Welcome to Open Spaces

Open Spaces is a forum for voices that speak with knowledge and understanding of matters currently affecting all of us.

“When artists, entrepreneurs, and agents of social change cluster, they look for forums where they can interact and be challenged and provoked. In Cascadia, Open Spaces plays this role. It is where thoughtful people publish essays that push readers to think outside their comfort zones.”

— Denis Hayes, coordinator of the first Earth Day
and current president of the Bullitt Foundation

Diarmuid F. O'Scannlain

No constitutional office of the United States is bestowed by the formal approval of fewer people than federal judge. How can it be that such government officials enjoy substantial power yet effectively answer neither to the people nor to Congress? Learn about Judicial Activism.

Public Policy
Richard Benner

In 1973, at the urging of then-Governor McCall and state Senator Macpherson, both Republicans, the Oregon Legislature enacted the bi-partisan Senate Bill 100, establishing the nation’s first statewide land use planning program. But soon after the state began to implement the new program, bi-partisan support dissolved. The program became partisan and remains in peril.

Learn about the history of Oregon’s revolutionary land use planning policy and insights for the future from Richard Benner, one of the policy’s architects.

Book Review
Elizabeth Cosgriff

An insightful, passionate and entertaining examination of how voters make political decisions, and of what any party or politician needs to do to win their allegiance.

Kim Stafford

Photo of two ducks swimming by Ben Pattinson-Unsplash

A moment of refuge in our environmental legacy as observed by Oregon’s ninth Poet Laureate.

Enjoy the poem

Evelyn Bright

Are we who live in today’s America too divided to ever again peacefully occupy the same space, much less come together to find real solutions?

“Out of many, one.”

Marine World
Robert Bailey and Peter Hatch

Why are sea otters missing from the Oregon Coast? Learn about the history of otters in Oregon, how we got to this point, and about the Elakha Alliance’s restoration efforts to reestablish the ecological and cultural balance for future generations.

Artist Showcase
Photos by Harry Kingston

Top: Quiet Contemplation
A serene landscape at the National Shrine of St. Therese, north of Juneau, Alaska.

Left: Guardian of Peace

To see more of Harry’s work, visit his photography showcase.

International Climate Change

For updates, visit the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) website, where one can find Summaries for Policy Makers from recent and upcoming Synthesis Reports.

Photo: Visible Earth, NASA