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Local News Archives for 2013-06


Shake Up on CTC Board but Members Come Up With a Plan to Move Forward


The CTC Board voted this week to accept a 10-thosuand dollar no interest loan from someone in the theatrical community to get them by.

 

They have gotten rid of all the paid employees and are now an all volunteer organization.

 

There was considerable conflict between  the board and membership about whether to sell the building to raise cash.

 

Three members of the CTC Board have resigned in recent months, but current board member Keith Clinton says they're back on track.

 

"While this whole financial thing, personnel thing has been a lot of turmoil, it might be one of those things that it's a good thing it happened.  It took us back to our roots and reenergized our base.  It just worked  out the way it was supposed to."

 

Clinton says ticket sales of their latest production "Fox on the Fairway" have been great and they also are selling more memberships and season tickets.

 

He's much more optimistic about CTC's future than he was a couple months ago.

A Compromise is Reached on Increasing Bend's Transient Room Tax


The new plan calls for a 1.4 percent increase in the room tax and not the two percent originally suggested.  

 

The new plan was reached during "behind the scenes" discussions earlier this week.

 

Dave Rathbun of Mt. Bachelor was against the original plan, but is on board with the compromsie.

 

"I feel proud we were able to reach a compromise.  It's not perfect and neither side is thrilled with it, but it's the right thing for tourism.  It will help us grow and have a little bit of responsibility in year one  of the deal."

 

If put on the November ballot and it's approved, only 1 percent of the room tax increase would be implemented in June of 2014 wit  the full 1.4 percent starting in June of 2015.

 

The Bend City Council plans to hold a public hearing on the proposal at its July 10th meeting.

Deschutes County Commissioners O.K. Putting Alfalfa Fire District Issue on the Ballot


The Deschutes County Commissioners gave the o.k. to put the issue on the ballot at their meeting Wednesday.

 

A public hearing on the issue was held.

 

David Warren, who was instrumental in getting the idea off the ground spoke at the hearing.

 

"There's a lot of history.  We decided in view of  the number of fires last year in the surrounding area and even within the Alfalfa area, that man, it's time to get this done."

 

Alfalfa voters will be asked to approve the district and the funding for it.  It would cost a homeowner $1.75 per one thousand dollars of assessed value.

 

There will be one more public hearing on the issue at the Alfalfa Community Center on August 6th.

Gay Rights Advocates Cheer Two Decisions Handed Down By the U.S. Supreme Court


The High Court ruled DOMA is unconstituional.  That means people in same sex marriages in states that allow it -- are eligible for benefits.

 

And justices allowed a lower court ruling to stand that allows same sex marraige in California.

 

The DOMA case is a much more decisive ruling.

 

OSU Cascades Professor Jim Foster says the high court ruling DOMA is unconstitutional has ramifications for people across the U.S. who are in same sex marriages.

 

"The case was brought by a veteran that was denied benefits because of a same sex marriage.  It will have important fiscal consequences for governmetnal benefits and access to them."

 

This ruling means people in same sex marriages in states that allow it -- will be eligible for benefits.

 

The California Proposition 8 cases wasn't as clear cut.  The justices didn't rule on the merits of the case --but sent it back to the state saying the lower court ruling allowing same sex marriage in California will stand.

Parents Continue to Fight To Keep Bear Creek Elementary's Principal


Parent Lauren O'Sullivan has two students at the school.  She thinks Matt Montoya is doing a great job and is confused why he is in danger of being fired.

 

Monday administrators put him on paid administrative leave while the district completes an investigation.

 

O'Sullivan attended Monday's gathering otuside the Bend LaPine School Administrative building to show support for Montoya.

 

"Up until two months ago, everyone was happy and he signed a contract for another year.  And now they're talking about releasing him.  I'm not sure what happened in the last two months.  But we'd really be devastated if he was let go for something as trivial as adminsitrative details, you know."

 

O'Sullivan says she hears from others, he is in danger of losing his job because he didn't conduct all the required teacher evaluations and the ones he did were too complimentary.

 

The school district refuses to comment because its a personnel matter.

