Alot of people in the Bend area take great pride in the rapid growth that area has seen in recent years. A city of just 13,710 people in 1970 (and just half again as many in 1990), its population now is estimated to clock in at 70,328.
All of that has not come without its pressures, which get reflected in the way other communities consider it. Hence, an article in the Bend Bulletin about the reputation that city has to the northeast, in Walla Walla.
The keynote was this quote from Walla Walla lawyer Daniel Clark: "(Bend) certainly has a reputation for that type of very rapid growth that has overwhelmed the pre-existing community. That’s not something that people who value their community and their culture and their environment really ask for.” Or, to sum up from an increasingly popular bumper sticker seen in town, "Don't Bend Walla Walla."
Walla Walla, a pleasant southeast Washington town of about 30,000 - its population has been generally steady state for a generation - has a varied economic base: The state prison, a substantial private college (Whitman), a well-known apple crop, and a fast-rising and highly-regarded wine industry. Some locally are wondering if the place is beginning to develop the kind of cachet that could lead to big-time growth. It may be on the verge of being "disocovered."
The point of the Bulletin story: A number of local people seem to be getting out ahead of the curve, not to stop growth or change but to manage it, so the small city doesn't lose its character and special qualities, which it does have.
That alone would, in a number of respects, put it out ahead of Bend.