Work already underway for inauguration of TBD president

WASHINGTON (AP) — While much of Washington is twisted in knots over the upcoming election, there’s another contingent already busy trying to figure out how to stage an inauguration for the next president during a pandemic.

Visitors to the U.S. Capitol and the White House can see preparations already underway for the Jan. 20 ceremony to inaugurate the to-be-determined next president.

Outwardly, much looks the same as in any election year.

Work is taking place with the mindset that it is easier to scale down, if the coronavirus makes that necessary, than to scale up.

California utility cuts power to 1 million over fire threat

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric says it will cut power to some 1 million people this weekend in central and Northern California, which could see the most dangerous fire weather of the season.

PG&E says it will begin safety shutoffs Sunday morning as gusts and low humidity ramp up the risk of downing power lines and sparking massive fires in tinder-dry brush.

The shutoffs in 38 counties could last into Tuesday.

PG&E equipment has been blamed for sparking some of the most devastating fires in recent years, including a 2018 blaze in Butte County that killed 85 people.

This year, wildfires already have destroyed some 9,200 buildings and killed 31 people.

Authorities look for killer of Oregon wolf; reward offered

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Someone shot a wolf in Oregon, leaving its pack without a breeding male, wildlife officials said as they announced a $6,150 reward for the shooter.

Wally Sykes with Northeast Oregon Ecosystems said he hopes this reward will inspire someone to come forward with information.

The radio-collared black wolf was found dead on a forest service road in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, about one mile east of Eagle Forks campground. It had been shot.

The wolf was the breeding male of the Cornucopia Pack in eastern Baker County, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

He and the breeding female raised three pups last year.

Measure 110 aims to provide treatment programs instead of criminalizing drug-use

Measure 110 would decriminalize drug use and re-allocate tens of millions of marijuana tax dollars to treatment programs.

People caught with user-amounts of drugs would be slapped with a Class “E” violation and $100 fine, which would be waived by completing a health assessment.

That assessment could connect them to treatment, recovery and housing services instead of jail time.

“We need to give our law enforcement more tools to deal with the situation that they come in contact with,” says Paul Steigleder, a retired Sheriff’s Sergeant and M110 supporter. “When you come in contact with a person who’s struggling with addiction, give them treatment. Don’t incarcerate them.”

But Washington County District Attorney Kevin Barton, who opposes the measure, said it’s not enough.

“So, if you’re addicted to heroin and someone says ‘you can pay a $100 fee or you can enter into treatment to get it waived, there’s a significant chance you’re just going to do neither,” Barton said. “And there’s nothing that the system can do about it in that regard.”

The measure is supported by groups like Oregon Nurse’s Association and the ACLU, and the campaign has drawn millions in out-of-state donations.

Opponents include the Oregon Chief of Police Association and Oregon’s Council on Behavioral Health.

A state committee predicts shifting pot tax revenue will reduce the state school fund by $73 million, as well as decrease money sent to cities, counties, state police, mental health services and the OHA’s alcohol and drug abuse prevention fund.

▶️ A quiet race continues for Oregon’s U.S. Senate seat


It’s a four-way contest for U.S. Senate in Oregon, but the race has been relatively quiet.

Incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) says it could be the first time candidates for the seat haven’t bought any television airtime in a general election.

However, the two major-party candidates are active on social media.

According to campaign materials, Republican challenger Jo Rae Perkins is a retired insurance agent from Albany, with 14 grandchildren.

On Twitter, she posts frequently in support of President Trump and “Cue” — a common reference to QAnon — and is critical of what she calls “the mainstream media”. Perkins refused our request for an interview, citing her busy schedule.

Incumbent Senator Jeff Merkley says Perkins is not a serious challenger.

He tells Central Oregon Daily, “The Republican nominee hasn’t raised funds. I’m certainly not going to help give her publicity for QAnon, this bizarre conspiratorial thesis of cannibalistic group imprisoning children.”

