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  • Issue of
  • Jul 31 - Aug 6, 2008
  • Vol. 12, No. 31

News

Opinion

  • Editorial
  • Home Sweet Home (Foreclosure): The local real estate market, ticket price collapse, etc.

    Crash, what crash? Some folks continue to look for a silver lining, or at least a light at the end of the tunnel, for the local residential real estate market. Witness the industry folks who say prices are holding steady even as sales volume has plummeted. (And even that is up for debate as one broker told Upfront, pointing out that the median sales price is down 13 percent for the first six months of 2008 versus the same period last year.) And despite the industry's loud proclamations that Bend's market is unique and unlike any other place in the country, immune to the storms that have nearly sunk the industry, the reality is that Bend and Central Oregon's real estate is tied to the health of larger markets - particularly Southern California as well as Seattle and Portland. And the prognosis for those markets isn't good. More importantly the overall economic picture for the nation has yet to brighten. According to the New York Times unemployment is at four year high and the manufacturing sector, particularly the automobile industry continues to tank with GM posting the worst year in the history of the automobile industry - the entire industry - with losses of $38.7 billion. On the housing front, industry insiders are predicting that the mortgage crisis will only worsen as the collapse in the subprime market spreads to prime loans and near prime loans. According to the Times, evidence of the looming crises is already amassing. Delinquencies in alternative prime loans, which usually include a mix of adjustable rates and interest only components, quadrupled between April 2007 and April 2008. Meanwhile defaults for prime loans doubled during that same period as buyers struggled to keep pace with the mortgage payments amidst the softening economy and tightening credit market that has prevented homeowners from refinancing to more favorable terms.
  • Tags: ,
  • Editorial
  • The Boot: Oregon's Own Daddy Warbucks

    Oregon's Megaphone. Loren Parks is a man of many interests. The 81-year-old multimillionaire made his bundle from Parks Medical Products in Aloha, OR. Before moving to Nevada in 2002, Parks gave more than $6 million to Oregon politicians and ballot initiative campaigns, most of them conservative. After he left the state, the money kept pouring in - some $600,000 to support ballot measures in 2006, plus another $900,000 for Republican Kevin Mannix's unsuccessful gubernatorial campaign that year. And the Parks money stream is still gushing this election season. According to a recent report by the progressive group Democracy Reform Oregon, Parks contributed more than half of the amount given in support of the eight initiatives that qualified for this year's ballot - a total of $839,606. Parks also gave more than $550,000 this year in support of initiatives that didn't make it to the ballot. And on top of that, he gave $175,000 to Mannix to help retire his campaign debts. Add it all up and it comes to well over $1.5 million.
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Phone Book Harassment

    Letter of the Week If you own or rent a house in Central Oregon you know what this week's letter writer is talking about. We put the phone book bombardment right up there with the Bulletin's Marketplace free classified in the pantheon of unwanted commercial litter.
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Butt Out

    Damn- I can't stop world hunger, Darfur, corporate thieves, evil K Street lobbyists, but I can, with thousand of others, try to save a little
  • Letters to the Editor
  • His Cold Dead Hands

    I recently read your article on your opposition to the Second Amendment and wanting to have all those who have concealed permits disclosed and published. Several years ago one of my family members was assaulted while attending an event out in rural Deschutes County.

Culture

  • Book Talk
  • Hit the Ground

    Thirty years ago, Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami owned a jazz club in Tokyo. It was a tiny place. During the day, he served coffee; at
  • Picks
  • Our Picks for the week of 8/8-8/13

    World Hoop Day friday 8 Bring your hoops to Harmon Park and help raise money to create quality hoops for underprivileged children in Central Oregon and around the world! The Hula Hoop craze continues to build and gyrating Bendites from young to old can be found pretty much everywhere these days. Relive your childhood and make some sweet hoops for a good cause. 4pm-6pm. Free, donations accepted. Harmon Park. 1100 NW Harmon Road. Tiger Army friday 8 Warped Tour Vets and AFI buddies Tiger Army are bringing their brand of psychobilly to our beloved Domino coming directly from a slew of dates in Finland, of all places. Check this week's Sound article for more information. Domino Room. 8pm/doors, 9pm/show. $15/advance, $17/door. 51 NW Greenwood Ave.
  • Picks
  • Our Picks for the week of 7/30-8/7

    The Gourds, Wayne Newcome saturday 2 There are a few bands that Bend can't seem to get enough of and The Gourds are one of them. The alt-country rockers from Austin, Tex. are playing a special Bend show for all of us who can't get over the mountains for the Pickathon festival. All of you who think that you haven't heard the Gourds, think again. They're the band that cleverly transformed Snoop Dogg's "Gin and Juice" from hip-hop anthem to rootsy Americana jingle to the pleasure of many downloaders who thought they were listening to Phish. 9pm/doors, 10pm/show Saturday, August 2. Domino Room. 51 NW Greenwood Ave. $15/advanced, $18/door.  Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo wednesday-sunday 30-3 Do you like to have fun for approximately four days in a location with other people who like to have fun during the same prescribed time frame at the same location? Well then, my fellow Deschutes County resident, it's time to head up to Redmond for the county fair! Don't forget to take your children to the wholesomely fun activities including, but not limited to, Alice Cooper. What says family fun more than a 60-year-old man slathered in leather and vampire makeup? Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, 3800 SW Airport Way, Redmond. 548-2711.

