This agreement represents nine months of good faith efforts from Klamath tribes and upper basin water users to develop solutions to their water shortage problems.
Senator Wyden says the agreement saves water, protects habitat and provides economic certainty for the basin.
Senator Merkley says it means the water wars of the past decades are behind us.
38 year old Mark Ellis admitted that he made a false claim to the I-R-S including false tax returns and obtained a fraudulent refund of more than 300-thousand dollars.
Ellis was also ordered to pay back the $311,459 dollars in restitution.
What investments should we be doing to make this industuy continues to thrive?
That was the subject of this month's City Club of Central Oregon meeting.
Dave Rathbun with Mt. Bachelor was on the panel and singled out forest management.
"The ski industry - until there is some other means of funding how to suppress wildfires and how to manage our forests so they're healthy, we're always going to be short in rerceational dollars."
Panel members agreed going forward, they have to work together.
"As time goes by we have to do a good job of collaborating and make sure we are making the best use of our resources for the benefit of all -- and not just your little piece of it. And we're probably have to break ground on making everyone happy."
Hiking and biking are two of the biggest draws to central Oregon, followed by shopping, dining, cycling, beer drinking, golf and fishing.
Wedell learned of the honor through a surprise schoolwide assembly Thursday.
Oregon's Deputy Superintendent of Schools Rob Saxton came to Bend to make the announcement to a surprised H.D. Wedell.
"I'm happy I got this, but I'm more proud of you. I'm struggling today and I don't struggle very often. Thank you Bend LaPine School District and Ron and Rob. It was nice of you to travel here. It was a surprise. You got me!"
After nine years as principal at Bend High, Wedell si leaving at the end of the school year to take a job with Oreogn State University.
The current Assistant Principal, Chris Reese will become the new principal.
Cascade Angels Fund opens new application round for entrepreneurs
Cascade Angels Fund 2014, LLC is now accepting applications through May 31, 2014 at 5:00 pm for launch stage companies on Gust.com.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling, monthly basis or as application rounds close. Our plan is to notify applicants if we need additional information or to set up an initial meeting. If you have questions about how your company fits with the Cascade Angels vision, please contact us. We have held previous application rounds this year and plan to make 1-4 investments in 2014.
Cascade Angels Fund 2014, LLC is committed to helping build Oregon's entrepreneurial ecosystem. Typical investments are planned to be in launch stage companies in Oregon from any industry. Investments are anticipated to average from approximately $50,000 to $200,000.
Greg Walden to meet with brewers, veterans, and small businesses in Bend next week
BEND— U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (R-Hood River) will be in Central Oregon next week to discuss growing jobs and holding federal agencies accountable with brewers, veterans, and small businesses. On Monday, Walden will have a roundtable meeting with craft brewers in Bend. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a draft rule that would tightly regulate brewers’ “spent grains,” a byproduct of the beer-making process that is often sold or given to ranchers for use as animal feed.
The draft rule could harm the craft brewing and livestock industries in Oregon, and Walden has urged the FDA to reconsider its rule. He will announce steps he is taking legislatively to bring common-sense to this rule-making process.
Walden will then kick off Facebook’s “Small Business Boost” workshop, where Central Oregon small businesses can learn to better use social media to reach potential customers. As the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology, Walden has worked to unleash innovation and grow technology jobs in Oregon.
On Tuesday, Walden will meet with veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) hall in Bend. He will give an update on legislation in the House to reduce the claims backlog at the Veterans Administration (VA) and ensure those who have worn the uniform receive the benefits they’ve earned.
Also on Tuesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and local small businesses will present Walden with the “Spirit of Enterprise Award” for his efforts to help small businesses grow and create jobs in Oregon. Later in the week, Walden will have meetings in southern and eastern Oregon. A full schedule will be sent out once it’s finalized.
News Release - 4-18-14
Geocaches to be removed from Oregon Badlands Wilderness
Central Oregon – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Prineville District Office will be working with the local geocaching community to remove approximately 84 physical geocaches that are located in Wilderness, Wilderness Study Areas, Research Natural Areas (RNAs) and some Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). Of these, 47 will be removed permanently, while 37 will be closed seasonally because they are located in sites closed part of the year to protect wildlife or other resources.
The geocaches in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness and in an ACEC on nearby Horse Ridge are very popular because of their proximity to Bend, and can be so heavily used that trails are actually created. “It’s important to get the word out about where geocaches should and shouldn't be placed because some sites are not designed to handle the type of concentrated use brought on by geocaching.” says Molly Brown, Field Manager for the Prineville BLM. “The great news is that, once the groups know about the restrictions they’re very responsive and responsible. We’re grateful for the cooperation.”
Prineville began identifying geocaching limits in 2005 with the Upper Deschutes Resource Management Plan, which provides management direction for BLM-administered lands in Crook, Deschutes, and northern Klamath Counties. In 2012 BLM policy prohibited physical geocaches in wilderness areas, while still allowing virtual geocaches. Removal of these geocaches will bring the Prineville BLM into compliance with national policy and protect sensitive sites.
“Geocaching is absolutely a legitimate use of public land but it’s inappropriate in wilderness areas,” says Carol Benkosky, Prineville BLM District Manager. “Most times when the public is setting up a site, they’re unaware that they might be putting it in a closed or a sensitive area, so we rely on the geocaching community to help us spread the word and educate fellow geocachers.”
Geocaching is an outdoor treasure hunting game where participants use GPS-enabled devices to navigate to a specific set of coordinates. Once there, they attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location. Geocaches can be physical, meaning an actual container is located at the site, or virtual, where the objective is to locate an existing feature such as a specific tree, rock or viewpoint. Often, the container may contain a log for participants to document their find, or small tokens that can be taken if an item of equal value can be left behind. Some tokens are even marked with a unique code that makes them “trackable” as geocachers move them from cache to cache and document the moves online.
April 22 Professional Enrichment Series – What Workforce Trends Will HR See in 2014? – Volcanic Theatre Pub – 70 SW Century Dr – 11:30 a.m.
Bend Chamber Members: $25. Community Members $30
While most want to stand out and be the go-to person in their field with a consistent flow of clients and profit, the reality is they’re stuck on the wrong side of the gap blaming the income ceiling imposed upon them by a ‘bad economy.’
