Monday, April 5, 2021


by Steven Masone

First class dining with excellent service is hard to find even when pandemic regs only allow take out and delivery. But many restaurants have failed miserably even without dining -in. With only a week or so into dining- in being allowed again in Jackson County, Porters in Medford hasn't missed a beat. My server...Aaron, was first rate and even though I ate in the bar, he also was serving in another dining area. They have the main dining room, and an outside patio that is quite extensive. However, my service was great. The filet mignon was perfectly cooked and very succulent, charred just right, and seasoned exquisitely. All the sides were delicious as well. The mashed potatoes were excellent, and the green beans with butter & almonds also. Steakhouses like Ruth Chris have nothing on Porters except higher prices. 

Their Story

Porters is nostalgically named in honor of all the men and women who work professionally aboard passenger trains bringing food, drink, courtesy and a warm smile to their traveling patrons.

We welcome you to a classic American restaurant and bar and a tantalizing taste of oldtown Oregon history. The city of Medford was born in the late 1880’s when the Central Oregon and Pacific railroad pushed south through a town called ‘Middleford’ in the Rogue Valley. By 1910 Medford, renamed by a railroad engineer, was a rapidly growing, prosperous community and Jackson County had become one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. In February of 1910 ground was broken for a new brick railroad depot to replace the older, wooden structure located south of Main Street. This new passenger depot was completed and dedicated in October of the same year, a mere nine months from start to finish. After just two glorious decades passenger rail service declined due in part to the Great Depression and the increasing popularity of automobile travel. From 1955 to 1996 the depot was abandoned or used only as a freight office. Now, after an extensive renovation as a restaurant and a bar and designation as a National Historic Landmark, this true gem of Southern Oregon architecture once again proudly serves the community.

While enjoying your visit and award-winning cuisine, take a moment to observe and appreciate the numerous original and still functioning features of this historic building: over 40,000 Mid-west red roof tiles, hand chiseled exterior granite corbels and massive wooden beams. 100-year-old ‘railroad graffiti’ adorns much of the hand-hewn brickwork. Indoors one finds the original golden painted radiators that heat the building, craftsman style chandeliers (reproduced from a 1914 interior photograph) radiating their own warmth and ambiance. The windows are all original, having been recased and rehung. Many early artifacts are displayed including a ladder for attic access and a ticket making machine. The original railway Passenger Ticket Counter now serves as the curved center section of the bar. Our Station Master’s Office banquet room, complete with a custom audio-visual center featuring flat screen TV, DVD and internet services, was once the sole domain of the Station Master, who no doubt held a party or two of his own there. This room is a great spot for showing your company or family videos, slideshows or DVDs. The giant mural, painted by Emil Knutson, is from a 1912 photograph. And much credit and thanks to Roger Whipple of Jacksonville, for his early restoration work.

Thank you for not smoking or choking. We are locally owned and operated. We will do our best to meet your dietary needs. MSG is not used here. We make oodles of stuff from scratch and we buy from local growers, vintners and artisans. We recycle and compost. We accept all major credit cards, local checks, gold bullion, old stamps & vintage cars. We reserve the right to assess parties of 6 or more a 20% service charge (but you are welcome to leave more since your porter shares tips with the whole crew). Furthermore, the management and ownership of Porters is not responsible for any oxymorons, contradictions, or illogical phrases and accepts no liability for frivolity, confusion, gluttony or any other condition experienced by diners or patrons. We like what we do and we hope you do as well. If so, tell all your friends. If not, please tell us. Thank you and have a pleasant night. And do come  see us again.

Tim, Rolar, & Brian - proprietors.


147 N Front St, Medford, Oregon, 97501 (541) 857-1910

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Hemi & Hoggs Bar & Grill Best BBQ in Medford Oregon

 Hemi & Hoggs Bar & Grill Best BBQ in Medford Oregon has nailed the art of BBQ smoking. It's in their smoking  process as well as recipe and herbs & spices! With a passion for his business, the owner Eric Fortner is offering the best St. Louis style Pork ribs, Burgers, steaks, and other fare in Medford. Not very hungry and not hopeful of great BBQ in Oregon, I was more than surprised at the succulent pork ribs this Bar & Grill offers.

 You have to stop and finally have some great authentic BBQ in Southern Oregon. I will definitely go soon again for a full updated review with pics and comments! 

  •  Dine-in·
  •  Takeout·
  •  Delivery
A 1-min walk from Valley Boys Auto Sales
Address100 E Jackson St, Medford, OR 97501
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Mon-Tue, Sun Closed
Wed-Thu 3–9PM
Fri-Sat 3–11PM

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Wednesday, February 17, 2021




