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Letters 10/16-10/24 

Voters get early snow on room tax measure 9-94.

Did you "like" bendtaps.com? Then you won't have to pay for VisitBend's $410,000, 40% raise. No worries, Bend's hard working hotel owners will extract this 11.4% tax from their customers. Twenty-five years ago it was 1%. Why work in the hotel industry, you can increase your income faster by being a taxer. Those dollars could be spent on your businesses. Snow.

We don't need a tax increase. Half the money is already available from the ten percent increase in tourism, the uncollected vacation rental tax, and tax from the new hotel. The remainder comes from cost savings from our seven local room tax supported tourist agencies. They can combine their activities and spend those tax dollars on marketing rather than overhead. Snow.

And funds to public safety, yes, but the add is less than .6 percent of their budget. Besides, this year, Bend will already hire five police and firemen and Bend Fire will propose an additional bond next year. Snow.

Bendtaps says Bend tourists don't pay enough. But you can't compare Bend to cities that charge sales tax and resort fees. Comparing room tax alone, Bend would charge second to Portland. Higher taxes lead to less business. Blizzard.

How about those slick $14,000 ads? They show taxers that will benefit, but no mid range hoteliers seen that will lose profits when they collect. The taxers use the government to require hoteliers to pay for the taxers' projects. Whiteout.

Vote no.

—David White

No to Cruelty / No on 9-96

Do we really want the entity that hosted this year's Ringling Brothers Circus to be the face of Central Oregon, promoting tourism to a world that is now stepping back from the dark ages of animal cruelty?

70 percent of tax revenues raised by passage of Measure 9-96 would go to this entity—Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center.

By contrast, City of Bend's Measure 9-94 (though imposing, I believe, a disproportionate burden on a small segment of our business community) would be a cruelty-free way to raise revenue for tourism, infrastructure, and public safety.

Please vote your conscience. Nix on 9-96.

—Foster Fell

In reply to "Letter of the Week," (Opinion, 10/17)

I would like to comment upon two unrelated topics. The first is the upcoming election. Measure 9-94 is easy to understand and decide upon. If you think that Bend needs to work at bringing in more tourists and their automobiles, vote yes; if you think that Bend has enough tourists and their automobiles, vote no.

The second topic is the Source's Letter of the Week award for the October 17th issue. By what rationale was Mark Winger's short pro-gun comment chosen over the excellent, lengthy letter submitted by the Bard of Bend? You obviously are not awarding those $5 gift certificates based upon writing quality, so what criteria are you using to choose the winners? Just wondering!

—Eddie Kinnamon

In reply to "When the Dam Breaks," (News, 10/10)

A local commentator identified as a "scientist" who has served on various Mirror Pond management boards and committees was featured in your article "When the Dam Breaks." He compares the option of removal of the Pacific Power dam at Mirror Pond to a similar smaller dam removal project that was completed several years ago at Lake Creek Lodge in Camp Sherman, Oregon. This is like comparing a hummingbird to an elk. Lake Creek Lodge is a comparatively small property that was not defined by its pond. The city of Bend is much larger and is in countless ways defined by Mirror Pond. Please, local "scientists," stop misleading Bend citizens so that Mirror Pond can be saved.

—Pam DiDente

I love free rivers!

—selfdetermination

Please talk with some environmental consulting firms and some environmental lawyers in town or in Portland and PLEASE do a story on the cost to the City of licensing or re-licensing the dam after Pacific Power shuts of its power plant. Licensing a dam will be VERY EXPENSIVE. Add this to the cost of dredging and then give us an idea of how much it will REALLY cost to keep Mirror Pond for another 30-50 years. It will amount to a HUGE TAX INCREASE for Bendites and I feel like this most important factor of the discussion of the future of Mirror Pond has been TOTALLY IGNORED so far.

—DJ Hurricane

In reply to "It Doesn't Have to be This Way," (News, 10/17)

We should do this right and remove Bend altogether. It's simply not natural. Disbanding the city would certainly make for a much healthier forest, and it would free the wildlife from the confines of arbitrary federal forests boundaries. Plus, removing Bend would get rid of all those god-awful eyesores such as the Old Mill smokestacks, Highway 97, and the ubiquitous stinking breweries. Free Central Oregon. Tear Bend down!

—Free Central Oregon

Keep Bend beautiful! Dredge the effing pond and be done with it. Please, please don't Californicate downtown Bend anymore than you already have.

Signed, Long Time Native Bendite (multi-generations)

—Hospital Hill

Yeah, that river running through town looks terrible, LTNB [editor's note: see above]. At this point I don't think it is about dredging or not. It's about the dam and that is up to Pacific Power. They own the dam. I say since its leaking tear it down. Probably cost prohibitive to fix it anyway.

—azphi

In reply to "Low Water Leaves Scores of Fish Dead," (BENT Blog, 10/18)

I really appreciate this article making it in here. Hopefully something similar makes the print version. I was biking on the Deschutes River Trail near Meadow Camp this week and there were some areas with very strong odors of dead fish. You can see some large pools cut off from the main channel, and I was concerned about the stranding risk, but wrongly assumed I see, that biologists were involved in constraining the release fluctuations to avoid such stranding. In California, where there's substantial dam management of in stream flows, there has been a lot of work to understand the rates of ramp up and draw down, and dangerous levels for specific rivers to avoid, to prevent this stranding.

Based on recreation, tourism, the associated spending and general economic impact, besides impact on decisions to live and work here, I'm quite sure those fish that died were much more economically valuable than whatever the irrigators needed those last acre-feet of water for, if Wickiup really can't keep a higher base flow.

—Mark

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