Bridging the gap between where you are and where you want to be, as a leader in business depends upon your willingness to take the right kind of decisive action, to understand and gain the upper hand with your Money DNA, to connect your business to your purpose while leveraging the team outside of you and yours so that you can do what you do best - lead in your business.
In this insightful truth-telling talk, Stephanie Trager, a once practicing attorney turned Business & Success Coach (founder of Intentional Paradigms), will engage attendees through a well-rounded investigation of the top 3 things that separate leaders in business who forge ahead to their next level of success, and those who get stuck.
To register or for more information, go to bendchamber.org.
April 23 Business After Hours – Goodwill Industries – 61315 S Hwy 97 – 5 p.m. (541) 382-3221
Join fellow Chamber members this month at Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette (GICW)! Goodwill provides vocational opportunities to people with barriers to employment. Through your donations and purchases, they help people find jobs, offer training opportunities to individuals with disabilities, and provide free employee enhancement, ESL, and citizenship classes. Each time a donation is sold, 95-cents on the dollar goes directly into mission services. In 2013, in Bend alone, their free Job Connection program placed 547 people into community jobs and provided more than 3,700 services. So grab your business cards and get ready for some serious networking at this month’s Business After Hours while also learning more about our fantastic host, Goodwill Industries! RSVP today at bendchamber.org.
Here's the Press Release.....
For Immediate Release
Deschutes County Republican Party Endorses Patrick Flaherty for DA
The DCRP Executive Committee votes unanimously to endorse Flaherty
April 17, 2014
The DCRP would like to thank John Hummel and Patrick Flaherty for speaking before their Central Committee members during their March and April meetings. Both men should be commended for their service to the community and for making the sacrifice to run for Deschutes County District Attorney.
Our Executive Committee has decided, by unanimous vote, to join the Bend Police Officer’s Association and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Association in our endorsement of Mr. Flaherty in the May 20th primary election.
Chair Philo stated, “The DCRP is pleased to support such a quality leader who is not affected by the whims of politics while serving the citizens of our community, and we hope our endorsement will help others when making their choice during this important election. Because of the tireless work of Patrick Flaherty, Deschutes County remains a safe place to live, work, and raise a family and will continue to be an attractive place for many to visit.”
The following is a news release distributed for Klamath County District Attorney's Office:
On Thursday, April 17, 2014, at approximately 6:12 a.m. Klamath Falls Police Department officers responded to the 1800 block of Laverne Avenue on the report of a murder. Officers arrived on the scene and discovered a deceased male who had been shot multiple times. Officers took James Harold Forshee II, age 58, from Klamath Falls, into custody at the scene and have charged him with Murder.
The Klamath County Major Crime Team has been activated to investigate. The investigation is currently active.
The Klamath County District Attorney intends to present this case to the Klamath County Grand Jury next Thursday, April 24, 2014. Questions regarding the investigation and arrest should be directed to Klamath County District Attorney Rob Patridge at (541) 840-1600.
The Klamath County Major Crime Team is comprised of members from the Klamath County Sheriff's Office, Klamath Falls Police Department, Oregon State Police, Klamath County Community Corrections, and Klamath County District Attorney's Office.
Jane Smilie will replace Scott Johnson, who is retiring at the end of May.
There were 50 applications for the position. Smilie comes to Bend from Helena, Montana.
She served as the Administrator for the Public Health and Safety Division for the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services for the past nine years.
She brings 25 years of experience in different health positions.
The incident happened Tuesday afternoon at the park in northeast Bend.
An American Bull Dog killed a Papillon -- both were off leash in the park.
Vance Lawrence is a patrol sergeant with the Deschutes County Sheiff's Office and says this is the first dog death he's heard of at a park.
"I'm not aware of any incident of this level. We do hear about people having aggressive dogs and the Parks and Rec controls the dog park. They handle most of the issues and patrol issues."
The Sheriff's Office was called in because of the severity of the incident.
"I wasn't there, but after talking with the technician, they both seemed appropriately traumatized by this and the suspect's dog owner was unaware their dog had this kind of aggression in it."
The owner of the bull dog was ticketed for animal nuisance, but that is as far as law enforcement can go, unless the Papillon owner pursues civil action.
This agreement represents an historic milestone in reaching a solution to water issues affecting the region.
The signing will be held at Collier State Park, 30 miles north of Klamath Falls starting around 9 A.M.
The event will celebrate the leadership, good faith and hard work that made this agreement possible.
It will highlight the economic and environmental benefits for the Klamath region.
He will be staying on until the fall now and then Dr. Shirley Metcalf will take over through the school year on an interim-basis.
Dr. Middleton says he'll spend the summer helping get Dr. Metcalf up to speed.
"I think what it does is it gives us a great opportunity with Shirley Metcalf and I to work through the summer not only to discuss the transition, but to work on materials to assist the President we expect to come in July of 2015."
Middleton says Dr. Metcalf has no interest in the permanent position.
The board plans to restart its search for a new President this fall -- with the hopes of having a new President in place next summer.
The college dropped its top candiate, Patrick Lanning, after he failed to tell them he was on paid administrative leave from his current job.
Our unemployment rate fell to 6.9 percent and added 7500 jobs in March -- which is double the average rate.
State Economist Nick Bielichicks says this is great news.
"Oregon's labor force for the fifth consecutive month showed job growth and this follows two years of job loss. And we're seeing more people entering the work force and their more encouraged about their prospects."
Governor Ktizhaber says these latest numbers show Oregon's continued economic expansion. He says many of the state's major industries, including construction, leisure and hospitality and health care -- are all adding more than one thousand jobs each.
A survey by Neighbor Works America found 29 percent of Americans would be unable to weather these storms.
Lynne McConnell with Neighbor Impact says more people need to save for a rainy day.
"A large proportion of Americans do not have enough savings if they were to face a financial emergency. Many of us are not saving enough to weather a health probelm or our vehicle breaks down or we temporarily lose employment."
While low income folks are often hit hardest during these emergencies, even higher income earners lack adequate savings.
Eleven percent of those earning more than 100-thousand dolalrs have no savings.
U.S. Senate Candidate Jason Conger of Bend wants to get his message out- just not on The Lars Larson Show.
On the daily talk show, Larson has continued to criticize Conger's voting record, and support Conger's main Republican challenger Monica Wehby. Conger says Larson continues to distort his positions and even talk about him when he's not present to defend himself.
