Ashland Appetite: Four & Twenty Blackbirds

No matter the time of year, a delicious baked good is hard to pass up. Especially when they are made with seasonal, fresh, local ingredients and made within walking distance of your place of employment. The Railroad District welcomes a new resident with two decades of experience dishing out pies, cookies, and a plethora of fun dishes unique to the new location to their Ashland clients.

Four & Twenty Blackbirds
130 A Street, Ashland, OR 97520
HOURS: Seven Days a Week

A quintessential Ashland bakery recently relocated to a more foot-traffic friendly location. Moving from Ashland Street near the University to a cozy corner two blocks from downtown was exciting for new owner, Shawna Hanan. Though, longstanding customers who patronize the bakery year after year accompanied by their Shakespeare visitations were caught in a state of shock when their favored pies & muffins weren’t in their usual spot. Nonetheless, the amount of new business that the new location has the opportunity to bring is above and beyond the previous storefront and offers easier access to downtown clientele. Word on the street is that surrounding businesses are thrilled to have a new addition to their list of delicious lunch options.

Just the other day, I had myself a Blueberry Muffin. Not normally being a fan of warm blueberries, I made a willing exception for this scrumptious morsel. The muffin was delightfully airy while being filling and full of flavor. While I scarfed down the muffin, a friend took a bite into a Peach Turnover, which are not only handmade but handheld. As peach juice oozed from the corners of the pie, a smile came over his face accompanied with a heartfelt “mmmmyummm”.

Their handmade pies, cakes, cookies and pastries have been crafted to perfection for over 20 years. All items are made from scratch, the old fashioned way, using many organic and local ingredients. There are no hydrogenated oils or preservatives, just the way Ashlanders like it. Owner Shawna Hanan supplies all the eggs for her baked goods from own home farm, Blue Heron Farm, and her two small children picked all of this years blueberries from a local U-Pick farm.

“I want my children to grow up in a world where they know exactly where their food comes from, supporting local farmers and continuing to strengthen our community.”

Beyond the bakery storefront, their tasty treats are also available at locally owned and independently operated grocery stores, coffee shops and restaurants. Call to place an order or look for their fresh baked cookies, muffins, turnovers, pies, and cakes at the Ashland Food Co-op and Shop ‘n Kart.


Trade Black Friday Shopping for a Tough Hike

Does getting trampled in a Wal-Mart sound fun to you? Are you going to camp out at Best Buy for a sweet new flat screen TV?

Didn’t think so. Instead, join Siskiyou Mountain Club for a difficult hike through Ashland’s watershed on Friday, November 28. SMC Wilderness Corps Crew Member Micah Nash (above) will be navigating a group to a super secret and special location. He definitely looks like he knows where he’s going.

Meet at 10am at the small parking area next to Granite Street Swimming Reservoir. From there, the crew will head on and off trail for a total of about eight miles. You’ll be back to the cars by 4pm.

Wear sturdy hiking boots, long pants, and dress for the weather. Bring enough food and water for the hike.

Questions? Call 541-708-2056 or email SMC Director Gabe Howe.

No Plastic: Drastic or Fantastic?

Change is widespread this time of year. The weather is getting colder, the trees are quickly losing their clothing, the produce quality at the grocery store is diminishing… And that’s not all that is changing at the marketplace. Since November 6, plastic bags for customer use at the checkout have ceased to be present. The intention is to encourage shoppers to bring their own bag or pay ten cents for a paper bag. Most European cities have charged for bags for years but the US has been a little slow to get hip to this. Now Ashland is the fourth city in Oregon to pass a bag ban, and states and towns all over the US are moving in similar directions. In fact, California and Rhode Island have both passed statewide bans!

I’m guessing you’re leaning one of two ways about this change. Either “What?! But I use those bags in my trash can and for picking up after my pet!” OR “Fantastic! Reusable bags are great!”

I, personally, have been an active own-bag-bringer for some time now so I am excited to see the establishment of this new law. I do sympathize with those who may feel put off by it. Fortunately, carrying your own bag can be easy, fun, economical, stylish AND earth-friendly.

