Bend Police release 2022 annual report: DUII arrests up from 2021

Bend Police put out its 2022 annual report this week, sharing department highlights and crime statistics for the year.

One of the most intriguing numbers in the report was for DUII arrests.

“We had 692 DUI arrests. That’s a 35% increase from 2021,” said Bend Police Communications Manager Sheila Miller.

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The DUII arrest increase comes comes after Bend Police assigned two officers as full time DUII officers. Combined, the two officers arrested 231 drivers in 2022.

Bend Police also say property crimes have almost risen back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

Officer also spent more than 3,000 hours doing community enhancement, which is time spent out in public or at events.

You can read the full report at this link.

▶️ Dogs try out for goose hazing patrol in Bend

Visit any park along the Deschutes River and you’ll see people plenty of folks walking and kayaking. But there’s one kind of visitor leaving a mess on the sidewalks and they are not always welcome.

This week, Bend Park and Recreation District invited people and their four legged companions to see if they have the right stuff to help with clearing out Canada Geese.

Central Oregon Daily’s Gustavo Bautista reports.

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▶️ Little Did I Know: The Ale Apothecary founder Paul Arney

In Part 2 of Little Did I Know’s four-part series of Craft Beer Pioneers of Central Oregon, Meteorologist Scott Elnes meets an early employee of Deschutes Brewing that went on to establish his own business that is different from traditional breweries.

Meet Paul Arney of The Ale Apothecary.

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High Desert Museum expands hours for spring break

If you’re not going away for spring break, the High Desert Museum has some ideas for you and the kids.

They’re extending their hours from Saturday through April 2 — 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 

The Sky Hunters indoor flight demonstration returns to the Birds of Prey Center from Saturday through April 1. Demonstrations run from 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.

Guests from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife will be available at the Autzen Otter Exhibit from March 30 – April 1, sharing information about sea otters and Pacific lamprey.

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Here’s more on what’s in store from HDM:

Spring break visitors will also be able to experience the Museum’s temporary exhibitions. The newest original exhibition is Creations of Spirit. Native artists created artwork to be used in Native communities before arriving at the Museum, and the art will be available to Native communities for use once again after the exhibition. It features acclaimed artists Joe Feddersen (Colville), RYAN! Feddersen (Colville), Natalie Kirk (Warm Springs), H’Klumaiyat Roberta Joy Kirk (Wasco, Warm Springs, Diné), Phillip Cash Cash, Ph.D., (Cayuse, Nez Perce), Jefferson Greene (Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs) and Kelli Palmer (Wasco, Warm Springs). Creations of Spirit is a one-of-a-kind, celebratory experience featuring the stories of living works of art.

Other temporary exhibitions include the original effort, Under the Snow. The exhibit, offered in English and Spanish, reveals the hidden world beneath the snow, called the subnivium. In this environment, animals create a matrix of tunnels to survive the winter’s frigid temperatures and hide from the predators that lurk above. The exhibit is filled with animations of animals and immerses the visitor in the winter landscape. Learn more at

And In the Arena: Photographs from America’s Only Touring Black Rodeo, will be open through June 25. Through the lens of San Francisco Bay area photographer Gabriela Hasbun, the exhibit documents the exhilarating atmosphere of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo—the only touring Black rodeo in the country—and the showstopping style and skill of the Black cowboys and cowgirls who compete in it year after year. Learn more at

Living history characters in period dress will be present during spring break, as well, from Saturday, March 25 – Saturday, April 1 from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. They will share how they lived and supported themselves in the High Desert in 1904 and offer visitors opportunities to help with chores and play games. The encounters will take place outdoors at the High Desert Ranch and Sawmill or indoors in the Spirit of the West exhibit. The location is weather-dependent, and visitors are encouraged to check with Admissions upon arrival.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy two daily talks during spring break, the Natural History Walk and Otter Encounter. Other daily programs that usually take place in the pavilion will resume on Sunday, April 2.

