2010 Census Data for Oregon


I’m in the process of working with the 2010 Census Data, trying to find ways to bring that amazing content into our Online Highways Travel site at OHWY.com.

Below is the state profile which should appear in an iframe but can’t because WordPress is removing it.  That can be fixed via a plugin but I probably won’t hassle with that here since the embeds will be at websites.

I’m a little disappointed that they haven’t made it super easy to incorporate city by city data into websites (or maybe I just have not found that), but ultimately that might be good for our travel site since fewer sites will be willing to reprocess the billions of bytes we’ll be downloading from the Census.

Ideally I want to incorporate OLD census information as well, allowing folks to do some geographical geneaology via our US History, Travel, US Retirement, and Oregon Coast Travel websites.

http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/embedstate.html?state=OR

Oregon Coast – Brookings, Oregon


Lone Ranch Beach is four miles north of Brookings, Oregon on the fabulous Oregon Coast.   This is a pretty secluded beach a few miles north of Brookings’ very popular hiking and camping area and state park called “Harris Beach”.   Winter is my favorite time to visit the Oregon Coast because the wave action is almost always spectacular.     On this trip we also examined some of the tsunami damage to the docks and boats in Brookings Harbor, and heard from locals about the evacuation and somewhat anticlimactic tsunami –  a series of water surges in the harbor – from the Japan earthquake

Oregon Coast – Brookings, Oregon 067

Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

History of the Oregon Coast


* Note below why part of this post is NOT about “History of the Oregon Coast”.

We’ve got a brief treatment of “History of the Oregon Coast” over at the site Oregon Coast Travel.

Here is that History of the Oregon Coast from the Oregon Coast Travel website, along with some relevant wikipedia entries and other Oregon Coast link references:

Homo Sapiens first arrived on the Oregon coast approximately 400 generations ago, to subsist in the coast’s generous waters and forests. They fashioned canoes to paddle along the coastline, estuaries, and rivers, where they pursued salmon, seals, and ducks. They also gathered such seafood as clams. Inland, they hunted for game and gathered such foods as roots. On the whole, it was successful subsistence living. That was their lifeway for thousands of years, and as generations came and went, bands coalesced into tribes. The Oregon coast’s principal tribes were the Siletz and Tillamook on the north coast, Alsea and Siuslaw, central coast, and Coquille and Coos on the south coast, among others. The cultures of those tribes were similar.

European exploration of the Oregon coast emerged in the 18th century when Spanish mariners sailed north from Mexico to explore and eventually stake claims to the region. The British soon followed, and the years 1774-1795 in particular became a period of sharp contention between the Spanish and the British for claims to the northwest coast. However, neither side was able to successfully gain hegemony over the region.

In the meantime, Captain Robert Gray, an American, visited the Oregon coast by sea in 1788 and 1792, and returned with fur pelts. Following the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark reached the Oregon Coast in 1804 and laid claim to the territory for the U.S. They also returned with furs, and that prompted one John Jacob Astor to establish the first permanent white trading post in Oregon. The post, Astoria, lay at the mouth of the Columbia River. However, the venture did not prove as successful as Astor had hoped, and the British North West Company bought out Astoria. Both Britain and the United States continued to claim the territory.

On a voyage commissioned by the U.S. Congress, Charles Wilkes landed on the coast in 1838 and planted the American flag. Later, a flood of Americans arriving on the Oregon Trail established de facto the United States’ claim to the land.

From: History of the Oregon Coast

* We interrupted this blog for yet another in our ongoing series of search optimization experiments, trying to figure out what the heck the Google algorithm likes to see, so we can do Google’s bidding.

Of course the great folks at Google always say  “The search algorithm likes to see user-centric, quality content” and that’s true to some extent, but not true enough to make online publishing an easy living.   If that WERE true the search landscape would change dramatically, and you’d see good stuff where you now see fair to poor stuff, which we admit with some shame is some of … our stuff … even though we do have really good stuff sometimes.

