Fog again delays, cancels Redmond flights

A holiday weekend that began with snow ended with thick fog around Central Oregon Sunday night, forcing some flight cancellations and at least one Redmond-bound plane to return to Portland instead, officials said.

The National Weather Service issued a dense fog advisory through the night, reporting that it was reducing visibility to less than a quarter-mile at times. A weather spotter reported visibility of just 1/8 mile in Bend, and forecasters warned drivers to use caution and slow down, but Deschutes County 911 dispatchers said no significant traffic problems had arisen.

A warm-up over the weekend melted away much of the snow around the Bend area. It also cost Mt. Bachelor ( about a foot of its snow base, dropping it to three feet, while Hoodoo ( also lost snowpack during its opening weekend and stood at about two feet of snow Sunday.

But the warmer temperatures did make for safer highway travel, before the fog rolled in. The state’s worst crash of the weekend happened on Interstate 5 in the Portland area, where three people were killed in a multi-vehicle crash Sunday that shut the freeway’s southbound lanes for almost seven hours, creating a massive traffic jam.

The driver of a black Volkswagen Jetta, who reportedly had been drinking, was northbound on I-5 south of Tualatin and lost control, crossing through the median and striking a southbound Volkswagen Beetle head-on. All three occupants of the Beetle died at the scene. The Jetta driver was hospitalized, as were four people in a Mitsubishi Montero with California registration that was struck by the Beetle after the initial crash.

Several Horizon Air and United Express flights into and out of Redmond were delayed or canceled by Sunday’s fog. A United Express ticket agent at Roberts Field said a Redmond-bound plane was turned back to Portland when the fog got thicker and dropped visibility.

The fog lingered overnight and the dense fog advisory was extended until noon Monday, by which time bright sunshine had cut through the clouds in Bend.

Fog swirled into the region for a second round Monday night, again dropping visibility to a quarter-mile at Redmond and delaying some flights – one Horizon plane from Portland landed an hour late, at 9:40 p.m. – and canceling others, such as the follow-up flight, from Seattle.

November may have seemed a lot snowier in Bend than it turned out to be, at least officially, with 2.9 inches of snowfall recorded at the city’s Public Works Department by Pilot Butte, and less than an inch (0.85 inch) of rainfall.

The coldest night, by far, was the first night of the month, when it dropped to 5 degrees. The closest it got the rest of the month was a low of 12 on the 22nd, and three other days in the teens. The warmest days of November were the 19th and 20th, with 60-degree readings, while the 1st, again, had the coldest high of the month, at just 28 degrees.

A chance of rain showers lingers off and on throughout the coming week in Central Oregon, mixed with a threat of snow showers at times, especially after midnight Tuesday. Expected overnight lows below freezing mean it could be another tricky, if not treacherous week on area highways, if the moisture falls late in the day and doesn’t evporate off roadways.

And they’re off: Early shoppers catch bargains

The very idea of “Buy Nothing Day” likely would have drawn a blank stare, even laughter in the pre-dawn store parking lots across Central Oregon and the nation the day after Thanksgiving, as hundreds of bargain-seekers lined up for first crack at the deep-discount prices offered as early as 5 a.m.

It’s not called “Black Friday” because of the folks who consider the pre-Christmas shopping season an orgy of commercialism and consumerism, but because that’s when retailers by and large start to see the red ink turn to black. Still, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers, it’s rarely if ever the biggest sales day of the month leading up to Christmas, although it makes the Top 10, even the Top 5 on occasion.

And as always, it’s the kickoff to the make-or-break season for many a business.

Figuring out what’s hot and what’s not is the job of retailers large and small throughout the year. Friday afternoon, there were still plenty of Hokey Pokey Elmos (and Limbo Elmos, too) ready for buyers at Linens N’ Things at the Forum Shopping Center, where shopper Sharon Smith had only a box of shelf liner in hand at the moment.

Smith said she had made it over to Fred Meyer around 9:30 or so, hoping to pick up one of the 29-inch RCA TVs on sale for $169 during the 6-hour sale that began at the slumbering hour of 5 a.m. But already, all 60 were gone out the door; indeed, bargain TVs appeared to be one of the nation’s best-sellers on Friday.

