Deschutes County Jail inmate tries hanging self with towel

A 27-year-old Deschutes County Jail inmate tried unsuccessfully to hang himself with a towel Friday afternoon, officials said.

Shortly after 3:30 p.m., jail deputies responded to a radio call regarding the incident. Deputies found Mark Wayne Houlden sitting on his bed, with one end of a towel tied around his neck and the other end tied to the upper bed. Jail officers said Houlden was fully conscious when deputies removed the towel. He was evaluated by the medical/mental health staff and placed in a holding cell for further observation.

Houlden, a transient, had been booked into the jail on March 24, accused of two counts of fourth-degree assault witnessed by a child and domestic menacing.

Family flees Highway 97 house fire blamed on kids playing with candles

A mother and two children managed to escape their burning north Bend home unharmed Friday afternoon, a blaze investigators said was caused by kids playing with candles.

David and Marla Jeffers’ uninsured possessions were destroyed by the heat and smoke, authorities said.

Fire units dispatched to the home at 64070 N. Highway 97 shortly before 4:30 p.m. found flames shooting from the basement windows and heavy smoke showing throughout the two-story home.

Marla Jeffers and two of her three children were home when the fire began but got out without injuries, said Battalion Chief Bob Madden. Thirteen firefighters used two inches and two water tenders to extinguish the fire, which investigators determined was started by children playing with candles in the basement.

The blaze caused heavy damage to the basement, and some of the flames reached the first floor. The rest of the house suffered heavy heat and smoke damage, destroying the contents, Madden said. The home was insured by the owner, Joanne Jeffers, but the tenants had no insurance for their possessions, officials said. Damage was estimated at $20,000 to the home and $10,000 to the contents.

Lines on map: Bend redistricting debate turns to ‘doughnuts,’ ‘bagels’

At times, it sounded like the order line at a bakery or ice cream parlor Friday afternoon in the Bend City Council chambers: The Democrats all wanted a doughnut (or perhaps a bagel), with Bend as the “hole.” But Republicans would prefer a split (no banana, but mighty a-peeling) – although the lone Pacific Green Party representative called that a schizophrenic setup.

The room wasn’t as full as it is for recent city council meetings, but the topic was as meaty as they come: More than a half-dozen Oregon state senators and representatives, in person or by conference call, holding the second of 13 field hearings around the state on their task of redrawing legislative district boundaries. Sounds like dry stuff, but those in the know realize the maps they must draw by June 30 (or turn the task over to the secretary of state, something they are loath to do) will decide much about the balance of power in Salem for the next 10 years.

There’s some basic math involved in what lawmakers must do each decade: Take the latest state population count (for the 2000 Census, about 3.42 million) and divide it by 60 (for Oregon House districts) and 30 (for state Senate seats). That results in a “target” figure that is the optimum size for each House district – 57,023 residents – and Senate district – 114,047 (double the House number, as each Senate district is comprised of two House districts).

Simple, right? Of course not – not when there’s people, politics, parties and passion involved.

State law gives the criteria legislators must consider when drawing the boundaries for legislative and congressional districts.

“Each district, as nearly as practicable, shall: a) Be contiguous; b) Be of equal population; c) Utilize existing geographic or political boundaries; d) Not divide communities of common interest; and e) Be connected by transportation links.”

District lines aren’t to be drawn `favoring any political party’

“No district,” the rules go on to say, “shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring any political party, incumbent legislator or other person.” The also can’t be designed “for the purpose of diluting the voting strength of any language or ethnic minority groups.”

And the skies are not cloudy all day. Now, back to reality.

Senate committee Chairman Steve Harper, R-Klamath Falls, noted that the House panel, chaired by Rep. Carl Wilson, R-Grants Pass, takes the lead in drawing up legislative district boundaries, while the Senate tackles the chore – minimal, this year – of drawing congressional district boundaries. (Oregon won’t gain a sixth congressional seat, despite its 20 percent growth over the `90s, so except in the Portland area, the congressional line-drawing won’t garner as much attention.)

When Harper noted that none of the legislators on the committees were involved in the last redistricting task a decade ago, state Sen. (and former Rep.) Bev Clarno, R-Bend – not a panel member but on hand for the hearing – noted that she indeed was involved the last time. In fact, before the 1990 Census, Districts 54 and 55 split Bend along Highway 97. The last remapping put all of Bend in District 54, now represented by Republican Tim Knopp, and the surrounding area in fellow Republican Ben Westlund’s District 55.

