Think Out Loud

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Science writer David Quammen predicted a pandemic

In 2013, science writer David Quammen wrote an editorial in the New York Times entitled “The Next Pandemic: Not if, but When.” Quammen has been writing about the spread of diseases between humans and animals since his book "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic" came out that same year.

The last Franklin's bumblebee ever seen was just south of this spot near the Pacific Crest Trail on Mount Ashland.

Eugene woman sets Oregon Pacific Crest Trail speed record

When Emily Halnon’s mother died of cancer earlier this year, she wanted to honor her with something big. Last month, Halnon set the overall speed record for the Oregon section of the Pacific Crest Trail — over 450 miles in nearly 8 days. In the process, she raised over $33,000 toward cancer research. We talk with Halnon about her trek through the Oregon PCT, and what the run means to her.

Online school prompts some parents to create pods for childcare, social interaction

Online learning presents challenges for both students and parents, who may be working from home, looking for work or need childcare. Some are forming in-person pods to deal with some of those challenges. We talk with parents from three families who formed a pod for their school-aged children.

Portland’s relationship with its police force is complicated

Portland police officers feel underappreciated and unsupported by city leadership, according to new reporting from OPB. Activists who have been protesting for months demanding police reform are also frustrated with the lack of action from political leaders. What is the path forward? OPB reporter Jonathan Levinson has been working on this story.

Detroit fire chief led volunteer team through Beachie Creek Fire

The fire chief for the Idanha/Detroit area works part time, and leads a team of 24 volunteers. When the Beachie Creek Fire roared into the Highway 22 corridor, chief Will Ewing and volunteer firefighters helped to lead nearly 80 people to safety. Most of the buildings in Detroit burned to the ground, including the district office and one of their fire trucks, and Ewing says the road to recovery is very long indeed.

OPB releases new ‘Timber Wars’ podcast

OPB’s new podcast,"Timber Wars," tells the behind-the-scenes story of how a small group of activists and scientists turned the fight over ancient trees and a bird that no one had heard about into one of the biggest environmental conflicts of the 20th century.

Klamath Tribes assess fire losses

The 242 fire in Southern Oregon burned through thousands of acres, many of them hunting and gathering grounds for the Klamath Tribes. The fire also burned the tribes’ cemetery and at least one tribal member’s house. At the same time, the tribes have seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Volunteers seek to aid displaced wildfire victims

Many Oregonians are in dire need following the Almeda Fire, the catastrophic blaze that burned down much of Phoenix and Talent in Southern Oregon. Community members throughout the state have formed a network of volunteers to meet the need. We talk with organizer Jesse Azzopardi of the Southern Oregon Relief Team about delivering supplies amid devastating wildfires.