Still, it’s way too early to panic for shoppers with lists short or long, and several weeks to find what they are looking for. The weather was fairly cooperative, too, a bit chilly, windy and wet, but not enough to keep folks out of the stores.

“People are pretty cheerful, mostly,” said a clerk at Linens N’ Things, where all the holiday decorations were stacked tall on the shelves. “I heard ShopKo was crazy – wall to wall.”

There was some parking to be had in front of Fred Meyer at mid-afternoon, but spaces were still in very short supply down Third Street a bit, at Prime Outlets at Bend, where people were lined up at 7:30 a.m. to get into stores such as Harry and David, and the tasty samples were offered up throughout the day. The “Big Dog” mascot of the store called Big Dog was

Deli opens at outlet mall, just in time

It also was a happy return to business for Bill and Vicki Wheeler, who lost their lease for Checker’s Deli at Wagner Mall a year ago and finally were open for business at their new outlet-mall location.

The outlet mall has more than 450 parking spaces, but they were in such short supply that Ron Audette, senior general manager, and crew were out with walkie-talkies in the morning, spotting empty spots and guiding arriving motorists to them.

“It’s the tourism,” Audette said, back at his office. “If tourists are in town, we’re going to have great sales here. We’re tickled to death at the traffic. Also, it seems people are buying more, and that’s the key.”

The Nike Factory Store, for example, opened at 6 a.m., and people were waiting at 5 a.m., anxious to take advantage of the 20 percent storewide savings. “And that’s off outlet prices,” Audette stressed.

The Welcome Home Outlet store had more than 200 customers by 4 p.m. Friday, even though it ran no ads of its own, said Nessa Kolodij, assistant manager. Each day of the first big weekend, the store’s sales were ahead of quota, said Lauralee Ticehurst, the store’s manager, said Sunday evening.

“Everybody bought something, which is really cool,” Ticehurst said.

Signs were positive nationwide, right up to the biggest retailer of all. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reported Friday sales were up 6.3 percent to a record $1.52 billion – but one woman was trampled at a Florida Wal-Mart and was taken to the hospital after the doors opened and the crowds rushed in to grab the bargains.

Clothing, electronics and toys were the top items, according to the National Retail Federation, which projects a 5.7 percent increase in holiday sales this year. Its survey found that consumers plan to spend more than $670 this year for holiday gifts, decorations, cards, candy and food, up more than $30 from last year.

Santa ready, as is `Rotary Tree of Joy’

According to the International Council of Shopping Centers, “hot” gifts this holiday season include the “My Little Pony Celebration Castle” and “Barbie in Swan Lake” on the kids’ side, and any home décor in copper, in terms of home furnishing. Cell phones with cameras will be a big seller, as will recordable DVD players. MP3 players and diamonds in fancy shapes and new colors for rings, bracelets and necklaces.

Prime Outlets has a variety of “survival tips” for holiday shoppers, such as making a list, being sure to eat well before hitting the stores and, if possible, shopping during non-peak hours, such as early morning or after 5 p.m.

Call them Scrooges if you wish, but the people behind the Website are part of a worldwide effort to make people think twice about shopping, consumerism and all that, with their 12th annual “Buy Nothing Day,” to, in their words, “break through First World denial about the consequences of overconsumption.”

But that’s primarily for the adults to think about. Two other traditions are alive and well at Bend River Mall, as Santa poses for photos and listens to the little ones’ Christmas wishes.

Down the mall, local Rotary7 Clubs have banded together for their annual “Rotary Tree of Joy,” covered with tags from the Salvation Army from needy kids (and seniors) and what they hope to find under the tree. Those who take one or more tags to fulfill those dreams are asked to return them with the gifts, preferably gift-wrapped, by Dec. 16. They expect to deliver gifts to almost 1,600 people this season.

Tickets on sale for New Year’s dinner theatre

Tickets are now on sale for the New Year’s Eve dinner theatre show at the Candlelight Dinner Cabaret Theatre, 20 NW Greenwood in Bend.

`Taste of 2004’
New Year’s Eve

Celebrate the New Year with a candlelight dinner, show and dancing to the Dave Finch Trio.

Enjoy selections from our upcoming shows…a sneak preview of our 2004 season! Four-course dinner by the Cascade Culinary Institute.

