Off Piste | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Route Canal: making a new cycling connection

Posted By on Thu, Jun 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM

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.
Well people have been doing something about it  for the past two years.
It all began when Senator Ron Wyden asked his local aide David Blair to put together a group called the Central Oregon Recreation Assets Committee. The committee was tasked to come up with ideas that would enhance outdoor recreation in Central Oregon which in turn would help the region’s economy.
One of the committee’s top five ideas was the inclusion of canal roadways to enhance cycling in general as well as create exciting new bike routes. The potential route discussed was a combination of canal roads and sections of rural roads to link Redmond with Smith Rock State Park.
There are a myriad of legal issues involved in making those roadways accessible to the public and members of the recreational assets committee familiar with those legal issues are confident that with some help from the Senator, they can be overcome.
So, with all due respect to the person who came up with the “new” use-the-canal-roadways idea, it’s not new. To Councilor Barram, I say check with County Commissioner Baney who is fully aware of the bike route via canal roads idea and is a member the recreational assets committee.
Serving on that committee along with Baney are Dennis Oliphant of Sun Country Tours, Jade Mayer of Brooks Resources, Brad Chalfant of the Deschutes Land Trust, Bend Metro Parks board member Ruth Williamson, Senator Wyden’s aide David Blair, former school administrator Peter Miller, and OSU-Cascades professor Kreg Lindberg among others. Sally Russell chairs the committee.
Among the other recreational opportunities cited by the committee include a new Sunriver to Bend bicycle route involving portions of currently unpaved U.S. Forest roads, a new cross-country ski trail linking Mt. Bachelor to the Virginia Meissner SnoPark, and the widening of Skyliner’s Road to make if safer for cyclists, roller skiers and runners.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Getting Neat with Nature in Zion

Tara, our climbing correspondent, checks in from Zion, UT.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 18, 2012 at 5:22 PM

Attempting to catalog the events of 2012 thus far proves to be somewhat of a challenge...I'm reminded that my occasional memory loss (of the sort commonly reserved for those who receive senior discounts at Wal-Mart) Is my passport to a state of ignorant bliss...Thanks genetics! - Best year yet I think?
Several minutes later, after reviewing the teetering stack of tick tacs equating my value as a human according to the, I'm fairly certain my mind was left somewhere in the Mojave desert. It's possible - I left my heart there two years ago and have failed to retrieve it since.

Enter - Trad Climbing

Last summer, I procured a tendon injury that ultimately resulted in an unforgettable off-season powdered with substance abuse and questionable life decisions. Since then, even the slightest ache or pain will send me hunting for free range grapefruits and top shelf vodka with a side of ice baths - remove - repeat - remove - repeat.

It all makes sense now...

This all led to a relatively rash decision as of late that resulted in my learning to trad climb when hard crimping wasn't an option (thanks Greg!). Within two weeks, I managed to send my first three trad lines - Moondance 5.9, Wartley's Revenge 5.11a, and Sunshine Dihedral 5.12a. When granted 5 days off work, clearly a trip to Zion was the obvious choice for this sport climber who doesn't own - let alone know how to use - a daisy chain.



So, all said and done after a fucking amazing trip, here's what I learned about medium walling in Zion:  The infamous hand jam - Yellow Black Diamond - WIN! Purple Black Diamond - FAIL! 5.11 off-width is harder than 5.13 face climbing. Slab Dyno - It is exactly what it says. It can take aid climbers several days to climb 10 pitches.
If a top out lacks anchors, simply tie in to a bakers dozen root systems and don't fall.

Racking - Drinking and Driving - Unauthorized showers at public reservoirs. 

I feel incredibly lucky to have been dragged up some of the most famous cracks in the United States - Moonlight Buttress 5.12d, Monkey Finger 5.12b and Shuns 5.11+. After Greg sent Moonlight (rad), we spent the next day sport climbing and sending at Cathedral (awesome) followed by a long drive back to Oregon in search for better beer. Zion…I might be back. Cathedral - I'll be back for sure. Maybe someday I'll even climb a big wall...

One of the many amazing photos by Greg

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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Saving Grace opens new center

Women and children experiencing domestic or sexual assault related violence will soon have a new place to get help.

Posted By on Wed, Apr 4, 2012 at 9:32 PM

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Oregon Capitol News goes bust

Another casualty of the troubled journalism industry announced defeat today

Posted By on Mon, Apr 2, 2012 at 5:45 PM

Another casualty of the troubled journalism industry announced defeat today. Oregon Capitol News, an online news site devoted to political and investigative reporting in Salem, said today that it will shut down immediately, according to a news release.

 “We just ultimately decided that the business model was infeasible,” said John Charles, President and CEO of the organization that sponsors the website, by phone earlier today.

