The readers of BendSource.com are an entertaining bunch. Sometimes they leave us mean comments. Other times they spark threads of provocative commentary on stories new and strange. Here's a peek at the top web stories of the year.
The mystery of the Jerusalem Cricket (2009) Jim Anderson
Ah, the Jerusalem Cricket...the definition of a love/hate relationship. "Nina de la Tierra" is a Natural World article first published in August 2009, written by our much-loved naturalist Jim Anderson. Anderson first rolled into Bend in 1951 and is a vast source of knowledge on animals and creepy crawlers in Central Oregon. The article gives an explanation to confused readers about what the scary "child's faced" bug is that they found. The Jerusalem Cricket (spoiler: it's not really a cricket) is a giant fascination for many Internet goers, since the article is viewed upwards of 500 times a week! Apparently people like creepy bugs more than anything else...
Locally-based novel focuses lens on sex trafficking in Central Oregon (2016) Alyce Pearce
Fresh off of David Cobb being arrested locally for sex trafficking in April, "Sex, Lies & Snapchat" begins with an intro to author Chris Stolar's book, "The Black Lens," that focuses on sex slavery, exploitation and human trafficking with Central Oregon as a backdrop. Pearce interviews advocacy groups and experts to shed light on human trafficking as a local issue. This article resonated with readers as it drew attention to an unnerving and overlooked subject in our community.
Don't kill the rats, move 'em (2008) Jim Anderson
In this 2008 Natural World article Jim Anderson argues that the most humane way to get rid of pack rats—creatures that can cause a lot of damage to property—is to live-trap them and transport the furry rodents to someplace else. Anderson argues against using poison to kill rodents, as he warns that fleas that live on the rats (that could be carrying the bubonic plague) will search for a new host once the animal is dead and may move to the humans living in the area. This article gets quite a few hits each year as we assume people search, "How to get rid of pack rats?" However, it is clear from the comments that many readers disagree with Anderson's suggestions.
Many fear homelessness awaits them (2016) Sherron Lumley
This article was written this past May after 44 residents of the Fireside Lodge Condominiums on Newport Avenue in Bend were notified from new owners that they would have to vacate the premises. "Dear Tenant" shed light on the affordable housing crisis Bend is facing and gave a human face to this issue.
The who's who of food opens a venue near downtown (2016) Angela Moore
The Brown Owl began as a food truck, and after a hiatus reopened as a brick-and-mortar in Bend's Box Factory complex. The Source article was published as owner Lisandro Ramon opened his new location. This informational article surged in popularity as people rejoiced that they could now eat the beloved buttermilk fried chicken sandwich again, and had a new family-friendly pub to visit.