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Letters 5/5-5/12 

click to enlarge One reader says a lack of interest in modest sized homes is contributing to the affordable housing crisis.

photo credit: 35/365 via photopin (license)

One reader says a lack of interest in modest sized homes is contributing to the affordable housing crisis.

LOUD BIKES SUCK
Loud bikes suck. If you ride one, you are trash.
We should all be pestering the Bend City Council to enact and enforce an ordinance to target loud bikes. There will be the “hard to enforce” excuse for not acting. But, really, it’s as easy as requiring and enforcing the presence of the [Environmental Protection Agency] stamp on the exhaust of every bike operated within the city limits. We will also have to put up with the “loud pipes save lives” and “freedom of speech” chants from all the illiterate ass-clowns who ride around town so heavy on the throttle. But, that’s a lot easier to tune out than a bike you can hear a half-mile away.
—John

VOTE FOSTER FELL FOR BEND PARK BOARD
I moved to Bend five years ago from Sacramento where there are numerous health clubs offering 25-meter laned swimming pools. I loved the fact that Bend’s Juniper pool was 50 meters and was open to the outdoors in summer. But my joy was short-lived because I discovered that getting a lane to myself was difficult to do. The few open times when Masters swim groups, high school swim teams, and kids playing did not have the pool reserved invariably resulted in crowded conditions which required sharing lanes. Sharing swim lanes is not enjoyable for me due to my slow pace. Contacting another swimmer’s hand as he or she cruises by going the opposite direction hurts. So I gave up swimming as an exercise. Why doesn’t Bend make a 25 or 50 meter pool to be used only for lane swimming with no groups allowed exclusive use of the pool at any time? Is it because Bend is located in the desert and people here don’t know how to swim for exercise? I doubt that since most residents have moved here from elsewhere.
Bend’s Park and Recreation Department proposed an ice-skating rink and more ball diamonds in one recent election, which voters approved. I wished that they had proposed another pool but that would not bring in tourist dollars like an ice rink and would not encourage spending by sponsored ball teams. The business community would not profit quite as much with a pool.
Please, swimmers, we can begin to make Bend Park & Rec more responsive to us residents with one simple action. Take five minutes to send in your ballot for the May 19th election and vote for Foster Fell. He plainly states that he is in the residents’ corner and will work toward getting another pool built. As added bonuses, he also plainly states that he wants muddy Mirror Pond to go bye-bye for good and will work toward a more equitable relationship with Bend’s Senior Center.
If you like the idea of a new swimming pool and a free-flowing river and you would rather see your tax dollars spent on us residents (more and more all the time) instead of our business community’s addiction to tourism, send in your ballot by May 19th and vote for Foster Fell for Park Board Position 1!
—Eddie Kinnamon

SAVE SOME WATER FOR  THE FISH
Bend City Council member Victor Chudowsky recently had a mean spirited, and poorly argued rant about environmental sustainability. Victor casts doubt on a recent scientifically peer-reviewed study forecasting future stream flows. The result is scary. Climate change will reduce the water in Tumalo Creek by 63 percent as early as 2035, and by 86 percent by 2056. Good-bye Tumalo Falls. However, don’t panic, as Victor knows “leading scientists” who say it won’t be that bad, without any evidence to support this claim.
He also says piping of Tumalo Irrigation District water is the answer. This is certainly a good idea, and one that Landwatch supports. However, Landwatch has correctly pointed out that this piping would be in the lower portion of Tumalo Creek and will do nothing to help put more water in Tumalo Falls. I guess the fish and wildlife in upper Tumalo Creek will have to hope that his climate forecast is correct.
Victor’s bullying and empty rhetoric comes at an extremely bad time. Landwatch and the City have agreed to sit down and use a mediator to try to solve their legal differences. His tone is less than open-minded. Hopefully, other city councilors have a better understanding of science and want real solutions other than just praying for snow.
Hey Victor, chill out. Maybe you and your scientist friends should do the Nordic leg of Pole Pedal Paddle. But don’t bother to bring your skis as that leg of the race is cancelled for the first time in history, due to the lack of snow.
—The Dead Fish Society

IN REPLY TO “A LESSON IN SUPPLY & DEMAND” (5/6)
States like Oregon are the pioneers when it comes to making new laws. Particularly the evolution of marijuana and its place in the U.S. I believe the citizens of Oregon will set a swift and viable example for the Supreme Court when it’s time to readdress marijuana and its role in federal law.
—Tyrone

IN REPLY TO “NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE” (4/29)
What was sad about reporting the 4th grade Teacher is that another child who could have also testified was whisked away by her family. They moved away from Santa Fe rather than pursue prosecution. I’ve always wondered what her story was that her parents kept her from telling. We must always let our girls speak so they never have to hold this hurt in.
—Alyssa’s mother

IN REPLY TO “SIDE NOTES 5/7-5/14” (5/6)

Consider where much of the money from the city’s hotel tax goes—Visit Bend. Why not take half of the funds going to Visit Bend and apply them to transit? I believe that’s a much better use of funds that would otherwise be spent on advertising for tourism. Folks around the country know what and where Bend is. Let’s put money where it matters.
—John Mundy

A HOME BUILDER’S TAKE ON AFFORDABLE HOUSING
The Source Weekly has done a good job in recent articles pointing out the complexity of the “affordable housing” issue in Bend and the difficulties resolving it. As has been written, SDCs are one factor that has pushed up housing costs, but clearly they are not the most impactful cost. In my opinion, they are not the most important, either. Eliminating them would help housing costs, but there should be equality and fairness for the cost of new housing. Why should one homeowner pay for roads, streets, parks, and sewers, and another homeowner not pay. The Source has also pointed out that the conversion of over 500 homes to vacation rentals has taken many potential existing homes off the market and that won’t change anytime soon. Vacation rentals are apparently lucrative.
As a home builder, the other top three factors prohibiting “affordable housing” locally are: 1) Land prices are very high in Bend. The current shortage of buildable land because of the restricted UGB and the purchase of most developed lots that existed in 2009 by developers in the years since, leave few places to put new homes, duplexes, or apartments, outside a limited number of areas which are under developers’ control. 2) Housing costs are no longer possible with expensive materials and labor, unlike they were 30 to 40 years ago. Increase in production costs—whether concrete, drywall, roofing, fixtures, etc.; upgrades in building code requirements; or recent increases in construction labor (caused by the shortage of skilled labor)—have made “affordable housing” all but impossible. 3) People don’t want small houses like many of us grew up in. As a society, we have incurred square footage “creep.” No one is satisfied now with “smaller” homes. My personal family home for my first 18 years was less than 1,500 square feet. What happened to family homes with one car garages, one bathroom, and three small bedrooms. I don’t think any builder will build these anymore. They would just not sell. However, they would be more “affordable.”
—Phil Henderson, Phil Henderson Homes

LETTER OF THE WEEK: Phil, can we buy you a small (five cubic inches) cup of coffee for a well laid out letter? Pick up your $5 certificate to Palate at our offices! 

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