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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Obama Loves Phil's Trail

Posted By on Thu, Oct 28, 2010 at 11:28 PM

Tea Partiers and other members of the Obama-Care/B.Hussein nation, stop reading here. The following sequence of letters strung together in words and sentences does not pertain to you.

All others may proceed...

Word over the Internets this afternoon is that the Deschutes Forest is in line for another round of federal highway funding and that's good news for mountain bikers (see I told you it didn't apply - now go put on your civil war re-enactment garb on and continue reading the Bill of Rights on your porch, Tea Party guy.) According to a press release hot in off the interwebs, the Deschutes forest has been awarded $250,000 to repave the road into Phil's trailhead from Skyliners. What's more, the forest will also be expanding parking in the always-overcrowded lot to accommodate 50 vehicles. Lastly, the Forest Service is adding an information kiosk with fun historical tidbits. If all that makes you so pumped that you want to crap your pants, well you're in luck. The grant also covers the construction/addition of what the FS is calling a new "double CXT toilet." We may have to look up the significance of the last item, but we're pretty sure it's made by Halliburton.


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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fly Fishing is Spooooky!

Posted By on Wed, Oct 27, 2010 at 8:46 PM

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The fledgling Bend Casting Club, which is seeking to take advantage of the underutilitzed Orvis casting course, has upped the novelty factor for this evening's monthly meeting/competition. In honor of this weekend's Halloween festivities, the club is encouraging fly anglers to come out to this evenings' gathering in Halloween costumes. The club will adding glow in the dark liquid to the end of competitors' fly lines (including yarn and some donated flies), allowing them to shoot holes in the dark. It may not be Burning Man, but it should be a good show.  The festivities get started at 6p.m. with prizes for winners. There is also games and treats for kids and the casting club encourages competitors to bring along the family tonight. Hey, it's the next best thing to actually fishing.


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Friday, October 15, 2010

Bend Council Candidates No-Show For 1,000 Friends Forum

Posted By on Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 12:42 AM

It doesn't matter if you're running for U.S. Congress or your local park board, election season is a grind. First there's the pre-campaign work of lining up supporters and the gathering of signatures that are required to get your name on the ballot. Then there's the fundraising work, organization, financial reporting and the neighborhood canvassing. Don't forget the litany of endorsement interviews with media outlets and special interest groups, including the local chamber of commerce and public employee unions. Lastly, there's the public appearances: The all-important debates and candidate forums that allow voters to see the candidates stand shoulder to shoulder, answering policy questions and occasionally sparring over issues.

These candidate debates were once a staple of American politics and the primary way that voters could hear from politicians before the advent of radio and television advertising.

Sadly though these forums appear to be an endangered political species whose place has usurped in the modern election cycle by packaged sound bytes and carefully selected buzzwords.

Forget Dudley and Kitzhaber. Look no further than the 1,000 Friends/Central Oregon Environmental Center city council candidate forum that took place on Wednesday night for evidence of how the toe-to-toe political debate is fading from relevancy. Although two-thirds of the Bend City Council Candidates showed up for the forum, one of those candidates, Jodie Barram, is running unopposed. Another Ron Boozel is a likeable fringe candidate who has been battling revelations that he has a criminal record and faced an outstanding warrant just a few weeks before the election (Boozel has since appeared in court to address the allegations that he violated his parole). Missing entirely were Scott Ramsay and Mark Moseley, candidates who have earned endorsements from both the Bend Bulletin, Bend Business PAC (the political arm of the Bend Chamber). Their absence left candidates Chuck Arnold, who is in a competitive race with Ramsay, and incumbent Mark Capell, who faces a challenge from Moseley, with a televised platform to discuss their ideas on transportation and land use during Wednesday night's forum. What they didn't have was an opportunity to challenge their opponents on these important issues. That's too bad because Bend voters deserve more than just sound bytes given the significant challenge that the city faces.

"I was really disappointed because I really like Scott (Ramsay) and I have the hope that he wants to do this right and part of doing this is showing up. While there are a lot of forums and there can be conflicts, this [forum] was booked earlier than the rest and we had plenty of notification," said Ramsay's opponent Chuck Arnold.

Asked about the notable absence of Ramsay and Moseley, organizer Ben Gordon of 1,000 Friends of Oregon, was at a loss to explain.

Organizers had initially given the candidates two dates to choose from for the forum and all of the council hopefuls indicated that they would be available. Ramsay initially confirmed his attendance but backed out shortly before the forum, said Gordon, claiming that he had a meeting conflict. Moseley, a former Freightliner executive, waffled on his commitment and ultimately told Gordon that he had an unspecified conflict.

Not knowing the exact reasons why Moseley and Ramsay begged off, one has to at least question whether it was the fact that the forum was being produced by the statewide conservation group 1,000 Friends and the Environmental Center. If that's the case I'm a little bit frightened at the prospect of either of these candidates serving a constituency as broad as Bend's electorate and you ought to be, too.


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