June 24, 2008

Redmond-area event calendar

Music on the Green

The Redmond Chamber of Commerce Music on the Green concert series kicks off June 25, 6-7:30 p.m., with country classics and fiddle music by Brian Hanson in Sam Johnson Park. Joab Storm will play classic rock from the 60s, 70s and 80s on July 9. Concerts are free. Food vendors on site. Information: 541-923-5191.

Free summer lunches

The Redmond School District, in conjunction with the Summer Food Service Program, will free lunch this summer to all children 18 and younger. Summer lunches will be served Monday through Friday, June 16 through July 31 (except July 4) at the following locations:
Evergreen Elementary, 11:45 a.m. to noon
Sam Johnson Park, 11:45 a.m. to noon
Terrebonne Community School, 11:30-11:45 a.m.
No registration is required and children are encouraged to come any or all days. Information: 541-923-5437.

Downtown art walk

Walk the Art Beat in downtown Redmond is scheduled for Friday, June 27, 5-8 p.m. More than 25 merchant locations with original art with artists present multiple venues offering food, wine and live music. Future Walk the Art Beat events will be held Sept. 12 and Nov. 28. Artist receptions during the event include: Artist Kimry Jelen, 5-8 p.m., at the High Desert Gallery, 453 S.W. Sixth St. Live music and refreshments. Artist Tim Walthinsen, 5:30-8 p.m., at Alexander’s Urban Clothing Exchange, 730 S.W. 11th St. Features Walthinsen’s Phooie Fashion Show at 7 p.m.

Independence Day

Redmond will celebrate Independence Day with its annual 4th of July Parade starting at 10 a.m. on the corner of Sixth and Dogwood Avenue. Later in the evening, a fireworks display will begin around 9 p.m. at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds and Expo Center. Information: (541) 923-5191.

UFO parade and festival

The Second Annual Redmond Project Blue Book UFO Parade is set for June 28, 10 a.m., in downtown Redmond. The parade kicks off Redmond’s History Day Celebration. Information: Tracy, 541-408-6554.

Movie at library

Redmond Public Library is offering a free Big Bug Movie Matinee just for teens Thursday, June 26, 3-4:30 p.m. Pizza and snacks. Information: 541-312-1063.

Kids summer camp

Connecting Hearts Animal Adoption & Rescue (Humane Society of Redmond) will sponsor a summer Kids Critter Camp in August at the shelter, 1355 N.E. Hemlock Ave. Kids will learn about animals through daily activities, games and crafts. Cost is $42 per child. Proceeds benefit the shelter. Camp dates are: Aug. 4-8, ages 6 to 9; and Aug. 11-15 ages 10-12. Information: Elise Rothamel, 541-923-0882.

Teen night at the library

Teens ages 12-17 are invited to strut their stuff during Open Mic Night at the Redmond Public Library Aug. 29. They can sing, dance, recite poetry, do a magic act, or show off their other talents. Online registration deadline is July 31. To register, visit www.dpls.us, click on “Redmond Public Library” then “More Calendar Events.” Information: 541-312-1063.

Pass for High Desert Museum

The new Desert Explorers Pass, good for free admission to the High Desert Museum, is now available at all Deschutes Public Library branches. The pass is valid for two adults (13 and older) and two children (12 and under). Children 4 and under are always free. The pass is available to library cardholders age 17 and older. The pass is valid for one week and is good for one visit. Information: 541-617-7097.

Independence Celebration at the Ranch

The Crooked River Ranch Independence Celebration kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 5, with a parade followed by buffalo burgers, craft and plant sale, clog dancing, face painting, kids’ jump tent, in MacPherson Park. Sponsored by the Crooked River Ranch-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce. Information: 541-923-2679.

Show off your talent

Singers, musicians, dancers, bands, magicians, jugglers and acts of all kinds are invited to enter the 2008 Deschutes County Fair Talent Show July 30. To be considered, performers should send a CD, DVD, videotape and/or photos along with name address and phone number to: Deschutes County Fair, Talent Show Audition, 3800 Airport Way, Redmond, OR 97756. Audition materials must be received by noon, July 11. Performances must be suitable for all ages. Information: 541-548-2711.

