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Comment Archives: stories: Opinion: Editorial

Re: “You, too, play a role in winter snow removal

No salt. Salt is not beneficial to the environment. Salt increases maintenance and decay on automobiles and roads.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bob Kuehn on 10/30/2017 at 9:50 AM

Re: “Have a grievance with your government?

The water project was rushed through to completion in 2012-2013 without proper consideration of all options--including the so-called "short pipe" option that would have been immeasurably kinder to the creek and watershed and would have cost far less. What we got, instead, was a ludicrous project that takes water out of the creek and runs it through miles of adjacent pipe. Why? To create hydroelectric capacity in an era when tax credits for such projects had already evaporated. Public outrage over the budgetary and environmental costs of this water project and the manipulative process that crammed it down our throats led to an almost complete replacement of the old guard on the Bend City Council.

Posted by fosterfell on 10/27/2017 at 2:04 PM

Re: “Have a grievance with your government?

Hey Permission -- We do realize that they're disparate and perhaps apples to oranges, and yet they both were topics of conversation this week in Bend, so that's where they came together for us. As for the specific demand of NFL players, Kaepernick's is to end police brutality against people of color, and specifically for police to end the profiling and subsequent needless killing of black men. Rosa Parks' was clear too -- to allow equal treatment under the law. Occupy struggled to find its specific demand, and that is perhaps why it didn't last. But thanks for your perspective!

Posted by Nicole Vulcan on 10/23/2017 at 3:29 PM

Re: “Have a grievance with your government?

I'm with Riversong on this one and get the feeling your perspective is somewhat of a double standard. For instance what is the "specific demand" associated with some NFL players kneeling during the national anthem? Or what was the specific demand of the Occupy Wall Street movement? Or should Rosa Parks have been appeased if simply given a bus seat? Has the civil rights movement always been about such specific things?

I too attended one of the "No Man's Land" screenings as well as you. I find it surprising that the Source editorial equates two such wildly disparate methods of protest as the Malhuer Occupation and LandWatch's legal proceedings against the City of Bend over water system piping. Whatever one's opinion about the Bundy led protest (and I use the term "led" loosely since I agree the situation certainly lacked a critical focus) a comparison such as the one made in this Source editorial is completely apples to oranges.

Posted by Permission To Speak Freely? on 10/21/2017 at 12:29 AM

Re: “Have a grievance with your government?

Hey Riversong -- While we do agree that protest can work, it's usually accompanied by a demand, which yes, can be a demand that an unjust law be changed. Without a specific demand for redress, which we'd argue the Bundy clan didn't have, not much can get done. So there's the need not just for an action, but for a demand that addresses the problem.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nicole Vulcan on 10/20/2017 at 4:23 PM

Re: “Have a grievance with your government?

This editorial writer is correct that the anarchic (and some would argue, treasonous) actions of the Bundy Gang were far more costly (and almost completely ineffective) than the lawsuit.

But the writer is historically and morally wrong that " only through the rule of law will we be able to protect"our natural rights.

Most significant social change in the United States (and elsewhere) has come from popular protest and civil disobediance - acting, when necessary, outside the law or in active opposition to the law, when the law is either unjust in itself or an obstacle to constructive social change.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Riversong on 10/19/2017 at 8:55 AM

Re: “State of Emergency: The prospect of a failed real estate transaction, #inBend

How about HOA's that abuse their rules and power to force people out of their or into unreasonable debt? $750 first offence parking tickets? REALLY?! Should be illegal.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Diana Hardt on 10/09/2017 at 1:11 PM

Re: “We've hit peak "us vs. them" ire. Is this who we want to be?

For me, its not an issue of wanting tourism or even people wanting to move into the community. It is the way tourism and growth have been handled. You have pushing for tourism and growth, but nobody is dealing with the infrastructure to handle it. Months were spent on sidewalk repair, but nothing to deal with the traffic and bottlenecks. We now have people living on the street because there isn't affordable housing, yet developers are building new hotels. If we want to cool off some of the anti tourism tempers out there, fix the problems that it creates.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by mfaccone on 09/08/2017 at 3:42 PM

Re: “An elected mayor can provide cultural and ethical leadership.

So the gist of this suggests that you would like the city Mayor to operate independently of the other members of the City Council so that the Mayor can spend time on issues not directly relevant to their council duties and also speak for the citizens without consulting them.

Frankly I do not find that reasoning to be sound justification. Consider for a moment that we could someday have a Mayor similar to President Trump. Would you be so enthusiastic in handing that person the same latitudes?

