The Forest for the Trees

Sen. Wyden talks natural resources at year’s first town hall By Erin Rook, Source Weekly If the questions fielded by Sen. Ron Wyden last Friday are any indication, Central Oregonians are concerned about the environment and the economy, and how to strike a balance between what appear to be competing interests. Advertisements

From Stars to Séances 

Bend’s growing psychic community By Erin Rook, Source Weekly Until 1986, the practice of “occult arts” in Bend — including fortune telling, astrology, phrenology, palmistry, clairvoyance, mesmerism, spiritualism, and other spiritual readings — was subjected to a $250 per day licensing fee. The ordinance originated in 1913, a time of unprecedented growth in Bend. In…

Councilor Doug Knight Vies for the Mayoral Gavel

By Erin Rook, Source Weekly When the new City Council meets for the first time on Wednesday, it’s short agenda includes electing a mayor and mayor pro-tem. In Bend, the mayor functions similarly to the chair of a board. He or she helps create the meeting agenda in cooperation with the city manager, facilitates meetings…

Bills, Bills, Bills: Meet the woman who holds the City’s purse strings

By Erin Rook, Source Weekly When Sharon Wojda first joined the City of Bend’s finance department more than a decade ago, Facebook was just being born, President George W. Bush was finishing his first term, and Bend was three-quarters its current size. Starting in 2004 as staff accountant, Wojda was named the permanent finance director…

Nathan Boddie: The friendly neighborhood doctor and endurance junkie

  Before he was a doctor, Nathan Boddie was a ski patroller, volunteer firefighter and emergency medical technician in Montana. It was his experience as an EMT and his passion for helping people that inspired him to pursue medicine, he explains in a slight Southern accent over coffee at Thump. With a bald head and…

Casey Roats: The next-generation working class conservative

By Erin Rook, Source Weekly As anyone who followed his campaign likely knows, Casey Roats has deep roots in the local community. As we sit in the McMenamins pub, he explains that he actually attended the Old St. Francis School for part of high school, and served as an altar boy at the nearby Catholic…

Barb Campbell: The quirky aunt with a passion for public process

By Erin Rook, Source Weekly Like the rainbow-hued array of toys, games and costumes in her downtown shop, Wabi Sabi, Barb Campbell is colorful, playful and quirky. When I walk into her Japanese toy store a week before Christmas, she is enthusiastically helping a customer select the perfect gift. Back in her office, where the door…

A Voice for Central Oregon

Labor representative Yaju Dharmarajah joins Oregon Civil Rights Council By Erin Rook, Source Weekly Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian last week announced the appointment of Bend’s own Yaju Dharmarajah to the Oregon Council on Civil Rights. Dharmarajah is a Sri Lankan immigrant and staff representative with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)…

Far From Ferguson

Bend responds to national conversation on race and police force By Erin Rook, Source Weekly From the signs carried by marchers to the name of the event, the statement was simple, yet weighty—”Black Lives Matter.” On Saturday, more than 200 people marched through Bend in solidarity with protestors in cities across the nation, including Washington,…

The Other Side of the Fence: As Bend grows, neighborhood tensions rise

By Erin Rook, Source Weekly At the Nov. 19 City Council meeting, local residents once again lined up to offer testimony on vacation rentals. It has been a heated debate, but this time, rather than sharing concerns about how the rentals should be regulated, many spoke out in opposition to the makeup of the citizen…

Let it Flow: Federal judge pulls the plug on Bridge Creek pipeline lawsuit

By Erin Rook, Source Weekly For the past year and a half, the now $30-$34 million Bridge Creek pipeline project has lain in wait, its completion stalled by persistent legal challenges. But last Friday, a federal judge turned the tap back on, permitting the project to move forward. “I was pleased but not surprised,” says…

The Rocky Road to City Council

Casey Roats knocks down major election hurdle, but a lawsuit still looms By Erin Rook, Source Weekly Casey Roats’ path to City Council reached another milestone Monday evening. After about three hours of often-tense deliberations on the letter and spirit of the City Charter’s residency requirements, councilors voted 5-2 to find Roats qualified to serve. TThe majority…