The brain behind the bill

By Mark Baker | Awards, Oregon Life | |

PORTLAND — Adorned in a black leather jacket and black fedora with a “Visualize World Peace” button stuck in it, he walks the streets and rides the buses of the Hawthorne District like a modern-day Rocky Balboa. He says “Hey” and “What’s up?” and “Have a great day” to perfect strangers, popping in and out of storefronts and the coffee shops where he enjoys his caramel macchiato lattes.


First place award for best feature story in the 2010 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”

Styrofoam to Styrobots

By Mark Baker | Awards, Oregon Life | |

Walking through a darkened corridor of Lawrence Hall on the University of Oregon campus, something against the wall catches the eyes of the self-described “obsessive observer.” Something small and dusty and – like a lot of things Michael Salter finds – just another of society’s discarded items: A severed wheel from a chair or desk or something that might just end up in his art someday.


First place award for best personality feature story in the 2009 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”

Remembering Susi

By Mark Baker | Awards, Oregon Life | |

Three packs of Breathmints – one peppermint, one spearmint, one wintergreen. A miniature pair of “Hollyweird” glasses. A miniature basketball the size of a golf ball. Some chocolate candies the size of half dollars, wrapped in gold foil. Some Hershey’s chocolate kisses. Some cough drops; a small, plastic racing car that says “Beamer” on the top; some toothpicks carefully bundled together with purple yarn; some tiny plastic barbells; a tiny Mickey Mouse hat that could actually fit on a mouse; and a bottle of juice. Orange juice. Small enough to slide into your eardrum.


First place award for best feature story in the 2007 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”