Two Valley teens accused of Home Depot burglary don’t get far

A pair of teen-agers from the Portland area are accused of making an early-morning run to Bend’s Home Depot on Saturday to pick up a few things, at a “five-finger discount.” But they didn’t get very far, and ended up in jail for a while.

Police responded around 3:15 a.m. to an alarm at the north Bend home improvement store, and responding officers spotted what was termed a suspicious vehicle leaving the area.

Police caught up with the vehicle on Highway 20 near milepost 14. The officer that spotted the vehicle observed brand new gas barbecue grills – still in the box – partially concealed under a tarp on a snowmobile trailer being pulled by the vehicle.

The grills, as well as other items, totaling more than $5,000, were determined to be stolen from Home Depot, officers said. Investigators determined the pair, both 19 years old, forced entry into the enclosed garden area of the store and removed the items.

Travis Jack Martin of Wilsonville and Anthony Frederick Dinsmore of West Linn were lodged at the Deschutes County Jail, each charged with second-degree burglary and first-degree charges of theft and conspiracy to commit theft. Bail was set at $15,000, but they later were released on their own recognizance, pending a Jan. 12 court date – and with express instructions to have no contact with Home Depot, a jail officer said.

Lundquist’s grandson dies in Hwy. 26 crash; spilled load blocks road

PRINEVILLE – A 20-year-old Powell Butte man died Friday when his semi-truck full of lumber veered off Highway 26 east of Prineville and spilled its load across the road before crashing, Oregon State Police reported.

Seth L. Blankenship was killed when the truck went off the road 19 miles east of Prineville for unknown reasons, troopers said. The eastbound lane reopened after a short time, but it took until about 10 p.m. to clean lumber off the blocked westbound lane.

State Rep. Lynn Lundquist told The Bulletin Saturday that Blankenship was his grandson, whom he had raised from the age of 2. He said his grandson had recently received his commercial driver’s license and was hauling his first load of lumber, from John Day, at the time of the crash.

OSP officers out of Prineville are investigating the crash, while Crook County sheriff’s deputies and Oregon Department of Transportation crews assisted at the scene.

Beavers & Ducks, awesome at play – but in class, out of luck

Ducks and Beavers. Beavers and Ducks. As far as the eye can see, nothing but Ducks and Beavers, Beavers and Ducks.

Everybody in the state of Oregon, for all practical purposes, is either a Beaver or a Duck. (I say “for all practical purposes” because every once in a while you’ll encounter the odd Husky or Trojan, or maybe even a Wolverine wandered down from the frozen North, but they don’t really count in the Oregon scheme of things.)

This can be a little unsettling to a newcomer. I remember that just a few days after my arrival in Bend some 16 years ago, the publisher of The Bulletin, where I was working at the time, asked me who I thought would win the Civil War.

I had to ponder the question for a while. I knew that Bend was a bit off the beaten track, but I figured that even here they must’ve gotten the news from Appomattox by now.

Then again, maybe not. I decided a diplomatic approach was best.

“Uhh, I think the Confederacy has better coaching, but the Union has more depth on the bench,” I finally said.

He gave me a funny look and walked away. I think our relationship never fully recovered from that incident.

That was many years ago, of course, and I know all about the Ducks and the Beavers now. I understand that the Civil War is an event whose importance to Oregonians is rivaled only by elk season, and that an invitation for either team to participate in a post-season bowl game is greeted with the sort of hysterical jubilation one would expect to be evoked by the Second Coming, or at least with victory in a World War.

A number of years back, for instance, all of Oregon was in a state of childlike glee because the Ducks had been invited to play in some obscure post-season bowl – either the Ronco Nose-Hair Trimmer Bowl or the Dr. Scholl’s Bunion Pad Bowl, I believe it was – against the junior varsity of Yeshiva University or some comparable football powerhouse.

“Invited” isn’t really the right word, I guess, because the Ducks had to, in effect, pay to play – the University of Oregon had to buy a certain number of tickets, and I seem to recall there were other financial sweeteners as well.

A few curmudgeons grumbled that the university’s money might be better spent on other things – education, for example – but this harebrained idea was spurned by the overwhelming majority of Oregonians.

