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Comment Archives: stories: Opinion: Letters to the Editor

Re: “Letters 7/3 - 7/11

A few facts:

Principal Matt Montoya at Bear Creek Elementary school is not bilingual. He needs an interpreter to communicate with spanish speaking families if they do not speak English.

Matt Montoya has little to do with the growth or success of the Dual Immersion program at Bear Creek. There is a contracted bilingual administrator, as well as many excellent bilingual teachers, who should take credit for this program. If anything, Matt's not being bilingual hinders the program.

Some questions to ask:

What measures or data shows that Bear Creek Students' performance has improved "exponentially" over the last three years? If one reviews State standardized test scores, what do we see over the last three years?

How old is Matt Montoya? What grades and for how long did he ever teach? Is three years as a principal really enough to handle the largest elementary school in the district with the greatest socio-economic challenges?

What is the teacher/staff attrition rate at Bear Creek over the last three years? Why are all these talented professionals choosing to transfer to other schools?

The decision to put Matt Montoya on administrative leave has absolutely nothing to do with any political agenda. It has to do with an evaluation process that takes into consideration all of the above and more. Principals are required to set goals each year. Has Matt Montoya achieved these goals? Probably not.

Just because someone's last name is "Montoya" does not mean that they are Latino. Just because someone is relatively young does not mean that they "get it". Being a principal of a large, multi-lingual, multi-cultural elementary school requires a level of professionalism, experience and expertise that Matt Montoya just does not have. Bear Creek will be better off with a bilingual principal who comes with a wealth of prior leadership experience. The new principal of Bear Creek should possess the character, integrity and clear vision for the future that Matt Montoya does not have.

31 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Concerned on 07/17/2013 at 5:02 PM

Re: “Letters 1/20-1/27

RE: Snowshoe vs. Fatbiking

Gavin - I applaud your desire to find a solution to this issue but cannot condone the manner in which you frame it. The very title of your letter immediately suggests confrontation and the need to choose between one or the other of these uses on the trail. We are doing our best as a user group to educate folks about trail courtesy and etiquette (including right of way and staying off of ski trails!) so that we can coexist with other users. We will continue to do so in the interest of getting along and reducing conflict.

That said, I have had nothing but cordial interactions with snowshoers on the trails over the last three winters. Most defer their right of way without even giving me a chance to stop and offer passage. Many exclaim, “wow - that looks like fun!” and we all share a smile, appreciate the day and go on our way. Unfortunately, it sounds as if you may have had, or heard of others having less than cordial interactions with bikers. My only hope is that you are willing and able to have a rational conversation with folks at those moments and take the opportunity to educate and coexist instead of segregate or promote moratoriums.

So - in your interest of “igniting a debate” and preventing “broken noses or worse” lets sit down and share some thoughts before we subject the Forest Service to mediating another “conflict” between user groups.

Peter Sussmann

20 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rare Boots on 01/20/2016 at 7:41 PM

Re: “Letters 7/21-7/28

David Parish, to keep this brief:

you're a whiny bitch

14 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Nancy Fairchild on 07/30/2015 at 8:23 PM

Re: “Letters 4/28-5/5

Bend is smack dab in the center of an ecosystem that relies on a natural fire cycle to maintain and promote forest health. To go "smokeless" would be to interrupt a natural process that took nature thousands of years to perfect. The data gathered from tree rings reveals the average fire return interval for the ponderosa pine stands like you might find out skyliners road is historically 8-12 years, mimicking that with the use of prescribed fire is our best approach at maintaining forest health in a controlled and manageable manner. Focusing the attention around major roads and urban areas gives fire managers and firefighters the upper hand when preventing and suppressing large scales wildfires fueled by dense forest and heavy fuel loadings (which are a direct result of heavy fire suppression in the last century). When I say large scale fires I refer to the intense and severe ones which threaten life and property (i.e. Two Bulls fire). Smokey Bear is the worst thing to happen to fire dependent ecosystems in the inter mountain west, the educated fire managers know this already, but the general public is blinded by their own social and economic motives. A cultural shift needs to happen in the acceptance of the application of fire and the general public needs to come to terms with the fact that fire is here to stay and is the best tool in our tool box. All in all, people need to get the F over it. *mic drop*

13 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by justanotherguy on 05/11/2015 at 7:40 PM

