As you may be aware, April is national child abuse prevention month, and KIDS Center joins in this prevention movement by participating in the Blue Ribbon Campaign. Typically, at the end of March, KIDS Center staff and volunteers go throughout the tri-counties delivering pinned Blue Ribbon, Blue Ribbon Posters, and Blue Ribbon Newsletters to businesses and organizations that want to promote child abuse prevention. For more information about the Blue Ribbon Campaign, please visit our website at kidscenter.org.
This year the KIDS Center has partnered with the Downtown Bend Business Association to have a presence at April’s First Friday Art Walk. Several galleries will be inviting artists to create a piece of art for that night and KIDS Center and MountainStar will have a table set up in one of the galleries.
Our goal is that on April 3rd, First Friday, all businesses open their doors to show support for Child Abuse Prevention through the Blue Ribbon Campaign.
This can be done in many ways:
- Decorate storefront window in all blue
- Have employees wear blue
- Provide information about the Blue Ribbon throughout your business via rack cards at counter, posters in window, etc.
- Have a cup of pinned blue ribbons at the counter for customers to wear (employees can wear them as well)
- Any other creative venture you would like to do!
Any printed promotional piece will be provided by KIDS Center along with a cup of blue ribbons. Additionally, if your business is wanting more information about KIDS Center, they will come and provide a 20 – 30 minute presentation on our mission, services, and the importance of the Blue Ribbon Campaign in our community.
If you are interested, please let the KIDS Center know via email or phone.
Current participating business include:
Thank you for taking the time and the effort to keep our children safe and show a united and strong community that support kids!
Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be presenting on purposed changes to the Parkway in the core of the City of Bend on Jan 20th from 9am to 10am at Liberty Theatre, 829 NW Wall Street in Downtown Bend.
The Downtown Bend Business Association, the River West Neighborhood Association and the Old Bend Neighborhood Association are sponsoring this Open House.
“Understanding all of the purposed changes in the Parkway Plan and Transportation System Plan (TSP) can be complex. “ says a representative of the neighborhood associations, “we recognized the need to hold this open house so that our stakeholders could not only be educated on what to expect over the next 5-25 years, but how they can voice their concerns.”
These three associations have been working together closely for the past year on various issues that impacts the core of our city, and all three of their jurisdictions. In addition, representatives from each of these associations served on various committees, including but not limited to, the ODOT Parkway Plan Sounding Board, the Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC), the Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee (CTAC), and the Bend Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO).
“Reports rank Bend as one of the fastest growing cities in the country. For the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA), this means that we need to be planning ahead to make sure that our Downtown core retains it’s vitality – and it’s accessibility,” says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, “The purposed changes will have a huge impact on the Downtown core. We’re looking at how these changes impact things like parking, multi-day street closures, and (as the largest employer in the City), employee satisfaction.”
For information on the Transportation System Plan (TSP), click here
For information on the Parkway Plan, click here
UPDATE: Thank you for attending this Open House, please make sure that you have the followup meeting with the City of Bend on your calendar - CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO.
Please see the attached document to review questions from the meeting with ODOT on 1/20
Downtown Bend First Friday Art Walk has gone Green!
Let's face it - we all love our planet, so let's take care of it! By purchasing an Art Walk cup for $5, you can help Downtown Bend reduce the amount of single use cups that used and sent to the landfill every month. These cups are reusable every month!
The Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) extends a huge "THANK YOU" to Patagonia Bend for spearheading this project.
"It wonderful when we can all work together to create a better Bend!" says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the Downtown Bend Business Association, "We love it when our businesses bring us great ideas like this one!"
Patagonia’s mission statement says it best, “we’re in business to save our home planet”. Through their efforts to reduce waste during the Bend Artwalk, they hope to encourage participants to take further action for our planet. As a community of forward thinkers and environmental activists, the DBBA, Patagonia and other participating businesses hope that this action can spread to other events in the community.
We are asking you, Bend, to help reduce waste in our community! Pick up your Art Walk cup at one of the following locations:
If you're a Downtown Bend business and you'd like to sell these amazing Art Walk cups, contact us.
Parking in Downtown Bend is an important discussion in our community. In 2017, the City of Bend invested in a Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan (to view the full plan, click here). In 2018, the Downtown Bend Parking Advisory Committee (DPAC), and the DPAC Work Committee was formed. This committee achieved several successes:
"We are really excited about the parking changes being developed for Downtown Bend," says Mindy Aisling, Executive Director of the DBBA, "and we are excited to work closely with the new parking manager and the City of Bend to assure that the needs our our businesses and customers are met throughout this process."
