Portland Monthly's Top Longreads of 2016

A trailblazing AIDS researcher. The future of weed. A hidden gorge. The illegal wildlife trade. A radical theory about Portland's origin story. Here are 12 of our best in-depth stories from the past year.

By Portland Monthly Staff December 22, 2016

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Once a home for dozens of artists, craftspeople, and creative entrepreneurs, the sale of the Towne Storage Building marked a sobering moment for Portland artists.

Image: Michael Novak

Can Portland Artists Survive the City’s New Gilded Age? A property boom means mass evictions and escalating rents. What does that mean for our creative scene?

How One Portland Special Agent Went Undercover to Stop Poaching and Smuggling: Even our corner of the country is part of the world's illegal wildlife trade. Meet the local investigator working to battle it.

American Mouth: The Loud Life and Meaty Legacy of Josh Ozersky: A look at the greatest, wildest food writer of his generation.

The Battle of ’86: How Oregon’s Last Great Election Came Down to One Fatal Mistake: Thirty years ago, Neil Goldschmidt took on Norma Paulus for governor—and the race became a turning point for politics in Oregon.

Portland State May Finally Have a Great Football Team: With a brilliant new coach, a wild style of play, and long odds, the Vikings set sail on a new era this year. But does anyone, like, care?

Does Oregon’s Vanished Coastline Hold the Secrets of the First Americans? Archaeologist Loren Davis has a radical theory about when (and where) humans first arrived on our continent.

Will One Doctor’s Radical New Vaccine End the AIDS Epidemic? Portland researcher Louis Picker could be on the brink of a cure. 

How One Man Found an Uncharted Gem in the Oregon Wilderness: Mike Malone came across a hidden gorge near Mount Jefferson. But can you really “discover” a place anymore?

Meet the Man Who Reinvented Nike, Seduced Adidas, and Helped Make Portland the Sports Gear Capital of the World: In the 1980s glory days of audacious deals and bold schemes, Rob Strasser was the big man on campus.

One History Sleuth’s Radical Theory: Everything We Know About How Portland Began Is Wrong: The pursuit of a shadowy founding father winds deep into Portland’s Deadwood days.

Is This the Future of Weed? Jeremy Plumb hopes to use science, medicine, and marketing to redefine marijuana.

Gentrification, Testing, and Social Justice: School Boards Sit at the Center of the Storm: How Portland’s volunteer education leaders cope with an impossible job.

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