Bend: Brush fire off Mahogany – Human caused

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May 172015
 

Brush fire off east end of Mahogany Drive, near transient camp.

Brush fire off east end of Mahogany Drive, near transient camp.

Small area burn that was found smoldering by arriving Bend firefighters

Small area burn that was found smoldering by arriving Bend firefighters

After a soaking of water they added foam to ensure the fire was completely smothered and dead out.

After a soaking of water they added foam to ensure the fire was completely smothered and dead out.

Fire had burned its way up the side of a pine in the middle of the burn area.

Fire had burned its way up the side of a pine in the middle of the burn area.


Click photos to enlarge

A smoldering brush fire triggered a call to the Bend Fire Department Sunday afternoon at the end of Mahogany Drive, off Ridge in the Deschutes River Woods.

Neighbors reported seeing smoke rising up between the trees east of their homes. Bend Firefighters accessed the site, about an eighth of a mile up a path toward the canal.

They immediately started hosing down the still smoldering fire, which at one point, headed straight up a tree, getting about eight feet in the air. Following their initial attack firefighters gave the fire area a good soaking with foam to help ensure the fire was dead out.

A Bend Fire Battion Chief said they couldn’t say exactly what caused the blaze but whatever the spark was, it was human caused.

The Chief said fire conditions are already what they normally are by the end of June, so the fire danger is very high despite recent rains. He said the department is also concerned, as they always are this time of year, of school letting out for the summer and children experimenting with fire in the wild near their homes. He said the first week of summer vacation is the worst week of the year for scattered brush fires. He says the department strongly urges all parents to know where their children are and what they’re up to, especially during the day.

Lots of unbridled democracy going on with medical marijuana

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May 172015
 
Medical Marijuana Oregonian photo

Medical Marijuana
Oregonian photo

A special committee has been set up in the Oregon legislature to hammer out state-wide regulations on the sale and locations of sale of medical marijuana. It was earlier predicted that these and other aspects of medical marijuana sales would have been worked out by now, but many communities around the state are defying state guidelines and rules by sticking to marijuana’s outright ban under federal law.

The new committee sits down to develop new rules starting monday. We’ll see if they come up with anything new. The rest of the story is in the Oregonian. Click here.

Rash of car burglaries in Redmond

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May 172015
 

redmond police patch

A rash of car burglaries has kept Redmond Police jumping from one street to the next, emanating from the Northeast part of town, fanning out across the community.

Police say up to 30 vehicles have been either broken in to, or the doors left unlocked, allowing burglar(s) to rifle through personal effects. A surveillance video tape recorded a heavy-set white male, with a beard, in knee-length shorts going through material in a pickup.

Police say never leave valuables in your vehicle – especially personal papers that can feed identity theft rings. Always lock your vehicle, and report any suspicious persons in your neighborhood. Just call 9-1-1. Don’t think twice – just call them.

Traffic Crash: 11th and Smith Rock Way

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May 172015
 

10:50am – Traffic crash at 11th and Smith Rock Way. Said to be between a red Dodge Ram pickup and a blue Ford. Watch for emergency vehicles and any flaggers.

Cat’s out of the bag – City wants to buy Troy Field

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May 162015
 

Troy Field Southeast of City Hall

Troy Field
Southeast of City Hall

Bend City Hall to the northwest - long inadequate to house all or even most city offices.

Bend City Hall to the northwest – long inadequate to house all or even most city offices.

Bend-Lapine School District Offices to the south of City Hall

Bend-Lapine School District Offices to the south of City Hall

Deschutes County Library across Wall Street from City Hall

Deschutes County Library across Wall Street from City Hall

Troy Field for sale for $2.6 million - zoned commercial

Troy Field for sale for $2.6 million – zoned commercial

The Bend City Council has made it official – they’re interested in buying the nearly one acre open-space area called Troy Field, immediately southeast of City Hall, kitty-corner across Bond Street.

The popular gathering and sports playing area has been for sale by the Bend-Lapine School District for quite a while and is zoned commercial, according to a ‘for sale’ sign on a baseball backstop at the northwest corner of the property.

There has been speculation for a number of years that the city might want to lay down its marker on the property in light of the fact that Bend City Hall is a fraction the size necessary to have an efficiently functioning city offices.  Currently, office space has to be rented all over town just to house vital city functions.

At a Bend city budget committee meeting this past week City Manager Eric King said the city has been negotiating just the possibility of buying Troy Field – no firm timeline given.  However King has said in the past it’s well past time for the city to provide city workers and the citizens of Bend a city hall municipal complex that is up to the job of efficiently getting the public’s work done.  It’s also been noted that the current city hall buildng cannot accommodate council meetings for all the citizens who want to attend.  Many citizens are exiled to outside hallways making them crane their ears to listen to what’s going on inside.