"YOU KNOW- I DON'T LISTEN TO LARS ANYMORE- EVER- I NEVER WILL AGAIN- I'LL NEVER GO ON HIS SHOW- THERE'S AN OLD ADAGE- YOU DON'T PICK FIGHTS WITH PEOPLE WHO BUY INK BY THE BARREL- LARS HAS A LOT OF BARRELS."
Conger says he's answered Larson's same questions on-air several times-
"FOR WHATEVER REASON --- IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT I SAY AND IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT THE TRUTH IS- HE HAS DECIDED THAT HE IS GOING TO USE THAT TO ATTACK ME- AND SO I HAVE ABSOLUTELY NO INCENTIVE TO GO ON HIS SHOW AND CORRECT HIM...BECAUSE THE MINUTE I'M OFF THE SHOW HE GOES RIGHT ALONG SAYING WHATEVER HE WANTS TO SAY- I FIND IT *EXTRAORDINARILY* IRRESPONSIBLE- I HOPE MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT TRICKED."
In one example, Conger says he's had voters ask him why he voted for "Obamacare" when he didn't. Conger was a state lawmaker and they didn't vote on the Federal law. Conger says if he *had* been in congress he would have voted "no."
OREGON STATE POLICE NEWS RELEASE:
Update: On April 14, 2014, Oregon State Police (OSP) received phone calls that led to identifying two juvenile males, ages 16 and 17, as suspects in the April 13, 2014, throwing of a cinder block off an Interstate 5 / Creswell-area overpass that struck a vehicle's windshield and injured a woman inside the car.
The lead OSP investigating trooper contacted both suspects and parents at their Creswell residences. They are cooperating with the investigation and no arrests have been made. The suspects' names and other information are not being released at this time because of the ongoing investigation. Upon conclusion of the investigation, OSP will meet with the Lane County District Attorney's Office when potential charges will be decided.
On April 13, 2014 at approximately 4:28 a.m., a 2012 Toyota Camry driven by MICHAEL BECKER, age 28, from Roy, Washington, was northbound on Interstate 5 in the right lane traveling under the E. Oregon Avenue overpass in Creswell when a cinder block fell from the overpass and came through the windshield. The block struck passenger TIFFANY BECKER, age 30, in her face causing non-life threatening injury.
TIFFANY BECKER was transported by ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend for treatment. She was treated and released. The driver was not injured.
OSP troopers from the Springfield Area Command office responded to the scene and are continuing the investigation.
This was necessary after the college backed off its top pick -- Patrick Lanning -- when it learned he was on administrative leave from his current job.
First, the current President, Jim MIddleton will continue at the helm of COCC until mid September and won't retire at the end of June as planned.
Then in September, Dr. Shirley Metcalf, COCC's Dean of Extended Learning will assume the position.
Board Chair, Bruce Abernethy, says Dr. Metcalf has proven herself as a quality leader, both in terms of her experience prior to coming to COCC, in Hawaii and Washington and in her roles here.
The board plans to begin a search for a permanent President in October. They hope to name a new President to start in July of 2015.
A recent poll found that her opponent, state lawmaker Jason Conger actually would have a better showing in a contest against incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley than Wehby.
Wehby talked with Lars Larson about it.
"I tell you it couldn't be more ridiculous. I'm a first time candidate. I've never been invovled in poltiics before. This is my first run for public office. I'm not a hand picked candidate. It's quite humorous. I decided to run for office because I was concerned for the opportuntiies for my chidlren and the direction of the country."
The article was written by Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard. He believes the Republican estalbishment is pushing for the more liberal candidate, in this case, Wehby, to win in the general election.
The state is seeing more vacancies and fewer unemployed seeking work.
Employment Economist Jessica Nelson is with the Oregon Employment Department.
"As the labor market has tightened, employers are having more difficulty finding the workers they need. One year ago it was just 39 percent of the vacancies that were difficult to fill and at this point, it is up to 54 percent that are difficult to fill."
Food preparation and serving workers and production workers topped the list of occupations with vacancies, with more than four thousand a piece.
While every region in the state saw increases in the number of job vacancies, more than half of the openings were in the Portland area.
The board will meet at noon and the agenda calls for them to possibly appoint an interim President.
The board voted last week to start its search for a new COCC President over this fall, when they learned their top candidate, Patrick Lanning was on administrative leave from his job.
The college hopes to name an interim president for a year while they search for a new president.
This will allow current COCC President Jim Middleton to retire as planned this summer.
The school district has selected Reese for the position over two other candidates.
The current principal, H.D. Wedell is leaving to take a job at Oregon State University.
Reese says he's excited for the opportunity to be the principal at Bend High and looks forward to building upon the culture of trust, respect and acceptance there.
He will assume his new role on July first.
A Gallup Poll found that 48 percent of people 65 and older identify themselves as being Republican or Republican-leaning.
Back in 2003, a similar poll found 45 percent leaned Republican -- while in 1993, only 39 percent had Republican leanings.
While seniors are leaning Republican, younger people are leaning Democratic.
46 precent of those between 50 and 64 identified with the Democratic party.
People are having to chose plans that serve their needs best and that means people need to be more informed.
Everyone's needs aren't the same, so buyers beware.
Don Silver, author "The Best Obamacare Guide" says you have to be a savvy consumer.
"It's tough. You're balancing policy provisions, you're balancing higher deductible versus lower premiums -- and what is the right point for me? You have to understand co-pay, co-insurance, annual deductible and out of pocket expenses and see how this all comes together for them."
Silvers says we still don't have firm numbers about how many young healthy people have signed up for coverge versus those who are older and probably sicker. He thinks around 25 to 30 percent of the enrollees are under 35.
The Cover Oregon Board last week accepted the resignation of Dr. Bruce Goldberg who was the interim Director of Cover Oregon.
The Portland "turnaround" firm "Hamstreet and Associates" will act as interim leader until they hire a new permanent Executive Director in the next month.
The chair of the Cover Oregon Board thanked Dr. Goldberg for his service.
"Board Member: I feel I need to say this is bittersweet. Your resignation has been in my in box for weeks. I just want to say thank you for stepping in and helping us out. Dr. Goldberg: Thank you I appreciate that. I think we're going in the right direction."
There are seven semi finalists for the Director position who have been interviewed.
They hope to narrow it down to two to three finalists and make a recommendation to the board sometime in May.