Individual freedom, small limited government, law & order, Americanism vs Communism/Socialism. These were ideals that conservatism were based on. I grew up in a Democrat family, and like most young people in high school, political involvement seemed boring. Then, I was drafted in 1972 while there seemed to be no end to the Vietnam war, so I enlisted in the U.S. Army so I could have a say in what Army unit I would serve in. When drafted, it was a one way ticket to the thick of battle in the jungles of Southeast Asia, after just 16 weeks of training. Enlisting meant I had a contract to get the specialized training with the best of the best, and was assigned to a Commando unit in Panama where we were trained with the Green Beret’s School of the Americas Jungle Operation Training Center, and Counter Insurgency Operations.My unit was one of the predecessors to Delta Force units. We trained Central and South American fledgling Democracies against communist ideology from taking over that part of our hemisphere. My experiences and observations of the tyranny of socialistic dictators began to show me that my family’s politics were gravely misguided! Then, ten years later a new talk show host on KFBK Radio in Sacramento by the name of Rush Limbaugh exploded on the scene with his conservative bombastic and entertaining style and way of teaching us what true conservatism was really all about! I was in Bible College at the time and “Rush Rooms'' opened up in restaurants all over Northern California playing his show at lunch hour! Soon he saved conservative talk radio, and is mostly responsible for the cable news TV format we see today. Love him or hate him, he changed talk radio, the GOP, and taught us how to keep a sense of humor while exposing the enemies of our republic who we know today as “progressives! “ Innovator, Radio Giant, Conservative intellectual, and a Great American passed this day into American history and will be missed! Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, because he converted more liberals to conservatism than any other single advocate in American History. RIP~ RUSH LIMBAUGH!

Friday, January 29, 2021

Man Indicted For Arson In Phoenix, Oregon Fire of 2020

                                                                    Michael Bakkela
by Bill Gabbert

A Man charged with setting fire in Southern Oregon that burned 15 properties. A grand jury has indicted a 41-year old man for setting a fire in Phoenix, Oregon on September 8, the day the Almeda Drive Fire started near Ashland. Michael Jarrod Bakkela was arraigned on 2 counts of Arson in the First Degree, 15 counts of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, 14 counts of Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and one count for Unlawful Possession of Methamphetamine. Mr. Bakkela, who is being held on bail of $5 million, is accused of starting a fire that damaged 15 properties between Phoenix and Medford that contributed to the Almeda Drive Fire. The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office announced September 15 that at least 2,357 structures were destroyed in the Almeda Drive Fire, which started north of Ashland and rapidly spread northwest through Talent, then Phoenix, and was finally stopped south of Medford. Almeda Drive Fire map Map of the Almeda Drive Fire in Southern Oregon, September 10, 2020. Google/Wildfire Today/NIFC The wording of the indictment implies that the fire allegedly started by Mr. Bakkela merged with the Almeda Drive Fire. From Oregon Live: According to the county Sheriff’s Office, residents in the 1100 block of Quail Lane called 911 at 5:09 p.m. Sept. 8 to report that a man, later identified as Bakkela, was lighting a fire near the railroad tracks behind their home. A deputy took Bakkela into custody a short time later. Detectives suspect Bakkela drove into a gated area, parked a vehicle, started a fire and then fled north before he was stopped, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Typos, let us know HERE. And, please keep in mind our commenting ground rules before you post a comment. Share this: SHARE Related Map Almeda Drive and South Obenchain Fires Glendower Fire (aka Almeda Fire) burns toward Medford, Oregon September 9, 2020 map Almeda Drive Fire Video shows large number of structures burned during the Almeda Drive Fire in southern Oregon September 12, 2020 structures burned Almeda Fire Phoenix Talent Oregon Oregon fires have burned about a million acres September 12, 2020

19 thoughts on “Man charged with setting fire in Southern Oregon that burned 15 properties”

  1. Brent Flora

  2. says:

  3. September 20, 2020 at 3:07 pm
    And in CA, can All the fires be contributed to natural causes (such as lightning & ect) or is there something more sinister to envelope Central CA in eye burning & throat drying smoke for 2+ weeks 😷😤😪???

    1. peter anderson

    2. says:

    3. September 20, 2020 at 3:29 pm
      Something very sinister and it’s called criminal negligence by P.G.&E. Their deferred maintenance caused the fire in Paradise that killed 85 people. Is that sinister enough for you are shall I list the other fires caused by P.G.&E.?

  4. Wayne Tyson

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  6. September 20, 2020 at 3:30 pm
    We gotta do a better job of heading such folks off at the pass. Not with socialism, but with a social conscience. The 1 percent can afford the cost. They can melt down their gold toilet seats if necessary.

  7. Daniel Heagerty

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  9. September 20, 2020 at 3:40 pm
    I don’t believe there is a broader sinister plot regarding intentional fire starting. But I fully support immediate pursuit and apprehension of perpetrators, as achieved in this situation. I like the $5 million bail assessment, a clear message to all that there will be zero tolerance of such selfish behavior.

    1. Susan

    2. says:

    3. December 6, 2020 at 4:45 am
      This guy is obviously a sick addict with a history of aberrant behaviour – we have lots of these individuals in Southern Oregon. Conditions in Southern Or are pitiful right now. Tourism is dead for the time being. Oregon Shakespeare Festival ?
      Lots of folks have little if any work, also pretty much the norm here.. Cost of living index is very high, housing is in a true crisis state, there is none for poor people etc. There has been for years a failure to thrive mentality in So Or. The State has pretty much gone off the tracks
      IMO. In Oregon 30 years. Lived in So Oregon 14 years.