Perkins has raised just over $90,000 since the start of her campaign, nearly $12,000 of her own money; much of the rest is from the conservative fundraising platform WinRed, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

She has about $35,000 in what’s considered “cash on hand,” compared to Merkley’s nearly $4 million.

He’s so confident of his position, he’s not focused on his own funding.

“I’m spending all my fundraising time, virtually all of it, on raising money, both for turnout in Oregon State — that’s called the Coordinated Campaign — and for raising money for folks who are running for senate seats across the country,” Merkley said.

According to Merkley’s FEC finance records, the only advertising money spent by his campaign is on social media and postal services.

Merkley has served in the Senate since 2009 and sits on the Appropriations, Environment, Foreign Relations and Budget Committees. A Libertarian Engineer and a self-employed member of the Green party are also running against Merkley.

▶️ City asks for public feedback on Southeast Area Plan


479 acres in Southeast Bend off Knott Road is outside of current city limits, but within the city’s urban growth boundary.

Senior planner Damian Syrnyk says the City of Bend’s Southeast Area Plan will provide land for additional jobs, schools, parks and more than 1,000 housing units.

“We’re trying to provide that housing everywhere so that people have options,” Syrnyk said. “Where they live, how they get around, and they just have more choices.”

The project is still in the planning process and the city is looking for feedback through an online open house.

“You know everything from the land use concept, to the code changes, transportation, appearance of buildings,” Syrnyk said. “All those things are things that we’re hoping to get some feedback on.”

Syrnyk says so far, responses have been minimal, even though public concern was expressed in the early phases of planning.

“Some concerns about moving from a more rural area to a more urban setting,” Syrnyk said. “And making sure we’ve got a good network of trails and streets that people can walk and ride their bike safely has been brought up.”

The city’s online open house continues through November 12th.

You can access it at

▶️ Local biologists study how Deschutes River fish respond to water management changes


Some fish species are on the move due to drought conditions in the upper Deschutes Basin.

Biologists are studying how Deschutes River fish populations respond to changes in water management.

They use electrofishing equipment to collect data and establish a baseline against which they can measure changes over time.

“What we are observing here today are good numbers of both brown and rainbow trout,” said Brett Hodgson, Deschutes district fish biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Earlier this week we sampled further downstream and saw fairly good numbers of large adult kokanee as well as a few brown bull head.”

Another objective is to try to determine the number of fish that leave Wickiup Reservoir and see how they are doing in the Deschutes River.

“Brown bullhead could be a big concern if they got established in the river. They are very opportunistic feeders,” Hodgson said. “Basically, anything they come in contact with they are going to eat. That results in competition with fish species. They could, potentially, be a concern for predation on Oregon Spotted Frogs which also reside in this section of the river.”

Hodgson said whitefish, which are native to the river, are the only species that don’t seem impacted by high summer flows when massive amounts of water are released to farmers downstream, followed by minimal flows in the fall, winter and spring when water is stored in Wickiup Reservoir.

Wickiup Dam was constructed without a fish screen, which means when the water drops like it did this year during the drought, a lot of fish leave through the dam and drop into the upper Deschutes River.

That hurts the kokanee, brown trout and rainbow trout fisheries in Wickiup Reservoir but may help the rainbow trout populations in the river.

Origin Story: Outland Motors

If you’re looking for a car that can handle all your adventure gear and inclement weather, Outland Motors in Southeast Bend could be the place for you.

Owner Bill Mitchener looks at cars as art.

He and his wife, Ellen, are passionate about making the car buying experience more personal and honest.

You can find Outland Motors at 940 SE 9th Street in Bend or head to their website

Biden’s warning on oil tests voter resolve on climate change

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Joe Biden has said the quiet part out loud on climate change.

The Democratic presidential candidate spelled out for voters in Thursday’s final debate that staving off the worst of global warming will require a “transition away” from the oil and gas industry over time.

It’s the same thing Biden has said in written climate plans.

But the GOP has moved quickly to use Biden’s statement against Democrats in down-ticket races.

While polls show Americans are concerned about climate change, it’s not clear if Biden’s explicitness on the causes — oil, gas and coal — will hurt him Nov. 3.