I Speak La Pine Boiler Sheet

La Pine. Small Town Bright Future!

Looking at the sign at Triangle Park a visitor might be aware that the new little city must have a lumber history and that they believe they are ready to illuminate anyone who comes near about their growing opportunities to grow up with La Pine! A saw blade featuring Newberry Crater in front of a blue sky- all embedded in the natural stone from the surrounding area makes it clear you are in monument country, in forest lands, under big skies and that La Pine wants… well, more!

Oregon’s newest city, La Pine, has been here for over 100 years, becoming an official Post Office in September of 1910, when Rosland (now in north La Pine) gave up their mail delivery and the mail service was transferred to the little community two miles south.

La Pine was centered in an area full of timber, but it was also an established vacation spot for people from the valley who wanted to escape the rain in order to get in on the 320 days of sunshine instead. If you did not cut trees for a living, or were an official tourist, chances are, you tried to settle on a piece of land, that with extraordinarily hard work, would yield up a modest garden, support a few beef cows and some chickens for eggs and the eventual stew pot.

The two season town was famous for warm summer days, cold nights and harsh- what the weather savvy Lapinites call- extreme winter weather! When you made your decision to move to La Pine you took on the weather as a condition of living here. The other conditions were much less challenging! Abundant water was available. There were plenty of trees for building cabins and the few folks who settled here first, cut through the trees and made roads that were used to convey property owners to and from town.

The usual small town amenities were established with a general store, bank, hotels, livery stables, blacksmith and other service businesses. La Pine boasted a pretty good doctor who drove an automobile around the back country and eventually there was a newspaper called the La Pine Intermountain that covered everything between Eugene and Bend.

During the years when the railroad men were fighting to see who could establish rail service, La Pine was poised to have rail passenger service to the town, but, that ended up in Bend instead. Before that, anyone who lived out in the desert would come through La Pine on their way to Shaniko to pick up monthly supplies. The trips from Christmas Valley and Fort Rock were a week long and La Pine was a halfway stopover for many travelers who were coming and going.

Tourism was always big for La Pine. It was a destination for hunters and fishermen. It was not long until the Paulina Peaks resorts were destinations for visitors, too. East Lake is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Paulina Lodge is ninety. (Established in the 1920s) When the Crane Prairie, Wickiup Dam and other lake projects were started in the 30s, the people came to work, returned to visit and then moved to La Pine to build in the woods.

La Pine still boasts a reputation for being outdoor centered. It is home to one of Oregon’s national monuments: the Newberry Crater. It has easy access to all of the lakes and rivers of the area and two miles south, La Pine opens up on the high desert areas to the south and east. More than that, it offers plenty of space for residents who want to get away from close urban areas and spread their wings! The results? The sixteen hundred residents who live inside the City limits are joined by another twenty thousand who live in the trees and foothills that surround our town. No one who comes to La Pine goes away without feeling like they have made new friends. We have a motto here:

Come here to play, then move here to stay,

because when you talk to the folks who are your friends and neighbors about how they got here they will quickly tell you that they came to camp or hunt or fish and loved it so much, that they came again and soon they decided that they liked the small town feel and the family friendly atmosphere in the middle of everything they love about the outdoors. After that it was them trying to figure out how fast they could move here.

La Pine still has affordable land for residential and industrial use and when it comes to business, HWY 97 runs through the town giving perspective businesses a way to bring materials in and send products out to customers. We do have a rail line through La Pine and industrial spurs are an approved part of the industrial applications to start up business in La Pine.

La Pine is ready to brand itself and while they look for the image they want to live with in the forever of their future, the volunteers and leaders of the community are working hard to start and finish smaller projects one at a time to move La Pine into the process of becoming the City they want the world to remember!

La Pine is changing. Not too much or too fast, but they understand that change is inevitable and they want to direct it and shape it into what they want for their community. As long as the people do not lose the core values they believe in about family and small town feel, neighbors helping each other while they give each other space, maintaining affordability, and keeping a slower pace, you are invited to explore the opportunities waiting for you in La Pine.

We are a small town with a bright future- and it is beginning to show!

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Bike Friendly means Big Business!

