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Saturday, January 28, 2017

"Nuclear Doomsday Clock Reset—Ticks Closest to Midnight in 64 Years

Posted By on Sat, Jan 28, 2017 at 5:48 PM

(L-R) Bulletin of Atomic Scientists chair Lawrence Krauss, holds the doomsday clock with former US Under Scretary of State and US Ambassador to the UN, Thomas Pickering.
  • (L-R) Bulletin of Atomic Scientists chair Lawrence Krauss, holds the doomsday clock with former US Under Scretary of State and US Ambassador to the UN, Thomas Pickering.
Think you're the only one feeling on edge lately? Think again. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, reset the Nuclear Doomsday clock to 2 and a half minutes to midnight— the closest its been in 64 years.

Not since the start of the Nuclear Arms Race between America and Russia, 64 years ago in 1953 has the minutes sat so close to proclaimed "doom." The symbolic timepiece is seen as an indicator to gauge how close the world is to an upcoming disaster, catastrophe, world war or other vulnerable event. The scientists cited three major influences to the reset, nuclear weapons, climate change and the US election of Donald Trump.

Modernization of Nuclear Weapons leads to Increased Nuclear Testing

Citing "careless rhetoric of nuclear weapons," theoretical physicist, Lawrence Krauss, the chair of the board, held a press conference highlighting the issues.

He noted an increase in nuclear instability as both Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Trump have indicated they will update and increase their atomic weaponry while at the same time supporting wars in areas like Syria and Ukraine.

Krauss said, "I want to emphasis the historical significance of today..."the Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than it's ever been in the lifetime of almost everyone in this room... this is the first time the words and stated policies of one or two people placed in high positions have so impacted our perceptions of the existential threats we believe the world faces."

Thomas Pickering, a former US Under Secretary of State and US Ambassador to the UN gave insight, "Russia's building new silo based missiles, submarine missiles and new rail mobile missiles as it revamps their inter-continental ballistic missiles.

He continued, the "United States forages ahead with plans to modernize each part of its triad. Bombers, land-based missiles and nuclear missiles carrying submarines. Adding new capabilities with increased ranges."

The constant threat from North Korea has also put neighbor's South Korea and Japan to invest in a nuclear arsenal. Pickering stated, "North Korea conducted two nuclear tests in 2016, the second one yielding twice as explosive power as the first. The 2017 new years statement from Kim-Jung II stated they would soon test missiles with inter-continental range."He also noted the recent Chinese investment into nuclear aid for Pakistan and India's expansion as other causes for concern.

Krauss referenced the duties of world leaders and stated, "They need to come together to negotiate nuclear arms race reductions.... to not embark on modernization programs that are expensive and destabilizing, and they need to engage countries like North Korea... they can act like petulant children, risking our future."

Climate Change & President Trump


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e Bulletin acknowledged that there had been some improvements in the reduction of CO2 emissions but that little movement had surfaced on any additional cuts. With the new US administration declaring an increase in investment into domestic fossil fuels, namely oil, and abolishing the Climate Action Plan. Krauss accused the new administration as being "openly hostile to progress toward even the most modest efforts to avert catastrophic climate disruption."

As taken from the updated whitehouse.gov website, the administration supports this stance.


"The Trump Administration is committed to energy policies that lower costs for hardworking Americans and maximize the use of American resources, freeing us from dependence on foreign oil. For too long, we’ve been held back by burdensome regulations on our energy industry. President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule."

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The clock was reset Thursday, January 26, before the controversial announcement of Donald Trump's ban on refugees that has caused numerous protests and further unrest. Refugees from seven countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen) face a ban for 120 days, while the entire refugee program is suspended for 90 days. Furthering tension, Iran released a statement saying it would retaliate, firstly by banning all US citizens from entry.

Hope in Precarious Times


Krauss offered hope and advocated for world leaders to rely on experts and scientific facts to help guide their way. "This is a time of great opportunity and great potential challenge. Expert advice is crucial if governments are to deal with complex global threats." Challenging the governments, he noted, "The Bulletin is extremely concerned with the willingness of governments, including the current US administration, to ignore or discount some scientific and imperial evidence and considered expertise during their decision making process."

Facts are stubborn things, and they must be taken into account, if the future of humanity is to be perserved... world leaders have actually increased the threat of nuclear war and unchecked climate change through a variety of provocative statements and actions.. — Lawrence Krauss.