I mean, after all, this was a BOWL BID!

Things have changed a lot since then. In the world of big-time college football, the Ducks and Beavers are no longer a joke. Both are ranked in the Top 10 nationally, and both are playing in post-season bowl games – the Ducks (Rah! Rah!) defeated Texas (Booooo! Hisssss!) 35-30 in the Culligan (bottled water) Holiday Bowl on Friday night, and the Beavers (imagine that, our once-lowly Beavers!) are in the Tostitos (munchies) Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day against mighty NOTRE DAME itself!

This success has not come cheap, of course. The fiscal year 1999-2000 budget for intercollegiate athletics at OSU is $4.4 million – more than the university spends on eight of its 16 instructional operations, including the Colleges of Forestry, Health and Human Performance, Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences and Pharmacy, and several times as much as it budgets for its graduate school, among other things.

But the truly amazing thing about the Beavs’ spending on sports is how much it has increased — about 158 percent in the last five years. During the same period, spending for the sciences increased just 16 percent, business rose 11 percent, engineering went up 8 percent, and liberal arts rose a puny 5 percent.

I remember reading that the head football coaches of OSU and the U of O are paid more than $1 million a year. Each.

You could probably hire at least 20 pretty good professors for that sum. Or endow a nice fat scholarship fund so that smart kids who aren’t great at throwing a football or stuffing a basketball through a hoop might be able to go to college.

But I’m talking like a foreigner now. I’m losing the proper Oregon perspective: Frivolous frills such as “education” must never be allowed to distract a university from its primary missions – football and basketball.

So who cares that a national panel that rated colleges and universities recently gave Oregon’s university system mostly D’s? Who cares that our universities can’t recruit or keep faculty members, or that tuition costs are getting further and further out of reach of most students, or that increasing numbers of our smartest high school grads are going out of state to get a quality college education?

What the hell – we’re playing in BOWL GAMES!

GO DUCKS! GO BEAVERS!

Alpine Internet Development of Sisters offers free Net courses

January Class Offerings From Alpine Internet Development

Alpine Internet Development in Sisters will be offering five free
Internet-related courses during the month of January. Topics will include
productive use of search engines, making travel arrangements on line,
shopping on line safely, using e-mail more effectively, and using a digital
camera.

All classes are free of charge and will be held at the Alpine office at
703 N. Larch in Sisters from 6:30-9 pm. The seminars are geared for
beginners, but some Internet experience is suggested. Participants in the
e-mail course should already be using e-mail at home and/or work. Space is
limited, so early registration is suggested. Please e-mail
twinnie@alpdev.com for more information and registration.

1/16 – Fast and Effective E-mail for Home and Office
1/18 – Safe and Smart Internet Shopping with On-Line Travel Booking
1/23 – Fearless Navigation of the World Wide Web
1/25 – Fast and Effective E-mail for Home and Office
1/27 – Choosing and Using a Digital Camera (Note: class will be from
9am-Noon)

Bedroom candles blamed for fire that destroyed Bend home

Bend fire investigators are blaming candles left unattended in a bedroom for a Friday afternoon blaze that destroyed an older manufactured home in the Woodriver Village neighborhood. A teen-age girl who tried but failed to douse the flames was able to flee unharmed, but two dogs perished inside the home, officials said.

The fire destroyed the 1973 Fuqua double-wide manufactured home owned by Keith Scott and occupied for the past 10 years by renters John and Tammy Phillips and their two children, said Fire Inspector Susie Lovisco.

Scott, who lives a block away, is president of the Woodriver Village Homeowners’ Association. His mother, who lives next door to the rental home, was alerted by a knock on her window and called in the fire, which was still sending up smoke, with lingering flames visible inside, an hour after the alarm was called in at 1:02 p.m.

Lovisco said the building, with an estimated value of $36,000, was insured – but the contents, valued at $40,000, were not.

Lovisco said investigators found the “most probable cause of (the) fire to be candles in a bedroom left unattended by the occupant, which spread to nearby combustible materials, igniting the paneling and contents of the room, and spread throughout the entire structure.” Along with the two pet dogs (and several pet rats) that died in the blaze, four cats were unaccounted for, she said.