  10. J

  11. says:

  12. September 20, 2020 at 8:38 pm
    Didn’t someone burn to death in this fire? I didn’t read any charges for that. ??
    I’m grateful for his capture and consequences he’ll have to face, but he’ll never be able to make it right for all of those he personally put out if their homes & businesses! Such a shame! It would be interesting to ask him “why” he did it?? So sad!

    1. Bill Gabbert

    2. says:

    3. September 20, 2020 at 8:43 pm
      Keep in mind it does not appear that he is being charged with the main Almeda Fire.

    4. Janis hawk

    5. says:

    6. September 21, 2020 at 12:02 am
      I think that somewhere I read that he was accused of starting the Phoenix fire closer to medford that was right behind my house behind pickers paradise on hoyt lane that burned 2 of my families homes down and a few others it is on the border of Phoenix and Medford they say there was two points of origin that one and one closer to Ashland and talent and the people that supposedly died supposedly died from the fire that was started Ashland talent and not the one that he started. it didn’t burn that far but it did merge with the other one to make 1 big fire. the one that he started that burnt our house and stuff only burnt around pickers Paradise area in Medford

      1. Deborah Landry

      2. says:

      3. September 21, 2020 at 7:54 am
        It doesn’t matter exactly WHERE he started a fire. Its bad enough that he started ANY fire AT ALL. What is wrong with people? He needs to be thrown into jail forever. Look at all the lives he destroyed due to his “sickness” stupidity. No one will ever be able to financially recoup off this idiot. And there’s several more like him out there, doing the same thing. Some because they’re demented, some due to making a political statement. Then you’ve got the electric companies in California, not keeping up with their equipment; mismanaged forests with too much underbrush & deadwood, & then mother nature herself, with lightning strikes. Recipe for disaster every year in the Pacific Northwest/west coast.

        1. Barbara Levinson

        2. says:

        3. September 21, 2020 at 10:05 am
          NO ONE has ever suggested that any of these fires were politically motivated. It’s false and unproductive to suggest otherwise.

  13. Wayne Tyson

  14. says:

  15. September 21, 2020 at 11:40 am
    It would be interesting to see a scholarly study of the details of all human-caused fires, including motivations. An out of work ‘dozer operator started one to get work. The devil is in the details. As long as we continue to just lock them up without understanding the phenomenon, we’re never going to get anywhere with prevention. Mere revenge doesn’t bring people back, compensate for losses, recover costs, etc.

  16. nicole

  17. says:

  18. September 21, 2020 at 12:02 pm
    They better be making him pay for it like they did to the teenager that accidentally started the eagle creek fire!

  19. Alexis

  20. says:

  21. September 21, 2020 at 1:01 pm
    So sad all the damage done to our beautiful & pristine Oregon! The blue skies were filled with smoke for over a week! The people displaced from all the fires will have to go through so much to recover‼️😥

  22. Jeff

  23. says:

  24. September 21, 2020 at 2:50 pm
    Should get life in prison.

  25. Jodi

  26. says:

  27. September 26, 2020 at 12:35 am
    All I know is that I watched my house burn down because of his selfish decision….

  28. Wayne Tyson

  29. says:

  30. September 26, 2020 at 3:36 pm
    It’s too late for this guy. The jury will decide.
    But what is being done to prevent the creation of such a mind in the first place. Obviously, not enough.

  31. N. Green

  32. says:

  33. December 18, 2020 at 2:05 pm
    Once again, homeless men are responsible for devastating fires. Just a few years ago businesses burned in downtown Ashland. A campfire jumped the freeway and burned eight homes. Now, my Phoenix house sits in the middle of hell. Dangerous arsonists, hundreds more homeless. Message: ENABLING irresponsible behavior compounds aggression. What have we done? Welcome to Oregon! Free bus tickets, free food, free phones, free tents (yes, it’s true), free camping, free trash pick up. What have we created? A mess. Future disaster. A lack of SENSIBLE restrictions. In Eugene we find tents, trash and needles in our yards, parks and playgrounds. Evidence of careless flames, drugs and smoking cigarettes. Bend, surrounded by dry forests, has an upsurge of (upscale) campers and trailers on public lands. All have one thing in common — FIRE. Oregon, start thinking about public safety. Restrictions, please.

  34. Ellen Simonsen

  35. says:

  36. December 19, 2020 at 1:11 am
    He needs to held accountable for EVERY CRIME he committed; regardless whether he can ever make restitutions! The government does it ALL THE TIME in rural forest fires! In an habitated plural of communities ~ it should be even more so! So many homes lost, priceless personal property, Every man that died trying to save their home! Every animal that perished should be accounted for as animal cruelty & EVERY MEMORIAL FLAG & veterans medals that perished! I thought burning a flag was a federal offense! I could go on; but you see what I mean. TO THE FULLEST MEASURE ALLOWED BY LAW!

  37. J Mobbs

  38. says:

  39. January 20, 2021 at 9:08 am
    Ok so this guy started the alemeda fire. Who started all the others??????
    Shady Cove, Eagle Point, ECT.?