Supper Club: The State of Our Schools

Recent nationwide studies have ranked Oregon near the bottom of the country when it comes to education spending and test scores so for this week’s Supper Club, Central Oregon Daily’s Curtis Vogel sat down with a Bend-La Pine school board member, the president of Central Oregon Community College and the vice president of OSU-Cascades for a closer look at the state of our schools.

Thanks to Rebecca Johnson, Shirley Metcalf and Cheri Helt for joining us. A special thanks to our Supper Club sponsors, Selco Community Credit Union, for giving us the time and resources to talk about the issues that impact our region every Tuesday night on Central Oregon Daily.

OSU-Cascades Hopes for Expansion

State lawmakers denied Oregon State University-Cascades the funding to expand the Bend campus last summer, which came as a shock to officials and the school donors who had been working to make a case for a new academic building.

However, there is new hope for expansion after governor Kate Brown requested 39 million dollars for the university in the upcoming legislative session.

The OSU-Cascades campus opened in 2016 but the university’s goal of expanding it’s facilities took a hit last summer when the state allocated the university just $9.5 million of the $69.5 million OSU-Cascades had hoped for.

“We’re asking in the 2018 session for $39 million to build the next academic building because that’s the most critical thing,” said Becky Johnson, vice president of OSU-Cascades. “if we don’t have space for students to be in classrooms and for faculty to have office space we simply can’t keep growing to meet the demands of the region.”

Late Friday, governor Brown announced an $88 million-dollar package of supplemental spending she wants for the Oregon higher education system and OSU-Cascades is slotted for $39 million of that if approved.

However, within hours of Friday’s announcement, at least one lawmaker was signaling his disapproval of the plan. Democratic representative Paul Evans of Monmouth County tweeted “There is still no logical rationale for added capacity at OSU-Cascades.”

House speaker Tina Kotek expressed a similar sentiment in July while explaining why only $9 million of the $1.3 billion dollar state bond package went to OSU-Cascades.

OSU Researcher Trying to Prevent the Deaths of Eagles Hit by Wind Turbines

A 2013 study published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin found that wind turbines kill an estimated 573,000 birds a year in the United States alone, including the once-endangered bald eagle and golden eagles.

That’s why the U.S. Department of Energy is looking for solutions to keep the birds from being struck by the giant blades of the turbines.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom looks at the work of an Oregon State University researcher who is spending time with the raptors at The High Desert Museum to come up with a solution to this deadly threat.

OSU Football Returns to Bend for Summer Camp

When most of us think “summer camp,” we picture lakes, camping, and roasting marshmallows by the fire. However, for the Oregon State University Football team, summer camp is a “trial by fire” to see who can crack the starting line-up during two-a-days under the hot, Central Oregon sun.

Anyssa Bohanan caught up with the players today at Summit High School where they’ll be practicing through the end of the week.

 

Oregon State Player Takes the Field for the Elks

Less than three weeks ago, analysts were calling the Oregon State Beavers one of the greatest college baseball teams of all-time. Then, their record-breaking season came crashing down with two straight losses in the College World Series.

As Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom reports, one of those Beavers, a Central Oregon native, is back home this summer and playing for the Bend Elks.

The Central Oregon Connection to Oregon State Baseball

Oregon State Baseball fans might be checking flights for Omaha soon, as the #1 seeded Beavers make a serious run at at another National Championship, 10 years after they last won the College World Series.

Central Oregon Daily’s Eric Lindstrom went to Corvallis to find the Central Oregon connection to the top-ranked college baseball team in the country with Ridgeview High School alum George Mendazona and Bend Senior High School alum Elliot Willy.