Teens get down to basics in Federal Court – What good is air if you can’t safely breathe it?

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Apr 092015
 
Kelsey Juliana, 19 Asking Federal Court to uphold law dealing with "environmental public trusts"

Kelsey Juliana, 19
Asking Federal Court to uphold law dealing with “environmental public trusts”
Oregonian photo

Kelsey Juliana, 19 of Eugene, and other teens including their parents and grandparents, were in Eugene federal court this week asking the judge to acknowledge that the natural environment should be kept healthy as “a public trust.” It’s the ancient notion that each human generation inherits the Earth from their ancestors and in turn is actually borrowing it from their grandchildren – and that being good caretakers of the environment is fulfilling that “public trust.” Without it says Juliana, we’ll soon have no Earth, or at least one that’ll put up with humans.

This most basic argument for continued human existence played out before what appeared to be a less than an enthusiastic judge. But the case was made rather convincingly, at least in the eyes of those who believe science is clearly documenting climate disruption throughout the world.

The idea that the natural environment has always been held “in trust” for current and future generations, says Juliana, is being violated on a massive scale across the globe – but she’s only able to sue in her own state of residence. And so she, and others, are taking on the state of Oregon on allegations that Oregon is contributing to the problem.

Here’s the story in The Oregonian. Click here.

Deschutes County preparing to accommodate medical and recreation marijuana sales and giving the green light to Shepherd family “private park”

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Apr 092015
 
Medical Marijuana Oregonian photo

Medical Marijuana
Oregonian photo

Medical Marijuana dispensaries coming to areas outside cities

Deschutes County Commissioners wrestled again Wednesday with the kinds of operating restrictions that should be put on medical marijuana dispensaries when they apply to open up shop in the unincorporated areas of Deschutes County, come May 1st when the county’s moratorium is lifted.

The commissioners predictably supported already established state rules that prohibit a medical marijuana dispensary within 1,000 of a school and that hours of operation be limited from 10am to 7pm. However, the commissioners were also concerned that the legislature could combine medical and recreational marijuana sales under one roof when recreational marijuana goes on sale next year. Commissioner Tammy Baney expressed a lot of heartburn if the county doesn’t put more rules in place to keep marijuana sales far away from parks, YMCA’s or other areas that cater to children. She said “We don’t know if the legislature will allow combined sales in one facility – but if lawmakers do allow it, we should be ready to deal with it.”

A county planner gave the commissioners a way to do just that by suggesting the county’s “change of use” provisions be applied. He said if a medical marijuana operator wanted to add recreational marijuana to his business menu, he’d have to come into the county permit center and apply for a ‘change of use’ permit. It’s at this juncture that the county could determine that recreation marijuana be treated quite differently than medical marijuana. And depending on where the pre-existing medical marijuana facility is located, it could be turned down for a recreational marijuana permit, forcing the operator to move his business to a whole new location, far enough away from “sensitive areas.”

Commissioners were quite satisfied with that option and instructed legal and planning staff to draw up county ordinances that control where medical marijuana outlets can locate, hours of operation and a provision that doesn’t allow medical marijuana operators to expand to recreational sales without having to jump through more hoops.

All this will be back before the commissioners on April 22nd. Because the commission closed the record at the last public hearing (which is also closed), there won’t be any more public testimony taken in front of the commission. The 22nd will be when they deliberate and formally adopt the new regulations. Again, they’re looking at a May 1st deadline when the state mandates all temporary county and city moratoriums are lifted statewide.