Apart from world leaders he implored the public to get involved. "Regardless, these issues, are too important to be left in the hands of a few men. We therefore call upon all people to speak out and send a loud message to your leaders that you will not allow them to needlessly threaten your future. To step back from the brink, will require leaders, with both revision and restraint."

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists began after World War II in 1945 and was founded by some of the very scientists that devised the first atomic bomb. Since then, their motto has been to inform the "public about threats to the survival and development of humanity."





Sources:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-immigration-chaos-idUSKBN15C0LD

http://reut.rs/2jjyk75

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/28/512158238/arrivals-to-u-s-blocked-and-detained-as-trumps-immigration-freeze-sets-in

http://thebulletin.org/





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Friday, January 27, 2017

Relive the Women's Marches at the High Desert Museum

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 3:14 PM


Following the inauguration of Donald Trump on January 20, men and women alike gathered together for marches all across the country. The Women's Marches drew record-breaking numbers in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Portland and many other cities, but Bend's demonstration also saw large crowds. The Source has already covered the Solidarity March, but local organizations are carrying on its legacy.
NICOLE VULCAN
  • Nicole Vulcan
In order to better document this important piece of Bend's history, the High Desert Museum is asking attendants of the protest to share their experiences. The museum's curators are looking for signs videos, and photos from the event. Any digital media can be sent to dfagan@highdesertmuseum.org, or bring your signs to Cascade Publications (404 NE Norton Ave., Bend) or the Museum's main location (59800 S Hwy. 97, Bend)

"We see the historical importance of this event and would like to capture as much of it as possible for prosperity and future curators," said Damian Fagan of the High Desert Museum.

The staff at the Museum feels the march deserves a place in their archives, but they stress that they aren't taking any sides in the political debate.
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  • Nicole Vulcan
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Bend's Bangers & Brews is 24 on Yelp's list of Places to Eat 2017

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2017 at 12:22 PM

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Next time you've got a hankering for sausage— wild boar, elk or even reindeer, Bangers & Brews have got you covered. Sniffing out a tasty treat, even the folks over at Yelp have recognized that this delicious establishment is one to watch out for, and dine at for 2017. Recently, Yelp named it #24 in its list of the top 100 places to eat for 2017.

No easy feat considering the thousands if not hundreds of thousands of eateries in the nation, Bangers & Brews is the only Central Oregon restaurant to of made the list. With a perfect five star rating, the gastro pub is unlike any other in Bend, serving German inspired fare with local micro brews.

Find the source review here and see the full list of top 100 places to eat here.

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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Thousands gather in Bend, tens of thousands in Portland at Saturday's Women's Marches

Posted By on Sun, Jan 22, 2017 at 9:41 PM

JOSHUA LANGLAIS
  • Joshua Langlais
Bearing signs such as "Every time you fuck us we multiply" to "Make America Think Again," the Bend Solidarity March, one of the many Women's Marches that took place worldwide, drew thousands to Drake Park and downtown Bend Saturday. In Portland, attendance is reported at 100,000. Source reporters attended both the Bend and Portland marches. Here's a look at the scenes.

BEND WOMEN'S MARCH - SOLIDARITY MARCH
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  • Joshua Langlais
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PORTLAND WOMEN'S MARCH
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  • Nicole Vulcan
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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Former Ray's Food Market Roof Collapses-Bend

Posted By on Wed, Jan 18, 2017 at 1:42 PM

The roof at the former Ray's Food Place just off Century Drive on Bend's west side has collapsed.  Following are pictures and a video provided by the Bend Fire Department.  About two-thirds of the roof collapsed at around 9:30 am.  The building has been vacant for years and nobody was inside when the roof collapsed.  Rain overnight added extra weight to the heavy snow causing the collapse.  
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Monday, January 16, 2017

Thank you, Dr. King

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2017 at 2:55 PM

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In celebration of his birthday, feel free to share some of your favorite quotes from civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. here.
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Friday, January 13, 2017

WARNING—City Wants You to Prepare for the Big Melt

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 3:40 PM

A now regular sight in Bend—waist deep snow. Photo taken by Magdalena Bokowa.
  • A now regular sight in Bend—waist deep snow. Photo taken by Magdalena Bokowa.