This special evening begins at 7 pm. December 31. $55.00 per person. 20 NW Greenwood. Box office: 385-6718

New Christian Writers Guild plans meeting

The newly formed Christian Writers Guild will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, December 8 at The Bookmark, 228 NE Greenwood in Bend. Lucy Brackett will chair the meeting.

All writers and would-be writers holding a Christian world view are invited to attend. Bring a four- to six-line Christmas greeting to share with the group.

Other business will include planning the 2004 calendar and events and appointing a by-laws committee. Call 385-9289 or 382-0842 for more information.

Holiday spirit helps local homeless animals

You can help the animals this holiday season by participating in the Humane Society of Central Oregon’s holiday events.

Santa Paws is Coming to Town – This is your pet’s chance to meet Santa, whisper holiday wishes in his ear, and have a moment preserved in a holiday photo. The whole family is welcome to pose with their pet(s), or just your pet with Santa. Festive holiday pet accessories will be available to adorn your furry friend(s). Bring your pet(s) to the Bend Pet Express on the Westside at 137 SW Century Drive between 11:00 am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, December 13th. For just $10 you will receive a professional 5 x 7 color photograph or a digital file on a CD taken by Linden Photography. All proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Central Oregon and the animals in their care. For more information call 382-3537.

Win a Harley-Davidson! – Hogs for Dogs and Kitty Cats too! Raffle tickets are now available to win a 2005 Harley-Davidson “Fat Boy” motorcycle (value $19,180). The opportunity to win a Harley-Davidson is a perfect stocking stuffer or gift for the hard to buy for on your list. All proceeds will go towards the Humane Society of Central Oregon’s capital campaign to build a new animal shelter for the homeless and neglected animals in our community. Tickets will be available at the Humane Society of Central Animal Shelter and Thrift Store, Bears and Roses Harley-Davidson, Bend Pet Express Westside and Bend Cycle Cab. Raffle tickets are $20.00 each and only 2,000 tickets will be sold. The drawing will be held September 18, 2004.

Trees of Life – Our annual drive for donations to meet the needs of the community and the 4,000 animals cared for at the Humane Society of Central Oregon. Visit one of our trees and choose an ornament which lists an item that is needed. Trees of Life can be found at the Humane Society Animal Shelter and Thrift Store, Bend Pet Express East and West, Eastside Animal Hospital/Cascade Animal Emergency Center, Central Oregon Animal Hospital, Sunriver Veterinary Clinic and Mini-Pet Mart. A list is also available by calling 382-3537.

Organize a Food and Supply Drive for the animals. The Humane Society will provide the promotional materials to make your drive a success. A great opportunity for businesses or groups to help the animals in our community. Call Lynne at 382-4328 for information.

Bend cable TV rates going up Jan. 1

If you are a BendCable, now BendBroadband television subscriber, and watched as several new, long-awaited channels were added lately, you might have been asking yourself when the other shoe would drop.

And now you have the answer: Jan 1.

That’s when Bend’s cable TV rates go up, for most customers by about 3.8 percent, the company just announced.

“BendBroadband strives to keep rate increases to an absolute minimum,” Ray Spreier, the company’s co-president and general manager, said in a notice to customers. “Like most companies, however, the cost of providing our services continues to rise.”

“Apart from the programming we have added, the existing channels we carry will be increasing their rates to us by an average of 12 percent in 2004,” Spreier wrote.

The company recently added five channels to basic (analog) cable: Animal Planet, Comedy Central, the Food network, TVLand and Bravo. Plus, digital cable had Nicktoons and Outdoor Life Network added to its digital cable service.

Analog basic cable, with 49 channels, will increase from $33.25 a month to $34.50, a $1.25 (3.75 percent) increase, starting with the January bill. The cost of digital basic cable, which adds 85 channels, will rise 30 cents, to $6.75 a month, and similar small increases will be seen for each item on the cable provider’s almost dizzying menu of variety, sports and movie packages.

Prices for high-speed Internet “cable modem” service, known as InstaNet, won’t be changing “at this time,” Spreier noted, nor will the $3.95 cost of pay-per-view movies.

Bend’s cable TV provider is far from alone in boosting its rates on a fairly regular basis.

