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Monday, August 8, 2016

Patton Oswalt Speaks

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 2:43 PM


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Michelle McNamara was a true crime writer who was focused on catching the The Golden State Killer: a rapist and murderer who struck throughout California from 1979 to 1986. She married comedian Patton Oswalt in 2005 and gave birth to their daughter Alice in 2009. In April of this year she died in her sleep, leaving her hunt for the killer unfinished forever. 
Oswalt has remained silent in the media since her passing until August 1, when he wrote one of the most powerful statements about depression, grief and loss I've ever read. He also wrote about continuing McNamara's legacy and the current state of the world. Here is his statement in its entirety. It's a rough and beautiful read. 

"Thanks, grief.
Thanks for making depression look like the buzzing little bully it always was. Depression is the tallest kid in the 4th grade, dinging rubber bands off the back of your head and feeling safe on the playground, knowing that no teacher is coming to help you.
But grief? Grief is Jason Statham holding that 4th grade bully's head in a toilet and then fucking the teacher you've got a crush on in front of the class. Grief makes depression cower behind you and apologize for being such a dick.
If you spend 102 days completely focused on ONE thing you can achieve miracles. Make a film, write a novel, get MMA ripped, kick heroin, learn a language, travel around the world. Fall in love with someone. Get 'em to love you back.
But 102 days at the mercy of grief and loss feels like 102 years and you have shit to show for it. You will not be physically healthier. You will not feel "wiser." You will not have "closure." You will not have "perspective" or "resilience" or "a new sense of self." You WILL have solid knowledge of fear, exhaustion and a new appreciation for the randomness and horror of the universe. And you'll also realize that 102 days is nothing but a warm-up for things to come.
And...
You will have been shown new levels of humanity and grace and intelligence by your family and friends. They will show up for you, physically and emotionally, in ways which make you take careful note, and say to yourself, "Make sure to try to do that for someone else someday." Complete strangers will send you genuinely touching messages on Facebook and Twitter, or will somehow figure out your address to send you letters which you'll keep and re-read 'cause you can't believe how helpful they are. And, if you're a parent? You'll wish you were your kid's age, because the way they embrace despair and joy are at a purer level that you're going to have to reconnect with, to reach backwards through years of calcified cynicism and ironic detachment.
Lose your cool, and you're saved.
Michelle McNamara got yanked off the planet and out of life 102 days ago. She left behind an amazing unfinished book, about a horrific series of murders that everyone — including the retired homicide detectives she worked with — was sure she'd solve. The Golden State Killer. She gave him that name, in an article for Los Angeles Magazine. She was going to figure out the real name behind it.
She left Alice, her 7 year-old daughter. But not before putting the best parts of her into Alice, like beautiful music burned onto a CD and sent out into the void on a spaceship.
And she left me. 102 days into this.
I was face-down and frozen for weeks. It's 102 days later and I can confidently say I have reached a point where I'm crawling. Which, objectively, is an improvement. Maybe 102 days later I'll be walking.
Any spare energy I've managed to summon since April 21st I've put toward finishing Michelle's book. With a lot of help from some very amazing people. It will come out. I will let you know. It's all her. We're just taking what's there and letting it tell us how to shape it. It's amazing.
And I'm going to start telling jokes again soon. And writing. And acting in stuff and making things I like and working with friends on projects and do all the stuff I was always so privileged to get to do before the air caught fire around me and the sun died. It's all I knew how to do before I met Michelle. I don't know what else I'm supposed to do now without her.
And not because, "It's what Michelle would have wanted me to do." For me to even presume to know what Michelle would have wanted me to do is the height of arrogance on my part. That was one of the many reasons I so looked forward to growing old with her. Because she was always surprising me. Because I never knew what she'd think or what direction she'd go.
Okay, I'll start being funny again soon. What other choice do I have? Reality is in a death spiral and we seem to be living in a cackling, looming nightmare-swamp. We're all being dragged into a shadow-realm of doom by hateful lunatics who are determined to send our planet careening into oblivion.
Hey, there's that smile I was missing!"



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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Goodnight & Good Luck

Posted By on Sun, Jun 12, 2016 at 4:51 PM

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Early Sunday morning a man whose name I won't type here gunned down fifty people in Pulse, the hottest gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. 50 people plus the shooter were pronounced dead, making it the deadliest shooting ever in the United States. 53 people were also wounded. 

According to CNN, the shooter had been interviewed by the FBI twice, in 2013 and 2014 but was "not found to be a threat." He also apparently called 911 during the shooting to pledge allegiance to ISIS. The shooter's parents said they knew he was disgusted by homosexuals he saw kissing, but had no idea he was connected to ISIS or was even religious. 

