May 31, 2017

Redmond library programs for June/July

From the Redmond Library, 


Preschool Parade Story Time: Stories, songs, rhymes, crafts to develop early literacy skills. Age 3-5.
Wednesdays, June 14, 21, 28 and July 5, 12, 19, 26 • 10:15 a.m.

Mother Goose and More: Participatory music with books, rhymes and bounces. Age 0-3.
Thursdays, June 15, 22, 29 and July 6, 13, 20, 27 • 10:15 a.m.

Sensory Story Times: Activities, songs and stories for all children but especially designed for children with sensory integration challenges.
Thursdays, July 6, 13, 20, 27, 11:30 am

Rockie Tales: Meet Rockie, our favorite puppet friend, and hear stories, sing songs, and do fun activities!
Monday, June 5, 10:15

Around the World: Down Under in Australia (age 6-11): Calling all globetrotters! Get your passport stamped and take a trip down under to the land of the didgeridoo and kangaroos too! Explore Aboriginal art through drawing, painting and activities.
Monday, June 26, 10:30

Around the World: African Safari (age 6-11): Safari means adventure, and yours includes stories, an animal mask craft, a movie about an elephant orphanage, and a very silly game called “On Safari.”
Monday, July 3, 10:30

Around the World: Egypt (age 6-11): What would it be like to ride a camel around the Great Sphinx and Pyramids of Giza? Zap back in time to Ancient Egypt and create your own cartouche, Lego Sphinx and sugar cube pyramids.
 Monday, July 10, 10:30

Around the World: Turkey (age 6-11): Hop on board a magic carpet while we discover the stories, delicious food and games of one of the ten oldest countries in the world.
Monday, July 17, 10:30

Around the World: Costa Rica (age 6-11): Got sloth? Venture into the Costa Rica rainforest and discover some astonishing animals and flowers as well as traditional activities.
Monday, July 24, 10:30

Tai chi (age 6-11): Learn the basic kicking, jumping, and stretching movements of this form of martial arts, all designed to build a better body. Taught by instructors from Oregon Tai Chi.
Thursday, July 27, @ 1:00


Yoga Stories (family): Deven Sisler, the “best yoga clown in town” returns by popular demand to teach yoga to the whole family.
Tuesday, June 20 @ 10:30 a.m.

Lunch and Library: Crafts or games on the library lawn, in conjunction with the school district’s free lunch programs.
Fridays, noon

Build It Blast: Come build a bunny basket or butterfly house. We will be using hammers, nails, paint and more to assemble easy kits. All children must be accompanied by an adult. All ages.
Friday, June 30, 12-1

Legos Block Party: Read! Build! Play! Join other builders and a gazillion LEGOs®. All ages.
Saturday, June 10, 10-11:30
Saturday, July 8, 10-12

Design Your Neighborhood: Imagine your neighborhood full of everything you like! (Bi-lingual Program)
Wednesday, July 12, 1:00

Brightside Animal Adoption: Meet animals available for adoption. Also accepting donations of pet food and cat litter.
Wednesday, July 19, 1-4

Discover Nature Day: Habitat Heroes: Presented by the Children's Forest of Central Oregon Learn about what makes healthy habitat for wildlife and how you can help.
Friday, July 21, 12 noon

Build a Better World With Trucks!: Knife River construction trucks on display for you to climb, learn and explore. Check with the library for exact times. Saturday, July 22

Red Yarn in the Deep Woods: Redmond American Legion Park Red Yarn (aka Andy Furgeson) is a family performer who weaves folksongs and puppetry into high-energy, engaging shows for all ages. A foot-stomping, body-moving, rip-roaring good time!
Monday, July 31, 11:30

Build a Better World with Dance: Learn about the Andean world through music and dance performed by Chayag.
Redmond, August 15, 7 pm


Cardboard Boat Races: Build a boat out of cardboard and race it at Cascade Swim Center. Children 6-11 welcome with parents. 465 SW Rimrock Drive, Redmond
Saturday, July 22, 8-11, build, 11-12, race

Crafts to Build a Better World (ages 9+): EcoCrafts Seed bombs, planting cups, and more.
Wednesday, June 28, 3-4

World Crafts: DIY musical instruments, DIY stamps and African cloth prints. (12-17 yrs)
Wednesday, July 5, 3-4

Animal Crafts: Create toys for cats and dogs at Brightside Animal Shelter. (12-17 years)
Wednesday, July 19, 2-3

Communicate to Build a Better World: Who are your elected officials and how do you contact them? 
Tuesday, July 11, 10:30

