Letters 1/11-1/18 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

In Response to Letter "Four-Way Stops & Traffic Circles," (12/21/16)

As a resident of Bend for the last five years, I have regularly noted to new transplants that drivers in Bend are:

A. Very nice.

B. Very bad.

As someone who chose to bicycle, in general, as my primary mode of transportation, I saw countless instances of people without stop signs yielding to those with stop signs. I have been run off the road by drivers not looking both ways at intersections. As a biker, it is near impossible to plan how to proceed at roundabouts or intersections, because there is absolutely no way to predict what anyone will do. On the plus side, it feels like a triumph arriving unscathed at a destination.

I have recently relocated to Naples, Florida. I can say with honesty that while heeding warnings from locals here of the dangers of bicycling, I have lived the struggle that is being a Bend bicyclist, and there is no longer fear in my heart.

—Lawrence Lyman via bendsource.com

Please Bring Me Uber

I am so confused as to why the cab companies are fighting this so hard. My average wait time for a cab is 45 minutes to an hour. As a matter of fact, myself and 5 others were stranded downtown New Year's Eve. We called a cab, they gave us a 20-minute wait time. After 45 minutes we were still waiting. Tried calling back and their mailbox was full. All other cab companies rang fast busy, mailboxes were full or simply rang off the hook. We had to hoof it 3.5 miles home, all 6 of us. Thankfully we were all prepared for the cold snowy weather or things could have been a lot worse. It's unlikely that my family will attempt such a thing in the future without Uber. Our cab companies just aren't reliable and our public transportation is limited at best. Please, please, please bring us Uber! It's an improvement in quality of life for us all!

—Heidi Howard

In Response to, "Two of Bend's Most Gruesome Unsolved Crimes," (10/24/12)

Many extremely ignorant comments here. I grew up in the Bay area until I was 18 and then moved to Bend, been here since 1978/79. After a short stay in the military I came back to Bend and have been here ever since. The crime rates here are extremely low. So low in fact that when someone is killed it's the talk of the town for weeks, even months or years. As Bend grows and people from larger cities come here, the crime rates are increasing respectively, and it's not the longtime locals who are committing the bulk of these crimes, it's the newbs.

People choosing NY or Chicago over Bend, Oregon, for "peace of mind" or security reasons are laughable, at best, the sheer thought of it is absurd when one looks at the crime rates of these cities.

Bend, Oregon, rocks! After being in business here for over 20 years and putting my kid through school, I can safely say that I know and do business with all sorts of people, and most every last one of them are great, caring, friendly and honest human beings. I suggest that most of the commentators here are severely lacking in both the number of people known in and around Bend, and the long-term history to be able to comment intelligently. Or...that they are the problem. Some people cannot and will not ever get along, no matter where they go, but especially in a smaller community where you have to actually communicate and see the same people from day to day. Yeah, try again on Bend, Oregon...An excellent place to live!

—Dan Bertucci via bendsource.com

(Editor's note: This comment appeared on our website this week, highlighting readers' continued interest in unsolved cases in our area, and the new "talk of the town" that is the Jacques case.)

Michael Jacques

A hearty thump on the back to Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel for interrupting a longstanding practice of treating police with kid-gloved reverence, and treating justice not at all.

By yielding the Michael Jacques investigation to the Oregon Department of Justice, Hummel veered off the path of impunity and neatly extracted his office from a clear conflict of interest.

Police shot Jacques, an unarmed man in mental health crisis, four to five times at close range as he sat, still seat belted, in the driver's seat of his car. His family pleaded for a fair investigation; under Hummel, that was by no means guaranteed.

District attorneys are part of law enforcement. In use-of-force cases, this means law enforcement investigates law enforcement. In 2015, we asked Hummel about the inherent conflict of interest. He replied, "In the last 20 years, my office has not charged a police officer or deputy with a use of force crime for force used while on duty." Well, yes. That's exactly the sort of thing that results from such conflict.

Whenever police use lethal force, there must be independent, unbiased, non-conflicted review.

We join with the Deschutes County District Attorney and the Jacques' family in pleading for a truly impartial inquiry.

—Jenny Westberg and Jason Renaud

For the board of directors of the Mental Health Association of Portland

Letter of the Week

Jenny and Jason—Unbiased and independent investigations in justice or political matters have always been important—and they're only going to get more crucial in the years to come. Stop on by for your free coffee on us next time you're in Bend.

And readers: Check out next week's Source for an in-depth look at the Jacques case and the mental health training our local agencies get—or don't...

—Nicole Vulcan, Editor

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