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How Bend Is Still Bend a Year Later 

With the population booming and a four-year college campus on the doorstep, Bend is quickly changing. But really, does it seem that different from the year before? Or, the year before that? Oh sure, the color—and bulkiness—of the puffy coats may have changed slightly from 2013, but here are our five choices for what has most stayed the same.

Mirror Pond is still here. In spite of endless debates, task forces, forums at City Club declaring that there will be motion, Mirror Pond hasn't budged an inch.

Jackson's Corner and Sparrow Bakery: Two staples of Bend's food scene, the neighborhood kitchen at Jackson's Corner and the ubiquitous cardamom-spiked "ocean roll"—are now more prevalent than ever, as each of the popular eateries added second locations.

Complaints about noise and traffic: Each year, we receive a Santa's bag full of letters complaining about how bad traffic and noise have become in Bend. Oh, the good old days.

Rental margin: In fact, this may have actually worsened over the year, further cementing the phrase, "Bend, poverty with a view," as the rental market in town scored a number one ranking that is not admirable: With rental availaibility rates pinched to 0.5 percent of the housing stock, Bend is the toughest city in Oregon to find an affordable rental unit!

Michael Franti: Is he an honorary resident yet? He is here almost enough to qualify as a candidate for City Council.

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