I'm not a regular Source reader. I'm a coast dweller whose daughter lives near Sunriver. She sends me an issue, occasionally.
In the Aug. 8th issue, you printed an article about the Sparrow Bakery. Included are two pictures of a young woman who appears to be dressed for a 5K run. Not in the least degree, could this be proper attire for preparing goods for baking.
One would expect to see a baker in a white smock, buttoned up high, with long sleeves buttoned tightly. Hair covered with a properly fitting net. Not some jogger, possibly dripping sweat and dropping dander on the dough as she is rolling it out.
I'm sure that this person is probably a clean and careful baker, but the picture gives an unhygienic perception to the operation. Call me picky, but no matter how thin you slice cheese, it still has two sides.
The juxtaposition of my view of the construction of Bend's newest park, Miller's Landing, and the recent news that Bend's property value increase is among the nations best is, to me, not coincidental.
Day after day, in a very hot summer, I've watched as Bend Parks and Recreation employees and local independent contractors turned an abused, urban five-acre plot into an incredible gift for both residents and visitors. So, when I read that Bend's property values have recently greatly increased, I urge locals to give credit where credit is due: Bend Parks and Recreation District.
Bend is not all that unusual as far as natural environmental attractions; it is, however, in its vision of appropriately developing these inherent attributes. Bend Rec's parks, trails, and activities rival cities many times its size because, I believe, of the vision of its staff and its citizen-elected board.
I urge all to attend the Miller's Landing dedication Thurs., August 29, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm. We need to thank the Miller family for its vision and we need to thank Bend Parks and Recreation for its steadfastness.
So, you own a business dependent upon foot traffic and volume of customers. 1,000 or so of these valuable commodities choose to show up at your place of business en masse, eager for entertainment and ready to spend some money. What do you do?
Plan A: alienate your customers, build fences, and hire a security force to make damn sure they will not spend any money. What a great business plan!
On the other hand, your business can embrace these patrons and their money. Setup amenities they want to pay for (beer garden, food booths, outdoor sidewalk sales). Allow the "paid entertainment" across the river to setup a "swag" tent; sell t-shirts, music downloads, and beer growlers with the entertainer's mug on the jug!
Share the profits from the evening's take with the entertainer. They will see dollar signs and new fans across the river instead of a mob of sycophantic sponges. Full-paying customers will still get close-up views, better sound and the full concert experience. "Freeloaders" will get to listen and still part with a few Andrew Jacksons while having a great time.
Back to plan A: your business can continue turning away people and their money. I'll bet a suitcase of Pabst' best that not one of those 1,000 turned away would say: "OK, if I can't sit here on my blanket for free and listen, I'll just go ahead and shell out $280 for my family and I to go in." Customers don't appreciate being mistreated or taken for granted, and they won't be back to buy expensive jeans, lattes, or pay for a concert.
Enter the 21st century, LSA and OMD. Embrace the masses! Give the people what they want and they will give back!
—Mad Money Mike
It is telling to me that nowhere in the article on Bend the Beer Town and partying did the A word come up. That was not the focus of the article, but still as a country we are good at pretending that Alcohol is really only a problem if you beat your wife to death or die of cirrhosis of the liver. Being an expert on 140 different local beers seems like a good recipe for socially acceptable Alcoholism. Plus just about any activity now is a good reason to have a beer or two or three. It's ok because they are artisanal beers. If it was Budweiser or Malt Liquor then maybe you might have a drinking problem.
If law enforcement is a problem then tax alcohol enough to cover it. Alcohol is related to large portions of law enforcement's efforts from drunk driving to domestic violence. Responding to drunken domestic violence is one of the riskiest parts of a policeman's job.
I like the taste of craft beers but have friends and neighbors who are unquestionably alcoholics. In the case of the latter he is always trying to pick fights with me, has a bad temper and owns guns. I am greatly concerned about me and my wife's safety. I can live without beer no problem. There are plenty of other good reasons to live or vacation here.
While the impetus for this letter is one specific cyclist, I'm hoping to inspire all my fellow cyclists to learn about cycling safety, specifically "taking the lane"; perhaps it will help inform some drivers that not all riders in the middle of the road are trying to impede traffic or act aggressively.
On Wednesday evening, I was cycling on Wall St just south of the library. In this section of my commute, I ride in the center of the lane, or "take the lane". Just before I turned off Wall, a cyclist behind me yelled at me to ride on the side of the road. I wish he would have stopped so I could have explained. He did not, so instead I'm hoping he reads the Source.
I first learned about this practice during a cycling safety class a couple years ago sponsored by the city of Bend. Taking the lane is becoming a more common practice in certain situations as its found to be much safer than riding on the side of the road. Specifically on this section of Wall St., there are a number of vehicles that back out of their parking spaces right into the lane of traffic with very limited vision. Cycling on the side of the road, close to these vehicles is a serious safety hazard as it gives these vehicles, as well as the cyclist, almost no reaction time. It is also more difficult to see a cyclist right in back of an auto. There are many other instances (too many to list here) where a cyclist should be in the center of the lane for safety reasons. Information abounds on the web and if you are selective, you may even find some that's useful.
I used to be a "side of the road cyclist". I still am when it's safe. I want to facilitate traffic flow and good vibes between motorists and cyclists as much as the next person. After all, I'm a driver too. But more recently, I have realized that safety is the first consideration. So please, if you haven't already taken a safety class or done any research online or read any recently published books about cycling and commuting, you owe it to yourself to do so. It may save your life.