The Oregon Book Report - Book News from Oregon


No Firm Evidence Green Tea Helps Prevent Cancer

July 24, 2009 --

HealthDay News — Does drinking green tea really help prevent cancer? The answer is still unclear, according to a review of 51 previous studies done over two decades.  The review, published online in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, found that green tea may offer some help against liver cancer, breast cancer and, in men, prostate cancer, but consumption may actually increase one’s chances of developing urinary bladder cancer. Conflicting evidence was found in the case of gastrointestinal (esophagus, colon or pancreas) cancers, though the authors noted “limited moderate to strong evidence” of green tea protecting against lung, pancreatic and colorectal cancer.”

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The First Tears to Touch the Quilt

July 23, 2009 --

by Kay Helbling


If I want to treat myself to some down time, my favorite hobby is making a quilt. But, I’ve never just grabbed scraps of unused cloth and sewn blocks. Mine have always had a purpose. My life’s passions, loves, and appreciations could be summed up by the quilts I’ve made. There are quilts that say thank you to special people, quilts to raise money for an important cause, and quilts that capture the lives of my loving family. And, quilts covered with tears.


The “White Oak by the Side of the Road” was raffled to raise money for the West Linn Senior Center, as did “ The Pythia” for the political women’s group, and the “Great Seal of the U.S.” for a Lincoln Dinner. “Travelling the Road Together” was an anniversary gift to my favorite Aunt and Uncle, “Snowbirds” for my in-laws and a “Family Tree” for  mom.


Quilts became a way to say thank you to teachers or men who coached our boys over the years. I would gather up team photos, action shots from games and close-up expression shots of the coach, award recognitions and other memorabilia. They would surround blocks with written notes of appreciation.


Probably the most profound quilts have been those I’ve made out of old clothing left behind by loved ones. It all started with an auction at Central Catholic High School and David Heller, a remarkable young boy.


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Things to Consider Before Going Back to School

July 22, 2009 --

By Erika Weisensee,
Milwaukie writing mom

On average, college graduates make more money than high school graduates. In fact, a recent report issued by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (**) not only found that income levels climb with one’s education level, but that those with college degrees are far less likely to be among the unemployed. *Yet, despite all its rewards, college is time-consuming,stressful and increasingly expensive.*

Whether you are a first time college student or someone going back to school after a long break, you will have a lot of decisions to make. Prospective students must determine not only what and where to study but how to pay for it all. Here are some questions to consider before making this important investment in your future:

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A funny thing happened on the way to dementia

July 21, 2009 --

Sharon Lacey, Portland comedian

Moments from a Road Comic’s Life — Part 1: To fend off Alzheimer’s and also fulfill a lifelong dream, Sharon Lacey quit her 23 year career as a teacher and hit the road doing standup comedy. Sometimes the moments in between shows are the most memorable.

Another Alien Sighting Near Roswell??

Comedians usually aren’t provided hotel rooms on nights when there’s no show. With tight budgets, we sometimes end up sleeping in our cars. That’s what I had to do two nights ago, out in the desert of New Mexico.  It was about 80 miles from Roswell, near where an alien spaceship supposedly landed decades ago.

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Guard Against Swine Flu at Summer Camp


HealthDay News — As children head off to summer camp, many parents are concerned about the risk for swine flu. To protect kids from the H1N1 virus when they’re at camp, Dr. Jeffrey Boscamp, a pediatric infectious diseases expert at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, recommends the following:

    * Confirm that the camp is doing regular screenings, promoting proper hygiene and updating parents on any reported cases of swine flu.
    * Find out if any H1N1 cases have been reported at the camp and if it has quarantined areas for infected children.
    * Consider leaving siblings behind when visiting a child at camp. The H1N1 virus is particularly contagious among children.
    * Check your temperature the night before and the morning of your visit. Bring some extra alcohol-based hand sanitizer with you.

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NW Photo: River runs by

Pregnancy, STDs on the Rise Again Among U.S. Teens

July 18, 2009 --

HealthDay News — Birth rates among U.S. teens increased in 2006 and 2007, following large declines from 1991 to 2005, according to a new U.S. government study.  It found that previously improving trends in teens’ and young adults’ sexual and reproductive health have flattened or may be worsening in some cases.  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers analyzed national data from 2002-2007. Among their findings:

* About one-third of adolescents hadn’t received instruction on methods of birth control before age 18.
* In 2004, there were about 745,000 pregnancies among females younger than age 20. This included an estimated 16,000 pregnancies among girls aged 10 to 14.

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Teaching your kids to make friends

July 17, 2009 --

By Jean Tracy, NW Author, Parent Newsletter

Is your child lonely, sad, or angry? Would you like to teach your child how to make friends? If you don’t know how, I’ll share the secrets here.

First you need to know that research tells us the average child spends 25 hours in front of the TV each week.TV characters become their “friends” and their role models. Speaking about role models, I remember teaching a new class of first graders. Everyone, except two little boys, was sitting tall in anticipation of story time. The two boys were rolling around slugging it out on the floor in the back of the room.

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Tips for Identifying Legitimate Work-at-Home Opportunities


By VIPDesk

Alexandria, VA – June 17, 2009-As telecommuting becomes a viable option for many workers, unfortunately work-at-home scams increase in numbers. Savvy workers, however, can avoid being taken advantage of by a work-at-home scam, while still finding great opportunities to earn money from the comfort of their own home office.

VIPdesk (, the award-winning pioneer of virtual contact center services, has been working with home-based customer service representatives for over 10 years, and has identified the following 10 tips that can help a potential telecommuter identify legitimate work-at-home opportunities.

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National Health Care: What’s not being discussed

July 16, 2009 --

by Kay Helbling


A few years back I had to go in for a minor surgery. It was nothing that would warrant a call to our Pastor to make the ten mile trip to be with us. But, as I lay waiting to be rolled into the operating room, I saw the look of concern in the eyes of my two little boys. They didn’t know their mom would be okay. Obviously they were trying to be strong, but I could tell they were scared. We calmly explained that all would be well, but they needed something stronger. They needed prayer and the comfort that comes with prayer.


At that moment, the hospital Chaplain was making her rounds to visit everyone who was heading into surgery. She asked if we’d like her to pray for us. A light came into my boys’ eyes and a smile on my husband’s face. The prayer was deep and it was powerful. It gave them, and me, the strength we needed at a time when outcomes aren’t always a sure thing.  


It was at that moment I knew there was one more important issue to lay on the table for discussion in the health care debate. I’d seen what the concern for the separation of church and state did to our little public school. No one on staff was allowed to pray, have any religious symbols present, or even use the word Christmas in their “holiday” celebrations.


I saw the disappointment in a little girl who was excited to show her teacher the Christmas card she’d made of baby Jesus and told that the card was not appropriate for school. So, will government run hospitals also not be an appropriate place for God?

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