While District 55 includes much of Deschutes and all of Jefferson and Wasco counties at present, 54 is a narrow pinnacle that extends south into Klamath County. District 54 is almost 16,000 voters larger than the target figure and 55 is about 10,000 residents too big for the equalization britches. But put `em together, and Clarno’s Senate District 27 must shed about 26,000 residents to hit the target – and that’s not easy.

So the testimony centered around two basic options: one to take Bend and its 53,000 residents (and maybe areas to the south like Sunriver) and carve a doughnut city district out of the more rural county. The other option would split the two House districts, with each getting part of Bend – dividing it likely east-west, as it was in the `80s, or perhaps north-south, at Highway 20 or somesuch.

Republicans oppose a Bend-dominated district; Democrats say it makes sense

Since Bend now has close to an even Democratic/Republican voter split – unlike the heavily Republican rural areas – it’s no surprise that Democrats like the idea of a Bend-only House member, to help boost their party’s clout in the region and in Salem. And it’s no wonder that Republicans aren’t in the mood to stomach a doughnut and would rather divide Bend than face a risk of being conquered.

Fifteen-year Sunriver resident Dave Ghormley said he and county Commissioner Dennis Luke “both like doughnuts. We don’t like doughnuts in politics.” He said the south county is “highly oriented toward what goes on in the city of Bend” and they have mutual interests. Calling himself a veteran of California’s “gerrymandering” that gave him a liberal representative, Tom Hayden, Ghormley urged legislators to maintain the current grouping as much as possible.

“If you try to isolate the city of Bend, you’ll end up with two strongly diverse viewpoints,” he said. While it “may be more convenient for the people in the city of Bend,” he was one of several to say all of Central Oregon should be represented by each of its lawmakers.

That wasn’t the view of west Bend resident Robb Reavill, who said “logic and common sense dictate that (Bend) should not be split off as its own House district.” She said the city has its own economic and business interests, as well as microclimate and watershed and “commonality of interests” that are “vastly different from that of the southern part of the present district.”

To Luke, a former District 54 lawmaker, the question is how to draw district lines that represent “common interest that transcends rivalry” between different parts of the region. While creating a Bend House district would intensify that rivalry, splitting it in another way “makes each representative responsible to a wide variety of county voters,” Luke said.

“I would hope we don’t create a doughnut district out of Bend,” Luke added, as opposed to two districts that “need to be cognizant of all the issues in the county.”

Green Party member: City-based district beats `schizophrenic’ split

Philip Randall, a self-described “human rights activist” and Pacific Green Party representative, claimed that splitting the city in half before didn’t work. As a Green Party member, he said he believes he has a “greater chance of being represented” in a district encompassing the city of Bend, “rather than splitting it into some kind of schizophrenic” division.

Bend Mayor Bill Friedman agreed with Luke and others that the region’s leaders have worked well together. “I think either of the two districting schemes would work,” he said. Taking up the doughnut analogy in humorous fashion, Friedman said, “If you think of us as a jelly doughnut, the gooey center has more in common with itself than the dough around the outside.”

“I don’t think it’s a black or white, left or right, up or down, Democrat or Republican issue,” the mayor added.

Bruce Bishop, executive director of the High Desert Forum and a former foreign service officer, told the legislators, “I hope whatever decision you make will strengthen and support the democratic system. … As long as it’s free and open horse trading, I wish you Godspeed.”

Democrat Ken Cooper, who tried to unseat Knopp last fall but failed, said the idea of a district primarily made up of Bend fits the redistricting criteria laid down in state law. Barbara McAusland, meanwhile, said Bend’s rapid growth has resulted in “particular problems no other part of this county shares.” She said she hopes a Bend representative would push to expand development fees to cover schools as well.

But Andrea Blum said she lives outside of the city, with a Bend address, in the Sisters School District, and that “the way the district is broken up now is beneficial,” in her view. If Bend is divided, Blum warned, those in the `dough’” – a reference to Friedman’s remark – “would say that again, Bend is the controlling factor,” for both lawmakers.

Deschutes County Democratic Party Chairman Anne Philiben, who ran against Clarno last fall, said the urban area’s interests are different and that a Bend-only representative would be able to more quickly get up to speed on the Legislature – crucial in an era of term limits. As for the “jelly doughnut” talk, she joked, “I think it’s half of a bagel, myself.”