Oregon Survey Shows Many Union Members Would Opt Out of Membership If They Could


Oregon is not a "right to work" state and that means workers who work at unionized shops must belong to the union or pay "fair share" dues.

 

Cascade Policy Institute conducted the latest research.

 

Steve Buckstein with the Institute says the state results track what they've found nationally.

 

"What it found when you asked a simple question of whether you would opt out of a union, 31.2 percent said yes.  What does that mean?  It means a signfiicant portion of people who are forced to join the union or pay dues to the union, don't want to do so."

 

A citizens initiative is underway to collect signatures to put the issue of make Oregon a "right to work" state on the November 2014 ballot.

Latest Unemployment Numbers for Central Oregon Are Down


Jefferson and Crook County both saw their rates drop -   Jefferson County to 10.7 percent and Crook County to 12.5 percent.

 

But Deschutes County remained flat at 10 percent.

 

Regional Economist Damon Runberg.

 

"It kind of looks like some of the seasonal hiring we expected now occurred earlier in the season.  We were seeing strong seasonally adjusted gains in the early spring and now we're seeing a regression.  I don't think it's a trend."

 

In May, Jefferson County actually saw the largest drop in unemployment in all of Oregon's 36 counties.  The rate dropped a half a percent from April.

A $3-million Facelift for Prineville Plant


A Prineville millworking company will get a $3-million facelift beginning later this year.

 

Woodgrain Millwork announced that they would make significant upgrade to its Prineville manufacturing plant.  Russ Deboodt with Economic Development for Prineville and Crook County says it's a big step forward for an industry that has struggled over the past few years.

 

"I think it's a big step forward for that industry here in Prineville. A lot of the other forest products industries kind of have a symbiotic relationship with each other here in Prineville and so when one starts doing well, the others feed off of that and start doing well."

 

DeBoodt says the upgrades will include the purchase of an optimizer, software and equipment to maximize efficiencies within the plant. He adds that the improvements will bring more jobs to the area.

California Man Arrested in Drug Bust


A traffic violation results in a methamphetamine bust worth about $143,000 on Highway 97 near Klamath Falls. 

 

According to Sgt. Patrick Trippett with the Oregon State Police, James Gonzalez, 25, from California, was driving north of Klamath Falls Sunday morning when a trooper stopped his SUV and discovered about 11 pounds of meth concealed inside the vehicle. 

 

Gonzalez was traveling alone at the time.

 

Gonzalez was lodged in the Klamath County jail on charges of unlawful possession - distribution and manufacture of a controlled substance.

Learning to Walk on Water


It will seem like more people will be "walking on water" this summer as stand up paddle boarding is getting more and more popular. 

 

Molly Cogswell-Kelly with the Mount Bachelor Sports Education Foundation (MBSEF) says the sport is attractive to a wide variety of people, because it's easy to learn. 

 

"You know, I think that some people are intimidated by kayaking. Or they feel that the only way they can really enjoy the river is via boat that this so easy. You just get on the board and you paddle around and it's a great core workout."

 

MBSEF and Sun Country Tours is offering a series of stand up paddle board classes over the summer that will include lifesaving and water safety skills.  Sun Country Tours will supply all of the equipment - you just need to sign up through MBSEF (541-388-0002).

Oregonians Can Start Signing Up for DIfferent Health Plans in State Exchanges in 100 Days


These changes should be up and running this fall.  Many of the people who will  be signing up currently don't have insurance.

 

Ron Pollack with Families USA says these exchanges will give these people access to health insurance.

 

"For the lowest income folks, they wil be eligible for the expanded medicaid program. Oregon has decided to expand the program to 138% of the poverty level.  For a family of four, that would be $32,500 for a family of four and for an individual living alone it would be $16,000 dollars."

 

Oregon is on track to launch its exchanges by October 1st.  But a recent repot found that these exchanges in 30 states, could miss the deadline for open enrollment.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden Tries to Help Craft a Solution to the Klamath Basin Water Crisis


Senator Wyden held a congressional hearing in Washington on the water crisis last week.

 

Tribes decided earlier this month to exercise newly won water rights -- and that will mean less water for farmers.

