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Top Letters to the Editor of 2014 

"WHATEVER, MOM" CORRECTLY TITLED

"Whatever Mom" is not newsworthy. In an attempt to make it so, Taylor Thompson writes about killing a harmless scorpion in her house ["Whatever, Mom: I've never been much of a girly girl"]. This was gut-wrenchingly upsetting.

Out of ignorance and fear, Thompson chooses killing over simply dropping a glass or bucket over the scorpion and taking him into the environment from which she has displaced him. Missed is an opportunity to teach her son empathy, respect, how to correctly identify an animal and share in the joy of saving a life (ironically, from herself).

Things become a) frightening b) gross and c) threatening when you try to kill them. Let's look at the real dangers of what you choose to put in print: Violence perpetuated and seeded in the child; likewise fear of a perceived "other." Then, to comfort the child—rightly upset in his inherent wisdom—she buys him a fish! The lesson? That animals are ours to buy and sell for a life of captivity and neglect (assuming she won't be cuddling the fish on the couch).

This paradigm is old and has no use on such a beleaguered planet. More awakened is to cherish, or at least respect biodiversity and recognize our interdependence with other species, even if they can be deadly in defense of their own lives.

Coexist: Not just a bumper sticker.

—Vanessa Schulz

IN REPLY TO MILEY CYRUS ON THE COVER OF THE SOURCE

Shame on ya! Not once, twice, but three times! You know, I pick up this paper to see what's gong on in Bend, music mostly. Oh, and movie times which someone sadly decided to not print anymore! So my "bitch" is putting pics of this f*** bucket wh*re in your paper three times. Come on, you all have to have more class than this!?

You know what I hate about America, that people like this can become un-GODLY rich because a few of us that print articles about people like this. Does "ANYONE" really give a f***?

You know what I love about America? I can write a letter like this and say what's on my mind! So, not to ruin your day, BUT, NO MORE glamorizing people like her. Also while I'm in a good mode...the page that has all the gossip about celebrities behaving badly...Give that person another worthy assignment. Thanks for your time.

—D.D.

IN RESPONSE TO "MAY THE FOURTH BE WITH YOU"

Oh Brianna—sweet, sadly misinformed Brianna. While I do appreciate the point being made about fantasy in heavy metal in your article, "May the Fourth Be With You" (though of the three bands mentioned, it's also noteworthy that RUSH is considered progressive rock, while Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath are solidly in the rock or classic rock arena), the statement, "Rush's obsession with dragon slaying," might mislead a whole generation of RUSH noobs just waiting to be diehard fans.

Sure, coincidentally RUSH put out a couple songs in the '70s with lyrics like, "Who's come to slay the dragon?" and "When the dragons grow too mighty/To slay with pen or sword," but that was purely metaphorical, alluding to emotional discovery, inner-growth and the struggle to find and maintain purpose in life. So, hardly an obsession, right? They sang a lot in the old days about battling gods, necromancers, mystical lands, dystopian worlds, witches, and yes, even Lord of the Rings. But not a lot of the actual slaying of actual dragons. And though I may have listened to a lot of RUSH when I was a kid playing Dungeons & Dragons, that does not really or implicitly indicate any dragonesque tie to RUSH.

So in lieu of signing off with a hearty, "So there," I would like to instead offer you the chance to broaden your horizons and really come to know the Holy Triumvirate with an all-day listening party. Mind opened, mind blown. You're welcome.

— Lance Hardy

BREWERIES CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL WARMING

Anyone who is mindful of global warming should be concerned by the greenhouse gases our local breweries are producing.  

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the primary greenhouse gas emitted through human activities. "Balling's formula," used by brewers, shows that for every 2.0665 grams (of fermented wort extract), 1 gram of alcohol and 0.9565 grams of CO2 results.

Nearly a gram of greenhouse gas is produced to make a single gram of alcohol.

So, I contend that everyone should stop drinking beer and grow marijuana. Marijuana produces oxygen.

