Category: Ashland news

Meet the Sequoia: Ashland Tree of the Year 1994

By John Yunker,


If you happen to find yourself at the SOU Hannon Library (a beautiful library, by the way) you might have noticed the massive sequoia overlooking the building.

Little did I know that this is an Ashland tree of the year.

Visit this giant sequoia next time you’re on the Southern Oregon University campus; until then, you can read more about it here.

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Words and Wine in Ashland

By Midge Raymond,

Not only do we have art and wine on the first Friday of every month in Ashland — now we have Words & Wine, on the third or fourth Friday, at Ashland’s Weisinger’s Winery.

w view

This month, Molly Best Tinsley read from her new book, Broken Angels, a sequel to her spy thriller Satan’s Chamber, written with Karetta Hubbard.


Weisinger’s is a lovely spot for a gathering, and especially a literary one on a summer evening. Guests gathered on the patio with wine and nibbles as Molly read excerpts of Broken Angels and answered questions.

w patio

For all of you who’d like to join Words & Wine, events are free and open to the public; food and wine are available for purchase. Here’s what’s coming up over the next few months: M.J. Daspit will read from Lucy Lied September 19; Mary Z. Maher and Alan Armstrong will present Oregon Shakespeare Festival Actors: Telling the Story on October 17; and Tim Wohlforth will read from Chameleon on November 21.


Visit the Weisinger website for more information and to keep an eye on future readings.


Vegan dining in Ashland

By Midge Raymond,

Updated! Louie’s is more vegan friendly than ever! Below this original article, check out what’s new at Louie’s … 

We love dining out in Ashland, though as vegans it can be tricky, even in this progressive little town. Yet this afternoon we rediscovered Louie’s, with its veg-friendly new menu and an organic-mint mojito (it was five o’clock somewhere).


We sat in a shady spot by the creek, which was lovely even on a 90+ degree afternoon, and enjoyed Thai Peanut Wraps, with both regular fries and sweet-potato wafflettes. Other vegetarian- and vegan-friendly items (which we’ll be returning soon to try) include the rest of the artisan wraps (all of which can be made veg or vegan), the gourmet sandwiches (again, all of which can be made with organic tofu), and the black-bean chili (we’ll wait until autumn for this one).


Louie’s is right on the Plaza, and by the time we left, its air-conditioned bar and restaurant was packed and overflowing. Even on such on a hot day, the creekside seating was lovely and filling to capacity as well.

Those who love sports are likely already very familiar with Louie’s, which lately has been a major hub for World Cup viewers. Tuesday night is Trivia Night and Wednesday is Bingo Night (with half-priced beverages).

But we’re especially thrilled to see Louie’s making its menu such a veg-friendly one…between these delicious offerings and and the mojitos, you’ll know where to find us when we’re not at Ashland Creek Press HQ.


May 2017 update: Louie’s has always been one of the most veg-friendly restaurants in town, and on our most recent visit we were delighted to see these colorful menus that make browsing and ordering so much easier.

Not only does Louie’s have an extensive vegetarian menu but they offer a “vegan cheat sheet” as well.

We loved this, as it not only makes clear what items can be easily be made vegan, but it makes it a lot easier to ask; thanks to this cheat sheet, the staff knows exactly what to expect, and you don’t have to feel as if you’re asking too much by excluding whatever non-vegan item might be in a vegetarian dish.

In fact, thanks to this ingenious cheat sheet, I was inspired to sample something new: the Mediterranean wrap (which I may not have ordered in the past for fear of having to ask to hold the feta cheese and the pesto), and it was delicious. We also had the Thai tofu canoes, and of course the kettle chips and fries are delicious staples here.

We look forward to returning to go through the entire vegan cheat sheet and try every last dish. It is easy to see why Louie’s is always packed with happy people…it’s one of those rare and wonderful restaurants that considers its customer’s needs and meets them.

Fabulous event benefiting Sanctuary One

By Midge Raymond,

Last night, the gorgeous Jacksonville Barn Co. hosted a wonderful event to benefit Sanctuary One, the amazing Jacksonville care farm that rescues animals and promotes mutual healing through those who visit the farm and work with the animals.

The champagne flowed, fabulous items were raffled off, and the evening was filled with generosity, from the visitors who bought items to support the sanctuary to those who donate a portion of sales to Sanctuary One, including artist Dana Feagin and Kat von Cupcake.

Dana’s exhibit was in a chandelier-lit room and filled with her Sanctuary One animal paintings…and 25 percent of sales from the event were donated to the sanctuary.


Greeting visitors at the entrance to the gallery were portraits of Cookies and Cream, pictured below, two cows who spent their lives donating blood at a California university — now retired and enjoying a lovely life at Sanctuary One.

Visit Dana online at Inspired Pet Portraits … a portion of all sales of Dana’s work supports animal rescue.


I was absolutely thrilled to meet Kat of Kat von Cupcake, whose vegan cupcakes were so delicious I lost count of how many I enjoyed.


Pictured above are the chocolate cupcakes; also contributing to my extreme sugar high were lemon cupcakes. Kat also prepared a gorgeous array of cookies for the event…


For all your sweet-tooth needs, check out Kat on Facebook (and her new website will be ready soon) — Kat donates 100 percent of her proceeds to the sanctuary.

If you haven’t already, visit the Jacksonville Barn Co. for some of the most fun antique, vintage, and eclectic gifts in the valley — and while you’re in the area, take a tour of Sanctuary One (make your reservation here) and learn more about all the great work the sanctuary does.

The GMO battle comes to Ashland

By John Yunker,

Rogue Valley

Ashland, Oregon, is located at a the southern end of the Rogue Valley, which is a long but narrow stretch of land. As such, small family farms dominate the region, which has resulted in vibrant farmers’ markets and plenty of truly local food (and wine).

Because this valley is so small, genetically modified crops endanger the existing organic crops because wind carries GMO pollen or seed onto neighboring organic farms.

But given that there is such limited supply of land in this region, you’d think the large agri-companies wouldn’t even bother to compete with the organic farms.

You would think.

But that hasn’t stopped the likes of Monsanto, BASF, Dupont, Syngenta, and other multinationals from spending more than $450,000 to defeat a proposal (Measure 15-119) that bans GMO crops in this small slice of the world. Monsanto alone contributed $183,294 to the cause.


Needless to say, I’ll be voting in favor of Measure 15-119 next month.

I have no idea if GMO crops are bad for your health. But I’m quite certain that spraying Roundup on crops is horrible for our entire ecosystem. I don’t think it’s mere coincidence that bee populations are collapsing as GMO crops spread. I also don’t believe that farmers should be required to “license” seeds for one-time use.

Right now, these corporations are running ads to scare people into thinking we’ll be less safe if this measure passes — as if our police departments will somehow be overwhelmed by GMO enforcement to go after burglars. The hysterical tone of the pro-GMO ads leads me to suspect that there is real fear that this measure will pass.

I hope it does. And if you’re in Jackson County, I hope you vote YES next month.