The Blended Burger Project


The Mushroom Council has partnered with The James Beard Foundation to start a movement to make burgers more nutritious and sustainable by blending mushrooms with the meat creating a more delicious and unique burger experience. They have created the Blended Burger Project, a nationwide competition calling for local chefs to compete to ‘Make Shroom for Improvement in Your Favorite Burgers.’ To participate, chefs and restaurateurs around the U.S. are creating their own unique spin on the blended burger and featuring it on their menus throughout the summer.

Consumers will be able to vote for their favorite burgers on the James Beard Website, and the top five chefs will win a trip to the historic James Beard House in New York City, where they will cook their blended burgers at the welcome reception for the annual James Beard Foundation Food Conference taking place October 17th and 18th, 2016.

Beginning Memorial Day (May 30) and continuing through July 31st, hundreds of restaurants will develop and serve their versions of a blended burger, featuring at least 25 percent fresh mushrooms mixed into the burger patty. Any Eugene based restaurant who would like to participate just needs to select the link below to sign up, and then hit the kitchen to create their own unique blended burger and feature that burger on their summer menu for consumers to vote for them.

To participate:http://www.jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject/register

Here is the recipe for the classic blended burger:


Photo Credit: John Valls Photography

Blended Burger Project™ Features Chefs Nationwide Competing to Make ‘Shroom for Improvement in Your Favorite Burgers

 Second annual James Beard Foundation contest encourages chefs to blend mushrooms with meat for more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burgers – customers vote for favorite burgers

New York, NY (May 17, 2016) –This summer, chefs nationwide will reimagine the iconic burger when they take part in James Beard Foundation’s second annual (JBF) Blended Burger Project™, which challenges chefs to blend finely chopped mushrooms with meat to create a more delicious, nutritious and sustainable burger.

Diners across America can cast a vote for their favorite blended burger by visiting jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject. The five chefs with the most votes will win an opportunity to prepare their blended burger at the historic James Beard House as part of the official welcome reception for the Foundation’s annual Food Conference (October 16-18).

To participate in the Blended Burger Project, diners can:

  • Visit participating restaurants and order the featured blended burger from May 30-July 31
  • Votefor their favorite burger based on a set of judging criteria at jamesbeard.org/blendedburgerproject
  • Sharepics of their favorite blended burgers on social media using hashtag: #BlendedBurgerProject

Around the World in 90 Days


What do you plan to do over the next 3 months?   One man set out on one of the most epic adventures around the world including four of the wonders of the world, and four of the largest festivals on earth. The trip stretched from The Amazon to Mount Everest, with countless destinations in between: all in 90 days.

Chase Boehringer woke up one morning and decided he was tired of working every day at the same job, and feeling like he was living an average mediocre life. He set out to make a change in his life, and began mapping out his once in a life time trip around the world.


Trip itinerary beginning February 5th:

  • New Orleans- Mardi Gras
  • San Andres Island, Colombia
  • Medellin, Colombia
  • Bogota, Colombia
  • Lima, Peru
  • Cusco, Peru
  • Aguas Calientes, Peru – Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu
  • Iquitos, Peru- Amazon Jungle with a shaman on a spiritual journey
  • Rome, Italy- The Colosseum
  • Munich, Germany- Beerfest
  • Paris, France- Eiffel Tower
  • Dublin, Ireland- St. Patricks Day!
  • Iceland- drove across the entire country and saw the Northern Lights and Blue lagoon
  • New Delhi, India- The Holi Festival
  • Agra, India- The Taj Mahal
  • Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Lukla, Nepal- Trekked to Mt. Everest Base Camp with a sherpa and summited Kala
  • Patther which is 1,000 ft higher than EBC.
  • Bangkok, Thailand- Thai New Years and The three day Songkran Water Festival!
  • Koh Samui, Thailand
  • Koh Phangan, Thailand-The Full Moon Party!
  • Koh Tao, Thailand- Scuba Diving certificate
  • Hong Kong, The Great Wall of China in Beijing

Return home on May 5th.

“I went on this adventure because I had worked my entire life in jobs that I was unhappy with. I was done with it. I worked incredibly hard to save up enough money and studied travel hacking to learn how to get free flights and hotels before the trip,” said Boehringer.

