Widmer & Mensing Form New Law Group

Patrick Widmer and Steve Mensing have announced the formation of a new law firm, Widmer Mensing Law Group LLP, based in Bend.

The partnership will leverage both men’s specialties into a practice that becomes a powerful resource for businesses dealing with legal issues, according to Mensing.

Widmer, formerly of Edwards Widmer LLP in Bend, will continue to practice business law focusing on entity formation and transactions, as well as commercial and contract law, employment law, real estate, creditor side bankruptcy and estate planning.

Mensing, formerly of Doyle-Mensing PC in Scottsdale, Ariz., is a litigation specialist who focuses on several areas including business and general civil litigation, construction litigation, civil rights, product liability and insurance law, as well as real estate law.

Mensing, who received his undergraduate degree in political science from Portland State University and his law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School, has been a trial lawyer for the past 12 years. Widmer sees Mensing’s extensive litigation experience as a great benefit to the firm’s clients.

“Steve’s depth of experience in litigation, both at the state and the federal levels, definitely brings a valuable expertise to our clients,” said Widmer.

And he sees it as a great fit to his business transaction practice. “Businesses have disputes and having a partner who specializes in dispute resolution, including negotiation and settlements as well as litigation, is a great resource for our clients,” he said.

Widmer, who received his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Oregon, also earned his law degree at Lewis & Clark Law School. In fact, the friendship formed there serves as the foundation of their new professional partnership.

“We have extraordinary mutual respect for each other,” said Mensing, who believes that is critical to the success of their new venture. Both men also share viewpoints about what makes a good lawyer including close attention to clients’ needs, creative problem-solving abilities, and being a cost-effective resource for clients.

Another thing they have in common is their enjoyment of the practice of law.

“I get a great deal of satisfaction from working with businesses to help them grow from a start-up to an established, successful enterprise,” said Widmer. “It’s exciting to be part of their team and work with them through all the issues that arise along the way.”

Mensing’s perspective is a little different but equally as focused. He believes a litigator’s job is to be a calming force for people and businesses involved in a dispute.

“Being involved in a lawsuit is always a burden and I have an obligation to counsel my clients on the best way to resolve the issues,” Mensing said. “It’s not just finding options, but helping them select the best solution to their situation.”

While an Oregon native, Mensing is new to Bend. One of the first things he has noticed is the collegial nature of the law community in Central Oregon, including the camaraderie among the lawyers who share the firm’s office complex at 960 SW Disk Drive, Suite 101.

Contact Widmer Mensing Law Group at 541-318-3330 or email them at pat@bendlawgroup.com and sam@bendlawgroup.com.

Holiday Bazaar to Feed the homeless

Help feed and clothe the homeless this holiday season by shopping at or participating in The Holiday Bazaar Crafter’s Outlet Sale at Bend’s Community Center on Dec. 10, from 9am -4pm. Booths are stil available for crafters of handmade or locally made items for as little as a flat rate of $35 with no commissions or other fees. All proceeds from this event go toward BCC’s Feed the hungry Every Sunday program, which feeds and clothes as many as 250 people a week.

Admission is $3 or three boxes or cans of food for adults, $2 or two boxes/cans for students and seniors; $1 or one can/box for children 12 and older, and children under 12 get in for free.

There will be food and drink available all day as well as a guaranteed 25% off all regular craft prices for last minute gift ideas. Shoppers may choose from a wide variety of crafts: Girls dressy handmade clothes, Xmas stockings, tie-dyed clothing, jewelry, wooden toys, baked goods and candy, Xmas decorations, toys, home decor and garden items and much more.

Bend’s Community Center is a 501 C3 nonprofit organization dedicated to serving the needs of the community. Donations may be mailed to 1036 NE 5th St, Bend OR 97701 or call 312-2069 for more information or to volunteer.

