Letters to the Editor 9/9/21 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Letters to the Editor 9/9/21 

Guest Opinion: Is DEQ's Response to Climate Too Little, Too Late?

Editor's note:

This week's feature story highlighting the story of a Sept. 11 survivor was a collaborative effort on the part of a number of people from the Source Weekly team. Occasional contributor in the Outside section, Linda English (aka Gravel Girl) introduced us to Chuck Allen, her friend and a somewhat recent transplant who was in the North Tower when the plane hit. Reporter Jack Harvel shares Allen's story starting on page 10. Allen also brought us the artwork from his friend, Bill Reinhold, a career "inker" and "penciler"—aka comic book artist—who was inspired to create the artwork featured on this week's cover after the attacks. Our videographer/photographer Darris Hurst then took photos and interviewed Allen, creating a video which we've added to the online version of the story. As we approach the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks this week, it meant a lot to our entire team to be able to highlight this story in a "localized" way.

Cheers to the @bendfarmersmarket for sharing this photo of all that great local produce, and the friendly folks patronizing small businesses—while following current guidelines—during these tough times! Tag us @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured here and as the Instagram of the Week in the Cascades Reader. The winning photo gets a free print from @highdesertframeworks! - @BENDFARMERSMARKET/INSTAGRAM
  • @bendfarmersmarket/Instagram
  • Cheers to the @bendfarmersmarket for sharing this photo of all that great local produce, and the friendly folks patronizing small businesses—while following current guidelines—during these tough times! Tag us @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured here and as the Instagram of the Week in the Cascades Reader. The winning photo gets a free print from @highdesertframeworks!

Back in 2001, much focus was placed on the bravery of the firefighters and first responders who went into those buildings—some of whom never came out. I can't help but draw parallels to the happenings of today, when our first responders and medical professionals are walking into the fray of COVID-19 every day. May we offer them the same grace and praise and conciliation that we extended 20 years ago.

Thanks for reading!

Guest Opinion: Is DEQ's Response to Climate Too Little, Too Late?

"Code Red for humanity!", the latest message from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issues a deadly warning. Scientists urge a doubling of effort, by 2030 and beyond. Is Oregon's response enough? Gov. Brown's executive order 20-04 showed a solid path forward directing state agencies to protect our climate.  Recently the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality issued its Draft rules for a Climate Protection Program. Some climate advocates have grave concerns that DEQ's CPP will fall short of what's needed to avoid catastrophic consequences.

As wildfires consume our state, killing people and livelihoods, Oregonians understand the urgency. The majority demands bold actions if we are to avoid this growing crisis. Climate pollution threatens our agriculture, forests, oceans and life as we know it. The Climate Protection Advocates, a coalition of 23 organizations representing scientists, tribes and nonprofits from both rural and urban Oregon, are urging Gov. Brown to insist that DEQ step up their efforts.

As science calls for accelerated emission reductions, the Climate Advocates believe that DEQ must act similarly. Dr Alan Journet, co-facilitator of Southern Oregon Climate Action Now, states: "Now is not the time for half-hearted proposals; we must acknowledge the urgency and induce massive emissions reductions and carbon sequestration."

The advocates question whether DEQ will actually be able to achieve what it proposes. Their most serious concern is the flawed requirements for industrial polluters, the biggest polluters in the state. These include natural gas pipelines, paper mills, chemical and cement manufacturers. These polluters dump their waste into our environment, causing global warming. The Climate Advocates believe that these polluters should reduce their contribution to the problem.

This fatal flaw will hurt vulnerable communities, as it impacts the health of these communities who often live close to these sources.

The advocates also suggest that the significant increase in "Renewable Natural Gas" in the Climate Protection Program will increase emissions and energy costs. Like fossil gas, RNG emits methane, a greenhouse gas that is more potent than CO2. Yet, DEQ lacks a plan to regulate the methane leaks from pipelines that carry fossil gas and RNG.

One positive proposed by DEQ is the CCI or Community Climate Investment Fund, which allows fossil fuel suppliers to buy credits if they are unable to reduce emissions sufficiently. These credits, or CCI's could fund pollution-reducing projects throughout Oregon. However, if not closely regulated, they also could provide an excuse to pollute. This would compromise overall emission reductions and harm vulnerable communities.

The Climate Protection Advocates urge Gov. Brown to require state agencies to live up to the charge in her 2020 Executive Order. They say that we have only one chance to get this right!  Let's do it now!

— Diane Hodiak is the executive d irector of 350 Deschutes, a nonprofit organization that focuses on climate policy, actions. 350 Deschutes joins 22 other statewide organizations, called Climate Protection Advocates, to speak out.

Women's Reproductive Rights

Lately, articles about Taliban atrocities are many. Americans may want to exercise caution when demeaning Taliban's treatment of females & refrain from maligning others while we have similar practices. Civil liberty atrocities against women are rampant in America—today in Texas, tomorrow...maybe your state?

—M.A. Kruse

New School Year

As we enter the new school year, the Bend-La Pine Schools' mask policy will undoubtedly come under intense attack. Much of the reasoning is deeply flawed.

It is said that masks don't work. Curiously, every caregiver in every operating room on earth wears a mask to maintain a sterile environment. It seems odd that they would all engage in a useless practice.

It is said that mandating masks is an infringement on personal freedom. Virtually all laws are infringements on personal freedom. Simply put, your freedom ends at my well-being. This is a basic principle of a functioning society.

It is said that mandating masks violates the Constitution. The notion that anyone has the Constitutional right to endanger anyone else's child is preposterous, and won't be found anywhere therein. It is obvious that a mask mandate is an attempt to "promote the general welfare." This idea appears in the first sentence of the Constitution where the reasons for the document's very existence are enumerated.

I commend the School Board for having the compassion to try to protect all of our children from this insidious disease, the clarity to see a path forward, and the courage to maintain course despite the continual earsplitting clatter so prevalent on the other side.

We, the voters, have chosen well.

—Jonathan Davidson

Managed Camp

Many recent articles have created a vision of what a "managed camp" looks like visually and conceptually that are not necessarily correct. As an example, the proposed Oasis Village in Redmond will be a fenced and gated area where several tiny bedrooms will be placed for our guests to live in relative comfort and safety. The site will also provide shower and toilet units as well as meeting and consultation space and a fenced dog run. Each guest will be screened before they are admitted and they will be required to sign a "contract" to help support the village and to make themselves available to the medical and personal counseling services in order to improve their condition and to re-enter society as quickly as possible or advance to transitional shelter such as Bethlehem Inn or Shepherd's House.

A shelter/safe parking area can set criteria for those being served from the working poor with families to the chronically homeless to veterans to senior citizens, etc. Each category or level of homelessness carries its distinct and unique challenges and is generally created for a specific clientele.

As a result, some shelters may house nurses and public servants who simply cannot find or afford proper living spaces. In today's society, a significant number of homeless people actually have jobs but cannot afford to keep a roof over their heads and maintain transportation or day care in order to get to and from work. Shelters/safe parking can be efficiently, safely and holistically operated while being positive and contributing factors in any community.

—Bob Bohac

Letter of the Week

Thanks for the clarification, Bob, and for the work you're doing on building a managed camp in Redmond. Come on in for a gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan

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