Re: “Letters 1/20-1/27

Re: Snowshoe vs. Fat Biking

As an avid member of the growing fatbike community (and skate skier who donates for grooming at Meissner, as well as xc skier and snowshoer), it saddens me to hear of suggested negative conflicts between snowshoers and fatbikers. In the several winters of fatbiking on multi-use snowshoe trails, I have never had a single negative encounter when meeting other users. Nearly every encounter has been met with smiles, amusement and curiosity. I’ve even had a few snowshoers sit on my bike and pedal for a few strokes - and sure enough I see an ear-to-ear grin. Not one snowshoer has grumbled about having to step to the side (and Gavin, I’ve not ever heard of anyone wearing SNOWSHOES “swallowed by the snow and struggling to regain the trail.”(Please, the whole point of snowshoes is you stay ABOVE the snow.) And I’d hardly equate the speed of a fatbike like being “buzzed by a motorbike club” – I think my top speed is about 5 mph in snow. Lookout! ;)

Granted, we do not condone fatbikers riding on classically groomed tracks as we realize the damage done. And I would discourage large groups of bikers or perhaps not riding at peak snowshoe hours on weekends. Where the best places to ride will take education on our parts as well as perhaps the many bike shops that are now renting fatbikes to newbies who aren’t aware of those places to ride or proper trail etiquette. For now, a smile, versus stink eye and rudeness – goes a lot further in helping to resolve user conflicts. To anyone who hasn’t tried it (including you, Gavin?), fatbiking is super fun and allows a winter experience for those who are not skiers. Yes, fatbike-specific trails are beginning to be established at Wanoga Snopark (which currently, by the way, welcomes skiers and snowshoers). Please be patient, perhaps try not to act so entitled to public lands that are for all of us to enjoy. Embrace change and the inevitable introduction of new sports. Fatbikers are nice people. Really.

If you really want to gripe, worry about the people walking in BARE BOOTS on the trails. They are creating big post-holes that destroy the trail quality for everyone – but that’s another letter…

Natalie Herse

12 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by nataliebbj on 01/23/2016 at 2:17 PM

Re: “Letters 4/28-5/5

Forest service doesn't burn from spring to fall. They burn IN the spring and IN the fall. Amazing how uneducated the public still is. That is the fault of the FS for sure. As for mechanically treating lands. Yes we do that as well. You cannot do this in the summer either because of the risk of starting wildfires. Don't like smoke? Ask someone from Sisters about smoke from wildfire and whine to them about smoke in Bend in the spring and fall, you most likely will get slapped.

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by skippy on 05/10/2015 at 9:46 AM

Re: “Letters to the Editor June 5-12

Perhaps Joanne could provide some details about this supposed "violation of constitutional rights". On it's face the claim seems contradictory since the US Constitution applies to citizens and Immigration and Customs Enforcement acts on issues involving non-citizens. Otherwise I'm inclined to dismiss this as baseless propaganda due to a lack of verifiable facts.

11 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Critical Thinker on 06/14/2017 at 11:44 PM

Re: “Homelessness is not a crime. But good luck ticketing them for it!

I appreciate your post, however, I think it is unbalanced and inaccurate. Yes, we absolutely should not make homelessness a crime and we need to help those less fortunate in our community. I agree, and I am proud that Bend has a plethora of resources for our homeless community. A homeless person in our community will not go without. Bend gives, and it gives generously. If you don't know about all the resources available, I suggest that you do your research, and then give to the organization that resonates with you.

It is actually inaccurate for you to call any and all people you see on the street corner or bench homeless or think that they are down on their luck. My experience is that there are two types of people in this situation. One is the person who is down on their luck or possibly struggling with mental illness or hardship. These people use generally use the services that Bend provides, and they usually take advantage of all the help that is offered by our community.

The second type of person is what I call an 'urban camper'. This person does WANTS to be on the street, wants to make money by begging, enjoys the camp they live in, and loves the culture of this lifestyle. These people generally do not take advantage of all the services offered by our community because they don't want to. It's not a part of their culture. If you don't believe me, go downtown and engage in conversation with some of the people there. I met a man (who looked homeless and down on his luck) but who told me about how he quit his job a Costco so that he could lead this homeless lifestyle. It was his choice, and he loved it. So, I caution you to not group everyone who seems homeless into the same classification.

I also think that in a fair and equal society, we protect everyones rights, not just one group of people. In this situation, there are two obvious groups of people who need to be advocated for as much as the homeless. One is people in wheelchairs, and other is the merchant. I have a wonderful friend who was in a rock climbing accident about 8 years ago, and she often has trouble downtown when people (and their things) are sprawled on the sidewalk (especially on Bond street where caf seating doesnt allow for extra hanging out space on the sidewalk). The merchants have to pay the City of Bend to have a sign on the sidewalk or seating on the sidewalk, even Downtown vendors have to rent the sidewalk space. Between rented sidewalk space and ADA accessibility, some places there is no room for people to be begging. That is something I think it is fair for us to ask both the homeless and the urban campers to respect. Asking them to respect this is fair to all.