Families USA and Senator Smith To Congress: Put People First

At a press conference hosted by Families USA, Senator Gordon H. Smith today continued his fight against proposed cuts to Medicaid and Food Stamps in the federal budget.

“The cuts passed by the House of Representatives would result in millions of needy Americans losing critical benefits like access to basic health care or help with feeding their families,” said Smith. “The Congress must put people first and adopt the Senate version of the budget package, which finds significant savings while not impacting the beneficiaries who rely on these important safety-net programs for their health care and other basic needs.”

“We are grateful that Senator Smith is holding strong and opposing cuts to the Medicaid program,” said Ron Pollack, Executive Director of Families USA. “He has been the key member in the budget fight, and we hope that other members of the Senate will follow his lead and protect the most vulnerable Americans from losing their health care safety net.”

Earlier this month, the House of Representatives passed a budget reconciliation package that would place an increased burden on America’s poor, elderly and disabled, who are already paying a disproportionate share for health care benefits. The House plan includes increased co-payments for Medicaid beneficiaries and significant cuts to the Food Stamp program, cuts that Senator Smith led the charge against during the Senate’s consideration of the budget reconciliation.

The Senate version of the budget plan contains no cuts to Food Stamps and does not affect Medicaid beneficiaries’ access to or cost of care.

The House and Senate packages are now in a Conference Committee to reconcile differences between the two bills. The Congress is expected to vote on a conference report in the coming weeks.

New position to boost range fire protection

Oregon is recognized nationally as a leader in wildfire protection. But where forestland abuts other land uses, gaps exist. A new position aims to expand firefighting coverage to currently under-protected areas east of the Cascades.

Veteran forester Gordon Foster has been appointed Rangeland Fire Coordinator for the Oregon Department of Forestry’s Eastern Oregon Area. He brings 40 years of professional experience with the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Forestry to the job, which will seek to improve protection of rangelands.

While forested lands and public rangelands in eastern Oregon are safeguarded by state and federal resource agencies, large tracts of privately owned range receive little or no protection from wildfire. When these lands burn and fire spreads to adjacent protected lands, landowners that pay for fire protection and the general public are forced to pick up the tab for firefighting costs.

As a key focus of his new job, Foster will encourage range owners to form rangeland protection associations. Similar to the forest protection associations that have long existed throughout the state, rangeland associations offer landowners a way to provide economical fire protection for their lands. (Rangeland fire protection associations are non-governmental, non-profit organizations of rangeland owners.)

The Ironside Protection Association in northern Malheur County has safeguarded members’ rangelands for four decades. And following legislative discussions in 1997, a handful of other rangeland associations formed in eastern Oregon.

As new associations come into being, he will help them with training of firefighters, acquisition of fire equipment and development of cooperative protection agreements.

A unit forester with the Department of Forestry stationed in John Day for the past five years, Foster previously worked 35 years for the U.S. Forest Service.

The Rangeland Fire Coordinator position arose from a review of the department’s statewide fire program conducted in 2004. Protection Projects Director Charlie Stone said helping range owners form associations will reduce firefighting costs to forest landowners and the department.

“The idea is that if we have rangeland protection associations against the boundaries of our forest protection districts instead of unprotected land, there will be a greater chance that fires in these areas will be fought earlier and more successfully,” Stone said. “That way, forest landowner funds are not spent on fires that originate outside the district and threaten to burn onto forestland in the district.”

Foster officially begins his new job Dec. 12. He will work out of the Oregon Department of Forestry office in Prineville.

Anti-Sexual Bias Leaflets to be Distributed at Madras Bank

Farm workers and supporters on Thursday will pass out leaflets at bank branches in California, Oregon, and Washington urging Bank of the West to take immediate steps to stop blatant sex discrimination by one of its biggest clients, a giant dairy in rural eastern Oregon. Thousands of email protests will also go to the bank from a mass Internet appeal issued by the United Farm Workers on Thursday.