Oregon Capital News began in late 2009 under the name Oregon Politico as an independent and unbiased news offshoot of Cascade Policy Institute, an Oregon-based libertarian think tank. Along with reporting, the venture also developed a large database of government documents called GovDocs for the public. Both projects were funded by outside donors who hoped to pull back support as the website became self-sufficient, said Charles.

The name of the website was changed in mid-2010 after a legal challenge by

After campaigns to earn grants and cash from other funding sources were fruitless, it became clear last fall that Cascade Policy Institute would soon have to take on the financial responsibility for the project, jeopardizing the credibility of the news outlet and siphoning funds from the think tank’s primary mission, according to the news release.

“We decided, don’t wait for the wolf to be at the door,” said Charles, “take command of the situation.”

The site may be reincarnated if an outside funder can be found to take it over, but all three primary employees of the site are moving on, said Charles, making it difficult to reinvigorate the project quickly.

GovDocs will remain a viable resource, however, and will be periodically updated by Cascade Policy Institute, he said.

“I am proud of what we did and it was with some sadness that I sent that email this morning,” said Charles.


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Friday, March 2, 2012

Tart is closing! Hola! is opening! Things are happening!

Holy S, cray-zee things are happening downtown!

Posted By on Fri, Mar 2, 2012 at 10:29 PM

Holy S are things happening with restaurants downtown! Sit down, ‘cause you’re going to need to focus for all this.

First, Tart will close its doors this weekend on the corner of Bond Street and Minnesota Avenue.

Stunning, we know. Stunned the restaurant staff who learned of it yesterday, too. FYI.

“We all kind of found out last minute,” said Jake Starr, a Tart employee. “Really last minute.”

The restaurant will be open through art walk tonight, but will close when the restaurant runs out of food. That could be later tonight or tomorrow, said restaurant staff.

Second, Hola! has bought Tart and will open it’s fourth restaurant in that location, building on the success of their other spots—on 27th Street, in the Old Mill and in Sunriver at the old Trout House location.

The Sunriver Hola! location, by the way, opens Monday night for dinner at 5 p.m. Then starting Tuesday it will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week through the summer season.

No word yet on when the new downtown Hola! will open. A general manager with the restaurants said things have happened very quickly—final details on the purchase weren’t ironed out until just this week.

Third, a new restaurant called Barrio Restaurant and Tapas Bar opened yesterday in the former Gatsby’s location. The owners of food carts Soupcon and El Sancho closed their carts, which had been located next to Blacksmith, on Valentine’s Day to open the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant.

Fourth, the rumor mill is spinning about the old fire hall location that formerly housed Bourbon Street and Staccato. But you’ll have to stay tuned to the Bent Blog because the players involved won’t be ready to announce the deal for at least a week or so.

Fifth, this news is all set against the larger backdrop of infighting among restaurateurs James Orsillo, owner of Amalia’s Mexican Restaurant downtown, and Gavin McMichael, the founder of Blacksmith Restaurant, Bourbon Street and Gatsby’s. Orsillo claims McMichael, who declared bankruptcy last year, defrauded him out of about $180,000 relating to plans to expand Blacksmith and Gatsby’s and create another restaurant called Ruby’s Lounge next door to Gatsby’s. McMichael said the claims are baseless. Bourbon Street and Gatsby’s closed last year.

Sixth, add to all that the shuttering of Typhoon! and Bo Bistro last month after the owners of the Thai-food chain were formally charged with wage violations by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries and it’s been a totally cray-zee month!

P.S. The rumors you may have heard about who’s moving into that Typhoon! location are just those- rumors. Darren Powderly of Compass Commercial, with whom the space is listed, said there are several businesses interested in the space and all talks are merely preliminary.

Stay tuned to the Source for all the latest!

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Barrio opens for business

Sangria flowing in old Gatsby's location.

Posted By on Thu, Mar 1, 2012 at 11:01 PM

Barrio Restaurant and Tapas Bar opened for lunch today to a crowd of folks happy to try new things or get their fix of old faves from the restaurant’s precursors, food carts El Sancho and Soupcon, which used to sit on the corner next to Blacksmith Restaurant.

The owners of the carts, Steven Draheim and Joel Cordes, both classically trained chefs from Bend, are focusing their Spanish-based menu on tapas, or small plates that are to be enjoyed with friends along with beverages, generally of the alcoholic variety.

The restaurant, which is located in the former Gatsby’s spot, was filling fast today at half past noon with customers crowding into the doorway looking for a table.

