▶️ City of Bend exploring Juniper Ridge as transitional homeless camp site


The City of Bend owns 1,500 acres of land in the northern part of Bend off of Cooley Road.

At Wednesday’s city council meeting, officials proposed turning six of those acres into a temporary transitional shelter site, where homeless individuals and families could safely camp this winter.

“We expect that we’ll be able provide some medical services,” Carolyn Eagan, economic development director for the City of Bend, said. “We expect we’ll be able to provide some other services and hoping that that will help our community will get through the winter, along with the warming shelter and along with some other sites across town.”

The proposed plan would be implemented in three phases. Phase one would create a transitional shelter site where people could set up RVs and tents.

Phase two would come next year and create a more established campground.

Phase three would construct longer-term housing.

“We asked council to agree to a model that said in the very near term, between now and the spring, we’re going to put a couple sites in place for transitional shelters,” Eagan said. “Next summer, we’re going to look to build a campsite.”

City Council gave officials permission to more forward and explore the feasibility of the plan.

Councilors also supported the idea of creating an emergency homelessness task force, which would help the city and its partner agencies collaborate on the site’s design.

The changing weather is a motivator to get the project started.

“We would love to see this temporarily transitional shelter site come online before the worst of the winter,” Eagan said.

Eagan said they will explore the idea and have more information on whether the idea will actually happen within the next few weeks.

Law enforcement issues joint statement on mask violation questions

The Bend Police Department and the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office issued a joint statement Thursday after receiving questions about enforcing the governor’s new mask mandate.

Gov. Kate Brown issued a statewide order to require masks in all indoor public spaces beginning July 1 to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Along with the statement, the agencies issued a “care enough to cover” graphic urging folks to wear masks.

The statement is below:

“Central Oregon law enforcement agencies have received questions about what our roles are in enforcing the Governor’s Order to wear face coverings inside public buildings.

“It has always been our goal to help community members understand the health and safety guidelines that have been put into place across Oregon.

“Our philosophy of enforcing this and other Orders will continue to be education and to seek voluntary compliance. 

“As the Governor has stated, the expectation is that OSHA Oregon will take the lead in enforcing her face mask requirements.

“Law Enforcement will respond to and investigate all calls for service from business owners who report disputes or disturbances related to the face mask requirement, and then take the appropriate enforcement action if necessary. 

“Unless the call requires a law enforcement response, call OSHA at the toll-free number: 800-922-2689”

▶️ Rally amplifies a united voice against violence


No justice, no peace. 

That’s what more than 1,000 people chanted today in Downtown Bend during a peaceful protest in support of the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality.

Protester Maxwell Friedman says, “They want to bring us down, they want to show us that we’re violent. We are not. We are not thugs. We are protesting an unjust system.”

Protesters also included former police officer Doyle Smith, who says he wants nothing more than equality.

“Being a cop in L.A. for a career, I saw a lot of inequality,” Smith said. “And I’m not trying to play the hero, but I hope a lot of cops stand up … stand away from just using violence to solve something.”

While the protest was peaceful, many in attendance did express their frustration.

Protester Ryan Cooper says, “People are getting shot every day in the streets, and it’s important to change now before things get out of hand and change for the worst.”

However some say the fight doesn’t end, it only begins with a protest.

“It’s not about, you know, just standing on the corner with signs and stuff like that,” former police commander Clifford Evelyn said. “You know, they’ve got to get to the polls, they’ve got to vote, we’ve got to get the right people in office. And the thing that these young people got to understand is that the people that’s doing all this are public servants. They work for us.”

Protester Ashley Smart hopes that nationwide protests bring enough awareness to make a change.

“It’s really really sad what’s going on right now, and I don’t think that it’s okay for this to still be happening,” Smart said. “We need a revolution.”

According to Bend Police, only one person was cited for careless driving for nearly striking a person in a crosswalk.

Otherwise, drivers were very patient with the protesters.

▶️ We See You: Bend High School

Tonight we continue our series honoring high school athletes who lost their senior spring sports seasons to COVID-19.

This week Eric Lindstrom takes us to Bend High to pay tribute to The Lava Bears Class of 2020.

Previous stories

We See You: Summit High School

We See You: Madras High School

We See You: La Pine High School


We’ve previously reported on the lost seasons for local choir, band and drama students as well.



Big Sky Bike Park project on hold amid COVID budget constraints

After several years of planning, the expansion of Bend’s Big Sky Park is now on hold thanks to budget constraints tied to the COVID crisis.

Bend Parks and Rec’s $4 million project called for a new Hamby Road driveway and parking area, improved walking trails, and a new bike park with a cyclocross course, BMX track and singletrack trails.

Expansion of the dog park was completed last year.

Brian Hudspeth, development manager for BPRD, said the district expects a significant drop in revenue in the next fiscal year.

“It’s not that the district doesn’t want to do it; we’re really excited about it. It’s a neat project. We’ve spent a lot of time and effort to get to where we are right now,” he said. “We were really excited and then, no one could’ve predicted what happened. Due to those circumstances, it’s prudent, I think that we hold on to that money.”

