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All Jacked Up: New stealth rates at Bachelor, Call for photos and McCain Deathwatch 

Mt B.

Early season pass sales ended on Tuesday and it appears that the move to reduce pass prices this year has paid off for Bachelor, which reported on its website that it is seeing an increased number of pass sales. In response, the ski area is jacking up Saturday rates (all season long). The surprise move was announced on the company's website, though Upfront isn't sure when the news appeared. Mt B. says it is raising Saturday rates in order to "maintain an enjoyable on-mountain experience while accommodating a larger core of season pass holders." The mountain isn't saying just how much the Saturday rate will be, but it will be equivalent to the ski area's holiday rate, which last year was $66. Mt. Hood Meadows has a similar pricing structure and is charging peak prices for holidays as well as Saturdays and Sundays between December and March 1.

Upfront thinks we can hear some of that newfound goodwill leaking out of the Bachelor bubble.

Wanted: Awesome Snow Shredding Pics

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Speaking of Mt. B, the mountain scored a nice marketing coup this past month when Powder Magazine featured a pic from Bachelor that was shot by local photographer Brian Becker. Coincidentally, the Source is looking for amateur (though pros are welcome) photographers to submit some of their favorite powder shots, big airs and other worthy pics for a photo page in our annual Snowriders Guide, which publishes Oct. 16. Send your favorite digital photos from the past season (seasons) to by Monday, Oct. 6, though preference will be given to early birds. While there will be no monetary compensation, do it for the Glory - just like a real Source staffer.

World Gone Wild

Upfront knows the whole world is going to hell in a hand basket thanks to a bunch of bums who didn't pay their mortgages, but even folks who don't know a 401K from 501c3 seem to be losing their minds. Witness the recent wave of bizarre criminal activity and general mischief around Central Oregon: a Warm Springs woman is allegedly beaten and burned to death over a drug deal dispute, vandals broke all windows out of Randy's Campers and RVs in Redmond leaving shattered glass strewn around the business, but left without taking a thing.

If you see a local sign of the end of days, send it to

Only the Good Die Young

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If there's a Silver Lining in the country's economic and evidently social collapse, it's that most voters are blaming the mess on McCain, or at least Republicans and, by extension, their candidate. One place that Obama has picked up considerable steam is the website which allows users to buy and sell futures on things like elections and contemporary events. The website was one of the first to identify Sarah Palin as McCain's probable running mate. And while it's less than scientific, it's more than a little interesting to see that Intrade users have Obama winning by a landslide if the election were held today. Even more moderate media outlets such as the Associated Press have in recent days described McCain's campaign as being in a dead-end mode and polls have showed that a majority of American's trust Obama over McCain to lead the country out of economic turmoil.

In other campaign related oddities, an Atlanta actuarial firm has calculated the chances that McCain would be able to complete a second term in office alive and found them to be not great. The firm, Bragg Associates, has determined that McCain, who would be 72 at the start of a first term, would have a 24.44 percent chance of dying in office during a second term. JFK/MLK parallels notwithstanding, Obama would have just a 5.76 chance of dying in office during a second term.

Watch for Falling Axes

On Monday evening Bend's city council held a work session to discuss long-term financial plans where the word "cut" was heard no less than 21 times. Recommendations by Finance Director Sonia Andrews included reducing expenditures by laying off nine community development and two public works employees, and putting the kabosh on filling 19 staff vacancies.

The axe fell quietly in the night.

The following morning, before city hall coffee pots finished filling up, those 11 employees fell from the chopping block.

This was the third work session this year dealing with spending reductions, and thanks to the sour economy officials alluded the axe may fall again before 2008 is a wrap.

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