Individuals and groups

Individuals and groups whose story doesn't fit into any other category.

White Cloud hits on new publishing model

Steve Scholl has returned to the press he founded

After almost two decades in the business, White Cloud Press of Ashland has taken its visionary founder Steve Scholl back into the fold and is focused on a new publishing model — partnering with authors to share production costs and help sell their books.

It's a model White Cloud hopes can compete with publish-on-demand, which is "all the rage" but short on distribution, says Scholl.

Under its new Confluence Press brand, White Cloud collaborates with authors and shares the risks with them. The more authors invest in design, printing, production and other costs, the bigger percentage they earn — a big plus if the book gets legs.

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Fred Ziari quietly becoming a heavy hitter among Oregon's business leaders

PENDLETON -- Fred Ziari interrupted a visit to a government official in the Persian Gulf emirate of Qatar last spring to use his iPhone to turn down the thermostat in his Hermiston office.

Sheik Hamad bin Ali-Thani was speechless. The sheik, a technology buff, is vice chairman of the emirate's food security program.

"He loved it, he just loved it," said a laughing Ziari, whose Oregon company, Onsmart LLC, developed the software that allowed him to access the thermostat.

{josquote}He spent four months during 2004 talking to farmers and ranchers and organizing a nonprofit called Farmers Ending Hunger.{/josquote}

Onsmart plans to begin marketing that technology next year. With it, consumers will be able to go online with smart phones and laptops and remotely control most of their home's electrical consumption.

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Houses of worship: Many find faith at home

A trend away from churches, sermons and large crowds may be taking hold

DALLAS — To get to church on a recent Sunday morning, the Yeldell family walked no farther than their own living room to greet fellow worshippers.

The members of this “house church” are part of what experts say is a fundamental shift in the way U.S. Christians think about church. Skip the sermons, costly church buildings and large, faceless crowds, they say. House church is about relationships forged in small faith communities.

{josquote}Anything more than about 15 people and the small group loses its ability to interact with each person{/josquote}

In general, house churches consist of 12 to 15 people who share what’s going on in their lives, often turning to Scriptures for guidance. They rely on the Holy Spirit or spontaneity to lead the direction of their weekly gatherings.

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The Dread Jensens

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Back around the close of the 1970s, my friend next door showed me a newspaper article that seemed to be about my father. It was about a Bahá’í chiropractor—a Dr. Jensen—who was making prophecies about a coming calamity. My father, Dr. John Jensen, is a Bahá’í chiropractor with a Bahá’í fondness for doomsday visions. Fortunately—or unfortunately, as the case may be—the Dr. Jensen featured in the article was out in Montana, a long way from my home in central California. It was some other Bahá’í chiropractor named Jensen.

This was quite a coincidence, of course. It’s not like there are many Scandinavian Bahá’ís like there are hordes of Scandinavian Mormons.

Actually, my father’s dad was one of those Scandinavian Mormons, but that’s another story.

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About this blog

{josquote}...I continue a sometimes sweet, sometimes tense dialogue with the Baha’i Faith, of which I was a member for 12 years.{/josquote}

Henry David Thoreau said “heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads,” meaning not only that the literal heavens—space and stars and galaxies—surround us, but also that if we’re to find any heaven it will be here, wherever we are.  My “here” is hard, and for long stretches it has been difficult in the extreme.  The title of this blog is a play on Thoreau’s words.  It refers to finding the good life in a hard place.   Of all the pain that I’ve had, which is a lot, the pain in my feet and lower legs has been some of the worst—flesh-ripping and mind-numbing.  I use my foot as a symbol in the title for the pain and difficulty of my illness.  The joy and the loss of my life cannot be understood separately because they aren’t lived separately; hence, “Heaven in My Foot.”

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