Letters to the Editor 5/27/21 | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Letters to the Editor 5/27/21 

Identity Politics, Lack of Affordable Housing, Bend Roundabouts & Homelessness in Central Oregon

Editor's note:

It's here: Our Summer Music Guide that lists all the music shows already announced for the summer—and there are a lot! We here at the Source Weekly are thrilled to see live music rolling into our calendar in great numbers once again, ensuring that we—along with the rest of the music lovers out there—will have plenty of places to put on our dancing shoes. Enjoy poring over these listings to help you plan your summer.

Talk about the essence of summer in Central Oregon! @bendphototours shared this photo from @hubbardsteve with us—ideal for our Summer Guide this week. Tag us @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured here and in the Cascades Reader! - @HUBBARDSTEVE / INSTAGRAM
  • @hubbardsteve / Instagram
  • Talk about the essence of summer in Central Oregon! @bendphototours shared this photo from @hubbardsteve with us—ideal for our Summer Guide this week. Tag us @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured here and in the Cascades Reader!

At the same time that we are rejoicing the shift back to more normalcy, local businesses are still figuring out how to manage the mask mandates for vaccinated versus non-vaccinated people. Jack Harvel chats with a few local businesses in our News section. And as I write this on May 25, I want to acknowledge this one-year anniversary of the day George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis, and to reflect on what has changed—and what hasn't—since his death. Black Lives Mattered before that day, and they still do.

RE: Identity Politics, Letters, 5/20

In response to Steve Young's thoughtful request that we all just let go of "identity politics" and "wokeness," I would like to reply, "wouldn't it be nice if it were so easy."

It seems that Mr. Young is inferring that "the left" and the Biden administration is the problem here. Unfortunately, the basic human tendency to separate into "us" and "them" groupings is the problem. Just in his writing to the editor and naming one group as the perceived problem he reinforces the need for a greater understanding. I too was taught and live by the Golden Rule. But, that does not mean I should be blind to the inequities of the culture in which I live. So, in order to address our history of discriminating practices it is important to admit those who have been outside the power structure in and to acknowledge the diversity of the population of our nation.

I like being awake and choose not to don the unreal blinders of an idealized meritocracy that does not exist.

May I suggest a reading of McGhee's "The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together."

—Tom Jerome

Lack of Affordable Housing is Beyond Stressful

I moved to Bend in 2014 and found a house to rent pretty easily. Now, seven years later, it's an incredible struggle to find anything remotely affordable. This is very distressing. I work with developmentally disabled adults as a support provider. Before the pandemic, I was performing at several assisted living and memory care centers in Central Oregon, monthly. I was also providing music classes for preschools, which also was derailed. I've been a part of the music team at Unity Community of Central Oregon for at least five years. I started a C.O. Open Mics group on FB and have hosted/attended open mics regularly. I even ran for city council in 2018, to support the arts. 

It's important that I find a place in Bend as I have a child who spends time with myself and with his mother who also lives here. Plus, all the clients I work with are in Bend. I really love Bend and I love being a part of this community. However, I'm at a loss when it comes to even finding any affordable houses to apply to rent. The couple of times I have there's been 20 or 30 people also applying. Meanwhile too, there are many people who are literally homeless and the city of Bend does very little to help improve their situation. All of this is truly heartbreaking. I just don't even have the words. 

—Victor Johnson

Bend Roundabouts

I have been a Bend resident since 1998. In that time Bend has grown, matured, and changed. Many people, myself included, enjoyed the caring and sharing nature of Bend residents. However, the Roundabout issues are starting to arouse a distaste in me as I see locals and visitors failing to care or share when it comes to Bend roundabouts.

Roundabouts have been used for eons in Europe. There, everyone knows how to enter and exit without causing accidents. They also know that EVERY OTHER CAR is allowed into the circle in order to make the roundabout perform as it was intended. Otherwise, the strands on the outside trying to get in can back up for a mile or two causing havoc.

Today I tried to drive from my home on the Eastside down to Fred Meyer for gas. At the 15th Street roundabout I was unable to enter until at LEAST 20 cars had passed.  No one would look at me, or even acknowledge that people were waiting to enter the circle. I was so upset by it I decided to come home and write the Source. Who needs gas?

Bend has been a haven for everyone who is here, residents or visitors alike. We all love to meet at the breweries and the music venues to talk and learn about each other. We are divided enough as a State and as a Country. I would like to propose that we all make a small effort to get back to the ways of old Bend starting with the sharing of the roundabouts. Be courteous, smile, and act like Bend is the friendly place we claim it is.

Humans have the capacity to share and know that the act of sharing will actually make them feel BETTER! We all need to chill out please, be kind, and let every other car in!!!

—Cindi Garvie

RE: Bend Don't Break: Changing the Tide of Homelessness in Central Oregon, Podcasts, 5/19

Thank you, Aaron for bringing attention to this issue, and thank you Gwenn for all of your hard work. As someone who has experienced houselessness in Sisters for three of my five years here, every action and conversation that happens matters. These are our neighbors and deserve to be treated as such. Let's come together as a community/county and solve this problem once and for all.

I also wanted to add that as of today Project Turnkey has helped create 700+ units all over Oregon. That is over 700 individuals and families that will now have a roof over their heads and the services they need to succeed. Let's keep this momentum going!

—Mandee Seeley

Letter of the Week:

Mandee—Thanks for sharing your story. Come on down (or get in touch with me) to grab your gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan

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