Dan Vickery
We’re not sure if he knows his way around a kitchen, but Dan Vickery can set our table anytime. The Vale native and University of Oregon grad emerged from a field of 10,000 applicants to become runner-up on HGTV Design Star. If it’s not too much trouble, Dan, would you mind taking a peek at our living room? We’re not sure if this Ikea sectional is working.   

Kenneth Turan
The venerable LA Times critic and frequent contributor to NPR’s Morning Edition will judge the Northwest Film Center’s 36th annual Northwest Film & Video Festival, which gets under way November 6. The man who wrote Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made just made our festival’s star on the map a little bigger.

Zawadi Mungu
Give this guest, whose name means “gift of God” in Swahili, a little elbow room. The 305-pound lion, fresh in from the San Diego Wild Animal Park (yes, a Californian), is the Oregon Zoo’s newest king of the jungle. (Shhh. Nobody mention the names Siegfried & Roy, puh-leeze; dinner might be … us.)

Janice Bradley
In August, this Battle Ground, Washington, resident became a track-and-field All-American—at the tender age of 71. The mother of three (including one former UW trackster) placed sixth in javelin and eighth in discus, shot put, long jump, and the 100 and 200 meters at the Summer National Senior Games. We smell a Nike deal. Or at least a Motrin commercial.

Jon E. von Schlegell
One of the five businessmen appointed to the State Board of Higher Education in 2004, Von Schlegell became the last of them to resign in August, frustrated over the state’s lack of progress. In a letter to the Guv, Von Schlegell argued that a radical overhaul of higher ed is imperative. Maybe if we seat him next to Zawadi, the two can figure out how to scare the state into action.