More information on visiting the High Desert Museum is available at

High Desert Chamber Music welcomes Felici Piano Trio Friday night

High Desert Chamber Music welcomes the Felici Piano Trio to their concert series Friday night.

This is the first time the trio will play as part of the local series.

“We create this beautiful thing called harmony. And harmony is what we’re looking for in the world. And I hope what we hope that music will will provide,” said pianist Steven Vanhauwaert.

Joining him are violinist Rebecca Hang and cellist Brian Schuldt.

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They will perform works from classics like Mozart to works by Schubert.

The trio plays Friday night at the Unitarian Church on Skyline Ranch Road in Bend at 7:30 p.m. General admission is $48 and child/student tickets are $10.

4 Bend organizations receive grants from Oregon Arts Commission

Some Central Oregon organizations are among the recipients of $265,00o from Arts Build Communities grants through the Oregon Arts Commission. Each organization receives $5,000 for addressing a community issue or need through the arts.

Central Oregon organizations named to receive grants include:

  • BEAT Children’s Theater, Bend: To support BEAT’s Community Outreach Educational Program. Funds will be used for artist fees, supplies (costumes, makeup, music, set pieces, etc.), royalties, printing and transportation.
  • Deschutes Public Library Foundation, Bend: To support the community read program, “A Novel Idea,” where residents are encouraged to read, discuss, create and explore the selected books together. The Library Foundation is seeking to bridge the socio-economic and cultural differences and foster a sense of community. Funds will be used to pay for bilingual author María Amparo Escandón’s honorarium, Spanish-speaking cultural experts and books in Spanish.
  • Out Central Oregon, Bend: To support the inaugural Winter Pride LGTBQ Film Festival in partnership with The Tower Theatre Foundation. Funds will be used for artist fees and staffing.
  • World Muse, Bend: To support the production of “A Reflection of Life,” a full-length documentary film focusing on water issues and featuring Indigenous experiences and voices from five Northwest tribes as well as public policy makers and scientists. Funds will be used for artist fees.

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Here are more details about the grants and the full list of recipients, courtesy of the Oregon Arts Commission:

Salem, Ore. – Fifty-three organizations addressing a community issue or need through the arts have been awarded $5,000 FY2023 Arts Build Communities grants totaling $265,000 from the Oregon Arts Commission. The Arts Build Community program is committed to promoting arts access for underserved audiences and targets broad geographic impact throughout Oregon. 

The grant-funded projects include the “Pony Xpress Journal” – a digital publication for writers who are incarcerated – by Bridgeworks Oregon; “A Reflection of Life,” a full-length documentary film by World Muse that explores water issues and features Indigenous voices from five Northwest tribes  as well as public policy makers and scientists; and BODY/LANGUAGE, a free, full-day festival by Cascadia Composers that explores how music and movement provide cultural understanding, identity, unity and healing. 

“These grants help arts and other community-based organizations address a local community problem, issue or need through the arts,” said Arts Commission Vice Chair Harlen Springer, who led one of three review panels. “It enables local citizens to employ creative thinking and a collective response to strengthen and enrich their community.”

The grants also spark and leverage many other investments and resources, serving as a catalyst for greater economic and civic impact, said Springer. 

In recent years the Arts Build Communities program has generated more than $600,000 in additional community investment, much of it representing salaries paid as well as products and services purchased in the funded communities. These grants are made possible through a funding partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts.

The FY2023 recipients are:

Anima Mundi Productions, Phoenix

To support “Among Sisters,” a music project comprising two concerts of professional women musicians performing works by women composers, two new world premiere commissions, and a 10-day residency for the Uptown String Quartet, a legendary all-female, all-Black ensemble. This residency will offer free community events in Southern Oregon. Funds will cover the costs of this residency, which include artist fees and travel expenses.

Art in Oregon, Oregon City           

To support Arts in Oregon’s work with Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts to curate an exhibition of Oregon-based indigenous artists at the Chehalem Cultural Center, Parrish Gallery. The exhibit includes eight artists from the Crow’s Shadow permanent collection. The artists will have the opportunity to contribute additional artwork and be compensated with a stipend of at least $500. The goal is to further their artistic practice by sharing recent work and supporting the creation of new work.

