Bend Goes Crazy
Was there a full moon we missed, or did someone slip some crazy pills into the water supply? Because for some reason, a bunch of people went nuts last weekend. First off, a pretty epic bar brawl took place when two women got in a fight at Boondocks Bar and Grill. KTVZ reports that Joanna Alicia Rivera-Ramirez struck Casey Adelle Strait in the head with a bottle. To avenge his girlfriend's injury, Strait's boyfriend hit another dude in the face with a glass. Then he punched a different woman in the face. After this, fights broke out inside and outside the bar and an unrelated person, Christopher Dubois, decided, for some reason, to jump into the driver's seat of an OSP patrol car. He was taken to jail, where he delivered one of the funniest mug shots we've seen in a while.
Not to be outdone, a group of three men were arrested for fighting on a downtown street corner on Saturday night after allegedly being tossed out of the Wall Street Bar. The men who all received "non-life threatening" injuries, but required medical care were reportedly arguing about one of the party's driving. Police said a knife may have been used during the fight.
Capping off the hell-in-a-handbasket weekend was, of course, the homicide that occurred in the Old Town neighborhood, just a block from the Source office where an argument turned deadly when one of the combatants was struck with a baseball bat. Police who spent most of Monday stomping through backyards around the neighborhood and even strolled through our office assured all that a person of interest was already in custody - that's new fancy cop talk for what used to be just a plain old "suspect." As of Monday, however, police were having no such luck with the murder weapon, which hasn't been found. At last check, police were scouring Mirror Pond for evidence, which is starting to feel like an annual event.
Seriously folks, this is Bend. We don't kill people. We get on blogs and flame them. For crissake, show some manners.
Getting Bipartisan With... Lars Larson?
Tickets are selling well for the return appearance of The Capitol Steps, the political satire song-and-skit troupe that's playing the Tower Theatre on October 26, but we noticed an interesting detail about the show, which is a fundraiser for the Tower. Appearing at the show is JV right wing radio host Lars Larson, who will be introducing the politicians and candidates in attendance. The Capitol Steps, which has been performing topical political satire since its formation by Republican congressional staffers in the early 1980s, tout themselves as making fun of both sides of the aisle, but there's nothing "both sides of the aisle" about Larson, whose philosophy is largely the same sort of shoot-from-the-hip (and sometimes literally - Larson is known to carry a sidearm) rhetoric that made Rush Limbaugh the king of the far right. How right wing is Lars Larson? Well, if you've never listened to his "government is baaaaaad" radio show, check out his website, which features an anti-Obama slideshow, lists Ted Nugent as one of his favorite "authors." Lars Larson at a fundraiser for an apolitical community foundation? Nothing weird about that.
Is Oregon really not the worst place in the world to start or own a business? Well, if you managed to stay off the aforementioned Lars Larsen's website and away from Chris Dudley's campaign, you might think so. First, Forbes ranks Oregon among the Top 10 states for business, specifically Oregon nabbed the number six ranking from the prestigious financial publication based on our labor supply (which ranked fourth nationally) and the state's growth potential (12th overall). As if to back up Forbes' assertion, computer chip behemoth Intel announced plans for a major league expansion of its Hillsboro operations. The company will be adding a new production facility in the Portland suburb and expanding two existing plants. All told, Intel will be adding roughly 800 to 1,000 new jobs in Oregon. How all this could be happening just a few months after a majority of Oregonians - but not Deschutes County residents, of course - voted to raise corporate minimum taxes as well as taxes on the wealthiest Oregonians, is a phenomenon that Republicans will be not explaining for years to come.
Logging Might Not
Be Good For Forests...
A University of Oregon study released this week confirms what logging opponents have been saying for decades: that the race to get timber to the mills is sacrificing the forest for the trees. Specifically, the study looked at the impact of logging practices on fire severity and erosion. The results were clear, if not surprising. Historic logging practices, which included aggressive road building and clear cutting have left some of Oregon's forests vulnerable to flooding, particularly after large fires. The study looked at Oregon's Siskiyou Mountains, which includes the area of the massive 2002 Biscuit Fire and found that the landscape was significantly more prone to erosion in the last half century than in the previous two millennia. Specifically, the scientists determined that erosion rates are now about four times higher than the historic average due in large part to logging practices that left the landscape with few natural defenses during heavy rains. Researchers said that their work could be interpreted to say that forest managers should do more to return forests to their pre-development state. However, they also pointed out that the findings aren't necessarily applicable to all of Oregon's forests because of the differences in climate, geology and vegetation.