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IN REPLY TO "DON'T MIND THE GAPS" (9/1)

Here is an idea to raise revenue for the trail....Actually fine the dog owners who can not read. The revenue would be enormous. I was on trail today and of the 23 dogs I saw one (yes, only one) was on leash. If the money does not go to the trail system then maybe to dog owner literacy. —Dog gone it

As to the gap between Drake Park and Newport Ave bridge, that results more from the bridge replacement than private land holdings. The original plan anticipated pedestrian passage beneath. As usual, pedestrian concerns were jettisoned in the planning process because of "budget concerns." Without the pedestrian under crossing there is no incentive to negotiate continuation of the path along the river to Newport Ave. That potential pedestrian way is now useful as a hobo jungle.

It's the same process that deleted pedestrian crossings over the Parkway (with predictable disastrous consequences); omitted sidewalks in the Arizona Ave. extension to the Parkway; and probably why you can't ride a bike to Trader Joe's, without taking it on a freeway.

A few people voiced concern when the design criteria changed—precisely because the river trail could not be completed and continuous. The explanations are always patronizing, like grown ups explaining to children how there just isn't enough money to satisfy childish concerns.

Thanks anyway to Parks and Rec for dealing with the river trail underpass on Colorado, which easily could have gone the same way.

—JP

IN REPLY TO "CONSERVATION BELLY FLOP" (9/1)

Does Bend really need to become Disneyland in order to make it even more attractive for people to come and recreate and try to move here? And as for fire danger...we still have a full month at "extreme" unless we get an unprecedented amount of rain soon. One person drops one match in the wrong place and we have another massive wildfire and few resources for fighting it. As far as I'm concerned, no thanks to the water slide! —No More Disneyland Rides

And the last laugh goes to mother nature—break out that wetsuit to slide the city! —RJ

SHOUT OUT BEND POLICE DEPT.

Big congrats to the BPD for nabbing 46 people in only three hours for texting/talking while driving. There should be officers out there daily ticketing people for this crime. Many people die everyday because people cannot put their silly phones down while they drive, these people need to be punished.

—Paul Francis  

NEW FORMAT

Really enjoyed the new format. I found it much easier to read. Thanks. —Wm Castell

SUPPORT PLANNED PARENTHOOD

Recently Knute Buehler was quoted in the Source Weekly regarding the recent efforts to defund Planned Parenthood. "Given the sensitive nature and seriousness of the topic, it would be beneficial for all sides to participate in a legislative committee hearing where lawmakers can ask questions and get all the information in the public record." The Planned Parenthood sting videos recently released by anti-choice groups have been completely debunked. No laws were broken. No medical research ethics were violated. No money was made by Planned Parenthood. I hope that Mr. Buehler will think again about sitting down with those that would outlaw abortion and restrict a woman's right to make decisions about her own body. The only people having a "hearing" about a woman's body should be the woman and her doctor.

We need only look to Colorado to know that prevention is the key to reducing abortions. In 2009 the state-run Colorado Family Planning Initiative gave free or reduced-price IUDs or implantable birth control to more than 30,000 women. During the period from 2009 to 2013, births to teen mothers dropped by 40% and abortions dropped 35%. Clearly prevention is what reduces abortions, not making accessing birth control more difficult or more costly.

Defunding Planned Parenthood would be a disaster. The services they provide help do more to prevent abortions than any other organization. People concerned about how tax dollars are spent at Planned Parenthood don't need to worry. Annually, 97% of the Planned Parenthood budget provides screenings, preventative care and contraceptives and the 3% of their budget that goes towards abortion services is funded through private donations. By providing access to affordable, reliable contraceptives Planned Parenthood helps reduce the number of abortions performed. It seems to me that those that are against abortion should be the biggest supporters of Planned Parenthood because as demonstrated by the initiative in Colorado, prevention equals fewer abortions.

The idea that a woman's right to choose is still an issue in 2015 is baffling to me. My mother lost her only sister in 1963, three years before I was born and ten years before Roe v. Wade became law. She was pregnant, young, and in no position to become a mother. Rather than being able to consult with a medical professional about available options, she had to seek an alternative that killed her and changed my family forever.

Please do not let anti-choice advocates turn the clock back to a time when women died because they didn't have safe options. Please keep abortion safe, legal and rare, and support Planned Parenthood.

—Liz Goodrich

Letter of the Week

Liz—Hear, hear! We are likewise baffled by the ongoing debate over reproductive choice. Since constantly reminding people of the facts can be exhausting, let us treat you to a cup of coffee from Palate. 'Cause one thing's for certain—the revolution will be caffeinated.

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