How-To Fest – All ages: From beekeeping to leathercraft and creating a website to nurturing a vegetable garden, you can learn a range of new skills in one day and at one place on June 17 when the Redmond Library hosts its first ever How-to Fest. Teen, adult, and family friendly sessions. Check out Facebook, or the library’s online calendar for a full list and schedule.
June 17, 10-4

Family Access Network receives grant

From High Desert Education Service District

The Clabough Foundation to support FAN advocate services in Redmond

The Family Access Network (FAN) is the recipient of a $10,000 grant from The Clabough Foundation to support critical FAN advocate services in Redmond, Oregon. At least forty-eight percent of families within the city of Redmond earn less than the basic cost of living for families in Deschutes County including unemployed, underemployed, and low wage earners. Sixty percent of Redmond school children receive free or reduced meals, and 468 homeless children were identified within the Redmond School District in the 2015/16 school year. These are the children served by FAN.

“We are incredibly appreciative of the continued support from The Clabough Foundation. These grant funds will provide vital FAN services to at least 100 children who are living in poverty or experiencing homelessness in Redmond. We couldn’t serve the number of needy children that we serve every year without the help of continued partnerships like The Clabough Foundation,” Julie Lyche, FAN Executive Director.

The goals of The Clabough Foundation are 1) to promote and improve the conservancy and stewardship of the natural resources in the High Country of North Carolina and the Deschutes River Watershed of Central Oregon by aiding public and private organizations involved in such activities and 2) to promote and foster the regional arts and cultural offerings of the High Country area of North Carolina and the Deschutes River Watershed area of Central Oregon. The Foundation emphasizes recreational and educational activities in achieving these goals.

FAN began in January 1993 and currently employs 25 advocates in 51 public schools (K-12) and early childhood sites in Deschutes and Crook Counties. FAN improves lives by ensuring that children in Central Oregon have access to basic-need services. FAN is unique to Central Oregon, utilizing advocates directly in schools to efficiently reach and connect disadvantaged children and families with basic needs, such as food, shelter, clothing, and health care.

May 30, 2017

SafeOregon information

From Oregon State Police, 

Oregon State Police school safety tip line information

The Oregon State Police launched SafeOregon, a school safety tip line program available to all public K-12 schools in Oregon, on January 31, 2017. SafeOregon is a way for students, staff or other members of the public to confidentially report and share confidential information of a risk or a potential risk to student safety. SafeOregon requires schools to complete a sign-up process in order for students to use it. Since SafeOregon was launched, 260 schools have enrolled and are using the tip line. That reaches approximately 110,000 Oregon students. SafeOregon gives students a way to reach out for help.

SafeOregon -- the school safety tip line -- became Law through HB 4075 (2016), as a result of recommendations from the Oregon Task Force on School Safety charged with improving safety and security at schools across the state. The task force was established by House Bill 4087, bringing together representatives from police, fire, school administration, teachers, school boards and service districts, along with the Governor's education and public safety policy advisors, legislators, the Oregon Department of Education and the Association of Oregon Community Mental Health Programs. The task force is chaired by Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts and Dr. David Novotney, Willamette Education Service District.
SafeOregon is designed to encourage Oregon students to share and respond to anything that threatens their safety or the safety of others, anything that makes a student feel unsafe or if a student knows someone who feels unsafe.

From a Principal of one School using SafeOregon today:

"In the two weeks [...] since our launch of SafeOregon we received 20 reports, 18 have been legitimate including bullying [...], suicidal feelings, sexual harassment, and drug use. Action taken has ranged from consultation with law enforcement, suspensions, or counseling the student or group of students.

In one particular instance, a student reported a girl posting suicidal thoughts on social media. SafeOregon called school administration, and the police were involved. The girl was taken to the hospital for evaluation, potentially saving her life. Another student reported her friend was being bullied. [...] The victim came up to me later, gave me a hug and thanked me for protecting and supporting him.

Tips from Students:

"They are fighting and I don't know what to do because they are both my friend and I don't want them to hate me because I don't wanna choose sides and I don't want them to get mad because I'm trying to fix things but idk."
Result: Their teacher talked to the students that were fighting and the tipsters identity was kept confidential. The tipster was acknowledged by the teacher later, without exposing his identity, for doing the right thing by reporting.

"She was talking to me in the hallway and I notice that she has cuts on her wrist and I have seen it before, she says she's depressed and she says she sad all the time"
Result: Student assessed by the school counselor. The student was not someone that was on the school's radar as having these struggles, so they were grateful for the tip.

For more information please visit The resource page has more information for students, parents and for schools to sign-up. Students and parents are encouraged to talk to their school administration about making SafeOregon available in their school.

It is a violation of ORS165.570 to improperly use the SafeOregon system.

