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Letters to the Editor: Mirror Pond, AirBnb and OSU-Casacades 

Readers Weigh In

@dakinecafe tagged us in this arty-cool photo. #betterinpink
  • @dakinecafe tagged us in this arty-cool photo. #betterinpink

In Response to, "Did OSU-Cascades Get the Shaft?" (10/11)

OSU-Cascades. Why wasn't it funded? Because it's a bad idea.

Oh wait, maybe it's a good idea, but poorly executed. They don't have the land they want and they can't afford the land they need. They don't have the parking they need and the parking they do have is not utilized. They don't have a rational plan for how to handle the logistics of the hoped-for future growth (please tell me how 3,000 to 5,000 students are going to move in and out of 100 acres using only Greenwood avenue, Galveston avenue and the Healy Bridge?)

They have clearly lost the support of the (Westside) residents affected. And now, they don't have the money. But hey, as one student said, "Bend seemed like a much more fun place to be than Corvallis".

What a mess.

— Doug Meyer


A Broken Angel Serves Heavenly Meals
(10/11)

A great guy with great food. He has the best food and I am a carnivore.

— Sue Szabo


In Response to, "A House Divided: Dissecting the Airbnb Effect: Do Short Term Rentals Help Solve the Housing Crisis?" (9/28)

Trust me, I know about the vacation rentals littering the landscapes. But they are within their legal rights to do it. Do you blame someone for making a living off of something that is inevitable in this town?

I would be more concerned about the massive hotels going up and obscuring our views and creating traffic issues. But then again we make a lot of money off of the hospitality industry. The luxury I am referring to is a clean and safe town with tons to do and a culture that brings in great bands, artists and people alike.

I have lived in many places and this is by far the best town that I have lived in. And to say most tourists don't care — isn't true. If a million people a year didn't care, our town would be destroyed in an instant. It's just a you-versus-them mentality at this point. Everyone thinks that everyone else is a bad guy. It just isn't true. People are people wherever you go.

— Mike Arrera

It's been shown that in cities from Barcelona, Spain to Asheville, North Carolina to Bend, the conversion of residentially zoned homes to vacation rentals exacerbates housing shortages and increases rental and home purchase prices for local residents.

To address this problem, many cities (Hood River, Portland, Boulder, Denver, etc) have passed city code that allows only primary residents to rent out their home — or part of their home — for a certain number of days a year.

These policies preserve residential housing for residents, while also allowing local residents to earn extra money to help pay their rent or mortgage. Adopting similar code to Hood River, is one tool the City of Bend can use to address our housing crisis.

In Outside Magazine's, "Did Airbnb Kill the Mountain Town" (7/17) the author writes that, "The rise of online short-term rentals may be the tipping point that causes idyllic outposts to lose their middle class altogether — and with it their soul." The author mentions a quote he saw on the Airbnb website, to "Live like a local" and asks himself, "What happens when locals can't afford to live like locals?"

— Beth Jacobi

In Response to, "Clearing up Mirror Pond." (10/11)

Free the river. The arrogance of Bend, like Bend owns the river. The Deschutes River belongs to everyone, the health of the river should be the deciding factor, not what a few rich developers decide.

— William Van Buskirk

If it is so important to free the river to its natural state, rip out all that shit, the new rapids/wave park and all the unnatural obstructions.

— Ryan Shule

That is the concept. Get rid of the dam below MP to start. Pretty sure the wave park doesn't have a big impact on flow and sediment. But keeping a fake pond because it is "iconic" and a tourist draw when it isn't is a great reason to ask taxpayers to subsidize the task don't you think?

— Jim Roberts

Spending public funds to accomplish the dredging of Mirror Pond is inappropriate given the difficulty of complying with ODSL (Oregon Department of State Lands) regulations, the fact that Pacific Power is responsible for the silt and has profited from the power for many years and that dredging is an ongoing requirement which will become more difficult and expensive in 25 years due to growth in Bend.

Perhaps a compromise is possible: 1) Pacific Power pay to remove the dam 2) Replace the dam with "natural" rapids that will drop the level of the pond to where the resulting flows will scour the silt on an ongoing basis 3) Replant the resulting exposed riverbanks with native species.

If this could be accomplished with similar funds to the dredging estimate or even higher expense it could be a one time solution that may be appropriate to be funded publicly.

HOWEVER.....BEWARE.......Original estimates for the Colorado Dam project were around 3 million and became around 13 million!

— Jim Sterling

LETTER OF THE WEEK

Hear hear to fostering compromise, Jim! The most vocal in our community seem to be either squarely on the "free the river" side, or the "preserve the iconic pond" side. In the interest of compromise, perhaps a vote allowing residents to democratically resolve this is in order? Come on in for your gift card to Palate!

— Nicole Vulcan, Editor

Corrections

In the 10/12 issue, the story "Tunes for Jazz Lovers" listed the Regina Carter Quintet as playing in April, in the third paragraph in the story. The group plays Feb. 16 and 17 at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes. We regret the error.


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