Old cart standbys like chili glazed yam ($5) and carnitas, fish or vegetarian tacos (2 for $5) were on the lunch menu alongside new dishes that highlight the restaurant’s focus on Latin dishes. On the dinner menu, patrons can expect to see Mediterranean-inspired tapas such as paella, shrimp and roasted red peppers stuffed with Spanish cheeses.

Normal hours for Barrio will go into effect on Monday. In the meantime, catch them open again for lunch tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and tomorrow night for an Art Walk open house from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The sangria will be flowing…

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Nostrafilmus: I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK.

South Korea has an amazing track record for making not just good movies, but excellent ones

Posted By on Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 8:40 PM



For those of you not keeping score, South Korea has an amazing track record for making not just good movies, but excellent ones. Actually, they might have the strongest output of any other country in the world right now, including the USA. Directors like Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Memories Of Murder, Mother), Kim Ji-woon (A Tale of Two Sisters, A Bittersweet Life, I Saw the Devil) and Park Chan-wook (The Vengeance Trilogy, Thirst, I’m A Cyborg…) are making films on a level that hasn’t been achieved since  filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppala and Martin Scorcese ran Hollywood in the 1970’s. 

My initiation into Korean cinema was Park Chan-wook’s 2003 release Oldboy, one of the finest revenge tales ever committed to film (so good that Will Smith is attempting to remake it as we speak). After Oldboy, I went back and watched the first part of his Vengeance Trilogy, Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and then found the third part, Lady Vengeance. These three films combined make for some of the finest filmmaking I’ve ever seen in my life. His newest film, Thirst, is the second greatest vampire film of my generation (after Let the Right One In). Park is consistently working on the same level as Hitchcock, early DePalma and Polanski, but without any missteps in his filmography.

I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK is his film between Lady Vengeance and Thirst and the first “light” film of his career. “Light” meaning that it’s not about revenge or self- hating vampires, but instead it follows a mentally ill girl during her stay in a mental hospital. Young-goon believes she is a cyborg and, after she slices open her wrist and connects it to a power cord, her mother has her institutionalized. The film follows her experiences meeting the eclectic patients, while also chronicling her refusal to eat because she’s afraid it will destroy her circuitry and kill her. The subject matter is incredibly serious, but Park shoots the film as if it’s a light-hearted fable, creating this dreamlike quality that sweeps the viewer right into her world.

Bouncing between handheld, crane, and dolly shots like it was the most natural thing in the world, Park once again proves that he isn’t just a great Korean director, but one of the finest filmmakers working today. I’m A Cyborg isn’t as showy as Oldboy or as devastating as Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, but the film can stand proudly by them as an example of Park Chan-wook’s effortless versatility as a filmmaker. If you’re looking to start getting into Korean films, I wouldn’t start here (I’d start with The Host or Oldboy), but once you have a good handle on the rhythms and themes of Korean filmmaking, it’s very much worth your time.



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Friday, February 24, 2012

Blacksmith Founder Bankruptcy Contested

Owner of Amalia claims Gavin McMichael owes him $180,000

Posted By on Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 1:34 AM

A roadblock was thrown in the path of the bankruptcy proceedings of founder and manager of the Blacksmith Restaurant, Gavin McMichael, earlier this week when one of his creditors objected to the bankruptcy.

James Orsillo, owner of Amalia’s restaurant in downtown Bend, claims he loaned McMichael money for his restaurants, including the Blacksmith, Bourbon Street and Gatsby’s, based on McMichael’s representations of the financial health of the restaurants that were not accurate, according to an objection filed by Orsillo earlier this week.

In the objection, Orsillo alleges McMichael “intended to deceive and did in fact deceive [Orsillo] into thinking that [McMichael’s] restaurants were financially sound and successful” in order to convince Orsillo to loan him money.

Since then, Bourbon Street and Gatsby’s have closed. Blacksmith remains open.

McMichael said Thursday night that Orsillo's objection filing is "absolutely dead wrong." McMichael said he is hoping a judge overseeing his bankruptcy will dismiss Orsillo's objections outright.

Orsillo, according to the objection, loaned McMichael $75,000 to expand the existing restaurants listed above in February 2011. Orsillo later spent well over $100,000 on a project to create a new restaurant with McMichael next to Gatsby’s, which was to be called the Ruby Lounge. This restaurant never opened.

The objection claims that McMichael owes Orsillo a total of $182,273 plus attorney’s fees.

Orsillo said in his objection that McMichael provided spreadsheets and a PowerPoint presentation, which all showed that McMichael’s restaurants were financially healthy when they were not.

McMichael said the spreadsheets and PowerPoint Orsillo references were projections for how much the restaurants could make. McMichael said he made it clear to Orsillo that those forecasts were not actual numbers showing what the restaurants were currently making. 