Those who plan for government facilities nationwide constantly note that any city hall must have the room for not only city workers to serve the public but also to provide a welcoming and engaging place for citizens to gather and engage city leaders to address the wants and needs of the community.  City Manager Eric King says the current facility doesn’t do that.

City Councilor Victor Chudnowsky told Bend News Today that there is support to set aside $200,000 as earnest money to buy Troy Field from the school district although the city is not ready to make an offer or a timeline on such an offer.   But it seems that the pace is picking up.

The question is also asked how such a purchase might affect the look and function of that part of downtown Bend.  Within a stone’s throw of city hall is the school district offices and the Deschutes County Public Library.  There are numerous parking lots as well.  How all of these critical facilities might form a municipal complex – a “community center of gravity” – is likely being considered.  Shared community meeting space, areas for staff conferences and other public gathering spaces could all be offered within short walking distances between the buildings.

There is also the attraction of having the community focused on this part of town where citizens want to be heard, to give their opinions on issues great and small in the “true heart of town,” as opposed to having them scattered all over the place.

Councilor Chudnowsky said he anticipates negotiations between the city and the school district will continue toward the goal of the city acquiring Troy Field in the not too distant future. Troy Field is currently used for various sporting and other outdoor events.  As mentioned above it’s been on the market for some time – currently zoned for commercial.  So either way the days of it remaining open space may be numbered no matter what.

Troy Field was the namesake of Troy Plumbing that occupied a shop on the east side.  In the 1940s and 50s it was a popular sports field and would often double as a make-shift downtown ice skating rink in the winter as Bend Fire Department trucks would spray water on it to make an icy surface.

Brush fire along Deschutes River off Brookswood and Alderwood

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May 162015
 
Brush fire off the Deschutes River near Brookswood and Alderwood

Brush fire off the Deschutes River near Brookswood and Alderwood
Bend Fire Rescue photo

From Bend Fire Rescue

Bend Fire Department crews responded Saturday to a brush fire along the Deschutes River below the River Canyon neighborhood, off of Brookswood Blvd. People walking the very popular river trail saw the fire and quickly notified the fire department giving fire crews a head start on fighting it. Crews managed to keep it from spreading up the hill and threatening any homes.

Two juveniles were reported seen running from the area of the fire but it is not known if they were involved. Bend Police ask that if you have any information about the fire or anyone seen in the area to please contact them by calling 541-693-6911.

The Bend Fire Department reminds parents that school is almost out for the summer and it is very important that you talk with your kids about fire safety. Each year Bend, and all communities in Central Oregon, have numerous fires started by kids who are misusing fire, having campfires when they are not supervised by adults or are causing intentional fires. The first week away from school is always the busiest week of child related fires.

Bend Fire Department has resources for parents to use. Just click here.

If you have a child or teen who is fascinated by fire or has misused fire, even once, contact your local fire department for assistance. We can provide a risk assessment intervention, fire safety education, referral to additional resources, and help you keep your family safe.

If you live within the boundaries of the City of Bend or Deschutes Rural Fire Protection District #2, please call the Bend Fire Department at 541-322-6309 to request assistance.

Bridge overlays on 97 being improved in Bend

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May 152015
 

Stonger than a triple shot at Starbucks is coming in to Bend from the north and you hit the first bridge overcrossing – Division. The smack on your car and the jarring of your body in the seat ensures you know exactly where you are.

ODOT knows all about it. And they’re in the middle of fixing it. Here’s the details.

US 97 Bend Parkway Bridge Overlays

This project will remove existing bridge overlays and construct a new ¾” overlay on the Division and 3rd Street bridges on US 97 in both north and southbound lanes. Work will be done at night.

For the week of May 18, 3rd Street and Division Street bridges will be resurfaced. Single lane closures from 7:30 PM to 6:00 AM, Sunday through Thursday nights. Traffic will be controlled by flaggers and pilot cars to protect construction workers and motorists.

Oregon State Police will be monitoring traffic. Delays of up to 20 minutes with heavy congestion are possible. All work is weather dependent. From the north exit to third as soon as you can, then get back onto the parkway at Hawthorne or hang in there on third to Reed Market. From the south exit at Revere and take Third north to the overpass.

http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/REGION4/Pages/US97-BendParkwayBridges.aspx

Whole Foods Markets going more “mass appeal”

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May 152015
 
Expanding into down-scaled stores.

Expanding into down-scaled stores.

Whole Food Markets, a very successful “whole foods” and purveyor of organic food items, will soon be launching a lower priced version of itself. Whole Food Markets, with an outlet in East Bend, is expected to debut a number of these ‘scaled down’ versions in the near future.

The story is in the Portland Business Journal. Click here.