 

Water agreements signed in 2010 between Pacificorp, state regulators, tribes and environmental groups still have to be approved by congress.

 

Senator Wyden says currently the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement is too expensive.

 

"After considerable thought, I have concluded that the KBRA and essentially what has been agreed to at this point is simply unaffordable in the current feeral budget environment.  My message on this point is working in good faith, there's got to be a way to accomplish the agreement's objectives with a lower price tag."

 

Wyden views the restoration agreement as a take off point for negotiations and not a done deal.

Ham Radio Operators Participate in National Ham Radio Field Day


In Central Oregon, the "High Desret Amateur Raioi Group" and the "Deschutes County Amateur Radio Emergency Service" set up near the Pine Mountain Observatory.

 

Max Vaugh is a board member for the radio group.

 

"It allows us to set up in a location on a moments notice and practice those skills.  That way, we can, in the event of a real emergency, we would be able to do that.  We could be deployed to the scene of a disaster, like back East they have tornados and the idea is to be off the grid and use our skills, emergency generators and battery systems."

 

Vaughn says the biggest challenge of field day is to go to a place where there are no antennas or power and setup a complete communcation station.

Bear Creek Principal Could Be Dismissed


The Principal of Bear Creek Elementary has been asked to resign or face job termination. 

 

The Bulletin reports that Matt Montoya, 34, received notice that there will be a meeting today where he could tender his resignation or be terminated. 

 

Montoya says the announcement was a shock for him; coming out of nowhere. 

 

He was appointed Principal of Bear Creek in 2010 and is well respected and popular by students.

 

Montoya’s wife, Jennifer Montoya, a teacher at Elk Meadow Elementary says her husband was told the decision was made because of his job performance.  

 

Bend La Pine School officials declined to comment on reasons for the determination.

Central Oregon Coordinated Care Organizations to Start Using a More Integrated Healthcare System


THe initiative is called SHAPE- and it stands for "Sustaining Healthcare Across Integrated Primary Care Efforts."

 

It basically integrates pirmary and mental healthcare.

 

Dr. Ben Miller with the University of Colorado in Denver is leading te evaluation of SHAPE.

 

"Part of the reason for integrating care is putting metnal care and primary care together.  Primary care sees the largest number of patients by far and they also see the most individuals with mental health issues.  As a matter of fact, primary care is in fact our defacto mental health system.  And by integrating these health issues, we are putting mental health professionals who can deal with these issues into primary care."

 

SHAPE has been used by several clinics in the Grand Junction, Colorado area for the last nine months.  The Bend area will be the first area outside Colorado to implement the integrated healthcare system.  It is hoped it will produce better healthcare outcomes and lower costs.

 

 

Oregon House Passes Vaccination Bill But Representative Jason Conger Votes Against It


The House passed the bill 45 to 15.  

 

State law requires students in public shcools to be immunzied against diseases like polio and measles.

 

 Yet nearly 6 percent of Oregon kids opt out of these vacciantions.

 

State Representative Jason Conger of Bend voted against the bill.

 

"To me it's a strange intrusion into parentl lrights without justification.  It seems to me there's a misunderstanding with policy makers.  The necessity driving it -- doesn't exist."

 

The exemption rate in Deschtues County has gone from half a percent to 8 percent between 2000 and 2013.

Sisters Opens Its New Skate Park


It just opened last weekend.  It was three years in the making and two Sisters High School students really got the ball rolling on the project.

 

20 year old Davidson Small of Tumalo stepped in when they graduated and help see the project through.

 

He held fundraisers and secured a large grant from the Tony Hawk Foundation for the park.

 

"Everyone is really happy and thanking us and saying what a good job we did.  People who have skated say it's the best in central Oregon, if not one of the best all around."

 

A celebration of the new skate park was held Thursday morning.

City of Bend Breaks Ground on its Largest Infrastructure Project Ever


The 43 million dollar wastewater treatment facility project has been in the works for the last five years.

 

It will expand the facility to allow for business and residential growth.

 

Jim Wodridge is the project's manager.

 

"We're really cathcing up right now for the growth we saw in the early part of the last decade.  This is catch up and to provide treatment for the next twenty years.  There were smaller projects over the last decade in anticipation of this larger project."

