Sheriff’s office seeks help for ‘Shop With a Cop’

With the holiday season just around the corner, the Deschutes County Sheriff¡¦s Office is once again preparing for its annual SHOP WITH A COP charity event.

SHOP WITH A COP was developed to help make the holidays brighter for disadvantaged families in the Deschutes County area. Since its beginning in 2001, the program has helped more than 60 children with more than 500 gifts given.

Last year’s SHOP WITH A COP was a big success. Law Enforcement Officers from the Deschutes County Sheriff¡¦s Office, Bend Police Department and Redmond Police Department hosted youth from the Deschutes County area.

This year’s event will begin on Monday December 15th, when officers and their special young guests will once again head off to Wal-Mart via Police car for an evening of shopping, eating, gift wrapping and fun. We have seen our need grow and this year we will use both Wal-Marts as our host stores.

Children are referred to the program by local organizations such as churches, schools, and other agencies. The local FAN advocates help see that everyone on the list gets some help. They then select the ones who are most in need. The SHOP WITH A COP program allows officers to interact with children in an uplifting atmosphere.

We emphasized the importance of donations in keeping the event going. While the event is supported in part by individual gifts from Law Enforcement salaries and community organizations, it is the community that really allows the departments to help as many children as they do.

Last year we took the number of gifts needed and divided it into the number of dollars raised. Each child had $22.00 to spend on each family member. The only provision was that they had to by a gift for themselves. This gift was often the hardest to find. The children wanted to spend more on others and nothing on themselves.

If you wish to donate, please make your checks payable to: Wal-Mart ¡§SHOP WITH A COP¡¨
Cash donations can be dropped off at the Sheriff¡¦s Office

SHOP WITH A COP contact person: Deputy Del Abbott
(541) 322-4823
c/o Deschutes County Sheriff¡¦s Office
63333 Hwy 20 West
Bend, OR 97701

Deschutes County Sheriff¡¦s Office
“Shop With A Cop”

–A positive Law Enforcement experience for a young child whose life may be filled with other experiences.
–A growing number of children in need and children served.
–Local involvement, three school districts, FAN (Family Access Network), churches and other services and agencies.
–Third annual “Shop With A Cop” event.
–Brighter holidays for local disadvantaged families.
–Cooperative Law Enforcement effort, Bend Police, Redmond Police and Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.
–Expanding to both area Wal-Mart stores, Bend and Redmond.

–Donations of all type needed:
Money:
Cash
Check

Doll House Raffle
Bend Wal-Mart Nov./1st, 15th/2003
Redmond Wal-Mart Nov./8th, 22nd/2003

Volunteers:
To help wrap presents
To help shop (Have you ever shopped with someone who has never seen money?)
To plan and help set up greeting parties. (Need help now!)
Bend
Redmond
To stuff gift bags.

“Shop With A Cop” (This year’s shopping date is December 15, 2003)
Contact Person Deputy Del Abbott
(541) 322-4823

1. Checks payable to: (Wal-Mart “Shop With A Cop”)
2. Drop off or mail to:
Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office
63333 Hwy. 20 West
Bend, OR 97756

Oregon counties get Secure Rural Schools aid

PORTLAND – Oregon counties received more than $110 million Friday through the first installment of the 2003 county payments funds provided by The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act.

U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Larry Craig (R-Idaho) wrote the law in 2000 to secure a stable source of funding for rural schools and counties.

“For many of our rural communities, this money helps preserve jobs and build roads and infrastructure, as well as funding education statewide,” Wyden said.

“These payments are a lifeline for county governments. They mean jobs and a secure source of funding for rural schools, roads and county services,” said Doug Robertson, Chair of the O&C Counties Association and a Douglas County Commissioner. “Senator Wyden really listened and came through for rural communities with this law.”

The county payments legislation directs $1.3 billion over six years from the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to Oregon counties for education, roads and county services.

Friday’s $110 million is only the BLM portion of the funding and represents a more than 65 percent increase in BLM monies from before Wyden’s bill was enacted; the Forest Service portion of the payments will be released to counties later this year.

The Wyden-Craig bill establishes a locked-in dollar amount for rural schools and counties by averaging the three highest receipt producing years between Fiscal Years 1986 and 1999. Under this proposal, 80-85 percent of funding will be reserved for traditional county schools and services supported by federal revenues, and 15-20 percent of monies will be set aside for national forest land or forest-related cooperative projects.