Whichever way you feel, here are some tips for Bringing Your Own Bag.


Trust in your bag!


I’m sure everyone has found themselves, at one time or another, faced with way more items than intended and no one to help carry all the bags inside. Sure, you could take multiple trips. But let’s be honest here, no one really wants to do that. One of the major advantages of reusable bags is that they are capable of holding so much! What would normally be a 3-bag trip, is easily done in a single bag. If that’s not incentive to not forget your bag and end up throwing away 10¢, I don’t know what is. Get a reliable, sturdy bag with rigid sides as an all-purpose shopping bag. You’ll feel comfortable carrying multiple glass bottles next to a cake. Long straps make heavy bags feel less cumbersome. Find one that is machine washable (let it air dry) or easy to wipe clean to enhance reusability. My favorite all-around bag is from the Ashland Food Co-op. It’s not machine washable, but it is made from a sturdy plant fiber and has a slick coating on the inside which makes it easy to wipe out if something happens to stick around. It’s great at the Farmer’s Market when I’m usually walking away with plants and berries, and it’s great for holding everything I need for dinner.



Keep it handy!

I keep a Chico Bag in my purse at all times so I don’t get caught without a bag on spontaneous shopping trips. Mine packs down small, about the size of an avocado, and can carry a lot. I am often surprised by how much I can manage to squish in there. Plus, you can find Chico Bags for sale at just about every checkout stand anywhere.



Be proud of your bag!

Baggu_Happy_EnlargeFind a bag that makes you happy show off. I often get compliments about my snazzy bags so it excites me to use it! Get yourself a bag that fits your personality and you’ll never feel silly whippin it out. Prize in downtown Ashland sells a wide selection of Baggu bags, one is sure to suite your fancy.



Get creative with it!

T-Shirt Bag
Some of the best bags I’ve ever seen are homemade, “upcycled” bags. I’ve seen bags made from crocheted plastic bags, soda can tabs, basketball shorts, and pillow cases. Have an old t-shirt laying around begging for a new life? Turn it into a shopping bag! Can you crochet and are looking for a new project? Make a bag exactly how you want it. Do you like to sew? Follow a pattern and get supa fancy and creative.



If you still feel overwhelmed by this commerce shift, have no fear. The bag ban is [currently] only in effect in Ashland, so you can still shop in Talent, Phoenix or Medford and get your beloved plastic bags. Some plastic bags will still be allowed under the ordinance, including those used to package bulk items, produce, meat, frozen foods, potted plants and other damp items, hot prepared food and liquids, unwrapped prepared foods or bakery goods, prescriptions and dry cleaned clothing. If you’re not excited about spending ten cents on a paper bag, well, go return your bottles and cans and take up a paper-bag-fund. Oregonians are estimated to use more than 1.7 billion bags a year, too many of which end up as pollution in Oregon’s waterways, like the Rogue River, and ultimately the Pacific Ocean. Plastic pollution is especially harmful to wildlife, killing thousands of birds and marine animals every year. Local plastic bag bans keep more disposable plastic bags out of our waste stream and away from our waterways, thereby decreasing the threat posed to wildlife. Plastic bag bans in these four Oregon cities are estimated to keep nearly 272 million plastic bags out of our waste stream annually.


If you’d like to read more about the ordinance details, you can do so on the City of Ashland website here.

Ashland Emergency Food Bank is seeking donations of reusable bags to give out to customers who visit the food bank. Paper and reusable bags can be dropped off at the food bank, 560 Clover Lane, during operating hours from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and the first Saturday of each month, and from 5 to 7 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of each month.




Wild & Scenic Film Festival – Tonight

Join Rogue Riverkeeper and the Southern Oregon University Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program for the 2nd Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival!

When: Sunday, November 9th, 2014. Happy Hour from 5 – 6pm. Films from 6 – 9pm.