 

The construction will increase our wastewater treatment capacity from 6 million gallons per day to nearly 12 million gallons a day.

 

Construction will start immediately and should wrap up in the fall of 2015.

Bend Council Delays Vote on TRT Issue


The Bend City Council kind of voted 'sideways' on the 2% increase of the Transient Room Tax issue last night – by agreeing to keep the issue open for several more weeks. 

 

Commentary from both sides took up the lion's share of both the City Council work session and regular meeting - and the Council voted to continue holding the discussion open for a few more weeks. 

 

Jamal Patel - owner of a motel on Third Street speaking for  other 3rd Street businesses says upping the tax by another two percent will hurt their business.  "I can tell you first hand that when my customers check in - they ask 'do you have a room tax?' and I tell them, that' it's 10% and just raising  it that 2% will make a big difference."

 

 A group of advocates for the tax increase - says the increased revenue will help fund needed services like police and fire- as well as bringing more culture and arts to the community.

 

Speaking for those in favor of the ballot measure, Kelly Cannon-Miller urged the Council to take a stand.

 

"I’m not really sure in which world 7 months of meetings, countless emails, failed mediation and attempts at compromise constitutes a situation where we haven't talked about an issue enough. The critical point is this: we aren't talking about investments and marketing for this winter and shoulder season with this increase; vacationers are already booking this winter; we're talking about investments for 2014.  If the deadline for this November’s ballot is missed, then we begin talking about investing in 2015."

 

A large group of speakers also urged the Council not to put the issue on the ballot; because they fear voters will pass it, since the tax won't affect them, but higher costs could discourage some tourism.

 

The Council voted to hold at least one more "round table" discussion in the next couple of weeks.  But on July 10th will hold a definite vote on the ballot issue.

 

 

In other Council news:

 

The Bend City Council voted unanimously to authorize the Riverside - Franklin project last night.

The project authorized construction to begin on improvements to Riverside Boulevard and other downtown streets near Drake Park that will create a better traffic flow and more bike lanes.  Councilor Marc Capell said the City's Contract Review Board gave it t thumbs up.

 

"And from the Contract Review Board, we all felt comfortable with this, went through  the whole issue summary and pros and cons and I think everybody on the review board thought this was a good approach to move this thing along."

 

The work will begin almost immediately to keep within the time frame that allows state grant funding to cover a major portion of the cost.

911 Executive Board Looks at Restructuring the Agency


Rob Poirier just left as 9-1-1's  Director and the board is using the opportunity to revisit whether the county should still oversee the program.

 

For the last three years, the county has run 9-1-1, but before that different law enforcement agencies did.

 

Deschutes County Administrator Tom Anderson says they are re-examining the structure of the agency.

 

"9-1-1 has a long history of short term directors.  I wasn't here, but I believe they switched to the county operating it to see if that would stabilize it, by giving it the support of county government.   It was hoped it would provide a greater chance for long term stability and improve how 9-1-1 was operating."

 

Anderson believes the agency was running well under the county's leadership -- but the 9-1-1 Executive Board will meet again next month to decide if they'll make any changes to who runs it.

John Huffman explains his NO vote


The Oregon House passed a bill Tuesday that requires more disclosures for toxic chemicals on some products used by children.  It passed 39 to 21, and mandates that some chemicals be phased out. 

 

John Huffman of The Dalles voted "no" on the bill because he felt that it was anti-business and goes too far.   He says it is far stricter than current EPA rules and that there can also be a safety cost to over-regulation  -

 

"I honestly believe that there's a good heart behind every bill -  but you have to ask yourself in trying to do further good- how many people are going to die because something now is not available to them because of litigation or increased requirements - and i honestly think that Oregon is out of balance when it comes to those questions."  

 

The "toxics disclosure for healthy kids act" now heads to the Senate.

 

Sisters Former City Manager Finds a New Job


Eileen Stein will be the new city maneger for the city of Mt. Angel near Salem.

 

"Octoberfest" is the city's claim to fame, but Stein says they are looking to her to help them become a more " livable" community.