Posted by RC Johnson on 09/01/2017 at 10:20 AM

Re: “We've hit peak "us vs. them" ire. Is this who we want to be?

My wife is from Bend and after living in Alaska and California she convinced me to move back here with her. I have been called a terrorist and one of the worst people alive by native Oregonians. I saw a sticker on a truck yesterday that said " Fuck Off, We're Full". It's hard for someone contributing to the economy in the area to face ridicule like that.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Josh 1 on 08/13/2017 at 12:24 AM

Re: “Bad Timing

Let's stop this cruel mistreatment of our neighbors--all the more troubling because public funds pay for it.

The solution stares us in the face. Below, from The Guardian (7/9/15).

"Just as the answer to hunger is food, the answer to homelessness is homes.

It costs more to keep people on the streets than it does to house them and provide any support services they may need. People who live on the streets dont get preventative medical care. They wait for a medical crisis and then go to a local emergency department, where care is most expensive. The rest of us pay for that healthcare at a premium. People who are homeless spend more time in the hospital, and more time in jail. All this costs public funds. Studies from New York to California show that permanent supportive housing costs less in the long run."

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by fosterfell on 08/01/2017 at 9:21 AM

Re: “Bad Timing

Another sad example of not caring about what happens to other people. No one is disposable though apparently Deschutes County seems to think they can just sweep them away and not deal with what is a real concern. As if that makes everything alright. It does all.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Victor Johnson on 07/27/2017 at 11:09 AM

Re: “Bad Timing

Deschutes County is run by VILE horrible people who have no compassion, they had a chance to postpone this and they chose not to. Instead they are planning on arresting people for tresspassing great so now our crappy sheriff and his jail will be over run too. This will end badly!

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by VileCommissioners on 07/27/2017 at 12:35 AM

Re: “Oh, Dam. It's Back.

Considering the uncertainty of PacifiCorp's plans for their dilapidated dam and pond, and the lack of clear support from the public, the option of doing nothing is the best approach at this time. There is no critical harm created by the present sedimentation of the pond that requires immediate action. The water is still reflecting the mountains for the enjoyment of park visitors, swans are still swimming, and the sedimentation has probably reached equilibrium. If wildlife is a concern then the best action is to remove the dam and restore the river to a more natural state. MPS's plan to dredge the pond using a suction dredge will degrade the water quality, cost tax-payers and provide negligible benefits.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark Davis on 07/25/2017 at 9:37 AM

Re: “Oh, Dam. It's Back.

Interesting that you exclude the pond in front of the Old Mill district from your criticsm.. Drake Park provides a lot of shade for the river compared with the barren banks of the mill pond. I can show you a 1935 aerial view of Bend that shows the mud flats below Galveston existed just a few years after the pond was created. The old mill pond is the current settling basin, but, hey, no problem there?
Developers and Bend Parks did some shady land deals to get title to the bottom of the pond. But their plan is not to dredge the river. Its to burden downtown businesses for tax money.
The only thing that would be better for the Old Mill would be if they could drain Mirror pond and the downtown businesses.,
Now you're leading the charge and playing into their plan.
I know Source editors would like to see a free flowing river so they can cast their fly rods into a downtown river. But do you seriously think that you can revive a fishery in a city of 100000 fishermen? Wake up and smell that nasty smell. Its not dead fish. It's corruption.

Posted by TimB on 07/24/2017 at 8:06 AM

Re: “Oh, Dam. It's Back.

What needs to be voted on is not 'to dredge or not to dredge'... but about 3 choices of what can be done to restore the river to something more natural or not. We've been all through this a few years ago with at least 3 good options. Personally like the option with the spillway, a pond feature, and reclaimed riparian areas...the one the paddle river group came up with.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Doug Cristafir on 07/20/2017 at 3:20 PM

Re: “Oh, Dam. It's Back.

The real money grabbers are those who claim Mirror Pond needs to be changed, rather than simply maintained on a periodic basis. The dredging cost today is due to many decades of non-maintenance, and is still the cheapest proposal by far.

0 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Ed Benjamin on 07/20/2017 at 2:11 PM

Re: “Oh, Dam. It's Back.

I'll pass on millions of tax dollars being used to "fix" mirror pond.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Budman on 07/20/2017 at 11:45 AM

Re: “What is ecotourism, anyway, and can Bend accomplish it?

Dear Bend Source
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for digging into ecotourism a bit and publishing this piece. I know that, ultimately, naked bike riding is a sexier story, but I'll take this 5x10 inch section of ink any day over a cup of coffee.

