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Letters 3/16-3/23 

Middle school students prepare for their show at Red Chair Gallery next month. Photo by Ariel Hutchinson.

Middle school students prepare for their show at Red Chair Gallery next month. Photo by Ariel Hutchinson.

In response to "A Letter to the Bend-La Pine School Board," (3/3)

I can't agree with you more, Gary. Having worked as a counselor for the Bend LaPine School District until 2010, I have observed the reduction of counselors and the general increase of unmet mental health needs, families and students who are dissatisfied with lack of counseling, college and career planning, and a sharp increase in youth deaths by suicide. It is time for the District to partner with their local higher education institution, OSU and constituents to restore counseling staffing levels in all schools - in addition to providing this team of counselors with appropriate support and leadership to function as intended. Thank you for shedding light on this important issue.

~Suzanne Schmidt via

In response to "A Letter to the Bend-La Pine School Board," (3/3): Funding for art and science needed, too

I agree that important student needs are being compromised for technology in school and as a parent of three school age children, I don't think they need more technology. I also did not have iPads for my children, on purpose. Aside from funding counselors, money is also needed for art and science in schools.

~Judy Fuentes via

House Bill 4060 passes with flying colors

I am a new member of OIHFA [Oregon Industrial Hemp Farmers Association] and my main interest is harvesting and storing the hemp stalks after seed harvest and finding good markets for the hemp fiber. I have a small farm in Silverton and plan on planting a small plot (10,000 sq. ft.) of hemp of a promising variety for the Willamette Valley.

I have lived near Bend for 30 years and had at one time a business near Corvallis baling and storing grass seed straw for market. I also worked at OSU [Oregon State University] and for an engineering firm developing markets for grass seed straw as well as methods of baling and processing straw after the grass seed harvest. I was the first one to operate a round baler in the Willamette Valley in the early 1980s for an engineering firm who had a contract with the state of Oregon.

Last fall I visited hemp farmers near Dauphin, Manitoba, gathering information on how they manage and harvest the hemp stalks after harvesting the hemp seeds for Manitoba Harvest. The farmers in this area of a very fertile ancient lake bed were the first to supply hemp seed to Manitoba Harvest in the mid 1990s. Thanks to the great work of Courtney Moran and Rep. Carl Wilson, the HB 4060 passed with flying colors.

~Bruce Meland

In response to "Bend's Affordable Housing Crisis" (Bent Blog)

Our land should be much cheaper. We can thank the state of Oregon for not approving our UGB [Urban Growth Boundary] expansion years ago. I could go on but won't.

~Jim Johnson via

Congratulations...and thanks for nothing!

I still can't believe the voting population of Bend is so penny wise and pothole foolish. Give me a break... Yeah... like one buck for a twenty gallon fill up is going to thrust us all into a state of poverty. You'll approve every silly bond issue for the park district but when it comes to doing something that would actually help our cratered roads, uhh, sorry, can't spare a nickel.

Am I the only one who noticed the vote no ad's unsubstantiated claim that there's all this money for road repairs just sitting idle in the city budget... Okay, where, how much and why isn't it being spent? And if the money does actually exist, why does it have to be an either/or situation?

Why couldn't it be combined with the nickel a gallon tax to really address the problem and get after it in a hurry. While I'm venting here's another example of the mass stupidity in all this. For once, we had the opportunity to make the tourist hoards pay some of the tab for chewing up our roads. They don't pay property taxes or local licensing fees do they? So celebrate your victory, you are getting what you deserve... a couple more bucks a month and roads that look like the surface of the moon...Whoopie!

~Walt Tomsic

"Trumpty Dumpty"

Trumpty Dumpty stood on a wall;

Trumpty Dumpty was having a ball,

His ambitions presidential,

His knowledge inconsequential,

Trumpty's pronouncements so random,

With contradictions occurring in tandem.

Trumpty Dumpty stood on that wall,

Then suddenly Trumpty had a great fall.

Alas, his billions of dollars and millions of yen

Couldn't put Trumpty on top once again.

~Dave Goodwin

In response to "123 Pop-Up Curry-ious Cuisine" (3/10)

The curry pop-up was delicious! I love The Root Cellar. I can't wait to see what Anna brings us next!

~Lisa Sipe via

In reply to "Tree Ordinance Needed" (2/25)

Thank you Mary Ellen for starting this much-needed community conversation about protecting our awesome trees here in Bend. I know for a fact that many of the Ponderosas are over 200 years old.

The town of Bend was incorporated in 1904 so to think that many of these trees are 100 years older than our town makes them truly historic. Just imagine the changes these trees have experienced. Many cities in Oregon have tree ordinances and they can be written in many ways.

The ordinance can protect certain trees that are designated by private property owners themselves or trees in areas that haven't been developed yet or specific trees in parks and public places. Just like zoning and building restrictions, public easements and solar access ordinances we can support a tree ordinance to protect the beauty of our town and our property values.

~Maureen Sweeney

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