 

She says Mt. Angel contacted her soon after she resigned from the city of Sisters after pressure from a divided city council.

 

"As a matter of fact, the Mt. Angel City Council was sort of watching what was happening to me and were actually very excited I was available.  It's nice to be going where they are excited about what you bring to the job."

 

Mt. Angel is located 18 miles northeast of Salem.

 

The population is larger than Sisters.  Mt. Angel has 33 hundreds people living there -- where Sister's population is around 21-hundred.

Update on Construction of Deschutes County Jail Expansion


Jefferson County is charging $64 dolalrs a day a bed with up to ten beds available.

 

Deschutes County Sheriff Larry Blanton told commissioners plans are on scheduled for the 144 bed jail expansion.

 

"Susan Ross and her staff and contractor Kirby Naglehout and Captain Espinoza are all moving forward on the project.  Last week we had a meeting where we discussed numerical numbering of jail cells, which is critical.  Over the last ten years as we've talked about expanding the jail, this is the first time we've talked about numbering cells, so we're getting darn close."

 

Work should be done on the jail expansion by June of 2014.

Oregon Woman Killed in a Horse Accident Near Culver


It happened Saturday morning when she fell backwards from her horse while riding near Culver.

 

The Jefferson County Shierff's Office says the horse started walking backwards downhill and Dianne Lomeli of Estacada, fell backwards.  She continued downhill and stopped when she struck a tree.

 

A man attempted to do CPR, but was uanble to revive Dianne.

 

By the time law enforcement arrived, Dianne was deceased.

Deschutes County K-9 Passes


K-9 Missy, an 11 year old chocolate lab died last Friday on June 14th. 

 

A fast moving cancer took her life.

 

Missy served Deshcutes County for more than a decade as a narcotic Detection K-9.

 

She was responsible for the detection of 35 pounds of meth during an investigation in Madras.

 

It stands as the single largest meth seizure ever from central Oregon.

USDA Approves Funding for New Warm Springs School


The USDA is awarding the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs at 6.8 million dollar loan for the construction.

 

It's part of the Obama Administration's new push to invest in education  -- especially in rural areas to raise graduation rates so we can better compete on the global stage.

 

Vicki Walker is Oregon's State Director for USDA Rural Development.

 

"If the soverign tribal nations are doing well economically, we're all doing well economincally.  We know that and we embrace that and it's great to be part of something  that is offering real money and moving them forward on the reservation."

 

The new K-8 school will replace one that is 83 years old.

 

Construction is slated to start next month and should be done by the fall of 2014.

Highway 97 Accident Leaves Three Injured


Just before 3 p.m., a car driven by an adult male southbound on Highway 97 lost control when a storm dumped heavy rain and hail in the area.  He collided with a northbound car, then a pickup  and finally a third vehicle.  None of the injures were life threatening.

 

The highway was blocked for almost two hours.

Reaction to Bret Biedscheid 90 Day Jail Sentence for Deadly Hit and Run Accident


A judge sentenced Bret Biedscheid to 90 days in the Deschutes County Jail and 500 hours of community service for leaving the scene of a deadly hit and run crash in 2011.

 

48 year old Anthony Martin was killed when Biedscheid's truck hit him.

 

The District Attorney's office recommended Biedscheid serve 16 months in prison.

 

The attorney for the victim's family, Thomas D'Amore says he's disappointed, but not surprised by the sentence.

 

"It's unfortunate I think there was a little taking advantage of the process a little bit here.  Because Mr. Anthony Martin wasn't the upstanding citizen in the community compared to Mr. Biedscheid.  He got off very easy."

 

Martin's sister, Theresa Gibbs, was so upset, she didn't talk with the media following the sentencing.

 

Biedscheid did apologize to the family in the hearing and says this incident has had a terrible impact on his life.

Full Humane Society of Central Oregon


They have received 40 strays and owners giving up their pets in the last couple of days.

 

Currently the shelter has 34 dogs and 46 cats.

 

Lynne Ouchida with the Humane Society isn't sure why they're seeing a lot of animals lately, but she's got an idea.