Comcast, Oregon’s (and the nation’s) largest cable operator, recently announced that its average regional customer would see rates rise by 5.3 percent in January. That pushes the standard cable package in Portland, offering 68 to 71 channels, up 6.4 percent, from $39.04 to $41.55, not including taxes and fees. But Portland also has a “limited basic cable” option, with fewer channels, for about $8 to $12 a month, depending on location, and that won’t change.

Cable faces higher costs, competition

Cable companies in Bend, Portland and elsewhere have defended the increases as necessary to cover not only increased programming fees but the millions they spent on upgrading their systems to carry advanced technology, such as high-definition TV and high-speed Internet access.

Spreier said BendBroadband recently completed a $12 million rebuild of its cable plant, upgrading more than 850 miles of fiber and coax cable in the region.

Still, cable rate increases have far exceeded inflation since the federal government deregulated the telecommunications industry in 1996.

Locally, also, there have been some attention-grabbing disputes of late, starting with last winter’s contract squabble that briefly cost cable TV customers KEZI, the Eugene ABC affiliate that broadcasts Ducks football and basketball. More recently, another channel-carriage flap with Iowa-based Meredith Broadcasting has cost Bend cable viewers Portland’s UPN affiliate, home to shows such as “Star Trek: Enterprise.”

Such issues, plus the steady drumbeat of cost increases, have prompted some would-be customers to choose satellite TV dish service instead, and others to seriously contemplate such a switch. Cable providers point to that option when critics attack its “monopoly” status, and Spreier thanked customers in his letter announcing the rate increases for choosing the provider “of all your options for entertainment and information services.”

In its own defense, BendBroadband has pointed to its free service calls, “guaranteed to be on time,” and its local programming, such as frequent coverage of parades, a variety of high school sports, city council meetings and other local events, as well as its weekday morning-show offering, “Good Morning Central Oregon.” Spreier’s letter also highlighted the hometown nature of the firm, noting that customers “help provide jobs for over 100 area residents.”

Bend’s city council has been very reticent to get into the sticky, often controversial issue of cable TV rates and service, amid some deep divisions among lawyers and others over just how much authority federal rules give it in that arena any more.

Panel backs off bid to require public artwork

Bend’s Arts, Beautification and Culture Commission will “go back to the drawing board” and drop its controversial draft proposal to require that large private developers devote 1 percent of their project costs to public art, including a cash donation to a public art fund, the panel’s chairwoman said this week.

Rather than propose a mandatory program, as done in several communities around the country, the panel instead will look at a program of voluntary incentives, such as a developer possibly getting faster city processing, a reduced parking-space requirement or possibly added square footage (or even added floors in a building) for taking part, said Kyla Merwin Cheney, the committee’s chairwoman, a communications consultant and former city councilor.

“This was an early, first draft distributed to a handful of stakeholders,” Merwin said. “We’re looking at keeping the requirement for public buildings, and what kind of incentives would be appropriate for private developers.” She said the eight-member commission will continue its discussions at its monthly meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10 at noon in the City Hall board room.

The Oct. 19 draft “Community Art Ordinance” cited several benefits: “Art, accessible to citizens and visitors, infuses the community with beauty, diversity, culture and civic pride. It increases property values. It helps build upon Bend’s unique identity, image and character. It promotes tourism and economic vitality. It provides educational opportunities. It helps define our sense of place, history and heritage.”

Public art also sparks debate, even controversy, as has been evident in the pieces Art in Public Places, a 30-year, privately funded nonprofit group, has picked in recent years for spots beside the Bend Parkway and in numerous new roundabouts (traffic circles).

And the stakeholders who saw the draft ordinance weighed in, much as you might expect.

“We heard it loud and clear,” Cheney said. “What we’re going to do is go back to the drawing board, and look at what incentives are appropriate.”

The draft proposal stated that any development or redevelopment at or larger than 10,000 square feet would have been required to take part in the city’s Community Art Program, at not less than 1 percent of the building permit’s value, payable as part of the building permit fee.

Up to 75 percent of that 1 percent value would be directed toward procurement of private art, accessible to the general public and pre-approved by the ABC Commission. The other 25 percent or more would go to a Bend Public Art Fund, to be administered by the commission.

The ordinance would not have applied, however, to residential developments or buildings under 10,000 square feet.