Oregon State Police (OSP) Criminal Investigations Division detectives are continuing the investigation into the death of a 66-year old man whose body was found Wednesday morning in the back of a burning pickup on a dirt road south of Highway 140W west of Klamath Falls. An autopsy conducted Thursday, April 10, by the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the man died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
On April 9, 2014 at approximately 8:00 a.m., Rocky Point Fire & EMS responded to a reported vehicle fire on a dirt road about a mile south of Highway 140W near milepost 51. OSP troopers responded, and after the fire was extinguished they found the body of a deceased male in the bed of a charred pickup.
Initial investigation identified the deceased male as JOSEPH E. HUNTSTIGER, age 66, from Klamath Falls. A handgun was found with the victim.
An OSP arson detective responded to the scene to assist with determining the cause of the vehicle fire. The fire started in the rear of the camper but the cause is undetermined at this time.
Two people were arrested last Friday in connection with an Oregon State Police (OSP) traffic stop on Highway 97 about four miles south of Bend after a trooper located approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine in their vehicle.
On April 4, 2014 at approximately 12:20 p.m., an OSP trooper stopped a 2003 Hyundai Elantra displaying Oregon license plates northbound on Highway 97 near milepost 146 for a speed violation. During the traffic stop the two occupants were identified as driver CARMEN D. ZAVALA, age 32, from Madras, and passenger DAVEY L. CULPUS, age 28, from Warm Springs.
Subsequent investigation during the traffic stop led troopers to discover approximately 4 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in the car's trunk and rear passenger compartment. Estimated value of the seized methamphetamine is $60,000.
ZAVALA and CULPUS were arrested for Unlawful Delivery and Possession of a Controlled Substance - Methamphetamine.
Clean up Time, Don’t Get Burned!
For Immediate Release
Friday, April 11, 2014 (9:22 AM)
With recent and forecasted warm weather, landowners are in the mode of spring cleaning their properties by removing dead material to reduce flammable vegetation build-up. Those choosing to remove vegetation and litter through burning need to be careful and take the precautions to prevent the spread of fire.
“Although the soil may still be wet from recent (above average) rains in the month of March, dead vegetation such as last year’s grass and brush can dry out fast from the sun. When afternoon winds develop, that’s enough to carry a fire out of control. Dead grass and brush can burn even though there is moisture in areas on the ground,” stated Randall Baley, Fire Planner with the Oregon Department of Forestry. “Overall, we are way behind in precipitation averages such as snow pack and rainfall over the duration of winter. We need to get into good habits of being careful. Fires have occurred in the past couple of weeks from various types of debris burning and some have escaped the control of the landowner”.
The following are considerations when debris burning during your SPRING CLEAN UP. These practices may not prevent a fire from spreading, but they do decrease the risks to the landowner:
1. Be sure you are fully prepared before burning. Extra people and tools may be necessary to control your fire.
2. Clear around your burn area to mineral soil to eliminate the fire spreading to dead and down material or green vegetation.
3. Check the weather -- don’t burn on dry, windy days.
4. Be sure to stay with your fire until it is “out”; “from first flame to the last spark”.
5. Check your burn regularly and frequently. Check your piles for hidden hot spots by digging into the piles, after the fire appears to be “dead out” and after the wind has blown in the area.
The Oregon Department of Forestry does not require a burn permit at this time, BUT other fire protection agencies/departments do require permits. Please contact your local fire department for current requirements, as well as the 882-BURN number. Remember those within the Klamath Falls Air Quality Zone may only use burning as a clean-up tool between April 4th and April 19thth.
The Oregon Department of Forestry, and other area fire districts and agencies, would like to encourage you to develop a potentially survivable space on your property for high fire danger times of year. Information on fire protecting your property may be obtained from the Oregon Department of Forestry and other fire protection agencies. If you decide to use burning as a tool to dispose of debris in your clean up, consider all risks in your decision. Be sure that you have taken every precaution before burning, and double check the burn area after it appears to be dead out.
# # # # #
The board on Thursday heard that exchange leaders have narrowed down their options to two choices -- continue to try to fix the state exchange or go to the federal one.
Dr. Bruce Goldberg, interim Director of Cover Oregon, say this is a complicated and important decision.
"We have to get this right. It's a big decision and we have to take the time to get it right. We have a short window over the next few weeks and both options need to be fully vetted before we can make that final decision."
The option of using another state's exchange was taken off the table because it was considered too risky and would take too long.
Negative ads by fellow Republicans are starting to hit the airwaves.
Jason Conger doesn't appreciate their tone or inaccuracy.
"Republican Jason Cogner voted with Democrats for Oregon's Obamacare. Not once or twice or three or four times, but Republican Jason Conger voted five times for Oregon's Obamacare."
Conger says the ads come from the Monica Wehby campaign.
"It's an outright lie. Anyone who hears them will be turned off by the obnoxious tone and no state lawmakers vote on federal law and people will recognize that."
People will start getting their ballots in just a couple weeks and election day is May 20th.
The winner in the Republican primary will face Jeff Merkley in November.
We've spent 134 million on it, but people still cannot go on the Cover Oregon website and sign up for plans from beginning to end.
Don Silver, the author of the book "The Best Obamacare Guide" says a decision has to come soon.
"But the clock is ticking the next open enrollment is November 15th and it's almost April 15 and that's practically seven months away. And you have to get everything to work. I just don't see how you can continue on the current path for 21 months and doing everything by hand is going to work."
A report recently found fixing the current site is far more expensive than hooking up with the federal exchange or another state's exchange.
Both those options would be cheaper and take less time.
Governor Kitzhaber extended the enrollment period through the end of April.
Arian Holm with Cover Oregon says they are warning people not to wait until the last minute.
"Time is running out to apply for Cover Oregon. Oregonians have until April 30th to submit applications. That's just about two weeks away , so people should apply now and not wait until April 30th."
You can apply either through an insurance agent or community partner or through the Cover Oregon website, but the website has to process some of the applications by hand.
The next enrollment period starts mid November.
School Board Chair Don Hedrick says last month's school board meeting, people made their opinion clear.
"Well, since our last meeting, the community made very clear at that meeting they don't want a four day week. So what we're trying to do is come up with other ways to solve our budget problem. We got a number of suggestions we're following up on some of those suggestions."
The school board met Wednesday night and heard more suggestions on ways to cut the budget or raise revenue to balance the budget.
They are looking at consolidating schools and attracting more students to the district to get there.