 

"You know our best guess is we've had a long string of nice days and people are in and out of their homes and doors get open and some students are out of school already, so accidents happen.  Make sure your doors and gates are closed.  It's typically why we see an increase in strays."

 

Ouchia says it's important pets have accurate contact numbers on their tags.

 

Often dogs escape when people are on vacation.  It's a good iea to put temporary tags with your pet siters phone numbers -- on your pet.

Inaugural American Airlines Redmond to L.A. Flight Celebration


And there will be a celebration send off at the Redmond Airport.

 

Redmond Mayor George Endicott will be there to savor the moment.

 

"That's the inaugural fllight headed for L.A. and it'll be a huge boon to the area.  A lot of people worked hard to make sure that flight happened from EDCO, COVA, the Chambers and all the cities involved.  A lot of people contributed time, money and effort to see it."

 

The celebration send off will be at 7:15 a.m. Thursday morning at the Redmond Airport.

 

Passengers on the flight will receive VIP services and a "red carpet" welcome as they board the inaugral flight.

Deschutes County 911 Director Resigns


Rob Poirier says the demands of the job have created some health risks which have prompted him to leave the agency.

 

Poirier says he and his wife Donna will be relocating back to their family farm in Sweet Home and after some time off will resume their careers in public service.

 

He says he's leaving the agency in good hands and feels like he's accomplished a lot during his tenure, including the overwhelming passage of the 911 local option levy in May.

 

Poiriers last day will be mid June.

Bend City Council To Decide Whether to Expand Bend Economic Development Advisory Board


Currently, BEDAB  as its known, is a nine member board.  But they want to increase it by four to have more key business leaders included.

 

Bend's Business Advocate, Carolyn Eagan will present the proposal to the city council.

 

"It's been clear as our economy recovers and the interest in the business community about what Bend is going in economic development, we need to have more industry representatives.  What this change does, it allows nine voting members to vote on the board which will represent Bend's most prominent industries."

 

BEDAB was created by the Bend City Council to provide input and advice on economic development.

U.S. Congressman Greg Waden of Oregon Says House Oversight Committee Will Get to Bottom of IRS Charges


Republicans are pledging to get to the bottom of these charges.

 

U.S. Congressman Greg Walden spoke with Lars Larson about it.

 

"You would not have the oversight hearing going on.  You wouldn't have the depth of this investigation if republicans weren't in the majority in the House.  It would have been swept under the rug.  They just wanted to apologize on Friday and be done with it.  I don't know about you Lars, but the more I learn, the most disgusted I get."

 

Walden acknowledges we still have a lot of unanswered questions regarding the IRS and what they did and  any connection with the White House.

Rim Butte Jeep Trail Project


Here is the media release from the USFS:

 

Rim Butte OHV Jeep Trail Project

Notice of 30-day Comment on Environmental Assessment

BEND- The Deschutes National Forest has opened a public comment period for an analysis of developing jeep trails in the Rim Butte area of the Forest.

The 30-day public comment period on the Rim Butte OHV Jeep Trail Project environmental assessment opened this past Tuesday, May 28, 2013. The environmental assessment analyzes the effects of creating designated routes for off-highway vehicles (OHVs) within the Rim Butte area, located east of State Highway 97 and south of Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

The environmental assessment considered two alternatives in addition to the no action alternative. One alternative includes 33 miles of looped trails. The other alternative includes 17 miles of looped trails with more difficult technical terrain. Both alternatives include toilets, staging areas and campsites. Designated routes would be located on areas of existing disturbance, such as skid trails, as much as possible. Areas of new trail would require minimal disturbance to define the trail tread. In some cases trees and shrubs may be cut. In most cases obstacles would be left to create technical difficulty.

This comment period is intended to provide those interested in or affected by this activity an opportunity to make their concerns known. The 30 comment period began on May 28th, 2013. 

 

Those interested in commenting can find the document and directions for commenting at

http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/nepa_project_exp.php?project=39213 or by stopping by the Bend-Fort Rock District Office, 63095 Deschutes Market Road, Bend, OR 97701. 

Bend City Council Will Decide Whether to Put Increasing the Bend Room Tax on November Ballot


Earlier this year, the council tabled whether to put the issue on the May ballot. But supporters are back asking the issue be put on the November ballot.