Medford Pear Blossom Spring Fair is April 10th and April 11th, 2010


Press Release from the Medford Pear Blossom Spring Fair:
Everything Old is New Again!
The old Pear Blossom Street Fair is now renamed the new Pear Blossom Spring
Fair and is celebrating its 30th year. In addition to the new name is a new venue at
Hawthorne Park.
The event, as always, follows the Pear Blossom Parade on Saturday, April 10th from 10
AM to 7 PM and has the largest potential crowd of any Southern Oregon event. The
event continues on Sunday, April 11, from 10 AM to 5 PM.
With crowds of 20,000 or more at this two day event (previously held on Friday and
Saturday), the Alba Park venue was outgrown. The event had been held there for the
past 29 years. The Heart of Medford Association (HMA), a nonprofit organization
(www.heartofmedford.com) , decided to move the event to Hawthorne Park giving the
event more room for people and room to expand the features of the event.
It is a leisurely walk through downtown Medford from Alba Park, where the parade ends
on Saturday at about noon, to Hawthorne Park and shuttle service will be provided from
park to park on Saturday. The new venue will also provide room for 24′ wide aisles, so
people can easily stroll down the rows of vendors.
HMA engaged an Ashland-based fundraising consulting and events management firm,
Marshall Fundraising Management,(www.marshallfundraising.com), headed by
Managing Partners, Joy and Larry Marshall. Their challenge was to build on the
existing event of the past and to create a fresh approach, with novel and unprecedented
features. Says Joy Marshall, “Once we resolve all the logistical components, everything
should be set to make this event run very smoothly…the best ever!”. And Larry Marshall
comments, “The great challenge we have now is communicating the venue location
change from Alba Park to Hawthorne Park and the changed days of the event, Saturday
and Sunday (formerly Friday and Saturday), as well as the great fun, new attractions for
the entire family on both days. To do so, we will have a Pear costumed-figure (“Buddy”
or “Blossom”, our event mascots) and other volunteers following the Parade, and at Alba
Park, with signs directing the huge crowds to Hawthorne Park, along with sustained
radio and TV spots, posters and major print/broadcast media hype, etc., creating great
community awareness… ala P.T. Barnum, the greatest event promoter (born 200 years
ago in 1810)!”
This year, in addition to the 100+ retail, arts/crafts and other vendors along with 14
food concessions, there will be something for everyone! From medieval jousting to a
challenging rock climbing wall just waiting for energetic kids of all ages to try!
New this year in the Kids Zone will be activities for kids created especially for them by
ScienceWorks with interactive space-orientated projects and Kids Unlimited creating
“tattoos” using removable ink with glitter and sparkles. Wildlife Images will be
featuring some of their ‘traveling’ animals and teaching about exotic animals; all the old
standards will still be there, too, with cotton candy, pony rides, face painting, bounce
houses, and elephant ears to eat and alpacas to meet! The Southern Oregon Alpaca
Association (SOAA) will be introducing their unique and adorable ‘farm’ animals to
many kids for the first time.
There will be a special nonprofit section where many of the area’s organizations will
provide beneficial information of interest to the community, including area historical
societies embracing the legacy of the Rogue Valley.
For the first time, an outstanding music component is being added to the event to make
it even more enjoyable! There will be a large professional mobile stage with first-class
sound and many of the best Rogue Valley musical talent groups will perform…with the
professional entertainers generously donating their services back to the event! The
musical theme will be spirit-uplifting in keeping with the mission of HMA.
The performance roster is as follows (subject to change):
Saturday Music
• 12:00 -12:40: “Random Sound”, 13 year old kids rock & roll band, covering
