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Letters 8/28 - 9/5 

In reply to "Won't you Be My Neighbor" (News, 8/29)

I read this story and laughed! These folks are complaining about development in an area that is fairly new in the whole scheme of things.

Being someone that has lived in Bend long enough (since '78) to remember logs jammed in the river, no houses west of 14th and Galveston and affordable housing, I find these people huge hypocrites. I'm sure they were beyond happy when their house(s) was being built in what was once open land too. Saying they're upset because it's "unsafe for the children" is a load of crap. They're upset that the virgin land they used to enjoy is being disrupted, and they won't be able to keep it for themselves. It wasn't too long ago that a drive to Tumalo falls was almost barren past 17th St.

Development in Bend has been a sore spot for years to me, and stories like this just fuel the fire. People moving to Bend from bigger urban areas, looking for the "small town" life, then they turn Bend in to the place they left. Not too long ago a place like "Drake" would have been laughed out of town. Bend used to be a place where Jake's was the place to eat, Deschutes and BBC were the place to get beer and Subaru Brats roamed the streets.

Am I happy that there is SOME progress in Bend? Yes. Am I happy that there are 37 cars parked at every trail and dirt road in Bend? No.

You may ask yourself what this has to do with this story? Well, YOU people are the problem. YOU moved to Bend just like your new neighbors will. YOU and your house have taken land that people used to freely walk around and enjoy, and YOU have a choice; embrace the fact that others want to share this amazing place, or leave. I have chosen to stay even with YOU folks encroaching on our National Forest more everyday.

Once all the older mill houses have been replaced by "modern" monstrosities that barely fit on their lots, there is a round a bout at 3rd and Greenwood and towering hotels line what used to be Mirror Pond, I'll leave. Bend will not be the same logging town it once was. A place that as a young boy I played little league at what is now the dog park on Bond St.

Enjoy Bend and your neighborhood while you can, it soon will be filled with the noise of the new freeway that was once Skyliner. But then again, you may just enjoy the new strip mall where Phil's trail once was. Quit bitching about something you were also part of.

Off soapbox.

—Brent Howk

Not a tree was disturbed when their homes and streets were built. Cry me a freakin' river!!!!! Get over it! Bend isn't going to stop growing just because you are all settled in. If they were so worried about what was going to happen to the land that they were trespassing on!! All these years they could have looked up who owned it and bought it from them. Hey Jim, a story not worth the cyberspace and time it took for you to put it together.


Letter to the editor: Syria

Dear Senators and Representatives,

Enough white house hypocrisy and double speak. Peace and war are not the same thing.

Stop stealing my money to kill people around the world in the guise of "punishing rouge governments" "helping people" "supporting democracy" "foreign aid" "protecting me from terrorism" "protecting our interests" etc. Destroying life and property is not the answer unless, like Keynes, you think it is acceptable because wars and arms sales are good for the economy.

From 2004 to 2011 we sold 44% of the arms in the world! We are the country that is causing 44% of the deaths caused by global arms sales! We very well could be laterally responsible for the gassing in Syria as some reports are suggesting the gas was of Saudi origin, we will see. I, as an American citizen am forced, figuratively and literally, at the point of a gun to partially fund these arms sales in the form of foreign aid etc. If this is not true please explain how I can stop paying for it. Where is the "don't believe in bombing the crap out of people" line item deduction?

If you believe it is necessary for war with Syria, bombing them is a pretty good indication, have the fortitude to follow the Constitution and declare such. In doing so you give me the opportunity to judge your wisdom at the ballot box. "Authorizing" the president for military interventionism, as in Iraq, is abdicating your responsibility to uphold the constitution.

If we actually followed the Constitution regarding war things would be much more sane.

Lastly, let me say it is very hard to not question the possibility of a false flag attack in Syria. The credibility of information coming from the U.S. government has to be suspect based on current and past factual realities.

Thank you for your consideration.


—Paul Thomasberg

In reply to "Does Beer Town Mean Party Town?" (Feature 8/22)

Kudos to the Source. Great article on beer. A few facts from a local college text might be of interest here. In the US, 56 percent of all cases of criminal assaults each year involve alcohol and alcohol has been found to be a factor in more than half of all homicides committed in the U.S. Because of the effect it has on the body over the long-term alcohol is thought to be a direct contributor to the deaths of approximately 100,000 people in the U.S. annually. Alcohol use disorders contribute to or exacerbate 60 different medical disorders and it is one of the most destructive substances a person can put into his body that won't kill him outright, which it does on more than a few occasions.

We love our booze but we love our other drugs too. Drug use is considered by "conventional wisdom" to be an American way of life. Alcohol still remains the number one drug of choice.

Is anyone concerned with the reasons behind all of this? Is it merely a direct result of the hundreds of billions of dollars the booze companies pour into advertising for their products each year invariably all of which shows beautiful, healthy, young happy individuals frolicking in sexy environs with a drink in one hand.

Is it also a direct result of the emphasis Hollywood places on drugs, sex and violence in just about every movie that has been made in the last twenty years and continues to be made. Or is there more to the story? Is it also because we're all trying to answer the age-old question of who we are and why we are here?

These questions are not obsolete relics from a less sophisticated past, but reflect core questions about the human condition.

Scientific materialism offers empty references to the "mind" or the "brain" as if these things were synonymous with the soul. This contributes, in part, to a fundamental void on which individuals are expected to build their lives. Everything is a great cosmological accident, it is argued, and on that foundation you should build your life. This can be a frightening and difficult task.

Alcohol and drugs offer what appears to be, at least in the short run, an answer to these fundamental questions, with the simple answer being that we are here to "seek pleasure" and our reason for being is the "continuation of pleasure." This offers a form of chemical narcissism in which the desires of the "self are made central to one's view of the universe. On this foundation individuals blissfully build their lives, only to be rudely awakened at some future point in time by the knowledge that the only truths they have acquired are those of addiction


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