Private developer requirement called `ill-advised’

Opposition to a required “1 percent for art” program was heard from the business and development community – but also from some strong advocates for the arts, such as Deschutes County Commissioner Tom DeWolf, a member of the Oregon Arts Commission.

“I think it is a mistake to attempt to require private business to invest in public art projects,” DeWolf said. “I can understand the uproar. The approach they are taking (in the draft ordinance), in my opinion, is ill-advised, at best.”

Mayor Oran Teater said that while the council had yet to discus the ABC proposal, “I do not think there is much council support for the 1 percent fee, and I think the community would not like it either. I am more in favor of a voluntary program that would go far to accomplish the same thing.”

The state of Oregon’s “Percent for Art” legislation, passed in 1975, requires that at least 1 percent of construction funds for new or remodeled state buildings be dedicated to acquiring art work “which may be an integral part of the building, attached thereto, or capable of display in other state buildings.” It has resulted in more than 2,500 artworks in the state’s collection, ranging from photography to mosaics.

“Public art does a lot of things a community,” Cheney said. “It does a lot of things for the people who own the building. It increases the property value of a building, because it stays with the property, if sold. How much more value it adds to the building, beyond its costs, have yet to be proven.”

“What we’ve noticed is that developers who `get it,’ do it,” Cheney said, such as Brooks Resources Corp. “The ordinance is to help demonstrate the great thing to the community, and developers as well. We’re not going to shove anything down the throats of the developers.”

Gary Peters, president and CEO of the Bend Chamber of Commerce, was among those concerned about the initial proposal, and pleased about the change in direction.

“No one is against art,” Peters said. “On the other hand, you don’t have business subsidize art. For public agencies, great.” The idea of incentives for private-sector art is “probably a good approach,” he said. “We have enough hands in the pie. We don’t need more government to tell them how to do their business. … I’m encouraged to hear the ABC is rethinking this.”

Business leaders chafe at proposal

Roger Lee, executive director of Economic Development for Central Oregon, also said that the commission’s new intentions were “a good thing to hear.” And he didn’t deny Cheney’s recollection that Lee had called the draft ordinance “ridiculous” and “arbitrary,” while she insisted it was neither.

“One percent of construction costs is completely arbitrary,” Lee said. “Maybe it should be 1 percent for the Boys and Girls Club. Maybe it should be 1 percent for seniors and disabled people. There’s so many causes out there. There’s so many things people feel strongly about, but not everybody feels that way about art.”

Incentives, instead, would be “great,” said Lee, who added, “I come from a family of artists. I support the arts myself. I feel they play a vital role in the community. But it’s not something you tack onto building costs, which are not very cheap right now.”

Cheney cited a report from the King County Public Art Program, which examined more than 50 public art programs across the U.S. and Canada. More than half (26) have policies regarding public-private partnerships, and of those, the programs in 19 communities – 11 of those in California – are mandated or legislated, while seven are voluntary programs.

In Brea, Calif., for example, a 1975 ordinance, revised twice since, requires that developers building projects worth $1.5 million or more “select, purchase and install permanent outdoor sculpture … accessible and visible to the general public from public streets,” worth at least 1 percent of the project value. It has resulted in 129 artworks, ranging from $8,000 to $1 million in cost.

Loveland, Colo., has a voluntary program, in which 1 percent of the construction cost of each major city project is placed in a reserve account for the Art in Public Places Program.

“Most programs offer a choice,” the report states. “(The) developer may select a public art project, contribute (a percentage) to a cultural trust or public art fund, or some programs split the percentage.”

Meagan Atiyeh, visual arts coordinator for the state arts commission, said she’s not aware of any Oregon community that requires private-developer participation. But she also encouraged critics to consider a broader view of what “public art” entails.

“Public art has much more of a broader application than is traditionally thought of by people, when they envision what public art will be,” she said. “Often, architects will incorporate visual elements into a design, if given the ability to hire an artist … paving elements, seating elements. It’s not always sculpture.”

Portland public-art rep sees pros, cons

Portland’s Regional Arts & Cultural Council is listed in the King County survey as offering a “mandated program,” but the “Percent for Art Bonus program” in the central city area sounds more voluntary in nature. Projects committing 1 percent or more percent to public art get additional bonus floor area ratio.

