This evening I attended Accelerate Bend 2030. The Tower theater was packed even though it was required to get tickets beforehand. The speakers were well informed and informative for the various projects they were sponsoring for improving Bend. The featured speakers were:
- Jodie Barram, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Bend; Chair, Bend 2030 Board
- Eric King, City Manager, City of Bend
- Don Horton, Executive Director, Bend Park and Recreation District
- Ruth Williamson, Immediate Past Chair, Bend 2030 Board
- Amy Tykeson, President and CEO, Bend Broadband
- Becky Johnson, Vice President, OSU Cascades
These people were all enthusiastic speakers and the kind of people who get things done. Bend being a small town, it is possible to meet with them personally. I have previously talked with Eric King, the current City Manager, and to the ex-Mayor, but tonight after the lectures I sought out the incoming Mayor, Jodie Barram, and the President of Bend Broadband, Amy Tykeson. I was able to chat with each of them individually for several minutes about my aspirations for Bend and why I think it is possible.
I told each of them that Bend had much more potential than they were aspiring to and that it should be the goal to make Bend into a major intellectual center, such as Berkeley, or Edinburgh, Scotland. My justification for that outrageous suggestion was that I personally know three PhD level physicists from major universities, two from Harvard and one from Cambridge, England who are still working, but living here in Bend. That they found Bend to be such a desirable place for them to live, with broadband access, that they are willing to spend a considerable portion of their time away from those intellectual centers and here in remote Bend. For them it is completely optional where they choose to live, and yet they are here. With very little incentive many more people of their caliber would live in Bend.
Make the name Bend a synonym for the Best living possible.