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  • Issue of
  • Dec 17-23, 2009
  • Vol. 13, No. 51

News

Opinion

  • In Their Own Words: Barry O, Berlusconi, and Family Ties that bind
  • Editorial
  • In Their Own Words: Barry O, Berlusconi, and Family Ties that bind

    The author has been sent on the road to discover a lost country formerly known as America. He is reporting from a nearby Christmas display, protecting baby Jesus from fascist secularists, on assignment for Or-Bust.com and The Source Weekly. What a week it has been for sound bites and babble! President Obama baffled all of us, the stress of the job obviously affecting his eloquence, while announcing 30,000 more troops for a war we have no intention of winning, "Even as we dig our way out of this deep hole... " Is he asking for a ladder or merely interested in digging deeper? Then, while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, he said, "I do not bring with me today a definitive solution to the problems of war." Um, ok... Peace bro! "I didn't run for President to bail out a bunch of fatcats." he added on 60 Minutes, pointing to how distressed Goldman Sachs employees are this holiday season, with only $22 billion in bonuses, closing with, "There shouldn't be anything confusing about that." Armed with facts and a nervous tick, Dr. Christina Romer, Chair of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, then invoked FDR on Meet The Press, saying the newly passed financial regulations are "Rules of the Road" that won't hurt business at all, "Of course we want them to return to profitably, and we want them to return to lending... " Cool! I need a new Discover card and house I can't afford.
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  • Editorial
  • The Farm Bureau Gets Down in the Muck

    Everybody loves the family farm. According to the conventional wisdom it's the bedrock of American values, the repository of the sturdy virtues of hard work and thrift, the beating heart of the heartland. So who could possibly have any problem with an organization called Friends of Family Farmers whose aim is to help family farms survive and thrive? Apparently, of all people, the Oregon Farm Bureau does. Kendra Kimbirauskas, an organizer of FOFF and owner, with her husband, of a small farm outside Portland, came to Central Oregon this fall to hold a couple of meetings with area farmers to build support for a statewide initiative that would help small farms by improving their access to a labor supply and processing facilities, among other things.
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  • Guest Commentary
  • Bulletin vs. Environmental Center Rd. 3

    Regular Bulletin readers know that the paper's almost comically conservative editorial page has been waging a campaign against the Bend-La Pine School district's arrangement with the Central Oregon Environmental Center, a local non-profit, to put on an environmental education program in local classrooms. This past week, Editor in Chief John Costa chose to take direct aim at one of the Environmental Center's defenders, former city councilor Peter Gramlich, who circulated an e-mail sharply criticizing the paper's editorial board. Prior to the editorial, Costa traded e-mails with Gramlich and in one of those he told the former city councilor that he would "present" Gramlich's letter as part of the paper's response. As far as we, or Gramlich, can tell, he didn't. Instead he opted to quote snippets of it in his Sunday column, a sort of weekly ombudsman piece in which Costa holds forth on the state of the newspaper and often answers critics. Those familiar know that the column is basically a monologue that acts like a strong sedative on the paper's collective readers. But those who did manage to soldier through Costa's spirited defense of the paper this week got the usual clap-trap about the intellectual integrity of the editorial board. What they didn't get was a full reading of Gramlich's original letter.
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  • Letters to the Editor
  • It's A Dog's Life

    Dear Readers, Last weekend we adopted "Yellow Dog" who is one of nine dogs recently rescued from Harney County and brought to Bend. Initially we had concerns about his mental and physical condition as a result of him being kept in such an abusive environment so I had to write and get the word out to those of you considering adoption of one of the remaining pups. Yellow Dog, who is a three-year-old Lab mix, is now one of the happiest and most grateful dogs we've ever known. Although he is just learning what it is to enjoy being a dog, he has brought much happiness into our lives already. He wasn't house trained but has made no mistakes. He wasn't leash trained but he walks contentedly by our sides. He has had to fight for his food under awful conditions but he shows no food aggression, eats slowly and is very calm and gentle with other dogs and our 11-year-old cat, whew!
  • Letters to the Editor
  • Duck Or Goose?