Jefferson County fears moving from `stepchild’ to `orphan’

But former county commissioner Nancy Schlangen feels differently, saying the concerns in the city are aligned with concerns for the entire county. “I think it’s very important that (legislators) understand all of the county,” she said.

Two Jefferson County residents expressed concern about how the new lines could divide Central Oregon. John Hatfield said he could understand how lawmakers might want “to lop off the edges of the district” to meet the requirements. But he said, “We feel we’re Central Oregon – we’re not Easter Oregon, the Columbia River, Hood River Valley or the Cascades. We feel if we were moved east or north or west, we’d lost a lot of our influence and reputation.”

Small business owner Mike Goss agreed, mentioning rumors that the area north of Bend could end up in part of two or three different districts, rather than with Bend and Redmond, with which they share economic, cultural and social ties: “Sometimes we feel like stepchildren,” compared to more populous areas to the south, Goss admitted, “but we don’t want to feel like orphans.”

Bend resident Leonard Peoples asked whether lines could be drawn in a way that would stand again in a decade, or more districts added, but Harper told him: “Nope – we’ll see you in 10 years.”

Clarno said the 1980s east-west split of Bend at Highway 97 (with Bob Pickard representing the other half) worked well, in a time the town wasn’t growing so fast. “Everybody in Bend liked to have two voices speak for them,” she said. As for her sprawling Senate district, Clarno said, “I want to keep almost all of the people, but I know I can’t.” Clarno later noted that the “doughnut” approach to redistricting has proven “very hard to defend in court.”

Committee aide Craig Allen said “everybody’s optimistic” that the June 30 deadline can be met.

Knopp prefers idea of splitting Bend again, as in the ’80s

Knopp arrived from a late adjournment in Salem as the hearing broke up. He said the area was divided pretty well between districts a decade ago and that both districts grew in the ’90s at about the same rate. But if the city was separated out instead, he said, the county area would grow much faster in coming years, creating a more lopsided situation in the future.

Knopp said an east-west division of Bend at Highway 97 or the railroad tracks “is realistic. It gives us more clout to have two representatives from Bend.” And he dismissed criticism of two Bend-dominated legislators, noting that city residents wouldn’t constitute a majority in both of them.

Pape Group, Powdr Corp. settle suit over Mt. Bachelor sale

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
James E. Petersen, General Counsel and Secretary
(541) 382-3011

The Papé Group and Powdr Corp. Enter Settlement And Release Agreement Regarding The Sale of Mt. Bachelor, Inc.

Bend, Ore. – March 30, 2001 – In a statement issued today by James Peterson, general counsel and secretary to Mt. Bachelor, Inc.\’s board of directors, The Papé Group, Powdr Corp., and the Mt. Bachelor, Inc. board of directors have entered into a settlement and release agreement. This agreement settles the litigation recently filed by the Papé Group in the Oregon Federal District Court regarding the conditions surrounding the sale of the resort.
The essential provisions of the agreement are as follows:
1. The lawsuit will be dismissed and the parties released.
2. A special committee will be appointed comprised of four members of the Mt. Bachelor, Inc. board, plus a non-board member from the Bend community.
3. The special committee will evaluate the Papé Group and Powdr Corp. proposals along with any qualified third party offers that may come in and then make a recommendation to the board as to which offer, if any, is in the best interests of the shareholders and why. The board will then send out a notice to the shareholders with its recommendation.
4. Following the board’s notification of the shareholders, all parties with offers on the table will be free to then solicit the shareholders with respect to their respective offers.
5. The Papé Group and Powdr Corp. offers cannot change from the latest proposal communicated to the shareholders, unless a third party offer comes in that is \”appreciably better,\” in which case Powdr Corp. and/or The Papé Group could revise the terms of their respective offers.
6. Shareholders who have previously tendered shares to Powdr Corp. will have two weeks from the date of the board’s notice and recommendation to withdraw or reaffirm their prior tender. If a shareholder does not take action to reaffirm their tender, it will be deemed to be withdrawn.
7. All parties to the litigation are precluded, directly or indirectly, from communicating to the remainder of the shareholders until the notice is sent out.

The Settlement and Release Agreement was facilitated by United States District Court Judge, Michael Hogan of Eugene, Ore.