The Chamber Connection: Bike Friendly means more than you know! It means Business! Big Business!

By T. Myers

During the past two years, Travel Oregon and Bicycle lovers across the state have been working together to develop a program that can be used anywhere a bike can travel to let the public and cyclists know that people who ride bikes are welcome! At first it seemed to be a resurgence of grassroots support for the two wheeled conveyances- one that fits the lower carbon footprint of energy conscious Americans and it also served as a statement against higher gas prices. Both arguments for the good of the people!

In La Pine we installed a workable bike lane that far surpasses those in the urban settings. (I have yet to see a second bike making its way through the bike lane of La Pine, but none the less, it is here). The bike lane was also designed to impede speeding traffic and slow it down as it moved south on HWY 97. Two purposes-crossing at the former widening of the roadway to reduce its use once again, removing turn lanes and the ability to pass a vehicle in the outside lane that is no longer. H-m-m-m!

So, Oregon has taken on the idea of creating bike tours on the ground in different parts of the state. Towns and villages that are located on these routes are reaping the benefits of having a bike friendly attitude and offering amenities to bicycling visitors that are in the form of information booths, bike racks for parking, hotels with bike access in closed garages to prevent theft of precious bikes. (Prevention of bike theft is crucial-Like my daughter who rode her bike to Bi Mart last week on Monday the 10th and locked it in front of the pharmacy to go inside for a few minutes. When she returned, her bike lock was cut and her very expensive bike was long gone!) So these hoteliers offer storage solutions for guests. Some even extend free bikes to visitors with maps of the area so they can go and explore on two wheels instead of four and if they drove a car to the accommodations, they now have a place where they can get exercise and enjoy a slower look at the town they are visiting!

In these bike friendly towns they are setting up repair stations and someone in town is available with parts if needed. We could do it in our local auto shops or tire centers.

Seem like a lot? Just wait! Cyclists spend an average of 20% more at the places they stay and restaurants where they eat a meal and enjoy the hospitality of the area. They get hungry and thirsty and tired when they ride bikes all day long and when they check in, a friendly welcome goes a long way in setting up the spending that will follow. The next time they return? Guess what? They bring friends!

As a City, we can get signage (Travel Oregon has signs for a song that are uniform and attractive) that says we are bike friendly to put on our local businesses. We can arrange to put up accessible and safe bike racks for very little money at all of the places that visitors like to stop. We can learn how to ‘talk bike’ to our visitors and if we do those few small things and perhaps set up a nice bike tour of the local area and hand the visitors a nice little map to get started, we can score big with potential visitors who want an active hands-on way to recreate and vacation!

Can La Pine fit the bill for being bike friendly? If Bikes mean Business they way Oregon has determined, La Pine is poised to reap the rewards of Oregon’s Bike related Travel Industry. It contributes $400 million annually to Oregon’s economy. Bikers also spend $175 million for accommodations and food service, $54 million on groceries, $72 million for motor fuel, $32 million for event fees, $28 million on bike repairs, clothing and gear. Serious bike travelers are part of the reason that there are 4600 bike related jobs in Oregon, an average of $18 million in room related taxes into the state coffers and let me remind you that each and every biker who is on a trip spends 20% more than the car traveler when they come to your area.

Talk to the Chamber about being bike friendly. Call 541-536-9771 to support the idea of being Bike Friendly La Pine!

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Newberry Event 3rd time’s the charm!

Third Time “was Charmed” at Newberry Event

By T. Myers

The three day music festival to fight against MS made its third time as an annual event at the DiamondStone guest lodge site over the weekend of the 24-26th of July. Artists from all over the country made appearances on one of the two stages and the people who bought their wristbanded tickets were thrilled to have an opportunity to see such high quality talent, memorable sets and stunning visions of the environment blending with the music to create a one of a kind venue for Central Oregon.

“It is growing each time we schedule the event,” Sean Jackson, promoter, explained to a group of folks at the bar. That sentiment was echoed throughout the three days when host and co-owner of DiamondStone, Doug Watt, introduced the main stage acts as they appeared. Barring the generator problems and the long set ups between acts, it still produced a feeling of unity around the idea of fundraising.

