Great Solar Eclipse 2017: Central Oregon at Center Stage

Great Solar Eclipse 2017: Central Oregon at Center Stage

Here in Central Oregon, we’re used to visitors, and lots of them — especially during the prime vacationing months of May through September. Typically, we expect the largest crowds of the year (in the thousands) during Bend’s Summer Fest and Art in the High Desert, Sisters’ Quilt Show, Sisters Rodeo or the Deschutes County Fair in Redmond. This year, though, it’s the third week in August that has captured the attention of the world. That’s when a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse will pass directly over Central Oregon on its way across the country. So if you’re planning a house-hunting trip to Central Oregon this summer, Aug. 22 is a date you’ll want to be aware of. That’s when Crook and Jefferson counties are expecting throngs — anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 visitors -– to venture here to witness the highly anticipated “Great American Eclipse of 2017.” No doubt, we’ll feel the repercussions of that event throughout Central Oregon. What makes this eclipse so noteworthy? Most solar eclipses are of the partial variety, in which the moon appears to take a bite out of the sun’s disk. But this will be a total solar eclipse (TSE), which occurs when the moon, sun and Earth are perfectly aligned to allow the moon to cast a shadow on the Earth’s surface. Usually, much of the eclipse takes place over ocean territories; having a TSE that occurs over populated areas is quite rare. In fact, this will be the first TSE in the continental U.S. since 1979. Another thing that sets this eclipse apart: It will be visible from only one country: the United States. The last time...
Earth Day Event: Habitat’s Furniture Flip Returns

Earth Day Event: Habitat’s Furniture Flip Returns

Fans of the Bend Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore, take note: The third-annual Furniture Flip Design Challenge is just around the corner. Appropriately enough, the annual fund-raiser coincides with Earth Day: Saturday, April 22. And, no, that wasn’t a coincidence: The event was designed, in part, to serve as a reminder of the ReStore’s commitment to “Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.” This year’s Flip is the largest so far, with the most diverse group of artist/designers to date. It’ll feature the handiwork of a dozen area designers, plus teams from Stemach Design & Architecture, Ascent Architecture, Junque in Bloom, Art Castaways, Grizzly Ridge Upcycle, Handstitch Studio and Jeanne’s Junk. For the uninitiated, the ReStore is Habitat’s nonprofit home-improvement store/donation center, which sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at greatly reduced prices. The goal of the Furniture Flip is to challenge local artists and designers to take furniture and household goods that others have discarded – – items that are ReStore’s stock-in-trade — and transform them into distinctive artworks and furniture pieces. Those creations are then presented to the public and sold (with the proceeds benefiting Bend Area Habitat’s efforts to enable homeownership) during a celebratory Earth Day-inspired event. This year, Bend’s premier maker-space, diyCave, and artist collective Stuart’s of Bend are hosting the event in their back yard at 9th Street Village. Having the design challenge at this new communal artist space is a real coup for Bend Area Habitat. What’s more, DIYcave has once again generously partnered with Habitat to provide its workshop resources to all the Flip teams during the...
Why I Volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Why I Volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Most days, my job title is “Realtor.” I’m primarily what’s known as a buyer’s agent — I work one-on-one with people to help them find a home (primarily in Bend, Tumalo and Sisters), and then help them navigate the home-buying process. But on Thursday afternoons, you’ll find me at the Bend Area Habitat for Humanity ReStore, the nonprofit’s home improvement store and donation center, where I serve as one of two cashiers. I don’t do it to pick up a little extra cash; it’s a volunteer post. I do it because I believe that Habitat is doing important work here in Central Oregon. All the proceeds from the ReStore go toward providing home ownership, home repair & weatherization services for low-income families in Bend and in Crook County. Habitat is succeeding where I fail, and I want to be a part of that, even if it’s in a small way. We’re both at ground-zero of Central Oregon’s affordable-housing crisis. And there’s no doubt that in Central Oregon, there is an affordable-housing crisis. The good news is that the dark days of the recession are behind us. The bad news is that our housing market has rebounded in spades. Property values aren’t just up -– they’re way up. The average price of the 56 three-bedroom, two-bath homes that sold in Bend during the past 30 days was $356,503. By comparison, the average price of the 45 three-bedroom, two-bath homes that sold in Bend during March 2010 was $176,580. Every day, I see how hard it’s becoming for the average person to become a homeowner in Central Oregon. Yes, for the...
Habitat’s Furniture Flip: One Creative Fund-Raiser

