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Comment Archives: stories: Opinion

Re: “Portland is Finalizing a Deal to Use Tourism Dollars to Battle Homelessness.

Oh and how about the marijuana industry pitching in?

In Portland, 3 million of 3.5 million in private funds were raised in a public-private venture to open the Harbor of Hope homeless navigation center. By one person....the CEO of Columbia Sportswear. REI has a huge building here. There are many large companies here that have real reasons to pitch in. It makes me think of the 9.6 million dollar private-public partnership that resulted in the Bend Whitewater Park. Or how the Bethlehem inn got a lot of funding by a competitive fundraising campaign between the builders and real estate groups of bend going towards the BI renovations.

There are not community solutions being generally presented. It isnt about homelessness being solvable, it's about it being profitable. Similiar to the prison industrial complex. Grasping attachments to a short sighted dream of profits, seduced by furtherly selfish and morally ambiguous special interests.

Again, thank you.

Posted by FlipFlop on 12/06/2019 at 3:24 PM

Re: “Portland is Finalizing a Deal to Use Tourism Dollars to Battle Homelessness.

Whoever wrote this, I LOVE YOU. Seriously, this is everything that I have wanted to scream at this city for years. This is by far the most critical homeless article from a local source that I have read in over a year. As someone who has spent many nights outside in snow in this city....Thank you.

Posted by FlipFlop on 12/06/2019 at 3:04 PM

Re: “Portland is Finalizing a Deal to Use Tourism Dollars to Battle Homelessness.

Thanks for the input, Bill. Wondering what you mean by "its anti-Airbnb ordinance?" Do you mean the city should consider "an" anti-Airbnb ordinance?

Posted by Nicole Vulcan on 12/06/2019 at 1:52 PM

Re: “Portland is Finalizing a Deal to Use Tourism Dollars to Battle Homelessness.

If short-term housing is a problem, Bend might reconsider its anti-AirBNB ordinance that's distorted the local housing and rental market, particularly in old town and SW Bend. And Bend might fast-track developers' projects who want to build rental housing, but must wait two years or more to obtain building permits. Freeing up market forces offers far more potential to cure short-term housing issues quickly than massaging tax dollars. Directing tax dollars towards any program to address homelessness is a non-starter unless our governing elites first address questions of individual liberty. No amount of public shelter or transient housing projects will work unless the homeless are compelled to seek addiction/mental health treatment in connection with shelter. Finally, if Bend's tourism industry is to continue to flourish, Bend might use tax dollars to buy a few more snowplows. Winter tourism in Colorado is a major industry, but Colorado spends the money to ensure snow doesn't bog down transportation. Bend is a logistic mess after a snowfall. Good luck convincing tourists to visit a town that can't clean its streets quickly in winter.

Posted by Bill Pitcher on 12/06/2019 at 5:26 AM

Re: “Covered Wagons and Historical Water Rights: Both Out of Date

Ed and Geoff, We appreciate your ongoing discourse and remind everyone to keep things civil! To Ed's question/comment regarding us allegedly not offering ANY solutions, I refer back to this paragraph from the piece:

"The Deschutes River and its tributaries do offer enough water to cover the needs of our growing regionbut only if local irrigators such as COID allow more sharing of those resources."

And this one by way of LandWatch:

"That is not to say that all COID patrons want to waste water. Actually, a growing number of them have made it clear that they would like to lease their water to the River and NUID (North Unit Irrigation District) farmers, but COID is currently preventing that."

Not a comprehensive solution, but some starting points...

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nicole Vulcan on 12/04/2019 at 4:03 PM

Re: “Covered Wagons and Historical Water Rights: Both Out of Date

I love how you think you can read my mind. Unfortunately, your ability there may be on par with your ability to digest what I've written. I did not say I support the HCP as written, and have commented through the process on changes I'd like to see. AGAIN, my point was the editorial finding fault, but offering NO solutions.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ed Hughes on 12/04/2019 at 12:17 PM

Re: “Covered Wagons and Historical Water Rights: Both Out of Date

Thanks for the reply. By supporting the HCP you appear to support the status quo of 100cfs, at least for the next 6 years, and miniscule flow improvements after that. In 30 years the minimum flows will be where we should be today? And that does not address the high spring/summer flows. Alternative approaches: build pipes from Wickiup/Prineville direct to the irrigation districts; run diversions year round to reservoirs at the irrigation districts or patrons; satisfy what the river needs to be healthy and then supply the irrigators.

Posted by Geoff Reynolds on 12/04/2019 at 11:43 AM

Re: “Covered Wagons and Historical Water Rights: Both Out of Date

Mr. Reynolds, I NEVER said I support 100CFS, and in fact am very much informed on what flows we have, and what we should have. The point of this, is that the HCP is not the end-all answer to the problems with the Deschutes. As I noted, my beef with editorials finding nothing but fault with the HCP, yet offer no alternative solution(s), do not help us restore the river to a better state.

Posted by Ed Hughes on 12/04/2019 at 8:20 AM

Re: “Covered Wagons and Historical Water Rights: Both Out of Date

Mr. Hughes: 100 year old laws don't allow for transfers of water rights to other properties or irrigation districts (the "right" is attached to the land?), don't allow for hydro-electric (beneficial agricultural use?). Yet those things are happening (a perversion of the reclamation intent). If you think that 100cfs is a reasonable level of flow for the Deschutes, you will have trouble "rowing" that grounded boat.

