Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Vote for Your Favorite Central Oregon Restaurant

Posted By on Tue, Mar 31, 2015 at 9:27 AM

  • Matt Fox

It's that time of the year, when we take a look at the culinary landscape and fill you in on what's hot and who's got it, for our annual Dining Guide. But this year, in addition to naming a Restaurant of the Year and Rookie of the Year, we're introducing two new categories of recognition—Food Cart of the Year and Readers' Choice. That last one is where you come in. Using the survey box below, tell us your favorite local restaurant. The winner will be featured in our Dining Guide, online and on stands April 23. Voting closes April 8, so get to it!

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Monday, March 30, 2015

Michael Franti Returns to Bend August 23

Posted By on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 at 12:28 PM

He's baaack. Or, at least, he will be. Michael Franti returns to Bend with Spearhead on August 23 at the Les Schwab Ampitheater. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, April 1 for $39 plus service fees.

According to LSA:
Musician, filmmaker, humanitarian, Michael Franti, is recognized as a pioneering force using music as a vehicle for positive change as well as his unforgettable, high energy shows with his band, Spearhead. With the multi-platinum success of his song "Say Hey (I Love You)" and the chart breaking 2010 release of The Sound Of Sunshine, Franti and his band guarantee a show that will be thought provoking as well as energetic.
"Music is sunshine,” says Franti, one of the most positive and conscious artists in music today. “Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose.” Franti has a brand new single, "Life is Better with You" which is on his latest album, All People. Most recently, Rolling Stone premiered a captivating video of Franti’s song, “Same As It Ever Was,” which he wrote in response to the struggle for modern day civil rights. Watch the video here:

You can also read our interview with Franti before he came to town last year HERE.
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Friday, March 27, 2015

In Defense of Birthdays

Posted By on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 at 10:30 AM

By Josh Gross

A friend of mine recently went on an anti-birthday rant, condemning no shortage of people he considered complicit in the greeting-card-industrial-complex. I told him while I certainly agreed that Hallmark's corporate office is located in some circle of hell that Dante curiously omitted, holidays are times to celebrate certain emotions or concepts that are key to human existence, but are easily lost in the day-to-day, and that birthdays are times to celebrate the people we know and love, to acknowledge that our world is a better place with them in it. We agreed to disagree. But following that line of thought, this mixtape celebrates artists born this week, including everyone from Aretha Franklin and Elton John to Kenny Chesney and M.C. Hammer.

Spotify Playlist: In Defense of Birthdays

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Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Editor's Note: In this week's issue

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 4:45 PM

Like it or not, weed is coming to Central Oregon.
In last week’s issue, Associate Editor Erin Rook wrote a far-reaching feature about how the legalization of recreational marijuana is presenting changes and challenges to Central Oregon. He wrote about the potential tax windfalls (which the City of Bend failed to capitalize on), and on the challenges for law enforcement.
If the lessons in Colorado and Washington are any indication, this promises to be a major change in Central Oregon—and we are utterly fascinated by how all of this will unfold, so much so that, starting this issue, we are dedicating a new column, “Smoke Signals,” to the topic, or really topics.
To be clear, the column is not about reviewing different strains of bud (like Kevin Gifford’s Microreview section does each week in our newspaper for the local beer industry). No, instead, this is a column that will examine the banking, cultural, business, social and legal issues.
It is also not a coincidence that we launch this new column in “The State of the Market” issue: What the “weed industry” might mean to Central Oregon’s economy is no small matter. It is estimated that the agriculture demands for marijuana may be as big as the demands for apples, and there will be storefronts and new business owners. And, as Colorado has already experienced, marijuana, like beer and skiing, can be part of destination tourism.
We look forward to share with you our research, thoughts and meditations on what the legalization of recreational marijuana means to Central Oregon.

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Making local habits a priority

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 2:48 PM

Taped to the register at Bend’s Workhouse in the Old Ironworks Art District is an old tea bag tag that says “Together we can do what we can never do alone.” Owner Cari Dolyniuk told me that this little nugget of wisdom sums up the way that she and the other three shop owners at Bend's Old Ironworks Art District approach their vision for the dynamic arts center they have created at the intersection of Colorado and Scott avenues. I visited their art mecca over two days last week to see for myself what can happen when a group of hard-working, retail-minded artists work together to establish an infrastructure that supports craft, fine art, creative innovation, and the local economy.

As I sat in Chad Fox's Cindercone Clay Center, throwing woodchips for his longhaired shaggy dog named "Bird," we talked about whether Bend is ready to embrace a new model for art retail and production at a time when some fine art galleries struggle to keep their doors open. “This is definitely something Bend needs; especially at the rate we're growing," he said. "This could potentially be something that thrives and becomes something as society and culture as a whole changes.”

