was just across the street from the Southern Pacific Railroad line that feed the Nu-Laid foods chicken feed grain plant. That same rail line once ran all the way to downtown Sacramento and you could catch the train at the now historic Rio Linda Train Depot.

Rio Linda is also the home of the oldest community Little League parade that has travel down "M" Street and under the Historic Archway. The Rio Linda Arch was a gift from the city of Marysville and is a symbol of Rio Linda as is the Water Tower and the Train Depot. These are cherished memories of my childhood and youth.

Now my family has new road to forge and more history to find as we have settled in Albany Oregon. Albany has many historic sites to discover and many parks to enjoy. Albany is located just off Interstate 5 and has much of that small town flare with just a touch of the city.

Located on Pacific Blvd., the Albany Train Station is one stop that Amtrak serves on its way to Seattle Washington and beyond. This photo was taken during the peaceful hours at night.

Passengers wait patiently to catch an outbound bus at the Albany Station.
Amtrak Northbound train arrives at the Albany Station to waiting passengers.

Albany is also home to the Brass Ring which is home to the Carousel Museum and it is also where artist and historians are building Albany's newest attraction, a new carousel. Each piece of the carousel is made by hand by artist,wood carvers and painters and each animal is a one of a kind artwork that are commissioned by the local community members.

Rich Lucero of Scio works on one of the many animals that will make up the Albany carousel. Rich graduated from Sacramento State University in 1967 and moved to Oregon from Oroville, California in November of 2008. Rich has been working at the Brass Ring for two years and he is an accomplished Pastel and Watercolor artist.

Albany has several variety of community parks to choose from where families can relax and have a picnic or let the kids play on the jungle gyms and swings. I have found more parks in Albany that in any other small city that I have visited. There are five parks just within a mile of my house. Rivers and creeks run through many of the parks and bird and water foul are in abundance.

A family and friends enjoy a day out and race their remote control speed boat in the pond at Grand Prairie Park.

So if your coming for a visit or just passing through, dont' be shy, just stop on by and visit Albany Oregon.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spread Your Wings And Fly

Oregon State University’s Flying Club hosted an open house at the Corvallis Municipal Airport on May 1. The club welcomed guests with static displays of aircraft, airplane rides, free soda and hamburgers.

Guests of the Oregon State Flying Club open house enjoy hamburgers cooked and served by club board member Ron Anderson during the club's open house on May 1 at the Corvallis Airport.

Once a WWII training base, Corvallis Airport is now the home base for the Oregon State Flying Club and the airport is also home to Reach Medical Transport, fire-fighting company Helicopter Transport Services (HTC) and Frontier Flight School which is a Japanese flight school.

Avalon Brown and Andrew Brown learn about the Robinson R-22 Helicopter from OSU/LBCC student Justin Shannon during the Oregon State Flying Club open house on May 1 at the Corvallis Airport.

The Corvallis Aero Service offers flight instruction for airplanes and helicopters plus they offer introductory flights at reasonable rates so you can experience the thrill of flying and decide if that is a sport or career for you. Oregon State Flying Club is open to Students of OSU and LBCC at a discounted rate.

Instructors are hopeful that a flight training program will be started at Linn Benton Community College that will offer students a chance to learn to fly while gaining credit hours.

Carlos Candelaria and daughter Bianca Candelaria prepare for an airplane ride with Flight Instructor Nick Hodson during the Oregon State Flying Club open house on May 1 at the Corvallis Airport.

To join the Oregon State Flying Club you will need to schedule a meeting with board members Skye Root at 801-380-1789 or Ron Anderson at 541-754-1062 to go over how the club works and the club rules. Details and information can be found at:

During the Oregon State Flying Club open house on May 1, Avalon Brown and Chris Brown look at the Sikorsky CH-54 fire-fighting helicopter owned and operated by Helicopter Transport Services based at the Corvallis Airport.

The REACH Air Medical Services Agusta A109 taxis out to the runway prior to take off during the Oregon State Flying Club open house on May 1. REACH Air Medical Services are stationed at Corvallis Airport in order to best serve the Willamette Valley and the Central Oregon Coast.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Career Fair at LBCC Welcomes Hundreds

Linn Benton Community College hosted the annual Career Fair on April 29 with hundreds of job seekers in attendance.

It was evident that the majority of the jobs available where in Medical, Military and Law Enforcement due to the number of recruiters from these types of careers.

Officer Hite of the Oregon State Troopers talks with several career seekers about career opportunities with the State Troopers at the LBCC Career Fair on April 29.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Russ Sell Gears Up For Another Championship

Russ Sell driver of the Left Coast Motorsports Number 50

Russ Sell unloads the number 50 Left Coast Motorsports car at 
Willamette Speedway in Lebanon Oregon prior to the practice session for the season opener race on April 9.

 Russ Sell has been in racing since the late 70's and in that time he has been the Late Model Division Champion three times for 1983, 1984 and 1991. Russ has also held championships in the Supersport Division in 2008 and is the current champion for 2009.

This year Russ will be racing in the Spec Motor Series which was started by NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Greg Biffle who is a native of Oregon.

Russ Sell is also the owner of South Pacific Auto Sales and West Coast Motorsports at 5040 Pacific Blvd. SW in Albany Oregon. Russ has been in business there since 1989 selling cars, trucks, motorcycles and parts.

Now with West Coast Motorsports, Russ Sell is the dealer you turn to for race car parts and even the complete cars.

We look forward to seeing Russ on the track this year as he races for the 2010 Championship.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

    If you're looking for a great family outing or a fun date night, try a sport that gets down and dirty with the thunder of engines, the smell of high octane fuel and the fast action of dirt track racing. Willamette Speedway  is just the place for exciting Saturday night racing. The speedway was built in 1963 by Clair Arnold and is owned and operated by Clair's wife and son, Evelyn and Bill Arnold. Willamette Speedway is a 1/3rd mile clay dirt track located in Lebanon, Oregon at 36606 Airport Drive.

   Willamette Speedway opened for the season on April 10 to a large crowd of spectators, some of which have been dedicated fans of the speedway for years like local resident Ryan Comstock who has only missed 3 races in the past ten years and always sits in the same place in the grandstand for his viewing pleasure.

                                   Ryan Comstock looks over Willamette 
                                              Speedway form his seats at the top of the grandstand.

    Doug Mott in the number 16 car makes a few laps during practice at Willamette Speedway

    Auto racing has gown from it's grass roots as a family sport that brings parents and children together as car owners and drivers like father and son teams like Chris and Doug Mott of Salem or the past champion father and son team of Nick and Tory Swayngim. 

   Doug Mott went to his first race at the age of five months. Chris and Doug Mott are co-drivers of the number 16 car and have been racing at Willamette Speedway for eight years.

Tory Swayngim gets strapped in and reaches for his neck brace during the race practice Friday April 9.

Father and son, Nike and Tory Swayngim head for the car during practice.

Flagman Gary Moore keeps a watchfull eye on the track during the practice session Friday night.

2009 Super Sport Division champion and local businessman Russ Sell is gearing up for another championship. Russ Sell is the owner of Pacific Auto Sales and Left Coast Motorsports and has been in business since 1989 and has been racing since the late 70's. Left Coast Motorsports sells racing parts, race car and racing gear all over the West Coast.

Russ Sell and the Left Coast Motorsports number 50 just after the car was unloaded for the practice season at Willamette Speedway on April 9.

Willamette Speedway is host to several division race events that are sure to excite even the novice of race fans. Check out the 2010 race event schedule online at and we'll see you at the races.