The United Organization of Angry Rural Old People, also known as the "Tea Party," gathered in Redmond last weekend for something called the American Freedom Festival. The event featured music from the ironically named band One Hot Mess and "patriotic speeches" about how America as a whole needs to hop in the DeLorean with Doc Brown and head back to the founding of our great nation when everything was perfect because, you know, people followed the Constitution... and had wooden teeth and slaves. The event drew what appeared to be about 100 people, or using the Glenn Beck Scale of Crowd Estimation, roughly 28,000 people.
"We're gonna vote like nobody's business," John Carigg, communications director for the Bend Tea Party told KTVZ, in reference to the upcoming November mid-term elections. He didn't, however, mention who the group would be voting for, but he was wearing a Ronald Reagan T-shirt - because everything was better back in the day. (MB)
Who's Watching TV?
Speaking of angry old people, guess where they're getting their news? Did you say Huffington Post? Well, you'd be wrong. A study conducted this summer by television analyst Steve Sternberg showed that Fox News' average viewer age is 65 years old, giving the let's-scare-the-crap-out-of-everyone network the oldest audience of any cable station. But CNN is looking pretty gray, too. The study showed that the average CNN viewer is 63. All the young kids (average viewer age 52) are apparently watching their finances and are hooked to CNBC. So if you're wondering what your grandma and grandpa are up to, that should give you a pretty good idea. Also, last Sunday was National Grandparents Day, so if you didn't call your papa and nana, you might want to get on that. (MB)
A Last Resort
An invitation from Deschutes County to open the market for additional destination resorts has drawn interest from three would-be developers who submitted requests to add a total of roughly 1,300 acres to the county's inventory of developable resort lands. The additional lands are located in the south county area, near Sunriver, and outside of Redmond near Eagle Crest resort.
The decision to open the resort map is part of a larger overhaul of the county's destination resort rules that includes a proposed large-scale reduction of the total number of acres eligible, though not necessarily practical for resort development. All told, the county plans to nix roughly 98,000 acres from its existing resort map inventory by early next year, said Peter Gutowsky, a principal planner with Deschutes County.
Although the resort industry is in dire straits with many resort projects in bankruptcy at worst and development dormancy at best, the debate over future resort development continues to draw interest and stir controversy. Local land use watchdog, Central Oregon Landwatch has put the county on notice of its intent to appeal the new map and resort rules. Landwatch has said that the current plan represents a net increase in the total number of resort acres open for future development in the county. The organization pointed to a grandfather clause that exempts existing landowners from the new rules if they request it and a provision that allows multiple landowners to band together on an application as examples of how the proposed makeover of the rules has gone adrift.
Residents who would like to weigh in on the resort map will have a chance to offer their input at the next hearing, scheduled for Nov. 18 at the Deschutes County administration building. (EF)
FYI: It's Fashion Week!
If you've opened a national newspaper or surfed the Internet at all this past week, you may have seen your otherwise trusty and content-driven news sources taken over by pictures of tall, emaciated teenagers. No, it's not a PSA for proper nutrition. It's fashion week in New York City. And for millions of people, it's the biggest freaking event of their lives (until, of course, the fall/winter fashion week that happens, logically, in the spring). While most of the major shows are mainly in New York, the rest of the world is celebrating by throwing parties in major cities and drinking lots and lots of complimentary fashion-themed cocktails. What they're celebrating, no one really knows, but it's very, very serious. Luckily, since Patagonia and the North Face aren't showing their spring collections right now, Bendites have pretty much avoided any hoopla, leaving Central Oregon blissfully unaware of fashion week and the rest of the world wondering, but what will they do when they don't know that everyone is supposed to wear nude platform pumps until March?! (SR)
Girls Are Smarter
The latest figures released by the College Board, the shadow organization that decides which high school seniors get to go to the best public institutions, confirms what Taylor Swift and iCarly fans have been saying for years - girls are just smarter than boys. Well, not actually, but the number of Oregon girls taking the SAT test is growing faster than the number of boys. Moreover, girls as a whole are doing better on the college placement exam in Oregon. They are now performing as well as their male counterparts in math and besting them in reading. The results have gotten the attention of educators, according to a recent story in The Oregonian.
"The gender gap on assessments is an area of concern," a spokeswoman for the Department of Education told the newspaper. "Our schools are focusing on instructional and curriculum strategies that resonate with male learning styles," she said.
Could we suggest a more pro sports and action movie-based curriculum to get them started? (EF)