“ I had been thinking about doing this trip for a long time but it wasn’t until I sat down and figured out what changes in my work and my life are necessary to make it actually happen. That feeling that there’s something more to life was eating at me and I just couldn’t put it off any longer.”


Among all of the destinations on Boehringer’s list, he said he found Iceland to be the most beautiful, and Thailand to be his favorite. Thailand is a long country with each region being vastly different. He found that each area had its own unique energy and feel, and surprisingly everything was fairly inexpensive.

“I have travel A.D.D. and I usually get a little wanderlust after 5 days to a week in a city. I love to keep moving and exploring. Some people love to spend months in each city but I just can’t do that,” said Boehringer.

“I love to see, taste and experience as much as I can in a short amount of time and then keep moving. It takes a lot of energy, but it’s the best way to travel in my opinion. Some countries you could spend months in and still feel like you haven’t seen enough, like India or Thailand.”

Boehringer took only about 3 weeks to plan this trip, he created a bucket list outlining the direction he would move in during his trip around the world. This list included 100 things that he wished to accomplish.


“I researched all of the biggest festivals in the world and when they would be happening and outlined in a way where I can hit as many as possible on those specific dates as I move around the world. I also decided to do as epic of things I could possibly do In each to country,” said Boehringer.

This incredible journey is definitely one for the record books, not only in the amount of places he traveled but also in the short amount of time he accomplished that traveling in.

**He created a compilation of his trip you might enjoy!

The Honest Art Of Selling Out


Dancers use movement and body language to express and portray emotions or characters. Work Dance Company is a highly motivated Hip Hop, and Jazz/Funk Dance Company based in Eugene. Choreographer Nate Boozer founded this dynamic group back in 2008. Work Dance Company has sold out shows in both Eugene, and Portland. They have been the recipient of the Best in Eugene award two years running, for their over the top productions in Wonderland and Animal instinct.

Work Dance Company has 22 multi-talented dancers using everything from old school to new school urban hip hop, and jazz/funk techniques. They are unique in that they also add theatrics to their shows and routines. Work has performed in venues all over, and is making a name for itself with their fresh style, and high energy performances on the stage.


“The dance company has hosted 8 SELL OUT shows at the Hult Center in Eugene, OR, and 3 SELL OUT shows in Portland, OR. We also hosts a monthly Hip Hop ‘HyPE’ night up in Portland, OR, every first Thursday of the month at CC Slaughter’s Nightclub,” said Boozer. “The Hype night is fully equipped with Go Go dancers and three fresh performances by Work Dance Co. throughout the night. The event has become the best hip hop night of the month for the Portland night life.”

Saturday, April 30th, Work hosted Neon Jungle at the Hult Center here in Eugene. Using everything from; video visual effects, lighting, props, and dozens of costume changes. Over 100 dancers shared the stage with special guest groups joining Work on the stage.

Show description; ‘Scratch up these walls bleeding pink mix me up something sweet to drink. Lit up towns with people on display, the urge is in me I’m ready to play. Switch my hips, and tap my feet, I am ready to dance to the sound of this beat. The vibe is right and the mood is set, come with me on the dance floor, this party isn’t over yet.’


“Neon Jungle was a great success! We Sold out 4 days before the show and had a huge waiting list of people trying to get any tickets that might be released. This was a great thing to have happen. This was our 9th sell out show and the audience and I agree it was our best yet. The vibe was just so wonderful on stage with all the guest groups and Work Dance company dancers,” said Boozer. “I have to say there is something magical performing for a larger venue and having it be sold out. The energy that filled the venue was MAGICAL and left us feeling so pumped and thankful for the amazing community response. We decided to donate part of our proceeds to HIV alliance and another portion to Local Dance scholarships!  I am a firm believer in if the community is going to help you out and show support we should give back to them!”

Work vows to bring a true and honest dance production to their audience. This group of talented dancers love what they do, and continue to push the limit and themselves to bring their community, and your community they best performance each and every time they perform.

