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The sun sets behind Mt. Bachelor.

Photo by Ryan Russell Choate.

The sun sets behind Mt. Bachelor.

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

We feel just as Mary Ellen Deckelmann feels. We have eight Ponderosas on our 1/8th acre lot, that we have had for 20 years, on the northwest side of bend. Our street has seen countless Ponderosas go down over the years, typically to cram two houses on one lot.

We value our small old Bend house and our trees. We have equally cringed at hearing the chainsaws in our neighborhood. We were not aware our other neighbors felt the same way, and are happy to hear such opinions voiced. What can we do? Why won't people respect the natural beauty and character of our area?

~Dana Robles and Mark Henion

In response to "Oregon's Cougar Population is Growing," (2/25)

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife's cougar population estimate is unfounded and likely overblown to protect the interests of trophy hunters. After years of study, Washington estimates its cougar population at approximately 1,850. In stark contrast, Oregon's wildlife managers have estimated the population at over 6,000 animals, using a population estimation model that the nation's top cougar biologists have unanimously criticized. In 2015, Oregon wildlife officials authorized the unlimited killing of cougars in so-called "target zones" on over 6,000 square miles. Since 2005, trophy hunters have killed over 2,600 cougars in Oregon, ranking it as the sixth deadliest state for the species.

Additionally, ODFW's policy to kill all cougars entering city limits is unethical and not in line with best management practices for cougar conservation. Cougars do, on occasion, pass through developed areas, looking for a mate or new territory. They typically move through without harm and avoid human encounters whenever possible. In the rare occurrence when one does outstay its welcome, there are viable options to tranquilize the cougar and rehome the animal in the wilderness. Many states use this strategy and it works quite well.

ODFW needs to rethink its archaic and baseless management of cougars before it's too late. Instead of catering to a small number of trophy hunters, ODFW needs to accept and meet the public's standards for protecting and humanely treating our state's cougars using the best available science.

~Scott Beckstead, Oregon state director,

The Humane Society of the United States

In Reply to "Let There Be Music – In Bend," (2/25)

Nice piece last week from Harry thanking Angeline for music at the Belfry. I would like to thank Angeline too. I regularly attend concerts at the Belfry including the recent great night with Tommy Castro. I wanted to let Harry know that his letter was very serendipitous because The Old Stone in Bend is "raising the bar," becoming a performance venue with music concerts as well as theater, film and community events. The Old Stone Performing Arts Center, Bend's newest yet most historic event center, is now launching. Come experience the historic ambience, an awesome dance floor and one of the best sound rooms in Central Oregon. See you at the Stone.

~Peter Geiser

In reply to "Impact of Mag Chloride," (2/18)

Mr. Lilley's points about damage to roads, particularly asphalt roads, have been clearly documented. Given the ratio between benefit (or lack thereof) to road damage, my questions are as follow.

First, who is ultimately in the drivers seat in terms of making the decision to spray our city roads with magnesium chloride? Secondly, given its shortcomings and hugely expensive repercussions, it would seem that its perpetual (mis)use might be due to some monetary or political incentives.

I am thankful that Mr. Lilley raised this topic at this most appropriate time given the new gas tax vote is upon us. Who knows, could discontinuing the use of mag chloride on our roadways (in addition to the ensuing destruction) be a cost savings equal to the funds the gas tax would create?

~Ava Palmer

In response to "Yes on Fuel Tax," (2/18)

I would like to respectfully dispute the need to jump on a nickel-a-gallon increase in fuel prices.

When developers apply for building permits, fees are levied to support the cost of additional infrastructure use.  These fees apply to road maintenance, sewage conveyance, police, fire, and additional utilities.

The City Council and the Mayor have openly stated that "the allocations of funds and deferred maintenance have caused this problem." In other words, monies that were collected as road maintenance fees were poached to support other uses not necessarily beneficial to the entire population of Bend.Now the citizens of Bend are being tasked to make up for the lack of good planning by the elected officials. Not only does this apply to road maintenance, but to a long neglected sewage conveyance system. Apparently the sewage treatment facility upgrade is way over budget.

Citizens of Bend, the city budget is public record, and I encourage you to have a look at it.  The unpleasant realization of engineering study costs are a harsh pill to swallow. The consulting engineers always get their cut first, and it won't be any different if the City Council gets its additional nickel.

I would be happy to support a tax if the City Council, the Mayor and responsible city employees would cultivate a true vision of a functional and usable mass transit system. A modern transit system that would serve all citizens and would reduce the number of vehicles on the roads.

~Margaret L. Ramirez

In response to "Yes on Fuel Tax," (2/18)

I have yet to read both sides on the gas tax, and as a liberal demo, I feel a bit remiss for thinking this way. I'm inclined to vote no. Why? It's time to send a message to the city council: You should print all funds that come to the city and where it goes. They must take in a fortune on vacation rentals alone.

~Eric Hobart

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