The Madras Bank of the West is one of the branches where leaflets will be distributed by representatives of the Central Oregon Labor Council and Central Oregon Jobs with Justice.

Bank of the West gave a $101 million line of credit to Threemile Canyon Farms. In September 2005, women farm workers filed a second sexual bias lawsuit since 2004 against the dairy. The first suit was settled out of court in September 2004 for nearly $200,000, and a pledge by the huge dairy to hire female employees. Since the settlement, it hasn’t employed any women.

Dairy owner A.J. Bos said, “I don’t want women at the farm-they are only good for the bed,” according to sworn declarations from 12 current Threemile Canyon farm workers.

Top labor and religious leaders are urging Bank of the West, with 480 branches in 16 states, to pressure Threemile Canyon Farms to end discrimination and resolve its dispute with the UFW, says union Pacific Northwest Regional Director Erik Nicholson. A majority of workers at the dairies located at Threemile Canyon Farms have signed authorization cards indicating their desire for the UFW to represent them.

“Bank of the West has a moral responsibility to ensure all workers have the right to work and that all workers are treated fairly where they work,” said Nicholson. “Today, we’re asking Bank of the West customers to demand that the bank put this responsibility into action.”

On Nov. 10, representatives of the UFW, accompanied by top religious and labor leaders, announced an international campaign to demand Bank of the West take action to address the issues at Threemile Canyon Farms. On that same day, three women filed the second sexual discrimination lawsuit against the farm for sexual discrimination.

Leafleting will take place in the following cities. California: Ventura, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Ventura, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles. Oregon: Pendleton, Madras, Salem, Beaverton, and two locations in Portland. Washington State: Yakima, Sunnyside, and Tri-Cities.

Anti-Sexual Bias Leaflets to be Distributed at Madras Bank

Farm workers and supporters on Thursday will pass out leaflets at bank branches in California, Oregon, and Washington urging Bank of the West to take immediate steps to stop blatant sex discrimination by one of its biggest clients, a giant dairy in rural eastern Oregon. Thousands of email protests will also go to the bank from a mass Internet appeal issued by the United Farm Workers on Thursday.

The Madras Bank of the West is one of the branches where leaflets will be distributed by representatives of the Central Oregon Labor Council and Central Oregon Jobs with Justice.

Bank of the West gave a $101 million line of credit to Threemile Canyon Farms. In September 2005, women farm workers filed a second sexual bias lawsuit since 2004 against the dairy. The first suit was settled out of court in September 2004 for nearly $200,000, and a pledge by the huge dairy to hire female employees. Since the settlement, it hasn’t employed any women.

Dairy owner A.J. Bos said, “I don’t want women at the farm-they are only good for the bed,” according to sworn declarations from 12 current Threemile Canyon farm workers.

Top labor and religious leaders are urging Bank of the West, with 480 branches in 16 states, to pressure Threemile Canyon Farms to end discrimination and resolve its dispute with the UFW, says union Pacific Northwest Regional Director Erik Nicholson. A majority of workers at the dairies located at Threemile Canyon Farms have signed authorization cards indicating their desire for the UFW to represent them.

“Bank of the West has a moral responsibility to ensure all workers have the right to work and that all workers are treated fairly where they work,” said Nicholson. “Today, we’re asking Bank of the West customers to demand that the bank put this responsibility into action.”

On Nov. 10, representatives of the UFW, accompanied by top religious and labor leaders, announced an international campaign to demand Bank of the West take action to address the issues at Threemile Canyon Farms. On that same day, three women filed the second sexual discrimination lawsuit against the farm for sexual discrimination.

Leafleting will take place in the following cities. California: Ventura, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Ventura, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles. Oregon: Pendleton, Madras, Salem, Beaverton, and two locations in Portland. Washington State: Yakima, Sunnyside, and Tri-Cities.