May 29, 2017

Oregon Veteran Affairs advisory committee to meet in Redmond

From Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs,


The next meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon June 7 at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4108, 1836 S.W. Veterans Way in Redmond. The public is invited to attend and participate.

The committee is made up of veterans appointed by the governor to provide counsel on veteran issues and represent veteran concerns across Oregon. Its nine members serve in a vital advisory role to the director and staff of the Oregon Department of Veterans' Affairs.

The advisory committee's meetings are held throughout the state on the first Wednesday in March, June, September and December. Registration is encouraged, but not required. If you plan on attending, please RSVP online at

More information can be found online at or to contact the Advisory Committee, please email

May 28, 2017

Hiker rescued in Crooked River Canyon

From Crooked River Ranch Fire & Rescue:

Type of incident: Rescue

Address of incident: Hollywood Trail, Crooked River Ranch, Oregon

Incident date: 5/28/2017Alarm Time: 12:05 PM

Circumstances found on arrival, actions taken: Rescuers responded to a reported 17 year old female hiker in distress in the Crooked River Canyon. Crews arrived at the trail head and hiked approximately three quarters of a mile down into the canyon to the patient. They assessed and treated the patient for weakness. Crews then assisted the patient out of the canyon and transported the patient to St. Charles Medical Center Redmond for further evaluation.

Crooked River Ranch Fire & Rescue would like to remind everyone to take at least two liters of water with them when hiking. When hiking on hotter days you may need to take more water to stay adequately hydrated.

Responding Apparatus:  0 - Engines, 0 – Tenders, 1 - Medics, 1 - Rescues, 1 – Support

Responding Personnel:  3 – Career, 3 – Volunteers

Mutual aid assistance by: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office

Oregon unemployment rate reaches record low

From Oregon Employment Dept.
Submitted graphic

Oregon's Unemployment Rate Reaches Record Low 3.7 Percent in April

Oregon's unemployment rate edged down to 3.7 percent in April from 3.8 percent in March, reaching a new record low since comparable records began in 1976. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.4 percent in April. Oregon's rate was significantly below its year-ago rate of 5.0 percent in April 2016.

In April, nonfarm payroll employment rose by 6,600 following a revised gain of 1,300 in March. Gains were widespread among the industries, with eight of the 14 major industries each adding close to 1,000 jobs. Meanwhile only three industries cut jobs, and those losses were modest: government (-700 jobs), wholesale trade (-500), and information (-300).

Over the past 12 months, Oregon's total nonfarm payroll employment rose 39,100, or 2.1 percent, which was a deceleration from the growth rate near or above 3 percent throughout much of the past four years. Despite the deceleration, Oregon is still growing faster than the U.S. growth rate of 1.6 percent.

Since April 2016, Oregon's construction sector grew the fastest of the major industries, adding 6,400 jobs, or 7.2 percent. Within construction, specialty trade contractors and construction of buildings grew quickly. Transportation, warehousing and utilities (+3,600 jobs, or 6.0%) also expanded rapidly, due to growth in transportation and warehousing. Professional and business services (+8,700 jobs, or 3.7%) was the third-fastest growing major industry category. It was led by strong job gains in employment services. Health care and social assistance (+6,800 jobs, or 3.0%) rounded out the list of fastest growing industries, as each of its four component industries added jobs at a rapid clip.

Next Press Releases
The Oregon Employment Department plans to release the April county and metropolitan area unemployment rates on Tuesday, May 23rd, and the next statewide unemployment rate and employment survey data for May on Tuesday, June 13th.

All numbers in the above narrative are seasonally adjusted.

The Oregon Employment Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) work cooperatively to develop and publish monthly Oregon payroll employment and labor force data. The estimates of monthly job gains and losses are based on a survey of businesses. The estimates of unemployment are based on a survey of households and other sources.

The Oregon Employment Department publishes payroll employment estimates that are revised quarterly by using employment counts from employer unemployment insurance tax records. All department publications use this Official Oregon Series data unless noted otherwise. This month's release incorporates the October, November and December 2016 tax records data. In addition, data for July through September 2016 were revised upward by a total of 600 to 1,300 jobs per month. The department continues to make the original nonfarm payroll employment series available; these data are produced by the BLS.

The pdf version of the news release, including tables and graphs, can be found at To obtain the data in other formats such as in Excel, visit, then within the top banner, select Economic Data, then choose LAUS or CES. To request the press release as a Word document, contact the person shown at the top of this press release.

For help finding jobs and training resources, visit one of the state's WorkSource Oregon Centers or go to:

Equal Opportunity program -- auxiliary aids and services available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Contact: (503) 947-1794. For the Deaf and Hard of Hearing population, call 711 Telecommunications Relay Services.