    Dear Bend, Hello, we are the ducks of your town. We understand there is a fresh call for our genocide and we'd like to address that. First of all, though, we do have to agree with one point made by our would-be executioners. PLEASE DO NOT FEED US BREAD. Now, there are others of you humans that would feed us poison, or would pour oil on our eggs, or would just shoot us all and not even so much as give our carcasses to the poor for Christmas dinner. And why? Because we aren't toilet trained and we poo on the grass and sidewalks. But so what? Are you humans such a wittle itty bitty pookie wookie bunch of cwy baby wabbies that you can't handle occasionally scraping our poo off your shoe? It barely even sticks. And it's made of grass and water and bugs! Not like your toxic, hormone-and-high-fructose-corn-syrup-riddled human poo!

Culture

  • A Neon Sign of the Times: Slopeside fashion and function collide at The Bend Ski Club
  • Culture Features
  • A Neon Sign of the Times: Slopeside fashion and function collide at The Bend Ski Club

    One of the reasons I started snowboarding was that the clothes were way cooler. Growing up skiing with my dad in the early '90s, I witnessed an embarrassing number of ski-related fashion mishaps. My father would routinely rock the acid-washed jeans/suspenders/neon jacket/cowboy hat combo. Since most of the other skiers on the slopes seemed to follow in his fashion footsteps, I came to terms with the fact that there was no hope for me. Especially when I was forced to wear one of those fleece hats with streaming tassels on top, which served no purpose other than to whip me in the face when I turned. Skiers seem to embrace bad fashion. It's like there's some kind of magic in the neon and mirror sunglasses. While snowboarding clothes have evolved with the times, going from baggy hip-hop wear to more hipster-inspired duds, ski fashion has lagged behind. Skiers singlehandedly introduced the world to neon and they've been having a tough time letting it die.
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  • Book Review: Nightlight by The Harvard Lampoon
  • Book Talk
  • Book Review: Nightlight by The Harvard Lampoon

    Nightlight By The Harvard Lampoon Vintage Books Nightlight, The Harvard Lampoon's parody of the Twilight series, opens when Belle Goose first meets her dad at the airport when arriving in Switchblade, Oregon. She trips over a toddler, runs into a keychain rack, falls down the escalator and somersaults over her rolling luggage. "I get my lack of coordination from my dad, who always used to push me down when I was learning how to walk," explains Belle. This is just a sample of the ridiculousness the writers of one of the country's oldest humor magazines employ as they mock both the writing style and the plot twists of Stephanie Meyer's best-selling four-part saga.
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Food & Drink

  • Chow
  • Little Bites: What's Brewing In Downtown Bend

    It's been what seems like a couple of years since Santiago Casanueva first started pushing yerba maté brews to Bendites and he's won a fair number of converts to his leafy coffee alternative that has long been popular in places like Brazil. Now Casanueva is back in downtown Bend just a few paces from his former digs at St. Clair Place. The Top Leaf Maté bar is now serving at the increasingly hip Tin Pan alley, between Lone Pine Coffee and Thump. It's going to take some sales pitch to get Bendites off coffee as good as Lone Pine and Thump, but if anybody can wean you off the bean, it's Casanueava. Bonus web points to anyone who logs online and checks out Casanueava's DIY "webformercial" that ran under the provocative headline, Bend Oregon What Is Yerba Maté. Extra bonus points and a bag of good old fashioned coffee to anyone who can spot and identify the Source staffer featured in the video. E-mail your best guess to editor@tsweekly.com and put off maté for another week.
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  • Chow
  • What's Brewing In Downtown Bend

    It's been what seems like a couple of years since Santiago Casanueva first started pushing yerba maté brews to Bendites and he's won a fair number of converts to his leafy coffee alternative that has long been popular in places like Brazil. Now Casanueva is back in downtown Bend just a few paces from his former digs at St. Clair Place. The Top Leaf Maté bar is now serving at the increasingly hip Tin Pan alley, between Lone Pine Coffee and Thump. It's going to take some sales pitch to get Bendites off coffee as good as Lone Pine and Thump, but if anybody can wean you off the bean, it's Casanueava. Bonus web points to anyone who logs online and checks out Casanueava's DIY "webformercial" that ran under the provocative headline, Bend Oregon What Is Yerba Maté. Extra bonus points and a bag of good old fashioned coffee to anyone who can spot and identify the Source staffer featured in the video. E-mail your best guess to editor@tsweekly.com and put off maté for another week.
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  • Come for the Food, Stay for the Atmosphere: Round Up a Good Time at El Rodeo
  • Chow
  • Come for the Food, Stay for the Atmosphere: Round Up a Good Time at El Rodeo

