March 2017 Around Town

Bend Joy Project Inspires the Community

Have you noticed the Bend JOY Project’s bright orange graphics popping up all over Bend? This community kindness initiative is a challenge, a conversation, an opportunity, an experiment and a mission to bring joy in small, meaningful ways to keep our community happy, strong and beautiful. The idea is simple; to share and inspire joy in the community. Can kindness, generosity and happiness be fostered with small reminders and deeds of good? This is an invitation to join in recognizing and sharing JOY. Kind words, generous actions, small deeds . . . they all count. Just share the moments that make you happiest and see how contagious kindness can be. #BendJoyProject

Go to to learn more, share your thoughts, receive materials or get involved.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, Winterfest 
2017 Beneficiary

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon (BBBSCO), a program of J Bar J Youth Services, was chosen as the 2017 beneficiary for Oregon WinterFest, held February 17-19, 2017. For every volunteer who supported the event, $50-100 was donated to the organization.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon serves youth in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook Counties, matching kids in need of supportive role models with community mentors. Mentoring programs deeply engage communities through collaboration with families, mentors, community funders, schools and other partners. After being mentored for one year, 98% of kids in the program will graduate high school on time, 89% have great confidence and 70% are less likely to do drugs.

Bend’s largest festival, Oregon WinterFest is a massive celebration of all things winter, including national music acts, a fire pit competition, ice sculptures, a kids area, fine art, delicious food, beer, wine and so much more. Oregon WinterFest takes place in the Old Mill District in Bend.

For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon, go to or J Bar J Youth Services and learn more about the organization’s programs at

Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Personnel 
Receive Awards

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has announced three of their personnel were awarded a Lifesaving Award, Search and Rescue Council “Volunteer of the Year” and Civil Command Council “Deputy of the Year” from the Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association annual awards ceremony held at Riverhouse on the Deschutes in January.

Deputy Caitlin Doshier picked up her Lifesaving Award for rescuing a friend who became paralyzed while waterskiing at Lake Shasta in August. Through retrieving her friend and administering CPR, Doshier acted selflessly and valiantly in saving her life. Matt Trager won the Search and Rescue Council “Volunteer of the Year” award for consistently demonstrating exceptional effort in successfully accomplishing his Search and Rescue responsibilities. Trager is the Mountain Rescue team coordinator and a Rescue Leader, as well as being on seven other teams. Civil Deputy Alan Muise has worked for the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office for 32 years, with the last 10 years in the Civil Unit. For his service, he was named Civil Command Council “Deputy of the Year.”

Bend Park and Recreation District Announces 
Eastside Projects

Bend Park and Recreation District (BPRD) has announced their 2017 plans for Bend’s Eastside. SE Community Park, Larkspur Center, Juniper Park, Rockridge Park, Eagle Park, Stone Creek Park, and Big Sky Park will all see improvements this year.

“Eastside residents are going to see big changes in the parks, open spaces and recreation facilities near their homes in the coming years and we welcome all input as we move forward on several important projects,” said Michelle Healy, Planning and Park Services Director.

Funding for these new parks and improvement comes from system development charges (SDCs). SDCs are paid when new homes are built to help fund the acquisition and development of new parks, or park expansions to keep pace with population growth. In addition, the 2012 District bond measure helped purchase land for future parks.

Onboard Dynamics Receives Additional Funding

Bend-based alternative energy company Onboard Dynamics (OBDI) has partnered with  Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) to accelerate the production of their technology. SoCalGas will fund the demonstration and testing of a new mobile natural gas compressor that can be used to re-fuel compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles no matter where they are. The mobile natural gas compressor is made in the U.S. and reduces the need for CNG cars and trucks to travel to public CNG stations and instead brings clean-burning natural gas refueling to the vehicles.

“This mobile technology provides a cost-effective and convenient refueling solution for smaller CNG operators,” said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions and communications for SoCalGas. “This, in turn, may lead to an accelerated adoption of CNG, which would contribute to improved air quality and a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, compared to petroleum-based fuels.”

Onboard Dynamics, Inc. seeks to lower fuel costs and carbon emissions by removing barriers to driving natural gas-powered vehicles. Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 145 years.

Bend/La Pine Schools Amends Calendar

Weather-related school closures this winter have resulted in an extension to the 2016-2017 school year. The second semester has been lengthened by one week to allow for the recovery of five instructional days in first semester, lost due to snow and ice closures.

“Bend-La Pine Schools’ students are fortunate to receive exceptional learning opportunities every day in our schools,” says Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Shay Mikalson. “I believe that it is important that we make up for lost instruction time by adding school days back to our calendar.”

Students will now attend school through Thursday, June 22 to make up for the lost days. Graduation dates will not change.