Beatles songs, as well as originals;
• 1:00 -1:40: “The Relief”, a dynamic group full of energy and passion will
perform all original songs that will have everyone dancing in front of the stage;
• 2:00-2:40: “The Rogue Suspects”, playing well-known funky blues, rock and Motown;
• 3:00-3:40: “Michael Mish”, environmental-oriented musician/composer, will
hit the keyboard singing many of his Emmy-award winning children’s songs,
R&B, and covering songs from iconic legends, Elton John, Cat Stevens and The
Beach Boys;
• 4:00-4:40: “Michael ‘Hawkeye’ Herman and Friends”, acoustic blues
musician and global blues educator;
• 5:00-5:40: “Apropos Musique”, unique sounds of contemporary pop group;
Sunday:
• 12:00-12:40: “Siskiyou Violins”, nationally-honored, teen ensemble;
• 1:00-1:40: “The Gayle Wilson Band”, long-time favorite, performing classic
rock;
• 2:00-2:40: “4 Stories High”, recently transplanted duo from New York City,
Laura Berman and partner/husband, Craig Benelli, will perform ‘New Thought
Inspirational’ community music;
• 3:00-3:40: “The Hedgehogs”, soulful gypsy jazz and swing group with Brad
Kauder, Dan Fellman and gang;
• 4:00-4:40: “Havurah Choir” led by Allen Kenner & delivering uplifting
selections;
Background on performers and production:
Entertainment Producers are Larry & Joy Marshall, Marshall Fundraising Management;
Production Manager is Brent Waroniecki, Marshall Fundraising Management;
Stage Manager is Shawn Montgomery, Profound Entertainment.
During both days, KRWQ, KISS and KOOL radio stations will be handling the mic and
providing ‘color’ between shows. They also emcee the event. Ivan Velasquez,
Dreamweaver Productions, will volunteer additional DJ services during the weekend.
The Pear Blossom Spring Fair sponsors include: Charter Communications, Bicoastal
Media-KISS, KOOL and KRWQ, Profound Entertainment, PacificSource Health Plans,
MURA (Medford Urban Renewal Agency), PacificCorp, Umpqua Bank and many others.
HMA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help revitalize and build awareness
to the renewal of downtown Medford along with its retail merchants, and to renewing
foot traffic to the area and its environs. Proceeds from this event support all other yearlong
HMA events, such as Art in Bloom in May, The Taste of History in June and Winter
Light Festival in December.
####
Pear Blossom Spring Fair Performer Backgrounds:
“Random Sound”:
Random Sound with Nick Chouard, Cole Coster, Tejas Leir-Heyden, Spencer Tesluk .
The boys of Random Sound met on a soccer field, but soon discovered they have another
passion in common. . . Rock and Roll. Just a few years ago, they could only play three
or four chords and now they have developed into real musicians who rock their
audiences with high energy performances.
“The Relief”:
The Relief is a group of young artists and jokers who are natural-born performers. Their
all-original rock sound is influenced by many of the ‘greats’ in rock music from The
Rolling Stones and The Doors to Bob Dylan and The Who. Their history starts at the
beginning, since Chris Doran (Lead Vocalist-Rhythm guitar) and Spenser Doran
(Drums/Percussion)are brothers. Then, in early childhood they met up with
bassman/vocalist Shane Kell, and the music and the chemistry began! Rounding out the
group is lead guitar, Jesse Kennemer. Together they say, “We’d perform even if no one
listened…we can’t stop, won’t stop…until our hearts stop”.
“The Rogue Suspects:
There are so many reasons to love these Rogues, and, yes, that is with a capital “R”. The
Rogue Suspects, or Suspects for short, is one of Southern Oregon’s local bands and is a
perfect musical storm – a culmination of agonizingly amazing talent, energy, charisma
and magnanimous spirit. These Rogues are Keys Angermaestro, Soul Man Bolen, Greg
Fretless and Tex, also known as keyboardist/vocalist Dean Angermeier, drummer David
Bolen, bassist Greg Frederick and guitarist/vocalist Dirk Price. http://www.roguesuspects.com
“Michael Mish”:
Emmy-award winning environmentalist-composer of original kids songs, musician and
singer, covering Elton John, Cat Stevens and The Beach Boys, etc. The LA Times calls