The full list of strategies from the Downtown Strategic Parking Management Plan are as follows:
For more information, please feel free to reach out to the DBBA at firstname.lastname@example.org
The DBBA is a small nonprofit with a mission is to grow the vitality of Downtown Bend by enhancing the experience, image, and lifestyle of the Economic Improvement District (EID). For more information about the DBBA, visit www.downtownbend.org.
FootZone is excited to kick off our third year of Resolution Runners, an incentive program that aims to keep Bendites moving all winter long! The program takes advantage of FootZone’s weekly runs, with runners earning one point or more for each run or event they attend. Runners earn prizes for every 5 points they earn – cool rewards like warm beanies, blinky lights, warm gloves, and more!
Resolution Runners steps off on Saturday, January 4th, 2020 with an initial fun run, followed by a New Year’s toast, snacks, and an opportunity to mingle with other folks crazy enough to run in winter!
Runners then have the opportunity to earn points and prizes at FootZone runs and events through
February 26th. Resolution Runners is an 8-week program for just $35. Registration and additional details can be found at http://www.footzonebend.com/happenings/resolution-runners/
FootZone is Central Oregon’s only locally owned and independent running and walking store. Since
1995, FootZone has been the hub of the local running community, hosting clinics, training groups,
weekly runs, and a number of charitable events each year, in addition to sponsoring local races.
FootZone is a full service running and walking store in downtown Bend. To learn more about FootZone, please visit www.footzonebend.com.
By Tara Marsh
Photos by Michelle Schleich
Looking around the arid and dusty landscape, watching people come and go on the other side of a wire fence, four-year-old Paul asked his father, “Why are those people behind fences?”
“No, son, those people are not behind a fence, we are,” his father replied. That is one of the memories Paul Grayber holds on to from his early childhood spent in an American internment camp in Texas that housed Japanese, Germans, Italians, and South Americans during World War II.
Paul was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, to German immigrant parents. The oldest of three boys, Paul and his family were picked up by the FBI in January 1943, leaving nearly all their belongings behind, and taken to Crystal City, Texas, where they lived in the internment camp for the next two years. “I used to crawl underneath the wire fence and steal grapefruits off a tree,” Paul remembers.
The Grayber family, along with hundreds of other detainees, were treated well, he said. But the feeling of restriction was real. “The freedom of speech, freedom of movement, freedom of everything was curtailed because we were imprisoned, really,” he said.
By late 1944, Paul’s father was offered a deal. The family could either choose to be exchanged for captured American citizens being held in Germany or remain in the internment camp. Many years later, Paul still questions the irony of that offer. “Exchanging Americans for Americans.”
“My father decided he didn’t want to be behind barbed wire and took the deal. That was a big mistake,” Paul said. They boarded a Swedish ship in January 1945. After sailing for 11 days, the Grayber family disembarked in Marseille, France, and traveled by train to Switzerland to be processed into Germany. They moved in with Paul’s maternal grand parents in a tiny cabin in the mountainous region of the Black Forest.
Years of battle had devastated just about every corner of the country. There was very little food, no jobs, no
“For the next five years, there was nothing,” Paul said in a somber voice. “You have no idea what having nothing means. With three small boys, it was tough.” In the summer of 1945, just a few months after the war
in Europe ended, Paul’s father set off to Stuttgart to find employment, taking young Paul along. The pair hitched a ride in the back of a truck, but about 10 miles down the road they were stopped at a French checkpoint.
“After the war, Germany was divided into four different military zones,” explained Paul. The Black Forest was in the
French zone, the north was the English zone, east Germany was controlled by the Russians, and the south was in the hands of the Americans. Paul and his father were taken into a small chapel. Standing in front of the altar was a French major in full uniform. Speaking in broken German, the major asked who they were and where they were going.
Paul’s father handed over his identification papers and explained the situation. When the major asked who the boy
was, his father replied, “He’s an American citizen. He’s my son.” To that, the French major spat on the papers and tossed them to the floor. “Mah!” he shouted. “America! No good!”
“Here he was, wearing a uniform that the Americans gave him along with the Colt .45 on his hip,” Paul said, shaking his head. “Americans saved France and supplied them. I don’t know why he had that attitude.”
At that time, Paul explained, the French military would capture any males who were walking around loose and
send them off to the French Foreign Legion. Because Paul’s father was only a legal immigrant to the United States, not a full-edged citizen, he was vulnerable to the volatile political situation at that time.
“The major told my dad, ‘Thank your son. He’s an American. If it wasn’t for him, you’d be going into the French
Foreign Legion.’” Paul and his father were finally sent on their way. He spent the remainder of his childhood in Stuttgart, eventually returning to America when he was 18.