    The first time I visited El Rodeo it was on a whim. Running errands on Business 97 and completely dejected having failed to accomplish anything on my list, I was tired, hungry and desperate for shelter from strip mall world. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted El Rodeo. Though a pretty standard-looking Mexican restaurant from the outside, I sensed a certain cheerfulness about it that drew me in. My instincts couldn't have been better. Immediately upon entering the sunny terra cotta tiled foyer and walking up to the host station, I was greeted by the friendliest smile I had seen all day, and it was a genuine one at that. In fact, every staff member I came in contact with from the hostess to the bartenders and servers in their tan satin guayabera shirts replicated that smile, and my day of frustrations quickly melted away.
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  • Come for the Food, Stay for the Atmosphere: Round Up a Good Time at El Rodeo
  • Chow
  • Come for the Food, Stay for the Atmosphere: Round Up a Good Time at El Rodeo

    The first time I visited El Rodeo it was on a whim. Running errands on Business 97 and completely dejected having failed to accomplish anything on my list, I was tired, hungry and desperate for shelter from strip mall world. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted El Rodeo. Though a pretty standard-looking Mexican restaurant from the outside, I sensed a certain cheerfulness about it that drew me in. My instincts couldn't have been better. Immediately upon entering the sunny terra cotta tiled foyer and walking up to the host station, I was greeted by the friendliest smile I had seen all day, and it was a genuine one at that. In fact, every staff member I came in contact with from the hostess to the bartenders and servers in their tan satin guayabera shirts replicated that smile, and my day of frustrations quickly melted away.
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Screen

  • Pucker Up: Disney's The Princess and The Frog brings hand-drawn animation back to life
  • Film
  • Pucker Up: Disney's The Princess and The Frog brings hand-drawn animation back to life

    There is a void in the world of children's film, a land cluttered with CGI squirrels, superheroes and flyaway houses that leaves today's kids missing something. That void comes from a lack of hand-drawn animated Disney musicals. Sure, most kids have seen The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast on DVD, if their parents were lucky enough to buy copies before they went back into the fabled Disney Vault, but it's not the same on the small screen. Now, a decade since their last dance with a princess comes the story of The Princess and the Frog. Taking place in New Orleans, The Princess and the Frog features Disney's first African-American princess, Tiana, who has worked around the clock her whole life to open her own restaurant. After a small disaster at a masquerade ball, she dons a princess gown (tiara included) and while wishing on a star meets Prince Naveen in his mucus-y reptile form.
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  • The Beautiful Game: The Damned United takes us back to the days before Beckham
  • Film
  • The Beautiful Game: The Damned United takes us back to the days before Beckham

    The Damned United is the well-told true story of the rapid rise and crashing fall of Brian Clough, English soccer manager, whose disastrous 44-day stint with top team Leeds United was mythologized by novelist David Peace in his 2006 book of the same title. For many, this one man's life may at first seem a rather small slice of 1970s history, but director Tom Hooper and actor Michael Sheen combine forces to present an expertly executed and involving tale of ambition, ego and self-destruction that has far-reaching appeal. This was a time before David Beckham, when footballers were idolized but a long way from becoming brands, when a player commanded a salary of only $500 a week.
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  • Skate Or Die: Catch a RIDE with Tony Hawk
  • Film Events
  • Skate Or Die: Catch a RIDE with Tony Hawk

    I'm writing this in a sweat - the cool kind of sweatthat comes from several hours of physical activity in the rancid heat of southern California's L.A. River - which despite its name is really a meandering aqueduct of ridges, ditches, basins and bowls. It'san ideal environment for skateboarding, and Tony Hawk RIDE uses it as an early racetrack. Like all the cities and skateparks in the game, it has its secrets and sweet spots. I've been skating through its tangle of asphalt for the past few hours trying to find the best route through the racetrack, and it's making me sweat.
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Music

  • Recordings you need to hear that you may have missed: Louis Jordan and his Tympany 5
  • Sound Stories & Interviews
  • Recordings you need to hear that you may have missed: Louis Jordan and his Tympany 5