In May, the school board plans to make a final decision on what to do.
The former First Lady was speaking at Oregon's International speaker series -- featuring women changing the world.
Clinton told the group a nation's economic prosperity is limited when women are excluded from schools and workplaces.
She says foreign leaders were most receptive when she'd make an economic argument for women's rights.
She says the U.S. has a ways to go to close the pay gap between men and women.
April 9, 2014
COCC Board chooses to not hire for president, extends search
The Central Oregon Community College Board of Directors has decided not to hire a new president for the College at this time. COCC Board Chair Bruce Abernethy said the board has determined there are unanswered questions that provide concern and that the College needs to move forward.
Following an Executive Session meeting, the Board passed a resolution to “not hire” any of the candidates, and to “extend the search.” The Board did not make a formal decision on a timeline for the next phase of the search, but did indicate it would likely start the process back up in the fall. No decision has been made as to who will serve as president after June 30, when current president Jim Middleton is scheduled to retire. The Board also scheduled a meeting next week to continue the conversation.
“It is very disappointing to have gone through this process, involved so many members of the campus and the community, yet not be able to hire at this time,” Abernethy said. “I want to thank the members of the Search Advisory Committee and everyone who participated in the interview process. I know they will all be disappointed with this news.”
The college conducted a national search, beginning last fall. A 17-member Search Advisory Committee, comprised of faculty, staff, students and community members, screened all of the applications and selected three candidates whom the Board invited for interviews. After the interviews, the Board identified Dr. Patrick Lanning as the top candidate and then began what it hoped were the final steps.
Director of College Relations
Central Oregon Community College
Central Oregon Community College News Release below:
The groundbreaking is scheduled for Wednesday at the site -- which is the former Ochocco Lumber site.
The hospital's CEO, Jeanie Gentry says it will be more patient-friendly.
"Actually it isn't larger, it's smaller than the current square footage. That's because it's more efficient and make it more patient centered. When I go to the doctors office I want it in a short amount of space and to not have to repeat my info 15 times."
The new healthcare campus will include primary and specialty care along with an E-R department and surgery suites.
The new hospital should be completed by the fall of 2015.
The bill aims to slash pay disparities between men and women.
Women still earn less than men, on average 77 cents to the one dollar men earn.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley says the legislation will give equal pay for equal work.
"Here's the bottom line, the pay gap costs Oregon families thousands of dollars and takes away the equality and fairness they deserve and I hope all my senate colleagues join in this fight."
Tuesday was Equal Pay Day -- and President Obama marked the day by signing two executive actions aimed at strengthening existing equal pay laws.
The latest polls out late last week show Conger only 7 percentage points behind incumbent Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley.
Conger's Republican opponent Monica Wehby is 12 percentage points behind.
Conger says he's excited about the latest numbers.
"It shows our message is resonating with Republicans and there's also a lot of support with swing voters and independents. When we look deeper in the polls, I'm ahead of Jeff Merkley by 7 percentage points and 15 percentage points above Wehby and that's critical. YOu have to be able to win statewide."
Conger is greatly encouraged to be within seven percentage points behind Merkley this early in the race.
Her campaign has announced she has raised more than one million dollars for her race.
Wehby faces State Representative Jason Conger and a couple other candidates in next month's Republican primary.
Wehby herself has contributed 52-hundred dollars to her campaign.
Democratic incumbent Jeff Merkley is seeking a second term. He's raised more than four million dollars.
24 year old Christopher Labauve was arrested for brekaing into the home of an elerly couple.
Police say a highly intoxicated Labauve entered the home of Robert and Beverly Johnson Sunday night through a back door and found the couple in the living room.
The 73 year old Robert confronted the man and chased him to a back bedroom and tackled him and held him down until law enforcement arrived.
Labauve had a 18 inch knife in his waist band, but he did not use it against the Johnsons.
Labauve was arrested and charged with burglary and criminal trespassing, but he was released because there was not enough jail space.
Bend police are looking for a missing 15 year old with asperger syndrome and autism.
15 year old Ken Schuchman is 5'9" and weighs 140 pounds, with short brown hair and eyes.
He was last seen wearing a "mustard" colored hooded sweatshirt, a "breaking bad" black t-shirt with white lettering, blue jeans, and he was carrying a gray backpack.
He was last seen at his home around 1:30 early this (Tue) morning.
he is likely to be walking and has been known to ride public busses. anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call Bend Police. The non-emergency number for 911 is 541-693-6911.
News Release below:
Date: Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Date & Time of Incident: 04/08/14 / 0130
Type of Incident: Missing Person
Location of Incident: 20623 Sierra Drive
Kenneth Currin Schuchman
15 years of age
White male, 5’09”, 140 pounds, short brown hair, brown eyes
Last seen wearing: “mustard” colored hooded sweatshirt, “Breaking Bad” black tshirt with white lettering, blue jeans, carrying a gray backpack.
Diagnosed: Asperger Syndrome and Autism Disorder
The Bend Police Department is actively trying to locate Kenneth Currin Schuchman. He is a 15 year old juvenile diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome and Autism Disorder. He left his residence at about 0130 hours earlier on this date. He is believed to be walking, without access to a vehicle, and has been known to ride public busses.
Anyone with information about Kenneth Schuchman’s whereabouts or observes someone that resembles him is asked to contact the Bend Police at 541-693-6911.
Deschutes County Search and Rescue K-9 Team to assist with Washington State search efforts
DATE: April 4, 2014
BY: Lt. Scott Shelton
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office
Search and Rescue Coordinator
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will deploy a K-9 Search team to the community of Oso in the foothills the Cascade Moutains, Northeast of Seattle.
Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton has been in contact with Snohomish County Sheriff Sheriff’s Office and has offered the assistance of the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team and staff.
In support of the ongoing search efforts in the devastated community of Oso, Deschutes County SAR K-9 “meg” her handler and a flanker will be deployed to the area on Friday April 4, 2014. The team will be deployed for approximately 5 days.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office will continue to offer assistance to our neighbors in Washington as long as the search continues.
It was on this week's agenda, but Deschutes County legal counsel decided to withdraw the request to broaden the definition.
Laurie Craghead explained the action to commissioners.
"The timing was bad on how we brought it forward. Our intent was for the use to be qualfiied, but unfortunately it raised the ire of some and so we recommend we remain with the current defintion. O.K."
The commissioners did take some public comment, but said they will revisit this issue in the future.