Artist Mentorship Program, Portland    

To support the Artist Mentorship Program’s drop-in space for youth ages 15-25 in the Portland metro area to help them navigate the trauma of homelessness by building healthy, relationship-centered communities through music and art. Funds will be used for music equipment, art supplies and staffing. AMP believes that youth experiencing homelessness are resilient, creative and deserving of a dynamic support system and nurturing environment where they can heal from trauma.

BEAT Children’s Theater, Bend

To support BEAT’s Community Outreach Educational Program. Funds will be used for artist fees, supplies (costumes, makeup, music, set pieces, etc.), royalties, printing and transportation.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Lane County, Florence

To support the Unlock Future Success with Art Education initiative to foster creative self-expression bolstered by art education so that by Dec. 31, 2023, 50 low-income, rural Florence youth will have experienced 12 months of innovative, high-yield arts education experiences. The initiative is designed to stimulate learning, inspire creativity and encourage self-expression. Funds will be used for art education fees and art supplies.

Bridgeworks Oregon, Portland

To support the “Pony Xpress Journal,” an annual digital publication for Oregon writers who are incarcerated. Funds will be used to run 14 writing workshops, including travel costs to Oregon prisons.

Caldera, Portland

To support a Youth Arts Mentoring Program that provides ~250 youth/year in Portland and Central Oregon with year-round arts-based mentoring that integrates nature and is grounded in positive youth development; and to support Artist in Residency Programs that provide ~25 artists/year with opportunities to build skills, relationships and creative projects at Caldera’s Arts Center in Central Oregon. Funds will support artist fees and program supplies and materials.

Cascadia Composers, Portland

To support BODY/LANGUAGE, a free, full-day summer festival of concerts and workshops combining new art music with multicultural dance at Toast Studios. This interactive event unites several artistic/cultural forces active in Portland’s Cully neighborhood and beyond with local composers to explore how music and movement provide cultural understanding, identity, unity and healing. Funds will be used for artist fees, tech, venue, production and admin costs, and publicity.

Centro Cultural del Condado de Washington, Cornelius

To enrich three major cultural celebrations and traditions: Dia del Nino in April, El Grito in September, and Dia de los Muertos in November with diverse and engaging arts-based programming and activities aimed at furthering accessible arts in Washington County. Funds will be used for artist fees and to purchase arts supplies and materials.

City of Toledo, Toledo

To support the ART Toledo Youth Initiative, which engages youth in public art activities in rural Toledo, providing opportunities for emerging artists and exposing youth and young adults to different art medians. Funds will be used for purchasing art supplies and targeted outreach materials for youth.

Clackamas County Arts Alliance, Oregon City

To support Youth Arts for Change, which provides vulnerable and underserved youth with unique opportunities for personal exploration and creative expression. Funds will be used to compensate teaching artists and provide youth with supplies for hands-on projects, as well as take-home art supply bags to further develop their voice through the arts.

Corvallis Multicultural Literacy Center, Corvallis

To support Mundus Imaginalis, a community-based collective muralism project, led by immigrant and English-learner youth. The project will uplift collective and individual voices, stories of heritage and current multiculturalism while promoting self-expression, confidence and cooperation. Funds will be used for supplies, advertising, facilitator stipend, staff time, an unveiling ceremony and community engagement.

Dallas Arts Association, Dallas

To support Dallas On Stage – Live Community Theater. Funds will be used to purchase microphones, lighting and stage equipment for the new theater group. 

Deschutes Public Library Foundation, Bend

To support the community read program, “A Novel Idea,” where residents are encouraged to read, discuss, create and explore the selected books together. The Library Foundation is seeking to bridge the socio-economic and cultural differences and foster a sense of community. Funds will be used to pay for bilingual author María Amparo Escandón’s honorarium, Spanish-speaking cultural experts and books in Spanish.

