Are you one of the people that go out to the Badlands Wilderness area to destroy trail signs, damage information kiosks or otherwise wreak havoc? If so, you are doing more damage than you realize; not only wasting a lot of good work volunteers and dedicated BLM staff have contributed, but you are adding to the destruction of the wilderness itself and public lands in general.
When visiting the wilderness area, people don't like to see vandalism. It makes them uncomfortable. When uncomfortable they stay away. When they stay away it makes them less likely to get involved in volunteer work, contribute money, support legislation or otherwise help public spaces.
When people stop visiting wilderness areas or other public lands it makes those lands much easier to be sold off or subjected to commercialized development.
Fewer visitors equals fewer eyes watching over public lands. The fewer eyes on the lands, the easier it is for those famous "special interests" to take over ownership and keep you out.
Just because a politician declared the area a wilderness, some other politician could easily reverse the declaration when our attention is focused elsewhere. Public lands are always at the mercy of politicians when they avoid allocating funding for development, maintenance, and protection.
The more use wilderness areas, parks or just plain open spaces receive, the more likely those areas are to remain open. So, the next time you are about to knock a sign down, shoot-up a kiosk, or four-wheel across the open spaces, remember that you are actually helping some greedy corporation get one step closer to keeping you and the rest of us off of our lands.
IN REPLY TO THE BULLETIN EDITORIAL "IT'S TIME FOR SUPPORTERS OF OSU CASCADES TO STAND UP" (6/10)
I just read John Costa's editorial in Bulletin, wherein he lambastes and marginalizes opponents to the proposed OSU-Cascades campus location. Mr. Costa makes several statements that illustrate overt bias; this and his previous messages parrot the same arguments made by the OSU folks.
I cannot understand why it is that the quest for academia has triumphed common sense and courtesy with you, Mr. Costa; your obvious disdain for the many (not the few) who have raised objections to this project is unseemly. But the way you've labeled we "naysayers" reaches a new low, even for a Massachusetts liberal. As you have used the liberal-progressive tactic of demonizing anyone in opposition to your point of view, despite genuine and well-founded concern, I will assume you've been drinking out of the same Kool-Aid pitcher as the academics at OSU, most notably its president Ed Ray. You guys sound a lot alike, John. I very much resent the inference that I am "cynically selfish" because I oppose a development that I perceive as having negative consequences to our community, given its proposed location. I own a business here in Bend, work hard, pay taxes and contribute to local causes: if this makes me one of the "privileged few" you refer to, I'm proud to be included.
Bend's history of mismanaged growth is evidence in spades that all citizens should be concerned that the public trust is not being well managed. History proves that the folks at City Hall have not done a good job at anticipating infrastructural needs: sewer and traffic come to mind. The idea that we should go forward with ANY more development, private or public, without having a well-thought out plan in place to service and fund increased demand is crazy; that we should build it and THEN work out the "bugs" is ridiculous.
Remember, schools and other public agencies don't pay property taxes, the cost of infrastructure is all on us. Our City has spending and funding issues right now, before this campus is built. A City official told me not long ago that the City of Bend's sewer system is a case study in how NOT to design a sewer system; the long-term fix will cost tens of millions of dollars. Anyone who drives in Bend can testify to the condition of our streets; potholes and patches abound, repaving is needed everywhere. But there's limited money to repair. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a proponent of "zero-growth." I am a proponent of managed, thoughtful, affordable and sustainable growth that protects the quality of life for everyone who calls this magnificent place home.
Finally, I have to call into question the sincerity of the Bulletin's motives. The statement that we should accept the OSU's "expert" recommendations at face value makes me wonder; why would we give tacit approval just because THEY say it's so? There are so many inaccurate representations being made by the OSU crowd about this development, it is frightening. And City staffers are giving them a pass. The public is being misled on a grand scale. What happened to objective, investigative journalism? A better question is why the Bulletin has turned a blind eye to obvious shortcomings with the location. I am sure Mr. Costa's position has nothing to do with the fact that the Bulletin's property and building would be adjacent to the OSU campus, and that future expansion of that campus might make them buyers/lessees of the Bulletin facility, something that could be the financial savior for a struggling publication. Something that's already been discussed between the Bulletin and OSU, according to a Bulletin employee I spoke with recently. That would certainly explain a lot, especially the editorial venom. Cause to pause folks, cause to pause.
HUMAN-POWERED TODDLER TRANSPORT VEHICLES ON PILOT BUTTE
Now and then I read about complaints from folks using their Human-powered Toddler Transport Vehicles on Pilot Butte and how hazardous it is during the warm weather months when cars are allowed on the road to the top. What I don't understand is why they continue to jeopardize the life and limb of their child presumably for aerobic exercise. If asked what is most important in their lives, exercise on Pilot Butte or their child, hopefully the answer would be obvious. Until something is done such as closing the gate to vehicle traffic or paving the road shoulder (costing thousands) common sense would say use an alternate location for exercise with your child, Bend certainly has plenty of those.
I've seen two HTTVs side by side, going up the butte in the right-hand vehicle lane, essentially blocking that lane to cars and posing a real potential for an accident. Tourists driving that road for the first time aren't expecting people in their lane while they enjoy the view on their way up.
Common sense is needed in that much-used park.
IN REPLY TO "OLD TIMERS ISSUE: THE 1970S" (6/5)
You overlooked the hippie migration to Oregon and Bend at that time.
In the early '70s a congregation of hippies began the Family Tree, which was located in the heart of downtown on Wall Street above the Sherwin Williams Paint Store. It occupied the entire top floor and consisted of: The Barleycorn Natural Food Café, Here Comes the Sun Food Co-op, a book and candle shop, the Bangletree Jewelry shop and later down the line, two seamstresses who handmade beautiful capes and dresses.
It was a hub for all the local hippies. And out of that community came many artists, craftsmen and small entrepreneurs, like Nature's General Store, Devores (aka The Good Family Store), the Congress Street Natural Food Co-op and, for a brief time, the White Mountain Mirror (a predecessor to the Source).
You could rent an old millworker house from $50 to $100 a month on Riverfront Street. The old Palace Bar was still going on Bond Street where hippies and a whole array of old town characters would come together. And it was the beginning of the Country Fair and outdoor music festivals.
It was a renaissance and a time people believed they could change the world. I'll never forget it.
Just an old hippie.
In "What a Wild Ride it Has Been" (6/12): A typing error misrepresented Bobby Mote's age. He was 15 years old in 1997.
Old Times: The 1950s" (6/5), due to a reporting error, we misrepresented the name of the interview subject. Her name is Polly Gervais Jacobson.
Letter of the Week
Jeanne - We had always heard that if you could remember the 60s/70s, then you weren't actually there. Thanks for holding onto the memories, though, and for sharing a few notable events and places. To keep your memory and mind sharp, please stop by for your Letter of the Week $5 gift certificate to Crow's Feet Commons.