Food & Drink

  • Chow
  • Quick Bites: CSA's That Walk

    These days pretty much everybody knows that Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to support and reap the benefits from local small farms.
  • Chow
  • Dining on a Budget: Good food at good prices... without the golden arches

    BALDY'S BARBEQUE Who knew some of the best BBQ to be had was in Central Oregon? Check out the great a la carte lunch deals, including the beef brisket sandwich for $6.25, add fries or mashers and slaw or beans for an extra $1.50 and make it a platter. Baldy's relatively inexpensive, unpretentious, powerfully flavorful approach to down-home dining is pretty much unparalleled in these parts. Whether it's hickory-smoked beef brisket, chicken, pulled pork, or baby back ribs that tickle your fancy, you're bound to be satisfied. And don't forget the award-winning sauce. 235 SW Century Dr. 385-7427. BEND BREWING COMPANY The BBC brews up expertly crafted micro-brews and tasty pub food at its Mirror Pond location. Check out Local's Night on Tuesdays starting at 4pm when the pints are $2.25 and appetizers are also discounted. Make sure to try some of the seasonal ales like the Nitro Nut Brown - yummmm. We love the atmosphere, the fries, and did we mention the beer yet? 1019 NW Brooks St. 383-1599
  • Chow
  • Sample Platter: Asian Sensations, your best bet on East meets West here in Bend

    BO RESTOBAR The newest establishment in what is becoming Portland-based Bo and Steve Kline's Asian restaurant empire. Chef Kline, a native of Thailand, puts an artistic flair on each dish. "New World" sashimi, Koreadilla and Peking Duck Spring Rolls are a few of the international offerings. 550 NW Franklin Ave. 617-8880. CHAN'S Bend's most popular Chinese restaurant packs the families in every night clamoring for the slightly Americanized Szechwan, Hunan and Cantonese dishes. Even if the food can be predictable at times, big portions matched with big flavors make this is a Central Oregon institution. Chinese. 1005 Se 3rd St. 389-1725.
  • Chow
  • Sample Platter: Asian Sensations, your best bet on East meets West here in Bend

    BO RESTOBAR The newest establishment in what is becoming Portland-based Bo and Steve Kline's Asian restaurant empire. Chef Kline, a native of Thailand, puts an artistic flair on each dish. "New World" sashimi, Koreadilla and Peking Duck Spring Rolls are a few of the international offerings. 550 NW Franklin Ave. 617-8880. CHAN'S Bend's most popular Chinese restaurant packs the families in every night clamoring for the slightly Americanized Szechwan, Hunan and Cantonese dishes. Even if the food can be predictable at times, big portions matched with big flavors make this is a Central Oregon institution. Chinese. 1005 Se 3rd St. 389-1725.
  • Chow
  • Dining on a Budget: Good food at good prices... without the golden arches

    BALDY'S BARBEQUE Who knew some of the best BBQ to be had was in Central Oregon? Check out the great a la carte lunch deals, including the beef brisket sandwich for $6.25, add fries or mashers and slaw or beans for an extra $1.50 and make it a platter. Baldy's relatively inexpensive, unpretentious, powerfully flavorful approach to down-home dining is pretty much unparalleled in these parts. Whether it's hickory-smoked beef brisket, chicken, pulled pork, or baby back ribs that tickle your fancy, you're bound to be satisfied. And don't forget the award-winning sauce. 235 SW Century Dr. 385-7427. BEND BREWING COMPANY The BBC brews up expertly crafted micro-brews and tasty pub food at its Mirror Pond location. Check out Local's Night on Tuesdays starting at 4pm when the pints are $2.25 and appetizers are also discounted. Make sure to try some of the seasonal ales like the Nitro Nut Brown - yummmm. We love the atmosphere, the fries, and did we mention the beer yet? 1019 NW Brooks St. 383-1599
  • Chow
  • Quick Bites: CSA's That Walk

    These days pretty much everybody knows that Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a great way to support and reap the benefits from local small farms.