Eloise Damrosch, public art director for the Portland agency, noted that “quite a few” communities require private developers to take part in public art projects, such as Los Angeles, Broward County, Fla., and Tempe, Ariz. Others work more through incentives.

“Some places, (the requirement) has been around long enough that they don’t even question it – they just do it. In other places, it’s problematic,” said Damrosch, who taught art history at Central Oregon Community College for 12 years.

“I’m not a bit surprised that if you sit down a bunch of the development community, they don’t want it,” Damrosch said. She added that Portland’s program “works in some respects and doesn’t in others. We’re trying to `densify’ the urban growth boundary. One thing a developer can do, even to gain another floor or two on their building, which is extremely lucrative, they can pick a public art bonus. But they have other bonuses to choose from as well.”

Damrosch said more Oregon communities are adding the “1 percent for art” requirement on public projects. “Eugene has had one for some time, and we (Portland) have had ours for 23 years. Vancouver (Washington) is talking about it. Lake Oswego has one. Oregon city is preparing to have one.”

Damrosch, who spoke at a Bend forum last spring, sponsored by Art in Public Places, said she has provided some advice to the ABC Commission on how to proceed.

“I can’t tell any community how to structure a 1 percent for art program,” she said. “The issue of developers is so specific to each community, I told them (the Bend panel), `You need to talk with your community about what will fly and what won’t.'”

C.O. Environmental Center plans December events

Wednesday, December 3rd 6:30 PM
The Central Oregon Environmental Center is pleased to present local artist Lana Young in a special workshop designed to help the hobby photographer learn to take photos like a professional. In addition to learning how to take creative landscape photos, enjoy a slideshow presentation of Lana’s work, which will be on display. Workshop participants will also have the opportunity purchase framed photos and holiday cards at great prices. Space is limited so please call for reservations at 385-6908.
COST: $ 15 per person donation to COEC. WHERE: Central Oregon Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas Ave., Bend.

Wednesday, December 10th 7:00 PM
The Cascade Mountaineers invite the public to their December meeting which will feature the climbing exploits of Pete Keane during his travels in the former Soviet republic of Kyrgzstan. COST: FREE! WHERE: Central Oregon Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas Ave., Bend.

Thursday, December 11th 6:30 PM
Join in on the holiday fun as the Juniper Group of the Sierra Club hosts its 2nd annual holiday party. There will be ample food, fun, and drinks at this festive celebration. During the evening there will also be videos, music, and door prizes. For more information contact Marilyn Miller at 389-9115 or
COST: FREE! WHERE: Central Oregon Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas Ave., Bend.

Friday, December 12th 6:30 PM
The public is invited to join the members of the Central Oregon Nordic Club in their annual holiday party. This is a potluck, so bring your favorite dish to share.
There will be food, fun and festivities for everyone. COST: FREE! WHERE: The
Central Oregon Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas Avenue, Bend.

Tuesday, December 16th 5:30 PM
Join members and staff of the Oregon Natural Desert Association for a holiday open-house! Learn more about what ONDA is doing to help protect, defend, and restore Oregon’s high desert. Light refreshments will be served. COST: FREE! WHERE: Central Oregon Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas Ave., Bend.

Wednesday, December 17th 7:00 PM
The Audubon Society is pleased to host Pete and Gretchen Pederson during its Evenings with Nature meeting in December. Pete and Gretchen are biologists who have explored whale-rich waters in many parts of the world while working as naturalists on small ships during the past 13 years. Throughout their travels they have photographed marine mammals in numerous environments. Their slide-illustrated presentation will describe the natural history of whales with an emphasis on humpback, sperm, gray, and killer whales. Come at 6:30 PM for the social with free refreshments. COST: FREE! WHERE: Central Oregon Environmental Center at 16 NW Kansas Ave., Bend.

Saturday, December 20th 7 to 10 PM
The Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory will present a 45 minute program that covers that vast astronomical tools that include telescopes, binoculars, star charts and accessories. Seating is limited, so reservations are suggested. Please call 593-4442 for more information.
COST: $8 for adults, $5 for kids 2-12, free for Observatory Members. Admission includes the regular observatory program which begins at 8:00 PM. WHERE: Sunriver Nature Center, 15 miles south of Bend.