Doug Watt also hosts the acts to hotel accommodations at the lodges and the bed and breakfast is in full swing, too, because the performers always want to return again next time for more in terms of donating their items. Voodoo Highway lead singer came out with a new band the broken down guitars for the festival. Inn a Vision and the Steppas gave rousing renditions of real reggae for an afternoon filled with a smokey haze and cold July winds that chilled to the bone! The Steppas, from Hawaii, had a difficult time keeping their hands warm, but the music was hot hot hot!

Surprise of the weekend was longtime LA Band, Fishbone! No one was ready for what usually appears only in huge stadiums and auditoriums in concert to thousands. The show was huge! These gentlemen gave a theatrical, bigger than life performance with lots of color, quips and a variety of musical sounds from all genres. The crowd was ready for anything and they got it all!

Jelly Bread was a delightful band and the lead singer, the level of energy and the song list made everyone very happy. The Pink Floyd Tribute Band featured every sound and nuance of the originals and close your eyes and listen and you were there twenty years ago- or more- with the real guys. Pigs on the Wing has been at the event for two years and they are great. Craig Chaquico wowed us with his guitar riffs and songs from the Jefferson Starship era. His new lady singer was no Grace Slick, but passable with her lighter vocals on the old standards.

There is not enough to say about the way Doug and Gloria Watt (who delivered a well-done and touching message on Sunday afternoon before the closing acts) are able to put these groups together into one venue.

Adding the infamous and favorite group, the Terry Robb Trio to end the event was a coup and he did not disappoint with his vocals or guitar!

All of this being said, I am still wondering why- even though it continues to grow, that there are not more Lapinites or Bendites to attend this event. It is right in our back yard and literally a beautiful spot for an event. Add the music, vendors and food providers and this little gem is something no one should miss out on. Hoping for Number 4, T. Myers, signing out!


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We Gave a Party and NO One Came

The Chamber Connection: We gave the community a free party and nobody came!

By T. Myers

The weather outside was delightful and the spirit in the air was full of expectations about how we enjoy our outdoors and about the fact that we would be there to share. Vendors came from far and near, fish were stocked in the big fish pond, RVs set up house for the weekend, gun and sports vendors were ready to share wares and the food vendors lined up to sell a variety of everything from ELK to tacos to funnel cakes to snacks and beverages.

On Saturday morning the feeling of excitement filled the park and we opened the doors to the public. In North La Pine a group of ATV enthusiasts did a poker run out east of town.

Back at the Park, we waited for folks to come and visit the event.

And we waited.

And we waited even more.

The day got hotter and still people did not come out to enjoy a free festival or fish at the kiddie pond or go through the vendor booths.

The food vendors had some business. We have to eat!

The info booths gave out info. The sign folks inside did a land mine operation selling lots of their handmade and original metal signs. The Costco booth had a chance to share all of the services that they have for customers- including online orders and deliveries and a large selection of camping gear and they even featured a new gun safe.

The Band of Brothers, Clem Strechlin, the Spice Guy, Ponderosa Mountain Men, Radio Fliers, Personal Product vendors and others spent a quiet weekend anticipating business that did not come.

Those folks who did stop by stayed to visit and it turned out to be a great weekend to catch up with other La Pine supporters while new visitors walked through the exhibits with ease of a sparse crowd. When it is not real busy, you get a chance to catch up on the folks you work with on a day to day basis and really have time to listen.

The hardest part of living with this kind of reaction to a plan and the hard work it takes to make it happen, is that you are left feeling like it was a mistake.

La Pine has a history of mid-September events of this kind.

The traditional fall fests of years past always occurred in the middle of September. It was a way to get families to the park to enjoy being together, outside, and the fact that it was a friendly cost free event that always made it better for the participants.

Is this idea now past history? We have had community picnics, Gospel fests, fall business displays and many more events under the guise of filling up a family friendly fall. Do we call it good and move on, or do we decide to continue if there is better support? Please contact us at the Chamber and give us feedback. 541-536-9771 or stop by the corner of Huntington RD and HWY 97 at the office.

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