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Two Portland State professors received a $100,000 grant from the North Pacific Research Board to study the historic Pacific herring population distribution in Alaska.

Faculty to study historic Pacific herring

Two Portland State professors received a $100,000 grant from the North Pacific Research Board to study the historic Pacific herring population distribution in Alaska.

Anthropology faculty members Thomas Thornton and Virginia Butler will examine published archaeology records and speak to members of a South Alaskan Native American Tribe, Tlingit, to get estimates on the fish’s population over time, Butler said. Graduate student Jamie Hebert will also work on the project.

By looking at records of human remains and whether they have fish bones in their systems, researchers will be able to get an idea of the herring’s historical population, Butler said. Thornton will speak to Tlingit tribe members about oral traditions concerning the herring, she added.

The research project, entitled “Herring Synthesis: Documenting and Modeling Herring Spawning Areas within Socio-Ecological Systems over Time in the Southeastern Gulf of Alaska” is in response to recent declines in the herring population, Butler said.

“We are not looking at causation yet,” she said.

Talmage Garn

Lacrosse league cancels 2008 season

The National Lacrosse League canceled its 2008 season after failing to reach a labor agreement with the union.

The executive committee of the Professional Lacrosse Players’ Association rejected the last collective bargaining agreement proposal, the NLL said Tuesday.

“The plan is to take the season off and try to get with the union and negotiate a deal that works for both parties and get back playing in ’09,” NLL commissioner Jim Jennings said.

The 14-team league was scheduled to open the season Dec. 27. The league includes the Portland LumberJax.

“It’s devastating,” Jennings said. “We’re in a position right now where we’re just starting to build momentum with our fan base, our teams, with television and sponsors over the last four, five years. We’re not the NHL, not the NBA. This is going to cause a lot of pain to a lot of people.”

Associated Press

Van Gogh painting given to Portland Art Museum

A painting by Vincent van Gogh that has been hanging in a Roseburg home for almost 50 years will soon be available for all to view at the Portland Art Museum.

Fred and Frances Sohn donated “The Ox-Cart,” an 1884 painting by the revered Dutch artist, and it will go on display next month. It’s the museum’s first painting by Van Gogh.

“This is the biggest thing we’ve been given,” said Bruce Guenther, the museum’s chief curator. “And it’s an affirmation of this community that the Sohns want this painting to stay in Oregon.”

An appraisal of the painting was recently completed in New York for insurance and tax purposes but won’t be available until December. Guenther thinks the work could be worth several million dollars.

A prominent Douglas County businessman for decades, Fred Sohn was born in Germany and is a Holocaust survivor. He and his wife, Frances Sohn, moved to Roseburg in 1949, where he started a successful timber company.

“The Ox-Cart” was given to the Sohns in 1960 by Frances Sohn’s parents, who collected art and bought the painting in 1950. It was exhibited in major museum shows during the first half of the 20th century, including a 1935 exhibit at New York’s Museum of Modern Art.

Fred and Frances Sohn are occasional, not serious, art buyers, said Howard Sohn, who is acting as the family’s spokesman. And although they have never given money to the museum, they’ve donated to many charitable organizations in Douglas County and Oregon.

Associated Press