Some more thoughts from my obsessive research:

Visit Bend is an easy target, but ultimately they are empowered by the City who hires them and approves their budget every year. An important nuance here is that there was a state law passed in 2003 that froze the current percentage that cities were using to divide up the transient room tax collections. In Bend, that was around 70% to the City, 30% to tourism promotion. The law also demands that for any new increase in the transient room tax, 70% must go to tourism promotion, and only 30% to the City. So when the community voted in 2013 here in Bend to increase the tax by 1.4%, we were ultimately handing over a ton more money to Visit Bend with that increase. This is how partially how the monster is created, because more promotion leads to more visitors, and thus more revenue for promotion on and on.

While as Dugan says, the word is out about Bend, and most are ultimately coming here because of word of mouth (he's probably right according to the surveys), yet it is still rubbing salt on a hemorrhaging wound to blast out 2 million dollars worth of advertisements a year selling the town, and I suspect the majority of full-time residents would prefer we discontinue this practice, or compromise and cut it in half. While dedicating 7% of their overall budget to cultural tourism is really awesome, let it not distract us from the fact that VB has become an incredibly powerful force that has changed the face of this town with almost no oversight from the City other than rubber-stamping their $3M budget. Personally, I love them as people, and think they have high integrity and passion, so this is not an attack on them, but instead an opportunity to open the conversation about changing how the TRT is spent.

This TRT money does not all have to go to Visit Bend, though from an administrative perspective, it's much easier for the City to give VB all of it, and let them deal with it.

So what are the options?

Lobby to change the law at a state level so that we can change the % of TRT we can use for city projects, like much needed affordable housing projects, or we can get creative with the language of the law:

According to the state, the money has to go to "tourism promotion," (it's pretty obvious what that is) or "tourism-related facilities." Now here is where it could get interesting. ORS 320.300 defines this as "other improved real property that has a useful life of 10 or more years and has a substantial purpose of supporting tourism or supporting tourism activities."

A high-speed train that goes up to Mt. Bachelor or circles the Cascade Lakes Highway? A museum dedicated to Native American culture? Converting an old warehouse into artist/music studios open to tourists?

The law also states that the money can go towards "conducting strategic planning and research necessary to stimulate future tourism development." So what if Visit Bend, or some other non-profit entity funded with TRT, decided that Bend could be on the map as a destination for those interested in sustainability? They could start a program incentivizing tourism related businesses to use solar power and electric vehicles, and reduce water consumption on and on. Instead of a "get f-ed up beyond belief on area microbrews" tour, there could be a "sustainability in the high desert" tour.

Affordable housing is directly related to the sustainability of our community, and the reason I feel like the City and tourism stakeholders need to take a lot more responsibility for this issue is because it was government policy in the form of supporting tourism promotion that has largely made Bend too expensive for the middle and working class.

On January 30, Paris tripled is surtax on second homes, from 20% of the standard to 60%. Obviously this isn't Europe, and here in little old Bend, we get away with paying a little more than 1%. Think of what even .5% increase on second homes would do, though, for affordable housing, and the City's budget in general. (There could be exemptions for second homes used as long-term rentals, etc.) What voting Bend resident would be against this? Well, besides members of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors who think they run the town at this point.

The City's Affordable Housing Manager, Jim Long is quoted numerous times saying we are in a crisis, but the few million he has to play with every year from the 1/3 of 1% Building Permits tax isn't doing much more than providing some decent public relations stories that Bend is "leading the State" in supporting affordable housing initiatives. Companies like Pacific Crest, and non-profs like Housing Works and Habitat for Humanity are to be congratulated for the incredible hoops they jump through to make their projects a reality. I would love to see our community support them, and support what Long is trying to do, in a more substantial way.

I'm 100% behind our community having an elected mayor, but before we do that, we should take Portland's lead and adopt campaign finance reform, otherwise the real estate interests have a good chance of buying the election, like in the 2016 City Council elections when the Central Oregon Association of Realtors gave $30,000 to Moseley, $15,000 to Livingston and $2,000 to Russells campaign.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Laurel Brauns on 07/14/2017 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Cell Tower: When in doubt, err on the side of protecting kids.

RF/Microwave frequencies have way, way more detrimental influences over our biology than the general populace understands at this time. The big one is opening up the Blood Brain Barrier causing compounds, toxins and known carcinogens to get into places they do not belong. All anyone need to do is to go onto PubMed and look up the thousands of studies previous done and ongoing by putting in key words like EMF, RF, Radio-frequency, microwave, etc. Few people take the time to educate themselves.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Robin Hood on 07/08/2017 at 2:50 PM

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