▶️ Green light nears for several Bend transportation bond projects

On Wednesday night, a complex plan took center stage at the Bend City Council work session.

The Transportation Bond Oversight Committee (TBOC) presented a 5-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) to use money from the $190 million transportation general obligation (GO) bond approved by Bend voters last November. 

The list of 21 projects was selected after extensive community feedback through the Transportation Plan Update.

“This is a really long time coming where we’re actually going to get started on some of these much-needed transportation projects,” Councilor Melanie Kebler said.

One of the projects slated first is improving the Wilson Avenue corridor.  

“Which projects were sequenced first was where we saw the greatest need,” Councilor Anthony Broadman said. “So far we’ve accepted all of the staff and TBOC recommendations about which projects our community members need the most.”

The Reed Market railroad overcrossing is the most expensive item on the list, set to take up $40 million, but not scheduled for completion until after the 5-year window.

 

“I think there was a little confusion about what the timing was going to be on actually finishing that very large project, and as staff told us last night, there was never any intention that that would be able to be finished in the next five years,” Kebler said.

“We have to do some other projects in order to make sure we’re not cutting off the entire southeast corner of Bend,” Broadman added. “That Reed Market work is going to take probably two construction years, two seasons.

“It’ll be closed for some time, so we need to make sure we have other routes, other detours in place, to make sure that it’s a successful construction project.” 

The plan is just a couple of weeks out from potential approval. 

“On December 15th, our next meeting, our staff will bring back that full package to us as an official Capital Improvement Plan for the next five years,” Kebler said.

“They will make the one change we requested to move some money up into those first five years to accelerate planning for the Reed Market overcrossing, and then we’ll have any further deliberation we want to have at that meeting and then we’ll take a vote to approve that project list.”

Plans for the following five years aren’t in the works just yet.

“I would expect that the planning process for the second five years…will start relatively soon, certainly well before the end of the first five-year period,” Broadman said.

“It’s going to be a work in progress moving forward,” Kebler said. “This was just the way to get started and say ‘here’s right now what we think we can do in the next five years, let’s get moving, and we can always adjust as we go and make any changes we need to.'”

Broadman said the money from the bond is a relatively small part of the amounts they will need for transportation over the next couple of decades.

“We fully expect to use federal dollars and ODOT dollars through the state,” he said. “The bond source of revenue can’t be used for maintenance, so it’s important as we develop the infrastructure that we continue to maintain it at a world-class level, and that’s going to be from other funding sources.”

Some other key priority projects include the Midtown Pedestrian and Bike Crossings, and Butler Market Road and Boyd Acres Road Improvements.

They also include better east-west connections that will reduce drivers’ time behind the wheel and improve Bend’s livability and safety.

Other priority routes targeted for traffic flow improvements include U.S. 97/Parkway, Third Street intersections, Empire Avenue near U.S. Highway 97, Butler Market Road and other key routes.

The committee’s full recommended timeline and list of projects can be found at bendoregon.gov/tboc.

Bend City Council extends Old Bend Neighborhood parking program

The Bend City Council voted to continue the Old Bend Neighborhood Parking District Wednesday night.

Residents living in the neighborhood pay $25 per year to keep parking available on the streets and to prevent potential campers from staying overnight.

The original one-year pilot program is set to expire at the end of the year.

After discussions about the program earlier in the month .. city council decided to continue with the program

Four councilors and mayor Sally Russell votes yes, while council Barb Campbell was the lone opposer.

This was only the first reading to change city code and continue the parking program.

▶️ Health officials expect continued surge in COVID vaccination numbers

Between a new variant and kids becoming eligible, various local vaccination clinics are seeing the same kind of interest and pressure.

The Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center had hundreds come through its drive-thru vaccine clinic Tuesday, the first day of operation, and many more on Wednesday.

“Four hundred fifty four doses were provided to the community and that included primarily booster doses,” Morgan Emerson, Deschutes County Public Health said. “About 375 booster doses were given out, and the rest were of mix of first doses, second doses, and pediatric vaccines.”

That is not the only bustling location.