Hike the Oregon Trail

The Deschutes County Historical Museum is offering a free guided hike of the Historic Huntington Wagon Road, Central Oregon’s piece of the Oregon Trail, Saturday, June 28. The hike starts at 9:30 a.m. at the trailhead east of Highway 97 between Bend and Redmond. Information and directions: John Frye, 541-389-1813.

Summer reading program

The summer library reading program for kids birth through fifth grade starts June 14 and runs through Aug. 16 at all Deschutes Public Libraries. Free activities, prize drawings, entertainers, story times and more. Children earn a free book for every three hours of reading. Reading time earns “BugBucks” for toys and games at the Redmond Library’s Flea Market. Busy Bees weekly story times for ages five and under and Buzz Patrol, a weekly program of creative activities for ages six to 11 Tuesdays at 2 p.m. Information: 541-312-1054.

Writers group hosts speaker

Dwight Newton is the guest speaker for Central Oregon Writers Guild meeting Thursday, June 26, at the Redmond Public Library. Newton will present, “The Fifty Years of a Full Time Free Lance,” which include tales of his writing experience from 1937 to 1987. Meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. Information: 541-388-0836 or e-mail wordcrafter1@msn.com.

Silver bowl returns to Redmond

It was a cool spring morning June 11, but Juniper Golf Club was bustling with energy. Cars were arriving by the droves and the Men's Club was on logistical duty, taking care of golf bags.
The Silver Bowl tournament between the women of Juniper and Bend Golf and Country Club was delayed by an hour because of frost, but golfers warmed up at breakfast and on the putting green for the traditional golf tournament that has a history stretching more than 50 years.
"We all like golf," said Judi Bell-Putas of the Bend club, who was on the putting green. "It's just the competition and you get to play each other's course. It's serious, but fun."
"I drive over here because it's beautiful," said Jan Carver, a member of Juniper from Sisters who was also getting in some pre-tournament putting practice. "Bend won it last year so we're really wanting to win it this year. We want to get it back."
Last year Dorothy Stenkamp tallied a net score of 66 on her home course at Bend to win it for her club.
It was a day as sunny with good cheer as it was on the golf course, although it must be reported that not all of the 62 golfers who teed off in the tournament were happy with where their golf balls fell.
This year Juniper reversed its fortunes when Deanna Cooper won on a tie-breaker to bring the bowl back to Redmond.
"I think we all look forward to the Silver Bowl," said Cooper, who is president of the Juniper Ladies. "The Silver Bowl is just a nice little competition with Bend."
Cooper, who had a net score of 69, noted that the women enjoy working as a group to win the tournament.
"It's just a really happy feeling for our club to put the Silver Bowl back in our trophy case."
No one knows how long the tournament has run, but it goes back at least to 1957 when the Spokesman reported that 34 women teed off at Juniper and Shirley Kip of Redmond carded an 86 to win the gross and Lil Gifford hit a low net of 69.

-- story by Gary Newman

June 10, 2008

June 11, 2008 wrap-up

  • While no layoffs have occurred, the city of Redmond is using some pretty creative moves to keep talent in the community development department. Funded by fees, the CDD has been feeling the pinch of building slowdowns in the region. City officials have opted to leave open positions vacant and have even gone so far as to have planners and administrators take over some of the janitorial duties in their own work space. Some CDD staff are being used in other city departments short-term, in the hopes that they can return when building picks up.
  • Construction has begun on what is being called the Canyon Arts Pavilion, a covered stage in the new American Legion Park in southwest Redmond. Redmond's Rotary Club is spearheading the efforts, with donations by other area groups and individuals. Target date for completion is fall of this year.

Students at Obsidian Middle School enjoy a end-of-year
field day June 5, enjoying the games despite the iffy weather.
(photo by Scott Hammers/copyright Redmond Spokesman)

Sometimes, yes men are all you get

The election is over and now that the majority of voters approved a construction bond for Redmond schools the talk has turned away from “Will it pass?” to “How will this money be spent?”