May 27, 2017

Eclipse campsite auction results

From Oregon State Parks Foundation,


The Oregon State Parks Foundation today announced that its online silent auction of 30 Campsites at the Crooked River Campground in the Cove Palisades State Park in Central Oregon raised $60,000 in support of Oregon's State Parks.

Bids for the four night campground spaces averaged $500 a night. The auction attracted attention and bidders from across the country, although the winners were all from the West Coast with the exception of one winner from New York.

Seth Miller, Executive Director, said "Many people are not aware that the Oregon's State Parks are not funded by state taxes. Instead, visitor fees are the primary source of income, and a fixed portion of the Oregon Lottery revenues covers about 40% of the cost of operating the parks. Unfortunately, these sources of funds are not keeping up with the growing costs, so the Foundation was formed to help enhance the experience of using the parks."

Funds raised by this event support the Oregon State Parks Foundation, and enables it to support programs to encourage healthy activities and outdoor education, and increase access to the parks by under-served communities.

You can help too, become member of the Foundation for only $45 a year...and you will get a FREE one year parking pass as a thank you!

Learn more at

About the FoundationThe Oregon State Parks Foundation was formed in 1995. It is the only statewide non-profit partner of the Oregon Parks & Recreation Department. Our mission is to enhance and preserve the experience of using Oregon's 255 State and for future generations.Since 1995, the Foundation has supported many vital projects such as restoring Vista House at Crown Point, helping to renovate five Oregon Lighthouses, preserving the Kam Wah Chung & Co Museum, and putting the first yurts in State Parks anywhere in the country. The Foundation is just completing a capital campaign to build a residential outdoor school facility at the Cottonwood Canyon State Park.
We strive to connect all Oregonians with their State Parks, to enrich the visitor experience through interpretation and education, and to promote an active and healthy lifestyle.

May 26, 2017

Tips from FBI to stay safe from fraud scams

From FBI - Oregon,


In recent months, the FBI has been getting more and more reports of hiring fraud scams hitting Oregonians. Here's how they work:

The scammer says he is hiring for a well-known company, and he is looking to hire people who want to work-at-home. The scammer asks for the person's resume, which is used to collect Personally Identifying Information - or PII. PII includes addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and the like. Once the scammer has the PII, he uses that information to launch as many different schemes as he can before the victim realizes what is going on.

In one version of this scam, he offers the victim a check to buy job-related equipment. When there is money left over -- and there is always a lot of money left over -- the scammer asks to get the remaining funds returned. Once the victim's bank determines the original check was a fraud, the victim gets stuck with the bill for all of it. In a slight variation -- the scammer convinces the job applicant to pre-pay for needed equipment, but the applicant never gets reimbursed as promised.

One final twist -- the scammer sometimes gets the applicant to set up a bank account to receive funds for work-related expenses or to conduct business transactions for the company. In this case, the scammer is using the account to launder illicit funds. Again, the victim is held responsible by the bank.

How do you protect yourself?
* Confirm that the company that you are dealing with really is hiring. Call the company using a publicly-available number -- such as one off its website -- to confirm that the offer is legitimate.
* Watch for use of poor English, grammar and spelling.
* Be wary of an exceptionally-fast hiring process, and
* Never open a bank account for use by strangers.

How do businesses protect themselves?
* Make sure your website and social media accounts specify how your hiring process works, and
* Be very clear about the fact that you would not hire people in the ways described above

For more information about cyber safety for home and work, check out Victims should report any cyber scams to the FBI through its Internet Fraud Complaint Center at

Oregon National Guard unit to deploy

From Oregon Military Department,
Oregon Army National Guard Spc. Nicholas Newson, of the 1186th Military Police Company, receives a hug from his father, Mark, following his mobilization ceremony, May 25, in Salem, Oregon. Newson is among 30 Citizen-Soldiers scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan where will provide Personal Security Detail (PSD), protecting individuals or groups of individuals. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

SALEM, Oregon -- The Oregon Army National Guard's 1186th Military Police Company was honored in a mobilization ceremony, May 25, in Salem, Oregon.

Approximately 30 Soldiers are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan in support of Operation Freedom's Sentinel (OFS). The Soldiers will provide Personal Security Detail (PSD), which protects individuals or groups of individuals. The unit is scheduled to complete pre-deployment training at Fort Bliss, Texas, before deploying overseas.

In attendance at the ceremony was Oregon Governor Kate Brown; State Treasurer Tobias Read; Maj. Gen. Michael Stencel, Adjutant General, Oregon; Brig. Gen. William Edwards, Land Component Commander; among other state representatives, community and military leaders.