Those last two paragraphs were just facts. They don't really mean anything. The Republican party that have been actively fighting against LGBTQ rights for years are spinning this into a terrorism debate while completely ignoring the hate crime aspect. Democrats now have another event to point at as they beg and plead for gun control. I say good to that. Let's politicize the shit out of this. Let's make it so political that the next 50 dead bodies pulled out of a bloody and steaming building will be answered for. Maybe they'll be the last. Or the ones after that. Or the ones after that.  

Obama has now given his eighteenth speech in less than eight years following a mass shooting. Meanwhile, an ugly, despicable and cowardly segment of our country has taken to Facebook and Twitter to celebrate the death of dozens of our queer brothers and sisters. Donald Trump has jumped on social media to proclaim himself the all-seeing, all-knowing, gaping dumpster fire of our country.

All just facts. But none of it means anything because we as a country won't let it. The LGBTQ community has been hit today harder than any segment of our society has since the children that were gunned down in Sandy Hook. But they will be ignored and forgotten as politicians and the media spin this to suit temporary needs. 

The shooter had legally purchased his .223 caliber AR-type rifle and Glock handgun, even though he was previously flagged by the FBI. Even die-hard pro-gun lobbyists, NRA apologists and Charleton Heston's corpse must finally agree that it's too easy to get a gun? Sure, hide in your bunkers when they come to take your guns, but can you at least agree that it was too easy, in this ONE INSTANCE, and that maybe our gun laws might be a little bit antiquated? Just asking for a friend. 

(Stupid) people complain about being afraid of finding a transgender person in their bathroom, but LGBTQ people have to be afraid of straight folk all the damn time. But these are just emotions. Not quantifiable facts that I can submit a pie chart for everyone's best interests. 

Instead, I just have to be mad, horrified and appalled. For a community that I love deeply. For 50 people who just wanted to drink, dance and be merry. For how absolutely, undeniably filled with hate so many Americans are. For the innocent Muslims that will be blamed. For us. I'm mad, horrified and appalled at us because we won't do anything. Nothing will change. The news cycle will move on to the next Kardashian misadventure or how icky the girls in Ghostbusters are, and we will forget. Because we must. If we didn't, then we would certainly have to do something about it.  
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Thursday, January 14, 2016

2016 is starting off rough.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 10:48 AM

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2016 needs to pace itself. With the passing of David Bowie a few days ago, the world was already reeling, but this morning has brought the death of the exceptionally gifted actor Alan Rickman. He is probably most famous for playing Professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies, but older folk will always remember him as terrorist Hans Gruber in Die Hard or the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. For me, as much as I love those movies, I think I loved him the most as Alexander Dane in Galaxy Quest and as Marvin the Paranoid Android in Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. Everyone will have their favorites though, so leave yours in the comments. 
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Sunday, January 3, 2016

Bill Cosby has been formally charged with sexual assault.

Posted By on Sun, Jan 3, 2016 at 2:46 PM

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The time has come. No more innuendo or jokes or innocent until proven guilty handoffs. Bill Cosby has been charged with aggravated indecent assault for his drugging and raping of a former Temple University employee that rejected his sexual advances. He was charged, booked and bail was set at a million dollars (which he had already arranged payment of). There were only days left until the statute of limitations on this crime would have been up, just as they expired for some of the dozens of other women who have come forward about their own drugging and raping. While in some outlandish bizarro world, this could be some conspiracy to bring down someone who hasn't been relevant in over a decade, but the stories of these women are all so similar and horrifically told, one can't help but wonder what would be in it for anyone to lie about such terrible things. While it is true that we are all innocent until proven guilty, it is hard to find any innocence in Cosby. 
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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Karma is very real for Martin Shkreli

Posted By on Thu, Dec 17, 2015 at 1:43 PM



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Poor Martin Shkreli. The chief executive officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals and KaloBios Pharmaceuticals Inc is having one hell of a year. First he becomes the target of the American media and becomes the most hated man in the country for raising the price of life saving AIDS medication by 5000 percent.
Then he purchases the only copy of a legendary Wu-Tang Clan album for $2 Million, followed by the founder of Wu-Tang, RZA, openly speaking out against him just days later. Now Martin is beefing with RZA as the world watches and laughs.
But then today hits, in what some might call an early Christmas present to the world, Shkreli is arrested for fraud by the FBI. According to Reuters, the indictment says he made false representations to MSMB investors to draw in over 3 million in investments. To pay back investors Shkreli and an accomplice misappropriated 11 million in assets and sham investment deals. The truly sad part of the whole thing: now poor, poor Shkreli won't be able to see Star Wars tonight. Karma is real, America.. Be nice.
Just in case you think I'm being harsh, here is a quote from Shkreli when PDXhiphop.com asked him if he would consider sharing the Wu-Tang album with the world: " I’m not going to play it for no reason. If Taylor Swift wants to come over and suck my dick, I’ll play it for her" Classy all the way to prison. 
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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rep. Knute Buehler says he won't run for Governor

