Bend

Bend has made it to the semifinals in a national competition to save energy. The two year challenge is called the Georgetown University Energy Prize. A launch party to kick off the Bend Energy Challenge is Wednesday.

Bend is one of 50 communities around the country still in the running for a $5 million prize based on the city's reduced energy use.

The Environmental Center in Bend first learned of the competition in fall 2013. Since then, the city has been filing paperwork and constructing a plan on how to save energy.

Joe Kline / The Bulletin

Last week's freezing temperatures and higher flows from tributaries contributed to flooding in the Deschutes River in Bend. Property was affected between Colorado and Galveston Avenue's. Staff from Bend's streets department filled at least 350 sandbags for residents in that area. Bend Communications Director Justin Finestone says in addition to rising water levels, many people are walking out onto parts of the river that are frozen over.

www.bend.or/us

In response to steady growth since the 90's, the City of Bend undertook a project to create 20-year supplies of land for residential and economic development. The Urban Growth Boundary Remand includes a future plan for the city's critical infrastructure. Upgrading the sewer system and working with the expansion of Oregon State University's Cascades campus are part of UGB's implementation. Brian Rankin is the Principle Planner for Bend. He says the last UGB effort included some public input.

Bend Bulliten

Bend has a new Police Chief, and it's a familiar face. Jim Porter has been serving as the interim Police Chief since January. Now, after 23 years on the force, Porter officially accepted the job as Bends Police Chief, Friday. City Manager Eric King felt it was best for the department to continue the momentum Porter built during his 6 months on the job.

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Do you kayak, canoe or paddle? The Oregon State Marine Board is looking for input from non-motorized boaters. They’ve been on the road since early June and are in Eugene today (Tuesday) and in Bend Thursday.

Scott Brewen is a director with the Oregon State Marine Board. He says for the first time in the state’s history, non-motorized boating is more popular than motor-boating:

Brewwen: “In all different types of boating from flat water to white water, kayaking, canoes, stand up paddleboard, we’re seeing growth in all areas so it’s pretty exciting.”

Central Oregon Fire Info

Fire crews are bracing for more warm, windy weather as they battle a 68-hundred acre blaze in Central Oregon. The Two Bulls Fire west of Bend prompted evacuations over the weekend. About 50 people are still not able to return home. Crews have built a preliminary line around the blaze. Fire Information Officer Lisa Clark says winds up to 20 miles per hour may cause flare-ups. She says weather conditions are more like mid-summer.

According to census estimates released last week for cities of 50 thousand or more,  Salem has once again nosed out Eugene as the state’s second largest city.  As of July 2013,  Eugene’ s population was about 159 thousand, while Salem topped  160, 000.

Portland remains Oregon’s largest city by a factor of four.  Bend was the clear state leader in percent of population growth last year at two-point-nine.  Eugene, Springfield, Salem and Corvallis all saw small population gains, with none registering as much as one percent.

Three major upgrades are needed for Bend's sewer system, and they need to happen soon. That's according to results from two private engineering firms hired to provide modeling solutions.

Bend's Sewer Infrastructure Advisory Group was presented the results Thursday. The upgrades include a large gravity pipeline, a sewage pumping facility, and several pipe capacity upgrades in the northern part of the city. Assistant City Manager Jon Skidmore says in some areas, existing sewer pipes routinely approach overflow levels.

Former Bear Creek Elementary Principal Matt Montoya is suing the Bend-La Pine School District.

Bend Refinancing Saves Tax Payer Dollars

Dec 20, 2013

Bend is taking advantage of lower interest rates to refinance a public works loan and save tax payers dollars. The $10 million loan was originally taken out for two different projects.

The Transportation Improvement and Urban Renewal projects were originally funded by a loan from Bank of the Cascades. With this refinancing, the city expects to save approximately $817,000 over the life of the loan.

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