Bend Business Roundup 5-24-19

Bend Business Roundup 5-24-19

Happy Friday,

Here’s some stuff you might like.

Business: If you are in the market to buy a newspaper or even five, you’d best hurry. Western Communications, the parent company of the Bend Bulletin, has filed documents in its bankruptcy case indicating that it intends to sell all its newspaper businesses and liquidate the company. According to those filings, the company has met with a number of potential (and, currently, anonymous) buyers. What does this mean? It means that probably someone will buy the Bulletin and keep publishing it, but the buyer may not be local and may severely cut back the Bulletin’s local coverage, as has happened throughout the country. If that’s what happens, this will be really bad for Bend, as the Bulletin is currently the primary (and usually the only) source for reporting about what has to be more than a billion dollars of taxpayer funds managed and occasionally mismanaged by local government in Central Oregon.

Law: The family of a woman who died in an auto accident occurring on Highway 20 between Bend and Burns received a $26.5 million judgmentagainst the trucking company that employed the driver of the semi truck that struck the car carrying the woman. The facts of this one are pretty nasty. Apparently the drivers for a few semi trucks were driving aggressively toward one another, and at one point one of the semis was prevented by another of the semis from getting out of the lane for oncoming traffic while trying to pass. The woman and her husband (who was suffering from blood cancer) were in the oncoming lane, coming around a corner. He survived; she did not. Truly tragic.

Politics: All desirable metro areas on the west coast (think Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and, yes, Bend) suffer from the same problem: unaffordable housing. Democrats have almost complete political control in those cities and the states they inhabit. Progressives have instituted strict development limits in these cities for, primarily, two reasons: (1) a sincerely held view that the environment is better off if people live in relatively close proximity to each other in cities, rather than in sprawling suburbs; and (2) wealthy progressives, who are ideologically aligned with the ethos of these cities and also, critically, have the money to live there, benefit from higher property values caused by severely limited housing supply. Some progressives who call themselves Yes In My Back Yard (YIMBYs) note that the resulting sky high housing prices, enacted by progressive politicians elected by progressive voters, are contrary to the traditional progressive values of equality and concern for the less fortunate.

Et cetera:  Redmond’s Ridgeview High School softball team apparently has that sport’s version of baseball’s Randy Johnson. Allicitie Frost threw a no-hitter, striking out 19 (!) batters. Most impressive, only twice did the opposing team’s bats even contact the ball: one a groundout to second and the other a pop out in foul territory. Twice. They only hit the ball twice, during the entire game. Remarkable.

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Have a great weekend!

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