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.

Pushing for $15 an Hour is the Most Dominant Legislative Discussion As the state legislature began to gather for its session, Governor Kate Brown announced a six-year plan to steadily raise minimum wage in Oregon—and, in doing so, struck the dominant chord for upcoming conversations about law-making in the state.

The name of the study is foreboding: “Sentenced to Debt: The Hidden Costs of Unaffordable Education.” But, released earlier this month, the report perhaps doesn’t bang the alarm bells loudly enough. Compiled by Oregon Action and Alliance for a Just Society of Southern Oregon and Rogue Community College, the report

In early January—a few days before President Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union address—City of Ashland Mayor John Stromberg gave his State of the City address. “Nationally, 2015 was a tipping point year,” he began, “by which I mean that on multiple issues a significant number of people

The difference between a supper club and a steakhouse may seem like semantics; after all, most supper clubs serve a choice of juicy steaks and most steakhouse have the egalitarian elegance of a supper club. But there is an important difference. Supper clubs are a distinctly American invention that boomed

Ever since a motley crew of anti-federal government militia settled into the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, there has been a certain amount of chiding about the so-called Oath Keepers, most cleverly done (in our opinion) by Portland-based Colin Meloy, the lead singer for the Decembrists, who posted six hours of

It isn’t quite brewery row, but it is a pretty impressive start. With Climate City rejuvenating a turn-of-the-century brewery at the top of G Street, and The Haul a few blocks south on H Street, Griess Family Brew sits mid-point. It is, like its name states, a family affair. Mom

A year ago, Caitlin Jenner was still Bruce, and Donald Trump was a reality TV show shtick, not a possible reality for America—and both of those individual changes mark significant changes over the past year. Gender politics have evolved quickly over the past two years with same-sex marriage receiving its

One reviewer explains that Sheila Hamilton approached the sensitive topic of her husband’s suicide with “a reporter’s eye and lover’s heart.” In All The Things We Never Knew, Hamilton, a well-known radio personality in Portland, re-examines her life with her husband. A decade ago, he was diagnosis with bipolar disorder.

Opposition Brewery is not easy to find, pushed inconspicuously in an office park in Medford. But inside, the space is welcoming and the three patrons there immediately beamed when I entered. We had chosen Opposition Brewing for The Messenger’s holiday party, partly because we did not know much about them,

I attended college in a small town in Vermont. It was a tight enough knit community that the cashier at my bank also moonlighted as a waitress, and knew me—and my account—well enough that she once advised me to order a less expensive dinner because she knew I should budget