Letters to the Editor 09/29/2022 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Letters to the Editor 09/29/2022 

Morgan Schmidt for County Commissioner

A lack of affordable housing, homelessness, worker shortages, a childcare "desert," drought and wildfires. These are just a few of the challenges we are facing right now in Deschutes County. Our elected officials have made progress towards addressing these challenges but there is still much work to be done. Frankly, some of these officials are not up to the task.

Moving forward we need leaders who will prioritize tackling the complex problems instead of wasting resources on ideological crusades. Leaders who are forward looking, not shortsighted. Leaders who listen to experts and make decisions based on facts, not anecdotes. Leaders who are compassionate. 

click to enlarge The last of the summer wildflowers match the vibrancy of the Central Oregon sunset in this beautiful photo from @n8_vines. Central Oregon's trails are lined with these flourishing wild blossoms. Make sure to get outside, and enjoy them while you can. Thanks for tagging us in this! Don't forget to share your photos with us and tag @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured as Instagram of the week and in print as out Lightmeter. Winners receive a free print from @highdesertframeworks. - @N8_VINES
  • @n8_vines
  • The last of the summer wildflowers match the vibrancy of the Central Oregon sunset in this beautiful photo from @n8_vines. Central Oregon's trails are lined with these flourishing wild blossoms. Make sure to get outside, and enjoy them while you can. Thanks for tagging us in this! Don't forget to share your photos with us and tag @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured as Instagram of the week and in print as out Lightmeter. Winners receive a free print from @highdesertframeworks.

Morgan Schmidt is the type of leader that the Deschutes County Commission needs right now.  

Morgan has 15 years of public service experience and is the Chair of the Homeless Leadership Coalition's Community Engagement Committee and the Presbytery of the Cascades Wildfire Response Committee, but she is best known for her work during the pandemic. In March 2020, Morgan formed Pandemic Partners, an online forum with a simple premise, "If you need help, ask; if you can give help, do." Thousands of Central Oregonians received much-needed assistance through Pandemic Partners. In fact, Pandemic Partners was so successful that Morgan received requests from other cities to help them establish similar programs.  

Morgan evaluated the needs of her community, listened to public health experts and took action. I am confident she will be an excellent and effective County Commissioner. 

Please join me and vote for Morgan Schmidt this November. 

—Adrian Jones

Water & Jamie McLeod-Skinner

Central Oregonians know the topic of "water" has everyone's attention. To effectively address water-related issues, electing Jamie McLeod-Skinner as our Congressional District 5 Representative will help immensely, as water and other natural resource sciences are the foundation of Jamie's training. She understands how landscapes respond to planned and unplanned changes. As a water law attorney and a civil engineer, she has expertise on the issues impacting agriculture, water management and land development.  

Jamie knows where and how communities can get results from local, state and federal agencies on water issues. She recently collaborated with community stakeholders to improve water access for farmers and ranchers affected by Oregon's multiyear drought to protect their livelihoods. Jamie sits on the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, which provides grants to protect and restore healthy watersheds and habitats for thriving communities. As an emergency response coordinator, she has on-the-ground experience in community disaster preparedness and recovery, including making infrastructure investments to upgrade water systems.  Through her years of work on water, drought, and fire issues, Jamie developed relationships with leaders and managers across Oregon and in D.C.; relationships we'll benefit from when she is in Congress. 

Jamie's opponent has no water expertise.  

With more people moving to the Pacific Northwest, impacts to water supply will be undeniable. We need leaders who have water expertise. Jamie will work to protect our water and rural economies for future generations. Please look for what you can do to support Jamie McLeod-Skinner's campaign, for water-wise policies in Congress.  

—Monica Tomosy

RE: District Removes Inspirational Murals

from Bend School

This is truly heartbreaking. Having worked in an elementary school for many years that celebrated art and had many inspirational murals and art project on display, I know how much comfort and joy kids get from being in a beautified environment that values children and creativity. What a shameful and senseless decision. Just awful.

—Maia Yamasaki via bendsource.com

To me, this case brings up the issue of support for teachers. Having been a teacher, I know that many teachers are in this profession because it is a labor of love, hoping to make a difference, inspiring and motivating children. We all know that teaching is not a profession for those seeking material wealth! Through Covid, through school shooting scares, poor pay, poor resources, teachers are there because they love the kids and want to nurture and feed their sense of wonder and curiosity. Teachers are the ones who are on the front lines, in the trenches, the ones actually interacting with and understanding students—their anxieties, learning needs and what inspires. If you are a teacher, it is understood that a student cannot learn to read, to do arithmetic, understand history and science unless they feel grounded, secure, comfortable and happy. Socio-emotional learning—how to be kinder and better citizens to each other and in the community—are an integral part of the whole picture of learning. And Mrs. Rodgers, by virtue of being on the front lines, actually interacting with the children, knew what her children and others in the school needed—inspiration, beauty, kind words—everything that was in the murals. She—not outdated rules that perhaps need to be reevaluated—knows better what the children need. What would you—school district, administration, parents, community—do to give much needed support and respect, a voice to your caring and hardworking teachers? Can we as a community ask, "What is best for the children?" and seek guidance on this question from our teachers. When it comes to raising and nurturing and teaching our children... politics and personal egos need to take a back seat. That's what (most) teachers do. Put children first. SO, listen to teachers. Support them. In my opinion, not including Mrs. Rodgers and other teachers in the decision to remove the mural lacked decency and respect for the teaching profession.

—Tomoko Ferguson via bendsource.com

Letter of the Week:

Tomoko: Thanks for your words and for the note reminding us that kids are the reason schools exist. Come on by for your gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan

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