Welcome to Open Spaces

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


While it’s important to stay up-to-date on the pandemic news, it’s also mentally important to take a step back and breathe now and then. We have updated our page of interesting and amusing diversions for all ages, including summer reading, sprucing up your home office, and a beat-boxing Buddhist monk. Take me away…

by Kristie L. Ebi, Ph.D., MPH ; Jeremy J. Hess, MD, MPH ; Renee N. Salas, MD, MPH, MS

Historically, when Americans hear “climate change,” we imagine a polar bear struggling on ever-shrinking ice. But our perceptions are beginning to shift.

Reports keep coming in focused on climate change and health. The reports all present the same key messages: climate change is here, it is bad for your health, immediate actions can reduce future risks, and climate action has immediate and substantial health benefits.

by Senator Ron Wyden

As Senator Wyden said at over 900 town halls, “principled bipartisanship” is about taking each other’s good ideas from either party or non-affiliated voters, working to find common ground, and developing long-lasting solutions.

Here are three of Senator Wyden’s proposals to help all Americans.

Civic Duty

Click here for voter information.
Mail-in/absentee ballots due earlier!

It's All Good
from the Editors

Read our fall newsletter for our thoughts on continuing life in a pandemic, being kind to one another, and looking ahead.

One of our favorite parts about publishing Open Spaces is hearing from our readers. Here we share some of your comments and anecdotes.

by Kim Stafford

Our present times suggest a need for a broader view—both inward and outward. To this end, we offer a blessing by Oregon’s ninth Poet Laureate, Kim Stafford.

Enjoy the poem

detail of Butterfly photo
Artist Showcase
by Marv Harrison and Harry Kingston

Mt. Hood photo: Marv Harrison

Butterfly photo: Spring Visitor, by Harry Kingston. Visit Harry’s photography showcase to see more of his work.

“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