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2015 at 10:53 AM

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Rep. Knute Buehler (R-Bend) says that he won't run for Governor in 2016, as he previously suggested he might, and will instead run for re-election to the Oregon House. But he did leave the door open to a gubernatorial run further in the future.

"This was a highly personal rather than a political decision," Buehler wrote in a email to supporters. "In the end, I realized I’m not ready—just yet—to leave my medical practice, patients, nonprofit boards and business in order to commit 100% of my time that running an energetic campaign for Governor requires and deserves. Serving another term in the Oregon House will allow me to continue serving the community and the state I love while also engaging in a profession that is both fulfilling and allows my patients to lead better lives."

The email goes on to solicit financial support, calling out partisan differences and "special interests." 

"Last year, my opponents spent more than $400,000 to defeat me in a district with more Democrats than Republicans and that President Obama carried by double digits," Buehler wrote. "I expect the same army of special interests to come after me again."

Do you think Buehler made the right decision?
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Friday, August 21, 2015

Save Pilot Butte supporter urges City to appeal land use decision

Posted By on Fri, Aug 21, 2015 at 1:11 PM

Bill Smith shares concerns about the planned apartment complex at the base of Pilot Butte during the Aug. 5 City Council meeting. - ERIN ROOK
  • Erin Rook
  • Bill Smith shares concerns about the planned apartment complex at the base of Pilot Butte during the Aug. 5 City Council meeting.
Supporters of Pilot Butte State Park have found themselves entangled in a land use process after learning about plans for a new apartment complex at the foot of the Butte. Because their concerns emerged after the public comment period for the development, members of the Save Pilot Butte group sought to appeal the development's approval, launching a fundraising campaign to cover appeal fees. However, City planning staff told the group that because they didn't file comments during the comment period, they don't have standing to appeal. The group is challenging that notion, while also asking the City to make its own appeal. 

Earlier today, the group's de facto spokesperson Bill Smith, a former Oregon State Parks host at Pilot Butte (and husband to the well known Butte Lady, Carol Smith), sent a lengthy email to City Council. In it, he expressed the following concerns.

Signage about new development lacks important information

"[City Planning Manager] Colin [Stephens] pointed out the nature of the problem in getting a date on the sign. There is obviously a way to get the date on the sign (several ways in fact). When he gave me his explanation, I called him on it and he admitted there were ways. I was surprised to see him presenting this argument to council and most people shaking their heads in agreement. The argument doesn't hold water. That's obvious. If you want a date on a sign, you can do it. I can't imagine any citizen buying the argument that it can't happen.

But the date is only a start. The signs need some indication of people's rights more than anything and while dates associated with that would be nice, more important would be a few lines of small but readable text explaining concisely why the signs are there including the importance of the 14 day period. I've been talking with reporters a lot. I always bring up the signs and they always agree they are inadequate. The other day a reporter asked why there isn't a QR Code? The QR code could take people with a scanning app right to all of the relevant information on the web including the site plan. Ten to 14 days is a short time for people to get a sense of what is going on. I'm on record with many complaints about the type of answers I got from two different city planners. Getting people to the information they need quickly would seem both an easy and worthy goal that costs next to nothing. A QR code would be one possible mechanism."

Renters are left out of the loop 

"You need to build into code things about unique circumstances that might be encountered. Sure that might complicate things a bit but it was pointed out that these developers are sophisticated and I think they can handle a system that is slightly more complicated. Here's an example not yet mentioned. The people notified directly are property owners. Renters are not notified. Most of the people located around this development are renters. It could even be that they all are. Maybe in a situation like that you should alert renters. It's inexpensive and easy through the post office. It costs no more than alerting property owners in a more traditional neighborhood. So, say if 50 percent or more of people living in the target area are renters, maybe that triggers notification directly to all renters. Since it doesn't cost more, maybe you just always include renters."

One nearby property owner has a significant conflict of interest

"Here's something else unique, the main landlord notified was the developer because they now own the large Pilot Butte Commons Apartments. I would think that in a situation like that it would make sense to expand the target area. Some landlords might actively seek input from their tenants to decide if they should respond. With the obvious conflict that Evergreen Development had, that is much less likely to happen.

