For two decades, fifth-generation farmer Ramsey McPhillips and a motley crew of neighbors have waged a quixotic battle to stop a mountainous landfill in the heart of Oregon’s wine country from growing even bigger. Thus far, they’ve managed to stall Waste Management, the landfill’s owner and the largest waste company in North America, from doubling the footprint of the dump from 85 acres to 172 acres (that’s 158 football fields, or, since we’re arts lovers here, 374 Armory Buildings). But events in the next few months could determine if the landfill closes for good or continues growing for possibly another 30 years.
Our story of the farmer and the landfill—based off a spring and summer spent in Yamhill County interviewing folks on all sides of the struggle, attending meetings, and wading through documents—just came out in the September issue of Portland Monthly. You can read it here.
What exactly does this have to do with Culturephile, you might ask, beyond the fact that half the landfill's waste comes from the Portland Metro Area? Well, part of McPhillips success stems from his ability to garner help from cultural partners. Eat Beat reported on a fundraiser he threw with local culinary superstars in April, and Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale has been a long time supporter.
Which brings us to, drumroll, please: The Yamhills Are Alive! Portland fans of Pink Martini well know Lauderdale’s historian’s zeal for tracking down often forgotten musical stars of Golden Era stage and screen and reintroducing them to audiences. Phyllis Diller, Jane Powell, Carol Channing, Jimmy Scott—it’s an incredible list. And now he’s invited the Von Trapp Family Singers, the actual great-grandchildren of Maria and Georg Von Trapp, whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was made legend in The Sound of Music, to join Pink Martini and China Forbes for a benefit concert to help raise funds for the Stop the Dump Coalition.
The benefit is Sunday, September 16 at Youngberg Hill Vineyard in McMinnville. A free Salt & Straw ice cream social, along with food carts and wine, kicks things off at 2:30, and then the concert begins at 4:00.
Tickets and further info are available here.
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