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Letters to the Editor 

Mountain Bike Season is Here!

Thanks to the recent rains, the trails are in great shape. It doesn't get any better than this!

Awesome view of Mt. Bachelor shot by Charles Blumenthal at Todd Lake! Tag @sourceweekly on Instagram to get featured in Lightmeter. - CHARLES BLUMENTHAL
  • Charles Blumenthal
  • Awesome view of Mt. Bachelor shot by Charles Blumenthal at Todd Lake! Tag @sourceweekly on Instagram to get featured in Lightmeter.

Along with bike season, comes campers. Get off of any single track, and ride along a Forest Service road. You will see numerous campsites, some of which produce piles of trash, human waste (i.e. turds!) and unattended fire rings.

You may also come across the coyote that behaves more like a dog than her feral species. She is NOT afraid of people. A bad thing for her, and us. She is obviously being fed and/or feasting on trash. If she has pups, they will also be unafraid of people. This is a self-perpetuating situation that will lead to disaster.

As for unattended fires; I have friends who have put out several fires that have spread from containment. Riders could be trapped in a forest fire. The proximity of Phil's to town could easily cause the loss of homes. This is a reality with hot dry summers.

It is past due time that a regulated campground be established in the Phil's Trailhead area. A campground will get everyone in one place, with access to dumpsters and pit toilets. Make camping on forest roads illegal.

If you are in agreement, please contact the Deschutes National Forest Service. 541-383-5300. Share your thoughts. Perhaps something will be done. In the meantime: Campers; don't leave trash behind, bury your poop, put out your fires and DON'T FEED THE ANIMALS!

— Maureen Cruse

Future of Central Oregon's Environment

Want to know what the future holds for the environment of Bend and the rest of Central Oregon? I was born in Bend in 1940, but have cousins in Southern California... Several want to move to Oregon. Why?

Rapid population growth in Southern California has resulted in a loss of open space due to development and sprawl. Housing costs are beyond the reach of average income workers. The schools are deteriorating because of poverty, gangs, drug use and large illegal immigrant population, 50 percent of whom have not graduated from high school. (Over 45 percent of households speak a language other than English.) Traffic is terrible, in some cases requiring long hours in transit to work.

Many have moved here to get away from all that. The irony is that with current population trends, Central Oregon is destined to closely replicate Southern California. Look at the rapid expansion of development between Bend and Redmond. How long until much of the open space between Sunriver, Bend, Redmond and Sisters is gone? Watch as newly developed Reed Market Rd. is swallowed by a flood of cars due to unbridled development in the area.

Much of our environmental degradation is due to a business model that relies on population growth for success and gives lip services to the protection of the natural environment. A community that placed value on its scenic open space would not allow it to be paved over with sagebrush subdivisions, destination resorts and strip zoning along its major highways. Has anyone reviewed Bend's 2030 goals to see if we are achieving objectives for the protection of trees and wildlife? Affordable housing is important, but officials need to realize that this country's open borders will supply an endless number of people (over 100,000 are illegally crossing the border each month) many who will be drawn here. We are told that planning will help us avoid the problems of Southern California. Has anyone seen evidence of that so far? Perhaps a new vision is required to protect what is left of our livability.

—William Brewer

In Response to, "Next Up...NYT" on 5/31

I have lived in three towns that were ruined by tourism. I count the months now before I will be fed up with Bend and then move on. I have never lived in a town that was so relentlessly self promotional. While I do enjoy the shoulder seasons it is the goal of Visit Bend to ensure that we soon have 365 days a year of nonstop tourists and in doing so we get all the problems associated with it. Businesses may love it but eventually many people will do what I do and move on. I know where I will go next and I don't plan on telling anyone where that is. Good luck Bend. You're gonna need it.

— Andrew West, via Bendsource.com

What a Green New Deal Could Mean for Bend

Our high school students showed us all up on March 15th when they publicly protested climate change at the expense of their education. And rightly so—they have the most years left on this little blue (for now) planet, and bear the least amount of responsibility for the dwindling state of the environment.

But why should this little town be worried? I mean, Bend is full of environmentally responsible people who know that plastic bags are hell's hand-baskets and that owning an electric car will get them into heaven, right? I have bad news for you: they aren't the problem. It's the rest of us—people like me—who are a) exclusively interested in choosing what is most convenient, not what is most environmentally conscious and b) don't believe carrying around reusable utensils so that one more plastic spoon avoids a landfill today is enough to stop the ice caps from melting. The only solution for we, the many selfish unbelievers, as well as those in denial that we're even in a crisis, is massive targeted policy change in favor of inconvenience as law.

Bend is already overfilled — our green space, walkability and air quality are already under attack from overpopulation as well as environmental factors. A Green New Deal could reverse that.

If you love Bend and want to see it flourish, not decline into a polluted, impoverished ghost town, the Green New Deal should be a no brainer. We only have 12 years, people. Let's not waste them.

— Kelsey Seymour

Letter of the Week:

Kelsey—Thanks for the letter. Come on in for your gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan

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