Barbie Day at The Arc


The Arc Lane County has spent decades advocating for, and expanding the opportunities for people who experience intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. They offer a variety of programs and services to support this community.  It was not that long ago those individuals with such obstacles were put into institutions, segregated, and unfortunately discriminated against. With this program they are able to not only build their own lives, but also thrive within the community as individuals.

“We work day and night to change that perception, and while we believe we are a significant contributing factor of this change, our work is not done,” said Christie Wells, Employee of The Arc Lane County. “We want everyone to be given access to the same opportunities, regardless to barriers, and offer many different systems of support to help these individuals thrive.”


Wells; started working with The Arc Lane County in October, 2015, and is the Business Development Manager for the program. Her primary role is fundraising and marketing to help get more focus and support from the local community.

“I hope to bring a fresh perspective to the organization and really focus on getting our name out there – yes, we still pickup your donations (used goods), but we offer so much more than that,” said Wells. “We offer opportunities that at one time were never even considered.  We believe everyone has the right to thrive- whether it’s independence, social-acceptance, employment or any success.  We ALL have talent, and we all have barriers that can hinder us from achieving our goals.  They are just different barriers for everyone, and that shouldn’t prohibit anyone from getting what they want in life.”

The Arc Lane County is a strong advocate within Lane County. There are several ways The Arc advocates for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families:

  • Jumpstart!  Kids program:  they offer this after school, and on  Saturdays along with summer-respite program for kids with I/DD where they teach life and social skills and prepare them for adulthood through recreational opportunities.
  • Families Connected:  This program offers weekly and monthly meetup groups for parents and kids with I/DD to come together and enjoy fun events (such as weekly, Get Air playdates), workshops and guest speakers.  This program helps parents come together and learn from one-another, and connect.
  • Stepping Out:  This program offers daily inclusion and recreation opportunities within Lane County, such as shopping, swimming, and dining.
  • Employment Services:  For adults that want to work, they help them to develop and enhance their skills to ready them for employment.

In addition to their programs, The Arc also hosts events to help raise awareness and benefit the programs. This past weekend with the help of Mattel and Royal Caribbean they, hosted a Barbie Day at The Arc for the kids within the program and community.

“Family Barbie Day came about when we were gifted these deluxe Barbie packages. I cannot say enough great things we have been gifted from Royal Caribbean.  We first joined partnership last year over the holidays, where they participated in our annual; Tree of Joy program,” said Wells.


The event took place at The Arc, where staff and volunteers worked together to make the day special, complete with hand-made desserts, jewelry making, and a photo booth in a life-size Barbie box. Nail painting, and a hair station were also offered to help each attendee complete their best, “Barbie Look.” Each guest got to take home a bag full of Barbie merchandise, a Barbie, and four outfits, all received as a donation.

The Arc Lane County is a nonprofit organization, and all program decisions are made locally to benefit the community.  All the events are made possible through generous donations, and the staff. In addition to the employees at The Arc they have countless volunteers who assist at each event, and help to make these programs for the organization possible.


*** Visit www.arclane.org for more information or upcoming events



The Defiant Divas


A diva is best described as a person who exudes great style and personality with confidence, and does not let others influence who they are or want to be; a Diva is a person whose character makes them stand out above the rest.

Michelle Lyons, owner of the Defiant Diva Boutique, in Springfield, opened the resale women’s clothing boutique almost three years ago. The store carries all sizes ranging from x-small to 6x, in all styles of fashion. Lyons chose to extend her Diva brand into doing something good for women and the community. She saw the ability to do fashion shows with her clothing and photo shoots as an opportunity to not only help boost confidence in women, but take it one step further to benefit local charities.

Diva 2

“When I had my first fashion show it was to promote my store, but what I saw in the women while they were walking it gave them confidence,” said Lyons. “I loved it. I love helping women feel good about themselves no matter what size they are, and that is what started the Divas.”

There are a total of 25 Divas who work with Lyons to help with local charities, and participate in the fashion shows to help empower other woman in the community. This past weekend the Diva’s put on a fashion show at the Hilton Garden Inn, in Eugene. This was their fifth show the Divas have put on, and all proceeds went to benefit First Place Family Center.