 

Mike Hollern of Brooks Reousrces supports the idea.

 

"Becuase I think our room tax is lower than most of the area we are comepting with.  And to go from 9 to 11 percent is a relatively modest increase and many of us feel it won't have a negative effect on the transient room tax revenue and the benefits to public safety and economic development and the arts will outweigh negatives, so we are for it."

 

The proposal calls for 30 percent of the funds to go for police and fire and 70 percent to go toward tourism.  It would also set up long term public funding for the arts as a form of economic development.

 

Brett Everett owns several Bend hotels, including the the Entrada Lodge and is dead set against the increase.

 

"They just keep trying to back fill a lot of areas that local government have trouble funding like public safety and the arts and I don't think that's even allowable under the room tax rules.  But you can't fund everything from one tax from one industry."

 

The Bend City Council will consider the issue at their meeting this Wednesday.

Public Will Soon Be Able to Comment on Mirror Pond Options


The management board has narrowed the options down to four.  They are -- do nothing, do similar dredging as in 1984, do less dredging or remove the dam.

 

Project Manager Jim Figurski says they plan to come up with a preferred alternative by the end of the summer.

 

"From the four alternatives, we will craft a preferred alternative that might contain bits and pieces  of different options.  We will take that out to the public for final review and we plan to wrup up  the visioning process by the end of August."

 

The different options and what they would look like with or without the dam, should be on the Mirror Pond Project website by June 12th.

 

Public open houses will be held at Bend Parks and Rec, June 19th and 25th to get public input.

Alzheimer Association Plans New Office in Bend


The office in Redmond closed several years ago whe nteh Association clsoed several offices around the state.

 

Now they are searching different Bend locations for a new site.

 

Kathleen Cody is the Executive Director of the Oregon Chaper of the Alzheimer's Association.

 

"Central Oregon is rather geographically isolated from Portland and the vast majority of people with Alzheimers are a two hour drive from Portland.  Bend is the natural hub.  And we have found a lot more people avail our services when located in the community of Bend."

 

The new office will be staffed by one person and is expected to be up and running by the end of the summer.

Prescribe Burn planned this week


Prescribed Fire Planned for Experimental Forest near Sunriver and La Pine

Depending upon conditions prescribed fire will happen during the next three days

 

BEND Given favorable conditions, Deschutes National Forest fuels specialists on the Bend-Ft. Rock Ranger District, in coordination with researchers from the Pacific Northwest Research Station, plan to conduct a prescribed fire southwest of Sunriver and northwest of La Pine, within and adjacent to the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest during the next three days (June 4 th, 5th, and 6th).

 

The 108 acre prescribed fire, named Extra Rx, is planned within the Lookout Mountain block of the Pringle Falls Experimental Forest, approximately 13 miles southwest of Sunriver, OR and 11 miles northwest of La Pine. Approximately 382 acres of the total 490 acres within this unit were burned earlier this year on May 14th, 15th, and 16th. This burn is being conducted as part of a research project designed to produce information pertinent to fuels management and forest insect and disease issues. An additional 158 acres adjacent to the Extra unit, within a unit known as "Nut", may also be burned over the next three days if conditions allow. Specific project objectives include reducing brush cover and reducing fuel loading while minimizing mortality.

Due to the location of these projects, the public in the Sunriver, La Pine, and Bend areas may see visible plumes of smoke and drivers may experience smoke impacts on nearby Forest roads. Wild River, Fall River Estates and Ponderosa Estates subdivisions are likely to experience some impacts from the smoke. Prescribed fire personnel will burn under the most favorable weather conditions to minimize smoke impacts. If smoke drifts onto roads, motorists should slow down, turn on headlights, and proceed with care.