With warmer temperatures and rain set to hit the area early next week, the Cities of Bend and Redmond are warning of the "Big Melt"—and want you to adequately prepare. The Bend area currently has a near record breaking accumulated snow pack of 50 inches, all at a risk of melting when warmer conditions begin Monday and leading to serious concerns about flooding.

Record setting snow accumulations have meant that roadways are packed to the brim and drainage access points being blocked. With blockages and large amounts of melt, there is a big possibility that flooding may occur. Contrary to popular belief, very little water drains to our rivers and so storm water systems are crucial to the system.  As the City of Bend reports on their website "The majority of our storm water system relies on infiltrating water to the ground...When we have large rain and snow melt events, the ground becomes saturated, and infiltration rates diminish."

With crews working diligently this weekend to try and clear storm drains, the city is asking for citizens to play their own part.

“Due to the large number of storm drains throughout the city, it is not possible for public works to clear them all by early next week,” said Bill Duerden, Director of Public Works. “It would be an enormous help if residents, whenever possible, can lend a hand to clear storm drains in front of their homes.”

Here's what you can do to help keep flooding at a minimum:

(From the City of Bend)

Before the weather turns warmer and wetter, residents can help prevent and prepare for anticipated flooding. Residents who feel safe doing so can help keep storm drain inlets and swales open by using a shovel or rake. You may need to do this more than once.

Direct melt off away from structures by creating paths. Remember water will travel from high points to low points by the easiest means possible. Given this, you may want create safe pathways for water flow and/or obtain sand bags now.

Keep an eye on your neighborhood storm drains (grates on the streets and inlets within a curb area) especially as rain nears. If it is safe to do so, continue to clear snow, ice and slush that may otherwise block your storm drain inlet to help prevent localized flooding.

Do not pull up manhole covers. This can create additional sanitary sewer flooding issues in addition to health and safety hazards. Call Utilities at 541-317-3000 (ext. 2 for storm drain issues) if you feel that lifting a manhole would relieve a flooding situation. An answering service will dispatch calls over the weekend and after hours to staff in the field.

In addition, try and help snow crews out and in instances where you do not need to park on the street—don't! Specifically on Sunday night from 11pm-7am, there will be an overnight plowing effort in downtown Bend and any cars found parked overnight will be towed to Troy field (no fines will be incurred.)

For additional safety information and detailed flood prevention program, please see here.


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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bend Fed Ex Roof Suffers Damage

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 5:11 PM

Bend Fire Department crews responded to a reported roof collapse at the Fed Ex Ship Center on Jamison Street in North Bend this morning.  When they arrived, the north wall of the building was bowed inward, but an actual collapse has not occurred.

All utilities to the building were disconnected and secured as there was odor of natural gas noticeable.  The building has been deemed unsafe and no entry is permitted.

Bend Fire & Rescue encourages residents to evaluate their homes and contact a professional roofing contractor to remove snow if needed.  Structures built in Bend since the late 1960's are required to have roof systems that can support 25 pounds per square foot.  This equates to roughly 20 inches of snow, depending on moisture content.  
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Winter Storm Prompts a State of Emergency

Gov. Brown's Jan. 11 declaration will assist communities in need; meanwhile, the school year has been extended

Posted By on Wed, Jan 11, 2017 at 4:09 PM

You weren't the only one thinking this recent round of winter storms was a really, really bad one.

This afternoon, Oregon Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency in Oregon on account of the severe winter storm conditions across the state. 
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"As snow continues to accumulate and local authorities respond to provide core services and clear roadways, all available state resources will be made available to ensure the safety of communities throughout Oregon," said Governor Brown in a release Jan. 11. “I urge all Oregonians to follow the recommendations of local authorities, and avoid travel while ODOT crews clear roads and work to restore core services."

Gov. Brown has directed the Oregon Office of Emergency Management to deploy the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Oregon State Police and the Oregon National Guard to help communities in need. The state of emergency will be in effect for 30 days unless the Governor terminates it before then.

Also today, Bend-La Pine Schools have extended the school year in the wake of the many school closures due to snow. This from the district today:


       "DATE CHANGES: Students WILL attend school on February 3
. There will be NO    SCHOOL on Friday, February 10.

