“It’s time to go to work,” Mike Stornetta said to his partner, Rocket, as they approached a muddy sea of tangled tree limbs, rubble and boulders. Issued his signature command, the black and white border collie mix sprang from Stornetta’s side, kicking up dirty water as he scoured the debris blanketing East Valley Road in Montecito, California, the coastal enclave that had been devastated by a landslide the previous morning.
One of the many tributes to pioneers who risked death and disease to cross North America is a century-old former bank building in downtown Portland called the Oregon Trail Building. Its current occupants include a web-design firm, investment managers, the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber, and, most fittingly, Immigrant Law Group, where Stephen Manning practices with partners Jessica Boell and Jennifer Rotman. Most of their clients face a challenge as frightening as a months-long wagon journey.
October 1944. World War II raged, but Hazel Ying Lee was grounded at Romulus air base in Michigan. She had fallen ill after copiloting a B-24 bomber on a recent mission, and knew that come December, the military planned to ax the program that let her fly.