We Need a Champion for Women's Health in the Governor's Office
I was shocked to hear Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler say that the newly passed Reproductive Health Equity bill would "essentially make Oregon a magnet state for people to come here for abortion." That doesn't sound like someone who respects or would uphold my right to abortion access, and I don't believe Buehler when he calls himself pro-choice. His claims are meaningless if they are not reflected in his policies. The discussion is over: he voted against a woman's right to a safe, legal, abortion, and he'd do it again. We need a champion for women's health in the governor's office, and that's not Knute Buehler.
In response to Sno-Park Frustrations
I'm still baffled by the decision to not expand Dutchman Flat. We need to revisit the on-snow recreation plan again, today's options aren't working, just like they haven't worked for the last decade. In response to the dog comments: this isn't entirely true. Dogs are allowed in Dutchman for the purpose of skijoring in harness on groomed snowmobile roads with a (free) permit. But yes, dogs are not allowed on Tumalo (read the signs, people) and people do need to follow the rules. Dog-friendly recreation needs to be part of the plan as well. We can do better!
—Lindsey Clark, via Facebook
In the February 1, 2018 issue of the Source pro-snowmobile dude Evan Schwalm concludes in his letter regarding parking at Dutchman Flat Sno-Park, "unless something changes you may soon see me triple parked at the Nordic Center, unloading snowmobiles, and crushing beers, while my cats sniff skiers crotches and lick their burritos."
Thanks, Evan. With your attitude you just gave lots of folks yet another reason to dislike snowmobiles and their riders.
I once witnessed an incident where I questioned the behavior, motive, and actions of the Deschutes county sheriff department. I asked my county commissioner about it and found out that as an elected official, the sheriff answers to no one. This is wrong. No one should be above the law.
—Ron Caramella, via Facebook
In response to Bridge Battle Part Deux, 1/25
Bachelor View Rd. is a private patrolled road in a residential zoned area of the city that has large lots and expensive homes. Many residents on this road are opposed to the pedestrian bridge crossing. Their opposition to the proposed bridge is based solely on environmental impact factors. What other reasons are there to support an opposition agenda?
Might the real issue be more social than environmental protection?
This city residential zoned area was once relatively remote. In exchange for a promise to the county assessor to grow trees on their property for commercial market sale when the trees are mature, 13 property owners holding more than 30 acres of land on this road were granted and continue to enjoy a low property tax assessment advantage of $77.07 per acre. One property owner paid $22.60 in property taxes in the current year on 3.23 acres of bare land with an assessor Real Market Value of $796,430. (https://dial.deschutes.org/Real/Index/241568). Other owners enjoy the same 77.07 per acre assessment on the portion of their land in excess of 1 acre for their residence.
This is no longer a remote private city zoned residential area even if the owners of property there are growing trees for commercial sale with an unbelievable property tax advantage in a town that no longer has a mill!
Bend is growing. Bob Brell lives on Bachelor View Rd. and has recently seen the impact of growth on his own 5 acre property. The 9.6 acre lot next to his property sold in 2016 for $8,085,000 and there are plans for a 65 home subdivision.
Growth is a social issue with environmental impact. Growth in backyards of the Mt. Bachelor View Rd. area is a fact that the residents probably don't like but can only oppose on an environmental basis. They have the financial and political resources to do that.
In a longer range view of growth there is a likely east/west traffic bridge at the point of the contended pedestrian bridge. Perhaps that is the road block reason for the wording that there be no bridge crossing. When? It is a function of growth and how long the line of cars gets waiting to cross the river. Perhaps the unstated agenda of opposition by a few to the pedestrian crossing is to inhibit a future crossing of a much greater number of river crossers?
—Tim Lester, via BENDSOURCE.COM
Re: Sidewalk Talk, 1/25
Hello, I wanted to thank you for your story on the sidewalks on the Eastside. Thanks for bringing attention to this issue. Also, The Gandalf piece was funny, and maybe perhaps a little too realistic. However, I think it's cool that he does that. I do it too. It's really frustrating and actually scary how people drive through this neighborhood and any attention to the matter helps.
Letter of the Week
Jackie: A guy actually called into the Source alleging he was Gandalf. So I guess that means the piece is actually realistic after all? Come on in for your gift card to Palate!
— Nicole Vulcan, Editor