FWIW, I seriously question the statement made by Colin that once the signs go up, the phone usually starts ringing off the hook. But I don't work in his office and so I really don't know. What I do know is if you take the issues you are already aware of with the signs themselves, these signs in particular (see below), renters not being notified in an area where most people rent, and a large portion of the target area for notification being owned by Evergreen Development, it makes sense that it took a while for people to get on board. I think the proof in this case is how fast and strong they got on board as soon as they knew."

The traffic study is flawed

"I'm not saying how it happened (incompetence or intentional), but I'm convinced that the traffic study needed to be redone. Whose responsibility is it to determine that? If it is the city's responsibility, why was this missed. If it is the developer's responsibility, what are the consequences for submitting a report so seriously flawed? I have no intent to investigate further, but I think you should because I have been told these are not minor matters. They directly involve public safety. Is there any way when something like this is learned late in the game to fix the problem or are taxpayers expected to pay the bill for the improvements that will be needed?"

The City should be taking the lead

"Here's the request. Contrary to what you were told, I believe the City Council does have the ability to take up this matter on appeal on your own motion. In other words, while standing was denied to us, the council must have standing in some shape or form. It's not just my opinion, it came from competent practicing land use attorneys. I did my homework. While we were never able to get one of these attorneys to work for us for free, we were able to get a few questions answered. You may have been sued by the developer, but would the developer win? If you have standing, then you have a right to exercise it and actually represent the citizens who elected you. You also have insurance in case you are sued. That's what I'm told. But for something like that to happen there would have to be a meeting of the minds and it would have made more sense to accomplish something like that during the working session or some special session that followed."

Smith and the Save Pilot Butte group have stressed that they are aware of Bend's housing shortage and are not opposed to having a new apartment complex in the area, but they are worried that, without input from Oregon Parks and neighbors, the project as proposed will cause safety issues. They are also concerned that an approved variance will allow the apartment buildings to be tall enough to obscure the views Pilot Butte is so well known for.

The window to file an appeal closes at 4 pm Monday. 
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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Fire damages Broken Top duplex

Posted By on Wed, Aug 19, 2015 at 4:49 PM

PHOTO BY A BROKEN TOP SECURITY GUARD, SUBMITTED BY BEND FIRE
  • Photo by a Broken Top security guard, submitted by Bend Fire
Bend firefighters responded to a fire in the Broken Top neighborhood this afternoon. The blaze, which was climbing up the side of the duplex at  61701 Bridge Creek Rd., damaged the exterior of the unit, according to Battalion  Chief David Howe. The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation

"The Bend Fire Department reminds the community that we are under Extreme Fire conditions, and everyone is advised to exercise the greatest caution and care with any source of ignition," Howe said in a release. "It is likely that we will remain in Extreme for the foreseeable future."

The department recently asked residents to voluntarily stop burning non-essential fires.

"Due to the extreme fire danger, we are asking the community to voluntarily stop having any recreational/warming/campfires until conditions approve," Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Ketterling said in a release. "Again, this is not a 'ban,' as our burning regulations do permit recreational fires year-round (provided the burn regulations are followed), but we are asking for voluntary compliance because of the continued hot, dry, and windy conditions."
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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Bend 2030 and COBA ask City Council to broaden gas tax discussion

Posted By on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 at 1:55 PM

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In a joint letter sent to Bend City Council earlier today, community visioning group Bend 2030 and the Central Oregon Builders' Association ask Council to consider street funding options beyond a gas tax.

At the August 5 Council meeting, four City Councilors voted in support of putting a gas tax on the March ballot and took the statement a step further by removing the requirement for the funding committee to consider a tax-free funding package.

Following those actions, which were decried by the three dissenting councilors (Doug Knight, Casey Roats, and Victor Chudowsky), some groups that had been slated to participate in the process either pulled out or are re-evaluating their participation.

Below is the letter in full. Bend 2030 Executive Director Erin Foote-Marlowe says the letter is not an ultimatum, and that the organization plans to participate whether or not Council honors the request.

Dear Mayor Jim Clinton and the Bend City Council,

Thank you so much for your generous invitation to our organizations to participate in the City of Bend’s Street Funding Committee. We value the opportunity to provide community feedback on the options available to us for dealing with this critical infrastructure issue.

On behalf of the boards of directors of Bend 2030 and Central Oregon Builders Association we would like to express our strong interest in offering a representative to participate in this committee. Together with other community organizations we believe we can assist the City in finding the best solutions to our transportation funding issues.