Drexel H. Foundation, Vale

To support Public Art Enhances Malheur Co. to fill a community need to enrich our county with public art created by all sectors of the community and locating it throughout the county visible from the roadways. Funds will be used to pay for artists fees, marketing, and purchase supplies.

Eugene-Springfield Youth Orchestras, Eugene

To support the ESYO String Academies, which provide beginning strings instruction to 3rd-5th graders for free or at very low-cost at several Eugene 4J Public Elementary Schools. Funds will be used to support bringing these classes back into school buildings after two seasons of online programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fishtrap Inc, Enterprise

To support the winter program “Fishtrap Reads,” where community members read a shared book and engage in free programming to explore the selected book. Events include a kick-off, book discussions, lectures, celebrations and film screenings. Hundreds of free books will be distributed to local schools and libraries. Funds will be used to purchase 400 copies of this year’s selected book, cover a keynote presenter honorarium and purchase related support materials.

Friendly House, Portland

To support a new project: Art Therapy Group at Friendly House. Funds will be used for instructor/therapist fees, art supplies, food and refreshments for participants during this 4 to 6 session series planned for 2023, aimed at reducing isolation and providing therapeutic workshops with a trained art therapy counselor to address impacts of trauma, abuse, violence and mental illness through art and community.

Friends of The Historic Union Community Hall, Union

To support the Music Education: Catherine Creek Community Center Program. Funds will be used to initiate an all-age music program in Union Oregon. The program will invite interest in Old Time Fiddle music, bridge a gap between generations of performers and support local culture via music education.

Global Works Community Fund, Portland

To support the Unity Through Arts Program, which engages 15 BIPOC and low-income youth annually through 36 weeks of programming for ~140 hours of engagement. The civic engagement project focuses on creating impact in essential change-making spaces, and art is a way of expressing the times, needs of the community, and the voices of individuals. Funds will support the mural creation aspect programming, including artist fees, supplies and materials.

Grande Ronde Symphony Association, La Grande

To support the Chamber and Small Ensemble Series. The requested funds will be used to provide concerts in creative, historic venues and employ regional performers to engage a diverse audience in northeastern Oregon. Funds will be used to provide honorarium for performers, marketing and venue facility fees.

Heart of Cartm, Manzanita

To support the Transforming Marine Debris Creative Retreat in January and November of 2023. Each event will include three days of art, creative writing and a shoreline survey and collection. Funds will pay for skilled artist instructors and accommodations for participants to engage in reflection together. 

Japanese American Museum of Oregon, Portland

To support Behind These Bars, a project to raise awareness of the contributions of civil rights activist Minoru Yasui and to celebrate the State of Oregon’s Minoru Yasui Day. Funds will produce a staged reading of Yasui’s writings by a racially diverse cast, a dedication of his jail cell at JAMO and a community performance at the Soul Restoration Center to deepen relationships between communities of color and focused outreach to youth.

Josephy Center for Arts and Culture, Joseph

To support “Chronicles of Change,” a community-based exploration through art, science and storytelling, of how local communities and landscapes are transforming due to climate change and consequent cultural shifts. JCAC will host the exhibits in collaboration with five other community nonprofits that will present coordinated talks, field trips and activities germane to their foci.

La Grande Arts Commission, La Grande

To support the installation of a multi-panel concrete image sculpture display on the bulkhead in front of the 4th street entrance of the Cook Memorial Library in downtown La Grande. The sculpture will be free-standing but bolted to the platform and have four murals that can be viewed from different perspectives with the theme “Honoring the Past; Celebrating the Present; Embracing the Future.” Funds will be used to pay the artist.

Lane Arts Council, Eugene

To expand cultural programming by partnering with Black/African American artists to develop and produce content for the July and August First Friday ArtWalks 2023. Funds will support production and artist fees, equipment rental, supplies and materials, permits and staff time for project management and administration.