Anti-Sexual Bias Leaflets to be Distributed at Madras Bank

Farm workers and supporters on Thursday will pass out leaflets at bank branches in California, Oregon, and Washington urging Bank of the West to take immediate steps to stop blatant sex discrimination by one of its biggest clients, a giant dairy in rural eastern Oregon. Thousands of email protests will also go to the bank from a mass Internet appeal issued by the United Farm Workers on Thursday.

The Madras Bank of the West is one of the branches where leaflets will be distributed by representatives of the Central Oregon Labor Council and Central Oregon Jobs with Justice.

Bank of the West gave a $101 million line of credit to Threemile Canyon Farms. In September 2005, women farm workers filed a second sexual bias lawsuit since 2004 against the dairy. The first suit was settled out of court in September 2004 for nearly $200,000, and a pledge by the huge dairy to hire female employees. Since the settlement, it hasn’t employed any women.

Dairy owner A.J. Bos said, “I don’t want women at the farm-they are only good for the bed,” according to sworn declarations from 12 current Threemile Canyon farm workers.

Top labor and religious leaders are urging Bank of the West, with 480 branches in 16 states, to pressure Threemile Canyon Farms to end discrimination and resolve its dispute with the UFW, says union Pacific Northwest Regional Director Erik Nicholson. A majority of workers at the dairies located at Threemile Canyon Farms have signed authorization cards indicating their desire for the UFW to represent them.

“Bank of the West has a moral responsibility to ensure all workers have the right to work and that all workers are treated fairly where they work,” said Nicholson. “Today, we’re asking Bank of the West customers to demand that the bank put this responsibility into action.”

On Nov. 10, representatives of the UFW, accompanied by top religious and labor leaders, announced an international campaign to demand Bank of the West take action to address the issues at Threemile Canyon Farms. On that same day, three women filed the second sexual discrimination lawsuit against the farm for sexual discrimination.

Leafleting will take place in the following cities. California: Ventura, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Ventura, Bakersfield, and Los Angeles. Oregon: Pendleton, Madras, Salem, Beaverton, and two locations in Portland. Washington State: Yakima, Sunnyside, and Tri-Cities.

Governor’s Remarks – Intel Analysts Briefing

Good afternoon and welcome to Oregon. I want to thank Intel for inviting me to join you today to share a bit about Oregon and how our technology industry has thrived locally and globally – and how we’re looking to the future to ensure that we not only remain competitive with neighboring states – but that Oregon remains competitive with countries throughout the world.

One of Oregon’s best-kept secrets is that this is a great place to do business. Our reputation generally is one of livability, sustainability and progressive policies. We have clean air, the beautiful mountains, pristine coastline, forests, deserts, and a high standard of living.

But Oregon is also home to companies with great success stories – like Intel and Nike and Columbia Sportswear and Tektronix. The values of these companies reflect the values of our state and reflect our commitment to opportunity, collaboration and innovation – coupled with our great quality of life.

***
Oregon values the technology sector – which is a critical part of my economic vision for the state. I have said many times that I want to make Oregon “the Innovation State.”

I want Oregon’s economy to be driven by innovation so as to attract and retain the best and the brightest to both support the growth of existing companies – like Intel – and to create opportunities for anyone with an idea and the determination to build a business or begin a career.

Intel is an important partner of mine as I work to advance these goals.

Intel’s facilities in Oregon are the world’s largest and most advanced center of semiconductor research and manufacturing – which is a fact that many people, including many Oregonians, do not know.

And many more aren’t aware that right here in Hillsboro – Intel leads the world in micron-level research and development and manufacturing.

Intel now has eight campuses devoted to every stage of semiconductor research and development, manufacturing, facility support, and the development of products that imbed silicon further and deeper into our society.

In fact, today almost every major Intel business unit is represented in Oregon. And as the Governor, I am very thankful for that.

Intel’s work here is also highly capital-intensive. That can be directly attributed to the passage of the Strategic Investment Program (SIP) – which most recently has delivered a $25 billion investment from Intel over the next 15 years.