him “The Pied Piper of the Environment” and he has appeared on PBS specials and
many national network TV programs. He has also created acclaimed videos for many
nonprofit organizations. http://www.michaelmishmusic.com
“Michael ‘Hawkeye’ Herman”:
With over 40 years of performing experience, Michael “Hawkeye” Herman exemplifies
the range of possibilities in acoustic blues, and personifies versatile musicianship,
originality, and compelling artistry as a blues storyteller. Award-winning,
internationally recognized blues performer/recording artist,educator jamming with
local musician friends, singing and playing dynamic acoustic blues and R&B. Let the
good times roll! His dynamic performances have won him a faithful following, and he
leads a very active global touring schedule of performances at festivals, concerts, school
programs, and workshops. Hawkeye performs a wide variety of traditional blues,
ballads, swing, and original tunes, on six-string and twelve-string guitar, and is an adept
and exciting practitioner of slide guitar and slide mandolin. http://www.HawkeyeHerman.com
“Apropos Musique”:
Apropos Musique is a newly formed contemporary acoustic musical group comprised of
three talented musicians: Curt Masterson, Neil Henderson and Stephanie Oaks. The
wide backgrounds of each of these individuals lead to a very nice fusion of diverse styles.
Working hard to blend Rock, R n’ B, Country and Jazz into unique Pop music, they seem
to have immense fun singing together. http://www.equuspro.com
“Siskiyou Violins”:
Siskiyou Violins, led by Artistic Director Faina Podolnaya, consists of around 40 teen –
and sub-teen – violinists from the Rogue Valley. They were one of only two youth
orchestras from across the United States to be invited to the annual conference of the
American String Teachers Association in California earlier this year.
“The Gayle Wilson Band”:
This high-energy group plays hits everyone remembers. From “Mustang Sally” to
“Footloose”, you can count on this band to let the good times roll. Band members
include Dal Carver on piano & vocals, Brent Norton on guitar and vocals, Dennis Freese
on sax, flute, clarinet & vocals, Jeff Addicott on bass & vocals, Mike Fitch on drums,
Gayle Wilson on harmonica and vocals. http://www.gaylewilson.com
“4 Stories High”: Laura Berman and Craig Benelli:
“Our songs are our stories, and we have a multitude of stories to tell.” From their days
in the New York City “singer/songwriter scene,” to performing at the Agape
International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles, and alongside inspirational authors
Marianne Williamson and Neale Donald Walsch, 4 Stories High, have inspired
thousands nationwide with their songs, wit and honesty. They continue to perform at
numerous conferences, music venues and spiritual centers across the country.
“The Hedgehogs”:
The Hedgehogs play Gypsy Jazz and classic swing-era tunes. Gypsy Jazz – also known
as Gypsy Swing or Jazz manouche – combines the passion and romance of traditional
music with the uplifting bounce and swing of the WW-II Era big band music.
Spearheaded by manouche gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt, Italian violinist, Stephane
Grappelli and their Paris-based “Hot Club of France” – Gypsy Jazz is currently enjoying
an enthusiastic following worldwide. Come swing and sway to the jazz sound of Gypsy
Jazz at this year’s Pear Blossom Festival!
“Havurah Choir” led by Allen Kenner:
The Havurah Choir, led by Allen Kenner, featuring Paula Flowers and Yvonne Wolfman
and composed of singers of all ages from diverse faiths, celebrates the joy of singing
spiritual music together. The choir sings primarily at Jewish services at the Havurah,
but also spreads healing, understanding, and tolerance through music by performing at
other venues, including interfaith events in the Rogue Valley. The Havurah Choir sings
a wide range of spiritual music including traditional melodies, chants, modern folk-style
music, both liturgical and secular, as well as original music. Many of the pieces the
Havurah Choir sings were composed and arranged by Allen Kenner