Lan Su Chinese Garden, Portland

To support Dress Han: A Celebration & Re-Imagining of Hanfu. Dress Han is a two-month celebration showcasing original hanfu fashion and hanfu-inspired music by local Asian American artists, plus a master workshop series, original cultural programming, a talk series focused on hanfu as a cultural product, and multi-disciplinary activities led by AANHPI cultural groups. Funds will be used for engagement activities, marketing, outreach and staffing.

Literary Arts Inc, Portland

To support Woodburn High School’s participation in Literary Arts’ Youth Program activities. Funds will be used to cover ticket costs for students to attend Portland Arts & Lectures author talks, fees surrounding Writers in the Schools residencies and other Youth Programs activities.

MetroEast Community Media, Gresham

To support “Food Foray,” a community-focused television program highlighting the role of ethnic groceries in addressing food security in East Multnomah County. Funds will be used for video production and editing, translation services, community engagement, food and supplies.

Miracle Theatre Group, Portland

To support Teatro Milagro, the educational outreach program of Milagro. Funds will be used for teaching artists fees, supplies and transportation.

My Voice Music, Portland

To support two new satellite programs in Harmony Academy, for youth recovering from substance abuse disorders, and Pioneer School, for students with significant behavioral and/or emotional needs. Funds will be used to pay teaching artist fees and transportation costs.

Northwest Museum of Cartoon Arts, Portland

To support “Improved literacy with comics study and creation,” which will educate youth who are below grade level in reading about comics creation and reading. Each student will meet with comics authors and artists, create their own comic with drawing tablets, and be presented with a set of graphic novels upon completion of the class. Funds will be used for a classroom teacher, expert guest teachers and a paraeducator.

Oregon ArtsWatch, Portland

To support a series of stories published on that will profile essential cultural hubs, especially in rural areas, and how they uniquely serve and reflect their communities. These stories will reach 25,000 people, giving the hubs greater visibility, building audiences and generating economic revenue. As traditional media continue to decline dramatically, creating news deserts, cultural communities have a difficult time spreading the word about their work.

Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland

To support the OBT After School program during the 2023 school year. Funds will be used to support salaries and teaching artist wages as OBT partners with four low-income Title 1 schools to offer weekly extra-curricular ballet and creative movement classes throughout the school year.

Oregon Children’s Theatre Company, Portland

To support OCT’s fifth annual Intergenerational Queer Theater Project, a devised theater production featuring stories, reflections, poems and songs from 18 members of the regional queer community, ranging in ages from 14 to 80. The cross-generational dialogue among artists seeks to explore the diversity of queer experience, history, outlook across generations and aspirations for the future. Funds will be used for development and production costs.

Oregon Coast Youth Symphony Festival Association, Newport

To support the Festival’s activities, revitalize high school orchestra programs and expand the size of the Festival’s statewide music community. Funds will be used to pay expenses (food, housing, etc.) for the students and their teachers. The high school orchestras only pay for bus transportation to and from Newport.

Out Central Oregon, Bend

To support the inaugural Winter Pride LGTBQ Film Festival in partnership with The Tower Theatre Foundation. Funds will be used for artist fees and staffing.

Pelican Bay Arts Association, Brookings

To support the Youth Summer Art Camp. Funds will be used for teacher stipends, background checks, snacks, program coordination, scholarships and indirect costs for three one-week camps at the Manley Art center. Funds will be used to engage 30 children in learning and making art, three work study assistants in learning art and teaching skills, and to provide a stipend to three art teachers.

Portland Playhouse, Portland

To support programming that creates space for Black and Brown Portlanders to reflect on a range of issues in conjunction with the theatrical run of WHAT I LEARNED IN PARIS: Pearl Cleage’s witty play about Black feminism, love and breaking racial barriers in 1970s Atlanta (Feb 8-March 26, 2023). Funds will be used to cover costs of trauma-informed facilitators, speakers, workshop leaders and the two PPH producers at the helm of the project.

