Author Archive

Charles Fischman

Charles Fischman

Charles Fischman writes about life in the Rogue Valley. He plans to write a memoir about Volvo station wagons as soon as he discovers how to save humanity from itself.

“The American system stands for the highest hope of an excellent worldly life that mankind has yet ventured–the hope that men can be improved without being fettered, that they can be saved without even vicariously being nailed to the cross.” Herbert Croly, The Promise of American Life. The American Promise

Gary Thompson has a well-used dart board in his distillery. If you have ever played, you know that you have to throw the same three darts at the same spots but that you never quite hit the exact same ones. Making whiskey, you also follow the same steps, repeatedly. Yet,

Head-to-toe, colorful costumes. A carefully designed stage. World class performers. Stunning sound and visual effects. A limited run in an iconic Rogue Valley venue. All part of a live, improvisational drama with an unpredictable conclusion. Bethink thee not of ye olde Oregon Shakespeare Festival, tho’ thou art tempted. Dude! “It’s

Hoping to run into a superhero at the Medford ComicCon? Bad news. Affordable Housing Man will not be making an appearance. Since other Rogue Valley problems have yet to reach global-crisis level, neither will Superman, Batman, The Incredible Hulk, Captain America, Wonder Woman, Iron Man, or Spider Man. BAM! You

(Editor’s Note: Assertions of winery numbers in the Rogue Valley vary from 40 to 150. The Drink Local Research Department plans periodic, anonymous visits to random wineries to discover the truth about wine in Southern Oregon. This article marks the first in Drink Local’s “De Vino Veritas” series.) Making wine

About three-quarters of the way through What Lies Upstream, writer and director Cullen Hoback unexpectedly takes the microphone from the confused host at an event titled “Safe Water for West Virginia.” Hoback is in the midst of a two-year investigation into the contamination of 300,000 West Virginians’ drinking water with

In Portland-based Matt McMormick’s thought-provoking documentary Buzz One Four, archival US Air Force animation shows the routes flown by B-52 bombers carrying nuclear warheads at the height of the Cold War in the late 1950s and the 1960s. The B-52s would fly toward the USSR, either over the North Pole

A new feature-length documentary. A new home. A standing ovation at Sundance. Opening Night Film at AIFF. Welcome to the Rogue Valley, Director Peter Bratt. “What could be more perfect than to open the festival with Dolores,” says Richard Herskowitz, Director of Programming for the Ashland Independent Film Festival. “We

Doug O’Dell, Sr. used to ride motorcycles with Steve McQueen on the weekends (yes, we mean legendary cinematic motorcycle chase scene, The Great Escape, Steve McQueen). Not to be outdone, his son, Doug O’Dell, Jr., broke two vertebrae in his neck on a stunt for the Keanu Reeves supernatural thriller,

One senses that Gill Anderson, winemaker at Platt Anderson Cellars in Ashland, takes the phrase, “It’s never going to happen,” as inspiration rather than a deterrent. He established Ashland’s first “urban” winery despite the doubts and regulatory hurdles of assorted local and state agencies in 2013. Now he is on