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Letters 2/10-2/17 

Last year an anonymous group bombed Minnesota Avenue with 600 felt hearts on Valentine's Day. Those out and about this Sunday might keep an eye out for more.

Photo by Katarinna Agnes Fagering.

Last year an anonymous group bombed Minnesota Avenue with 600 felt hearts on Valentine's Day. Those out and about this Sunday might keep an eye out for more.

In Response to "Barely Getting By" (1/28)

One area in the news article not investigated is: Why is COCC only paying [$10.25 per hour] for the dish washer position? Certainly they could pay a living wage.

~John Morter

In Response to "Barely Getting By" (1/28)

Excellent article. Keep the discussion going. How come big employers like DH&R's Sunriver Resort continue to keep wages low while taking in big profits for their owners, a small group of millionaires. That's the one percent syndrome Bernie Sanders is talking about. It is a Reaganomics trickle- down policy that keeps the middle and lower classes down while a select few reap big money. It needs to be fixed. Now is our chance because finally someone like Sanders is willing to stand up and fight for change.

~Jim Little via

Snowshoe vs. Fatbiking (1/21): Trail courtesy

We are doing our best as a user group to educate folks about trail courtesy and etiquette (including right of way and staying off of ski trails!) so that we can coexist with other users. We will continue to do so in the interest of getting along and reducing conflict.

That said, I have had nothing but cordial interactions with snowshoers on the trails over the last three winters. Most defer their right of way without even giving me a chance to stop and offer passage. Many exclaim, "Wow - that looks like fun!" and we all share a smile, appreciate the day and go on our way.

~Peter Sussmann via

Snowshoe vs. Fat Biking (1/21): A winter experience for non-skiers

As an avid member of the growing fatbike community (and skate skier who donates for grooming at Meissner, as well as xc skier and snowshoer), it saddens me to hear of suggested negative conflicts between snowshoers and fatbikers. In the several winters of fatbiking on multi-use snowshoe trails, I have never had a single negative encounter when meeting other users. Nearly every encounter has been met with smiles, amusement and curiosity. I've even had a few snowshoers sit on my bike and pedal for a few strokes - and sure enough I see an ear-to-ear grin. Not one snowshoer has grumbled about having to step to the side. Granted, we do not condone fatbikers riding on classically groomed tracks as we realize the damage done. And I would discourage large groups of bikers or perhaps not riding at peak snowshoe hours on weekends.

Fatbiking is super fun and allows a winter experience for those who are not skiers. Fatbike-specific trails are beginning to be established at Wanoga Snopark (which currently, by the way, welcomes skiers and snowshoers). Please be patient, perhaps try not to act so entitled to public lands that are for all of us to enjoy. Embrace change and the inevitable introduction of new sports. Fatbikers are nice people. Really.

If you really want to gripe, worry about the people walking in BARE BOOTS on the trails. They are creating big post-holes that destroy the trail quality for everyone – but that's another letter.

~Natalie Herse via

Snowshoe vs. Fatbiking (1/21): More signage may help

I'm an avid classic xcountry skier, and have been at this for over 20 years, frequenting both Swampy and Meisner snow parks. During this time, we've seen the rapid rise of both skate skiing and snowshoeing. Now another new winter sport appears to be gaining traction. Each of these new activities requires thoughtful consideration of trail use. Initially, when snowshoeing was gaining advocates we would encounter crushed xcountry ski tracks, which can greatly detract from the skiing experience. The subsequent creation of separate snowshoe trails and signage has helped considerably, although on multiple occasions this winter I have still encountered snowshoers or their tracks while on the xcountry trails. I think this is a continuing education problem and we can all help by politely informing people. More signage may also help. The grooming at Meisner (thank you!) has allowed both classic and skate skiing to flourish there and to generally coexist without one group hindering the other. From my experience, both groups love the outdoors and show respect and friendliness to each other. My only concern is in preserving some peaceful, classic only, non-groomed trails for those that enjoy this experience (Swampy offers this as do a side trail or two at Meisner as of now). When it comes to multi-use my question is always whether the uses involved are compatible or does one greatly diminish the experience of the other. I don't snowshoe but it's hard for me to imagine that walkers and bikers sharing a narrow snowshoe trail would be a good solution. So much of the enjoyment in our winter wonderland comes from the peace and quiet as well as not having to worry about jumping out of the way or wearing a rear view mirror on one's head. I'd vote for separating these activities, and I would certainly not be in favor of adding fat biking to existing xcountry ski trails.

~John Farwell via

In Response to "A River Used to Run Through It" (2/4)

It is too bad that nothing was done without the threat of litigation. The USBR [U.S. Bureau of Reclamation], OWRD [Oregon Water Resources Department], state legislators, and the six irrigation districts all should have acted decades ago to improve the in stream flows on the Deschutes. The arrogance created by "Senior Water Rights" lulled these stakeholders into a state of defiance. Water laws need to be changed. Nature should be given the water rights "before time." These in stream flows should be those determined by the ODFW[Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife] and DEQ [Department of Environmental Quality]to be the minimum needed for stream and wildlife health. Nature was the first user of the water, but no one stood up for nature when all the water was given away. Nature's claim to the water still exists and should be acted upon now in Salem.

~Joan and Mark Davis via

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