Portland Street Art Alliance, Portland

To support ongoing efforts to create a vibrant public art in Portland via the innovative Community Art Program. The goal is to facilitate inclusive community involvement in the process of mural-making and partner with Ground Score and the City of Portland to paint murals with diverse artists on chronically vandalized properties. Funds will be used for mural wall preparation, painting, community outreach and ongoing mural maintenance.

Portland Taiko, Portland

To support PEOPLE OF THE DRUM, a free summer concert at Gateway Discovery Park on Saturday, July 22. The program will showcase percussion-based performances and dances by Hula Halau ‘Ohana Holo’oko’a (Hawaiian), MexicaTiahui (Mexican/Aztec), Alex Addy Drummers (West African), and Portland Taiko (Japanese/Asian American). Each group will perform for approximately 20 minutes. Free drumming and dance workshops will be offered between performances.

Profile theatre Project, Portland

To support In Dialogue, a season-long partnership between Profile Theatre and culturally specific organizations throughout the Portland metro area that engages a wide range of community members with digital and in-person arts programs. Funds will be used for presenter fees, marketing and outreach expenses.

push/FOLD, Portland

To support the fifth annual Union PDX – Festival of Contemporary Dance (Union PDX – Festival:23) at the Hampton Opera Center in November 2023, featuring artist-talks, low-cost masterclasses, free professional development workshops, and public (paid) and student (free) performances from local, national and international artists creating contemporary work in any dance genre. 

Redfish Music Festival, Port Orford

To support the festival’s operating expenses. Funds will be used to cover insurance costs, venue rental, musician fees, musician transportation, advertising, postage and music camp costs (Including student housing and meals, staffing fees and rental car for student transportation during festival).

Roots and All Theatre Ensemble, Portland

To support Ritual Treatment, a surreal, bilingual piece of dance theatre about a queer Latina teen working through trauma from growing up with domestic violence and entering into a series of abusive relationships. It breaks stigmas around mental illness by cultivating empathy and dismantling taboos. It serves as a catalyst for healing for survivors, and a cautionary tale of the ways we trap ourselves in cycles of violence, even where we think we are safe.

Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis

To support the Youth Program in providing hands-on, ecology-inspired, in-school and summer art education to over 1,300 Pre-K-8 grade youth through partner school districts in Tillamook and Lincoln Counties. Funds will be used for art supplies, instructor wages, guest arts/ecology instructors and direct administrative expenses to run and grow the program.

Third Angle New Music Ensemble, Portland

To support a workshop series, “Mental Health for Music Educators,” designed to equip music teachers with resources to support students navigating mental health issue. The series is linked to Third Angle’s winter concert, SELF PORTRAIT, which will create a public platform for addressing the mental health challenges that many musicians face. Funds will be used for workshop fees and outreach to partner organizations that represent music educators.

Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg

To support PAINT Umpqua Valley, a collaborative art installation project combining youth art education, public transportation and local history. UVA’s Youth Digital Art Residency Program provides an after-school graphic design mentorship for teens. Students prepare designs to submit for an art installation at local bus shelters to celebrate Roseburg’s 150th birthday. Funds will be used to buy a large-format vinyl printer and supplies to support this project and future art installations.

Unlock the Arts, Portland

To support the Expressive Writing Program, which centers on the healing and therapeutic platform of expressive writing for participants aged 14-24 who are currently incarcerated at MacLaren Youth Correctional Facility within the Oregon Youth Authority. Funds will be used for artist fees, booklet publication, transportation, purchase of notebooks, pens and folders, stipends for guest speaker(s) and refreshments for open mic sessions.

Western Oregon University Development Foundation, Monmouth

To support El Bardo en el Valle: Milagro Theatre at Western Oregon University, Valley Shakespeare’s collaboration with Milagro Theatre to perform a Spanish Translation of The Complete Works of Shakespeare (Abridged). Funds will be used to hire professional Latinx/Spanish-speaking artists. A half-day symposium with local arts leaders to address the subject of how to increase accessibility to underserved communities will be featured.

