Mirror Pond group meets in secret

After months of public outreach, Bend officials met behind closed doors Tuesday to begin deciding the fate of Mirror Pond , potentially violating Oregon’s public meetings law.

The Bend City Council and park district board voted last month to create a new Mirror Pond ad hoc committee and assigned its members a specific job: to select and refine a final plan for the future of Mirror Pond. Officials have been discussing how to manage the buildup of silt in the Mirror Pond section of the Deschutes River for years. Cost estimates for the four options that remain under consideration range from no expense, if officials decide to do nothing, to $10.9 million to remove a dam, alter the river channel to keep water flowing past homes on the north side of Mirror Pond and prevent the growth of riparian vegetation that would block their views. The committee met for the first time on Tuesday.

However, the Bend Park & Recreation District and city of Bend never published notice of the 3 p.m. Tuesday meeting. They also never provided an agenda. Park district employees told members of the media they could not attend the meeting.

Read more here.

ADA progress is slow in Bend, as deadline looms

Late last month, a few disabled Bend residents gathered at City Hall to discuss choices most people never have to make.
Would they rather be able to go to grocery stores or job training centers? Is it more important for disabled people to have accessible routes to schools or to the Bend Community Center?
Nearly a decade after the city promised to remove barriers to people with disabilities in a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice, much of Bend remains inaccessible to disabled residents. Due to budget constraints and policy decisions, the city spends a limited amount of money each year to fix curb ramps, sidewalks, and other broken or missing infrastructure. At times, the city has replaced infrastructure that was installed years after the settlement with the federal government.

Read more here, or on these websites:  San Francisco Chronicle,

The Register-Guard

Entrepreneurs perfect their product pitches during 54-hour Startup Weekend

By Sunday evening, Lorenzo Aiello’s eyes were bloodshot and he was ready for a full night’s sleep.
Aiello got four hours of sleep Friday night and three hours Saturday, as he and a team of hopeful entrepreneurs worked all weekend to perfect their pitch for a startup company called Perfect Menu.
“I have no voice, obviously, and I haven’t eaten dinner,” Aiello said. Nonetheless,
and his group were full of enthusiasm, as they pitched their product and cheered on other groups.

The Perfect Menu group was one of seven that participated in a 54-hour event
called Startup Weekend in Bend. The event was one of 125 startup weekends taking place around the world this month.

Read more here.

Election brings friendly frontyard rivalry

This fall, something new sprouted on the well-kept lawn in front of Rod Kohler’s home on Northwest Broadway in Bend. Kohler, 75, had been a Republican for years but never felt strongly enough about an election to put up political signs.
Meanwhile, his neighbor Ken Cooper, 82, put out campaign signs for Democratic candidates in one election after another.

Read more here.

Questions surface about ownership of Mirror Pond

Bruce McKay says his favorite beer is Deschutes Brewery’s Mirror Pond Pale Ale.

While that’s not surprising, McKay’s claim to the ale’s namesake is.

McKay and his siblings are the grandchildren of Clyde McKay, one of the early landowners who shaped the development of Bend after moving to the town in 1911. When land along the river was divided into lots, Clyde kept the land under the Deschutes River, the family story goes.

However, the story passed down by the McKay family is difficult to substantiate on paper. Read more here.

Health records now a click away, with electronic system

Eight public health clinics operate in Deschutes County and until recently, when a patient from one showed up without notice at another clinic, health workers often had little information about the person.

“We would have to fax the pertinent information that we needed to the other clinic,” said Cherstin Callon, clinical information systems
analyst for the county. “If it’s scheduled and we know that they were going to be there, we would plan it ahead of time and have the
chart there.

“We had some of our staff be couriers, so what they would do is if they were going between the clinics, they would take the charts
in secure vacuum bags.”

That changed Tuesday, when the county launched its electronic health records system, making it simpler for nurses and other county public health workers to access patients’ information at all eight clinics. Read more here.

School-based clinics in danger of closing

Construction has just begun on a new Sisters school-based clinic. But by the time it opens in 2013, the Deschutes County Health Services Department may be forced to consider shutting it down.

Five school-based clinics opened in Deschutes County over the past decade. It began with La Pine, where a health center opened in 2004 at the campus where the elementary, middle and high schools are located. Most recently, a clinic opened at Redmond High in 2011. There are also clinics at Bend’s Ensworth Elementary and Bend High, and M.A. Lynch Elementary in Redmond.

Even as the clinics expand, there are already questions about their future. Read more here.