The Bulletin reported Saturday that the couple’s 14-year-old daughter was the only one home at the time of the blaze and that she said she might have caused the fire when she blew out some candles. According to Lovisco, she tried to extinguish the flames with a blanket and water, but was overcome by the flames and ran out of the home. She was examined for smoke inhalation, then released, Lovisco said. No occupants or firefighters were hurt.

The fire alarm sounded just two hours after Lovisco set fire to a dry Christmas tree in a parking lot behind the East Bend Fire Station, a media demonstration aimed at warning residents not to leave their trees up for too long after Christmas.

Pair of Valley men nabbed in Bend on drug-supply charges

Two Willamette Valley men were held Friday in the Deschutes County Jail on numerous drug charges following an undercover investigation of drug suppliers to the region by the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team.

Larry Eugene Horne, 38, of Portland, faces 10 counts of drug delivery, possession, manufacture and conspiracy and was being held on $100,000 bail, jail officials said. Jayson Phillip Selander, 29, was arrested on five counts of delivery, possession and conspiracy to deliver, with bail set at $30,000.

Earlier this month, CODE team investigators identified a source for drugs being brought into and sold in Central Oregon, said Bend police Lt. Kevin Sawyer, spokesman for the interagency team. Using undercover police officers, detectives arranged to buy some methamphetamine and on Thursday, CODE team members arranged to meet the suppliers and buy some drugs.

Shortly after 4 p.m., detectives arrested the two men when they appeared at a prearranged meeting spot to deliver the drugs, Sawyer said. A search of the men’s vehicle turned up five ounces of cocaine, an ounce of methamphetamine and three ounces of marijuana. As a result, the drug agents seized the vehicle and drugs, as well as $3,400 in cash, scales and drug records, Sawyer said.

The Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team is comprised of investigators from all Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson county law enforcement agencies, including the Oregon State Police, Oregon National Guard and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Big Jeld-Wen donation gives major lift to Tower Theatre renovation

The staged events known as “check passings” – in which a giant-sized check is handed off to some group or entity as cameras click – are something many “serious” newspaper editors and reporters avoid like the plague, for fear of besmirching their pages, chock full of “real news,” with spoon-fed PR handouts.

But when the prearranged non-news event symbolizes a big boost — $500,000 worth – toward the rebirth of the Tower Theatre, a shuttered, 60-year-old downtown Bend movie house and historical landmark, to become a 500-seat, multi-use performing arts center, the daily paper not only relents, but a couple of reporters drop by.

Actually, the real, cashable check from the Klamath Falls-based Jeld-Wen Foundation was received and deposited in the bank by the Tower Theatre Foundation a couple of weeks ago, and already is earning a hefty share of interest, said Deschutes County Commissioner Tom DeWolf, a member of the Oregon Arts Commission and co-chairman with Charlene Dempsey of the $3.2 million fund-raising and renovation campaign, called simply “ENCORE.”

DeWolf, the one-time “Men Without Ties” city councilor – on Thursday wearing a tie featuring William “All the World’s a Stage” Shakespeare – was joined at the brief ceremony by Eagle Crest Resort CEO Jerry Andres (whose firm is part of the Jeld-Wen corporate family); Dempsey; ENCORE Campaign Director William Reichardt; Rich Hetherington of Pozzi Windows Co. (another Jeld-Wen firm), Cascade Business News founder/publisher (and chairman of the theater general fund-raising campaign) Pamela Hulse Andrews; Bruce Hinchliffe, who has led corporation and foundation fund-raising, and architect John Kvapil.

The theater, vacant since the city of Bend bought it for $440,000 from Act III Theatres a few years ago, was to be featured in an upcoming episode of the ABC TV series “Dot Comedy,” as Crooked River Ranch ghost hunters Dave Oester and Sharon Gill (who run a popular Web site, http://www.ghostweb.com) checked out the supposedly haunted theater and found paranormal evidence of two ghosts. Alas, “Dot Comedy” suffered ghastly ratings and was shelved after just one week on the air. But DeWolf said the tale of the Tower Theatre ghost hunters did make the Los Angeles Times (and locally is in the January issue of Cascade Arts & Entertainment).