To begin the process the district is already looking to populate a citizen-input committee, a “cross-section of staff and community members to help determine the best possible educational program design for our students.”

The idea is this committee will work with district staff and architects during the design phase to provide insight and opinions about the best way match wise building plans with taxpayer dollars.

Since the district is listing knowledge of “educational research and best practices, past experience of facility design, and basic understanding of the Redmond Educational Vision and Five-Year Strategic Plan” as qualities it is seeking, it will likely end up with a lot of educators, former educators, parents of school-age children and other residents who’ve shown strong support for the schools.

Some would say that filling an advisory committee with a gaggle of “yes men” is a poor example of gathering public input, yet honestly – what other choices are there?

Seeking out the opposite of yes men, naysayers, is an exercise in frustration. Instead of offering an inquisitive, balanced view to the process, more often naysayers concentrate on muddying the waters with endless questions offered to slow the process and change minds – not find a collective answer to well thought out questions.

In honest fact, most advisory committees are made up of yes men. Who else would want to serve? School site committees or PTOs are filled with parents and teachers with a vested interest in local schools, planning commission seats are taken by people with interests in real estate and development, urban renewal groups are typically folks with business interests in the area in question.

You only have to see all the unopposed races on a typical ballot to realize how hard it is to involve the ordinary citizen in the public process. Why would John Q. Public offer to give up hours in his average work week to serve on a committee that focuses on a topic he has very little interest in?

In a perfect, balanced world we could fill advisory groups with an even cross-section of our community, ensuring no special interest group has dominance. But in this very imperfect world we need to be pragmatic about a process where those with the most to gain, or lose, have the most voice.

Hello, Neighbor

“It’s really great to see what happens when you put heart and effort into something, what you can create"

Late last month, 18 large banners went up around Redmond and Terrebonne, black and white photos of ordinary people, each one emblazoned with a pithy quote. The posters are the work of local middle school students, part of an art project called Hello Neighbor

The students, their parents, and many of their photo subjects came together May 30 for a party at Evergreen Studios in downtown Redmond to mark the hanging of the posters.

Photographer Julie Keefe created the Hello Neighbor concept, drawing on her own experiences in Portland’s Boise-Eliot neighborhood. A historically black neighborhood, Boise-Eliot has become much whiter and more upscale since Keefe arrived 17 years ago. Talking to a neighborhood old-timer one day, Keefe was surprised to learn he appreciated most of the changes, save for one – no one seemed to stop and say hello on the street anymore.

The conversation evolved into Keefe’s idea of training students to use digital cameras, and sending them out into their communities to meet and interview the people around them. Over the last several months, students around Redmond have been doing just that. Some focused on their families and friends, while others sought out familiar faces they didn’t know much about, like grocery store clerks or gas station attendants.

Hello Neighbor is run by Caldera, an organization that works with kids in schools that don’t offer much in the way of arts education. Students who want to be part of the Caldera program are required to apply, and teachers and counselors from the different schools help Caldera’s staff sort through the applications and choose the most deserving students. Every week, artists from Caldera come to the students’ school to teach drumming, painting, photography, and more.

Kirsten Kilchenstein, education director for Caldera, said the program tries to seek out students who would benefit from additional adult support. Some are from lower income families, and some have challenging home lives, Kilchenstein said, but there’s no “typical” Caldera participant.

“What all of them have in common is they’re all great kids, first of all,” she said. “But many of them just haven’t had the opportunities many of their peers have had.”

The program is focused on middle school students, and takes on new kids every year. While the day-to-day work with artists ends when students move on to high school, many, Keefe said, stay actively involved through graduation and even beyond. Currently, the program is active at Terrebonne Community School, Elton Gregory and Obsidian middle schools, as well as Pilot Butte Middle School in Bend, Jefferson County Middle School in Madras, and five Portland-area middle schools.

Maddie Ellis, a sixth-grader from Elton Gregory Middle School, said going out to interview and photograph people was a little intimidating at first. In time, she got more comfortable in the process and began to take an interest in what her subjects had to say.

