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Think Out Loud

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB)

OPB's daily conversation covering news, politics, culture and the arts.

OPB's daily conversation covering news, politics, culture and the arts.


Portland, OR


OPB's daily conversation covering news, politics, culture and the arts.






2nd Congressional District Candidate: Jimmy Crumpacker

After 20 years representing Oregon's 2nd Congressional district, Greg Walden is retiring. Walden is currently the only Republican in Oregon's congressional delegation, and members of his party are lining up to replace him. We'll hear from the four most prominent candidates running for Walden's seat in the Republican primary. First up is Jimmy Crumpacker, a former Wall Street commodities trader. He describes himself as a “businessman, not a politician.” This is his first time running for...


Remembering Oregon Philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer

Arlene Schnitzer died Saturday after a long illness. She was 91 years old. Schnitzer transformed the Northwest art scene in the 1960s and 1970s and championed the work of local artists. She and her husband, the late Harold Schnitzer, were among Oregon’s most generous philanthropists. They donated more than $80 million to various causes and organizations, including OPB. Her son, Jordan Schnitzer, joins us to remember her.


Oregon Health Authority Update

We talk with Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen to get the latest on how Oregon is doing in our effort to flatten the curve, why we haven’t seen widespread COVID-19 testing in the state, and more.


News Roundtable

We get opinions and analysis on some of the biggest news of the week with Julie Parish, Eric Ward, and Ryan Haas


Introducing The 'Think Out Loud' Quarantine Book Club

One tried and true way to pass the time when you’re alone indoors is to read a book. We thought perhaps we could try an experiment with our listeners that would allow us to spend time alone … together. We’d like to try to host a sort of on-air book club. We’ve chosen a book by a Pacific Northwest author that seems to have some resonance with the particular moment we’re living through right now. And we hope you all will read it with us, and then call in to talk about the book with us in a few...


Indigenous People Reimagine The Oregon Trail Game

The Oregon Trail game was created in 1971 to help students learn American history. The game has been played by kids all over the United States. Now it's been reimagined in a project led by more than 30 indigenous people. We talk with Nichlas Emmons, the co-creative director of the game, and Kris Knigge, a contributing writer.


Portland Writer On How She's Coping With COVID-19 Anxiety

Portland writer Sallie Tisdale says finding ways to help others has kept her anxiety about COVID-19 at bay. We hear from Tisdale, author of “Advice for Future Corpses (and Those Who Love Them)” and part-time registered nurse about how she’s coping with the pandemic and social distancing.


Renters And Landlords Face Hard Decisions

With the start of a new month, many people are concerned about paying rent. Eviction courts are closed and a statewide eviction moratorium is in place. There are some additional protections at the local level, but these are limited. Mostly, these regulations allow tenants to defer rent payments if they can prove that the reason they can’t pay is related to the COVID-19 crisis. And landlords are still legally required to do maintenance and repairs, even if their income is reduced due to...


Local Bookstore Owners Share Their Recommendations

Bookstores are closed due to the coronavirus, like all other businesses that are “nonessential.” But many bookstore owners are still at work, and have plenty of suggestions for essential reading during this unique time. They’re providing books online and via curbside pickup. We get some reading recommendations from Stephanie Csaszar of Books Around the Corner in Gresham, and Katie Pryde of Books with Pictures in Portland.


Understanding How Viruses Jump From Animals To Humans

Experts believe COVID-19 is a zoonotic disease that originated in animals before it was transmitted to humans. Bats are believed to have been the source of COVID-19, as well as some other deadly zoonotic disease outbreaks like MERS-CoV and SARS. We hear from Oregon State University professor and veterinarian Christiane Löhr about how infectious diseases can jump from animals to humans.


Teaching Machines To Be As Smart As Human Toddlers

Artificial intelligence can be kind of dumb when it comes to common sense things we usually take for granted as humans. That's according to Alan Fern, the associate head of research at the Oregon State University School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He is working on a project to help machines learn the same way human babies do, in the hopes of making them more intuitive about the world around them.


Oregon Schools Scrambling To Arrange “Distance Learning”

With Oregon schools closed at least until April 28, schools are trying to figure out how to comply with the “Distance Learning For All” strategy just released by the Oregon Department of Education. Districts had been charged with providing supplemental educational material. Now, they are faced with a more complicated task, where equity and access is an even greater challenge. We are joined by Jennifer Patterson with the Oregon Department of Education, Bandon School Superintendent Doug...


What We Can Learn From The 1918 Influenza Pandemic

About 100 years ago, another pandemic was sweeping across the United States: the influenza pandemic of 1918. It was one of the deadliest events in history: it infected as many as one in every four people on the planet. Christopher McKnight Nichols, director of the Oregon State University Center for the Humanities, recently wrote a column in the Washington Post about the 1918 pandemic. He tells us what we can learn from 1918 pandemic to handle the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.


Tawasi Soce

Tawasi Soce is a gig driver - of people and packages - for various companies. He sent OPB recordings of what his days are like during the pandemic.


Oregon Child Welfare Agency Responds To Foster Families In Crisis

Oregon’s child welfare system was facing any number of challenges before the coronavirus pandemic hit. With Gov. Kate Brown’s stay at home order in effect, schools are closed and caseworker home visits are shut down. Many of the state’s foster parents — and foster children — find themselves in need of more help than ever. In response to the pandemic, the Department of Human Services has launched the My Neighbor program, run by its partner, Every Child. The program aims to provide immediate...


Ghost Town Artist Paints in Quarantine

As the only resident of remote Andrews, Oregon for the past 10 years, painter John Simpkins is used to the solitary quarantine lifestyle. We from Simpkins about dealing with a global pandemic in a ghost town.


St. Charles Hospital System Prepares

The St. Charles Hospital System, based in Bend, is the only acute care facility for a huge stretch of rural Oregon. Officials at the hospital have been preparing for an influx of coronavirus patients by canceling elective surgeries and freeing up available staff. We talk to Joe Sluka, president and CEO of St. Charles Health system, and Dr. Jeff Absalon, Chief Physician Executive.


Salem Homeless Face Even More Challenges During Pandemic

People who are homeless are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 because many are sick or elderly. They're also less likely to be able to take preventative measures like frequent handwashing and social distancing. In Salem, the first homeless person tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Jimmy Jones, Executive Director of the Mid-Willamette Valley Community Action Agency, joins us to talk about how homeless service providers are trying to help and the challenges they face.


Portland City Commissioner Candidate Debate: Position 1

Last year, three-term Portland city council member Amanda Fritz announced that she wouldn’t be running for re-election. Carmen Rubio, Executive Director of the Latino Network, Portland State student advisor Candace Avalos, and carpenter Timothy DuBois are all running to fill the seat.


How COVID-19 Impacts Supply Chains

As consumers clean store shelves of essentials like toilet paper, experts insist the grocery supply chain remains strong. Scott DuHadway, the Cameron Professor of Supply Chain Management at Portland State University, thinks COVID-19 will have long term impacts on how companies prepare for and respond to disasters. We hear from DuHadway about how different industries are handling unprecedented disruptions on both sides of the supply chain.