At this point, pretty much everyone in America knows that it's better—for the economy, for the environment, for families, for your soul—to shop local. Sometimes things like convenience and ignorance stand in our way of making sound retail choices. But when I saw the huge scope of items for sale in the Old Ironworks District—everything from vintage-inspired swimwear at Stuart Breidenstein's shop Stuart's of Bend, to moon-faced incense burners at Cindercone, to upcycled jewelry at Workhouse—I realized that the neighborhood offers much more than fine art galleries and gift shops. The folks who work and sell in the Old Ironworks District are dedicating themselves to craft and handiwork by creating quality goods that people can use and enjoy for years.
  • Tambi Lane

Brendstein said, “It’s up to us to make useful things too, for artists and crafters to not just make cool gifts that get set aside.” He and the other shop owners—Dolyniuk, Fox, and Armature's Tambi Lane—want to see their growing art colony manufacture quality goods that are capable of turning around the economy, both for artists and for the greater local economy. It makes sense when you realize that a dollar spent supporting a local artist stays in the Bend economy; the artists themselves are local-minded folks and are more than likely to turn around and spend that money in the neighborhood too. 

Bend is at a crucial moment that is both exciting (for those of us who moved here from someplace else) and unsettling (for the born-and-raised Bendites) as the city's population booms and industries take off. We have the opportunity to play a role in the shaping of our city's identity. Bend is internationally known as a place for beer, cycling, outdoor adventuring—why not work to make our fair city an art town too? Places like Sante Fe, NM and Jerome, AZ have built entire tourism industries around buying local art. Couldn't we use our dollars to vote for the kind of culture and economy we want our city to generate?

Next time you're getting a coffee and pastry fix at Sparrow, take some time to check out the shops in the industrial brick buildings just across the courtyard. You'll be supporting local craft and the idea that Bend is a place where innovative, arty, weird, and cooperative ideas can thrive. 
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Crossword Puzzle Answers (3/25/15)

Posted By on Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 9:00 AM

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Friday Mixtape: Outlaw Country!

Posted By on Mon, Mar 23, 2015 at 10:15 AM

Author: Josh Gross

Season 5 of the brilliantly written animated comedy "Archer" just started streaming on Netflix. If you haven't seen it yet, you're seriously missing out because one of the plot arcs for season 5 is a main character's desire to become an "outlaw country" superstar. So in honor of that quest, here's a mixtape full of great outlaw country tunes, including classics like "Mama Tried," from Merle Haggard, modern masters like Hank Williams III, and a couple tunes from the most terrifying man ever to wield a guitar, Mojo Nixon. We also included the Kenny Loggins collaboration with the Archer character Cherlene on the outlaw country adaptation of "Danger Zone."


Playlist: Outlaw Country

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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Random Acts of Netflix: Demonic (AKA: Forest of the Damned)

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 2:03 PM

Hey folks! Jared here. Every Thursday I'm going to go on, and then watch whatever the damn thing tells me to. In case you haven't heard of Netflix Roulette, it's basically a silly website that allows you to SPIN a virtual wheel which then chooses a film or TV show at random out of the deepest crevices of the streaming service. My three rules are that I'll only watch films I haven't seen before, I won't review any sequels unless we've reviewed the original already and that I won't cheat and I'll review whatever it tells me to on the first spin. Hopefully we'll find some hidden gems or some even more hidden garbage piles! Enjoy my pain and/or joy. 


This Week's Film: Demonic (AKA: Forest of the Damned) (2005)

Written and Directed by Johannes Roberts

Actors: Nicole Petty. Daniel MacLagen. Tom Savini. Sophie Holland.

What's it About: Five people who are supposed to be friends but seem to hate each other take a van trip to the woods. After a run in with a crazy old German man who basically tells them the equivalent of "Don't go in them thar woods," they drive directly to the woods where their shitty van (which barely runs in the first place) breaks the hell down. Naturally, there are super naked women, fallen angels apparently, although they look and act like succubi. One by one the succu-angels pick off our idiotic main characters until they're all dead...kinda. 

Is It Good: Nope. Not even a little. The description on Netflix about this movie called the demons 'wood nymphs' which got me pretty excited because I feel like we don't see enough wood nymphs in our non-pornographic movies nowadays. But really, these are just naked models with bubba teeth and pale skin. Which is fine, that can still make for an entertaining movie, but every aspect of this movie from the score to the acting to the editing fail miserably, over and over and over again.