The other group that needs to be advocated for is the merchants. How many of you know a person or a family who owns a business in Downtown Bend? These are hard-working people putting their blood, sweat, and tears into their business to pay their mortgages, feed their kids, and hope to have enough money to send them to college. I think is it completely reasonable for a merchant not to have a person sleeping in front of the door to their business. I think it is completely reasonable for a merchant not to have someone camped in front of their business yelling at people who pass by. I want to support local families building businesses in our community. This helps to grow our community strong. If we dont protect our merchant families and their rights, families in our community (and our community at large) will suffer. Asking a homeless person to respect that a merchant needs to be able to have people enter their business in a safe and clean area is rational and equitable. I think that we can advocate for homeless, and for merchants AT THE SAME TIME.

As I said previously, I want to live in a City that protects and supports everyone, not just one group of people. I hope you will join me in fighting for the rights of our homeless, of our disabled, and of our local merchants.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Thinking&Wondering on 09/24/2017 at 9:51 AM

Re: “Letters 4/28-5/5

The Forest Service is treating the larger expanses of "chock-full" acres. They are visibly doing that through the "minuscule" treatments you speak of. They mechanically thin some, log some, burn some, and leave some. It takes time to treat millions of acres. It seems that the focus of treatments are occurring adjacent to communities and moving outwards from there. As a resident of Bend I like seeing this. The Forest Service is building resilience around populations. Most of the diseased forest you speak of are WILDERNESS. You can't do anything there but look at the diseased trees. Central Oregon is a fire dependant ecosystem. It going to burn either in an uncontrolled devastating wildfire or in small controllable parcels. The vast majority of people living around here understand this. I fully support all prescribed burning. The limited impact of smoke in spring and fall far outweigh the impact of smoke from a wildfire that burns for weeks.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by WildlandOregon on 05/11/2015 at 7:26 PM

Re: “Racism Is Real

Thanks for setting me straight, Chuggy. I guess after almost 40 years of being on this planet and being called a chink or gook and being spoken to in Charlie Chan-english, I have no idea what racism is. So race based hatred is okay if you're drunk? The guy was well past the age where he would have served in Iraq, not that it matters. The guy did not ask me if I knew of a good Chinese restaurant in town, thereby sending me into a rage. The guy looked straight at me and wanted to kill me because of the color of my skin, not because we had a deep discussion and slight disagreement about politics. Unless you know something I don't know, I don't think you were there. At what point does harassment need to reach before objecting to it is not "overly sensitive"? Do I have to wait until the guy actually takes a shot at me before I say, hmmm...I think this guy doesn't like me. News flash: ignorant, stupid behavior directed at those of a different race IS racism. The only thing worse than racism are those that tolerate it or make excuses for it.

10 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by E. Chu on 04/07/2008 at 5:10 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor June 5-12

Does ICE not arrest Whites too? This author is racist for making such assumptions and for putting human beings into baskets for skin color, seemingly for political purposes. SMH.

9 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Makulu Danno on 06/19/2017 at 9:57 AM

Re: “Letters 8/24-8/31

A TLDR on Haley Smith's "Please Close the Door Behind Me":

"If you do not build it, they will not come. Who are you helping with more and more houses?..."

The teachers, police officers, firefighters, the Source writers, and the service industry professionals who can't afford the skyrocketing housing costs.

"Smart growth is bringing in a four-year University to encourage education, job quality, and younger workers. Dumb growth is to change zoning laws to help developers..."

Young, educated workers will not benefit from the increasing cost of living...in fact, they're more likely to be priced out.

"...Dumb growth is to allow a hospital, medical groups, and even vets to hold monopolies by creating systems that encourage service shortages."

Exactly the same thing Smith is proposing by creating an artificial housing shortage.

"'They are going to come anyway' is a foolish excuse to help developers. No they won't. Look at Santa Barbara, California..."

Ahh, Santa Barbara, California...where the median income is only $8,000 more a year than Bend's, despite the average home costing $1,070,400 [source:zillow]. Somehow, I doubt the average Santa Barbara renter is thrilled about that.

"Yes, housing prices increased—so Santa Barbara focused on higher salaries, housing subsidies, and other programs to improve the quality of life for their citizens."

Santa Barbara employers pay more because it's impossible for employees to survive without higher wages. Also, the minimum wage in California is only $0.75/hr more than it is in Oregon -- meaning the minimum wage earners in Santa Barbara are living well below the poverty level. TALK ABOUT LIVABILITY!

"When you have a desirable place to live, the sad fact is that you will never have affordable housing. Let me repeat that: When you have a desirable community, you will never, ever have affordable housing..."