- Brandon Johnson

IN REPLY TO "TO CATCH A FIRE STARTER"

I just finished reading your story investigating the cause of the Two Bulls fire. I was actually enjoying the read and found it very informative until I reached the part where you and the neighbors' opinions became part of the story and were reported as fact, which is clearly you and the neighbors' OPINION. I am not a big target shooter myself but the majority of people I know that live here in Central Oregon are very responsible when going target shooting and recreating in the outdoors. They pick a safe spot and clean up after themselves. The statement of Target Shooting "Aka Getting wasted and blowing things up" is really pretty lame reporting and is a broad stroke stereotyping of people who are responsible in the outdoors. You would think that someone who champions social justice like yourself (see Erin's bio) wouldn't be a proponent of creating such stereotypes. I also find it interesting that Les Hudson has determined the cause of the fire, blaming it on shooters. Shouldn't we allow the professionals time to determine what really caused the fire by gathering evidence/facts? It's pretty obvious that Les doesn't like the fact that people recreate adjacent to his $2 million, 100-acre ranch. Will he stretch any excuse to further the agenda of closing the land so that it remains quiet? Maybe for his personal enjoyment? Wouldn't a more realistic solution of targeting (no pun) the few bad apples that make poor choices be smarter than just completely closing the land off to the public? A few hidden game cams would easily reveal who the offenders are. If I were to guess, Les Hudson could probably afford a couple $70 game cams, set them up then check them once in a while and report license numbers/identities to the authorities. Wouldn't this be a more effective way of protecting the land that he claims to care so much about than just labeling everyone drunken buffoons and lobbying to close the land off for all except a privileged few? Erin, regarding your question about ATVs just cruising around spewing sparks into the forest. Were you serious when you wrote this? Do you know anything about ATVs? When was the last time you witnessed an ATV spewing forest fire-starting sparks all over the place? Or is this just your way of sensationalizing the situation? Maybe for the purpose of achieving an agenda of making a certain user group look stupid and reckless? The solution? Close the land to certain user groups! Right? Erin, do you know anything about the people that recreate out in those woods and have been for generations in responsible ways? Do you realize that many of the users you claim are tearing up the land are in fact elite athletes that participate in a variety of sports including professional bicycling, nordic skiing, dual sport

single track riding and competition shooting (some at the Olympic level)?

Do you realize that these people don't fit your cute little stereotype of knuckle dragging redneck land wreckers? In fact, these people steward this land and these trails and care very much about it and its future. Maybe if you cut back on binge watching dramadies and actually got to know a little about the diverse group of humans that call this beautiful awesome place home you wouldn't write such an ignorant piece.

—Patrick Trowbridge

TURD TROUBLES

Please pick up your dog's "mojones" [Spanish for crap].

—Wes Oeste

GROW UP, BEND

Adult Entertainment anyone? And I don't mean porn. Observations from someone who moved here last November. I was really perplexed with the recent demographic assessment that the average age in Bend is 42 years old. Can anyone, who is not house-ridden, account for the seemingly tens of thousands of infants and adolescents that dominate virtually every aspect of Bend? Aside of the number of music/entertainment venues I can count on one hand, every commercial endeavor and promoter here that doesn't feel compelled to accommodate kids, at the expense of folks that are actually attracted of the artists. A live music fan, and admittedly from places where musicians and artists are honored and respected, I'm appalled by the local notion that every event, however appropriate, is an extension of McDonald's Playland. Latest case-in-point, Les Schwab on Sunday where an excellent band (Randy McAllister) wasted their talent on scores of aimless, frenetic kids (including someone's 8-year-old version of Spiderman) dominating the immediate stage area for some two hours.

Displaced, or more likely repulsed, people there to listen to music were relegated to tiny niches in the back of the venue where they were relatively insulated from the continuous distraction of flying beach balls and kids darting around in front of them. More to the point, can you imagine how talented artists feel being subjected to that kind of uncontrolled environment?

My point: Bend may be the go-to place for entitled/have-it-all millennials and their expansive broods (a birthrate surpassed only by sub-Saharan Africa), but there are a lot of other folks here who pay taxes and deserve some balance in the offerings of this town. If you want to attract people that aren't just passing through and truly can afford to live here, I suggest doing some things to accommodate their needs. Intelligent, practical venue zoning comes to mind. Since it's clear that the new-age "parents" are inclined and content to switch their kids to auto and turn them loose, no matter where and when, reserve a special place for mature audiences who can connect with worthy artists and enjoy entertainment. Go ahead, provide your cherished playlands, but recognize that artists and the people who come to enjoy their talent deserve to have a good

time, free from juvenile distraction.

—Harry Williamson

IN REPLY TO FALL FICTION COMPETITION

Several years ago a short story of mine was published in the weekly newspaper in Louisville, KY, in its fiction competition. It contained around 1,200 words. When I moved to Bend I was interested in trying again, having several short stories. But—250 words? The shortest thing I have is one and a half pages, triple spaced. It takes less than 5 minutes to read. It wouldn't take a third of a column in the Source. My word processing program says it has 610 words.

I realize we live in a world that demands brevity, but 250 words isn't a short story. It might be a haiku. Or a note on your windshield to the meter maid—but it's not a short "story." I have grocery lists longer than this.

Why bother? —Kay Cox

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