First Place Family Center is a refuge and place of support for children and their families who are low income, at risk of losing their housing or are already in transition between homes due to job loss, health issues and other critical problems.

diva 1

The event showcased clothing for the Defiant Diva Boutique, ChaCha’s Boutique, and music from DJ FastLayne of Bodacious Beats Inc. It also featured photos from the Diva photo studios with photos by B. Marie Photography.

“We have a great group of ladies. All willing to help and want to make a difference,” said Lyons.

Lyons hope is that the Diva group will grow and flourish separately from the boutique and continue to do good for all women. One of the 25 Divas, Crystal Lee, is especially passionate about the work the organization does for the community, and being able to empower other woman by doing these fashion shows, and photo shoots.

diva 3

“I have so much fun! We are all unique and special. When I do a show, I feel strong and confident! Normally I’m out of my comfort zone being in front of a large group of strangers, but when I’m with my Divas I feel like we are all in it together,” said Lee. “I’ve met so many wonderful ladies and made some really great friends. It’s such a relaxed atmosphere and we can just be ourselves without judgment. It’s hard to find that in such a large group of people sometimes. It’s amazing how much support the ladies give each other. It’s hard not to feel strong, beautiful, and confident.”

Lyons has been contacted by ladies in other cities and states who are currently making connections to create their own Divas. She is working with a group in Salem, and hopes to work with local charities there similar to the work she has done in Eugene.

The Diva brand is growing, and Lyons hopes that her work will help change the negative perception of what a Diva means.  Her hope is to redefine the meaning of the word Diva in our community, and it all starts with this incredible group of ladies.

***The next event up for the Divas will be April 22nd at Old Nicks Pub in Eugene; all proceeds go to benefit Girls Empowerment. You can like their Facebook Fan page for upcoming dates and details, or to show your support for these ladies.

Family of veteran killed by police still waits for medical examiner report

Sixty days ago Saturday, Eugene Police shot and killed veteran Brian Babb when he shouldered a high-powered rifle and pointed it towards officers.

Police later discovered the weapon was unloaded.

Babb’s family and his therapist at the VA, who initially called 911 that night, have been critical of the police response.

And on Friday, his family said they have yet to receive the medical examiner’s report and an unedited copy of the 911 call Babb’s therapist placed.

For more click to continue on to http://www.kval.com/news/local

The Frugal Wine Gal: J.Scott Sauv Blanc


People often ask me what my favorite wine is. I always say that I do not discriminate against any one grape or wine out there. I like white, pink, and red wines almost equally. Wine is all about the experience, and each bottle is an opportunity to have a wonderful time with family and friends. Although, I have to admit the first time I tried a Sauvignon Blanc I didn’t quite get it. It was crisp, too acidic, and dare I say tasted a bit like cat pee. All of that changed when I tried J.Scott Cellars 2013 Sauvignon Blanc. This wine blew any Sauvignon Blanc that I have tasted out of the water.


J.Scott Cellars is an urban winery located in West Eugene. It is nestled in right near the Noble Estate tasting room, and adjacent to the Viking Braggot Company. Jonathan Oberlander, head winemaker, produces varieties from all over Oregon. The reason why I love visiting their tasting room is the sheer amount of wine they make. They make everything from Pinot blanc to Petit syrah. He sources many grapes from Southern Oregon, and nearby in Junction City and Monroe. Being an urban winery can be a challenge because you have to find all the grapes you need from many different vineyards. J.Scott Cellars makes the best of it though and produces wines made from grapes sourced all over the state.

The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc in the glass – yum!

Sauvignon Blanc is a very interesting grape. Originally sourced in the Bordeaux region of France, it is a grape that has quite a long history. It also grows very well here in Oregon like many Bordeaux varieties. J.Scott’s 2013 version is the perfect example of the high quality grapes we are growing here. He sourced his grapes for this wine from vineyards all over the state. Southern Oregon, High Pass Vineyard in Eugene, and Silverton are all represented in this varietal.

The 2013 Sauvignon Blanc had initial scents of ripe citrus fruits and fresh cut grass. It reminded me of late Spring day. While I would describe this wine as dry, it was still very smooth and light bodied. It was very fruit forward with flavors of pineapple and pear popping out at me. It was just the right amount of tartness as well, extra crisp and refreshing. I usually drink Sauv Blanc with food but this time I went to it without accompaniment. It drank really well on it’s own, although pairing this with something light like local goat cheese, jam, and crackers would be delicious.