# # #

Mt. Bachelor is part of the middle Cascade Mountain Range and is located just 22 miles southwest of Bend, Ore. Its volcanic peak at 9,065 feet makes it one of the only mountains to exist with a classic cone shape allowing for nearly 360 access to its slopes. Ski Magazine’s reader resort survey (published October 2000 issue) ranked Bachelor’s lifts number one for the second year. For more information about Mt. Bachelor visit its website at http://www.mtbachelor.com .

AG urges changes in state policies on manufactured homes

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2001

Attorney General Hardy Myers today recommended changes in state policies regarding manufactured homes. The recommendations follow seven months of work by a Manufactured Housing Task Force first convened by Myers in September 2000.
The Task Force solicited ideas from industry representatives, consumers, park owners, park managers, lenders, and other interested parties. Over 150 people participated.
“Consumers and manufactured home businesses alike stand to benefit from significant reform,” Myers said. “The recommendations that I make today are critical to helping manufactured housing realize its potential as a quality, affordable option.”
Myers said that he had initiated legislative efforts, or would support measures introduced by others, to implement each recommendation, including:
· Creating uniform sales disclosure documents to help ensure that purchasers are fully informed of the terms of their purchase agreements. HB 3684, with amendments.
· Granting buyers a right to rescind rental agreements for space in a manufactured home park. HB 2847 (Sponsored by Rep. Merkley).
· Requiring licensing of salespersons based on a plan to be prepared by a task force prior to the next Legislative Assembly. HB 3691, with amendments.
· Enlarging the remedies available to tenants subjected to unlawful retaliation for the assertion of their rights. HB 3693, HB 3176.
· Prohibiting abusive lending practices. HB 3917, with amendments.
· Making it easier for tenants in manufactured home parks to purchase the parks in which they live. HB 3694, HB 2863 (sponsored by Rep. Carlson).
“Many participants in the Task Force — representing business as well as consumer interests — called on our Department to more aggressively enforce existing consumer protection laws regarding manufactured homes,” Myers said. “We intend to do exactly that.”
The report will be available on line at http://www.doj.state.or.us after 12:00 p.m. today.
For more information on the Manufactured Housing Task Force, or any other consumer issues, please contact the Attorney General’s consumer hotline at (503) 378-4320 (Salem area only), (503) 229-5576 (Portland area only) or toll-free at 1-877-877-9392 or write Financial Fraud/Consumer Protection, 1162 Court Street, N.E., Salem, Oregon 97301-4096.
# # # #

Park district offering class in Texas Two-Step

PSA
March 30, 2001

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Event Date: April 3, 2001
CONTACT: Eric Denzler at 389-7275
Eric@bendparksandrec.org

Texas Two-Step Class to Begin

Whip patterns and the Travelling Pretzel will be some of the more intermediate dance patterns taught at a 4-week Country Western Texas Two-step class being offered by the Bend Park & Recreation District beginning Tuesday, April 3. Participants should already know basic two-step and turns for this \”beyond the beginning\” program. Program runs April 3 * 24 and is $20 of in-district residents. Register in advance at the Bend Park & Recreation District Office, 200 Pacific Park Lane in downtown Bend. For more information, contact Eric at 389-7275 or Eric@bendparksandrec.org.
# # #

The Recycling Team launches region\’s first online material exchange

PRESS RELEASE
For Release On: For Further Information:
February 12, 2001 Melissa Toney, 388-3638

The Recycling Team Launches Central Oregon’s First Online Material Exchange

Bend – The Recycling Team has launched Central Oregon’s first online material exchange site. Called the Central Oregon SWAP (Stop Waste Access Products), the Internet site is a free and convenient way for individuals and businesses to exchange reusable or surplus products instead of throwing them away. The SWAP site is located at http://www.recyclingteam.org .

“The purpose of the site is to prevent reusable products from entering our waste stream while providing a free market for interested users,” said Melissa Toney of the Recycling Team. “Our SWAP site gives an information age twist to the old saying that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” continued Toney.

The SWAP site allows people to list reusable or surplus material they have available that others may want. Or a user can list a material they are looking for. Examples of materials currently listed on the site include plastic buckets, packaging material, fabric scraps, building materials, pallets, and bicycle tires and tubes. Potential users of the materials available may contact the individual or business directly to arrange pick-up or delivery of the product.

Other communities are using the material exchange to help reduce waste and promote reuse but this is the first and only site that serves Central Oregon. In other areas, schools have been able to utilize surplus materials for educational resources and new businesses have been formed using previously discarded materials. Individuals and businesses benefit financially by reducing waste disposal costs while others receive valuable materials for little or no cost.

