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.

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…

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,…

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…

Judge and Jury: City Council prepares to weigh Casey Roats’ qualifications

By Erin Rook, Source Weekly On December 1, City Council will hold a special session to deliberate and decide on the question whether councilor-elect Casey Roats is qualified to serve on Council. The meeting, scheduled for 3 pm at City Hall, will include testimony only from Roats. Neither the public, nor attorneys, will be permitted to comment….

To Reside, or Not to Reside

Casey Roats’ attorney claims opponent is the one with residency issues By Erin Rook, Source Weekly A City Council race that started on high ground, talking about livability and affordable housing issues, has in its last weeks become overshadowed by questions surrounding the residency qualifications of candidate Casey Roats. That shadow grew longer last week when…

Follow the Money

Local PACs, businesses, and individuals show candidate support with cash By Erin Rook, Source Weekly As the saying goes, “Money talks.” But what do the campaign contributions from local political action committees (PACs) to Bend City Council candidates have to say? We tracked down the biggest contributors to the local races and asked them how…

Future Fears

When Halloween and elections collide, frightening predictions arise By Erin Rook, Source Weekly Masks of elected officials are a Halloween staple. Why? Because politicians can be scary. But like super powered-mutants, they have the ability to either wreak havoc on, or help to save, the future. We talked to city staff and councilors to find…

Whatcha Doing, Candidate? John Kitzhaber for Governor

Gov. John Kitzhaber hopes to continue economic, education and healthcare efforts  By Erin Rook, Source Weekly Gov. John Kitzhaber has made economic, education and healthcare issues a priority in the most recent of his three non-consecutive terms as Oregon Governor. An emergency room doctor by trade, Kitzhaber also served in the Oregon House of Representatives and…