In 1947, not too far away from Stuttgart, Marie-Florence Gimel was born in the small village of Cruseilles, France, in Chateau de Pontverre. Her childhood surroundings were idyllic, just minutes from Annecy, also known as the Venice of France, and Talloires, a picturesque village on the shores of Lake Annecy.
“It is a beautiful, beautiful place,” she said. “Surrounded by the French Alps.”
She was the youngest child of renowned French expressionist painter Georges Gimel. “I came from a very interesting family, but I didn’t know it at the time,” said Marie-Florence. Her father was part of the French Resistance and compiled his art and writing about the horrors of war and the efforts of the Resistance in a book titled Le Calvaire de la Résistance (The Calvary of the Resistance).
When preparing to share her story, Marie-Florence dusted off her copy of the book and opened its pages, briey.
“I never looked at the book because it’s very sad. The war was such an atrocity. I’m too sensitive for that. I can’t read those things,” she said.
The next few years working and saving money to achieve her childhood dream: to travel the world. To kick off the adventure, she and two friends took advantage of Greyhound’s promotion at the time: 99 days for $99. With nothing but their backpacks, the group tra-
versed the United States and Canada. The year was 1968. Later, the three friends embarked on a trip around the globe, visiting just about every Asian country, the Middle
East, and Central and South America while meeting remarkable people along the way.
“It changed my life,” said Marie-Florence. “It changed my approach and attitude to life. My dream was always to travel. I was not book smart, but I was street smart. As a student, the only subject I was good at was geography!” she said, laughing.
But perhaps for her father, who was in his mid-40s during the war, putting together the images and words was healing. After the war, fellow artists in his circle, including Monet and Picasso, traveled to the south of France to focus on their art, explained Marie-Florence. “My dad would say to them, ‘While you guys went off to paint flowers, I was at war. After the war, there is no way I can paint flowers.’ That is why he made this book,” she related.
Her older brothers now own Chateau de Pontverre and their father’s original work and are renovating the chateau with the intention of creating a permanent museum of Gimel’s work. Her father died when Marie-Florence was 14, but before his death he made it a point to introduce his daughter to the wonder of art. “He took me to the Louvre, but he didn’t want me to tour the whole place. He said only take it in a little bit at a time so I wouldn’t forget anything,” she said.
After working as an au pair in England and Holland, Marie-Florence arrived in Los Angeles on her 20th birthday.
The journey wasn’t always postcard perfect. "The Middle East was particularly dicey and dangerous, she said, especially for women. Women had to be escorted by a male everywhere they went and not be seen alone.
“But it taught me how to handle just about any situation,” she said.
Around the time Marie-Florence was earning her stripes as a world traveler, Paul was immersed in the world of show business and modeling in New York. In 1966, Paul had a part onstage in an opera at the Metropolitan Opera House, standing next to Placido Domingo as the famous singer performed.
Paul spent many years modeling for renowned designers,including Oscar de la Renta, Bill Blass, and John Weitz. By the 1970s, he had made his way to Los Angeles, where his rugged good looks landed him spots in Western-themed commercials. He became pals with Tom Selleck and appeared in one of the last episodes of Magnum, P.I., titled “L.A.”
Marie-Florence returned to Los Angeles and was one of four managers of a restaurant near Universal Studios. Running into Hollywood celebrities was a regular occurrence, but Marie-Florence wasn’t too interested in the world of show business.
“I never recognized anybody,” she said. “All the waiters and waitresses were aspiring actors and couldn’t believe I didn’t know many of the celebrities who would frequent the restaurant. They would say to me, ‘You French people are really out of it!’”
Fate was starting to close in for Paul and Marie-Florence. Their paths, unique and colorful on their own, were about to cross. Marie-Florence, now a single mother of an 11-year-old son, had just ended a tumultuous relationship with a Hollywood screen-writer and was burning off steam at the YMCA.
Paul just happened to be exercising nearby and noticed the petite blonde and wondered why she wasn’t home watching the Academy Awards. Paul struck up a conversation, but Marie-Florence wasn’t interested. “I was so sick and tired of men. He asked me if I had someone and I said yes because I didn’t want it to go any further,” she said with a laugh.
Later, Marie-Florence was back at the YMCA and pointed Paul out to a friend. “What?!” the friend exclaimed, not under-standing why Marie-Florence wasn’t interested in the handsome gentleman.
“My friend said to me, ‘I wouldn’t mind waking up to a man like that!” she recalled.
Eventually Marie-Florence agreed to a date. But there was one very, very important catch—her son.