So far, the corporation/foundation fund-raising efforts have raised about $1.3 million of the $3.2 million renovation cost – including $350,000 from the Meyer Memorial Trust – putting the campaign “just about on schedule,” Hinchliffe said. The campaign leaders say the reborn theater will be available for not just movies, plays or concerts but lectures and speeches, even government meetings. An expanded glass-walled lobby will push closer to the street, where the old ticket booth stands.

Two years left for group to pay city for theater; Jeld-Wen gift likely a record

After the “silent” or “leadership” phase of the fund-raising effort is finished, if the public push due to start in the spring goes as hoped, the theater could be ready for its gala reopening in late 2002, officials said. That’s just in time to exercise the city’s 5-year purchase option offered to the Tower Theatre group, of which three years have elapsed. The key to the relatively short construction time frame is the sound condition of the structure itself.

One aspect of the fund-raising, along with pins, T-shirts and the like, will be “Tower Theatre Days” when artists who would use the facility will appear and perform downtown, DeWolf said.

Andres said the half-million dollar gift is probably the largest single donation made by the Jeld-Wen Foundation. Why? “Because it’s here in Central Oregon and we have a large employee base in Central Oregon,” the Eagle Crest chief said, adding that the foundation seeks to support projects that benefit the region and those employees.

Kvapil, who spent 10 years doing historical preservation projects, said a portable stage will help make the revived theater work for a variety of uses, from opera to important speakers. DeWolf said theater project leaders have been meeting with various user groups to make sure everything they need will be on hand and they aren’t forgetting anything.

Sisters sees Swearingen’s swan song as most – not all – loose ends are wrapped

SISTERS – Deschutes County Commissioner Linda Swearingen finished her many years in local politics on Wednesday, back where it all started on Aug. 5, 1985 – at Sisters City Hall.

“I’ve come full circle,” Swearingen said with a smile as she hugged and greeted Sisters City Administrator Barbara Warren before the start of a county commission (and later, joint city council) meeting that wrapped up a lot of loose ends – but fittingly, had one lingering Sisters land use controversy that could land in the lap of her successor, fellow Republican Mike Daly.

Swearingen, who has brushed aside talk of future political ambitions, cleaned out her desk and office later Wednesday as she prepared to take the full-time reins of a part-time passion in recent months: running a new support program she started for women leaving prison, called Bridges of Hope.

Even before she was sworn in as county commissioner four years ago, the former Sisters city councilor and mayor vowed not to run for re-election in 2000. Asked Wednesday if four years was enough, she said once more, “Oh, yeah!”

Sisters, the town that clings to its frontier Western style as it struggles with growth, is about to reach a milestone. Warren confirmed that the first customers should be hooked up to the city’s new sewer system around the first of the year. The small, dark-wood paneled City Council chambers have four oversized checks mounted on the walls, representing a combined federal loan/grant package of more than $9 million that helped make the sewer happen.

Swearingen, who has been the board of commissioners’ chairman for the past two years, joined her colleagues in approving a set of agreements between the county, the five-member county fair board and the nonprofit Deschutes County Fair Association. The county has agreed to pick up $440,000 in outstanding claims against the fair association, but commissioners vowed to work to make sure the public is repaid from future revenues at the sprawling $30 million county fairgrounds and expo center.

Luke calls fairgrounds vote one of his toughest, fires back at Gregory

Under an “assumption agreement,” the fair association transfers all of its assets to the county, in return for the county paying off its obligations. The fair association will have to apply for its sought-after role of running next summer’s county fair, as it has for decades. A consultant has been brought in to help the association craft a business plan that will pass muster with the fair board and county commissioners. The deadlines are tight: a draft budget and business plan are due by mid-January.

“I’ve had some tough votes in my time as a state legislator and county commissioner, but this is one of the toughest ones,” said Commissioner Dennis Luke, clearly peeved at how Fair Association President Elton Gregory has pinned much of the blame for the fairgrounds fiscal woes on the county – when, commissioners say, Gregory and colleagues refused repeated offers for help in the past.