The 1186th MP Company is based in Salem, Oregon. The unit often partners with local law enforcement agencies for training. The unit partnered with district and federal agencies to provide security, crowd management and traffic control during the 58th Presidential Inauguration, January 18-22, in Washington, D.C.

In August 2015, the unit spent 12 days conducting live-fire exercises and simulated battle scenarios at the National Training Center (NTC), in the Mojave Desert at Fort Irwin, Calif. The unit has previously deployed overseas twice; to Afghanistan in 2011 and to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 2004. They also provided domestic operations support in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

These Citizen-Soldiers are from the following cities in Oregon; Portland, Salem, Keizer, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, West Linn, Gresham, Monmouth, Eugene, Springfield, Veneta, Central Point, Oakland, Roseburg, Redmond, Milton-Freewater, Ontario, and Nyssa. A few Soldiers are from Washington cities; Vancouver, Aberdeen, and Everett.

Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers with the 1186th Military Police Company stand in formation during a mobilization ceremony honoring their upcoming overseas deployment, May 25, in Salem, Oregon. Approximately 30 Soldiers in the unit are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan where will provide Personal Security Detail (PSD), protecting individuals or groups of individuals. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Oregon Governor Kate Brown greets Oregon Army National Guard Soldiers of the 1186th Military Police Company to wish them well on their overseas deployment during a mobilization ceremony, May 25, in Salem, Oregon. Approximately 30 Soldiers in the unit are scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan where will provide Personal Security Detail (PSD), protecting individuals or groups of individuals. (Photo by Sgt. 1st Class April Davis, Oregon Military Department Public Affairs)

Tour options for local farms

 From High Desert Food and Farm Alliance,

Submitted photo
Farm to Flask Tour

High Desert EATs presents five (5) themed farm tours in Jefferson County on five Saturdays from 9am – 1pm. You are invited to smell fresh lavender, taste hydroponically grown cucumbers, or learn how barley is turned into beer! Each tour has 3 farm or agriculture business visits where tour members learn from the farmers directly.

The next farm tour, Farm to Flask, is this Saturday May 27. Come tour Jefferson County’s first full circle distillery. Don’t miss this unique opportunity for you see first-hand what it takes to produce delicious craft spirits. 

The tour takes you first to the William’s family farm, where you will learn about custom growing rye for use in making distilled beverages. Rich Affeldt, from Central Oregon Seeds, Inc. (COSI) will join you to share growing and sowing seeds in Jefferson County including germination, pollination, and sustainable soil and water use on farm. From there, the tour goes to New Basin Distilling, a local producer of craft gin, vodka, and whiskey made with the rye from William’s farm. During this tour, you will get to see New Basin Distilling’s towering, custom made, copper still and sample a delightful flight of tastings: gin, vodka and whiskey and famous Madras Mule cocktails.

The tour lasts 3-4 hours and costs $10/person, which includes free shuttle van service. Shuttle van service departs from Sahalee Park in Madras (park in the lot on 6th Street between B + C Streets). Register for tours online: Also like us on Facebook: High Desert EATS.

The tours are a project of an all-volunteer committee, local farms and agri-businesses: OSU-Extension, Madras Saturday Market and the High Desert Food & Farm Alliance (HDFFA). Thank you to our sponsors: OSU Extension, Jefferson County Seed Growers Association, Symons Beef Company, HDFFA and through an Oregon Department of Agriculture Specialty Crop Block Grant.

HDFFA is a 501(c)3 non-profit serving Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties. The mission is to support a community-based food system in Central Oregon to increase access to fresh healthy food, support sustainable farm land use and foster relationships among farmers and consumers.

Submitted photo

Rotaries build greenhouse for Veterans

From Redmond Rotary Club, 
Central Oregon rotaries construct Greenhouse for Central Oregon Veteran's Ranch
As a part of their local community service efforts, the nine central Oregon Rotary clubs have joined together to assist the Central Oregon Veteran’s Ranch in Redmond. Volunteers from all nine clubs along with a number of local veteran volunteers have been hard at work over the past few months making the necessary preparations for building a greenhouse at the ranch.
After many delays related to weather earlier this spring, and the inevitable rock shelf where the greenhouse was to be constructed, the actual construction is now underway. The 16’ X 40’ greenhouse structure itself is scheduled to be erected on Monday, May 22nd and Tuesday, May 23rd.
The greenhouse construction was proposed as a local service project from the central Oregon Rotary clubs. With funds from the local clubs and the leadership of Marv Kaplan from the Redmond Rotary Club, the group was able to secure a matching grant from Rotary for the $12,000 project. As the project has evolved and the word spread, the size and scope of the project grew. The total project is now valued at $60,000 (and growing) due to generous in-kind contributions from local construction companies, landscape companies, and building supply stores.
The greenhouse is being purchased with substantial discount from NW Green Panels a Madras Company. It will be constructed on a concrete slab so that it is wheelchair accessible and will include raised growing areas with ADA access as well as beds for in-ground planting. Local businesses have donated everything from soil and amendments, seeds, fertilizers, irrigation systems, to discounted lighting, electrical and plumbing supplies as well as installation.

