Surface Water Improvement Project

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Mosley Wotta on OPB Tonight

Mosley Wotta appears on OPB's Oregon Art Beat tonight.

Posted By on Thu, Dec 1, 2011 at 8:35 PM

Mosley Wotta
  • Mosley Wotta

UPDATE: I corrected the time to 8pm, which is now what the OPB website shows.

If you were at the WinterFringe show last year -- the pre-WinterFest warmup concert -- you may have noticed a camera crew floating around the premises capturing a vibrant set from Bend's own Mosley Wotta.

Well, that crew was from Oregon Public Broadcasting, which is finally airing its piece on MoWo on tonight's Oregon Art Beat. They also ran this web piece on the artist today.

The show airs tonight at 8pm on OPB. If you have BendBroadband, this is channel 7, or in HD at 607. Or you can just get it straight out of the air on your digital receiver. If you miss it, the show will be re-run on Sunday at 4pm.

The piece looks like it will focus not only on the music of Mosley Wotta, but also the visual artwork and philosophy of Jason Graham, the man behind the band/artwork.

Also, the band is appearing at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland tomorrow night.

Here's a quick look at one of the performances included in the show.

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

No Crypto, No Prob: Bend may get water system break

Posted By on Wed, Nov 30, 2011 at 5:31 PM

Yesterday’s announcement that state of Oregon intends to allow Portland to sidestep federal drinking water guidelines could amount to big savings for Bend’s water system.

“We perceive it as good news,” City Manager Eric King said Wednesday morning.

King said the announcement could help Bend, which is currently working on its own multi-million dollar water system upgrade, buy some additional time to negotiate with the state and federal government over the necessity of a costly water treatment system, one of the major components of Bend’s ongoing $62 million Surface Water Improvement Project.

Like Portland, Bend gets a large percentage of its drinking water from a surface source, which according to federal guidelines puts it at risk of contamination. To date, neither Bend or Portland have encountered problems with their drinking water, however federal authorities are concerned about the possibility of cryptosporidium, a potentially fatal microscopic parasite. A 1993 crypto outbreak in Milwaukee sickened nearly half a million of the city’s residents and killed an estimated 104 people. Since then the EPA has tightened drinking water treatment rules.

Bend initially had until 2012 to upgrade its drinking system to include a treatment facility. (Presently, a few drops of chlorine serve as the treatment regime) The state Health Authority, which administers the drinking water rule, has already granted the city an extension until 2014.

King said it’s possible that the city could seek a variance similar to Portland, however, it’s a costly process that the city has yet to begin. There’s also no guarantee that the Bend would get a similar result due to differences in the two systems. (Bend officials have repeatedly pointed out that there is a much higher probability of wildfire in the local watershed than Portland’s Bull Run. A treatment plant would allow Bend to continue to use the resource in that event.)

King said the city has hired a lobbyist to work on the water treatment issue in Salem. That could help the city push the compliance deadline back several more years. In the meantime, the EPA is reviewing its drinking water mandate and could make substantive changes that would potentially nullify the need for the treatment facility. The city would like to see how that process plays out before it makes any major moves.

“We’d like to hit the pause button,” King said.

Even so, Bend intends to move forward with its larger Surface Water Improvement Project that will replace the aging pipeline from Bridge Creek to Bend along Skyliners Road. The project also includes a controversial $5 million hydroelectric generation facility that is designed to offset the cost of the overall upgrade. Critics worry that the city will be tempted to increase its water diversion from the Tumalo basin to maximize power production and profits. City officials say that is not the case and have rejected calls to scrap the entire project in favor of a groundwater-based system.



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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stop the Water Project: Former Mayors and concerned citizens drop 1,000 signatures on City Hall

Gathered crowd delivers petition and asks councilors to reconsider their position on the SWP.

Posted By on Thu, Nov 10, 2011 at 8:45 PM

In this age of partisan politics and self-interest groups, it's refreshing to see environmentalists, builders, Tea Partiers, liberal democrats and social conservatives rally around a common cause.

At noon today, just such a varied crowd met in front of City Hall to officially present the 1,000 petition signatures opposing the $68 million Surface Water Project, which has already earned approval from the Bend City Council.

Seven former mayors were on hand, including Bruce Abernethy, Ruth Burleigh, Allan Bruckner, Terry Blackwell, Bob Woodward, Oran Teater and Craig Coyner III (as well as a number of area businessmen and former city staff) to provide personal testimony against the project which, it was said, is based on faulty data, unneeded and likely to raise water rates by 40%.

Comments were brief and too the point.

"The data gathered by the consultants hired is not sufficient to make a decision. They (the consultants) stand to make millions," Bruckner said.

"I think this is the time for the council to step back and listen to the citizens of Bend," said Aberbethy.

Adding insider financial savvy to the opposition was attorney Deidra Cherzam, who served as Chair of the Bend Budget Committee during the last biennium. Cherzam fears the expense of the project and noted that staff has underestimated some costs while failing to fully disclose other costs associated with the water project.

"We're not here to just check you math," Cherzam said, repeating her position which she had previously shared with the City attorney and staff.

Paul Dewey, Executive Director of Central Oregon LandWatch was clearly pleased with the gathered crowd.

"I've never seen a confluence of interests like this," Dewey said, a comment that was followed by a round of applause.

Notably absent from the public hearing was Councilor Jim Clinton, who has opposed the project since its introduction.

To learn more about the project, check and To view the city's take, check the City of Bend's page dedicated to the SWP.


Look close, those are all names. All 1,000 of them.


Abernethy has transitioned from skeptical to opposed. Woody, another former mayor, (in red) looks on.


Jack Holt speaks out against the multimillion dollar project already set in motion.


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