Habitat’s Furniture Flip: One Creative Fund-Raiser

Talk about multi-tasking: Here’s an opportunity for you to see some inventively upcycled home-and-design projects, mingle with the Bend arts community, and support Bend Area Habitat for Humanity, all in one extremely creative setting. Sounds like a winning combo to me. It’s called the “Furniture Flip Design Challenge,” and it’s a first for the Bend Habitat for Humanity ReStore (Habitat’s nonprofit home-improvement store/donation center, which sells new and gently used furniture, home accessories, building materials, and appliances to the public at greatly reduced prices). The idea — one that’s becoming increasingly popular in the design world — is to take existing furniture, home accessories and/or building materials (the ReStore’s stock-in-trade) and create something new and noteworthy in the process. With that thought in mind, the folks at the Bend ReStore issued an open invitation back in February to area designers and creative-types to apply for the Challenge, which dared them to concoct three home-design objects that addressed three different themes. The designers would have one month to “flip” their projects, which would then be sold at a public event, with all the proceeds benefiting Bend Area Habitat for Humanity. (For the uninitiated, Bend Area Habitat is dedicated to providing affordable homeownership and home-repair services for low-income families and individuals in Bend and in Crook County.) The motivation for the fund-raiser came from the unprecedented popularity of the new ReStore (which moved to its current Bend location last December). Since the new store opened, donations to the ReStore have almost doubled. And while most of the donated goods arrive in good condition, some might need a bit of imagination to...
New Habitat ReStore Opens in Bend

New Habitat ReStore Opens in Bend

In this season of giving, it’s only fitting that the new Bend Area Habitat ReStore was recently unveiled. And even if you aren’t in the market for recycled building materials, appliances, gently used furniture and/or home accessories, it’s worth checking out: Bend’s revamped and relocated retail offshoot of Habitat for Humanity (the global non-profit dedicated to providing affordable home ownership and home repair services for low income families and individuals) is an impressive study in community-wide collaboration. With the donated skills of Stemach Design & Architecture and more than 27,000 volunteer hours of labor, the former Backstrom Builders Center has undergone a massive $500,000 renovation. The result is a dynamic 18,000-square-foot home-improvement center stocked with innovative details aplenty. First and foremost, the new ReStore is (no surprise) constructed of cleverly recycled materials. Here are a few of its distinctive touches: The existing building was stripped and gutted with a sizable portion of the materials being reused and re-purposed (for example, the metal roofing was reused as siding). The exterior cedar-plank siding is made entirely of reclaimed cedar decking that was donated (the cedar is intended to age naturally and turn silver over time). A custom light fixture, made of reclaimed wood and copper pipe, was designed and built by Stemach Design & Architecture for the store’s entry vestibule. Portions of the existing structures were removed and rebuilt using energy-efficient staggered stud construction and site-built windows using donated copper and insulated glass units. Most of the store’s windows and several doors were Habitat donations that were integrated into the design; all of the store’s interior lighting fixtures were donations to...
Christmas Cheer: Holiday Events in Central Oregon