I picked up this wine straight from the source for only $18 at J.Scott Cellars. Their tasting room is open every Friday from 4 – 9 pm and Saturday from 1 – 9 pm. They also have an amazing 2013 Pinot Blanc that is in our frugal budget at $17. It won 90 points and editors choice from Wine Enthusiast Magazine. It is definitely worth stopping by for a taste. Cheers!

2014-10-07 10.30.03
J.Scott Cellars wines aging beautifully in oak and steel barrels

Synthetic drug, spice, suspected in Albany man’s death

A 32-year-old Albany man died unexpectedly Wednesday after exhibiting bizarre behavior that authorities believe might have been linked to use of a synthetic drug commonly known as spice.

Corvallis medics were called to Marys River Lumber in Philomath at 3:33 p.m. Thursday after a mill worker, Alan Eugene Garner, began running around, acting strangely.

His colleagues thought he might have been suffering from heatstroke or a medical condition, said Sgt. Randy Hiner of the Benton County Sheriff’s Office.

“He was trying to throw punches at people … who were trying to assist him, get him in the shade and give him water,” Hiner said, adding that it appeared Garner did not know what he was doing.

Deputies detained Garner so that medics could begin treating him and load him up for transport to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

“His condition just seemed to deteriorate as time went on,” Hiner said. “His eyes were open, he was awake, but he was not coherent at that time.”

Garner died sometime in the night, Hiner said.

Hiner said that evidence suggests that Garner might have used the synthetic “spice” drug, but he declined to elaborate. The cause of death is still under investigation.

Hiner said Garner was hired through a temp agency and was from Umatilla. He recently moved to Albany, but Hiner said he didn’t when.

Spice is a synthetic drug that is known to have similar effects as marijuana, but its use has been linked to deaths in the country.

“We haven’t dealt with very many cases involving it,” Hiner said. “It’s out on the streets, for sure, but to my knowledge there haven’t been any deaths in Benton County by it.”

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OSP captain charged with fueling up on state funds

Oregon State Police Captain Jeff Randall Lanz, the head of the OSP’s Office of Professional Standards in Salem, was charged Wednesday with six counts of third-degree theft (a class C misdemeanor) and six counts of first-degree official misconduct, a misdemeanor.

Lanz, 39, has been on paid administrative leave since April 29 pending investigation into allegations of misconduct.

According to documents filed by Linn County Deputy District Attorney George Eder, Lanz used a credit card issued by the state to purchase gas for his personal vehicle on six different occasions between Oct. 8, 2013, and April 14, 2014. Value of each purchase was less than $100. The misconduct charges stem from each of the purchases, which reportedly occurred in Linn County.

The cards used were issued to purchase fuel only for the vehicle assigned to Lanz by the state for use in his official duties.

Eder did not comment on how the charges came to light. The prosecutor filed charges after reviewing findings from a criminal investigation conducted by a major from the OSP.

Lanz is a former station commander at Oregon State University and a Lebanon High School graduate.

He has been with the state police since 1999. He was assigned to OSP’s agency headquarters in Salem in 2011 and promoted to captain on July 1, 2012.

He was in charge of risk management, internal investigations, human resources and training in his position as professional standards director.

No date has been set for a court appearance. That will be coordinated between the Linn County District Attorney’s office and Lanz’ attorney.

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Sex offender enters plea in child abuse case

A 26-year-old Corvallis man pleaded guilty to child sex abuse charges as part of a plea deal Wednesday in Benton County Circuit Court.

Joseph Lee Reyes was arrested in June under allegations that he sexually molested two of his relatives in separate incidents when they were 8 years old – one girl in August 2012 and another girl in August 2008.

He was indicted Sept. 13 on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and one count each of coercion, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration and first-degree sodomy.

He pleaded guilty Wednesday to sodomy and one count of first-degree sexual abuse. The remaining charges are expected to be dismissed at his sentencing hearing scheduled June 2.

Reyes became a registered sex offender at the age of 17 for fondling a 9-year-old girl, according to an officer’s affidavit, which was filed in court.

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