Visit the Whistle Stop in Talent, Oregon for Coffee


Here in Talent, Oregon we’re lucky to have not one great coffee shop but two, each with a different “personality” to suit your mood or temperament. Where Downtowne offers free wifi, the Whistle Stop is the place to go to mingle with the city.

I’ve written before about the Downtowne Coffee Shop but also wanted to give the Whistle Stop Coffee Shop a big shout out as they serve great coffee and tasty light fare like pastry breads and scones. If you want to feel the heartbeat of Talent, Oregon drop in to the Whistle Stop and say hi to Marina, the owner of the Whistle Stop who was recently voted Talent’s friendliest barista. The Whistle Stop is located right next to city hall on Main Street in a beautiful rennovation of Talent’s Railroad Station. An hour and a coffee at the Whistle Stop will introduce you to our fine little town in no time.

Oregon Coast Bird Watching


This post falls squarely in the “SEO Experiments” category. We’ve had an informative but “plain jane” Oregon Coast website up for some time based on Oregon Coast magazine which is published by Northwest Travel Magazines.

The site has historically ranked poorly for “Oregon Coast” and related terms, probably in part because we had never done much to optimize it for search engines, and (I think) partly because quite ironically Google now struggles to properly optimize websites that have extensive internal cross linking. Ironic because extensive linking was a cornerstone of early web quality but fell out of ranking fashion as Google sought to kill off auto-generated websites that used that technique to boost their pagerank and thereby their Google rank for optimized query terms. This became a spam signal because it is so easy to create large database driven websites, but in the case of many sites it is also a good *quality signal* because the site may be very info rich, covering basically every mile of the Oregon Coast Highway 101 in good, objective detail. Google recognizes they’ve created a lot of collateral damage in this way but frankly they have not done much to fix the problem, basically feeling that there is enough “good content” that ranks well. This is wrong and unfortunate, and in travel it has led to a lot of mediocre results when better search would give detailed blog and website references to pages spawned, for example, by people who live in the place getting described and have extensive insider detail.

One part of the optimization has been to rename the site OregonCoastTravel.net and 301 redirect the old pages at 101MilebyMile.com to the new name, hoping to rank better for “Oregon Coast” and “Oregon Coast Travel” as we should.

I’m linking here to the Oregon Coast birding page because it is a straggler that has been 301 redirected to OregonCoastTravel.net but remains listed by Google at the old site. Also, it is an excellent resource page for that topic of Oregon Coast Birding. I want to see how fast this page will now be correctly reindexed.

Oregon Coast Travel


The Oregon Coast is our state’s most recognizable travel destination.   Highway 101 – a National Scenic Byway – winds 363 miles from the Washington state border in the north to the California Border in the south.

At our Oregon Coast Travel website we have a mile by mile guide to Highway 101 that covers ever mile of the journey and the cities and attractions along the way.

This list is NOT all inclusive yet – I’ll be adding more over time… also feel free to leave any  travel or relevant information in the comments.

Astoria to Seaside

Near Astoria is Fort Clatsop where Lewis and Clark spent the winter after their incredible journey across the US as part of Jefferson’s expedition to explore the newly aquired Louisiana Territory.     Seaside remains a popular hotspot for visits to Oregon Coast beaches.

Cannon Beach to Manzanita

Cannon Beach is a very popular beach destination.

Manzanita to Tillamook

Popular attractions in this area include the Tillamook lighthouse and Tillamook Cheese Factory which offer a fun and educational factory tour.    The Cheese Factory is an excellent family attraction and located right off of Highway 101.

Tillamook to Lincoln City

Lincoln City to Newport

Newport to Yachats

In Newport you’ll want to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, a world class facility that was once home to Keiko the Whale.    Be sure to check out the Jellyfish exhibits where these amazing and beautiful creatures float in special lighting, and the walk through shark tank.    Allow at least several hours at the Aquarium.   If you are on a very tight budget and don’t have kids (who will love the aquarium!) the Mark O. Hatfield Marine Science Center is nearby and I think it still offers free tours of this Oregon Coast and sea life research facility.