Shepherd Private Park off Holmes Road, between Sisters and Terrebonne

Shepherd Private Park off Holmes Road, between Sisters and Terrebonne
Courtesy photos

Shepherd family gets green light on adding “private park” to their small farm

Deschutes County Commissioners gave the green light to the Shepherd family to build a private park next to their home out Holmes Road, halfway between Sisters and Terrebonne. Commissioners said that despite repeated complaints from environmental interests, including Central Oregon Landwatch, the private park idea, catering to weddings, family reunions, graduation parties, and other special events (all recreation related), should work well – capitalizing on the wildland surroundings and majestic views of the mountains.

shepherd park lady dancingshepherd park kitchen

The Shepherd family long maintained that the land out there is very marginal farmland and that a more economically beneficial use would be to supplement their cattle operation with recreational/special events 18 days out of the year – summers, mainly. That way they wouldn’t be doing anything disruptive when the deer migrate through in the late fall and winter.

shepherd park 10

But Central Oregon Landwatch’s Paul Dewey, in earlier discussions, called the Shepherd’s project little more than a special events center located far out of town where it doesn’t belong. He also cited a number of project shortcomings, just about all of which the commissioners dismissed as not applicable.

As a result, no one will be surprised if Mr. Dewey’s group appeals the commission’s decision to the Land Use Board of Appeals in Salem.

Bend: High speed head-on crash on So. 3rd in front of McDonalds

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Apr 082015
 

bpd badge

7:58pm- High speed head-on crash on So. 3rd in front of McDonalds. Watch for emergency vehicles.

7:59pm- Doesn’t appear to be any injuries. 3 year old in one of the cars is going to be checked out by medics due to the severity and speed of the accident. Air bags in both vehicles deployed.

Oregon Court of Appeals: Incest baby can’t go home with parents

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Apr 082015
 
Court of Appeals says no to incest parents.

Court of Appeals says no to incest parents.

The Oregon Court of Appeals has told the parents of a newborn boy in Klamath Falls that they will not retain custody of the baby because it was the product of a sexual union of the father and his adult daughter – in effect the infant’s father is also his grandfather.

In removing the child from the home the State Health Department said this is the second child born to this “couple” – the first boy suffering from birth defects triggered by the genetic dysfunction which can occur when two directly related humans produce offspring.

The story is in The Oregonian. Click here.

Prineville: Pickup into concrete divider at 126 & 26.

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Apr 082015
 

3:10pm- Emergency responders on scene of a traffic crash at the junction of Highways 126 and 26 – Silver pickup into a concrete barrier. Airbags deployed. No word on extent of injuries.

Forest Service needs help in capturing a pyro near La Pine

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Apr 082015
 

deschutes national forest

Investigators are asking for help in solving a series of at least nine wildfires that were set on or about March 9th near Forest Road 21 near La Pine.

A series of nine suspicious fires was set on March 8th or 9th and law enforcement from the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement has been investigating, trying to track down the cause for over a month.

Investigators have determined that the fires were human caused.

The investigation team is interested in any information members of the public can provide to help with the investigation. Please call with any information about activity, individuals, or vehicles seen on or near Forest Road 21 on March 8th or 9th.
Anyone with information that could help identify the suspects is asked to contact Patrol Captain Dan Smith at 541-383-5798, or the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 1-877-876-TIPS.

You can remain anonymous, and you could be eligible for a cash reward.

Will the last container ship leaving Terminal 6 please turn out the lights…

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Apr 072015
 
Now TWO major container shippers have called it quits at Port of Portland

Now TWO major container shippers have called it quits at Port of Portland

Although there are ten other Portland shipping terminals that remain quite busy handling cargo for overseas as well as domestic ports in the U.S., Terminal 6 has run out of shippers. A shipping service serving European ports has now backed out due to what was termed bad labor conditions with the longshoreman’s union. The union blamed the go-between shipping broker for the mess – the broker blamed the union.

Either way it’s made Terminal 6 a very quiet spot on the Portland waterfront, this latest development coming right after the biggest shipping line bailed out for the same stated reason. And that’s a bad sound for Oregon’s agri-business that now must scramble to get their products overseas.

Here’s more from The Oregonian. Click here.

State Senate sends Gov. Brown $7.25 Billion Education funding bill

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Apr 062015
 

Senate President Peter Courtney explains why a $7.25 education allocation is optimal - at the moment.

Senate President Peter Courtney explains why a $7.25 education allocation is optimal – at the moment.

Bend Republican Senator Tim Knopp contends the education bill doesn't go far enough- Democrats say to increase education bill more would hurt law enforcement and human services.