The proposal wasn’t without some controversy as neighbors were concerned about noise from events expected to take place at the expanded park.

But Deschutes County Commissioners approved the plans in January 2019. Construction bids were expected in February 2020 and work was to begin later this year.

Hudspeth said he’s hopeful the project can move forward next year.


Bend, Redmond PDs issue statements highlighting diversity training

The Bend and Redmond police departments have both put out statements, educating the public about the diversity, equity and inclusion training their officers undergo as part of the force.

In a lengthy Facebook post, Bend Police outlined several efforts it has made to work with local groups to enhance the diversity training through discussions, presentations and performances.

You can read the two agency’s posts below.

What training does the Bend Police Department do for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion?

• Annually, our department members watch a training video regarding Bias Based Policing. Our most recent training on Bias Based Policing was by Calibre Press and Jim Glennon.

• We wanted to expand our Diversity Equity and Inclusion training opportunities and receive more valuable training. We have been working with two groups outside of our department to bring law enforcement focused implicit biased training. Since September of 2019 we have been working with officers from the Dallas,Texas Police Department, who specialize in community relations, especially with communities of color. We had scheduled the training for April, but it has been postponed due to COVID.

• We have partnered with Central Oregon Community College, Afro-Centric Studies Club in September of 2019 regarding The Red Door Project, Evolve. Members of the Afro-Centric Studies Club gave a presentation to our department members regarding the Evolve project and bringing it to Bend.

“Evolve project is a new performance experience that explores the relationship between law enforcement and communities of color. Combining monologues from The New Black Fest’s Hands Up: 7 Playwrights, 7 Testaments, a show written by African American men and women about their experience with racial profiling, and Cop Out: Beyond Black, White & Blue, based on interviews with police officers, Evolve seeks to stimulate conversations in a new way and help us to bridge a seemingly intractable divide.” (Copied from The Red Door Project)

Our department is committed to bringing the Evolve project to our Bend community members as well as our department members. The Evolve project was unfortunately postponed due to COVID. We are looking forward to bringing this project to Bend and our department members as soon as we can.

• Crisis Intervention Training, which is evidence-based, de-escalation training. This is a partnership between the Police Department and Deschutes County Behavioral Health. We currently have about 77% of the department CIT trained, it is our goal to have 100% of the department trained.

• One of the City Council Goals is to implement a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training program for City Council, City Staff, and volunteers.

The police department started our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion group in October 2019. Our mission is:

We will be purposeful in our outreach efforts by working together with our diverse community members and employees to increase understanding, build trust and promote respect.

In February 2020 we met with nearly every member of our department during an in-service training and discussed our continued commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

• We are engaged with community outreach events such as Welcoming Week, National Night Out, events with Bend Parks and Recreation District, Latinx Success Initiative with Better Together, and we are building relationships with the Latino Community Association of Central Oregon and Embrace Bend. We have worked closely with Latino Community Association of Central Oregon with a variety of events.

• We have implemented a Spanish language phone line so a bilingual staff member can help answer questions that a community member may have.

• We document all traffic stops through the STOPS program (Statistical Transparency of Policing Data). This information is gathered and given to Oregon State Police for the data collection.

Does the Bend Police Department have Body Worn Cameras?

• We don’t currently have in-car cameras or body-worn cameras.
We are committed to our strategic plan regarding body cameras. We have had project management look into systems and costs (equipment/cloud storage/ORS guidelines/staffing). We feel the body cameras are important and they continue to be in our strategic plans and is regularly being evaluated.

Bias-based Policing

▶️ Rally against police brutality draws hundreds in downtown Bend


More than 1,000 people rallied in downtown Bend Tuesday afternoon protesting police brutality in a show of solidarity against the deaths of George Floyd and countless other people of color across America.

With chants of “Black Lives Matter” and “George Floyd,” the protestors initially lined Bond Street from the Bend-La Pine Schools Administration Building to Franklin Avenue as car horns honked in support.

Around 12:30, a group of mostly young people went on the move down Bond Street to Oregon Avenue and toward The Pine Tavern, setting up on the four corners of Oregon and Wall while still more gathered at Greenwood and Wall.

Later, the group made their way to the front of the Deschutes County Justice Building.

Police presence was virtually non-existent save for a few officers milling among the crowd and a patrol car driving down Bond Street shortly after the rally started.

Bend Police Chief Jim Porter was there, mostly talking with members of the group and, at times, helping direct traffic when it got congested.

“Today’s rally was exceptionally peaceful,” Porter said later. “We cited one person for careless driving for nearly striking a person in a crosswalk. Drivers were very patient with the protesters. Thank you to everyone for keeping it peaceful.”

Porter estimated as many as 1,300 people were part of the rally.

The Bend rally was in stark contrast to many of the protests-turned-riots we’ve seen across the country following Floyd’s death last week in Minneapolis.

He died after Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on him during an arrest, pressing on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes – even after Floyd had stopped moving.

All four officers involved in the arrest were fired and Chauvin has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death.