Yachats to Florence

For many the central Oregon Coast offers the most spectacular scenery and the most sublime of the many great Oregon Coast Experiences.   Devils Churn at Cape Perpetua is an amazing sea feature where water rushes into a narrow channel several hundred feet long.   From a short hike you can stand right atop this combination of surf and a collapsed volcanic lava tube to watch the massive surges of water rush in.    Above Devil’s Churn is Cape Perpetua Visitor Center which excellent hikes and interpretive exhibits.

Florence to North Bend

Florence’s “Old Town” is a very popular Oregon Coast destination for dining and shopping with charming shops and several excellent restaurants all within a few blocks of beautifully remodelled buildings that formerly were at the heart of the fishing industry here.

North Bend to Reedsport

Coos Bay to Port Orford

Coos Bay along highway 101 remains a major shipping point from Oregon but thanks to an extensive urban renewal project along the waterfront and the Mill Casino Coos Bay now offers attractive tourist features right off the highway.

Here, 101 diverges from the coast until Port Orford, so if you have time head west on the Cape Arago highway to Shore Acres State Park with some excellent coastal scenery and wonderful coastal gardens.

Port Orford to Brookings to California

Port Orford’s Battle Rock Park is right off of the Highway and the view is spectacular.   There’s an excellent information center here as well with helpful staff.

Brookings is a very popular coastal destination for Oregon’s heading to the beach from Medford and inland Southern Oregon.

Oregon’s Multnomah Falls in the Columbia Gorge


Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Columbia-Gorge-2008 146
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Hey, I’m kind of temporarily tired of blogging about technology and politics and even blogging about the Oregon Coast, so how about an Oregon waterfall?  This shot of Oregon’s iconic falls – Multnomah Falls in the Columbia River Gorge – from our trip last month to Northern Oregon.

Multnomah Falls is under an hour east of Porland on Interstate 84 where the easy access makes this one of Oregon’s most visited attractions and a tourism destination for over 100 years.   The area is home to some wonderful hikes and great scenery along the gorge.  Portland, charming  Hood River, the Bonneville Dam, and The Dalles are all nearby.   We had a great stay at the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel atop a waterfall on the cliffs above the Gorge near Hood River.

Oregon Coast


The rumors are true.  There’s a detailed Oregon Coast website at OregonCoastTravel.net, which is the official website of the Oregon Coast Mile by Mile guide that showcases the entire Oregon Coast from California to Washington.   Highway 101 is the spectacular 363 mile National Scenic Byway and the only road along Oregon’s Coast.   Oregon Coast Travel has a feature where you can see the mileage for every point of interest along the entire Coast highway which is how the Oregon Coast Mile by Mile printed guide is designed.   You can also search the coast by city from Brookings to Astoria, including small cities as well as the tourism “hot spots” of Bandon, Lincoln City, Newport, Gold Beach, Canon Beach, and more.

Cannon Beach on Oregon’s Coast
Originally uploaded by keepitsurreal

Full Sail Brewery, Hood River


Full Sail Brewery, Hood River
Originally uploaded by JoeDuck

Full Sail Ale is one of the most popular beers in the Northwest, and our Full Sail brewery tour in Hood River helped us understand why Full Sail remains so popular. We had a great guide, Gary, and thanks to his expertise and the fact we were the only two on the tour we were able to ask a lot of questions.

Gary explained that in 1985 the town of Hood River was suffering badly as the Timber Industry was in decline.    A group of friends, hard up for work, decided to start brewing beer and took over a small building which remains a small part of the huge brewery complex that now produces millions of bottles of Full Sail Ale and Henry Weinhard’s as part of the Full Sail contract with Miller Brewing.

More detailed brewing information about the tour at the Oregon Blog:  OregonEx.com