“This is truly a community effort”, said Marv Kaplan a Redmond Rotarian and the project manager, “It is heartwarming to see the support of our veterans.”

Central Oregon Veterans Ranch was established as a nonprofit organization in September of 2014. The organization was started by a group of veterans, veteran family members, and healthcare workers in conjunction with founder Alison Perry, Licensed Professional Counselor and trauma therapist. Perry realized that what was often missing for her veteran clients, especially those on 70% to 100% disability, was community – connection to other veterans struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress or post-military readjustment challenges. Perry envisioned a place where veterans could come together in community; learning, working, and healing together. A sanctuary where the generative aspects of the natural world might help heal the often destructive impact of combat trauma. A place where veterans could restore their sense of purpose and renew their spirit.

The Central Oregon Veteran’s Ranch is on a 19 acre property between Bend and Redmond.

Official asks people to stay away from irrigation canals

From Deschutes Basin Board of Control President Mike Britton:

As temperatures heat up across Central Oregon, Central Oregonians and its many visitors will be naturally drawn to the many waterways our region provides. This is also the time of year when our region’s network of irrigation canals can look like an enticing opportunity to cool off from the summer heat.

What’s the best way to stay safe around our region’s vast network of irrigation canals? Simply stay away and keep out. Never swim or play in a canal. While an irrigation canal may appear harmless, they can be extremely dangerous, even for adults and strong swimmers. What’s more, entering the water for any reason is illegal.

Just last week a hiker near Smith Rock decided to cool off by “dipping his feet” in a nearby irrigation canal. According to police reports, he slipped and was swept through a nearby tunnel before managing to claw his way out. He was very lucky to walk away with only minor cuts and bruises. The hiker’s statement clearly shows how things can go unintentionally wrong in a hurry "I didn't know it was illegal," he said. "I figured it was frowned upon. But we just thought we were dipping our feet in. We didn't want to try to go for a swim or anything." Redmond Fire and Rescue explains, “People shouldn't be in the canal. It's a very dangerous place to be”.

Deceptively fast currents, hazardous obstructions and steep concrete-lined or slippery earthen canal banks combine to make irrigation canals unsuitable for water play of any kind.

While everyone should exercise extreme caution near irrigation canals, children are at especially high risk.

According to the Center for Disease Control, drowning is the leading cause of accidental death nationwide for children 4 and younger, and the second-leading cause of accidental death for youth 14 and younger.

Communicate the dangers of any waterway to children. Close supervision of children near canals is an absolute must. Turning your back even for a moment can be disastrous. Case in point: It took only a minute for a Bend toddler in 2004 to wander away from his mother and slip into a swift-moving canal – ultimately ending in tragedy.
And so you’re not faced with putting yourself in danger to rescue a pet, irrigation canals are no place to exercise or recreate with your dog. Like humans, dogs should not be in canals for any reason. Please protect your four-legged family members by keeping them out of the canals. A case in point, in 1997, a 28-year-old man drowned in a canal trying to save his dog.
Several features of irrigation canals combine to make them extremely hazardous.
  • The water in the narrow channels move deceptively fast with no obstructions in the waterway to slow it down or to provide visual cues to how fast it’s moving.
  • Deep water in canals may have undertows or turbulence that could pull even the strongest of swimmers under water.
  • Concrete or earthen sides of ditches have steep, vertical banks making them extremely difficult to grasp or climb.
  • Irrigation canals contain life-threatening hazards, such as metal grates, culverts, tunnels and spillways.

For the past 18 years irrigation districts has been providing a canal safety program for local schools to educate children on the dangers of canals. Last month irrigation districts kicked off their annual campaign to educate elementary-age youth in classrooms across the region about canal safety. The districts want to share this important message to our children and encourage parents to also discuss with their children the dangers of not just canals but any waterway.
In 2016, our free educational program reached nearly 1,500 second-graders at 15 schools. For more information on how to bring our water safety curriculum to your local classroom, contact Jenny Hartzell-Hill at 541-548-6047.