The semester will be extended by one week. This is a calendar change to
allow for the recovery of five instructional days to first semester.
Please note that the ‘no-school’ day will now occur on Friday, February 10, instead of Friday, February 3. This will allow teachers time to complete grading on February 10, as the end of the first semester has been moved back to February 9.
(La Pine Middle School and High School Parents: While your students are
on a trimester system, these date changes apply to your students, as
well.)

DATE CHANGES: Students WILL attend school on Monday, June 19; Tuesday, June 20; Wednesday, June 21; and Thursday, June 22.

The end of the school year will be extended by four days.

Students will have a full school day on Friday, June 16. Students will be released on the School Improvement Wednesday schedule on Thursday, June 22.

Graduation dates will not change."








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Monday, January 9, 2017

Keeping the Streets Clear: It's Everyone's Job

Tips on how to stay safe during the storm

Posted By on Mon, Jan 9, 2017 at 3:44 PM

Weather forecasts are showing a good chance of massive amounts of snow coming in over the next few days, and with the snow that we have already piling up along sidewalks and driveways, snow removal is more important than ever. To that end, the City of Bend has released a series of recommendations on how best to keep yourself safe— and to help plow drivers while you're at it.

City of Bend Winter Safety Recommendations

Is your roof safe with all this snow?

Here's an update from the City of Bend today (Tuesday):

"Structures built in Bend with building permits are designed to handle 25 pounds per square foot, which equates to about 20 inches of snow. Older structures, built before the adoption of building codes in Bend (late 1960’s), may not meet this minimum standard. Manufactured homes are designed to carry 30 pounds per square foot, or about 2 feet of snow. Flat roofs are more of a concern, because they tend to hold more snow moisture. Rainfall on top of snow can add a significant amount of weight to a roof rapidly. If the snow continues to pile up over 20-25 inches on your house, consider removing it from the roof."


And what about plowing and berms?

Looking for a roof rake in Bend? Home Depot, Freddie's, Lowe's, Harbor Freight and Ace Hardware are all out of stock as of Monday. - TREVOR HELMY
  • Trevor Helmy
  • Looking for a roof rake in Bend? Home Depot, Freddie's, Lowe's, Harbor Freight and Ace Hardware are all out of stock as of Monday.
When there is this much snow, plows will often build up berms – large walls of snow on the sides of streets – in front of your driveway. Unfortunately, the City says it doesn't have the resources to clear these for you, so they instead ask for you to do it yourself. There is, however, an easy way to cut down on the workload and to ensure that you can get down your driveway at any time. Since berms are created when snow in front of a driveway gets sprayed back up into it, the City encourages you to clear three or four feet past the end of your driveway so the plows do not end up making your job any more difficult. Remember, the plows are out to make winter driving easier and safer, not to cause you any more trouble.

Even though you may feel like your back is about to give out when shoveling all of that snow, a far more serious risk during the storm season is damage to your parked vehicles from plows. To prevent any unwanted collisions, the City recommends residents move their vehicles off the street to keep them safe and to allow plows to clear as much of the road as possible.

Oregon State Police Winter Driving Recommendations


It is also more important than ever to practice safe driving. The Oregon State Police reported over 750 traffic incidents statewide in the 36 hours before this writing, 394 of which were potentially dangerous crashes. For your own safety, the State of Oregon requires the use of traction tires or chains. No matter how skilled of a winter driver you think you are, for the safety of yourself and others the State will fine you $160 if you do not have the proper tires. The State reminds you that it's particularly dangerous to use electronic devices while driving in the snow – nobody wants a distracted driver sliding into them at a roundabout. Plus, it's illegal!

Obviously, if you don't need to travel then it is recommended that you stay home, but if you have to leave the house, the State encourages you to be well rested and to have emergency supplies on hand.

But when you're not busy shoveling, have fun in the snow! The City expects record levels of snowfall, so enjoy it while you can.
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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Sneak Peek: OSU-Cascades' Residence & Dining Halls

Posted By on Thu, Jan 5, 2017 at 1:57 PM

On January 7, about 60 students will move into the new residence hall at the Oregon State University-Cascades campus. At full capacity, the residence hall on Chandler Avenue in Bend will house 300 students. In addition to the opening of the residence hall, the campus' dining hall also opens its doors this week.

On Jan. 5, the Source got a sneak peek at the University's new digs. Here's a look at the new residence and dining halls.

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