Even the opening credits last for about 5 minutes. Seriously, five minutes of ariel shots of the forest with the lamest credits font and the most annoying score you could possibly imagine. The music was so bad my girlfriend woke up and rolled her eyes at me. The music was so bad I think all the dogs in my building had seizures. The music was so bad I cursed Netflix and the garbage it foists upon the unwilling populace. The opening credits title says "Johannes Roberts' Demonic" which, you know, good for Mr. Roberts finally being in a place in his career where he gets his name over the title of a film, but I'm not sure this was the one he should have wanted to be remembered for. 

The characters are all named after the actors in The Breakfast Club. We've got Emilio, Ally, Molly and Judd. There's also an Andrew, which I think came from Andrew McCarthy in Pretty in Pink but I guess we'll never know. Chalk this one up to a mystery I'll die with, I suppose. 

Horror icon and special effects guru Tom Savini shows up as the resident of a creepy house they find in the woods. He ties up a few of our 'heroes' until they escape and kill him. I think maybe he was going to feed them to the naked hungry horny angels but he died without getting to spit out any exposition. He must have owed Johannes Roberts a favor. I bet they're even now. The guy who wrote the book "Slugs" also shows up, playing himself. The nymphs take care of him in quick order.

Man, I guess it's fun to watch beautiful naked women eating the faces off of dickhead teenagers, but the film could have been so much more. I think the budget was too low for Roberts to be able to achieve any of the goals he set out to do. The editing makes huge swaths of the film nonsensical and not as much silly fun as it should be. The ending even tries to have a bit of a twist, but because we literally have no idea what's going on, it falls incredibly flat. The old crazy german guy shows up during the closing credits and starts burning something. I think he's burning the woods to save humanity from the horny angels, but who the hell knows? I can only assume so much story for a script until the script starts pissing me off and I take my ball and go home. 

This movie isn't good. Don't watch it. Although, and I hate myself for saying this, I noticed there is a Demonic/Forest of the Damned 2 and I kinda can't wait to see it. I think there's a lot of milage left in the naked, horny angel genre that hasn't been explored and I guess I'm the right man for the job. So, I'll take this burden upon myself for you, faithful readers, as long as you hug me in the streets and buy me fruit roll-ups. I'm easy. 

Also, this Netflix Roulette thing is most definitely not working out so far. Is it specifically going after garbage? Is that the joke here? 

Link to the Movie: If you want, but I warned you!!

Grade: D- (half a grade up for the idea of naked, horny angels)

Favorite Line: "I hope she dies and you go to jail."

Next Week: The Retrieval 
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City Council Votes 4-3 to Support Mirror Pond Redevelopment Plan

Posted By on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 11:46 AM


Lat night, City Council narrowly voted to support a plan put forth by the Mirror Pond Ad Hoc Committee and recently approved by the Bend Park & Recreation District Board, to replace the failing dam with a more natural feature that would maintain Mirror Pond. The proposal's success relies on a public-private partnership and investment by developers into the surrounding area. 

Now that the plan has the approval of Council, Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) can move forward with a bill seeking $5 million from Oregon Lottery funds to help kickstart the project. He introduced the bill, HB 3283, on Tuesday.

“The Mirror Pond proposal will restore the river to a more natural flow, create more recreational options, and open the area for economic development and improvement of public parks," Buehler said in a release today. “While there are other short-term solutions that would clean up sediment in Mirror Pond, this is the only solution that presents a long lasting vision for our community, one that will pass on a better Bend for our children and grandchildren."

The Mirror Pond Ad-Hoc Committee unveiled its Mirror Pond and Downtown Redevelopment Concept last November to addressing the failing Newport Dam and the local landmark that is Mirror Pond. In the interest of avoiding taxing residents directly for the project, the committee drew a plan that involves selling or renting publicly owned land to private developers to generate revenue. It also sought to balance public opinion. In surveys, local residents were evenly split between two options—keeping the dam (and saving Mirror Pond) and letting the Deschutes River run free.

"How do you bring those two polarizing opinions together?" Horton asked at the November unveiling. To that end, the proposal would replace the dam with a cascading rock structure that allows safe fish passage while maintaining Mirror Pond's water levels. It also includes plans to build out portions of the river bank where sediment frequently gets deposited.

However, support for the plan is far from unanimous. In addition to the Council's 4-3 decision—with Mayor Jim Clinton, and councilors Nathan Boddie and Barb Campbell dissenting—a number of local residents are protesting the proposal, and the bill, arguing that there may be better uses of public funds, and that questions remain about both the projects environmental sustainability and financial feasibility.