▶️ Long lines, eager participants welcome new vaccine clinic at fairgrounds

 

Five hundred more people showed up to a clinic at Larkspur Community Center Tuesday, and the Deschutes Public Library in downtown Bend has been consistently busy giving booster doses.

“Here at the Bend Library we’ve given up to 400 doses,” Crystal Sully, Deschutes County Public Health COVID-19 vaccine operations supervisor said. “That’s a lot of vaccinations over the course of four hours.”

Sully says each new week tends to be the biggest week yet at pop-up clinics and crowds will likely continue.

“Because of the numbers we have in Deschutes County of people who want that boost dose and the lack of a true mass vaccination site,” Sully said. “I’m expecting the crowds through December and into January.”

The drive-thru clinic at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in Redmond is open Monday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

The clinic at Larkspur Community Center in Bend is open every Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m.

The clinic at the Deschutes Public Library in downtown Bend is open every Wednesday from 1 to 5 p.m.

▶️ Ballet shoes to wings: Bend teen takes final bow before joining military

From the ballet studio to laughter-silvered wings.

Certainly the road less traveled for a 19-year-old.

But Kaelin Frick from Bend has learned that when it comes to discipline, character and passion, dance has prepared her for a bold new chapter.

We sat down with her to hear about why she’s making the leap from arabesques to the Air Force.

▶️ Bend man raffling rare, signed copy of Dune to raise money for 2 groups

When Ariel Mendez rediscovered his first edition paperback copy of Dune about twenty-five years after it was gifted by his high school English teacher, he decided someone else should have the joy of coveting the collectible.

“I really enjoyed having this book for as long as I have because it’s a special piece of history. The first paperback edition of Dune, what some people say is one of the greatest science fiction works ever written, and it’s signed by the author himself,” Mendez said.

That’s right, Mendez’s paperback copy of Dune has a signature from author Frank Herbert just inside the detached cover.

“It’s clearly well-loved, it’s not going to fetch a price for being in pristine condition, but for someone who loves Dune, and would love to own a piece of history that has a connection to the author like this I think it would be fantastic,” Mendez said.

So Mendez decided to raffle off the book online, with all proceeds going to Bend Bikes, a group advocating for bike safety, and the Warm Springs Community Action Team, a organization providing services for the Warm Springs Reservation.

Each $5 donation gets you one chance to win the book, and by the second day, donations already surpassed $500.

The winner will be selected at random on Sunday December 5th.

Mendez hasn’t found another version of his copy anywhere online, and is unsure of the value the book would have due to its uniqueness and wear.

“Dune was published as a serial in the beginning because nobody wanted to publish the book and it started to get serialized in, I think, an auto magazine. And then it became published later as a full book and so it’s actually pretty rare to have a first edition or early edition of Dune,” said Cassie Clemans the owner of Roundabout Books.

With the new movie recently released in theaters, the craze around Dune is bigger than ever.

‘It has always been a regular seller in our science fiction section like we always keep it stocked. But since the movie has been promoted, we cannot keep it in stock,” said Clemans.

The book has several ties to Oregon, not just in the desert landscape mimicking the sandy shores of Florence, but also in its themes of equity and treatment of indigenous folks.

Mendez thinks the newfound buzz around the book, along with the novel’s themes matching the charities benefiting, leaves the Oregon connection as the cherry on top.

“I think anyone who loves this book and this story will find a natural affinity to both of these organizations,” Mendez said.

Central Oregon School of Ballet announces 35th production of The Nutcracker

The Central Oregon School of Ballet is proud to present its 35th annual production of The Nutcracker.

The longest-running Nutcracker in Bend, the show has become a classic holiday tradition in Central Oregon.

It has been two long years since these talented young dancers have taken the stage and they are excited and ready to perform their beloved Nutcracker show.

The cast is composed of dancers ages 5-55 and includes local students and professional ballet dancers.

The Central Oregon School of Ballet has expanded the Nutcracker to offer a 4th show and all performances will be located at the Bend Senior High School Auditorium.