TRT serves as an online matchmaker only. We do not pickup, store or deliver materials. Illegal, hazardous or explosive material cannot be listed on the site. Log on to http://www.recyclingteam.org and click on the SWAP button or call Melissa Toney at 388-3638 for more information.

The Recycling Team is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to resource conservation. TRT is a regional leader in teaching people and organizations how to reduce waste, reuse materials, recycle, and conserve energy and water. TRT was founded in 1977 and until earlier this year
operated Central Oregon\’s largest recycling center, recycling 22,985 tons of 18 different materials in 1999.

### END ###

Westlund encourages residents to help redraw boundaries

NEWS RELEASE: MARCH 29.2001

CONTACT: Rep Ben Westlund 503-986-1455

Westlund Encourages Central Oregon Residents to Help Redraw the Boundaries

(Salem) Bend is the next stop for a group of lawmakers assigned with redrawing the boundaries for legislative and congressional seats in Oregon. State Representative Ben Westlund (R-Tumalo) said \”I don\’t just represent House District 55, but rather the region, and I want to know what folks think about the way the lines are established.\”

The House Committee on Rules, Redistricting and Public Affairs and the Senate Committee on Rules and Redistricting are holding field hearings in 11 different communities around the state. The one in Bend will be held Friday March 30, 2001.
It starts at 1:30 PM in the Bend City Council Chambers, 710 NW Wall Street.

Every 10 years the Legislature looks at the latest figures from the Census report and reorganizes the boundaries to reflect changes in population. \”It\’s important to look at each district to make sure Oregonians are getting equal representation,\” Westlund noted. He added, \”residents from LaPine to Prineville will be impacted by the way the lines are redesigned.\”

Since 1990, Oregon grew by nearly 600,000 people according to the 2000 Census. Representative Westlund points out; \”Central Oregon has experienced a lot of growth over the past decade. In order to make sure every legislative district contains the same number of constituents, the lines will have to move, placing 10,000 people in a different district.\”

For more information about the redistricting process check out the web site for the Oregon Legislature at www.leg.state.or.us, and go to the link for Redistricting.

–30–

Fifth annual \’Gandy Goose\’ ultimate Frisbee tourney this weekend

Press Release
Contacts:

Tournament:
Cheryl Heinrichs
Cheryl@CHArchitecture.com
Phone: 541-382-8914
Cell: 541-420-6939
Fax: 541-382-0609

City League:
Dave Caplin
dcaplan@teleport.com
Phone: 541-383-4634

What: Fifth Annual Gandy Goose, Ultimate Frisbee Tournament

Sponsored by: Bend Ultimate Association

When: 10 am – 5 pm Saturday March 31st & Sunday April 1st, Finals will begin at approx. 3:30 pm on Sunday April 1st

Where: Skyline Sports Park, 19617 Mountaineer Way

Explanation: Bend Ultimate Association is hosting a weekend long frisbee tournament. Eleven teams from Washington and Oregon, will be coming to Bend to compete. The tournament winner will take home the coveted Gandy Goose trophy. This tournament is a prelude to Bend Ultimate Association\’s City League. Ultimate frisbee clinics will begin in April and league play will start in May.

Tournament
Proceeds Benefit: COCAAN

Applicants sought for Bend Development Board position

For Immediate Release
From: Ellen Waterston
City of Bend Communications Liaison, 385-7025
Re: BDB Position Open
For More
Information: Darcy Justice, 388-5505

Date: March 29, 2001

Applicants Sought For Bend Development Board Position

The City of Bend is seeking applicants for a position on the Bend
Development Board. Residents of Bend over eighteen years of age are
eligible to apply. Applications will be received until 5:00 PM on April 13,
2001 at City Hall, 710 NW Wall Street. It is anticipated that the selection
process be completed and the new board member be appointed by May 1, 2001.

The Bend Development Board, comprised of seven members, meets the second and
fourth Wednesdays of each month from 7:30 am to 9:00 am in the City Council
Chambers. Established by state law as the City’s urban renewal agency, the
Bend Development Board’s main task is to provide policy and direction for
the Central Bend Development Program area.

For more information or for an application contact Darcy Justice, City of
Bend, PO Box 431, 710 NW Wall Street, Bend, OR 97709, 541/388-5505 or
djustice@ci.bend.or.us .