Saturday, December 27th 8 to 11 PM
The Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory will present an in-depth look into what has happened in our solar system over the last year and what is coming up for the future. The program review current and past NASA programs, including Columbia and Galileo. There will also be slides and videos form NASA, JPL, ESA, and others. COST: $9 for adults, $6 for kids 2-12. WHERE: Sunriver Nature Center, 15 miles south of Bend.

Sunday, December 28th 8Am to 4 PM
Bird watchers of all levels, from beginner to expert, are welcome to join a naturalist for this annual survey of the bird species of our area. Participants are asked to dress for the weather and to bring binoculars and bird identification guides. For more information call 593-4442.
COST: FREE! WHERE: Meet at the Sunriver Nature Center.

Throughout December
The Four Winds Foundation is once again offering a 12 week class on Native Natural Ways. This is a unique opportunity to experience sweat lodges, drumming, chanting, and other Native rituals. The program will also feature special guest speakers and elders that will share their tribal knowledge on subjects ranging from sustainable hunting, gathering of wild food, earth crafts, and more. For more information contact Sweet Medicine Nation at 541-617-5833 or on the web at
COST: Call for course fee. WHERE: Call for location.

Portland Events:
“Money Talks: Investing for Financial & Social Success”
December 4, 2003 7:00-9:00 AM
Multnomah Athletic Club, 1849 SW Salmon, Portland
Presented by the Oregon Environmental Council

For at least two decades, both individual and institutional investors (e.g.,
pension plans) have had the option of putting their money into so-called
“socially responsible investments” (SRIs) via screened mutual funds,
community development banks and other similar strategies. But how are these
investments doing compared to others? Are more traditional investment funds
moving in this direction? How do the funds invested by SRI funds influence
companies and the decisions they make? Ultimately, what impact are these
investments having on the environment and the community? We are pleased to
have Carsten Henningsen of Portfolio 21, and Howard Shapiro, a founder of
Albina Bank, share their wealth of knowledge, experience and perspectives on
this interesting topic.

A complimentary full breakfast will be provided.

Reservations are requested by 12/2 and can be made by:
1) sending a check made out to the Oregon Environmental Council for $25 ($20
for OEC members and employees of nonprofit and governmental agencies)to:
Oregon Environmental Council, 520 SW 6th Avenue, Suite 940, Portland, OR
2) on-line at
3) by phone or e-mail with Visa or MasterCard by contacting Cheryl at (503)
222-1963 ex. 100;

DNA tests ID Bend ’98 drowning victim

A Bend family received the sad closure it had awaited for five long years this Thanksgiving week. They learned that DNA tests had confirmed that a skull fragment found in the Rogue River last year belonged to a 23-year-old Bend woman, swept away while trying to rescue her dog five years ago.

The persistent work of a Jackson County sheriff’s detective made it happen.

On Sept. 3, 1998, Camie Rayleen Johnson was reported missing in the area of the gorge in the Rogue River near Union Creek.

At the time of the incident, crews from Jackson County Fire District #4, Mercy Flights Ambulance, the Jackson County Search and Rescue dive team, U.S. Forest Service rangers and sheriff’s deputies responded.

Witnesses told sheriff’s deputies that the woman slipped into the river and had been seen going downstream, disappearing when she went over a set of falls.

Johnson’s golden retriever, Jackson, was found on an island in the river in the same area and was rescued by fire district and Forest Service crews. The dog later was confirmed by family to belong to Camie Johnson and was believed to be the reason she went so close to the water. Camie’s vehicle was also found in the area.

Members of Jackson County Search and Rescue tried many times over the following two months to find the woman’s body, but were unsuccessful. The case received no further leads to help detectives close what was becoming, in police parlance, a “cold case.”

Then in September of last year, a man fishing in the Rogue River downstream from the gorge area located a piece of a human skull. The skull was taken by detectives in an effort to confirm the identity of the victim.

Sheriff’s Det. Dan Hobbs sought for more than a year to find a way to confirm the identity of the skull or try to link it to the missing-woman case. Hobbs tried different avenues of confirmation, but ran into budget cuts and cost factors that brought rejection from laboratories including, the state crime lab, the state medical examiners office and other private labs.

Finally, last June, Hobbs pressed his dedication to the family and the case, traveling north and contacting Oregon State Police crime lab personnel in Portland. He was able to convince them to take on the expensive task of confirming the identity through DNA testing – something limited to criminal cases due to recent budget cuts.

