▶️ Slow permit process delays opening day at new Giving Plate location

A new location means new bumps in the road for Bend non-profit, The Giving Plate.

The food pantry secured a larger location on 1st Street to expand its charitable work.

The new building will still include a food pantry, as well as a community store for guests to shop on their own.

However, executive director Ranae Staley says obtaining the proper permits is going slower than originally planned.

“We’ve started the applications and permitting process with the City of Bend,” Staley said. “The wait periods are a little bit longer than we had anticipated for those permits to go through and get approved.”

The goal was to open the new location by fall of this year, but that will likely be pushed to early 2023.

The delay ties back, in part, to the City of Bend dealing with an oh-so-common local problem.

Chief operations officer Russell Grayson says the city is experiencing staffing shortages, on top of an influx of commercial permit applications.

“Typically we like to get first reviews done within 30-45 days of a building permit application,” Grayson said. “That is now taking several months.”

On the bright side, funding is on the right track for The Giving Plate’s $3.5 million project.

That includes $15,000 from the 2021 Central Oregon Gives campaign and $500,000 committed by Deschutes County.

“In the last three months of 2021,” Staley said. “The community helped us raise 28% of our capital campaign goal.”

Staley says the project could be funded within the year, as of now, that is through additional community generosity.

“We’ll just keep stepping and moving forward,” Staley said. “But we have a great start.”

As for permits, Staley understands there is only so much the city can do, but says this expansion will happen.

The Giving Plate will be hosting a new location open house for the community on February 22nd.

▶️ Proposed multi-story complex near Box Factory likely to move forward

The City of Bend has received a proposal to build a multi-story complex near The Box Factory.

The development is just another big change to this part of town, as a larger mixed-use development is also in the works next-door.

“Three hundred units or so of residential and then commercial ground floor,” Allison Platt, City of Bend core area project manager said. “So that would be like retail uses or restaurant uses.”

The Industrial Way location is one of the areas the city identified in 2016 as part of the community’s growth plan.

The project is still in the pre-application stage, but is expected to move forward.

If approved, five to six stories will be built through Portland-based developer Killian Pacific; who also own The Box Factory.

The next step is for developers to meet with the Southern Crossing and Old Bend Neighborhood Associations.

The Southern Crossing chair tells us they have been impressed with Killian Pacific so far, and have been speaking with the company for about six months.

One worry residents in the area do have is traffic, but developers will be expected to submit a traffic impact analysis.

“This area will see more traffic, that is a guarantee,” Platt said. “We already have a general idea of what those transportation improvements are, but connecting those improvements to the phasing of development is sort of the next process that we’re working on right now.”

The city also anticipates developers will encounter significant challenges when it comes to figuring out ownership around Industrial Way.

“There’s some coordination that’s needed with some of the adjacent property owners,” Platt said. “Related to transportation that we’re working through with them”

As for timing, Platt says this project will not go under construction for at least another year.

Renderings do not include a spot for Spoken Moto specifically.

We could not get in contact with an owner, but the city says that is a conversation between the business and the developer.

“They currently rent or lease that space from the development group today,” Platt said.

One thing is for sure, this will not be the end of Bend’s urban growth.

“Expect to continue to see this type of development be a lot more common in the future in Bend,” Platt said.

The Southern Crossing Neighborhood Association will discuss the project in a virtual meeting Wednesday night.

▶️ Bend fitness instructors place in POSA World Pole Championships

Central Oregon has itself a pair of world title holders competing in a sport that involves strength, flexibility, and balance.

Andrew Krueger and Shannon Daily both placed in the POSA World Pole Championships.

The Central Oregonians made the trip to Bologna, Italy for the competition in December.

The achievement has been a dream of Kreuger’s for a while now.

“Ever since I was a little kid I’ve always wanted to be Team USA,” Kreuger said. “I’ve always wanted to do a world competition.”

Kreuger’s performance landed him a 7th place spot in the Men’s Senior Elite Pole Art category.

“I did something revolving around anxiety and depression,” Kreuger said. “The story that I wanted to tell was this person who’s making this decision to not necessarily feel better or be happy, but to just continue moving with their life.”

Daily, the extremely humble 59-year-old, placed 3rd in her age category at that same competition.

“I was going to retire at Sport at 60 because I’m going to be 60 this year,” Daily said. “Now I’m like well maybe I won’t do that. Maybe I won’t retire, maybe I’ll just keep going.”

Both Kreuger and Daily have backgrounds in gymnastics and are instructors at Seksé Fit in Bend.

The local fitness studio proves there is more to the pole than meets the eye.

“Even to look slinky and smooth,” Daily said. “It takes tons of strength and tons of flexibility.”

More competitions are likely in these instructors futures, but for now, they encourage locals to give this sport a go.

“If you’ve ever thought maybe this would be something I’d like, come and try it,” Kreuger said. “It’s worth it.”

▶️ Taste This: Kara’s Kitchenware

It’s a cooking experience hidden in the Old Mill.

Downstairs at Kara’s Kitchenware, you’ll find all the tools necessary to cook delicious dinners at home.

But on this week’s edition of Taste This, we head upstairs where chefs can teach you the fundamentals – or help you learn some new tricks in the kitchen.




▶️ Redmond man walks every street in town…almost 300 miles worth

Walk a mile in Reid Sanford’s shoes and that barely covers it.

“I used to jump out of airplanes, run marathons, and hike long distance trails,” Sanford said. “Now I just go out and walk city streets, but I walk a lot of them.”

8 months. 85 hours. 271 miles.

That is how long it took Sanford to walk every paved street within Redmond’s city limits.

Sanford was inspired by a story he saw on Central Oregon Daily News last spring, where a local couple ran every street in Bend.