    Louis Jordan and his Tympany 5 Go Blow Your Horn Released 1957 You might think you've been having fun, but if you haven't heard a good dose of Louis Jordan lately, you're a bore. Louis Jordan is the connection between the Big Band era of the '40s and the rise of R&B. At one point in the mid-'40s, Louis Jordan's recordings held the #1 spot on the black music charts for almost a year. Go Blow Your Horn reflects the upbeat feeling of pop culture of the '50s and puts you on the street corner in the jumping jive world of this incredible sax player.
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  • On Their Own Island: The Dirty Words might head to indie-rock-friendly Portland but first they're making an epic music video
  • Sound Stories & Interviews
  • On Their Own Island: The Dirty Words might head to indie-rock-friendly Portland but first they're making an epic music video

    Oh, the music video. The revered opportunity for rock stars to be actors and actors to hang with rock stars. It's a chance for a band to get the faces behind their music out to the people and for fans to see a different side of their act. Or, perhaps it was those things before shows like Jersey Shore and similar nonsense took over MTV. But the music video still exists and local band The Dirty Words, arguably our only vetted non-high-school indie rock act in Bend, is making one. But they're not really going to be in it. The band has put a call out across the web for submissions from fans and anyone else who wants to be in a music video, asking them to record themselves "performing" the band's song "Damn Jacket." They are not asking for high production value, actually they don't want that at all. Rather, the band is asking for distinctively DIY videos from webcams, cell phones and built-in laptops.
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Outside

  • Porcupines on a pedestal: They don't throw their quills, so settle down, people
  • Natural World
  • Porcupines on a pedestal: They don't throw their quills, so settle down, people

    In our part of the country, where trees are thought of as a cash crop, porcupines are not thought of as heroes, or worthy of being placed on a pedestal. I can recall back in the '50s when there were signs nailed to trees and poles all over the forest around Bend stating: "PLEASE KILL PORCUPINES" and porcupine poison stations were common in the forest. Government agencies and private timber companies still pay people to trap, shoot and otherwise make life miserable for Poor Old Porcy (I've replaced the usual "k" with the "c" so we don't start blaming the porcupine for the swine flu, and besides pigs don't have quills.) In spite of the way most humans look at and treat porcupines, a baby porcy born at the High Desert Museum last summer made her first public appearance last week at an elementary school in Virginia, and was even featured in The Washington Post.
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  • Outside Features
  • The Adverse Weather Conditions Bowl

    It's pre-bowl season now in the college sports world, the period when your Saturdays are spent clicking aimlessly between non-conference college basketball matchups and TNT's weekly screening of Independence Day. The only other thing of note occupying your time is the ongoing assail of the BCS system. But the truth is you're wasting your time. There will never be a playoff system, let's accept that and instead use the other list of bowls strictly for comedic value. Here are some bowls I propose the NCAA or whatever group of pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions and tortilla chip makers implement next season:
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Blogs

  • Off Piste
  • Skin Game: trying to ascend Mt. Bachelor the old fashioned way

    Thanks to the efforts of Kevin and Molly Grove, Brian Barry and Lee Stevenson, among others, last night skiers intent on maintaining the right to climb/skin Mount Bachelor had the opportunity to meet face-to-face with Mt. Bachelor, Inc president Dave Rathbun and representatives of the U.
  • Off Piste
  • Route Canal: making a new cycling connection

    When I recently blogged about the cyclocross nationals, a reader posted a response adding something to the affect that why haven’t people considered using the roads alongside the various canals as possible bike passageways. That idea drew other positive responses including one from Bend City Councilor Jody Barram praising the idea and also questioning why nobody had done anything about it.
  • The Wandering Eye
  • Dudley Announces; Ambien Stock Plunges

    After several weeks of non-suspense, former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley dropped the other sneaker this morning and announced that he’s seeking the Republican nomination for governor. Dudley made the announcement in an auditorium at Self Enhancement Inc.
  • The Wandering Eye
  • Mississippi, Here We Come

    An Oregon State University economist has come out with a report pretty much demolishing the conservative propaganda that Oregon is Tax Hell and two measures on the January ballot will make it much worse. William Jaeger compared tax rates in Oregon with those of other states over a period of 17 years and found that, as a percentage of personal income, the nationwide average state tax rate has remained a fairly steady 6.
  • The Wandering Eye
  • Beating the Vegas Odds

    Bend led the nation in declining home prices in the third quarter of 2009, besting (if that’s the right word) even Las Vegas, according to the IHS Global Insight index. Oregonian real estate blogger Ryan Frank writes that IHS’s latest “House Prices in America” report shows home prices in Bend dropping 5.

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