Letters 3/31-4/7 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon


Spread the word folks....Crow's Feet Commons is searching for two food carts to operate in the Mirror Pond Plaza. Something that would accommodate their outrageously awesome cafe and tap room. Free rent, incredible views and great opportunity. Give them a call to get more information.

—David Marchi via bendsource.com


I gather that the Riverside Market is a sort of a fixture here in Old Bend, a haven in an unapologetically changing city, and an attractive alternative to the endless supply of overpriced, overcrowded and over-gentrified eat and drinkeries in Bend, BUT what about the people who actually LIVE near it? On any night (or afternoon) of the week, screaming, hollering, yelling—just a few of the many sounds that are made and only get louder when alcohol (and far too much) is added—fill the yards and rooms of residents nearby. Cars are revved with questionable intent and the vibe of indifference, at best, is in the air. Cigarettes are smoked around children on their afternoon "playground," and around the nightly campfire.

Why is this tolerated? How can the owner of a "market" in Old Bend allow this and how can we as a community condone it? Under the Bend City Code, 5.50.025, Prohibited Noises, "Any yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling, or other human produced noise that is unnecessarily loud," is "prohibited." Police have been called numerous times by residents, but nothing changes. Aren't there indoor pubs and bars where the escalated voices of the inebriated can be withheld from those not interested in hearing them, and aren't there ample parks where children and dogs can be included? It seems very inappropriate that the activities which characterize and define the Riverside Market should be carried out in the center of a residential neighborhood.



Proponents and opponents of the OSU campus might consider the city hall controversy that occurred in Salem several years ago. A ballot measure was proposed by the city to build a new hall. The issue was hotly debated and the ballot measure was voted down. The city again put forth a ballot to build a new city hall, but this time there were two aspects to the proposal. First, are you for or against a new city hall? Second, do you want the new city hall built in North or South Salem? The debate shifted to whether the city hall should be built in North or South Salem and away from the question of whether the city hall was wanted by the voters. The measures to build passed.

The debate concerning the OSU campus has focused on the site, rather than whether OSU is good for Bend. Somehow, many, including the Source, assume the university will be good for Bend even though the proponents have provided little or no evidence as support. An example would be the idea that the university will create jobs that will be filled by local graduates of OSU. What jobs and how many? What guarantee is offered that local graduates will be more qualified for these mythical jobs than graduates from other universities in other locations? Another unanswered question is how much will taxpayers have to pay for police, fire and road infrastructure for the university? Finally, the university indicates they will cap enrollment at 5,000. What happens if they decide to expand to 20,000 or 30,000 students?

So many questions, so few answers.

—D. Harris


I saw the story and had some comments on your discussion of the Washington State University study. That study was in area where there is hound hunting, so older males can be targeted. That's not the situation in Oregon, where hunters may not use hounds. More info: Cougar hunters in Oregon do not target older, stable, dominant male cats or females. Without the assistance of hounds, it is difficult if not impossible for hunters to target any particular sex or age class of cougar. Most cougars that are harvested are taken when hunters are pursuing other species like deer and elk. In livestock damage or public safety situations, only the offending cougar is removed. The sex and age data collected by ODFW from each cougar killed confirms that older males and females are not being targeted.  

—Michelle Dennehy, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

I was sad to learn that Bend Police shot and killed a cougar found roaming around Pilot Butte recently, and this was the second of the big cats killed in the Bend area since the beginning of the year.

I realize that Pilot Butte is heavily used and Bend Police were doing their best to safeguard public safety. But really, is this the best we can do to prevent unpleasant encounters between these big predators and humans?

Seemingly unrelated, but the City Council's recent endorsement of the Mirror Pond Ad-Hoc Committee's plan for revising and maintaining that iconic dam seems relevant here, too. We have been living a way of life that is at war with the wild: Looking at the plants and animals as mere resources at best. In the case of cougars, coyotes, and wolves, when perceived as threats, they're eliminated. Rivers are to be "managed" for irrigation or even recreation as with the Colorado Dam.

The problem is, being at war with the wild is not working. Our own scientists—who gave us the technology to manipulate nature seemingly at will—are warning us that soil quality is eroding, fresh water supplies are dwindling, and perhaps most alarmingly, the climate is changing in ways that could make the planet uninhabitable.

We can kill cougars, tinker with dams, and distract ourselves with dreams of Bend's rosy economic future. But eventually the wild will win out. Wouldn't it be better to make peace with it now.

—Lawrence I. Messerman, PhD

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