Bend: Brews, views and a canoe on stunning Hosmer Lake

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We push our candy-red canoes into the southern tip of Hosmer Lake, a natural body of water in the Cascade Range of the Deschutes National Forest, about 20 miles west of Bend. It’s a crystal-clear late summer day, and save for a few puffy marshmallow-like clouds, the sky is bright, blue and open.

This pristine mountain lake is named after Bend naturalist Paul Hosmer, who penned stories about Central Oregon’s beauty when it was untouched and isolated, nearly 100 years ago. Were he alive today, Hosmer might be saddened by the disappearance of wildlife in the area. According to Jason Gollan, the Wanderlust Tours naturalist leading today’s guided canoe tour, the lake’s popularity has made river otter and blue heron sightings rare these days.

A biology graduate with a crooked smile and deep knowledge of the Cascade Lakes region, Gollan is also well-versed in fermentation, a Central Oregon tradition as beloved as canoeing, and talks about craft beer with the flair of a cicerone. Oh, didn’t I mention that? He’ll be spending a portion of the tour leading us in a beer tasting — several award-winning Bend micro craft brews, actually — in the bright Oregon sunshine. As we strap on our life jackets and paddle out, I can practically taste the crisp, refreshing suds.

At approximately 200 acres, Hosmer stands out among Sparks, Lava and the other lakes of this volcanic landscape for its plant life and spectacular views of nearby Mt. Bachelor, South Sister and Broken Top. We ply the water, paddling our way into fingers and coves created by ancient eruptions. As we enter the central channel, tall wands of bulrush narrow our path, and red-winged black birds flit from stalk to stalk.

Native peoples of …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

Lafayette: Grease fire causes heavy damage to Postino’s kitchen

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Imagine dining out at your favorite neighborhood restaurant, tucking into an eggplant parmigiana, when you suddenly smell smoke and the sound of your hostess directing an evacuation.

That’s what happened Tuesday around 6:45 p.m., when a grease fire set the kitchen ablaze at Lafayette’s Postino, sending about 70 diners onto the patio, carrying their dinner plates and watching fire crews put the blaze out while they finished their meals.

“They took their glasses and bottles of wine with them too, obviously,” says Postino co-owner Parry Tong. “My wife was managing the restaurant, called 911 and got everyone out in a timely fashion.”

Postino is housed in a historic Carr Jones structure. Originally built in 1937 as Lafayette’s post office, the restaurant’s name gives a nod to that past. Postino is an Italian-inspired fine dining establishment known for its intimate, brick-lined rooms and famous opening chef. Cat Cora opened the restaurant with Michael Chiarello in 1998 before moving on to “Iron Chef” and Food Network fame.

According to Tong, fire crews still don’t know where the fire originated, but he believes it was behind the kitchen hood. According to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District spokesman Steve Hill, the fire was contained to the vented area, then spread into the ducts.

Because of the design of the restaurant, he says, it proved nearly impossible to get to all the hot spots. So they let the hot spots burn slowly for hours. Fire crews had to cut holes in the walls and ceilings to get to some of those spots.

“Good news is that it was localized to one area of the kitchen,” Hill said. “The bad news is that there was a lot of smoke and water damage.”

Tong spent Wednesday …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

Photos: Former A’s star Mark Ellis selling Arizona mansion

Former Oakland A’s second baseman Mark Ellis is selling his Scottsdale, Ariz. mansion for $7.95 million, reports Realtor.com.

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The six-bedroom, nine-bath estate spans 9,771 square feet in the exclusive North Scottsdale community of Silverleaf. It features a master bath with outdoor shower, a basement equipped with a batting cage and rock climbing wall, and a pool/spa, among many other amenities.

Lisa Westcott with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty is the listing agent. Related Articles

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Ellis played eight seasons with the A’s and posted a career .991 fielding percentage, the fifth-best all-time for a second baseman at the time of his retirement in 2015.

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle

      

Sex for Oxy? Pulling teeth for painkillers?

By Sari Horwitz and Scott Higham | Washington Post

Dozens of medical professionals in five states were charged Wednesday with participating in the illegal prescribing of more than 32 million pain pills, including doctors who prosecutors said traded sex for prescriptions and a dentist who unnecessarily pulled teeth from patients to justify giving them opioids.

The 60 people indicted include 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners and seven other licensed medical professionals. The charges involve more than 350,000 illegal prescriptions written in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia, according to indictments unsealed in federal court in Cincinnati.

“That is the equivalent of one opioid dose for every man, woman and child in the five states in the region that we’ve been targeting,” Brian Benczkowski, an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in an interview. “If these medical professionals behave like drug dealers, you can rest assured that the Justice Department is going to treat them like drug dealers.”

The charges include unlawful distribution or dispensing of controlled substances by a medical professional and health-care fraud. Each count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, and many of the defendants face multiple counts. At least one doctor is charged in connection with a death caused by the opioids, officials said.

The indictments are part of a broader effort by the Justice Department to combat the nation’s opioid epidemic, which claimed the lives of 47,600 people in 2017 alone, the latest year that federal overdose data is available.

Over the past two years, Justice Department officials said they have targeted doctors, health-care companies and drug manufacturers and distributors for their roles in the epidemic. Last year, the department charged 162 defendants, including 76 doctors, for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioids and other dangerous narcotics.

Benczkowski said he created the Appalachian …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Health

      

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