“Kind of a neat thing to do,” Sanford said. “They showed the footage of them out running on some of the streets, and you can really discover your neighborhood this way. Where you live and maybe see all sorts of neat sites and things like that.”

Sanford tracked his progress through a GPS app called Gaia.

“I started just in our neighborhood, walking the normal streets that we did all the time,” Sanford said. “Then as soon as it was too far of a walk to get to where I wanted to walk, I would take our van and drive to a certain neighborhood, park it, then just walk around that neighborhood.”

An ambitious goal, but with the right mindset, it turned out to be an achievable one.

“It’s like any other big project you work on,” Sanford said. “You just keep chipping away every day and then you surprise yourself when you’re finally done.”

Sanford will continue his casual walks, but currently has no plans for another city-wide adventure just yet.

▶️ Family, police ask for help finding missing 16-year-old Bend girl

A Bend family and police are searching for a 16-year-old girl who has been missing since Wednesday.

The family of Aracely Gonzalez last saw her on Tuesday night leaving her grandparents’ home on Hamilton Lane, near the Murphy Road roundabout.

“She’s my height almost [5’4″], she has really long brown, beautiful hair, she has big smile,” said her uncle Victor Gonzalez. “She can make anybody smile.”

The Mountain View High School student was last seen wearing a white hoodie and dark blue jeans.

Her family does not know where she was going, but says this is unlike her.

“She doesn’t do drugs, she’s a good student in school, has As and Bs,” Gonzalez said. “She helps out everybody.”

Gonzalez’s uncle adds she and her ex-boyfriend got in an argument and broke up around this same time.

Bend Police learned that Gonzalez was supposed to be working at T.J. Maxx at 9:15am on January 13th, but she did not show up.

Bend Police are investigating, but say they do not have any leads.

“It’s open, it’s ongoing,” said Bend Police Lt. Clint Burleigh. “You know our focus is trying to find a 16-year-old who is not at her home right now. We’re trying to help the family reconnect with her to make sure she’s safe.”

Gonzalez left her belongings, except her phone, and deleted multiple social media accounts.

This comes as a surprise to both her family and the mother of one of her best friends.

“I guess she deleted her Snapchat and everything else, so we’re kind of worried because she doesn’t have anybody that we know,” Gabriela Magana, mother of friend said. “The only family members that she has is here.”

All this family desperately wants is for Gonzalez to come home.

“It’s really hard right now,” Gonzalez said. “To think of what might of happened to her.”

If you have any information on this case, call Bend Police non-emergency dispatch at (541) 693-6911.

▶️ Omicron variant dominates state and local COVID-19 cases

Based on the number of active COVID-19 cases in Deschutes County, 1 in 21 residents currently have the virus.

On Tuesday, Deschutes County reported 737 new cases resulting in a 29% positivity rate.

“With omicron being highly transmissible and the dominant strain around the state and around the country, we’re seeing a significant increase in cases,” Morgan Emerson, Deschutes County Health said. “That’s compounded of course by things like holiday travel and people getting together.”

Researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle predict the number of daily reported cases will peak at 1.2 million by January 19th, that is before we see a dramatic decline.

In the meantime, county health officials recommend not taking any symptom too lightly.

“If you’re feeling sick, the best thing that you can do is get tested for COVID-19,” Emerson said. “We know symptoms can vary from person to person, and they can also vary from people who are vaccinated to people who are unvaccinated.”

100% of positive tests in the state last week revealed an Omicron infection.

Emerson says Omicron specific symptoms should be “about the same” as common COVID-19 symptoms.

“Fever, cough, sneezing, stomach upset, headache, significant fatigue,” Emerson said. “Those are all good reasons to go seek out testing, and of course, stay home and stay away from others if you’re feeling sick.”

Emerson says the best thing you can do to protect yourself, especially with Omicron in the mix, is making sure you have your COVID booster dose.

“The availability for boosters did just shift to include more groups,” Emerson said. “So if you haven’t done that already, now is the time.”

▶️ Red Cross faces national blood crisis; more local shortages possible

For the first time, the American Red Cross has announced a national blood crisis.

“It’s being deemed as the worst blood shortage in over a decade,” Angel Montez, Red Cross regional donor services executive said. “I can tell all of you that I’ve been with this organization for 18 years and I haven’t seen it this bad.”

The Red Cross provides about 40% of the nation’s blood supply, but in recent weeks it has not had the inventory.

“We’ve had less than a one day supply of critical blood types,” Montez said.

This impacts hospitals and hospital patients more than anyone, and 25% of hospital blood needs are not being met nationwide.

“The blood shortage has become so dire that we can no longer get the quantity or type of blood required for every patient who needs it, and we’ve had to make some difficult decisions,” Dr. Rachel Cook, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute quality medical director said. “We now have had to prioritize our limited supply for those who need it most.”

According to St. Charles spokesperson Lisa Goodman, the hospital is doing everything possible to conserve blood while still taking care of patient needs.

“Our current supply of O negative and O positive blood is below normal, but adequate for our current needs,” Goodman said. “However, if we have a huge surge in blood use, it could take many days for us to get our stock back up to normal.”

Goodman says a surge could come from a severe hemorrhage in a single patient, several fairly severe patients, or just a large number of more typical patients.

Blood donations cannot happen without donors, and lack of blood drives during the pandemic is proving to be a barrier.

“Here in the state of Oregon and Washington, we average about 35 blood drives a day and collect between 500 and 700 units of blood,” Montez said. “The Red Cross has experienced a 10% decline in blood donations during this pandemic.”

St. Charles tells us the Red Cross will add more blood types to its allocation system starting Monday.

Meaning the shortage will include other blood types, not just O negative and O positive.

You can find Red Cross donation sites near you here.