Oregon counties receiving funds today include:

Benton $3.1 million
Clackamas $6.15 million
Columbia $2.28 million
Coos $6.5 million
Curry $4 million
Douglas $27.78 million
Jackson $17.38 million
Josephine $13.39 million
Klamath $2.59 million
Lane $16.9 million
Lincoln $399, 301
Linn $2.9 million
Marion $1.6 million
Multnomah $1.2 million
Polk $2.39 million
Tillamook $621,135
Washington $698,777
Yamhill $798,602

The county payments law will provide payments through 2006. Wyden is committed to again working with Craig and the entire Oregon delegation to reauthorize the bill and maintain a steady funding source for counties.

Steele Associates Architects adds two staffers

Steele Associates Architects is pleased to announce the addition of two new professional staff members.

Lisa Neidhart has joined Steele Associates Architects as the Director of Interior Design. Lisa earned her Bachelor of Science in Interior Design at Oregon State University. Her experience while working in Portland includes commercial, retail, residential and public projects and the development of sustainable interior design specifications. Her present projects include the Deschutes County Justice Center addition, an 88,000 SF mixed-use building, and the Hanes Building in Prineville.

Stacey Stemach has joined Steele Associates Architects. Stacey earned his Masters and Bachelor in Architecture at the University of Idaho. He spent four years working in Boston and Portland, Maine prior to returning to the West. His experience includes a theater, a biotechnology facility, and housing and commercial projects. Presently he is working on a medical campus, a dental building, a mixed-use building and several office buildings. Stacey’s expertise and interests include CADD rendering, graphic design and sustainable design.

PERS board names Warner acting director

SALEM – The Board of Directors of the Public Employees Retirement System on Friday appointed Laurie Warner to serve as the acting executive director of PERS. Ms.Warner will serve as the acting executive director while the PERS Board of Directors undertakes a search for a permanent executive director.

“Laurie is very capable, technically proficient and a good manager. We are confident that she will be able to help us through the interim period as we work to move PERS in a positive, new direction,” said Michael Pittman, Chair of the Board of Directors.

Prior to accepting the interim appointment, Ms. Warner has served as the Facilities Division Administrator for the state Department of Administrative Services (DAS).

Ms. Warner began working in state government in 1988 when she was hired as Assistant Director of the Federal Child Nutrition Programs with the Department of Education. In 1991 she was hired as a budget analyst in the DAS and was later promoted to budget section manager. In 1999 she left DAS to become Deputy Director of the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department, where she later served as acting director.

Ms. Warner returned to DAS in July 2001 to serve as the internal audits manager. Ms. Warner has a Bachelor’s Degree from Oregon State University and an MBA from Willamette University’s Atkinson Graduate School of Management.

Brush piles set ablaze on Crescent District

CRESCENT – Oregon Department of Corrections, Walker Range Fire Patrol and Forest Service firefighters burned hundreds of brush piles Friday spread over 195 acres on the Crescent Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest.

The crews began ignition operations Thursday when they hiked across 747 acres, using drip torches to light hundreds of hand piles near Crescent Lake and Wickiup Reservoir.

On Friday, they ignited more piles spread over 195 acres, located east of Crescent Lake and on both sides of Highway 58. Crews made many of the piles last summer to reduce hazardous fuels that could feed wildland fires threatening the Two Rivers Subdivision.

Other piles are located east of the Oregon Cascades Recreation Area, near Muttonchop Butte and the Corral Springs Campground.

Firefighters also burned piles Friday along Forest Service Road 62, which winds between Davis Mountain and Hamner Butte. The road also intersects areas the human-caused Davis Fire burned 21,181 acres last June.

Motorists should turn on headlights and reduce speeds if smoke drifts onto Highway 58, Cascade Lakes Highway, Crescent Cut-Off Road or Forest Service Road 62. Road signs and flaggers will be posted if excessive smoke accumulates on roads.

Smoke might also collect in low areas, during evening and morning hours. Residents near the burns should close all doors and windows to keep smoke out of structures.

Central Oregon Fire Management Services fuels specialists planned the fuels reduction efforts to minimize fire danger near residential areas, recreation corridors and well-traveled roads.