The definition of what constitutes a church just applies to the county -- not home churches in the city of Bend.
The city plans to break ground in early May and will start taking bids from contractors Thursday.
That means the facility wil be done by the end of 2015 or early 2016.
Project Manager Heidi Lansdowne says it will be more than a year late to meet the federal government's deadline to be treating the water for parasites like cyptosporidium.
"For a project this size and complexity, it's gonna take awhile to be completed. It should be done by December 2015 or Janaury 2016. It's a big building with technical equipment and piping. It's a 30 million dollar project."
Lansdowne says they are in contact with the Oregon Health Authority about the timeline. The filtration plant is supposed to be operaitng by October 2014, but the OHS says contact them then and they'll discuss what the options are.
Foster Fell is starting to collect signatures to put a measure on the ballot that would make sure the river remains healthy and may require the city to build fish passage before any projects go forward.
"They would prohibit any tax money -- any project that would detract from the river regarding fish passage. They need to maintain the health of the river. There are standards that are accepted to maintain river health such as river temperature, dissolve oxygen and sediment and algae in the river."
Fell is creating a website, "Free the River.org" to collect signatures. Supporters must gather 7-thousand signatures by August 7th, to be put on the November ballot.
The Redmond City Council has to vote *again* on the whether or not to ban medical marijuana. The Redmond City Council passed a 1 year medical marijuana moratorium on Tuesday. But it's back to the drawing board today.
Mayor George Endicott says they just heard from the state, The Oregon Health Authority, that any ordinance has to say it "expires" on May 1st to 2015.
"Ourselves- Sisters and potentially about 30 other cities passed ordinances- and now we have to do a "do-over" after all of the expense and effort - because of that late arriving direction from the state."
The council will re-vote this coming Tuesday...
The deadline for cities and counties to have the new ordinances in place in order to qualify for the one year ban is May 1st.
The state legislature paved the way for local governments to restrict medical marijuana dispensaries until May 1st, 2015.
TUNE IN FOR OUR LIVE DEBATE BETWEEN DESCHUTES COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY PATRICK FLAHERTY AND CHALLENGER JOHN HUMMEL. CALL IN AT 388-1110 OR EMAIL QUESTIONS AT LORI@KBND.COM BY 7:30A THURSDAY, APRIL 3RD.
The deadline to do so ended Monday night. Oregonians have until the end of April to sign up because of all our website problems at Cover Oregon.
Linda Hendrix of Bend is self employed and used to buy her health insurance on the individual market.
She says she signed up through Cover Oregon and got a better plan than she had -- for less money.
"Well for me it's good, but I know it's not good for eveyrone. I think they'll keep working on it. I feel pretty good about working out the kinks and everything so."
The latest polls show Americans still split on Obamacare -- 49 percent support it, while 48 percent oppose it.
The university wants to put it on the westside and is seeking approval from the city of Bend to develop the site.
But many residents on that side of town are fighting those plans.
Bend City Manager Eric King says the OSU Cascades application is in front of a city of Bend hearings officer.
"The process becomes more formal and the city needs to be netural as we go through the application process. The city needs to be careful as any developer who would be applying . We have to review their application based on criteria in our code."
City councilors are anticipating to hear an appeal on the university's plan for the new campus.
This issue could ultimately land in front of the State Land Use Board of Appeals.
Esterman is taking on incumbent Deschutes County Commisisoner Tony Debone.
He recently talked with Lars Larson about some controversial land use issues.
"On farm land, people want to hold weddings, but they have to pay permit fees. I think these permit fees are really just a way to create revenue more than anything. Because if you want to do a event in Deschutes County, if you have 500 people its $35, but if its 501, it's $2500 dollars.
Esterman is an event coordinator and photographer by profession.
Whoever wins the Republican primary for commissioner, wil face Democrat Jodie Barram in the fall.
Judge Barbara Haslinger is retiring and that's creating the opening.
He is facing local attorney Randy Miller for the judgeship.
"I think our current court is occupied mainly by criminal law matters. I've tried over one hundred jury trials. And I think that's a factor I've had trial experience in circuit court. The only qualification for judge is that you're a lawyer and passed the Oreogn State Bar. However, I think people need to look at the background and experience the candidates have."
There was a third candidate for Judge, Steven Kurzer, but he has withdrawn from the race, but his name will still be on the May ballot.
He is one of two candidates running for the post.
He was a marine in Operaiton Desert Sorm in Kuwait and worked as a police officer in Sunriver before going to law school.
His father, also named Randy Miller, was a state Senator and so he believes in public service.
"I served in combat as a Marine and in police before goin to college and that had a profound impact on my life. I realized we live in a pretty special county. I became a lawyer and to be a judge I believe is the most honorable way I can continue to serve my community."
Defense Attorney T.J. Spear is also running for judge.
If either candidate gets 50 percent of the vote in May, they'll be elected -- otherwise the two candidates will face off again in November.
John Shepherd of Sisters has tried to get a permit to conduct farm weddings on his 200 acres in Sisters for four years.
He's spent thousands of dollars in fees, but still has no permit.
Now the county is saying if he is conducting church services in his home, he has to get a permit for that too.
Deschutes Community Development Department Director Nick Lelack spoke with Lars Larson, who questioned whether you need a permit to have services in your home.
"That's a good question. Our legal counsel is researching that. What caught our attention is he and a member o the public said he registered his church with the Oregon Secretary of State's Office. We have not ordered him to stop his services. We're not taking any code enforcement at this time."
Shepherd says he holds services for about a dozen people at his home.
He has contacted a christian civil liberties group and claims a notice from the county accusing him of possibly violating county code, is a violation of his first amendment rights.
The initiative would allow homeowners to use any form of physical force against an intruder.
Currently Oregon homeowners can only use deadly force if they're threatened with deadly force.
Kevin Mannix with "Common Sense for Oregon" explains the measure.
"This empowers people to defend themselves and loved ones in their home. It protects them from any predatory criminal who can't get you one way, and may try to get you another way."
The measure would protect homeowners from being liable for any injury, death or damage suffered by an adult trespasser.
The effort needs to gather 86-thousand signatures to put on the ballot.
They are changing who actually issues the citation to those people who don't comply with the ordinance.