Willamette Jazz Society, Eugene

To support The Jazz Station Educational Programs Grant for clinician and venue jam staff fees for two community music programs: In-School Jazz Station House Band Clinics (four musicians) and Jammin with the Pros, a bi-weekly in-venue jam (three rhythm section musicians and two part-time staff positions).

World Muse, Bend

To support the production of “A Reflection of Life,” a full-length documentary film focusing on water issues and featuring Indigenous experiences and voices from five Northwest tribes as well as public policy makers and scientists. Funds will be used for artist fees.

Write Around Portland, Portland

To support the production of a 60th anthology and book launch in spring 2023. Funds will be used for printing expenses, book design costs, event rental and supply costs, postage for mailing free copies to participants, and related personnel and infrastructure expenses.

▶️ Deschutes County Fairgrounds could expand to one of largest in U.S.

The Deschutes County Fairgrounds is looking to expand into one of the biggest fairgrounds complexes in the nation, but first a land exchange between local and state entities must occur.

“It would give us the largest property of its type in the nation and the opportunity to come up with a full master plan for what the rest of the full build-out of the campus will look like and give us these opportunities to meet needs that we aren’t currently able to utilize,” said Deschutes County Fairgrounds Director Geoff Hinds.

The exchange would add 140 acres to the already 320-acre property.

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“Once that’s done, we’ll go into a master planning phase and figure out what we would build next and what that price tag might look like and where the funding would come for that,” said Hindz.

The land is on the south side of the fairgrounds across from the RV park.

Something the fairgrounds is hoping to improve on by adding more camping spots, especially for 4-H and FFA members during the fair.

“We just don’t own that property yet, and, you know, one of those things that we would certainly put into the master plan is the ability to house those members during the best five days of summer and then figure out what we would do with that space for the rest of the year,” Hinds said.

Hinds says the expansion would also include a new south side entry, which would mean better access for people coming from Bend and other areas to the south.

Planners are looking for community input to help with further developments.

“Sports fields, sports complex, is certainly one we hear a lot about, but just a tremendous other amounts of items on the table,” Hinds said. “It would give us the opportunity to explore those and figure out what’s the best utilization long term.”

▶️ ODOT sweeps camps at Highway 97 Revere Avenue on-ramp

Early Thursday morning, the Oregon Department of Transportation started to clear camps from the Highway 97 on-ramp off Revere Avenue in Bend.

“Notices for this area were posted on Saturday the 18th, hopefully giving people enough time to find a safer place to be before we started the work,” said ODOT Public Information Officer Kacey Davey.

As of Thursday afternoon, there were no incidents of resistance or violence. 

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If a camper did refuse to leave, it’s not up to ODOT to force them out.

“Law enforcement are really the ones that have the legal authority to have people leave a property,” said Davey

ODOT told us local homeless assistance organizations were notified of the sweep.

“Every time we post a camp, an email goes out that’s an interagency email so we notify all of the service providers in the area, you know, REACH and COVO, Shepard’s House,” said Davey.

We spoke with Shepard’s House Ministries’ Director of Development Dave Notari about how this clean-up will affect shelter capacity. 

“We know the impact likely will be minimal. A lot of the folks who live in encampments like that really don’t access shelter services,” said Notari.

Shepard’s House also said it offers help and tries to prepare people for a sweep as best they can.

“We’re there just to assist with moving and providing just care and a listening ear,” said Notari.

After campers move off of the on-ramp, ODOT has limited ways to keep them from moving back.

“This area is signed ‘no trespassing’ and we’ve moved some big boulders in there to try and deter folks from coming into this area,” said Davey.

She told us the main reason for the sweep was safety. 

“If a car leaves the roadway or has a crash for some reason, we don’t want these people to be in harm’s way and also we just don’t have the funding and the ability and the staffing to be managing camps,” said Davey.

The crew that cleaned up the area sorted through items to determine what is trash and what is personal property. The personal property is then put into storage, where unhoused people have up to 30 days to claim their stuff.

▶️ Leash your dog: Bend Park and Rec cracking down in awareness campaign

Bend Park and Recreation is kicking off their Dogs in Parks Awareness campaign to make the parks safer for you and your furry friends.

