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Smoke Shelters Highlight a Need for a Low-Barrier Winter Warming Shelter for Bend

Smoke Shelters Highlight a Need for a Low-Barrier Winter Warming Shelter for Bend

This past week, several Bend churches set up emergency smoke relief shelters to house people who live outside
This month's hazardous air quality brought up an issue that, while never completely forgotten, seems to slip into the background with the first blush of spring. This past week, several Bend churches set up emergency smoke relief shelters to house people who live outside, and for whom being subjected to air quality levels in the 500s all day and night could pose a significant risk.

And I Think to Myself, What a Wonderful World

If there ever was a time when people in this community could use some good news, it's now
To say this year has been a difficult one would be the understatement of, well, the 21st Century. Every day, we hear a story of a business struggling to survive, of a parent on the brink, of a family forced to make tough decisions in order to keep a roof over their heads... and now, of those without any roof at all, forced to battle the double threats of coronavirus and wildfire smoke without that most basic of human necessities.

If We're in a War on Cars, Is This How We Win It?

When asked to mention some of the biggest issues facing Bend, politicians and regular folk alike will parrot the same things
You hear it time and again: When asked to mention some of the biggest issues facing Bend, politicians and regular folk alike will parrot the same things. Transportation, transportation, transportation... and housing, of course.

As the School Year Dawns, Inequity in the Making

One year ago, parents would have scoffed at the notion that schools were not safe enough places to send their kids for all-day instruction, but that they were safe enough for all-day, glorified after-school programming. What a difference a year makes.
Bend Parks and Rec, Boys and Girls Club, Bend after school programs, Online learning

A Human Rights and Equity Commission is a Good, Big Step

A "diverse and representative commission" that includes a majority of members who are people of color or who are among historically marginalized groups
During last week's meeting of the Bend City Council, viewers of the live-streamed event were treated to a long and action-packed evening. Viewers got protracted views of city councilors eating dinner.

The Public Wants to Know More About the ICE Roundups. Public Records May Help Us Deliver.

Even before the events of last week, we have known that we are living in unusual times. The ongoing pandemic, the unrest stemming from the deaths of George Floyd and so many others and the growing economic uncertainty are all coalescing into a tense time.

If It's Worth Doing, It's Probably Going to Cost Something

A decision on Tax Increment Financing is a good thing—even while it affects other public budgets
Last week, the Bend City Council voted 6-1 in favor of setting up Tax Increment Financing that will support the City's Core Area Plan—effectively bringing in millions of dollars in funding to help revitalize areas of inner Bend that are ripe for more housing, more businesses and better infrastructure. Bend is growing—that's not a secret—and while the most recent Urban Growth Boundary expansion offers some places to grow on the outskirts of the city, there's enormous potential right in the center of town, just east of downtown and east of the area around the Box Factory.

We Can Dismantle Systems, as We Work Within Them, Too

As some recent cases show, the systems, too, can be used to move society in a more just direction.
There's been a lot of talk lately about "dismantling systems." While taking a deep look at our public systems and rooting out areas of discrimination or outright racism is indeed part of an effort toward meaningful social change, there's also something to be said for changing society by working within the systems, as well.

The Governor's Guidance is Enough. We Don't Need Other Public Entities Creating a New Playbook.

Every morning we wake up, wondering with some frustration what new guidelines will be in place—but you can be sure we are taking those guidelines to heart.
Every morning, we, like so many others, wake up and wonder, "what's going to change today?" What new guidelines will we fall under?

A Curfew Won't Solve Bend's Leadership Vacuum

Bend City Council began a discussion around the possibility of implementing a 10 pm curfew in the city
This week, the Bend City Council began a discussion around the possibility of implementing a 10 pm curfew in the city, in an effort to avoid the inevitable breaches of social distancing protocols that can happen when people are drinking alcohol and socializing late into the night. The idea of a curfew is only in the discussion phase right now, and, following exploration of the issue by City staff, would likely not go into place for several more weeks, if at all.

Public School Leaders Are Doing Their Best. Demands for a Full Reopening Aren't Helping.

Schools will not look the same in the 2020-21 school year
Let's get one fact out there right away: Whatever happens with the global pandemic between now and September, schools will not look the same in the 2020-21 school year. As much as anyone might wish it not to be so, there's simply no use in continuing to lament about how things won't be the same.

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