Erika Bolstad

Erika Bolstad

Erika Bolstad is a Stateline correspondent based in Portland, Oregon, and the author of Windfall, published by Sourcebooks in 2023. Previously, she wrote for E&E News, the McClatchy Washington Bureau and the Miami Herald.

Don’t poo-poo these states’ pleas to keep the parks pristine

By: - September 3, 2023

DENVER — Earlier this summer, Adam Ducharme made an unpleasant discovery while helping volunteers install signs telling visitors where to camp, park or launch boats near Leadville, a mountain town surrounded by 14,000-foot peaks in central Colorado. “We were digging holes, putting in signs, and then backfilling the holes with rocks and sort of compounding […]

Converting office spaces is hard. These changes could make it easier

By: - May 1, 2023

PORTLAND — Stroll around America’s vacant downtowns, and a seemingly obvious solution emerges to the housing shortages and homelessness problems in many states: Why not turn all those unoccupied offices into living spaces? Especially in cities such as Portland, where the office vacancy rate in the urban core peaked at an estimated 27% earlier this […]

Governors push faster construction to meet housing demands

By: - March 25, 2023

PORTLAND, Ore. — Dick Anderson, a Republican state senator from coastal Oregon, has a chart and a readymade joke to illustrate the housing crisis facing his state. Up until 2006, his figures show, home building was on an upward trajectory in Oregon. But once he retired from a career in housing finance in 2006, the […]

Your beer has terroir, just like wine

By: - September 17, 2022

ST. PAUL, Oregon — The first hint of harvest time in one of the nation’s major hop-growing regions is obvious: All along the backroads of Oregon’s Willamette Valley trucks overflow with ropes of bouncy, freshly cut hops dropping their distinctive bright green cones on blacktop warmed by the early September sun. Then there’s the fragrance. […]

Public defenders were scarce before COVID. Now, it’s much worse

By: - July 6, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — On any given day in Oregon jails, 40 or so people remain in custody without a public defender to represent them in court. Some have waited weeks for a lawyer, others have waited months. Several hundred more people charged with crimes but not in jail also await their constitutional right to counsel. The […]

When it comes to monuments, many communities considering how the West was won

By: - May 31, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. — In June 2020, protesters at the University of Oregon in Eugene toppled a statue called “The Pioneer,” which depicted a White man with a gun slung over his shoulder and a whip in his hand, and a second sculpture titled “The Pioneer Mother.” Both monuments had drawn criticism from Indigenous student groups […]

‘Zoom towns’ take aim at vacation rentals in western states

By: - December 29, 2021

DEPOE BAY, Oregon — Postcards with big promises began showing up in mailboxes in Oregon coastal communities in 2019: “Rent your home short term, use it when you want to, guaranteed $5,000 more monthly income than you’re earning with your current property management firm,” recalled Monica Kirk, a retiree. Kirk’s neighborhood began to transform almost […]