Where: The Music Recital Hall on the SOU campus, 401 S. Mountain St., Ashland, OR

Enjoy 7 different films that are sure to engage, inspire and entertain! Come early for happy hour with beer, food and a chance to see what Rogue Riverkeeper and other groups are doing for the health and well being of the Rogue Valley.

Considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals, the Wild and Scenic films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation. Come enjoy award-winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, Native American and indigenous cultures.

Guest speaker this year will be author and photographer Tim Palmer who will give a slide show of his amazing photos of rivers in Oregon and around the country. So come enjoy a slew of beautiful films and win raffle prizes while supporting work for clean water. Space is limited.



Film Line up includes:

THE HIDDEN RIVERS OF SOUTHERN APPALACHIA – Jeremy Monroe, David Herasimtschuk, USA. 10 min.

Southern Appalachia is a little-known hotspot for aquatic life and is home to some wildly diverse fish, mussels, salamanders, crayfish and other critters. Hidden Rivers takes an immersive look at the little known creatures of these waters, their striking beauty and extreme vulnerability.


FALL RUN – Todd Moen, USA. 15 min.

“Fall Run” is the ultimate Pacific Northwest steelhead adventure. This is the true story every angler dreams about retelling around the campfire forever.


MOMENTA – Andy Miller, Robin Moore, Jeremy Jones, Chris Steinkamp, Ed Lewis, Eric Wallis, USA. 40 min

This is a story about the west, known for its forward-thinking innovation, being caught in the crosshairs of an American paradox. Old innovation vs. new. The Pacific Northwest is at a crossroads – do we go the way of dirty coal, or do we say ‘NO!’? The choice is clear: It’s time to embrace innovation, move away from fossil fuels, and ignite the clean energy economy.


UNNATURAL DISASTER – Rogue Riverkeeper, USA. 6 min

A liquefied natural gas pipeline and terminal proposal for southern Oregon threatens rivers, streams, forests, gas rates, private property and our climate. Learn about the project, its threats and the people who are working to stop it from happening.




PARAMOS: WATER FOR LIFE – John Martin, Columbia/USA. 8 min

At 2,640 meters, Bogota, Colombia’s capital, is home to more than eight million people who depend on the surrounding mountains for their water. Here one finds the paramos, a stunning landscape that’s part of a natural machine that has sustained Bogota for centuries.


WALK ON WATER – Andy Maser, USA. 13 min.

Having been paralyzed from the waist down in a ski accident, Greg Mallory finds new life through whitewater kayaking. Greg’s story is a celebration of the spirit that lives within each of us–pushing us to explore, live and thrive despite all odds.


NORTH OF THE SUN (NORD DE SOLA) – Inge Wegge, J, Norway. 46 min.

Inge Wegge (25) and Jorn Ranum (22) spent nine months of cold, Norwegian winter in the isolated and uninhabited bay of a remote, arctic island by the coast of Northern-Norway. There they built a cabin out of driftwood and other cast-off materials that washed up on shore, and ate expired food the stores would otherwise have thrown away. This is their beautiful story of self sufficiency, survival, solitude, surfing and serendipity.

Halloween Supreme 2014

Most days in Ashland you can probably find a few people in some sort of costume roaming around town. But on Halloween, you’ll be hard pressed to find a few people NOT in costume. Halloween is a big night for Ashland’s bars and most everywhere has a cover charge even if they don’t have a huge event, so choose wisely. Be sure to bring cash, drink lots of water and keep track of your disguised friends. Where ever you end up, how ever you’re dressed, you’re sure to have a rowdy good time.