“Paul really connected with my son Philippe. That was very important to me. It was my priority. They bonded so well I told Paul, ‘You married me because of my son,’” she said. Paul and Marie-Florence were married in 1989, and it didn’t
take long for them to set out on an adventure together.
In the early 1990s, they accepted an offer to manage a hotel on the island of Saint Martin in the Caribbean and off they went, along with young Philippe.
It was the idyllic island life for a few years, but as Philippe got older, Paul felt that the young man needed more structure than the lax island life could offer, so they returned to the States.
Paul and Marie-Florence traveled up the coastline from Los Angeles to Portland, exploring and contemplating their
next adventure. Paul had a friend who lived on a ranch in Wamic, Oregon, and he suggested they consider Bend.
The Graybers fell in love with Central Oregon and its snow-capped mountains and bright blue skies. In yet
another stroke of fate, or perhaps even luck, they were strolling around downtown Bend and saw that the Romantique Boutique was for sale. (Coincidentally, Marie-Florence’s maternal grandparents had been instrumental in starting the world’s first “department” store, a place where a myriad of wares could be purchased.) Making another leap of faith, they bought the business. The year was 1995. “I did not inherit my father’s gift of artistic ability, but I always found my creativity in other ways, mainly fashion,” said Marie-Florence.
Settling in Bend and owning an upscale women’s boutique was a perfect fit. “It’s not easy for visitors to come into a former lumber town and find high-end fashions for women,” said Paul. “But Marie-Florence was able to accommodate the fashion market here—half of our clientele are from out of town and make it a point to return.”
You never know who you might meet in Bend. On any given day, you may and Paul and Marie-Florence Grayber
are in Romantique, greeting visitors with an old-world charm and genuine warmth that hint at their rich story and the
winding path that brought them here, together.
The Doubletree Hotel sits on the edge of the Downtown Bend Economic Improvement District (EID), providing Bend visitors with excellent hospitality and a front door that leads right into the heart of Bend, our downtown.
This access is provided by a long staircase from the Doubletree property to Lava Rd. This year, the Downtown Bend Business Association (DBBA) and the Doubletree Hotel brought the condition of this staircase to the attention of the City of Bend, who owns the property.
The City of Bend quickly responded and they were able to complete the project before winter set it. The Downtown Bend Business Association and the Doubletree Hotel would like to extend their appreciation to the City of Bend for helping visitors access the Downtown Bend boutiques, spas and restaurants owned by local Bend families!
BendTel is a locally owned and operated telecommunications company with a mission to provide Central Oregon customers with the highest quality communication services at affordable prices. They are a full service, facilities based, Competitive Local Exchange Company (CLEC), that has been focused on providing voice, long distance, data, Gigabit Internet and hosting services to businesses in the Central Oregon area since 2003.
BendTel is constantly working on expanding their Gigabit Fiber Internet footprint throughout downtown and adjacent areas. Their use of Gigabit Bandwidth Internet and the latest cutting-edge technology recently earned them an award at the 2019 Oregon Connections Telecommunications conference. They were awarded for their “Excellence in Telecommunications Projects and Regional/Local Strategies” for developing and implanting innovative projects that provide better access, reliability and affordability to telecommunication services.
BendTel is also the official sponsor of the annual Downtown Bend Celebration Night that happens every May and the WiFi sponsor of Bend Oktoberfest. Both of these events are fundraisers for the local nonprofit, The Downtown Bend Business Association. BendTel is a key asset to the health and vitality of Downtown Bend – and it’s not just about the direct services they provide. Because of BendTel’s support for Downtown Bend, we are able to have things like flower baskets and Holiday decorations!
Right now, BendTel is offering an exclusive deal for DBBA Members! This offer includes a Sangoma IP Phone –featuring Voicemail to Email & Find Me/Follow Me, gFiber Internet (50x10Mbps) with reliable service and guaranteed speeds on their multi-gigabit capable gFiber network and bHosted Managed Voice – backed by their local support team. Plus, when you sign up, you’ll get the first month for free!
Call BendTel today, and join the DBBA/BendTel Team! You’ll be glad that you did.
BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford launches their 10th season with two-time Grammy Award winner Diane Schuur, a profound pianist and vocalist.
“Diane’s performances exemplify excellence, and the local Bend community highly anticipates her return,” said Samuel Johnson, General Manager of the Oxford Hotel Bend. “I can’t think of a better performance to kick-off the series. As we enter 10 years of Jazz at the Oxford, we're thrilled to welcome back the esteemed Ms. Schuur after eight years. We’d like to thank all of our sponsors, their generosity continues to make this a truly exceptional world-class event.”
