Top stories of 2015


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Our top stories this year run the gamut: A trendy new green building material.  Cybersecurity. Love in the industrial workplace. If you didn’t catch these must reads the first time around, read OB‘s most popular articles here.

1.     Will Medford Ever Be Cool?  Dan Cook wrote this sharp, in-depth cover story about Medford’s elephant in the living room: lack of coolness. In a marketing and amenity-driven world, brand and lifestyle are as much a part of the economic development tool kit as tax incentives and available land.

2.     How a Utah based Essential Oils Company cornered the Oregon market.  Writer Amy Milshtein reported on the curious DoTerra phenomenon: thousands of Oregon women who sell essential oils through the company’s multilevel marketing program.

3.     Ten innovators in Rural Health. Rural Oregon gets  a lot of negative press. Here we recognize the pioneers driving innovation in a field undergoing radical transformation.  Writer Amy Milshtein profiles doctors, policy makers and academics helping make rural Oregon ground zero for efficiency and quality in health care delivery.

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4.     Beam me Up.  In 2015, “cross laminated timber” became the talk of the town, promising salvation for rural Oregon and a trendy new engineered wood design material for Portland architects and developers. We wrote a long, in-depth narrative about how CLT came to Oregon and how the state aims to position itself as a leader in this new type of green building construction.

5.     Bike Chic.  A roundup of bike fashion. For Oregonians. Enough said.

6.     It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World.  We got a lot of flak for this article, which profiled the gender gap in tech from the perspective of Oregon’s male tech workers. We stand by the premise: if you want to solve or redress a social problem, talk to everyone involved, the “perpetrators” as well as those who have suffered discrimination, harassment and more.

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7.     The Good Hacker. A profile of cybersecurity analyst Ken Westin.  The former Tripwire employee has since left for San Francisco based  Splunk, where he is  helping organizations detect, respond and prevent cyber threats using big data, security analytics and automation. “It was a hard decision to leave my friends at Tripwire,” Ken wrote in an email. “But I was offered a challenging new position I could not refuse. The new role fits me perfectly allowing me to explore new tools, techniques and methods to solve real security challenge sorganizations are facing today. As part of the deal my family and I are also staying in Portland, which allows me to stay involved locally with the security and tech startup communities here.”

8.      Brain Storm.  Camille Grigsby-Rocca wrote a fascinating profile of OHSU brain researcher Kim Burchiel and how smart technology will revolutionize treatment of neurological disorders. 

9.     The Love Boat.  My profile of Vigor Industrial CEO Frank Foti and his efforts to rebrand the industrial workplace.

10.  Run, Nick, Run.  Ben DeJarnette profiles controversial track star Nick Symmonds, who exemplifies a decidedly 21-st century breed: the self-promotional athlete-entrepreneur.