Te managers attempt to only ignite piles when meteorologists predict winds will blow smoke away from residential areas. They must also comply with state air quality standards.

Much of the fuels reduction work was completed last summer by Oregon Department of Corrections crews using chainsaws to thin stands of Lodgepole pine. About 90 inmates worked throughout the summer, under the technical direction of Forest Service employees and supervision of corrections officers.

Firefighters did not light the piles until sufficient fall precipitation occurred to reduce the risk of fires escaping. They will patrol areas with piles they ignited for several days to ensure fires do not escape.

ODOT officials explain snow removal efforts

Oregon Department of Transportation snow removal crews work around the clock to improve the driving surface during winter conditions.

ODOT’s winter maintenance program consists of many tools and practices including plowing, using sand and cinders, and using chemicals such as FreezGard Zero with corrosive inhibitors.

ODOT maintenance crews concentrate on hills, corners, intersections, bridges, isolated spots of ice and problem areas when applying sand.

“We’ve had this policy for decades and when times are tight of course we drop back and follow those priorities a little closer,” said David Neys, Transportation Maintenance Manager. “The high priorities get served and when the funds are available we are a little more liberal with the sand.”

Sand is applied as a traction aid. Motorists still need to drive at speeds that are appropriate for the road and weather conditions. “The use of sand provides a wider margin of safety, but that margin of safety is lost when drivers increase their speed on sand,” said Neys.

“We don’t put the sand down so a motorist doesn’t have to do slow down and drive with caution. Motorists are still expected to drive to the conditions of the road,” added Neys.

ODOT’s goal is to provide the highest level of service with the resources available. Applying sand in a sensible manner this winter will insure the supply will last this year and for years to come.

‘Dinner for Winners’ raises funds for KIDS Center

This Holiday Season, seven local restaurants are participating in the Second Annual “Dinner for Winners” fundraising event to help support the KIDS Center. During the event, participating restaurants donate a portion of their proceeds to the KIDS Center to help support victims of child abuse in Deschutes County.

Restaurants participating this year include: Beef & Brew, Black Horse Saloon, Hong Kong, Pine Tavern, Ranchero, Robby J’s, and the Trout House. Last year’s Dinner for Winners event generated over $6,000.

Please support the associated costs of healing victims of child abuse and neglect. Dine out at one of the participating restaurants in December and help victims of child abuse win a new lease on life.

The KIDS Center is a non-profit organization “Dedicated to the Evaluation, Treatment and Prevention of Child Abuse.” 85 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to provide medical evaluations and therapy at the KIDS Center.

Call 383-5958 for more information or visit the KIDS Center website at www.kidscenter.info.

Cold snap hits, water line breaks, fire season ends

The signs of winter aren’t just in the plunging temperatures for Halloween trick-or-treaters to shiver and endure, or the anxious eyes of skiers and boarders looking to Mt. Bachelor, but from the formal end of fire season to a busted water main in Romaine Village early Friday morning that created quite the lake on Mahogany Drive.

Month-end statistics from the city of Bend’s official weather station showed a 50-degree plunge in four days, from a high of 79 degrees on the 27th-28th to just 29 degrees on Thursday, followed by an overnight low of 16 degrees.

And that wasn’t the warmest day of the month: It got to 81 degrees on the 21st, 80 on the 6th and 79 on the 5th. Lows stayed above freezing for about 20 days of the month, which also brought very little moisture — .22 of an inch, along with the 1 ½ inches of snow on the 30th.

The Avion Water main broke around 2 a.m. in Romaine Village, a neighborhood of mobile and manufactured homes at Bend’s south end, but a spokeswoman for the water company said repairs were complete by 7:30 a.m.

“There was a lot of icy water, and they are pumping it out,” she said. “We see it a lot in the spring and fall, when the temperatures changes. I’m told the pipe had been put over a rock years ago, and the constricting of it caused it to break.”

Plumbers may keep busy around Central Oregon for the next few days, with frigid air due to linger, dropping lows perhaps to the single digits in places, and highs not too far above freezing.

A dry spell will be brief, with a chance of snow showers returning Sunday and lingering for at least a couple of days, and temperatures expected to remain quite chilly through the week.