Schuur has long been regarded as one of Contemporary Jazz’s leading vocalists. Nicknamed “Deedles” for her impressive scatting ability, she is as eclectic as she is brilliant. Schuur naturally composes an exquisite composition of jazz that incorporates various elements of sub, and undeniably superb vocalism.
Resulting from a loss of vision due to birth complications, Schuur read Braille-transcribed lyrics during performances and recording sessions. Nonetheless, she found the use of Braille impractical as it required one of her hands while playing the piano. Schuur's instinctive understanding of music translates into compositions that are free-spirited and without boundaries.
Schuur has gone on to perform with other highly-regarded artists such as Frank Sinatra and Dizzy Gillespie, in addition to specialized engagements such as an appearance on Sesame Street, and an astonishing eleven appearances on Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show.
Arguably Schuur’s most notable achievements are her Grammy Awards for Best Jazz Female Vocal Performance in 1986 and 1987. Schuur was later nominated for the same award in 1989, in addition to Best Traditional Female Pop Performance in 1991 and 1993.
Schuur will perform three shows, all of which are sold out.
· Friday, October 18, at 7:00 pm
· Saturday, October 19, at 5:00 pm
· Saturday, October 19, at 8:00 pm
Show tickets are sold out, but the public is invited to a FREE Music Education Workshop on Saturday, October 19th, at 11:15 am at Oxford Hotel Bend. Hosted by Georges Bouhey, all ages and skill levels are welcome to gain insight and musical life lessons from Schuur. Seating is limited, so arrive early.
BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford is made possible by the support of several local companies that are dedicated to the cultural enrichment of Central Oregon. In addition to BendBroadband, the series is supported by returning sponsors Central Oregon Daily, The Bulletin, Mockingbird Gallery, Central Oregon Radiology Associates, First Interstate Bank, Subaru of Bend and 10below Restaurant. The series is produced by Patrick Lamb Productions of Portland, Oregon.
About BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford: Now in its 10th year, BendBroadband’s Jazz at the Oxford brings talented musicians to the intimate ballroom of Oxford Hotel Bend, located in the heart of downtown Bend. Patrick Lamb Productions produces the series, which features an array of world-class performers. Local community sponsors are BendBroadband, Mockingbird Gallery, Central Oregon Radiology Associates, The Bulletin, Central Oregon Daily, Subaru of Bend, First Interstate Bank and 10below Restaurant. For more information, visit jazzattheoxford.com.
About Oxford Hotel Bend: Oxford Hotel Bend is Bend’s first and only luxury boutique hotel. Located in the heart of downtown, the seven-story Oxford Hotel features 59 spacious and luxurious executive suites, many with views of the Cascade Mountains. Designed with the leisure and business traveler in mind, Oxford Hotel Bend features a variety of amenities and services intended to up the ante on the traditional boutique hotel experience. For the last seven years, Oxford Hotel Bend has been recognized as a Top 25 US Hotel in TripAdvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards. For more information, visit oxfordhotelbend.com.
Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild will have their annual show on Oct 19-20 hosted by the At Liberty Arts Collaborative. This 2 day event features works by over 30 metal artists from jewelers, to sculptors, knife makers, welders and blacksmiths. These metal smiths will amaze you with some fascinating works of art that can also be purchased.
One of the artists that you can experience at the upcoming COMAG show is Miguel Edwards. Miguel is a public artist, sculptor, photographer, and culture-maker in Bend, OR.
In Seattle where he moved from, he was President of Center on Contemporary Art, a historic and growing art non-profit. He also built dynamic large-scale public art installations, as-well-as, photographing for local and regional magazines. Art in Seattle's Public Spaces, a book for art and architecture lovers that Miguel co-created with Jim Rupp recently won a Silver Design Award.
Miguel and his wife Cori, are thrilled to be living in Bend now where Miguel was able to build his dream shop and spend more time sculpting. He loves investing in the local community and culture, working with Downtown Bend, Bend Design, Tedx Bend, COMAG (Central Oregon Metal Arts Guild), Old Mill and so much more.
Earlier this year at WinterFest you may have seen Hope Rising, the giant stainless cauldron that he made for the Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics.
This summer, Miguel began collaborating with Mark Meulebroeck of Red Miter Furniture building heirloom quality furniture. Miguel has been invited to show at Art Basel in Miami this December and has an opening in Palm Desert California with Coda Gallery, his new rep. (Click here for more info)
His work can be seen at:
If you are interested in discussing any projects with Miguel, please reach out, he always loves meeting new people!
Doors to the COMAG show open 11:00 – 9:00pm, Saturday 10/19 and 10:00am-6:00pm on Sunday 10/20. At Liberty Arts Collaborative is located in downtown Bend at 849 Wall St.