“It was fun. We got to find out where people were from and what their point of view is, what they think about their neighborhoods and how they want to change it.”

Mimi Winegar said involvement in Caldera has made a big difference in her daughter Alizebeth’s life. An eighth-grader at Elton Gregory, Alizebeth has all but taken over the family camera. Winegar said her daughter has shown a keen eye for photography, but more importantly, she’s come out of her shell at school.

“She’s always been a really good kid, but she was shy,” Winegar said. “Now, she’s out there, she’s a leader.”

This summer, several of the students from the Caldera program will be headed to a camp at Blue Lake. Every year, upwards of 200 kids from schools in Portland and Central Oregon spend anywhere from eight to 24 days exploring the outdoors and in workshops with professional artists.

Kilchenstein said the camp is just one way the program seeks to encourage students to broaden their horizons.

“All we ask of them, they don’t have to be artists, they just have to be willing to try new things,” she said.

The Hello Neighbor posters are scheduled to stay up around Redmond and Terrebonne through September 15. After that, they will be combined with similar posters from Bend and Portland-area students and sent on a tour of the state.

Terrebonne Community School sixth-grader Jazlyn Romero said its rewarding for students to see their best work displayed so prominently around the community.

“It’s really great to see what happens when you put heart and effort into something, what you can create,” she said.

--story and photo by Scott Hammers

June 3, 2008

June 4, 2008 wrap-up

photo by Gary G. Newman/copyright Redmond Spokesman
For a complete list of area plant nurseries and their specialties,
see this week's Spokesman.

  • Redmond's Highway 97 reroute should be open by mid-month, if the weather holds. Southbound lanes are scheduled for a June 12 launch, including the ramps and interchanges north of Maple Avenue. At that time drivers southbound who wish to access the old section of N. 97 will need to use the interchange; northbound drivers on the old 97 are already using ramps at the reroute interchange to continue north.
    The last phase of the reroute -- connecting Fifth and Sixth streets to Canal Boulevard -- is expected later this summer.
  • The new administrators of Redmond's Dial-a-Ride service, Central Oregon Intergovermental Council, have increased ridership 50 percent since taking over in January. COIC also increased the number of inter-city trips for Redmond riders and the frequency. The higher numbers mean tightening the schedule a bit however, causing some consternation in riders who were used to a more lax attitude about the 24-hour advance notice rule.
  • The rising costs of hay production, and lower supply locally, is causing headaches for growers and ranchers alike. Increased fuel costs, coupled with lucrative hay markets elsewhere, have caused more growers to ship out of the area or try another crop.

Cowboys fuel up for the love of rodeo

photo by Gary G. Newman/copyright Redmond Spokesman
Mark Barkley of Redmond scored a 68 on this bronc Sunday, June 1.