  • Friday, December 3 at 7:00 pm
  • Saturday, December 4 at 3:00 pm
  • Saturday, December 4 at 7:00 pm
  • Sunday, December 5 at 3:00 pm

Face masks are required and social distancing is encouraged.

Tickets start at $15. To purchase tickets, visit centraloregonschoolofballet.com/nutcracker or call (541) 389-9306.

The Pavilion in Bend to host Oregon Ducks men’s hockey vs. Boise St.

The Oregon Ducks men’s hockey team will face Boise St. in two games at The Pavilion in Bend next month.

The teams will play Friday, Jan. 7th at 7 p.m. and Saturday Jan. 8th at 4 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now.

Oregon is currently playing at the Division II level, but just last week the American Collegiate Hockey Association announced they will jump up to Division I next season.

The ACHA also approved the jump for The College of New Jersey (Ewing, NJ), Purdue University Northwest (Hammond, IN), and San Diego State University.

They’ll be part of the 72-team ACHA league and move one step closer to NCAA status.

Arizona State is currently the only Pac-12 school that fields an NCAA-level men’s hockey team.

Hayden Homes Amphitheater makes first 2022 concert announcement

Bend’s Old Mill District is wasting no time getting started on the 2022 concert season at Hayden Homes Amphitheater.

The venue announced Tuesday that the Goo Goo Dolls and Blue October will play on Saturday, July 16th.

Online-only presale runs Thursday, Dec. 2, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. here.

The password = “local”.

General on-sale starts Friday, Dec. 3, at 10 a.m. at BendConcerts.com and in person at the Ticket Mill in the Old Mill District.

The Goo Goo Dolls have been nominated for multiple Grammy awards and were an alternative radio staple in the 90s with hits like “Name” and “Slide.”

The venue – formerly known as the Les Schwab Amphitheater – had its biggest concert season to date in 2021 with more than two dozen shows over a six-week span.

Due to the construction of a new stage, events didn’t start this year until July.

Organizers say Phase 2 of the construction will mean the 2022 season won’t start until June, but they expect the summer to be jam-packed with shows.

 

 

Deschutes National Forest Winter Wildlife Range closures begin Dec. 1

Starting Wednesday, four winter range closures take effect across the Deschutes National Forest to provide critical habitat for deer and elk.

Beginning December 1, 2021, four wildlife winter range closure areas including Cabin/Silver Lake, Metolius Winter Range, Opine Travel Management Area and Tumalo Winter Range will begin.

Motorized vehicles (including snowmobiles and electric bicycles) are prohibited in the closure areas to protect deer and elk during the winter.

The winter wildlife closures will last through March 31, 2022.

The public can visit the following links to view maps of the closure areas:

Winter range is habitat deer and elk migrate to find more favorable living conditions during the winter. Winter range is found predominantly in lower elevations of central Oregon and is extremely important to elk and mule deer survival.

Winter ranges usually have minimal amounts of snow cover and provide vegetation for forage, hiding cover, and protection from the weather.

In Oregon, elk and mule deer migrate, often long distances, to lower elevations to escape or minimize exposure to snow cover.

Local mule deer populations have declined 56% between 2004 and 2021. Human disturbance of deer and elk during the winter can cause the animals to flee which expends energy from the reserves they’re relying on to survive through winter.

By respecting winter range closures, the public can reduce impacts to deer and elk helping to sustain existing populations into the future.

The public can learn more about the importance of winter range here: https://go.usa.gov/xeEuZ

87-unit ‘workforce housing’ project in the works near St. Charles

The City of Bend is in the public comment stage for an 87-unit “workforce housing development” near St. Charles.

The Mosaic Conners Apartments would feature six, three-story walkup apartment buildings with one and two-bedroom units accessed via interior stairways.

According to the city’s permit portal, the apartments will be factory-built modules and assembled on site.

The location is 2365 NE Conners Ave. – just north of the hospital and the Pilot Butte Medical Center.

Bend Senior Planner Karen Swenson said the 14-day public comment period for the project closes on Dec. 6th.

Of the four submitted comments so far, all are in favor of the project, Swenson said.

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