Posted by Geoff Reynolds on 12/04/2019 at 6:01 AM

Re: “Covered Wagons and Historical Water Rights: Both Out of Date

Great premise. You state the system is antiquated, yet you also state piping “may not be the best answer”. It’s a pretty big part of the answer, considering almost 1/2 the water sent down a canal doesn’t get to the farm. Yes, continued on farm improvements are part of it, and some law changes too. Do you know that 100 year old laws are somewhat restrictive in water transfers?

So, what is your solution? Look at the recent guest column in the Bulletin about “rowing together”. Simply posting an editorial such as this means you don’t have an oar in the water on this issue.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Ed Hughes on 11/28/2019 at 4:55 PM

Re: “A Home Energy Score is a Win for Bend

A good realtor could just pay this cost out of the 6% commission they get from the sale.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by jk4015 on 11/26/2019 at 9:50 PM

Re: “A Home Energy Score is a Win for Bend

Great article. Thanks!

It would be great to also look at the potential benefit the HES will have, by calculating the average monthly electric bill, and the potential of say a 10% or 20% decrease in it by following some of the recommendations from HES that are easiest to implement. Do we have any data on this?

That would make a great comparison against the $175 cost — which I have to say I’m surprised COAR is bringing up as a large concern. I would think (and hope) COAR would be on board for serious action on the climate crisis.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Kavi Chokshi on 11/21/2019 at 6:05 PM

Re: “A Home Energy Score is a Win for Bend

BendKid: Since the HES outlines potential improvements, it shows the potential of the home and that it still has value. Just because a home gets a low score, doesn't mean it won't be valued on the marketplace--it is Bend after all. Some homes with a lower score, with a few energy upgrades, may still end up being as efficient as a higher scored home.

Additionally, one of the great things about the HES is that it makes energy improvements visible, thus having a value in the real estate market. Right now, if you are on a tight budget and trying to decide what kinds of improvements to make that will improve your re-sale in the future, you would be left with things like countertops that have a better payoff rather than something like a new heat pump water heater that could start saving you money right now. The HES gives you the opportunity to make an energy upgrade, save energy and money, and then have that upgrade be factored into the value of your property. For those that are low-moderate income, there are even increased incentive amounts to help make those types of energy upgrades more possible.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by The Energy Challenge on 11/21/2019 at 4:36 PM

Re: “A Home Energy Score is a Win for Bend

All the poor people that live in cheap housing like older manufactured homes will be hurt the worst by this by making their homes worth less. I am sure all these poor people would love to be able to live in a newer scored home that was built to the new standards. Let's continue to make the poor poorer.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Bendkid on 11/21/2019 at 2:43 PM

Re: “A Home Energy Score is a Win for Bend

If someone gets a low score, they are not required to fix it (can you imagine the pushback if that were the case?!). It will, however, give someone looking at that home a heads up on what they can expect their energy costs to be and a list of potential improvements they could make so they can factor that information appropriately into their buying decision. Some homes with a lower score, with a few energy upgrades, may still cost less than a home with a higher score. Without knowing what energy improvements make sense for the home, the average homebuyer would never be able to weigh all those variables to figure out which is the better deal with just information from a call the utility companies.

The plan does call on the City to lead by example with electric vehicles--if you want to see more efficient vehicles, you should let them know!

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Bend Energy Challenge on 11/21/2019 at 11:13 AM

Re: “A Home Energy Score is a Win for Bend

dhc0216: The scoring system comes with recommendations for how to improve the score, which buyers could use as leverage in the purchase process, or just as very helpful information about what aspects of improving the home would be most beneficial for energy and cost savings. "Forcing" someone to improve the score is beyond its scope.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Nicole Vulcan on 11/21/2019 at 11:03 AM

Re: “A Home Energy Score is a Win for Bend

What happens if the score is low? Do they force someone to make the changes to bring the score up? If not, what's the point?

Posted by dhc0216@gmail.com on 11/20/2019 at 8:52 PM

Re: “A Home Energy Score is a Win for Bend

When the city dumps some of the gas guzzlers they use, I will start to believe they just might be a little serious. Put the onus on someone else. Divert attention somewhere else, don't look in my backyard, no! Does everyone on the city dole have to drive a city owned 4x4 to get around town?

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Douglas Warren on 11/20/2019 at 7:14 PM

Re: “Letters to the Editor

Mr. Ellington,

My recent letter had no "anecdotal" statements. I have spoken to multiple landowners who would like to keep unwanted water in the river but have not been allowed to do so. Additionally, during search for acreage a couple of years ago I spoke to multiple irrigation districts, including Arnold, Swalley, and Central Oregon, who told me that I would not be able to return water to the river associated with various properties I was considering. The fact is that the districts only allow a trivially small amount of water to be kept instream and that allotment is full.

I certainly did not criticizing anyone for being unprofitable. I did point out that the common framing of local water policy as agriculture versus fish & wildlife is false. While there clearly are viable agricultural operations in Deschutes County, most are hobby farms run for the pleasure of the owner and the generous property tax breaks given to Exclusive Farm Use zoned property. Everyone has the right to pursue their hobby, but should it be done at the expense of the taxpayer? Today, we have a lifestyle economy and restoring our rivers would provide the greatest benefit to taxpayers.

Yancy Lind

Posted by Yancy on 11/09/2019 at 7:34 AM

Re: “As Walden Preps to Exit the 2nd District Spot, Let's Stop Calling it "GOP Country"

Come senators, congressmen, please heed the call
Dont stand in the doorway, dont block up the hall
For he that gets hurt will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin'
Will soon shake your windows and rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin'

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Geoff Reynolds on 11/06/2019 at 7:35 AM

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