As Oregon’s largest private “research university,” more patents come out of Intel in Oregon than in any other Intel location in the world – and Oregon is ranked among the top-ten states for developing patents that lead to commercialized products.

What you are seeing in Oregon is Intel’s commitment and investment in research and development systems known as fabs. The technology developed in Oregon is used by Intel in their other manufacturing systems throughout the world.

Recognizing that the high technology sector is very competitive both nationally and internationally, the State of Oregon is proud of our partnerships with our high technology community. As an example, Intel’s history of investment in Oregon is quite different than in other states.

As I mentioned earlier, Oregon is the state where Intel does the research to develop new products and new processes.

And Oregon is the incubator for companies to be leaders in innovation and product development.

***
With all of our success in building a world-class high tech sector here in Oregon, we must always be looking to the future and anticipating those changes that will determine success or failure in the global market place.

Let me speak for a moment about some of the changes we see emerging:

The “Young and Restless”: Not the Soap Opera, but the fastest growing demographic in Oregon the 21-35 year olds who are bright, creative and diverse. They value Oregon’s quality of life, want a strong education system, and an economy that offers high wages, challenging professional opportunities, and are hungry for the chance to be a part of a company that will break new ground – and continue to grow and prosper.

A Global Economy: It’s almost trite to say that we now live and work in a global economy, but it is true – and Oregon has always been a state with a global view. We are #7 nationally in terms of reliance on exports. One third of the economic output in the Portland Metropolitan area relies upon exports. And with the rapid proliferation of the Internet we are more global than ever.

· Digitization: With the digitization of society, we are seeing the globalization of communications, commerce and entertainment. Organizations that are serious about competing in the instant-communication, digitized, global environment — are those who are willing to focus on the following factors;

· Invest in infrastructure;
1 Pay attention to factors which affect the time value of money;
2 Make lands available for industrial development and redevelopment; and
3 Investment in education and workforce and skills training.

In Oregon, we’re paying attention to all of these factors, because the bottom line question we ask ourselves is: How can we ensure that our companies compete and succeed in the global economy?

Under my administration, we’ve focused on partnering with Intel and others to make them successful here.

We are also aggressively working with businesses to help them transition their workforce as conditions and technology’s change – so their workforce has the skills they need to adapt to ever changing conditions.

What, exactly are we doing?

Regulatory Streamlining: Making “time is of the essence” a part of our regulatory process has been a major objective of my administrations approach to regulatory government. Whether it is a permit, license or some other governmental approval we want to reduce the time and paperwork involved in getting the project going. As an example, when I became Governor, some of our regulations that Intel complies with had a one-size-fits-all approach that treated the installation of Intel’s sophisticated equipment in their new D-1D facility here in Hillsboro, the same way as other commercial equipment such as air conditioners or air compressors that contained electrical components. Upon learning of this situation on one of my early trips to Santa Clara we turned our regulatory practice on its head and tailored the regulation to the technology.

Utilization of a Single Sales Factor.

Open Source Technology Development: Google’s recent grant to Portland State University and Oregon State University for a joint open-technology center will focus on encouraging open source software and hardware development, developing academic curricula and providing computing infrastructure to open source projects worldwide.

· Oregon, Inc.: A partnership of industry – including Intel – government and education focused on:
· Statewide signature research centers.

1 Making it easier to commercialize research into products.
2 Increasing access to start-up capital for traded sector businesses.
3 Fostering the entrepreneurial and workforce talent for companies in innovative and global markets.

ONAMI: Secured $7 million with potential to generate up to $14 million for research.

Pacific Northwest National Lab (PNNL): Investing their capital in Oregon; bringing more than 20 PhDs to work with ONAMI.

· Industrial Lands:
· Certified 2,800 acres to allow projects to begin in 180 days.
1 Working to bring it down from 180 to 90.
2 Lured Google and Yahoo! here through my industrial lands program.