“Elton Gregory has spread the truth so thin,” Luke said, vowing not to support fair association operation of the county fair “unless a very good accounting system” is in place.

Commissioner Tom DeWolf said he and his colleagues have been united in their handling of the mess. He also said the problem has not been with the many volunteers who “put their heart and soul” into the fair and that “a lot of them are embarrassed” by what’s taken place. “Our problem has always been with the management,” he said, insisting there’s still “no better entity to run the annual fair than the DCFA.” DeWolf also noted that Columbia River Bank had volunteered to waive late fees and interest charges on its $100,000 line of credit to the fair association. “That could have been a deal breaker on this thing,” he said.

The county had laid down deadlines to resolve the contracts before Swearingen leaves office. She said Wednesday, “I’m just glad this fairgrounds saga is over.” But Luke disagreed: “It’s not over. It’s just starting.” DeWolf said the amount of temporary public subsidy of the fair represents less than 1 percent of the county’s overall budget, but that the fairgrounds problem has taken up 50 percent of commissioners’ time of late.

The last matter on the agenda lasted the longest, as commissioners took divided public testimony on two proposed development agreements between the city, county and the Barclay Meadows development in one case, the Sisters School District the other. The agreements put limits on the type of uses in the proposed business park and a cap on the number of vehicle trips they can generate, but that didn’t satisfy those who said a 50-foot buffer between the business park and low-density residential developments to the north is not enough and that traffic and other woes will hurt their property values.

Neighbors oppose zone change, vow to seek Measure 7 relief if possible

Some neighboring residents, including Tom Weeks, Patricia Kearney and Denny Ebner, have vowed to seek compensation under Measure 7 for any reduction in their property value, should the initiative survive legal challenges. But Luke noted that some lawyers believe the complex measure only relates to the zoning rules on a piece of property, not the impacts from zoning decisions on neighboring property.

Barclay Meadows lawyer Tia Lewis said the “limited use combining zone” would relieve neighbors concerns. But Sisters resident William Boyer, representing the Alliance for Responsible Land Use in Deschutes County, claimed many troublesome potential uses remain, from soft drink bottling plans to dry cleaners or fish/meat processors. He also warned that the developments will significantly boost traffic on Locust Street, causing safety problems at the adjacent middle and elementary schools, and that promises to limit peak-hour trips on each parcel to about 200 vehicles are unenforceable.

Ebner, who lives on Camp Polk Road, urged everyone to look at an alternative of swapping for Forest Service lands west of town. DeWolf said that would just shift the problem, not get rid of it. Ebner even went so far as to claim a recent vote by Sisters residents to annex the two parcels of property had been found to be illegal. DeWolf asked Ebner to provide solid evidence before the written record closes in a week. If Luke and DeWolf don’t agree on a decision, Daly – who was in attendance Wednesday – might get to cast the deciding vote.

Swearingen urged the developers to get together privately with the neighbors and try working out some solutions for buffering that could save everyone years of legal battles.

It’s a familiar peacemaker role for Swearingen, who helped resolve a condemnation mess with Deschutes Junction land owner Tony Aceti shortly after taking office in 1997. Fittingly, Wednesday’s agenda included underpass and utility easements for Aceti, as phase 2 of the junction’s overpass project approaches – another full circle completed.

Deschutes County SAR coordinator Wayne Inman retires

December 26, 2000

DESCHUTES COUNTY SEARCH AND RESCUE COORDINATOR, SGT. WAYNE INMAN RETIRES

Sheriff Greg Brown today announced the retirement of Sgt. Wayne Inman, who commanded the Special Services Division for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office. In that capacity, Inman supervised the Forest and Marine Patrols and coordinated Search and Rescue (SAR). He will be leaving the Sheriff’s Office on January 2.

He joined the Sheriff’s Office in 1997, first as a volunteer in Search and Rescue and then was appointed Sergeant in September 1997.

Inman served with the Portland Police Bureau for 28 years and retired as the Assistant Police Chief in 1992. He then served two years as the Police chief for Billings, Montana.