Deschutes County Forester Ed Keith explains the change to county commissioners at their meeting this week,
"We originally had the weed inspector take the complaint all the way to enforcement. That department still takes the initial complaint, but when the residents don't comply and don't look like they're going to comply, then it's turned over to the Sheriff's Office."
The maximum fine would be two thousand dollars for residents who refuse to remove harmful weeds from their property.
The commissioners are schedueld to make final approval of the weed ordinance in early April. It would take effect in early July.
Joshua Ward lost several fingers in a power saw accident in shop class in December of 2012. He can't use his left hand, but luckily he's right handed.
But he is limited in what he can do.
His attorney, Tom D'Amore of Lake Oswego says they hope to prevent such accidents in the future.
"Our objective hopefully is to prevent other schools who don't have appropriate saws get them too. Because these saws, even professionals using them, it's extremely dangerous. One, should these saws be in the school in the first place and two, if we're going to put them in there, you need proper supervision."
Ward claims his injury has cost more than 200-thousand dollars in medical expenses.
Governor Kitzhaber talked with Heath and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about the extension.
It's being extended because of all the technology issues with the Cover Oregon website.
This extended application period is targeted to people purchasing private health insurance coverage either through Cover Oregon or directly from an insurance carrier.
Those who apply through Cover Oreogn before April 30th will not be subject to a federal tax penalty, but those who enroll outside Cover Oregon may have to pay a partial federal penalty.
Children First for Oregon -- a child advocacy group, found that 1 in 4 children in the state is living in poverty.
That's defined as a family of four living on $23-thousand dollars a year or less.
Children First Executive Director Tonia Hunt says Oregon falls in the bottom half of all states for child poverty rates.
"I think we definitely lost ground during the recession. Some are not making up that ground as the economy improves -- certain workers and certain regions. We do see a stagnation among some demographics, low income wage earners and certain regions of the state that are troubling."
Growing up in poverty means these kids often face poor nutrition, delayed development, chronic stress and difficulty in school.
Well, a Bend woman has started a non-profit that will help pair veterans suffering from post traumatic stress disorder with service dogs.
Kristina Olson formed "Battle Buddies" last August.
"We recruit, in other words, rescue dogs capable of being service dogs and we get them trained and paired up with veterans. They go through training. It's roughly six to nine months to get the service dog ready. So you'll be seeing a lot of service dogs running around soon as this area has a lot of veterans -- and a lot of dogs!"
Battle Buddies just started training dogs this year and they have two dogs that are participating so far.
To be eligible to get a service dog, you must have a service related disability.
The "Truth in Site" group has gained attention in the last week with their first meeting, but residents like Bruce Cummings want it known the site selection process has been a long one and they embrace the chosen location.
"I just find the position, as they say they are on the wrong side of history. I find myself when I read one of their points thinking about how many meetings I've attended -- and it shows the due diligence and transparency OSU Cascades has gone through."
Cummings feels the "not in my backyard" attitude is at work here. He thinks the addition of a four year unviersity will be an asset to our community -- especially economically.
Mike Hollern has been on several committees during the selection site process .. and feels their concerns have been addressed.
"I think it would be unfortunate to delay or stall this expansion. This has been very well researched decision. A lot of effort and study went into where it shoudl be. I had the good fortune of serving on several committees and I'm totally convinced that this is the best available solution and I hope it mvoes forward rapidly as possible."
Hollern is concerned the efforts of a small group could derail all the work the community has done to expand the OSU campus here.
The two participated in their second public debate before the Redmond Patriots Monday night.
D.A. Flaherty told the audience he's had a successful run the last three and a half years.
"During my administration we've had unprecedented success. We've tried one aggravated murder cases and four murder trial. The number of cases in unprecedented. We've moved cases through quickly. And we have one conviction for aggravated murder and three convictions for murder. You can't get any better than that."
Flaherty accused Hummel of using the D.A.'s office as a stepping stone to other political offices and Hummel charged Flaherty with running a dysfunctional office that has cost the community more than one million dollars in lost lawsuits.
The debate questions came from the Redmond Patriot members. One criticized Hummel's work in Liberia, when he worked for former President Jimmy Carter.
"And you know I worked for President Carter and I think he's one of our most successful former Presidents. I'm very proud of the peace, justice and help he's delivered around the world. I also worked for George W. Bush in the executive office for the trade representative. So that says a lot about me. I look at the job, not the label."
The two will face off at another debate before the League of Women Voters on April 15th.
Gordon Challstrom is facing Representative Dennis Richardson for the Republican nomination. The winner will face Governor Kitzhaber in November.
Challstrom ran a concrete company for twenty years in Medford. He says he's running to shrink state government and create jobs.
"I just believe as a businessman I know what economic environment you need to be promoting job growth. I would say if you elect a lawyer, you're going to get more laws, but if you elect a businessman, you'll get more jobs."
Challstrom says if elected, he will reduce the tax burden and unnecessary government regulations that are depressing Oregon's job market.
KBND story: The Deschutes County Sheriff's office says A 69-year-old Bend man has died of injuries suffered Sunday afternoon when his dirt bike struck a downed tree near La Pine. Ernest Gerloff died yesterday/Tuesday at St. Charles in Bend of injuries suffered in the crash.
He was riding on a forest road sunday afternoon and was thrown from his bike after he hit a tree in the road. Several friends found Gerloff and began life-saving efforts, and he was taken by air ambulance to the hospital. Gerloff was wearing a helmet and other protective gear.
News Release from Sheriff's Office:
Motorcycle Crash sends one to the hospital with critical injuries
FS 9725 between the 700 and 400 spur Roads, La Pine, Or.
Date and Time of Incident: 03/23/2014 at 4:31 p.m.
By: Sergeant Don Manning
Driver: Gerloff, Ernest age: 69
Vehicle: Husqvarna, dirt bike, blue and white in color.
On 3/25/2014 Gerloff passed away due to the injuries he received from the crash.
On 03/23/14 at approximately 4:31 p.m., Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies, assisted by Forrest Service Law Enforcement Officers, Bureau of Land Management Ranger, La Pine and Sunriver Fire Departments were dispatched to the area of Forrest Service Road 9725 between spur Roads 400 and 700 for a dirt bike crash with injuries. Ernest Gerloff was transported by Air Link to St. Charles-Bend with critical injuries.