***

But Intel’s presence – and the strength of the entire technology industry – in Oregon transcends just high-tech.

This niche helps make the state competitive across the entire range of traded sector industries.

But in order to maintain this edge, we must make decisions today based on the impact they have on the future – which is why I have focused on shoring up our educational system in Oregon.

Education Enterprise – pre-K through graduate school and workforce training.
Better Schools – Bill Gates comment – we need to retool our high schools; make relevant to students; challenge students; prepare for what they need to know for the future (not keep teaching same as we have in the past).
Expand Access to College – Opportunity Grants
Workforce Training/Skills Training – The key to providing the quality workforce to help companies like Intel succeed is to ensure Oregon has the most qualified and skilled workforce in the nation.

***

I recognize that “traded sector” companies like Intel can go anywhere in the world to make their investments.

I have tried to build my understanding of that fact into a consistent part of my program and policies as governor.

I have worked closely with Intel and other companies to make Oregon a great place to invest and grow.

Today, as a result of policies of governors and legislatures past, and of the work we are continuing today, I believe Oregon has a set of tools available to keep the state competitive:

We are among the most wired places in the world.
We are also among the most wireless places in the world.
Our overall business costs are among the lowest in the nation – we have no sales tax, no inventory tax, state business or occupations tax.
We are the only state to see ten consecutive annual reductions in workers’ compensation insurance rates.
We are moving forward and continuously improving our industrial land program.
We have world-class incentive programs available to keep the cost of business down, while drawing the kind of investment that leads to good jobs and strong community investment.

I recognize that Oregon isn’t competing with just Arizona or New Mexico for investment. We are competing with China, India, Singapore and Russia.

Countries are aggressively courting traded sector industries, and states need to approach this like the global competition that it is – and as Governor, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I’ve traveled to China, Japan and Germany. More importantly I have traveled to Santa Clara twice to hear these messages directly from Intel CEOs so that I knew how we could work to make Oregon the best state in the country for future Intel investment.

While Oregon’s economy was struggling as a part of a global slowdown, I took a long-term, pragmatic and responsible approach – and we’re on the right track with the sixth fastest growing economy in the nation; lowest unemployment rate in more than four years; record numbers of employed Oregonians – and second in the nation for information job growth.

Our focus and partnership with the private sector is delivering results.

That’s the kind of leadership that is typical of Oregon, and it is an approach we will continue.

Stolen Vehicle Involved in Hit and Run Crash

On November 30, at approximately 5:11 p.m., the Deschutes County Sheriff’s office received a report of a Hit and Run Motor Vehicle Crash where a Ford Pickup had crashed into a fence at 60026 Cinder Butte Road. Further information revealed that two males had fled the scene on foot.

Responding deputies located Christopher James Lacoss, 19, and Allen Ray Frost, 18, walking a short distance away from the crash scene. Evidence located on the suspects put them at the scene of the crash. Bend Police officers responded to the pickup’s registered owner’s residence and confirmed that the pickup had been stolen during the night.

Property belonging to two residences in the area was located. The initial investigation revealed that Lacoss and Frost had entered vehicles at two different addresses and had taken property to consist of a wallet and compact discs. The property was returned to the owners.

The suspects were taken into custody. Frost was cited and released and Lacoss was lodged at the Deschutes County Adult Jail with a bail of $33,500. Lacoss was charged with UUV, Unlawful Entry to Motor Vehicle, Theft I, Delivery, Schedule II Controlled Substance, Hit and Run, and Theft III. Frost was charged with UUV, Theft I, and Unlawful Entry to a Motor Vehicle.

Gift Certificates available for Music Classes

The Cascade Community School of music is now offering gift certificates good for music instruction at the school.

Certificates come with a class brochure and may be purchased in any amount. Certificates will be good towards any of the over 30 different programs for students of all ages, and are good for one year. Classes begin the week of January 9th.

Call CCSM at 382-6866 for more information or to order