The Senior Pro Rodeo community came together last week in Redmond to celebrate its rough and tumble sport, one of about 90 stops on the Senior Pro Rodeo Circuit,
This year the community of cowboys was diminished by fuel prices. The event attracted less than half the number of entries it did last year.
Contestants, stock contractors and event organizers were left scratching their heads about what the future holds in an era of $5 fuel prices and $200 a ton hay.
"There's really nothing we can do about it," said rodeo president Doug White. "It's the President's move."
This year 76 cowboys and cowgirls entered the Redmond Senior Pro Rodeo, down from the more than 150 who entered last year, according to rodeo secretary Deanne Bain of the B Bar D Rodeo Company.
The rodeo normally has enough entries for overflow performances called slack, but not this year.
"I think in August we'll see a big difference," said stock contractor Buster Bain, who supplies stock to many Northwest Pro Rodeo Association events. "We signed a contract last fall before they drove the diesel prices up."
He noted grimly that he put $100 of diesel in his truck just to move stock around Sunday.
"There's not that much money in it. It's just a glorified hobby," Buster Bain added. "It's gonna be a nationwide crunch. The (rodeo) committees just can't add enough (money)."
He said he expected less of an impact on the Deschutes County Fair Rodeo this summer because of the number of cowboys who live within a 100-mile radius of Redmond.
Competitors, all of whom are over 40 years old, were making their own adjustments.
Bareback rider Rick Miller of Brogan, Oregon, camped in a horse trail at the rodeo to save money.
"A guy has to rodeo smart," he said. "You got to give up somethings to do what you love to do. Fuel prices aren't easy, but cowboying ain't either."
Doug Budd of Crawford, Neb., was making even more drastic sacrifices in his pursuit of a third senior pro world championship in the saddle bronc event.
"Instead of sleeping in a motel, I sleep in a tent and eat one meal a day instead of three," said Budd, who flew into Redmond for the rodeo. "You get used to it."
Budd said some days he skips meals altogether.
"A candy bar and an energy drink are enough," he said, adding that he does supplement his diet with vitamins. While the fall off in contestants was dramatic, there were still top competitors from all over the West.
Julius Begay of Shiprock, N.M., a three-time Indian Rodeo Association world champion, won the bull riding Saturday night in pursuit of a Senior Pro National Championship. He was also the 1995 PRCA rookie of the year.
"They've treated me real good," said Begay. "It's just a sport to me. It's what I like doing."
The program was also packed with cowboys and cowgirls from other far away destinations in Canada and the American West.
"The people who do it for recreation aren't here," said Budd, the saddle bronc rider. "It's the guys who are wolves who are here."
Still the fairgrounds had the feel of community during the rodeo with cowboys like Zeno Schuetze of Klamath Falls bumping fists with all his fellow bareback competitors and bull doggers like Joe Rosenberg of Pendleton hazing guys he was trying to beat in the arena.
"It's almost like a group of old World War II veterans getting together," said rodeo announcer Kedo Olson. "It's a real unique kind of thing. Now we're just glad to be alive and doing it."

-- Gary G. Newman

Along the wildwood trail - Jack Creek

photo by Leslie Pugmire Hole/copyright Redmond Spokesman
Tiger Lily, just one of many wildflowers to be seen along Jack Creek.

Spring comes late to the Cascades, later at least then it does in the high desert surrounding Redmond, making June prime wildflower viewing in many lower-elevation mountain sites.

A short one-hour drive from town is the brief but beautiful four-mile long Jack Creek, just one of the unique spots in an already unique Metolius basin.

Jack Creek is spring-fed and very cold,” says Mike Riehle, fishery biologist with the Deschutes National Forest, Sisters District. “Three things make it a really important stream for bull trout: the very cold water -- they really need that, especially early in the life cycle -- good gravel for spawning, and fallen trees that form intricate cover for hiding places.”

Fishing is not allowed along Jack Creek and recreation sites are in short supply but worth the stop. An 11-spot campground is maintained by the Hoodoo Recreation Services and has water and a vault toilet. Day trippers can drive to a trailhead further down the road from the campground, or park near the campground for a slightly longer walk.

Either way, the trail is flat and easy and follows the crystalline waters of Jack Creek the entire length. The trail ends at the headwaters of the creek, which like several other nearby, seems to spout out of the ground fully realized. “There are two really big springs at the headwaters that form channels and a large island in the middle,” Riehle says. “The headwaters are within the area of the 2003 B & B Complex Fire, which burned the surrounding area but Jack was largely spared of the worst mortality.”

A footbridge allows hikers to explore the island as well.

In fact, he adds, the fire added to a phenomena already taking place at Jack Creek: dead or dying trees fall into the cold water but take very long to decompose due to the temperature. In the ensuing years the trees provide shade and habitat to trout and nurse logs to a variety of plants and wildflowers, creating extensive ‘rafts’ of roots and plants, all with rushing water underneath.

June should be peak season for the wildflowers in the Jack Creek area. The National Forest Service reminds hikers to refrain from picking wildflowers because it impairs the ability to propagate from seed and diminishes the enjoyment for others.

-- Leslie Pugmire Hole

Directions: West on Highway 126, past Sisters 12 miles on Highway 20, right on FS road #12, left on FS road #1230.

Want to ID your flowers? The Redmond Library has multiple titles on Oregon wildflowers or online try http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/regions/pacificnorthwest/MetoliusRiver/index.shtml