“Wayne moved Search and Rescue to a new standard of excellence in his three year tenure,” said Sheriff Brown. “ SAR is recognized regionally for its high standards for admission, rigorous training regimen, cooperative relationships with other Central Oregon agencies and its success in search and rescue missions.”

Inman gave no specific reason for his retirement but said “It’s time to move on and try something else.” When asked if the election of Les Stiles as the Sheriff was a factor in his decision to retire, Inman had no comment.

Sheriff-elect Les Stiles has not identified a replacement for Inman.

Bend Garbage buys The Recycling Team’s Knott Landfill facility

SISTERS – The Recycling Team won Deschutes County commissioners’ approval Wednesday to sell its recycling and composting facility at Knott Landfill, for an undisclosed price, to Bend Garbage & Recycling, which promises to keep all services intact and build upon them.

Commissioners had to weigh in because they grant a license for the recycling operation at the county (http://www.deschutes.org) landfill. Under the deal, Bend Garbage’s new recycling arm, Deschutes Recycling, will inherit the seven-year “rolling contract” (meaning it could only be canceled with seven years’ notice) on the recycling facility, although the composting portion is being trimmed to a three-year notice.

Commissioner Tom DeWolf said the composting operation got the shorter term because the county’s new solid waste master plan includes a potential expansion of the Knott Landfill that could affect the area where recycling is done, and that if the state requires curbside recycling of yard debris, that also could have an effect on the system and require changes in a shorter timeframe.

Timm Schimke, county solid waste director, said Deschutes County has met the state’s mandate of diverting 25 percent of its “waste stream” from the dump through recycling efforts. He said that includes not only the weekly curbside recycling in the Bend area and monthly pickup elsewhere, but bottle and can recycling through the state’s “bottle bill” and efforts by such firms as Schnitzer Steel.

“We’re looking to get aggressive on increasing that recycling rate,” Schimke said, noting that the state – which has not met its statewide goal of 50 percent recycling – could add new requirements in coming years, such as curbside pickup of yard debris.

Bruce Bailey, president of Bend Garbage, told commissioners the firm looks to build on the success of The Recycling Team (http://www.recyclingteam.org) over the past 23 years. Mike Riley, The Recycling Team’s executive director, noted that the nonprofit group isn’t going away, by any means. “Our role will continue to be education and outreach in the community, improving the recycling rates,” he said, stressing that there would be no changes in the services provided when the deal takes place Jan. 2.

Recycling Team’s shifting goals led to sale of facility; price tag kept private

The Recycling Team announced earlier in the year its intention to find a buyer for the recycling facility, citing trends and changes in the solid waste system and a recent reassessment of how best to achieve its environmental goals. While Bend Garbage seems like a logical purchasing party, and the agency accepted its offer in mid-November, Riley said there were others who had expressed an interest in a possible purchase, both in Oregon and across the country.

“But none more qualified,” Bailey of Bend Garbage added, prompting an agreeable laugh among those departing Sisters City Hall after the vote.

Riley declined to reveal the purchase amount but said, “Bend Garbage made us a fair offer and we felt it was best to sell to a local, family-owned business, rather than a company from outside our region.”

“Bend Garbage has a solid business reputation, is well-respected in Oregon’s solid waste industry, and has demonstrated a commitment to recycling and the Central Oregon community,” Riley said. “We are confident they will provide the service needed to keep Deschutes County’s recycling rate growing.”

Bailey also noted that “integration of these services into one organization should make the solid waste system more efficient.”

TRT will continue its current education programs in the schools and at community events, as well as its WorkSmart technical assistance program for businesses. Eventually, the organization also plans to develop, with community input, new programs to promote not only recycling but waste prevention, reuse of materials, and energy and water conservation.

Moe Carrick, co-chairman of TRT’s board of directors, said, “We decided to expand our mission to include not just recycling but also resource conservation, a term that better describes the variety of activities necessary to achieve a sustainable society.”

The Recycling Team, with a formal business name of Conservation for Central Oregon Inc., was founded in 1977 as a monthly recycling drop-off program, run entirely by volunteers. In its first full year of operation, the entity recycled 83 tons of material. In 1999, TRT processed and sold to market almost 23,000 tons of 18 different materials.