Bend Republican Senator Tim Knopp contends the education bill doesn’t go far enough- Democrats say to increase education bill more would hurt law enforcement and human services.

The Oregon Senate Monday sent a $7.25 billion dollar education budget that pays for full time all day kindergarten – said to be the boost that all children need so they can get more out of their first three grades of schooling. Those who are ready to read and to perform basic arithmetic by first grade simply do better in later years than students who aren’t.

Republicans opposed the largely democratic schools funding plan claiming it didn’t go far enough. Democrats agreed but reminded the Republicans that the state doesn’t have unlimited money and that even higher funding for education would strip budget funds for law enforcement, prisons and human services. Democrats reminded Republicans that if there’s more money left at the end of the legislative session, 40% would go to pumping up the education budget even higher.

Here’s more from The Oregonian. Click here.

Covered bridge on Bowery Lane closed – Vehicle damaged severely

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Apr 062015
 

Bowery Covered Bridge just north of Cooley and cemetery

Bowery Covered Bridge just north of Cooley and cemetery

Covered bridge at Bowery had most of its trusses ripped right out of the ceiling.

Covered bridge at Bowery had most of its trusses ripped right out of the ceiling.

Vehicle was heading for Hwy 97

Vehicle was heading for Hwy 97

Some object protruding upward from a truck bed

Some object protruding upward from a truck bed

View from west to east - Highway 97 visible

View from west to east – Highway 97 visible

From Deschutes County Road Department

Somebody driving a large truck with a very stiff piece of metal sticking up in the air in the back ripped the guts out of an old covered bridge off Highway 97, just north of Cooley Road and the cemetery.

Whoever did it ripped the entire truss system out of the 52 year old Bowery Road Covered Bridge now standing with very little support. Whether on purpose or by accident, it may prove the end to the venerable old covered symbol of days gone by. The Bowery Covered Bridge is listed on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks.

With the neighborhood’s main access to Highway 97 now cut off, the only other access is via Rogers Road and the Old Bend-Redmond Highway.

Rock of the Range Neighborhood Association President Michel Bayard says a quick estimate of the damage starts at around $25,000 – an amount that would be tough to raise among just 15 neighborhood members.

There is a federally offered and ODOT administered covered bridge preservation grant program that routinely puts a heavy investment in Oregon’s 50+ covered bridges. The fact that the Bowery Road Covered Bridge is on a county road and is listed as a federally recognized National Historic Landmark might work in favor of anyone who applies for grant funding, assuming they can keep the structure from falling.

For additional information, or if the community would like to help preserve the Bowery Road Covered Bridge please contact Mr. Michel Bayard, Rock of the Range Neighborhood Association at (541) 977-2433 or v2alternate@ykwc.net.

Deschutes Co. SO – Needs volunteers to mentor children of jail/prison inmates

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Apr 062015
 
"Gimmie 10" mentoring Commons photo

“Gimmie 10” mentoring
Commons photo

Whether it’s a father or a mother that is sentenced to extended jail or prison time, the effect on their children is crushing. Suddenly the only people they call mom or dad is taken away from them. And research has shown that the psychological and emotional effects can be very painful.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with Central Oregon Partnerships for Youth to offer training for citizens who would like to volunteer and step in to these childrens’ lives to keep them grounded and feel assured that nothing that’s happened is their fault. Also, that there is still a big world “out there” to engage through sports, doing thei homework, attending special community events, attending art programs or just simply “hangin’ out” and talking about anything they’d like to talk about.

After initial training and background checks, volunteers are matched with a child in Bend, Redmond, Sisters or LaPine that share similar interests and activities and agree to spend a few hours a week together for at least a year.

On Saturday, April 18, COPY will offer a six hour orientation and training class. The class covers program rules, how to establish a mentor relationship, how incarceration affects families, and communication skills.

There is no cost to attend, but advanced registration is required. For further details please call (541) 388-6651 or email COPY@deschutes.org

Additional program information is available at the Sheriff’s Office web site at www.deschutes.org/copy. Or just click here.