Articles


As a daily news reporter, I produce hundreds of stories every year. The selection below represents my best and favorite work across several beats and story types.

STORIES FROM THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

To see my AP work, visit my blog

Here are my top three best stories:

Indians seek decent housing by their beloved river Flooded Villages

In nation’s breadbasket, Latinos stuck in poverty Cycle of Poverty

Latino-indigenous Mexican divide stirs Calif. town Divided Town

 

STORIES FROM THE OREGONIAN’S LATINO AFFAIRS/IMMIGRATION BEAT

Note: Some stories from The Oregonian bear another person’s name at the top… that’s the editor who posted the story, not the author. All stories below are my own.

Latino/Immigration beat ……………….. Slavic/Russian beat ………………… Narratives, etc.
Growth/Cities beat………………..Personal Essays………………..Other ……………….. Eastern Europe

Traditional curanderos a lifeline for the Latino version of health care providers
(With health care reform dominating the front page, I wanted to write about how Latinos fit into that debate. The statistics were telling: Latinos are uninsured at three times the rate of non-Latino whites. How, I wondered, were sick Latinos getting by? Then I started hearing stories of curanderos…)
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Often shunned by family, Oregon’s gay Latinos fight for respect
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Refugees and immigrants today, citizens and leaders tomorrow
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African refugees find common ground with enemies through dialogue
(This story took many interviews to get people comfortable with me and allow them to talk about some of their traumatic life experiences.)
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Workers, growers share view of farm labor’s plight (series on agriculture)
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Stable farm labor seems elusive in global economy (series on agriculture)
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Oregon Latinos seek power in numbers
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His boyhood spent in a slave labor camp, Kilong Ung survives, excels and now wishes to heal
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Celebration is a tribute to the gods, and a restoration of indigenous villages in Mexico
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Portland’s Chinese community finds a new pride to replace old perceptions
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Slain Beaverton teen was never in a gang, police and family say
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Healing in their own way; Refugees turn to tradition to treat emotional wounds
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Helping Latinos prosper in their business
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Little-known visas free immigrants from abuse
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A tide of anger on immigration
(This was a special project that ran in the Sunday Opinion section. Vexed by the hundreds of angry and yes, racist, emails regularly filling up my mailbox and answering machine, I decided to go to the source to get behind the anger and understand where some people stand on immigration.)
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Chavez would take high road on Portland street renaming
(A controversial street renaming — and a fear of Oregon’s rising Latino population, perhaps — sent me to the Central Valley to track the story of Cesar Chavez.)
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Hispanic surge is reshaping Oregon
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Doctors from afar meeting rural Oregon’s needs
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Mexican farm expert lobbies for NAFTA change
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Illegal immigration status, in-state tuition for Oregon colleges?
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Oregon groups unite on immigration reform
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Ronault “Polo” Catalani provides a ‘bigger voice’ for immigrants
(The profile of a key immigrant community leader in Oregon.)
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Latinos march in St. Helens to unite with community
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Oregon’s immigration debate: More subtle, but no less heated (part I)
(a special project on the history of immigration in Oregon)
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Meet the newest wave of Latinos (part II)
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and here’s the graphic I put together for the series above:
History of immigration in Oregon, Graphic

Immigrants aren’t leaving, despite harder times in U.S. (part I)
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Oregon Latinos hit hard by recession (part II)
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P’urhepecha Indians in Portland hold fast to their identity
(One of my favorite stories. Goes beyond the stereotypes of Latinos.)
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Voters target illegal hiring
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Documentary gives voices to undocumented youth
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Spanish language DMV tests plummet
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Home again, this time legally
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Parsing English immersion
(A look at the history of English immersion and English first initiatives.)
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Trapped in America’s borders
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Two countries, two people, one play
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Illegal workers turn to ID theft
(the fallout from immigration raids)
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How it works; the price
(the fallout from immigration raids)
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Work complaints hang over plant
(the fallout from immigration raids)
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Too many players vie for too few soccer fields
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Club points toward trust
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Immigrants empowered to be citizens
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More Latinos call Oregon home
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El Dia de los Muertos
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An echo of Mexico in Woodburn
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STORIES FROM THE OREGONIAN COVERING SLAVIC/RUSSIAN-SPEAKING COMMUNITY