Some in the crowd held signs saying “I can’t breathe,” in reference to some of the last words Floyd spoke as his neck was pinned under the officer’s knee.

“Today’s rally was exceptionally peaceful.”
– Bend Police Chief Jim Porter

Meanwhile, as Central Oregon Daily News Director Matt McDonald live-streamed the event on station’s Facebook page, members of the community at home chimed in.

Many were supportive of the peaceful protests while others questioned why only black lives mattered. Some wondered why nobody was at work and others blamed the media for the racial undertones of the protests nationwide. Several people were convinced the crowd featured protestors brought in from out of town.

The event seemed to bring into focus the social and racial divide in our own community as hundreds of comments poured in.

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One protestor grabbed a Trump flag from a Jeep driving by, but someone in the car behind calmly got out to retrieve it while a handful of people yelled in his direction.

Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel stood across the street from McMenamins taking in the scene, saying he was proud to be there and proud of the community “standing up for their rights.”

“We’re fortunate enough to have good police in this community, but we can’t get complacent,” he said. “We have to say everyone in this community who interacts with law enforcement…they’re valuable, they’re special, they deserve to be treated with respect that’s inherent in them.”

While social distancing went out the window during the rally, many there were wearing masks. Organizers even handed out water, masks and had hand sanitizer available.

The rally started at noon, but started to die down around 1:30.

Central Oregon Daily’s Meghan Glova was on the scene as well and will have a full report tonight at 5 p.m.

Pacific Power Grants to Fund New Bend EV Charging Stations

Bend will get eight new electric vehicle charging stations thanks to a grant from Pacific Power.

Westside Yard – the mixed-use development under construction at the old Ray’s Food Place location – will get six ports while 7th Mountain Resort will receive two. The Bend additions are part of a grant program adding 27 ports in nine locations across the state.

Launched in late 2018, the electric charging station grant program has awarded over $700,000 to 25 recipients in Oregon. 

“We are thrilled by the high level of interest the electric vehicle charging station grant program has received,” said Cory Scott, director of customer solutions. “Charging stations are a key piece of infrastructure that is becoming increasingly in-demand as more people switch to electric-based vehicles. This is one of the many ways Pacific Power is helping make the transition to electric-powered vehicles easier with more charging options for commuters.”

Recent Grant Recipients:

  • City of Pendleton – Pendleton, Ore. (3 ports)
  • City of Myrtle Creek – Myrtle Creek, Ore. (2 ports)
  • Mt. Ashland Ski Area – Ashland, Ore. (2 ports)
  • Softstar Shoes – Philomath, Ore. ( 2 ports)
  • JAB, LLC – Medford, Ore. (8 ports)
  • Fort George Brewery – Astoria, Ore. (1 port)
  • 7th Mountain Resort – Bend, Ore. (2 ports)
  • Westside Yard – Bend, Ore. (6 ports)
  • CHI Hospitality – Grants Pass, Ore. (1 port)

Bend currently has 43 charging stations according to chargehub.com

Pacific Power is providing grant funding to help non-residential customers develop community-driven electric transportation infrastructure projects. This round of grant funding will award nearly $300,000 to Oregon-based workplace charging and publicly accessible charging station projects that advance transportation electrification.

Funding awards will cover up to 100 percent of the project cost. All non-residential Pacific Power customers in California, Oregon, and Washington are eligible to apply with preference given to community-focused organizations, such as 501(c)(3) and city, county and regional governments.

Applications will be accepted up to August 15, 2019 at 5:00 PM. Recipients will be announced October 2019.

In addition to the electric vehicle charging station grant program, Pacific Power also offers a free electric charging station technical assistance program. The program supports non-residential customers with evaluating charging station installation options and costs. The technical assistance program is available at no cost and includes a site visit, analysis of electric vehicle technology options, costs, rates, and best practices for siting, configuring, installing and managing equipment.

For detailed eligibility requirements, charging station project qualifications, additional technical assistance program details, application forms and more information about the benefits of electric vehicles, please visit www.pacificpower.net/ev.

Materials may be submitted to plugin@pacificpower.net.


Origin Story: The Vegetable Man

In this week’s Origin Story, Central Oregon Daily’s Allison Roecker introduces us to the family behind The Vegetable Man, a local produce stand, dedicated to providing Central Oregon with fruits and veggies that are not only fresh, but also as local as possible.

The Vegetable Man is located in Bend and La Pine and open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. For more information, visit vegetablemanproduce.com.

Thanks to BendBroadband Business for giving us the time and resources to tell the stories of Central Oregonians who have turned their passion into a  profession with a new edition of Origin Story every Monday on Central Oregon Daily News at 5 p.m.

Ralph Lawler – Extended Interview with a Living Legend

His name is Ralph Lawler, and for folks who may not know, Lawler has been the beloved broadcast voice of the Los Angeles Clippers on both radio and television for more than 40 years. Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom sat down with Lawler to chat about his career in broadcasting, his recent retirement and the incredible off season the Clippers are having acquiring both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.