February 20, 2017

Buzz around with local Beekeepers

From Central Oregon Beekeeping Association


Central Oregon Beekeeping Association hosts Annual
BEEKEEPING FOR BEGINNERS
February 25, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.

   This year the Central Oregon Beekeeping Association (COBKA) Bee School will be held at the Central Oregon Community College and will feature a Beekeeping 101 class as well as lectures from regional COBKA mentors on topics including but not limited to:
  •  Equipment (Hive types, Bee Suits, Tools, and more)
  •  Setting up a hive
  • Hive managemen
  • “Reading the frame
  •  Pest control options
   This event is structured to provide attendees with all the information needed to begin beekeeping in Central Oregon. The event booklet will include the information discussed during the event as well as handy local supplier contacts, advice on local plant varieties to encourage pollinators and much more. Registration is $35 for non-members (which includes a one year membership to COBKA) and $15 for members.

   With more and more concern about honey bee populations and pollinators, this class is perfect for anyone that wants to get into beekeeping as a hobby, as a serious enthusiast, or as an educated consumer who simply wants to learn more about where honey comes from. While serious beekeepers spend years learning their craft, the COBKA bee school is a great chance to learn a lot of information in a short period of time. This is also a good chance to network and meet others who are interested in honey bees.

About COBKA:
We are a diverse bunch of individuals who share a fascination for the honey bee and its workings. Our members range from full-time beekeepers and pollinators with hundreds of hives to hobbyists involved in backyard beekeeping. Some members do not even keep bees, but are fascinated by the six legs and four wings of Apis mellifera. The Mission of the Central Oregon Beekeeping Association (COBKA) is to promote effective, economic and successful regional beekeeping through education, collaboration, communication and research in the spirit of friendship.

Website: www.cobeekeeping.org Facebook: Facebook.com/cobeekeeping/

February 14, 2017

Check out our photos of new Redmond City Hall!

The Feb. 15 Spokesman features a story on Redmond's new City Hall, located in the former Evergreen Elementary School building. A ribbon cutting is planned for 10 a.m. Feb. 21. Here are more photos from our recent tour of the building:

 Mayor George Endicott stands at what will be the council dais.

 Council members left their name and hand prints on the new City Hall floor last year.

 The main hallway will feature photos from the building's history as a school.

 Jason Neff, Redmond's deputy director of central services, stands in a plaza in front of the new city hall building. He said the area looks like a college campus.

 The information technology room at new City Hall.

 A ribbon cutting for the $12 million city hall is planned for Feb. 21.

 The view from the dais of the council chamber.

 A skylight in the second floor City Hall hallway.

 Jason Neff, Redmond's deputy director of central services, said one surprise in renovating the former school came when the city learned that a rear addition the the building was only two bricks deep, compared to three elsewhere.

 The city logo that is at the center of a plaza in front of City Hall.
Two former Evergreen Elementary chalkboards were salvaged and will be used at new City Hall. The frame of a third will now go around a dry-erase board.

 Jason Neff, Redmond's deputy director of central services, shows an area where the exterior wall at City Hall was intentionally made to look worn.

 The new employee break room at City Hall.

 Jason Neff, Redmond's deputy director of central services, walks in the new community development area at City Hall.

 Jason Neff, Redmond's deputy director of central services, looks out a restored window to the plaza area in front of City Hall.  The city plans to redevelop the area across Ninth Street as a connection between City Hall and Centennial Park.

 Jason Neff, Redmond's deputy director of central services, shows off an upstairs City Hall meeting room. it is planned to be the site of open house meetings.

 City Manager Keith Witcosky's office features his favorite color, red.

 Workers apply finishing touches to the entrance to the city manager's suite at new City Hall.

 A worker paints in the city manager's suite at new City Hall.

 The entrance to new City Hall was intended to keep the building's character.

 Blinds in the council chamber can be raised and lowered with the push of a button if a video presentation is being made.

 Mayor George Endicott leads Jason Neff through an archway at new City Hall.

 The historic stairwells at new City Hall maintain old oak handrails, but also include new ADA-accessible rails.

 The new City Hall executive conference room means the public will no longer have to leave the chamber when the council goes to closed session.


The rear of the new Redmond City Hall.