Screen

Music

  • Sound Stories & Interviews
  • An Indie God, Flip-Flop Jams, and Hip-Hopping Hot Rods

    Look at those delightfully bright eyes. Thursday 7/31 With the big Alice Cooper show at the fair and string of events lined up for the weekend, the Domino Room didn't do too shabby for a Thursday night. Having seen Oberst in Bright Eyes a year prior, Sound Check walked in with an already expected presentation. He's Conor Oberst for Christ's sake, it was obvious what to expect and who you would see there. A mix of out of towners, scene kids and aging hipsters set the tone for a mellow crowd generally interested in what Oberst had up his sleeve with his Mystic Valley Band. Stereotypes aside, Oberst killed it. Bright Eyes seemed like a distant memory to hardcore fans (Sound Check included) and second place to a more maturely polished and truly better musician. Oberst arrived on stage dressed in a American Apparel fitted orange T-shirt, members only jacket complete with matching orange golfer logo and fitted stretchy Levi's. The band opened with its single "Sausalito" with Oberst Johnny Cash style strummin' the rhythm steady into his torn worn acoustic. The anger and eccentrics of the past were blatantly constrained in his performance style. He let the music take its place now. People shouted out things like "You're My Golden Boy," " Killer boots!" "God Bless the Midwest" and various Bright Eyes titles, and Mr. Oberst played none of these. And why would he? The new material speaks louder than the past and would have set a different tone from the one he's evolved into. The reverb coating over the amplified tones on the mellower album's tracks "Lenders in the Temple," "Eagle On A Pole" and "Milk Thistle" set a better encapsulating live sound than the album could ever produce. Unfortunately, this one might land in the "you kinda had to be there" bin. So, if you weren't you missed out on a truly awesome performance, the likes of which this town probably won't see again for a while. Sorry, losers.  -Tauna Leonardo
  • Tags: ,

Outside

  • Outside Features
  • The Dog Days of SummerMountains, rivers and sharing it all with your best friend

    Wallowing in the wallowas. BACKPACKING Due to our huge snowpack, backpacking season has been a long time coming this summer, but it is FINALLY here! My friend Patty and I have a favorite annual tradition: A weeklong backpacking trip with our dogs somewhere within a day's drive of Bend. We load our packs with tents, sleeping bags and food from Trader Joe's, while the dogs don their Ruff Wear packs filled with buffalo kibble and milk bones. Our chosen routes always include lots of water in the form of rivers and lakes. Since I was spending this week in the wilderness without an Internet connection (horrors!), I thought I'd share some insight into a few of our great trips. My favorite trip of all seven so far was the Wallowas in the far northeastern corner of Oregon. It is a long drive to get there, but so worth it because of the spectacular scenery. We hiked a 36-mile loop starting outside of Joseph, through the Eagle Cap Wilderness that featured breathtaking alpine scenery. I'll always remember the view from Glacier Pass down into the Glacier Lake basin. For a fun trip only a three-hour drive east of here near John Day, try the Strawberry Mountains. It was our first trip, when the dogs were puppies. We did a 35-mile traverse and the highlights were climbing Strawberry Mountain and swimming in Strawberry Lake. The Strawberries are nice for a close trip, but not as rugged and beautiful as some other options.
  • Outside Features
  • Miles and Miles of Trails: Ultra Running, Ultra Mountain Biking & More

    Taking a ride on the wet side. THE GRASS IS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE PASS Alan and Bev Abbs are ultra runners from Red Bluff, Calif. who came to Bend a couple of years ago to compete in the Raid adventure race held here. That same weekend, they read an article in the local paper about the secretly great trails in nearby Oakridge. They decided to check it out for themselves on their way home and ended up buying a house there. Why? They were impressed with the endless miles of trails available and liked the idea of a respite from the hundred-degree-plus heat of California. I caught up with the Abbs on a recent weekend in Oakridge. The previous weekend, they were supposed to compete in the Western States 100, the granddaddy of ultramarathons, but it was cancelled for the first time in its history because of the raging wildfires in California. Bev was nursing a sore knee from overtraining anyway, so they planned a weekend of mountain biking cross-training in Oakridge and invited me to try to keep up with them. The trails of Oakridge, a 90-minute drive from here, represent a nice change of venue for Bend riders and trail runners as well. We seem to have a narrow window when our trails are snow-free, yet not dusty. Just on the other side of the Cascades, you find lush vegetation which keeps the trails cool and shady and in excellent condition all summer long (though mud is an issue in the shoulder seasons). The first day, the Abbs' took me on a 35-mile ride that started with a grueling 2,500-foot climb, but the twisty, wildflower-lined singletrack descent down the Alpine Trail made it all worthwhile. The next day we wound the spring again with a steep 1,500-foot climb in order to descend the Larison Rock Trail. There are rides with less climbing in Oakridge (apparently the Abbs' don't do them), notably the epic 30-mile long Middle Fork Willamette Trail.

Blogs

  • The Wandering Eye
  • Westlund Finds an Unlikely Ally

    Democratic state senator and treasurer candidate Ben Westlund, under attack from Republicans over an 11-year-old "sex scandal," got help from an unlikely quarter: the conservative
  • The Wandering Eye
  • Greetings From Kayonu Toe

    Remember John Hummel, the local lawyer and Bend city councilor who abruptly resigned and launched a major career change? He's alive and well and blogging

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