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What do do in your area this month. In addition to our print events, you can browse our online events calendar. 

January launches a new year and a new opportunity to look at old issues. The impact of bias when it comes to both race and religious faith provides fertile ground.

Every afternoon, Amtrak’s eastbound Empire Builder pulls out of Portland’s Union Station headed through the Columbia Gorge to Spokane where, in the wee hours of the morning, it hooks up to the train originating in Seattle.

In our hurry to prepare for a wonderful holiday season, many of us often want to pause and reflect on what really matters during this time of year. The 25th annual Corvallis Nativity Festival is an opportunity to recharge your spirit and add joyful meaning to the Christmas season.

For those with hearing loss, the options for hearing better are usually limited to sitting closer or turning up the volume. But a newer technology is allowing those with hearing aids not only to hear better, but avoid the stigma attached to this common ailment.

The Contreras family owns a small bakery but bakes traditional Mexican goodies with a big heart. “We love what we do,” says Maria Contreras, who runs Pilos Mexican Bakery in Corvallis with her parents, Celestino Contreras Padilla and Marcelina Lopez de Contreras, and brother Alberto Contreras.

Like most teens in the mid-1960s, Robert Santelli found himself glued to the television as Ed Sullivan introduced the Beatles. And, like so many, it was a life-changing experience. On that day — Feb. 9, 1964 — 12-year-old Santelli made an emphatic decision – he would be a musician.

Every Saturday since 1970, rain or shine, vendors have set up booths to sell their wares in downtown Eugene. Little did Lotte Streisinger, founder of The Saturday Market, know that 48 years later her idea would have such staying power. It’s now the oldest weekly open-air crafts festival in the United States.

Several months ago, I was corresponding via email with famed plantsman Allan Armitage about — obviously — plants. In the course of our conversation, he offered me a copy of his latest book, “Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots: The Stories Behind the Common Names of Some of Our Favorite Plants,” to read and review. I gladly accepted and promptly received the book in my mailbox.

Hear the word “barbecue” and what comes to mind? Warm summer gatherings? A piece of cooking equipment? Or does your mouth begin to water as you remember smoky, tangy flavors that delight your taste buds?

Stephen Uhle’s art is really too heavy to travel, so he only sells at one art show each year. And although he’s never been trained in art, he sells nine out of 10 pieces he creates. “I make art based purely on what looks good to my eye,” says Uhle, 68. “Evidently it has proportions that a lot of people like because my stuff sells.”

“Slow down” are two words Alice Carter does not keep in her verbal dictionary. “I like being very active,” says the 88-year-old, who finished two years of Peace Corps service last year. “The Peace Corps is a good way for seniors to serve in a meaningful way, making connections of a good kind with another country and its citizens.”

Physical inactivity is a major health concern that contributes to some of our nation’s leading causes of death, including heart disease and stroke. It also increases risk for obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Fortunately, there is something we can do about this.

For some older adults, the connectivity of personal computers, smartphones and Facebook changed their lives for the better. According to AARP, 76 percent of adults over age 50 own a desktop, laptop or tablet. Those aged 65 and younger, and those with higher incomes, are more likely to have access to the internet at home, as well as have a device and consistently use it.

Greenhill Humane Society runs two shelters — the smaller 1st Avenue Shelter, and the larger one, commonly known as Greenhill, on Green Hill Road in west Eugene. Greenhill staff does a great job of keeping the facility clean and inviting to the public, and as comfortable for the animals as possible. But the facility was built in the 1950s with very little updating over the years.

For many people, the start of a new year is a time to leave some habits behind and face the upcoming year with fresh motivation and a set of new commitments. For those living with a chronic disease or chronic pain, it can be hard to escape the daily challenges. The good news is, regardless of the type of illness, you can build skills and confidence for managing your health, staying active and enjoying your life.

Oregon’s labor market is doing great. “Jobs are being added at a very good rate,” says Nick Beleiciks, a state employment economist with the Oregon Employment Department. “In fact, Oregon has been adding jobs faster than the nation since 2013. The unemployment rate this year is the lowest it’s been in 40 years, which is as far back as comparative figures exist. These are signs that Oregon’s economy is doing well.”

From hurricanes to earthquakes to fires, the recent disasters in North America have taught us a lot. We’ve seen how neighbor reached out to neighbor and, stranger to stranger.

Cold weather can add more stress to our lives, from keeping track of our coat to paying more for the heating bill. Luckily, there are several local programs available to help pay for winter’s household heating costs, and each year an average of 12,000 households in Lane County receive this type of funding assistance.

If there’s one person who knows hiking in Lane County, it’s William Sullivan. He’s written five books covering all of the hikes in Oregon, as well as 16 other books including adventure memoirs, novels, mysteries and short stories. “The thing I like about fall is the fall color and huckleberries,” Sullivan says. “For huckleberries the trick is to go to the high Cascades to places where the forest has been cut back by fire or windstorms or clear cuts. The huckleberries only develop fruit if they get sun, so you see huckleberry bushes in the deep woods all over the high Cascades but there’s no fruit.”

The longest running volunteer cat rescue group in Eugene/Springfield celebrated its 10th anniversary in August with a new name. West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue, founded in 2007, is now Cat Rescue and Adoption Network.

“The eclipse is coming, the eclipse is coming.” In China, 715 years ago, that statement would’ve been met with fear and worry over what disaster the darkening of the skies would foretell to fall upon the leader.

After 15 years of planning, carving and assembling, the Albany Historic Carousel and Museum opens Aug. 15. There will be a grand opening from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. for “kids of all ages,” to celebrate the long-awaited, 22,000 square foot, state of the art facility, located at the corner of 1st Avenue SW and Washington Street SW in Albany.

For the past several years, Mike and Alecia Gamble of Springfield have raised chickens in their backyard. The Gambles currently have seven chickens who supply enough eggs to feed their family of six an egg breakfast every other day. They also give a lot of eggs away.

Rod Minarik likes to drive. In fact, it was a trip “passing through” Oregon with a 35-foot trailer that changed his life. He’s originally from southern California, but 17 years ago, he was just expecting to pass through Oregon on a tour when he quickly realized his trailer was too big. So he parked it in Eugene and stayed awhile.

Dorothy Wallace Foisy sews baby quilts — a lot of them. Often, two a day. In fact, since September, she has sewn 50 blankets. But as she sits among the blankets, folded neatly on the bed by her daughter Lynn Walker, Foisy picks up a blanket, unfolds it, strokes the pink fleece and comments, “Who made these?”

The Lane County Farmers Market opened April 1 for its full farmers market at the Park Blocks in the heart of downtown Eugene. The market features more than 50 farmers and food artisans selling a range of local food products, from seafood and meats to vegetables, fruits and flowers.

Do you wish you had a book titled “Be the Best Caregiver and Feel Fantastic Doing It?” Unfortunately, this book doesn’t exist. Each person providing care for an older adult will embark on his or her unique journey. Finding the right information ensures they are able to provide compassionate support and be an advocate for their friends or loved ones.

In the early 1900s, as pioneers struggled to tame the wild Oregon Coast into permanent settlements, one of the most visible signs of the changing of seasons would have been the wild rhododendrons. Only a few examples still exist, but we know they were huge and pervasive, says Sandy Zinn, a librarian at Siuslaw Pioneer Museum in Florence.