Christmas Cheer: Holiday Events in Central Oregon

It’s almost Christmas — time for some serious celebrating! Luckily, there are plenty of festivities  in Central Oregon between now and year’s end. Here are some highlights: Through Dec. 21 Three Sisters Lions Club Holiday Faire: Featuring handmade crafts/gifts made by local vendors. 10 am-6 pm. Former DonTerra building (corner of Hood & Elm), Sisters. Proceeds go toward helping in the Sisters community for sight & hearing. 541-595-6967. Through Jan. 1 Traditions at Sunriver Resort: The resort’s expansive annual holiday celebration features more than 150 family-friendly events, including a holiday marketplace, Santa’s workshop, Gingerbread Junction, sleigh rides, Christmas concert, snowshoe tours. 800-801-8765. Starfest Holiday Light Celebration: Walk, drive or schedule a horse-drawn wagon ride (on weekends) through the popular mile-long animated holiday light exhibit. 5-10 pm, Falcon Crest Drive, Eagle Crest Resort. Free; canned-food donations for Redmond’s food banks are welcome (drop off your donation at the red sleigh). 541-923-2453. Friday, Dec. 19 High Desert Chamber Music Gala: Fund-raiser featuring the Spotlight Chamber Players, dinner & silent auction with items from over 90 local businesses. 6 pm, Oxford Hotel, downtown Bend. $85; proceeds benefit the High Desert Chamber Music educational outreach programs. Reservations required; seating requests taken. 541-382-8436 or 541-306-3988. A Christmas Memory: NewsChannel 21 chief meteorologist Bob Shaw retells Truman Capote’s classic holiday short story & The Men’s Chorus of Central Oregon performs special arrangements of classic holiday songs.7 pm, Tower Theatre. $18. Proceeds benefit Assistance League. 541-317-0700. Traditions Holiday Concert: A special holiday musical performance featuring Patrick Lamb Band & Holiday Gospel Choir. 7 pm, Great Hall, Sunriver Resort. Presented by Sunriver Resort & the Sunriver Music Festival. 541-593-1000. Dec....
It’s Time for Small Business Saturday!

It’s Time for Small Business Saturday!

Before you head out to that big-box store tomorrow on Black Friday, consider waiting one day and taking part in Small Business Saturday. Why? Because not only will any purchases you make that day provide a gift for someone you love, but you’ll also be giving back to this awesome community we all love. Did you know that, according to the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, 97.6 percent of all employers in Oregon are small businesses (some 335,000 small businesses, in fact!)? For us, shopping locally can have a tremendous impact on the overall health of Central Oregon. Need more motivation? A 2012 study by economic development consultants Civic Economics found that locally owned businesses retain more than three times as much revenue in the community as do chain stores. Independent stores recirculate 52.3 percent of their revenue locally, compared to 15.8 percent of national chain stores’ revenue, according to the report. Ironically it was American Express that created the national movement to bring more attention to locally owned businesses, back in 2010. Since then, the list of stores nationwide that have participated — and the shoppers who frequent them — has grown significantly. And that’s something to celebrate. Happy shopping! About the Author Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and...
Thanksgiving Week Festivities in Central Oregon

Thanksgiving Week Festivities in Central Oregon

With Thanksgiving Day just around the corner, it’s time to count our blessings (which are plentiful, here in Central Oregon). We have a wide range of opportunities to celebrate; see a  list of the holiday festivities below. Nov. 24 Vegan Thanksgiving: 4 plated courses, plus your choice of a glass of wine or beer. Communal seating (space is limited. 6-9 pm, Broken Top Bottle Shop, Bend. $35 per person. (541) 728 0703. Nov. 28-Jan 1 Traditions at Sunriver Resort: The resort’s expansive annual holiday celebration features more than 150 family-friendly events, including a holiday marketplace, Santa’s workshop, Gingerbread Junction, sleigh rides, Christmas concert, snowshoe tours. 800-801-8765. Thanksgiving Day Bend Thanksgiving Classic: Timed 5K/10K run/walk in Bend. Start/finish: 9 am at 344 SW Shevlin Hixon Dr. (541) 617-2877, x 13. Benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs On the Run of Central Oregon. I Like Pie Thanksgiving Day Walk/Run: 2K, 5K or 10mile (all untimed). Bring along a pie to help feed the masses (You can choose to enter it in the pie-baking contest or not; prizes for top 3 pies in both the “traditional” and “open” pie categories. 9 am, Brooks Street Plaza, Bend. Recommended $5 donation and 5 lbs. of food for NeighborImpact. Sponsored by Footzone. Thanksgiving Buffet at Old St. Francis: Turkey, roasted pork loin with Edgefield cider jus, poached salmon, tortellini salad, brandied pumpkin pie & more. Noon-6 pm; reservations required. $29 adults; $17 kids 5-12; free for kids 4 & under. McMenamin’s Old St. Francis School, Bend. (541) 382-5174. Thanksgiving Feast at Crossings: Roasted turkey ($24.95), hone-glazed ham ($22.95) or combo plate ($26.95), with all the trimmings. Kids...
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