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Here are some notes on this and that and the other thing - including Colin Urban, Nicholas Harris, Ramontay McConnell, Rose Festival Clowns and Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn

COURTESY PHOTO: PHIL ZIMMERMAN - Ramontay McConnell of Portland is tackling the bears, including in an eating competition, in Discovery Channel series 'Man Vs. Bear.''Man Vs. Bear'

Woodburn's Steve Taylor recently competed on the Discovery Channel reality show "Man Vs. Bear," about people competing against bears, literally.

Now, a 23-year-old Portland man, Ramontay McConnell, takes on the grizzlies, starting Saturday, Jan. 18. The episode airs at 8 p.m. McConnell is a rancher, according to the show's news release.

Competitions with bears include tug-of-war, tree climbing and an eating contest.

New director

PDX Jazz, which runs the PDX Jazz Festival and associated events, has named Nicholas Harris as its new artistic director, replacing Don Lucoff.

"Nicholas' experience in music production, from jazz to hip hop to soul, and his knowledge of the Portland community and music scenes provides PDX Jazz with an essential piece of its new team," said Laura Golino de Lovata, board president.

Harris, originally from Illinois, attended Evergreen State College and has lived in the Pacific Northwest for about two decades. He has worked for many festivals, and co-founded the Soul'd Out Festival.

The PDX Jazz Fest takes place Feb. 19-March 1.

COURTESY: ORANGE PHOTOGRAPHY - Colin Urban (left), 17, has been a star on the national pinball scene for many years.Pinball whiz kid

The IFPA Oregon State Pinball Championship takes place Saturday, Jan. 18, at Next Level Pinball Museum in Hillsboro, and a Portland whiz kid will be one of the favorites.

In fact, Colin Urban remains one of the top players in the United States — and world. He's 17 and attends Wilson High School. Current International Flipper Pinball Association rankings, based on performances in tournaments, have him ranked fifth overall in the U.S. and third among youth in the world behind Johannes Ostermeier of Germany and Escher Lefkoff of the U.S.

He's been a pinball star for seven years, and actually beat the world's best player, Keith Elwin, at a tournament at age 11.

Well, dang

Oregon Symphony welcomes Itzhak Perlman playing Beethoven at Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, Thursday, Jan. 16, but it's sold out. Perhaps you know somebody who knows somebody who can get you tickets?

Seeking clowns

The Rose Festival Clowns are recruiting aspiring performers, ages 13 and up with no experience necessary. Applications are available online at www.RoseFestival.org; deadline is Feb. 14.

Rose Festival Clowns participate in parades and other festival events.

Kristof and WuDunn

Presented by Powell's Books, Nicholas D. Kristof, the famed New York Times columnist, and wife/co-author Sheryl WuDunn will appear at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, at the Newmark Theatre, promoting and discussing their new book, "Tightrope: Americans Reaching for Hope." For more: powells.com.

The book talks about how government failures have hurt working-class America, examining Kristof's native Yamhill, a small Willamette Valley community. Reporting took Kristof and WuDunn to all 50 states to tell the stories of struggling Americans.

Reciprocal admission

Museums and attractions around the Portland area and beyond have again teamed up for reciprocal admission to their members in 2020, a program put on by Portland Attractions Marketing Alliance.

With a membership to one Oregon attraction, free admission by month can be had for members and three guests at: Oregon Zoo, January; Oregon Historical Society, February; Deepwood Museum and Gardens, Salem, March; Five Oaks Museum (formerly Washington County Museum), April; World of Speed Motorsports Museum, Wilsonville, May; Columbia River Maritime Museum, Astoria, June; Clark County Historical Museum, Vancouver, Washington, July; Architectural Heritage Center, August; Rice Northwest Museum of Rocks and Minerals, Hillsboro, September; Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum, McMinnville, and World Forestry Center, October; Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport, November; Lan Su Chinese Garden, December.

Power talk

Samantha Power, former United Nations ambassador and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, is the first person appearing in the WorldOregon's International Speaker Series' "Bridging Perspectives" series. Her talk theme is "The Education of an Idealist — What Can One Person Do?," 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 21, at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Tickets: $80-$500, portland5.com.

The rest of the lineup: Gen. H.R. McMaster, Feb. 19; Nadia Murad, March 4; Nicholas D. Kristof, May 14.

For more: www.worldoregon.org.

Tryon's 50th

From the Lake Oswego Review:

The nonprofit Friends of Tryon Creek is celebrating 50 years of supporting Tryon Creek State Natural Area, a forested canyon between Lake Oswego and Portland.

The 675-acre land was designated as a state park in December 1970. The Tryon Creek State Park and Nature Center, located at 11321 S.W. Terwilliger Blvd. in Southwest Portland, was formally dedicated in July 1975.

Support began on the first Earth Day in April 1970. According to Friends of Tryon Creek Executive Director Monica Smiley, 310 women from the surrounding neighborhoods went door to door, and raised $27,000 from 1,400 donors. The money was used to take options on the property. Local schools joined in.

Today, Friends of Tryon Creek supports Oregon State Parks and activates 1,300 volunteers annually, dedicated to building and maintaining trails, removing ivy and other invasive plants, and connecting 5,000 children to nature through school field trips and day camp programs.

"It is serendipity that we have Tryon Creek State Natural Area today," said Lu Beck, co-founder and board member emeritus of Friends of Tryon Creek, "I will be forever grateful for the park, the Friends, and the myriad ways they add health, value and connection to our lives. Our community is stronger and more resilient for having this park in our neighborhood."

Contacts: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., @Vondee65


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