Morning Roundup: $1M in unclaimed tax refunds; Biketown winning the race

In today’s OB news roundup, tax refunds languish, Portland bikesharing numbers soar and Bend grapples with an archetypal Oregon challenge.

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1. The taxman does not cometh

Score one for open government. According to the Salem Statesman-Journal, 5,000 Oregonians have yet to claim $1 million dollars in expired tax refund checks. The Oregon Department of Revenue says people have until the end of October to claim their cash. After that, the money will be shipped off to the Department of Public Lands.

2.  Yes, Virginia, there are Trump supporters in Oregon.

Over at the Portland Business Journal, research editor Brandon Sawyer has compiled a list of Oregon contributors to the Trump campaign. Among the top contributors: Rob Freres, of Freres Lumber Co. and John Captain, of Portland Tub and Tan.

3.  Speaking of Trump — Oregon’s new Mexican Consul General doesn’t want to talk about him.

Read OB Editor Linda Baker’s interview with Francisco Maass Peña here.

4.  On the other hand, everyone loves bikeshare

By all accounts Portland’s bike share program is a resounding success. The Oregonian reports that in the first month, riders took nearly 59,000 trips on Biketown bikes, traveling 136,000 miles and making significant progress toward a goal of 400,000 rides in the program’s first year.  But the real coup for Portland’s bikeshare program may be the mainstreaming of the casual cyclist.  

As I tweeted last week, the service has introduce a new cadre of helmet-free riders to Portland City streets. 

Most revolutionary aspect of is seeing so many helmet-free riders cycling around town. Subtle but powerful shift in imagery.

And as BikePortland’s Jessica Roberts points out, that’s a good thing.  

5. Oregon’s Urban Growth Boundary:  Bend chapter

Bend residents showed up in droves for a public hearing on proposals to expand Bend’s UGB by 2,300 acres. According to the Bend Bulletin, hundreds of people weighed in on the expansion, which is aimed at accomodating population growth through 2028 by allowing for more than 17,000 homes and room for the equivalent of more than 21,000 jobs. Of those, more than 70 percent of homes and about 68 percent of the jobs are planned to be located within Bend’s current city limits.

6. Meanwhile, in Eugene, development keeps on trucking

The Eugene Register-Guard reports on a proposed $22 million real estate project that would convert a church into housing and retail. Developer Mike Coughlin, who owns Burley’s strollers and trailers in downtown Eugene, said he wants to turn the South Hills Assembly of God church in South Eugene into a mixed use development with approximately three floors of apartments. Earlier this week, Coughlin announced that he was handing over responsiblity for Burley’s daily operations to his daughter, Allison, 27, who will become Burley’s president next Wednesday.

7. Looking for something to do on the weekend?

Visit Crater Lake — for free. To celebrate the National Park centennial, Crater Lake National Park has waived its entrance fee through Sunday.  And don’t forget the Hood to Coast relay. The race celebrates its 35th anniversary this weekend.