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The Oregon Portal

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Oregon (/ˈɒrɪɡən/ (About this soundlisten) ORR-ih-gən) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region on the West Coast of the United States. The Columbia River delineates much of Oregon's northern boundary with Washington, while the Snake River delineates much of its eastern boundary with Idaho. The parallel 42° north delineates the southern boundary with California and Nevada.

Oregon was inhabited by many indigenous tribes before Western traders, explorers, and settlers arrived. An autonomous government was formed in the Oregon Country in 1843 before the Oregon Territory was created in 1848. Oregon became the 33rd state on February 14, 1859. Today, at 98,000 square miles (250,000 km2), Oregon is the ninth largest and, with a population of 4 million, 27th most populous U.S. state. The capital, Salem, is the second most populous city in Oregon, with 169,798 residents. Portland, with 647,805, ranks as the 26th among U.S. cities. The Portland metropolitan area, which also includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, to the north, ranks the 25th largest metro area in the nation, with a population of 2,453,168.

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Fred Meyer hypermarket
Credit: Lyza Danger

Aisles of packaged food in a Fred Meyer hypermarket in Portland, Oregon. A hypermarket is a combination of a supermarket and a department store, and the Fred Meyer chain is one of the pioneers of the hypermarket format in the United States. Kroger, which owns Fred Meyer, is the top grocery retailer and the third largest general retailer in the country.

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Mei-Ann Chen (born 1973) is a Taiwanese American conductor currently serving as music director of the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. She has been described as "one of the most dynamic young conductors in America". Encouraged by her parents, Chen began playing violin and piano at a young age and later taught herself how to play the trumpet. By observing her conductor, she began to teach herself how to conduct and even collected batons. Chen attended the Walnut Hill School, a preparatory school affiliated with the New England Conservatory in Boston, Massachusetts, starting at age sixteen. She continued her undergraduate and advanced degree work at the Conservatory and became the first student to graduate from the institution with a double master's degree in conducting and violin performance. Chen later obtained a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Michigan. Chen became the Portland Youth Philharmonic's fourth conductor in 2002. During her five-year tenure, the orchestra debuted at Carnegie Hall, earned an ASCAP award in 2004 for innovative programming, and began collaborating with the Oregon Symphony and Chamber Music Northwest. She also served as assistant conductor of the Oregon Symphony from 2003 to 2005 and as cover conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic. In 2005, Chen became the first woman to win the Malko Competition, which recognizes young conductors. That same year she won the Taki Concordia Fellowship. Chen left the Philharmonic in 2007, to become assistant conductor of the Atlanta Symphony. Chen served as assistant conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for its 2009–2010 season. She was appointed music director of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra; her three-year tenure began in September 2010. Chen also began serving as music director for the Chicago Sinfonietta during its 2010–2011 season. Throughout her career, Chen has appeared with many symphonies throughout the United States and Canada. Appearances outside North America include all the principal Danish orchestras, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and the Taiwan National Symphony, to name a few. Chen has also participated in the National Conducting Institute (Washington, D.C.) as well as the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colorado.

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Sign in front of the Center with the building in the background
The Glenn & Viola Walters Cultural Arts Center is a multi-use arts and performance venue in downtown Hillsboro, Oregon, United States. Opened in 2004, it is housed in a red-colored stone building completed in 1949 as a Lutheran church. Hillsboro, a city on the west side of Portland, owns the three-level facility and operates it through their Parks and Recreation Department. Walters Cultural Arts Center includes gallery space, classroom space, and a 200 seat performance hall. With two above ground floors and one below ground level, the center has a total of 15,664 square feet (1,455.2 m2) of space. Located on East Main Street, the Washington County Courthouse and the Hillsboro Civic Center are just to the west and the Edward Schulmerich House one block to the east on Main. The center is named in honor of a local couple who donated $1 million towards the project which included purchasing the property and US$2.4 million worth of renovations.

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American beaver
Western meadowlark
Chinook salmon
Oregon grape
Oregon Swallowtail butterfly
Douglas fir



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Skyline of downtown Portland, Oregon
Credit: Eric Baetscher
The skyline of downtown Portland, Oregon. Taken from the east waterfront.

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George L. Woods
A great system of internal improvement is being inaugurated in our midst, which fostered and encouraged, as it should be, will make Oregon, in the not distant future, one of the finest and most prosperous States in the Republic.
George L. Woods, 1870, Governor's Message

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Lighthouse of Cape Meares, Oregon


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Coordinates: 44°00′N 120°30′W / 44°N 120.5°W / 44; -120.5