Author Archive

Phil Busse

Phil Busse

Phil Busse has spent the past 20 years as a journalist, attorney and educator—and doing his tour of duty with alt-weeklies.

He has served as the Editor for the Source, a popular weekly newspaper in Bend, Oregon and was the founding Managing Editor for the Portland Mercury. While in law school, he wrote crime and legal stories for the Eugene Weekly and started his writing career as the first environmental beat reporter for San Francisco Weekly.

In 2006, Phil started the Media Institute for Social Change (, an educational non-profit. Based in Portland, Oregon, the organization hosts college students each summer to teach them how to produce public interest film and radio documentaries—and, in 2013, helped launch XRAY.FM, a talk and music radio station that won Willamette Week’s readers choice for Best Local Radio Station in 2015.

Phil is truly surprised that he ended up as a newspaperman; as a kid, he believed that he would grow up to be a spy, and has spent a lifetime acquiring the proper skills—he is certified SCUBA diver, knows how to tie a bow tie and can mix (shake) a mean martini.

Phil graduated from Middlebury College in 1992 and earned his law degree from the University of Oregon in 1997.

RVM: You have an interesting background.  You grew up on an apple orchard in Vermont.  It is logical to assume that is where the interest to move to the Illinois Valley comes from—and to co-found the Cave Junction Farmers’ Market?    Christopher Hall: Yes, my interest to move to the

RVM: Stepping into the mayor’s role right now seems like a very daunting task.  It seems like there is more opportunity for blame than for fame.  Why do it?  JH: Because it hasn’t been done right for years, and blame can only be put on the flawed system that got us here.

Rogue Valley Messenger: Stepping into the mayor’s role right now seems like a very daunting task. It seems like there is more opportunity for blame than for fame. Why do it? Clay Bearnson: Medford continues to grow and change along with our demographics, and our governing body should accurately reflect the makeup

After nearly two decades, Medford is teed up for a new mayor. All three candidates have solid civic experience–two current council members and one former police chief.  We hear from councilmember Kevin Stine about his insights for the upcoming challenges, and what he brings to the job. Rogue Valley Messenger:

Last year, Randy Sparacino retired after nearly 30 years with the Medford Police Department, including serving as its chief. Apparently retirement wasn’t the right fit, as Sparacino is attempting to step back into public life, as he is campaigning to be Medford’s next mayor, a seat being vacated after 16

It is a stressful time. The Messenger spoke with Ashland-based Alaya Ketani, a neuroscience specialist who works closely and calmly with individuals who are experiencing trauma and anxieties. With service from socially-distanced individual private sessions to Zoom counseling, she provides tools and support to mend and sustain through these odd times and,

Not all wine comes from grapes. Let that sink in: Wine can be made from flowers and berries—and an outstanding example of that diversity comes from southern Oregon’s own Wild Wines, a decade-plus old established winery near Jacksonville. Dreamt up by Carla David, the winery has grown steadily, picking up

Our continuing series profiling local breweries, and how they are managing COVID-19 shutdowns. In this year’s Besties, the Messenger’s readers’ choices for their favorites, Weekend Beer Company in Grants Pass traded wins with Medford-based Walkabout Brewing Company. Less than two years old, but already an institution in Grants Pass, they

On Thursday, June 4 at 4 pm, Caldera Brewing Company, southern Oregon’s largest brewery, reopens to the public. Over the next few days, Jim Mills is leading a number of meetings to talk with serving staff, kitchen staff and brewers about the new protocols. It will be a different world

With taunt editing, a steady drumbeat of a narrative and a magnetic central character, Take Out Girl tells the story of a dutiful daughter-turned-gangster. Both gritty and sleek, the film is tough, engaging, and charming—and a preface for a star-to-be, the director and co-writer Hisonni Mustafa. Affable and talented, Mustafa has