The detective coordinated DNA comparison samples from family members, which led to confirmation this week that the skull in fact belonged to Camie Johnson.

“We are relieved to bring this case to a close, especially for the family of Camie,” said Jackson County Sheriff Mike Winters. “I am very proud of our investigative team and the dedication that was shown by Detective Hobbs in this case, much of it on his own time.”

A memorial service was held at Bend Church of the Nazarene in September 1998 for Johnson, who was born in Portland and raised in Gresham. She had lived in Ashland before moving to Bend.

The Barlow High School graduate competed at the national level in roller skating and was a member of the track and volleyball teams while attending Mount Hood Community College and later, at Southern Oregon University. She enjoyed snowboarding, mountain biking and hiking with her golden retriever.

COCC news: Chorale’s ‘Messiah,’ more

The Cascade Chorale will present Handel’s “Messiah” at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 and 13, at the First Presbyterian Church of Bend. The 125 voices and instruments are under the direction of Clyde Thompson, associate professor of music at Central Oregon Community College.

Many consider “Messiah” to be the world’s greatest choral work. Handel, at the low ebb of his career and, as a consequence of a stroke, suffering partial paralysis on his left side, composed the two-and-a-half oratorio in just 23 days in 1742.

“One can only marvel at the flow of inspiration that produced it,” said Thompson. “After finishing the “Halleluiah Chorus,” the composer stepped outside his studio and exclaimed that he felt as though he had just seen the face of God.”

Although “Messiah” has become an integral Christmas custom, it was not originally envisioned as a Christmas tradition. Rather, its embodiment of Christian doctrine and faith was intended as a thought-provoker for Lent and Easter.

Thompson chose the First Presbyterian Church as the venue to take advantage of the church’s fine organ. Sacred oratorios of the Baroque period were generally performed in churches and cathedrals. The orchestra will also include harpsichord, organ, strings, bassoon, trumpets and timpani. The Cascade Chorale is a community chorus that is part of the Music Department at Central Oregon Community College.

Tickets for this concert are $7 for adults and $6 for seniors and $5 for students. They can be purchased through the COCC Box Office (383-7575) or at the door.

Anyone wishing to attend this event who has special needs resulting from a physical disability should contact Gene Zinkgraf, ADA coordinator, at least three days in advance of the event. He can be reached at 383-7775 or through the college’s TTY number, 383-7708.


All forms of registration for Central Oregon Community College’s Continuing Education winter classes will begin Monday, Dec. 8.

Looking to upgrade your computer or cooking skills? Want to learn Spanish or the secrets to gardening in the High Desert? The schedule, with more than 300 noncredit enrichment classes, will be mailed to all students who enrolled in continuing education classes within the previous year. In addition, the schedule will be delivered with The Bulletin on Dec. 8 in all delivery areas.

Students can register by mail, e-mail, fax, telephone, on the web or in-person. Registration forms will be processed in the order received. To register, fill out one of the registration forms in the back of the schedule, call 383 7270 or go to



An informational meeting about Spring Quarter in London, an overseas study program sponsored by COCC, will be held at noon on Thursday, Dec. 4, in Room 201 of Modoc Hall at Central Oregon Community College.

Diane Kirk, Spring Quarter in London coordinator for COCC, will give an overview of the program as well a provide program brochures, applications and answer questions. Jon Bouknight, a member of the program faculty last year, will give a slide presentation. The deadline for applications is Jan. 16, 2004.

The program will run from March 26 to June 5, 2004, and will be based in London, England. Students will be able to earn 12 COCC credits. Faculty members from Oregon community colleges will teach courses in art, literature, writing, theater, speech, psychology, sociology and film.

The London Quarter is offered through the Oregon International

Education Consortium and the American Institute of Foreign Study. It is open to students of all ages who have earned at least 12 college units with a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

For information, call 383-7584 or e-mail



The Central Oregon Community College Library and its computer lab will be open limited hours between fall and winter terms. It will be open from 1 to 4 p.m. Dec. 15 to 19, Dec. 29 to 31 and Jan. 2.

The college will be closed Dec. 22 to Dec. 28 and Jan. 1.

Winter-term credit and continuing education classes begin Monday, Jan. 5.

For information, call 383-7500.