The initial investigation determined Gerloff was riding dirt bikes in the listed area with several friends. For an unknown reason Gerloff struck a downed tree, crashed and was ejected from his dirt bike on Forrest Service Road 9725. Several friends located Gerloff and started life saving efforts. The friends were later assisted by Bureau of Land Management Ranger and Forrest Service Law Enforcement Officers. La Pine Fire Department arrived and took over life saving efforts. Gerloff was then transported to Saint Charles Medical Center where he is being treated for critical injuries. Gerloff was wearing a helmet and other protective equipment.
Witnesses to this crash are encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 541-693-6911. The investigation is continuing.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was assisted in this investigation by Forrest Service Law Enforcement Officers, Bureau of Land Management Ranger, La Pine and Sunriver Fire and Air Link.
Damon Runberg says job loss during this time of year, is typical.
"Februrary tends to be the bottom of our seasonal ebb and flow. It tends to be one of the lower months besides our winter tourism, it's the lower end of the tourism season. And retail backs off and obviously construction tends to be snowed in."
Year over year, all three central Oregon counties are doing much better.
Deschutes County's unemployment rate in February was 8.4 percent, Jefferson County was 9.6 percent and Crook County's was 10.7 percent.
The two -- 23 year old Brent Waldorf of Madras and 23 year old Challis Sharei Heath from Warm Springs abandoned their car Sunday moring and took off and hid out in a home in Metolius.
Waldorf was wanted on outstanding warrants and police feared he could be armed. Oregon State Police activated SWAT personnel and entered the home and arrested the two.
Waldorf and Heath face attemping to elude and reckless driving charges, as well as arson charges for setting a fire in the kitchen, that was quickly put out.
31 year old Dan Vagle from the state of Minnesota was arrested last week when an officer discovered 31 pounds of marijuana in his car.
Vagle was stopped last Wednesday for a traffic violation. During the traffic stop, a drug detection dog discovered the marijuana in a large duffel bag in the car's trunk. It has an estimated value of $75-thousand dollars.
Vagle was taken to the Jefferson County jail and charged with delivery and possession of marijuana. He has since posted bail.
Last week "Truth in Site" met for the first time fighting the westside location. Two hundred people came out for that meeting.
Small business owner, Ed Barbeau lives on the westside and he's against it too.
"First, they got out there and said there's no difference in the traffic patterns. Well, you can't just put 5-thousand students in that area and say it's not going to be affected -- when there are 300 students in the elementary schools around there and there's gridlock on Mt. Washington and Century right now."
Barbeau says like many people on the westside, he's in favor of a four year university, he just doesn't want it on their side of town. He feels Juniper Ridge would be a better site.
The county commissioners requested the designation last month because of the county's low snow pack levels.
Crook County's Emergency Manager, Mike Ryan says it's been a tough year.
"Well, we haven't gone through a drought declaration for the better part of 10 to 15 years. What I can tell you is what I know from people I've talked with on the drought council. The Agriculture Department will be offering resources, not sure if they are monetary or other solutions to try and mitigate the problems."
The declaration allows the Governor's office flexibility in how the water is managed to ensure limited supplies are used efficiently.
Their latest findings show 1 in 6 women over the age of 60 will get the disease, while only 1 in 11 men will get it.
Kathleen Cody is the Director of Oregon's Alzheimer's Assocation.
"The initial research and we're going to be doing much more -- looks at the brains of women and for some reason we are more susceptible to plaque build up. It seems to be inherent in the make up of women. It's not an age related difference."
Women account for almost two thirds of Americans with the disease -- and also account for 60 percent of the caregivers for people with dementia.
COID has claimed it was to help fix leaky canals and allow them to put more water in the the river to help the environment.
But homeowners felt the motivation was to put hydroelectric power along the canals to make money.
A homeowner along the canal, appealed to the state Land Use Board of Appeals that the environmental claim really wasn't the reason for the piping and LUBA agreed.
Tom Hignell lives along the canal and is thrilled with the decision.
"They decided in our favor. They stated the COID application is a hydro power use permit, not a water and environmental use permit. So it needs a conditional use permit from the county. This tells the county COID can't go forward with its present applicaton, but they need to make another application for hydro power use."
The Deschutes County Planning Commission is meeting next week on a request to allow them to pipe these canals without any public input. But in light of the LUBA decision, it's likely they will ask COID to reapply as a hydropower project.
The Governor says the website also lacked a system integrator that would have helped and the primary website developer, Oracle certainly had deficiencies.
Despite the technical challenges, more than 157-thousand Oregonians have enrolled through the exchange almost 50 thousand of them into a commercial plan.
Dr. Bruce Goldberg has resigned as the Director of the Oregon Health Authority. He will continue as the Acting Director of Cover Oregon until a new executive director is hired. Dr. George Brown, the President and CEO of Legacy Health is overseeing the search process for the new executive director.
Governor Kitzhaber says he spoke with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius earlier this week about other strategies to get more Oregonians enrolled in coverage. All options are being explored, and the Governor expects to have an announcement as early as next week.
The community seems to want to keep it in some form, but how much are they willing to pay for it?
The City Club of Central Oregon will be discussing this issue again at Thursday monthly meeting.
Ryan Houston with the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council will be part of the panel discussion and says cost will be a huge driver in this decision.
"And the truth is, it's all expensive. As a community we've benefitted from it since the 1900's for free. And now the question is, if we want to keep it, are we willing to pay for it. And that really changes the conversation for people."
The community is deciding between three options -- from keeping it as is, to removing the dam to a combiantion of the two.
"You know there has to be a funding mechanism. One of the elected bodies, either the park board or city council may take some action on that or it could go to the ballot box. My guess is it could go to the ballot box, but the trick is -- this is all expensive. So I don't know."
The City Club panel also included Bend City Councilor Victor Chudowsky and David Blair.
They need 116-thousand valid signatures by early July to put the issue on the November ballot.
Leanne Littrell DiLorenzo of Portland is the President of Vote ERA.org and is the force behind the effort.
"It's going great. We've collected over 35-thousand signatures, plus five thousand more. And we were just approved by the Attorney General's Office ten to eleven weeks ago. So people are excited."
The state legislature failed to pass an equal rights amendment last year, so that's why the initiative drive got underway.
"We believe it's important that women are expressly equal in the Oregon constitution and the federal constitution for that matter. We say "Study the the past, protect the future. " The question is why wouldn't Oregon want to support equality of women in the Oregon constitution?"
This state wide effort coincides with a revived national campaign to pass a federal equal rights amendment.
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