From Russia with persistence: Opera star now trains Oregon’s youth
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Slavic parents loose control of their Americanizing kids (special project, part I)
(This series won the 2009 C.B. Blethen Memorial Awards for distinguished newspaper reporting)
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Helping Slavic youths find the right track (special project, part II)
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Hit hard by housing collapse
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Civic affairs matter, unlike under Soviets
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Monday Profile: Andre Temkin
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Issue brings out new political voice
(This story was a quick turnaround… when I heard about Oregon’s usually isolated Russian speaking community marching at Salem’s capitol, I knew I was onto something.)
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Invisible immigrants
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Immigrant’s journey
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Rooted in real estate
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Pastor builds a bridge from Romania
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Returning to medicine
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OTHER INVESTIGATIVE-TYPE STORIES

Coach faces deportation
(I found this story after observing the Dallas immigration court for days. The revelations rocked the Dallas scene: this coach was a Texas soccer pioneer and mentor to scores of youth. Less known was his dark past…)
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The graying of abuse
(This one came from a daily on The Oregonian’s cops/courts beat. A court date for an 80-some sex offender sparked my interest…)
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Inmate Center, bidder draw fire
(An investigation for The Hartford Courant into the proposal to build a 500-bed community justice center in Hartford, Conn.)
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Credit Scores – What you should know about your own
(Part of Secret History of the Credit Card, an investigation by FRONTLINE and The New York Times into the credit card industry. The program won the 2004-2005 Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.)
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NARRATIVE-TYPE PIECES, ETC.

A racetrack filled with memories
(I spent two afternoons with the couple in this story. It’s a short piece, but there’s something about it…)
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Foster daughter fights for her self
(For several months, I followed a young woman in foster care, as she struggled to define a relationship with her biological mother.)
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Looking forward, holding back
(This project spanned several months. I followed a homeless mother and her two daughters in Dallas, TX as they struggled to get their life back together and get off the streets. This story won the 2006 Family Gateway Transforming Families award.)
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Fencing for life
(One of my favorite profiles! What a character!)
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After Katrina, teens cope
(A shorter piece looking at how teenagers cope with disasters, in particular in the wake of Katrina.)
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The Tiller Hotel
(This is not a narrative, but I love the sense of place captured in this piece.)
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GROWTH/CITIES BEAT

Battle of Sandy Bluff
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Brawling saloon keepers…
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Billboards pit beauty vs business
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City grew, not according to plan
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Struggling to keep small town feel
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City has big job to do
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Blanketed in records bid
(As massive records requests stunned cities big and small in several states, including Oregon, I followed the people and the money behind these unusual public records requests.)
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City manager’s experience speaks volumes
(A fun profile of a city manager, a profession most think of as pretty boring.)
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PERSONAL ESSAYS

New to Oregon: The chase of a fresh start rewards a refugee with a richer life
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and the graphic that I put together for the story above
link to PDF, Oregon population graphic

Reassuring roots in an immigrant’s garden
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A mysterious benefactor molds my life
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With death comes the immigrant’s guilt
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Why I was chosen to be an American
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STORIES FROM EASTERN EUROPE

Who noticed? Belarus needs the ‘evil’ tag.
(I’ve reported from Belarus on several occasions, including covering this country’s elections for The San Francisco Chronicle. Here is a creative piece on the situation in Belarus, a country where little reporting goes beyond state-pushed propaganda. This story was edited by New York-based editor Tom Engelhardt and published in The San Francisco Chronicle’s Insight section.)
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Separate Lives
(A journey to the borderlands in the aftermath of Poland’s entry into the European Union. The story was reported for Transitions Online, an online magazine about post-communist Europe and Central Asia.)
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A STORY FROM INDIA
Grób Jezusa w cieniu wojny, Gazeta Wyborcza
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