February 13, 2017

Local nonprofit works with kids, receives funds

From Heart of Oregon Corps, 

$250,000 in Grants Awarded to Local Youth Serving Agencies Providing GED Wraparound Services
 
Young people in Central Oregon often need more than classes to succeed in earning a GED certificate. The added barriers many of them face – poverty, homelessness, and/or court involvement to name a few – require wraparound services to ensure they are successful in earning a GED and moving on to a job or postsecondary education. 

To address this need, the State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission awarded a total of $250,000 to two nonprofits in Central Oregon that provide GED wraparound services; the East Cascades Workforce Investment Board (ECWIB) received $150K for Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council’s youth program, and Heart of Oregon Corps was granted nearly $100K for their YouthBuild program. 

 Two of just 16 total to receive this funding in the state, these organizations will impact young people across the tri-county region of Central Oregon by minimizing barriers many GED candidates face in their journey to achieving the goal of earning a GED certificate and taking their next steps in their careers.

"This is a great example of the value proposition partnership can bring in securing the resources our community needs to cultivate a homegrown talent pipeline." –Heather Ficht, Executive Director, ECWIB.

Support through this grant will allow COIC and Heart of Oregon YouthBuild (HOCYB) to continue as successful GED programs in Oregon, focused on improving GED attainment rates through increased outreach and community partnerships, as well as individualized curriculum and intensive case management.

"COIC is expecting to see 157 GED completions this year, representing a 10% increase over last year. While some will go on to complete college level classes, many will enter employment for the first time." –Kevin Bradley, Youth Program Manager, COIC

Both organizations offer a job skills training component; equipping each young person with the soft skills that ultimately lead to longer-term success and employability.

"I’ve built houses, made friends, and done things out of my comfort zone. I had failed every math class in high school, but (program teacher) Kelly taught me math and I was able to graduate." - Scott Powell, recent HOCYB Graduate, who earned a GED certificate on top of his diploma

February 11, 2017

Housing market trends from the end of 2016

From Central Oregon Association of Realtors

Decreases in Sold Volume, and Rising Home Prices in 2016


The Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® released end statistics for single family homes for of the year 2016. Areas with the smallest percentage of total sold also saw the biggest increases in pricing. Below is a brief snapshot of the of the market in 2016 compared to 2015:

Bend
· The median home price for residential homes under one acre rose 9% while the total number of homes sold rose 3%.
· The median price for residential homes over one acre rose 12%, but the total number of homes sold dropped 3%.
· The median price of land and lot rose 13%, but the total number sold dropped 3%.
· The median price of townhomes and condos rose 3% and the total number of sales rose 10%.


Crook County
· The median home price for residential homes rose under one acre 16% and the total number of homes sold rose 9%.
· The median home price for residential homes rose over one acre 11% and the total number of homes sold fell 1%
· The median price of land and lots fell 26% but the total number sold rose 27%.


Jefferson County
· The median home price for residential homes under one acre rose 14% and the total number of homes sold decreased 17%.
· The median home price for residential homes over one acre rose 2% and the total number of homes sold increased 29%.


LaPine
· The median home price for residential homes under one acre rose 6% and the total number of homes sold rose 11%.
· The median home price for residential homes over one acre rose 11% and the total number of homes sold rose 3%.


Redmond/Terrebonne
· The median home price for residential homes under one acre rose 12% and the total number of homes sold rose 7%.
· The median price of townhomes and condos rose 2% and the total number of sales rose 38%.


Sisters
· The median home price for residential homes under one acre rose 11% and the total number of homes sold rose 13%.
· The median home price for residential homes over one acre rose 13% and the total number of homes decreased 14%.


Sunriver
· For residential under one acre the days on market decreased 55% and the median sales price rose 4%
· Townhome and condo days on market decreased by 58%, the median price rose 9% and the total number of solds increased 32%.
· The median price of timeshares and shared interest rose 21%

More information is available at www.coar.com.

The Central Oregon Association of REALTORS® (COAR) is your voice in real estate industry in Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson and Harney Counties. COAR serves REALTORS® by maintaining ethical standards, providing continuing education, promoting the value of REALTORS®, and advocating on behalf of the real estate industry. COAR serves the public by working to build better communities by supporting quality growth and seeking sustainable economies and housing opportunities that embrace the environmental qualities we cherish, while protecting a property owner's ability to own, use, buy, and sell property.