“Spring is coming and it tends to be a really busy time in parks and trails. We are going to take the opportunity over the next couple weeks to really remind community members about the importance of keeping their dogs on a leash,” Communications and community relations manager for BPRD Julie Brown said.

The district is cracking down on dog park rules this spring due to the prevalence of reports of unleashed dogs. Brown says BPRD hopes it will educate dog owners through positive reinforcement, but there are potential consequences for those who don’t follow the rules.

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“There is a possibility of getting a citation from the police department. We’ll also have the possibility of excluding an individual from being able to come to any of our park properties for 30 days or even longer,” Brown said.

Brown says there will also be more of a presence of community service officers in the parks and on the trails, making sure dogs are leashed. Those who follow the rules could possibly be rewarded.

“We want to be able to hand out some dog treats or maybe some giveaway items as a thank you for dog owners who are doing the right thing and leashing their furry friends,” Brown said.

BPRD will be sharing information about dogs in parks every week during the spring, including:

  • Rules for dogs in parks
  • Enforcement heads up, including administering tickets in parks
  • Reasons why it’s important to leash your dogs
  • Locations of off-leash areas
  • Dog owner etiquette tips

▶️ Need outdoor gear for a day? OSU-Cascades grad invents gear rental app

If you live in Central Oregon, odds are you have more than enough outdoor gear to keep you on the river in the summer and on the slopes in winter. 

One OSU-Cascades graduate decided to provide an outlet for those looking to make some money with that extra gear, and an affordable option for outdoor-lovers looking to rent. 

It’s called Seekqua — an app invented by Michael Boles, who’s lived in Central Oregon since 2017.

“It derives from the Indigenous name for Mt. Jefferson, and that’s Seekseekqua,” Boles explained to Central Oregon Daily News. 

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It all started back in 2020 when Michael and his friends were brainstorming ideas to capture the Central Oregon tourism rental market. 

“Then I was like, well, you could just take it all to its bare bones and have a peer-to-peer model and have software just run it.” 

Soon after he graduated from OSU-Cascades with a degree in Business Administration in 2021, he did some traveling in Europe and asked everyone he met about their thoughts on his idea. 

“Overall it was like, ‘yeah, why doesn’t this exist? We would all use this platform,'” Boles said. “And and so I could see really quickly that it has a global reach.”

When he returned home, he started working on the Seekqua app full-time, with a soft launch last December. 

The concept is fairly simple. 

“People are able to log in, create an account and list their gear for rent and they set their own price,” Boles explained. “They set the dates that are available. They set the time in the schedule for people to come and pick it up and drop it off. And right now, we’re developing more of a streamlined platform to have people that are on there as tourists or just looking to buy a piece of equipment.” 

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To protect users, those renting out their gear list the full price of the item, and if it is not returned or is damaged beyond repair, users will be billed for the full price. 

Since its launch, the app has gained nearly 1,000 users in Central Oregon and beyond, with rental items from mountain bikes to camping gear to skis. 

With the upcoming addition of a buying option, Boles hopes Seekqua will act as a resource for local rental shops rather than a rival. 

“I want to not become competition with local shops in any town, but then instead allow them to have a platform where they can showcase their brand new bikes and surfboards and snowboards and skis for sale,” he said. 

The goal is to facilitate not only gear rentals, but human connection. 

“Just to have a connection between a tourist and a local, I think that that appeals to people, and I think Central Oregon is a great spot to showcase it and start with because of all the outdoor recreation options that we have here,” Boles said. 

He believes the app will encourage younger people to spend more time outside instead of on their screens. 

“I found that in my own personal life it’s really important for, you know, mental health and just being productive and work and school,” Boles said. “And so I think this offers a way for younger people who can’t necessarily afford to buy brand new pairs of skis or even renting skis from some shops in town.” 

His next step is adding options for users to purchase and try out the gear before buying. 

Boles is also hiring for a few different roles to take his product to the next step.