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Friday, January 14, 2011

Winter Fest Gets Road Trip Props

Posted By on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 1:13 PM

A national online magazine/blog has given Bend’s WinterFest a nod as one of the Top 10 winter festival destinations for road tripping families.

Road Trip For Families published a piece this week identifying WinterFest among the nation’s must-see winter celebrations alongside such well known festivals as St. Paul Minnesota’s massive Winter Carnival and Steamboat, Colorado’s less massive, but much lauded, Winter Carnival. (You’ve probably seen pictures from the event, which features a “skijoring” competition wherein “skiers” are pulled through a snow-covered downtown race course by a cowboy on a horse)

WinterFest isn’t exactly a secret around Central Oregon where locals have watched the festival grow from a small downtown get-together to a bonafide winter carnival atmosphere complete with national music acts and a multi-story rail jam complex that acts as the visual centerpiece of the festival. The event, which is produced by the Source’s sister business, Lay It Out Events, is scheduled this year for Feb. 17-20. This year’s event is sponsored by On Point Credit Union and Mt. Bachelor.

Other winter festivals singled out for praise by roadtripsforfamilies.com, included the Eagle Days in St. Louis Missouri and the awesomely named Polar Bear Jump Off and Ugly Fish Tacos in Seward, Alaska.

 


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Chris Horner To Host Mass Road Bike Tour in Bend

Posted By on Fri, Jan 14, 2011 at 7:00 AM

Bend native and Tour de France star Chris Horner has teamed up with Visit Bend on a new charity bike event to be held in August this year. The event, which will be hosted by Horner and organized in part by Visit Bend, the city’s tourism bureau, is dubbed the Cascade Gran Fondo, and modeled on similar mass participation rides that are popular in Italy.

The event is scheduled for Aug. 18-20 and is expected to draw around 1,00o participants. Money contributed by sponsors and raised by riders goes toward the Mt Bachelor Ski Education Foundation, Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong campaign and the World Bike Relief fund.

Thanks in large part to the recruitment efforts of Visit Bend, the community has played host to several high profile cycling events in the past few years including the recently concluded CycloCross Nationals and U.S.A. Cycling Road National Championships.

The inaugural Cascade Gran Fondo ride begins with a Q and A session on Thurs Aug. 18 with Horner and continues with a VIP banquet for riders and sponsors on Friday, culminating with the ride, which Horner says is one of his favorite local circuits, on Saturday.

One of the top American cyclists, Horner is a member of the Radio Shack race team. He is coming off one of his best years, including a Top 10 finish in last year’s Tour De France.


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Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Big Cheese: Appointing or electing Bend's mayor

Oran Teater asks why Bend, Oregon doesn't elect its mayor.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 6, 2011 at 10:48 PM

Before heading off into the City Council retirement sunset, former councilor and mayor Oran Teater yet again brought up the question of why Bend doesn’t have an elected rather than an appointed Mayor.

Teater is absolutely spot on with his question, which is essentially pertinent this week, considering Jeff Eager was sworn in as mayor at last night's city council meeting.

Currently, the mayor’s role is strictly ceremonial. He or she runs the council meetings, signs official documents, cuts ribbons at openings and represents the city at social and governmental functions.

An elected Mayor would have to run on a platform and once in office try to guide the council on implementing that platform. This simply makes sense.

It’s no surprise that Bend is the only Oregon city of some size that still appoints its mayor. So, let’s get up to speed and make the position of Bend mayor an elected one.

And while we’re at it, why not consider altering the city charter to have four council positions elected by district. There would be Northwest, Southwest, Northeast and Southeast districts with two at-large seats and the mayor’s position. The idea is to give people in the various districts better representation.

Will either happen? Doubtful as ceremonial title holders don’t pose a threat to anyone and districting is scary.

Photo: City of Bend


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