Like Tokyo, Japan, where housing costs have remained almost unchanged for the last 20 years, despite a population increase of 3 million people? Ther

"Look at much of California and Portland! It's the Law of Supply and Demand."

Unfortunately, Smith does not understand supply and demand, or the housing politics in either of these areas. Artificially capping the supply will not decrease the demand -- it only puts more pressure on the lowest rungs of the community ladder. San Francisco is expensive because NIMBYs have artificially capped the housing supply, which cannot meet the demand. Those who can't afford to live in the City [i.e everyone except highly paid tech workers] are forced to move away. The housing prices in Portland are rising because, guess what? The supply of new houses doesn't meet the demand from incoming transplants yet. Once more housing is constructed and wages begin to stagnate, the average home prices drop.

"The City of Bend has it all wrong. You make your city wonderful for the citizens who live there. After that, you make it wonderful for tourists to help continue to fund the wonderful things you do for your citizens..."

More plainly: "I liked Bend how it was when I moved here. My property value has increased. Forget about everyone else trying to lives here and please preserve the beauty for me."

NIMBYism in it's purest form.

9 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Dale on 08/26/2016 at 6:52 PM

Re: “Letters 7/21-7/28

Oh my goodness, RC cars being driven on a neighborhood street? An RV parked on the side of the road? What is this world coming to?!

Get a hobby Parish.

9 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Shane on 07/30/2015 at 10:36 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor June 5-12

Their families were free to go with them. No one forced them to separate. No matter your skin color, constitutional rights do not apply to those who illegally entered our country. When do I receive special privileges for breaking the law?

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Maria on 06/19/2017 at 3:45 PM

Re: “Letters 7/2-7/9

Sounds like Harry Williamson is the one who has some growing up to do. Perhaps he should have actually spent a little time in Bend before moving here instead of just looking in a book of statistics and demographics. Most of those parents have been paying taxes in this town longer than he has. Yes, there are some irresponsible parents, but you see that everywhere you go. Most of us are responsible attentive parents who enjoy live music, and wish to expose our children to the experience as well. We have gone to lots of concerts at Les Schwab amphitheater with and without our 2 little ones, paying full ticket prices for them. The artists never seem mind, and in fact, some even comment positively about it. So, Harry Williamson, I suggest you get over it, or go back home.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Kate Harvey on 07/13/2014 at 8:17 AM

Re: “Letters 2/25-3/4

The actions of those who are driving this particular site for the Cascade campus of OSU stink of RICO collusion. This requires FBI and GAO investigation by our US Sen. Wyden and Merkley.
Write them emails requesting their investigation!

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lahaina on 03/06/2014 at 6:19 PM

Re: “Letters 2/25-3/4

Class action lawsuit anyone? Someone has to stop the juggernaut and let rational planners take over!

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lahaina on 03/06/2014 at 2:49 PM

Re: “Letters 8/24-8/31

We could use a strong City Council candidate to fill the position Jim Clinton is giving up. Instead of the voice of the status quo who is now running unopposed, we need someone to raise the issues of sustainability that Haley speaks of. I would be proud to help gather the signatures required.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by fosterfell on 08/24/2016 at 6:55 PM

Re: “Letters 10/21-10/28

To 'not yet homeless',
I'm sorry that you've had the usual introduction to life with incompetents in central OR!
There is an absence of city codes, law enforcement, and State laws to protect consumers here.
Good luck with your future life.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lahaina on 10/21/2015 at 4:28 PM

Re: “Letters 10/7-10/14

Anne Lee-Smith, there is no rational way to compare the Mexican flag and the Confederate flag. The Mexican flag is the official flag of a nation. It is one of many national flags that are legally waved in this country, at soccer and ice hockey games among other locales. The Confederate flag was the symbol of a group of U.S. states that attempted to secede from the U.S. in order to preserve the "state right" to own slaves. Look it up. Read` what South Carolina said when it led the way in this act of treason against the U.S. As for Cinco de Mayo, it is not really celebrated all that much in Mexico these days and has largely come to represent a tequila-inspired party of white Americans. It isn't Mexico's national independence day, btw. Look it up. The so-called southern heritage that the Confederate flag represents is that of whites who owned black people. It is a symbol of racism. That has become all too clear today in the wake of the racist, terrorist murders of African-American church-goers by Dylann Roof. He brandished a Confederate flag and one response has been a sudden, phony interest in southern heritage that merely masks the racism of the flag waver. This is not a coincidence. It is a way for white people to show their racist attitudes towards African-Americans and their veiled and not-so-veiled endorsement of Roof's actions. Michael Funke

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Funke on 10/07/2015 at 5:18 PM

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