"Again," said McMichael,"he is sort of making this up."

McMichael said he was expecting an immediate dismissal of Orsillo's claims. 




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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nostrafilmus: Hulk Smash?

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2012 at 8:40 PM

Today, the internet caught on fire a tiny bit with the release of the first picture of The Hulk from The Avengers, due to be released in May. It’s interesting because we’ve got Mark Ruffalo (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) replacing Edward Norton (Fight Club) as the eight-foot tall green harbinger of doom, yet the facial design for the completely computer- generated character evokes Lou Ferrigno’s late ‘’70’s, early ‘’80’s- Hulk more than anything. I’m not saying the new Hulk should completely toss the baby out with the bathwater in terms of character design, but in a time where motion- capture technology is at its peak and we can truly see the actor behind the animation, why couldn’t they meld some of Ruffalo’s hangdog features into the not-so-jolly green giant? Since The Avengers is still a few months out, the effects are probably still undergoing a few tweaks, but since Ruffalo will be the 4th actor giving his interpretation of the Hulk, I’m hoping they find a way to separate this one from Bill Bixby’s prickly version, Eric Bana’s dull take and Edward Norton’s cerebral interpretation. Maybe this one can just smash things like he’s supposed to.


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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Get cheap Mt. B pass, support CASA

Mt. Bachelor picks CASA for fourth annual April Charity Ski Week

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 11:00 PM

Central Oregon’s CASA chapter was recently picked by Mt. Bachelor for the mountain’s Fourth Annual Charity Ski Week fundraiser, and if you act now you can support CASA and ski for cheap.

CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate Association. This mostly volunteer crew of men and women from Central Oregon get to know abused or neglected children as their cases move through the area’s court systems. CASA advocates for the right of these children to live in a safe and loving home.

Here’s how you can support the organization and get a full-day pass for $25. Call 541-389-1618 to reserve your voucher. Then pick up the vouchers during the week of March 26th at the CASA office at 1130 NW Harriman St., Ste. 122.

Present the voucher and $25 at the mountain from April 2-6, or April 9-13 and have great day of skiing while supporting one of Central Oregon’s most active and important nonprofits.  

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WinterFest Highlights (with pics!)

Posted By on Wed, Feb 22, 2012 at 1:23 AM

Even if winter never showed, the rest of us had a great time at WinterFest. That goes especially for the Source staff—we got to spend most of the weekend in the Bent Lounge, 20 feet from the only bar at the festival serving hard drinks. (Sigh). It's a hard life. 

Here's some other highlights from the weekend. 

The plethora of food options was killer this year, with new carts like Real Food Street Bistro making WinterFest their debut. Here Country Catering employee Cody Serbus pulls a slow-roasted pig off a spit.

The snow sculptures were a little lackluster this year in the 40+ degree weather, but the ice sculptures, which were shaded from the sun under a tent, stuck around much longer. James Royal demonstrates expert little-bitty saw-wielding technique with his "Rocket Man."

RailJams on Friday and Saturday nights brought out the crowds. Here Jordan Welter wows the peeps in the snowboarding division of the event.

The music acts are definitely pretty sweet at WinterFest. Local Hero MOsley WOtta pumped out the love on the Main Stage on Saturday night. 

Later on Saturday night, The Coup, out of Oakland rocked the crowd with political hip-hip.

On Sunday, Snow Warriors took to an icy, muddy and obstacle-filled 5k race course with one goal in mind- victory at all costs, including dignity.

All in all, WinterFest was a reminder that our town knows how to throw a winter party, even if the weather decides to be all sunny and nice and whatever.

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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tonight's Music: Pickwick, Polyrhythmics

Check out a free and delightfully soulful show from Pickwick tonight.

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 at 7:22 PM

I'll cut to the chase here: I've been listening to essentially one band for the past two days and that band is called Pickwick. They are a bunch of nerdy-looking Seattle indie rockers who have, seemingly impossibly, decided to play soul music.

And the soul music they play is incredible. More incredible, perhaps, is the fact that they're playing a free show tonight at McMenamins Old St. Francis School.

Here's a video of the band playing "Hacienda Motel" in the studios at KEXP. If this song doesn't make you want to dance...I hate to break it to you, but you're probably a huge jerk. Sorry. But you are. Everybody thinks so. The show is at 7pm and it's freaking free!

You need to use a flashplayer enabled browser in order to view this video

If you still want to dance after this relatively early show, get your bad self to the Silver Moon where another Seattle band will be there to get you moving. Polyrhthmics, a horn-equipped Afrofunk band will be in the house with their world-spanning sound. That show is at 9pm.

Here they are in action.

You need to use a flashplayer enabled browser in order to view this video


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