Another sure sign of winter weather’s arrival was closure of the McKenzie Pass Highway (Oregon 242) for the winter. Oregon Department of Transportation officials said the 123-day open period was shorter than most years. The longest open stretch for the scenic, twisting highway was 250 days, back in 1934. The shortest period was just 90 days, in 1999.

Fire season ends; slash-burn fears linger

The Oregon Department of Forestry announced Friday that the welcome moisture after a tough summer means fire season will end officially Monday on private lands protected by the agency in nine counties east of the Cascades. That burn allows barrels outside rural or city fire department protection agencies.

But the burning of slash piles still concerns forest managers, who noted that two of the summer’s wildfires were escaped “holdover” slash burns from last winter.

“We continue to be plagued by escapes from piles that were burned months before and appear out,” said Gordon Foster, forester on the ODF’s John Day Unit. “The fire takes off in the spring or summer, when fuels dry out.”

“Driving by and looking for smoke is not enough,” Foster said. “Every pile needs to be checked closely, to ensure that no heat remains.

All totaled, Central Oregon firefighters this year responded to 552 fires that burned 123,481 acres. Fires on private lands make up only a small part of the tally, with 185 fires burning 2,746 acres.

George Ponte, Prineville-Sisters Unit forester, thanked residents and recreational users for “helping to stop fires before they start, and creating defensible space, so firefighters can help defend homes and property against wildfire.”

“As each fire season comes and goes, and fuel and drought conditions get worse, it will take all of us to keep Central Oregon fire-free.”

School officials question not calling class delays

The timing of Thursday morning’s snowfall prompted some Bend-La Pine school officials to ask why schools weren’t put on a two-hour delay. Ray Taroli, assistant principal at Bend High, noted that radio and TV reports warned people to stay off the road and take extra time in getting to work.

“Traffic was at a stop in many places,” he said. “Many of our staff and students were significantly late this morning.”

Sandy Murphy, office manager at Buckingham Elementary School, also agreed that the weather warranted a two-hour delay, as it did a year ago, noting that it came before the Nov. 1 allowed date for studded tires. “Also remember that we have small children waiting over an hour for buses to show up,” due to the clogged traffic, she wrote. “Those little children are freezing, and they are dressed for the weather, but waiting for an hour is too long for first-graders to wait.”

Bend-La Pine School District spokeswoman Laurie Gould said Jim Roderick, the district’s transportation supervisor, began driving the roads around 2:30 a.m., to see the conditions.

“You have to make a decision whether or not to run the buses at about 5:30 a.m., because it takes a while to get everybody geared up,” Gould said. “Things were good until after 6. The forecast called for partly cloudy and scattered snow showers.”

“We always get calls (of criticism) either way, supporting delays or morning closures, or not supporting delays,” she said. There was only one weather-caused two-hour delay last year, and “we haven’t had a full-out school closure day since 1992,” a very brutal winter.

“The buses can get around in conditions that would stymie a passenger car – big tires, automated chains, anti-lock brakes,” Gould said. “If we do chain them up, they are like tanks.”

“It snows in Central Oregon,” she said. “There will be days with snow on the ground, and we still expect kids to go to school.”

Councilor Hummel’s stolen car back, in bad shape

Like some, but not all car-theft victims, Bend City Councilor John Hummel has gotten his vehicle back, but it’s much the worse for wear after a few days at the hands of the unknown perpetrator.

“Seems like the thief took it for a hell of an off-road adventure,” Hummel said this week. On Sunday, he said Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies had found the forest-green 1996 Subaru Outback in a vacant lot off an alley near Staats Street, in the Old Town neighborhood south of downtown Bend.

Hummel said he’d bought the car new, and put 160,000 miles on it.

Now, it has “broken windows and it runs like s-it,” Hummel wrote. “No word from the insurance company yet whether they will pay to fix it or if they will total it and cut me a check.”

Hummel, a registered independent, had joined a crowd of local Democrats the night of Wednesday, Oct. 22 at Widgi Creek Golf Club on Century Drive to listen to a speech by Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. During the event, the crowd heard a car alarm sound, but no one left to check on it, figuring it was the typical false alarm.

Hummel, a defense lawyer, learned otherwise after the speech, when he went out to the parking lot and learned his car was gone. At least five others had their cars broken into, but no others were taken.

What’s worse, the councilor had left his cell phone and wallet (he’d just stopped at an ATM to get some cash) in the car, as well as his Palm Pilot PDA.