Mike Britton

May 25, 2017

Local memorial poppy distribution on Memorial Day weekend

From Veterans of Foreign Wars, 
Veterans of Foreign Wars Buddy Poppy Distribution

Buddy Poppies are replicas of the red poppies from the poem, “In Flanders Fields” written by Colonel John McCrae of the Canadian forces before the United States entered WWI. 

The Veterans of Foreign Wars have been conducting organized distributions of the Poppies since 1923. The poppies are assembled by hospitalized veterans in White City, OR who are paid a nominal amount, then purchased by VFW Posts and their Auxiliaries, and finally distributed as gifts on Memorial Day weekend. 

The red poppy symbolizes the blood shed by veterans of every war or conflict. The donations received for poppies go to the VFW’s and Auxiliaries’ Relief Funds and aid local veterans and their families in need and certain youth programs in our community. The ongoing deployment of troops continues to create a significant demand for relief funds. 

This year’s distribution in Redmond will be at Fred Meyers, Wal-Mart, and Safeway on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from approximately 9 a.m. to approximately 6 p.m. all three days 5/26, 5/27, and 5/28. The Redmond High Marine Corps JROTC will be assisting the VFW. Questions please call Dennis and Dianne Guthrie 541-280- 5162.

May 24, 2017

Oregon Parks awards $2.3 million in grants

From Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept.,
Submitted graphic


Oregon Heritage, a division of Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, awarded 27 matching grants worth $2,355,700 to Oregon Main Street Network organizations across the state for building projects that encourage economic revitalization. Projects range from facade improvement to elevator access and seismic upgrades and awards range from $17,500-$100,000.

The department funded projects that best conveyed the ability to stimulate private investment and local economic development, and best fit within the community's long range plan for downtown vitality.

Funded projects include:
* Klamath Falls Downtown Association will receive $100,000 to install elevators in two downtown buildings. The project will address the goal of downtown housing and make available 20 units.
* Astoria Downtown Historic District Association will receive $100,000 for a downtown housing project that comprises 40 units and retail space. Housing is a proven need in this community and people living in downtowns support other downtown businesses.
* A $100,000 project in Burns will restore a historic hotel left vacant for decades.
* A $100,000project in Independence will rehabilitate an underused building to be a local brewery.
* Several communities were selected for work to repair or restore their historic theaters: The OK Theatre in Enterprise $100,000, the Rivoli Theater in Pendleton $100,000, the Bungalow Theater in Woodburn $100,000, and the Hill Theatre, now a retail store, in Hillsboro $100,000.

Other communities awarded grants include Baker City, Bandon, Beaverton, Carlton, Corvallis, Florence, John Day, La Grande, McMinnville, Newberg, Oregon City, Port Orford, Portland, Reedsport, St. Helens, Stayton, The Dalles, and Weston.

The grant program was created during the 2015 legislative session, and placed with the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office. The legislation established a permanent fund for the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant, and provided an initial infusion of funds from the sale of lottery bonds. The funds must be used to award grants to participating Oregon Main Street Network organizations to acquire, rehabilitate or construct buildings to facilitate community revitalization. The program also requires that at least 50 percent of the funds go to rural communities as defined in the bill.

To learn more about the Oregon Main Street Revitalization Grant or the Oregon Main Street Network, visit or contact Kuri Gill at or 503-986-0685.

Lyft, Uber start Redmond service Thursday

From the city of Redmond:

Redmond, OR – The City of Redmond recently approved an Airport Operating Agreement with two Transportation Network Companies (TNC’s) Lyft and Uber, also known as “Rideshare” Companies. They will be allowed to conduct business at the Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) beginning Thursday, May 25, 2017. Both companies will operate their digital network-based services alongside the taxicab, town car, and shuttle services currently available to RDM passengers. A complete list of passenger ground transportation options is located online at

Zachary Bass, Redmond Airport Director said in a statement, “We’re thrilled that these rideshare opportunities are now available for travelers to and from RDM and would like to thank the City and the airport team for its collaborative efforts to bring safe, reliable and affordable transportation options to the airport.” Mr. Bass also stated that having agreements in place with “Rideshare” Companies provides more ground transportation options for customers. “One of the airport’s core values is customer service, and one of the ways to fulfill that is to provide a wide array of options,” he said.    

Uber and Lyft will pick up passengers in a designated area on the west side of the terminal near the vendor parking lot. “Rideshare” drivers must wait off airport property and are prohibited from loitering at the airport until they have arranged a customer pick-up.  “Rideshare” vehicles, like taxis, are subject to inspections and required to display a form of exterior identification on the vehicle.

For more information visit and click on the “Ground Transportation” tab. You can also visit the Uber website at or the Lyft website at

Check out the May 24 Spokesman!