Fuels specialists will follow policies outlined in the Oregon Department of Forestry smoke management plan, which governs prescribed fires, and attempts to minimize impacts to visibility and public health. For more information, please visit the "Prescribed Fires" link on the Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center website, http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire/

Pringle Falls Experimental Forest is a diverse field laboratory within the Deschutes National Forest. It was formally established in 1931 as a center for silviculture, forest management, and insect and disease research in ponderosa pine forests east of the Oregon Cascade Range. Pringle Falls is maintained by the Pacific Northwest Research (PNW) Station for research and education in ecosystem structure and function and for demonstration of forest management techniques. It provides outstanding examples of undisturbed and managed ponderosa pine, lodgepole pine, and higher elevation mixed conifer forests occurring on 6,600-year-old aerially deposited Mount Mazama pumice and ash common throughout central and south-central Oregon.

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Fire near The Dalles Threatens Historic site


A 33 hundred acre fire near The Dalles is threatening the "Harris Ranch Historic Site". Lisa Clark with the Bureau of Land Management says the wildfire started this weekend and moved very fast.

 

"(LORI/KBND) WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING SO FAR FROM THIS FIRE? (LISA/BLM) YOU KNOW IT SHOWS THAT OUR CONDITIONS ON THE RIVER EVEN WITH A LITTLE BIT OF RAIN WE HAD A FEW WEEKS AGO - THINGS HAVE REALLY DRIED OUT - THE STEEP SLOPES- THE FIRES ARE REALLY READY TO BURN THERE - AND THIS IS A REALLY RECREATED RIVER AND WE DO HAVE A CAMPFIRE RESTRICTION IN PLACE AND THIS SHOWS IT'S A NEEDED RESTRICTION. "

Here is the full news release below:

 

FIRE NEWS--Central Oregon Interagency Dispatch Center

For Immediate Release:  June 3, 2013- 12:00 p.m.

Contact:  Media Desk, 541/416-6811     www.fs.fed.us/r6/centraloregon/fire

 

 

Firefighters Work to Contain Lower Deschutes River Fire

 

Central Oregon – Firefighters with the Prineville BLM and the North Sherman County Rural Fire Protection District responded a new wildfire that ignited along the Lower Deschutes River this weekend. The Gordon Butte Fire is estimated at 3,300 acres and is burning between river miles 10 – 4, south of the Columbia River. High winds challenged firefighters yesterday and caused the fire to jump from the east to the west side of the river. The river remains open; however, dispersed camping is not available within the fire perimeter and boaters should be aware of the helicopter dipping for water in the river. Although no structures have been lost, the fire is threatening the Harris Ranch historic site.

 

The fire is staffed with 4 engines, one type 3 helicopter, one 6-person hand crew and two hotshot crews. North Sherman RFPD is also providing suppression resources. The fire is burning in light, grassy fuels and is active to the north and south along the river corridor. Firefighters will focus on putting containment lines on the fire today while temperatures are lower and the afternoon winds have not arrived. The cause of this fire is under investigation.

 

The fast moving behavior of these fires demonstrates the dry conditions along the river. As of June 1, annual campfire and barbeque bans have gone into place on BLM-lands along the Lower Deschutes and John Day Rivers and portions of the Crooked River. Visitors to the rivers should plan on using white gas or propane stoves. These restrictions also prohibit smoking unless you are on the water or in a closed vehicle.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Truck Rollover Closes Hwy 126


A single truck rollover caused a portion of Highway 126 near SE Ochoco Highway to be closed for several hours on Friday.

 

Around 12:15 p.m., a Central Oregon Truck Company vehicle left the roadway, rolling on the shoulder and overturning, spilling the load of lumber on the highway and hitting a power pole.

 

Lt. Keith Knight with Redmond police says crews cut power to the area while they repaired the damage.

 

Highway 126 was closed until approximately 2:40 p.m. when it opened for 1 lane traffic until 5 p.m. Alcohol is not considered to be a factor in the crash.

Redmond Students Admit Prank to Ridgeview


A group of Redmond high students came forward Friday, admitting to the vandalism at Ridgeview High.

 

Lt. Nathan Garibay with Redmond Police says Thursday Ridgeview staff was greeted with painted windows,  paint on metal supports and paint spillage on the property.  A vehicle was also parked against the main doors of the school.

 

The Redmond High students claimed responsibility, saying it was a "prank" that got out of hand.

 

The students are working to make amends with Ridgeview; the damage has mostly been cleaned up by Ridgeview staff and students.

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