“Being without this for the last few days has been awful,” Hummel said Wednesday night. “I missed a Bend Film Board meeting because I did not have my calendar. Who knows what other meetings I missed?”

Hummel actually called his cell phone and asked the man who answered, “Are you going to give back my car?” The call recipient professed ignorance, said he’d found the phone near the Entrada Lodge (also on Century Drive) and agreed to meet Hummel at a downtown restaurant to give back the phone. Logically, he never showed.

But after riding his bike to work the next day, Hummel’s biggest woe was that he had missed a mandatory training session at federal court in Portland, having just been chosen to accept federal criminal cases.

“Thankfully,” he said this week, “I was able to keep my federal court gig. It has been a brutal week, but I think I am through the worst of it.”

Small Schools Initiative begins reform effort

The Oregon Small Schools Initiative has announced the first phase of its work to develop new models of learning with a cadre of high schools and their communities across Oregon.

On Thursday, every Oregon public high school was sent a letter that informed educators of the Initiative’s plans. Schools selected to participate in the first phase of the Initiative must be ready and committed to converting from a large, comprehensive high school to a group of small, autonomous high schools of no more than 400 students.

“We will use the small size of these schools as the springboard to more effective learning models,” said Karen Phillips, director of the grant program. “This initiative will work to make the high school experience for Oregon’s students more personalized, academically challenging and relevant to their long-term goals.”

High schools that meet student enrollment, demographic and socio-economic criteria set by the Initiative are invited to send a letter of interest to the Initiative, as a first step in the application process. The Initiative will provide funding to a group of applicants in March 2004 and another group in March 2005. Based on last year’s data, more than half of the one hundred largest high schools in the state are expected to be eligible for the grant program.

Through a $25 million multi-year grant from Meyer Memorial Trust and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Oregon Small Schools Initiative will begin creating small, effective high schools whose primary goals are to close the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their peers, and increase the graduation rate and preparation for post-high school education for all their students.

These high schools will be created either by converting existing large, comprehensive schools into several smaller, autonomous schools, or by creating new, innovative small schools. Additionally, the Initiative will work with statewide education and community partners to address policy barriers to innovation at the high school level.

“The Oregon Small Schools Initiative is one of the state’s best opportunities to close the achievement gap,” said Susan Castillo, State Schools Superintendent. “Research indicates the intentionally smaller models created by the Initiative will help reduce dropout rates, raise performance and remove barriers to postsecondary education that too many high school students face, particularly among minority and low income student populations.”

Criteria for Initiative Eligibility
One of the primary goals of the Oregon Small Schools Initiative is to reduce the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and their peers. To that end, schools eligible to apply must meet the following demographic criteria, based on October, 2003 enrollment.

Total student enrollment of 700 or greater and at least one of the
following:

At least 25% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch program OR At least 20% of students eligible for free or reduced lunch program AND at least 15% minority enrollment.

Sufficient funds will be allocated to each participating school to provide coaching, technical assistance, teacher and administrative training, planning and other resources needed to successfully transition into small, autonomous schools.

“All high schools and students in Oregon will benefit from the Initiative through the dissemination of the methods and tools developed through participating sites,” added Initiative director Karen Phillips.

“We also plan to offer limited Initiative support, such as training events, resources, networks and tools, to schools that meet demographic eligibility but do not meet other selection criteria.”

Schools will be provided funding and technical assistance for four years, to be used to support community engagement, designing, planning, training and implementation of small, autonomous schools.

Schools who apply and are not selected in March 2004 may reapply to participate the following year. Information on the process and criteria for selection and timeline for application for those interested in creating new, small, innovative public high schools will be available in spring 2004.

For copies of the Small Schools Invitation to Oregon High Schools and the Small Schools Initiative Fact Sheet, visit http://www.E3oregon.org/small_schools/index.html.
Many Oregon education leaders and organizations have endorsed the Oregon Small Schools Initiative, including the Oregon Department of Education, the Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, the Oregon School Boards Association, Oregon University System and the Oregon Education Association.

The Oregon Small Schools Initiative is a project of E3: Employers for Education Excellence. Founded in 1996 in partnership with the Oregon Business Council, E3 informs and engages Oregonians to advance student achievement. For more information, visit the E3 website at www.E3oregon.org.