Ashland Dance Works performs Michael Jackson's "Thriller". Photo Courtesy of

Ashland Dance Works performs Michael Jackson’s “Thriller”. Photo Courtesy of

An Ashland tradition, the Halloween parade is presented by the Ashland Chamber of Commerce. The kid-friendly event will kick off with Children’s Halloween Story Time at the Ashland Public Library (Gresham Room) from 2:30pm to 3:00pm. The parade will begin at 3:30pm at the Ashland Public Library proceeding down East Main Street to the Plaza with Samba Like it Hot leading the way. Following the parade will be opportunities for trick-or-treating downtown, Children’s Halloween Photographs by Judith Pavlik Photography at the Ashland Art Center, Face Painting with Brooke Sharp in front of Wells Fargo Bank, Live Entertainment by Samba Like it Hot and Intention Dance Zombies, Mad Science! by ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum on Oak Street, a Monster Flash Mob and Spooky Storytelling Party with Tree House Books Secret Book Club and Ghoulish Fun and Activities with Paddington Station in the mezzanine.



Spookadelic Halloween Funktacular 2 at Historic Ashland Armory

Spookadelic Halloween Funktacular 2

Spookadelic Halloween Funktacular 2

Tickets: $25 in Advance / $30 Day of Show
Tickets Available at Historic Ashland Armory & Music Coop
Doors: 7:00pm
21 & Over Only
Full Bar & Food Available

The second annual Spookadelic Halloween Funktacular happening at the Historic Ashland Armory on Oak Street near downtown Ashland. It will be a night of ghoulish delights, “a twisted carnival of freaks and fools serving up spooky surprises”. Costume contests, funky dance music, performers, naughty vixens, handsome devils, zombies rising from the dead…in other words…the adult Halloween party you don’t want to miss!

Featuring live sounds from Afrolicious, uPhonic SoundSystem, DJ El Papachango, and theatrical performances by  Levity Aerial Dance, Emily Alrick and more!



The Masquerade HALLOWEEN at Granite Taphouse

The Masquerade HALLOWEEN at Granite Taphouse – Ashland

The Masquerade HALLOWEEN at Granite Taphouse

Tickets: $15 in Advance/$20 Day of Show
Tickets Available at Granite Taphouse & Renaissance Rose in Ashland
Doors: 8:00pm
21 & Over Only
Full Bar & Food Available

Halloween in Ashland can be very crowded. Thankfully, the Granite Taphouse is offering an event with limited entry. Get your tickets to guarantee your friends and yourself a fun, semi-private evening. A spooky night of dancing in costumes! Wear a mask, don’t wear a mask, either way come dressed in costume for Granite’s first Halloween party EVER! Prizes and giveaways, goodies from Gunn Music Press, and special treats from Captain Morgan. Carpe Noctem will have an outdoor experience for you along with a new bar. But you have to go to the 2nd floor for that…and beware of the haunted hallway on the way there!

Featuring live music from Buckle Rash and a full line-up of DJs including Ben Ken Obi, Dirty D, G_Rad, SBK & Jesse James.


Halloween at Brickroom

Brickroom’s First Halloween

Tickets: $10 at the door
Doors: 5:00 pm
21 & Over Only
Full Bar & Food Available

Brickroom is Ashland’s newest restaurant establishment, taking the place of the legendary Alex’s Restaurant earlier this year. This is their first Halloween and they want you to come and celebrate with them. They’ve decked the place out in festive decor, hired 3 killer DJs, and are giving away cash prizes. They are holding a COSTUME CONTEST which you can enter between 7pm and 9pm. The Contest is at 10pm. Categories are: Most Horrific, Most Ironic, and Most Fantastic. Must be present to win. Cash $$$ Prize. They will have drink specials and DJ’s from 9pm-2am.

Featuring a line-up of DJs including Z Snap, Sylvah Sol, Dank Piff.



Other places offering live music include…

Tabu Restaurant
Dia De Los Muertos w/ MiHKAL, N.O.X., RaSoul & Lava Machete
$5 at the door
8:00 pm
76 N Pioneer St, Ashland, OR 97520

Lounge South
Eight Dollar Mountain & Jive Coulis
$10 at the door
10:00 pm
66 N Pioneer St, Ashland, OR 97520

Oberon’s Tavern
Twice Born & The John Dough Boys
$urprise at the door
9:00 pm
45 N Main St, Ashland, OR 97520