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It made my heart sing to know not just that people are reading our work, but that they're also moved to action by it

Editor's note:

As people living in Oregon's outdoor sports wonderland, there's no doubt we're stoked to bring you this edition of our annual Winter Insider—full of great stories of winter days gone by, and what to look forward to in the coming months.

But even as we forge forward into winter, I'm also happy to recall events transpiring since last week's feature, "The Car Camping Dilemma," which outlined the challenges people face while living in their vehicles in Bend. We sought the story at the suggestion of a reader—which is no surprise, since the best stories tend to come right from the people who read us every week! But what happened next illustrates, truly, why we do what we do. I got a call from a reader this week, offering stable housing for one of the individuals mentioned in that story. It made my heart sing to know not just that people are reading our work, but that they're also moved to action by it. However the tale ends, I'm heartened to see that type of community spirit happening around us. This is an example of community newspapering at its best. And yes, I just made "newspapering" a verb!

Who's grabbing the bull by the horns this fall? Awesome shot from @tylerherseyphotography. 
Tag @sourceweekly on Instagram to get featured in Lightmeter. - @TYLERHERSEYPHOTOGRAPHY
  • @tylerherseyphotography
  • Who's grabbing the bull by the horns this fall? Awesome shot from @tylerherseyphotography. Tag @sourceweekly on Instagram to get featured in Lightmeter.

SO LONG TO SWAG

In alignment with The Environmental Center's efforts to have the folks of Central Oregon reduce waste, I suggest that the organizers of the many local competitive events that offer swag bags reconsider. Instead, they could offer participants "opt in/out" of swag when they pre-register, providing a slight discount for those who opt out. More is only better when it adds to the experience, not when it adds to the landfill. 

—Gina Meredith

Re: IRRIGATION DOES NOT MEAN AGRICULTURE IN DESCHUTES COUNTY, LETTERS, 10/24

Mr. Lind makes some valid points in his opinion piece, but also misrepresents some things. My family has been here since 1906, when the government was enticing people to settle this desert area, build the irrigation canals and start farming. Even I have difficulty designating this area as Exclusive Farm Use, but that's an issue with Oregon and Deschutes County not water districts or agriculture.

But, to Mr. Lind's opinion piece: First, he states "It is also important to know that many of these landowners would gladly give up their water, or at least greatly reduce their allotment, if they could. Irrigation districts simply do not allow this." This is certainly anecdotal and not factual on either count. Water districts do have options to put water back for other uses without losing water rights.

Secondly, Mr. Lind seems to criticize farmers and ranchers because such endeavors are not very profitable. That idea is not news but, again, the facts given can be misrepresented. For example, many farmers rent their pastures to ranchers for grazing. Not that the cattle ranchers are making fortunes, but they are typically making more money than the farmer who owns the pasture. Agriculture is like any other industry: you need to look at the entire supply chain to assess the public benefit.

There are other points made by Mr. Lind to which I take exception, but this is my opinion: we can only address an issue and find a solution by dealing with facts, not hyperbole.

—Dan Ellingson

RE: CATTLE MUTILIATIONS AND A SATANIC CULT? 10/31

RE: Your article on Cattle Mutilations. This is nothing new, these cattle mutilation stories go back to around 1948 in various parts of the U.S. A good history is reported in a Skeptical Inquirer article by John Steward: Volume 01, No. 2 Spring / Summer 1977 Titled "Cattle Mutilations:: An Episode of Collective Delusions."

Usually the cattle are found about THREE days or so after death, with no tracks around the carcass, with the soft tissue of the cattle missing to some degree. Most probably it is that rodents have eaten the soft tissue as the hide is difficult for rodents to eat. Rodents do not leave big foot prints.

Why did these cows die? Last check around Central Oregon found a correlation with wet springs and fast plant growth which in turn had low nutrient in grasses the cows were eating. Challenge this as my memory is poor. Sure there will be people that kill for meat and others that just like to kill things. But test the simple solution first. Right now your article has too much Mulder and not enough Scully! UFOs? Impossible! How can you have an expert in something that does not exist? Satanic cults, highly unlikely, but then again it is Halloween.

—William Martin

RE: THE CAR CAMPING DILEMMA, 10/31

The homeless situation is so complicated. The city must somehow meet the needs of the home and business owners and provide services and parking for those living in their cars. It can be done, but it takes a city council willing to work together and determined to find the solution. In politics these days, consensus seems nearly impossible. What cities have been proactive? What cities have reached good solutions? I've heard the problem has been nearly solved in Utah. Bend council members need to seek outside help.

—Kathleen Ikola Kenna, via bendsource.com

The city bought Juniper Ridge years ago to develop into an industrial area. It was also supposed to be the location of the new OSU campus. The city has failed miserably with this area, Why not pave an area out there, provide sanitation, security and a shelter for the homeless and instruct them to go there if they want to stay in the Bend area. This would provide a safe location for the homeless and get them out of the neighborhoods.

—Lew Johnson, via bendsource.com

Thank you for writing about this. I have been living in a car for a few years in Bend and the struggle is real (on both sides—for the homeless, and the neighborhoods where ppl park). I am a working class person with valid registration, car insurance, no DUIIs, etc, but this was STILL very relatable in so many ways—just living in your car comes with a lot of stigma and being "frowned upon" by those with homes in Bend.

—Kayla Sulak, via bendsource.com

Letter of the Week:

Kayla—Thanks for sharing your story! Come on in to grab your gift card to Palate.

—Nicole Vulcan

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