Origin Story: A Passion for Pillows

Creativity courses through the veins of Katie Lipson. She’s always loved creating and is now channeling her gift into home décor, by using textiles with stories. Some are historical, some are cultural, but Katie gives them all new life. In this week’s Origin Story, Allison Roecker hangs out with the ladies of Bryar Wolf

Every Sunday on Central Oregon Daily’s newest feature, Origin Story, Allison Roecker introduces us to a passionate person who is making their dreams come true. 

Origin Story: A Passion for Baking

Can you imagine finding your calling at age 7? Shelbi Blok did just that, and mapped out her bakery dreams with just a crayon and her imagination. In this week’s Origin Story, Allison Roecker introduces us to the owner of Bend’s newest Late-Night Dessert Bar, Too Sweet Cakes.

Every Sunday on Central Oregon Daily’s newest feature, Origin Story, Allison Roecker introduces us to a passionate person who is making their dreams come true. 

New Business in Bend

New Shopping and Dining Options in Bend

Bend’s shopping and dining options are expanding with the opening of some new stores, and a changing of the guard among downtown eateries.
Central Oregon Daily’s Anyssa Bohanan looks at the changing face of retail and restaurants in Bend.

Some of the other stores going into the Robal Road Shopping Center are MOD Pizza, Black Rock Coffee & Bar, Chick-fil-A and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store.

Construction on the Chick-Fil-A is expected to begin in April, and the Cracker Barrel will start going up around June.Both are expected to open sometime this Fall.

Ulta Beauty‘s Grand Opening is Friday between 11am and 7pm.

House Bill Could Block Deschutes Bridge

Residents and official from Bend testified in Salem on Thursday morning on House Bill 4029, which would forever ban a proposed bridge over the Deschutes River.

Members from Bend Parks and Rec, Bend City Council and community members all spoke against the bill during Thursday’s hearing.

Bend’s Mayor Pro Tem Sally Russell echoed concerns raised by the Bend Parks and Rec Department, saying the bill would “derail the local participation process,” and put a local decision in the hands of the state.

The proposed bridge has been hotly contested. Proponents believe connecting the Deschutes River Trail from Tumalo to Sunriver would provide necessary transportation and recreation benefits.

Opponents say it could disrupt the designated protected area along the south Deschutes and could lead to a slippery slope of lost protections for other scenic areas.

Some of those opponents also spoke on Thursday. Members from the Coalition for the Deschutes spoke in favor of the bill, saying there was a reason the state protected that stretch of waterway in the first place.

“This is not a local issue,” said Michael Eisele, of the Coalition for the Deschutes. “This is a wild and scenic river that serves all of Oregon citizens, all its visitors and the future generations and we benefit today from the foresight of those who put these rules in place, way before Bend Parks and Rec started planning their bridge.”

The bridge was part of a bond measure approved by Bend voters in 2012, and has been discussed since 2004, but the construction of the foot and bike bridge has been halted since it requires an exemption from the state.

A law passed in 1996 established that segment of the Deschutes River south of Bend as a scenic waterway and bans construction, like the bridge, in that area.

On Friday it will be decided wether or not the bill will move forward.

Pot Plight

On Thursday the Trump administration lifted an Obama-era policy that kept federal authorities from cracking down on marijuana markets in states where the drug is legal. It is now up to federal prosecutors to decide what to do when state rules collide with federal drug law.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ action came just three days after a legalization law went into effect in California. The lift of the policy now threatened the future of the young industry and created confusion in states, like Oregon, where the drug is legal.

Oregon governor Kate Brown said Thursday the state will fight Sessions’ move to lift the policy on federal enforcement of the drug in order to protect the state’s economic interests. Brown said marijuana is an important component of the state’s economy and has creating more than 19,000 jobs.

Oregon was the first state to decriminalize personal possession of marijuana in 1973. Oregon legalized medical marijuana in 1998 and recreational use in 2014.

It is not clear how the change might affect states where marijuana is legal for medical purposes. A congressional amendment blocks the Justice Department from interfering with medical marijuana programs in states where it is allowed. Justice officials said they would follow the law, but would not preclude the possibility of medical-marijuana related prosecutions.

Officials wouldn’t say whether federal prosecutors would target marijuana shops and legal growers, nor would they speculate on whether pot prosecutions would increase.

 

 

Courtesy of the Associated Press 

Real Estate Comparison: Oklahoma

We all know home prices in Bend continue to rise and for the average household income it’s near impossible to afford the median price of homes in Bend. Each week Jack Church searches to see what the average income can purchase in Bend while also comparing this to cities of similar size in other states around the country. This week our comparison city is Norman, Oklahoma with a population close to the same as Bend.

Trump signs Tax Bill

President Donald Trump signed the republican tax bill on Friday, before heading to Florida for Christmas. The bill is the largest tax overhaul in 30 years and passed through Congress without a single democrat vote in the House or Senate. The bill has been criticized for providing permanent tax cuts to large corporation while only providing temporary cuts to most middle to low-income Americans.

Before it passed Congress the tax bill polled low with the American people, with only about 40 percent in favor of the bill. Aside from concerns that the bill favors rich Americans and large corporations, it will also likely hit high-tax states the hardest, which generally means liberal-leaning costal states like Oregon. This is due to the new bill’s limits on SALT deductions, which allowed people to deduct their state and local taxes.

Since the tax cuts for middle and lower- income Americans expire in 2025, many Americans may also see tax increases as time goes on to pay for the new bill’s $1 trillion in tax cuts and the $1.5 trillion it adds to the national debt.

For now Americans could see the new cuts reflected on their taxes as early as this year since Trump signed the bill before the New Year.

On Friday Trump also signed in a continuing resolution that will keep the government funded through Jan. 19 while adding $4 billion to missile defense. A more permanent spending bill will be discussed when democrats and republicans return to D.C. after the Christmas break.