News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

News nuggets

Be careful out there. Deer rifle season is still in effect for eastern and western Cascades through November 5. Then the elk season kicks in — November 6-12 for western side hunts and November 6-14 for eastern Oregon.

Quick! How many roundabouts in Sisters? Two it is within the City limits. The obvious one that we all know and love, and the one in Cold Springs Village where North Trinity Way, Railway Ave., W. Aitken Ave., and W Allingham Ave., make the circle.

Sure sign of winter. Highway 242 (McKenzie Highway) is now closed 15 miles west of Sisters High School.

Laird completes new warehouse and production facility. Invitation-only open houses are taking place November 15-16, where invited guests can get an up-close and personal tour of the 26,000-square-foot addition to the campus. As a show of goodwill, Laird surprised all the neighboring homeowners of ClearPine with a goodie box stuffed with an assortment of the company’s products and practical gifts. The gift box was in appreciation for any inconvenience neighbors may have endured during construction of the large project.

Redmond air traffic declines. September deplanements dropped from 47,058 arrivals in August to 41,286 after eight straight months of increases. Departing passengers decreased from 51,788 August enplanements to 41,146 in September as COVID’s resurgence dampened air travel all across the United States and internationally.

Bulldozers make way for business expansion. Ground has been broken for Sisters Coffee Company’s 11,000-square-foot roasting facility in the Sun Ranch Business Park. And over at Three Peaks Industrial Park, grading has been finished for the Sisters Self Storage Annex.

Gas hits new high in Sisters. The price of regular unleaded inched up to an average of $3.86 for the four petrol stations in Sisters. Premium blends exceed $4/gallon. Gas in California climbed to $4.54 last week. Predictions for $4+ gas in Sisters by Thanksgiving are based on rising demand and shrinking inventories.

Highway 22 hazardous tree removal. If you are heading to Salem or other destinations that take you over Santiam Highway, add 30 minutes at least to your plan as tree removal continues alongside the highway from last year’s devastating wildfires. Most of the timber is being salvaged and consumed by Oregon mills.

Forest Road 46 known as Clackamas-Breitenbush Scenic Byway, remains closed due to fires this past June and July.

Relief in sight for apartment shortage. The first of five 10-unit apartment buildings in Threewinds, the multiuse project behind Bi-Mart and Takoda’s, is framed, roofed, and wrapped heading for a January occupancy. When completely built out, the much-needed housing stock will offer 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units. It is unlikely that any will qualify as “affordable” housing by definition and with demand far outstripping supply.

River flows helped by rain. The McKenzie at Vida is running 8 percent above average at 3,790 CFS (cubic feet per second). Recent rains have increased flow by 400 CFS. The Deschutes at Madras is only 3 percent below average thanks to steady rains the last week.

The North Santiam at Mehama, on the other hand, is 45 percent below average at 2,250 CFS. The depth is 49 inches. Reservoir levels remain depressingly low. Wickiup is at 5 percent. Ochoco is 12 percent “full” and Prineville is at 19 percent of depth.

No respite for St. Charles COVID-19 cases. The hospital system is reporting 73 hospitalizations Monday, 13 of which are in ICU with 9 on ventilators. None of the 13 is fully vaccinated and seven are under age 60. Of the 73 patients, 22 are fully vaccinated. In Oregon the percentage of breakthrough cases is 23.5 percent. At St. Charles it is 21.9 percent.

A total of 1,662 cases have been reported in zip code 97759, 3.8 percent of all Deschutes County cases, representing a recent dramatic increase. Zip 97759 is 3.13 percent of the County, where the 125 deaths remain low at 0.61 percent of all cases. Jackson County, of similar size and demographics, has recorded 310 deaths, 1.34 percent, or just more than double Deschutes’ total.

Empty shelves. Employees at Bi-Mart say that it is not necessarily a supply-chain issue. The store has been understaffed and often there just aren’t enough workers to keep the shelves stocked. Next week, we will examine the supply-chain debacle.


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