Experts discuss a robotic future, a Ridgeview golfer wins a historic title and a new vet is coming to town. It's all in this week's Spokesman, available today at locations including Logan's Market, Black Bear Diner and Safeway.

May 23, 2017

Local student selected to perform with state symphony

From Redmond Proficiency Academy, 

Redmond Proficiency Academy student to perform with “MetroArts” Young Artists, Sophomore John Fawcett to play violin in showcase

The Redmond Proficiency Academy announced that one of its students has been selected to perform at the 23rd Young Artists Debut. The Van Buren Competition & Concerto Concert will be held at Portland State University on Tuesday, May 9th in Lincoln Hall in Portland, Oregon.

RPA Sophomore John Fawcett is one of the nine artists ages 12-19 who were selected from 34 semi-finalists at auditions held on January 7th at PSU. Winners will perform with Niel DePonte, Executive Artistic Director for MetroArts Inc. and an orchestra drawn from the ranks of the Oregon Symphony and Oregon Ballet Theatre's orchestras. The concert, which consists of piano, violin, and vocal solos, will be broadcast on All Classical Portland 89.9 FM and streamed worldwide.

“I feel very privileged to be picked as one of the performers for this concert,” said Fawcett.

The young artists, who will perform their concerto at the May 9th concert, participated in four months of individualized coaching sessions with DePonte. During these sessions, according to MetroArts, winners not only discussed the interpretation of their concertos, but also how to solo with an orchestra, ways to approach repertoire, and what it takes to be a professional musician.

"These are incredibly talented young people. My goal is to challenge them to move towards even higher levels of performance and interpretive depth over three months," said DePonte. "Working with these kids is the most rewarding work I do every year."

About MetroArts Inc.
MetroArts Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to promoting life-long learning through the arts. Our mission is to teach creative and critical thinking processes through innovative arts education programs and curricula.
MetroArts mission consists of three fundamental objectives to support the ideal:
–To inspire every participant in the programs to contribute to the culture of their times by doing their life's work in a creative, artistic, joyful and disciplined manner.
–To educate about the arts of all cultures, provide insight into the process of creative thought and experiences with creativity itself. To promote access to the arts through participation, creation, and reflection for all.
–To create partnerships that enable arts education to thrive in the public schools.
For the past 23 years, we have established ourselves as a premiere arts & cultural organization carrying out our mission via several avenues including Kids Camp, the Young Artists Debut! Van Buren Competition & Concerto Concert, Summer Ensembles, and Creating Minds curricula.

May 22, 2017

Redmond students win Teen Tank competition

 From Redmond School District, 
Submitted photo
Redmond School District students participate in local entrepreneur competition

Middle school and high school students from across Redmond School District recently participated in a competition sponsored by the Redmond Education Foundation called Teen Tank.

Billed as an event featuring student innovation and ideas, the competition consisted of teams from Obsidian Middle School, Tumalo Community School, Redmond High School and Ridgeview High School.

Inspired by the hit television show, Shark Tank, where entrepreneurs have the opportunity to pitch their company or product ideas to a panel of successful industry judges, Teen Tank competitors similarly pitched their social, business and community-focused projects to a panel of local judges.

Teams were given five minutes to pitch and six to respond to any questions from the panel of judges. Winners were selected based on a scoring rubric.

Obsidian Middle School (OMS) produced this year's winning team, garnering them a check for $2,500 to be directed toward their proposed project, "Growing Hope," a community garden to be located off of 15th street near Obsidian Middle School.

Members of the community will have the opportunity rent out spaces in the available six rental beds to grow their own produce.

Teen Tank judges included Anna Higgins with High Desert Education Service District, Anne Graham with Redmond City Council, Mike Hesse with Redmond Rotary and Angela Boothroyd-Straughan of Windermere Real Estate.

The 2017 OMS winning team consists of: Skyler Abbas, Austin Alwinger, Kellyn Anderson, Kylie Angerhofer, Brittney Bartlett, Riley Briggs, Elise Brown, Logan Dietz, Diana Dominguez, Jamie Drake, Liam Dyck, America Felix, Christa Gilliam, Dylan Gosheff, Josi Mack, Colin McElroy, Shei McLaughlin, Marques Montanez, Kiani Nakamura, Joshua Papen, Cailyn Scott, Cameron Strube, Sarah Tebbs, Gisel Ureno, Chloe Waring and Hannah Worley-Rachal.

Funds for the competition were generously donated by community partners Bluefish Dental and Orthodontics, Hayden Homes, McConnell Labs and Rotary Club of Redmond.

For more information about the community garden, please contact Obsidian Middle School at 541-923-4900.
Submitted photo