To that end, we would like to request that the Council encourage the Streets Funding Committee to evaluate all options available to our community. Our organizations wish to show the community the full range of solutions we may consider for addressing transportation needs, which could include no new road funding, budget re-appropriation for street preservation, or generating new revenue streams through a transportation utility fee or a fuel tax.

We believe it is imperative that the council task the committee with evaluating this full slate of options. Would the council please amend Resolution No. 3001 and require the committee to provide a minimum of two recommendations for addressing street funding: one package that includes a fuel tax and one that does not.

Thank you so much for your consideration and we look forward to participating in the committee’s work. 
Council meets next tomorrow night. There is not currently any discussion on street funding on the agenda. Edit: According to a revised agenda sent out on Wednesday morning, Council will discuss the street funding committee at tonight's meeting.
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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Downtown Bend Business Association welcomes Albany's Rod Porsche as new director

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2015 at 3:08 PM

Outgoing DBBA Executive Director Chuck Arnold will be replaced by former Albany Downtown Association Director Rod Porsche. - ERIN ROOK
  • Erin Rook
  • Outgoing DBBA Executive Director Chuck Arnold will be replaced by former Albany Downtown Association Director Rod Porsche.


Last May, we talked to Chuck Arnold about his tenure as executive director of the Downtown Bend Business Association and his plans for the future. Today, the DBBA has officially announced Arnold's replacement: former director of the Albany Downtown Association, Rod Porsche.

“I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Downtown Bend Business Association and look forward to working with the dynamic group of independent businesses in Downtown Bend," Porsche said in a release.

Before taking the helm at the ADA in early 2014, Porsche was in charge of group marketing for the Albany Visitor's Association. 

“We had 68 applicants from over half a dozen states and are pleased to find such a great fit with Rod," DBBA Board Member Jim Petersen said in the release. "We believe Rod has the qualities necessary to continue the positive momentum of the DBBA and Downtown Bend overall."

Heidi Junge, president of the ADA board, told the Albany Democrat-Herald when Porsche stepped down from his old post in May that he would be missed.

"We're really sad that Rod is leaving. He's done an excellent job as the executive director for the downtown association," Junge said. "He's wonderful. We're sad to lose him. He's got a lot of drive and passion for what he does."

As executive director for the DBBA, Porsche will oversees the downtown beautification, marketing, and events, as well as work with property and business owners to keep storefronts filled and businesses vibrant. Stay tuned for an interview Bend's new downtown guy.
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Friday, July 31, 2015

Bend-La Pine Schools to hold public meeting about future of Troy Field

Posted By on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 2:44 PM

Bend-La Pine Schools wants the City to remove Troy Field's public facilities designation and allow the property to simply be zoned Commercial Limited (CL). - DESCHUTES COUNTY
  • Deschutes County
  • Bend-La Pine Schools wants the City to remove Troy Field's public facilities designation and allow the property to simply be zoned Commercial Limited (CL).

In order to move forward with its sale of Troy Field to a developer, Bend-La Pine Schools will first have to apply for a zoning change. The 0.8-acre property currently has a Public Facilities
designation. The district is hoping to have that changed to Commercial Limited.

The next step in that process is a public meeting, to be held at 5:30 pm, August 26 in the BLPS administrative building (room 314). The district recently accepted a $1.9 million offer from Portland-based Brownstone Development, who is representing an unnamed out-of-state hotel developer with plans to turn the lot into a high-end condo hotel.

Brad Henry, Executive Director of Fiscal Services for BLPS, will represent the school district at the meeting. 

Do you think the public facilities designation should be lifted?
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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Legal weed coming to a dispensary near you October 1

Posted By on Wed, Jul 29, 2015 at 1:35 PM



It's official. Legal weed limbo will end on October 1, when the medical marijuana dispensaries will be permitted to sell some cannabis products. Gov. Kate Brown quietly signed the bill into law on Monday, according to the Oregon Legislative record. Her office has not yet released a statement about the signing. 

Currently, it is legal to grow, possess, and use recreational marijuana in Oregon, but non-medical users are not yet able to legally purchase cannabis products. The bill was promoted as a way to curb the black market for marijuana while the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and the Oregon Legislature work out the details of the licensing program. That program is expected to be up and running by fall of 2016.

The new law permits dispensaries to sell up to a quarter ounce of dried leaves and flowers per adult (21 and over) per day, as well as up to four non-flowering plants and cannabis seeds.

Will you be taking advantage of the new legal option come October? Take our poll and sound off in the comments.


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