What do you think should be done about Mirror Pond? Take our poll and sound off in the comments.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Editor's Note: In this week's issue

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 5:13 PM

The job of an editor is, of course, or at least in part, to edit—to remove excess. But while there is a certain joy pruning verbose stories to lean fighting machines, there is also a frustration when we simply do not have enough room in our newspaper for everything. This is one of those weeks. Especially for our Sound section. 
Each week, we sit down on Wednesday morning in our conference room and figure out what to write about in the coming issue. Each meeting starts with selecting our “Picks” for the upcoming week, those 10 events that we absolutely think you should attend. Our relatively new Editorial Assistant Hayley Jo Murphy runs those meetings for us, and, last Wednesday, she arrived with a (figurative) armful of ideas about great bands that are playing in the upcoming week—some that are legendary, like P-funk bandleader George Clinton; others that are achieving cult status, like flamenco head bangers Rodrigo Y Gabriela, which our former Music Editor Ethan Maffey caught up with; and, the unknown Scottish folk-pop singer Natalie Clark, which Hayley herself tackled with one of her first articles for our paper.
But recognizing that we simply don’t always have enough space to cover what we want, over the past few months we have shoehorned a few new sections into the newspaper—like, Source Suggests in the Sound section, which is allows us to include another three or four bands each issue, and is collected and reviewed each week by local writer Anne Picks, and in our Culture section, a new weekly column called “Art Watch,” which is written by Kelsey Rook (who, yes, shares a last name with our Associate Editor, Erin Rook; she is his sister; and, who also demanded that, in addition to covering fine art, she be allowed to cover the monster truck event this week).
We have been pleased that we are fitting ever more into our newspaper each week, and hope that you have enjoyed the extra coverage.

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Phish to Play Two Nights at Les Schwab Amphitheater in July

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 2:54 PM

The moment we've all been waiting for has arrived—Les Schwab Amphitheater announced today that the jam band Phish will be joining the summer concert lineup for two nights, July 21 and 22. 

Tickets go on sale April 2 for $70. But we have a feeling both nights will sell out, if only because of the number of people in our own office who have seen Phish more than once. In fact, discussion of our personal Phish histories prompted a conversation about which bands we've seen live the most number of times. While Phish performed well, the all-around winner was (no shocker) the Grateful Dead.

For the record, I have never seen Phish perform (my top concert honors go to Ani DiFranco). And I've only ever heard one of their songs, the cover below.

Which performer have you seen live more than the rest? And will you be catching Phish this summer?

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Share Your Story with the Library of Congress Using Your Smart Phone

Posted By on Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 2:01 PM

Everybody has a story to tell. For the modern day storyteller, media like podcasts and anonymous blogs give the opportunity to share those heartwarming and embarrassing human experiences with ease. From The Moth to Post Secret, Americans have fed the growing cultural obsession with recording those events—ranging from the mundane to the extraordinary—that captivate audiences of strangers worldwide. Never one to take the stage myself, I am filled with admiration for the comedians, poets, and storytellers who bravely divulge their personal stories to become part of the shared brain that is our cultural consciousness. 

The first time I experienced the vicarious thrills and heartaches of another person's spoken narrative was in the backseat of my family's station wagon 12 years ago. We were listening to the loathsome local public radio affiliate, which is the bane of any family road trip for pre-teens everywhere. My perma-angst was dissipated, however, when a new short radio program was aired. The segment, known as "StoryCorps," was the brainchild of radio producer Dave Isay who envisioned his program as a way to give voice to everyday people with meaningful stories to tell, "particularly those who'd been told that their stories didn't matter."

For those who've never heard StoryCorps, the program—whose mission is to record, preserve, and share the stories of Americans from all backgrounds and beliefs—records the oral histories of diverse folks in their mobile and permanent StoryBooths around the country, usually in an interview-style format with a friend or family member. The recordings are then stored for perpetuity in the United States Library off Congress; some of the most compelling stories are broadcast by NPR in segments like the one I heard over a decade ago.

It was announced last night at the annual TED Talk Conference opening that StoryCorps, with the aid of a $1 million prize from TED, has developed a smartphone app that will allow anybody to record their story to be archived at the Library of Congress. This tool, which gives anyone with access to a smart device the ability to be heard for generations to come, has huge implications. The ignorance and hatred that arises from the inability of some people to relate with others whose experiences and identities differ from their own will be mitigated. The recurring mistakes that have plagued mankind—from the minor to the Earth-shattering—could be avoided with the wisdom imparted by those who have lived and learned.

And best of all, I will be falling asleep to the bedtime stories of strangers for conceivably the rest of my life.
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