In this episode of Us As We Are, we drive out to the small unincorporated community of Rocky Point, OR to join them for their 20th annual Fall Festival celebration. Each year, the Rocky Point Quilt Guild puts on the Fall Festival at the Rocky Point Fire Hall to raise money for their fire department, and other charitable causes. Visitors can come to eat baked goods, shop for hand-made trinkets, and enjoy the beauty of the Klamath Basin's west edge.
Here's another video we shot several weeks back, before the rains came. In this episode of Us As We Are, we head out to Emigrant Lake, where local businessman Amit Choudhary and his friend Mmmingpha, a Zen itinerant monk and local activist, set out to give away free saplings to members of the community who happened to pass by. The idea is to enable residents of the Rogue Valley, and eventually Oregon at large, to plant trees wherever they live with the aim of increasing the amount of green cover in the region, and in turn help to diminish the effects of the droughts which have becoming an annual concern.
We shot this episode several weeks ago, before the rains finally came, about how the drought in the western United States is affecting the hemp farming business. We talk to the owners and farmers on Magu Maiden Farms just north of Ashland, OR, who explain how the shortage of water is forcing them to farm a fraction of the hemp they would produce in a typical year. We also learn much about the inner workings of the hemp farming business, including how legal farmers and illegal farmers often find themselves at odds over the use of land and resources. Despite the rains having come at last, it's thought by many that the effects of the drought will continue onward in the months and weeks to come.
In this episode of Us As We Are, we head to Oregon's state capitol in Salem to attend the massive anti-vaccine mandate rally which took place there on September 18th. While wandering through the massive crowd, we talk to multiple individuals about their unique perspectives and hear more about why some people distrust the government so much when it comes to issues related to COVID-19. This will most likely be Sailor Boy Media's last major video on the topic of COVID-19, at least until there is some other major development in the story. We've been following this movement from the local level in Ashland, OR, where we are based, all the way to the state level just ahead of the vaccine mandate deadline.
Check out the links below to see our other videos on this subject.
Reactions to new lockdowns in Oregon - 11/20/20 https://youtu.be/rTI1j74q6jY
Local Anti-mask protest in Ashland - 3/23/21 https://youtu.be/zNW5Yio8Tq4
Keegan gets vaccinated by FEMA - 5/1/21 https://youtu.be/HXe1NfzYs7w
Huge anti-mandate protest in Medford - 8/31/21 https://youtu.be/57gOOBH7ooE
Talking to anti-vax leadership in Southern Oregon - 9/23/21 https://youtu.be/tly7Q4bFByg
In this episode, we visit the Bear Creek Greenway, where a little over one year ago the Almeda Fire burned from Ashland, through the towns of Talent, and Phoenix, right to the doorstep of Medford. Volunteers working with The Hearth storytelling group initially organized a large community event to commemorate the tragedy, but due to concerns surrounding the pandemic, pivoted to create an interactive walk through the 8 mile stretch hit by the fire, where citizens can reflect on the catastrophe and the traumas it left behind.
More information about the Almeda Walk: www.almedawalk.com
The Hearth storytelling group: www.thehearthcommunity.com
This is a modified re-upload of the video to comply with YouTube's community guidelines. Here's a link to the original cut on archive.org: https://archive.org/details/uawa-0919...
In this episode of Us As We Are, we once again attend a rally in Medford, OR, where people against the workplace vaccine mandate for medical workers and teachers gathered to express their frustrations. Unlike in our previous video on this subject, we were able to gain much closer access to organizers like Ryan Mallory, who is the spearhead for much of the planning behind the recent protests in the Rogue Valley. With this access, we were able to have far more focused discussions with protesters about why they believe what they believe, and how they respond to public criticism. Additionally, we had an opportunity to chat with the Rogue Valley Pepper Shakers, an activism duo who routinely appear at right-wing events to counter-protest, livestream, and create videos for their large following on TikTok.
In this episode of Us As We Are, we visit Meyer Orchards, where owner Kirt Meyer explains how the drought has impacted his orchard, and why he's slashing all 10,000+ of his trees - some of which are older than him - clearing his 115 acre land, and getting out of the pear business.
In this episode of Us As We Are, we attend a massive protest against vaccine mandates which took place outside of the Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford. As usual, we found a collection of individuals to talk to about their beliefs on the relevant issues, including Biome Michael Erickson (a self-proclaimed National Socialist), two local business owners, a firefighter, and the husband of a nurse. This being an event organized around medical workers, we wanted to speak with some. However, all our attempts to approach protesters wearing scrubs were met with refusal, seemingly as part of a collective decision not to speak to the media. All in all, this was a very interesting event to attend, and we learned a lot about the viewpoints of those who still have not taken the vaccine, regardless of the Rogue Valley having some of the highest COVID infection rates in the country.
In this extended episode of Us As We Are, we pay a visit to a homeless camp along the Greenway near Bear Creek Park in Medford. While there, we talk to a Greenway resident named T Bone, who is the builder of a massive fortress-like dwelling used by the homeless community as a hub of social activity. T Bone is kind enough to invite us into his world and show us all he built, ahead of a police sweep expected the following day. We also speak with a homeless man nicknamed Pockets, camping near T Bone, who articulately expresses the feelings and realities of living without a house in Medford. A little later, we sit down with lawyer Justin Rosas and two of his legal partners, who explain why Medford's enforcement of anti-homeless laws are allegedly unconstitutional, and how his law firm is suing the city to try and put a stop to the sweeps.
The day following this camp tour and conversations, we witness the sweep of nearby encampments by Medford Police. Despite T Bone having received a 72 hour notice of illegal camping which was scheduled to be enforced on the same morning, the police seem to have delayed their action as a result of the large activist and media presence on the scene. Regardless, we manage to capture a lot of what the police and "Clean Sweep" crews from Rogue Retreat do during these incidents.
T Bone, along with a homeless advocacy activist, were arrested a few days after this video was shot. For more up to date information about what happened, definitely check out the coverage by Siskiyou Street News, which can be found at www.facebook.com/SiskiyouStreetNews
There is also a great article covering this story from Jefferson Public Radio: bit.ly/3lyz7Vp
In this episode of Us As We Are, we attend the Gathering of Goodness music festival, which was held on July 3rd, 2021, at Bear Creek Park in Medford. The first major music event to hit the Rogue Valley since the official re-opening of Oregon, the festival made for an extreme fun day of music, art, and close interaction with members of the region's thriving music community. Featured artists included The Roomy Depth, Namid Wolf, Messenjah Selah, Cornflower, among others.
KEEGAN VAN HOOK
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producer, first camera, creative assistant, editor
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