Letters 7/13-7/20 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Dear Source,

I'd like to buy you a cup of Palate's coffee for resisting the urge to print political opinions this week. I enjoy the commentary on local issues, and was happy to see the Source back on that track this week!

—Anne Wolff

Nobody Told Me...

Why don't I hear about the changes to the laws when they happen in Bend?

Nobody told me it was Ok to talk and text on my cell phone while driving, but I see people doing just that, with impunity, daily while driving around Bend!

Nobody told me it was Ok to not stop at stop signs if I think it's clear, but I see people doing just that multiple times daily as I drive around Bend!

Now just last night 7-4-16 I found out about the latest change in the law!

Nobody told me it was Ok to detonate illegal fireworks both in Bend and Deschutes County! Judging by the volume I observed last night in the vicinity of 27th street and Reed Market Rd., it's obviously legal!

The reason I know the laws have been changed is surely our law enforcement agencies wouldn't allow such blatant disregard for the law...

Would they?

—Tom Shanley

Dear Bend, We Can do Better Than This

Dear Bend, We can do better than this. On Monday night we celebrated our freedom, and living in a country that allows us great liberties. As I stood atop a Butte near to my house to watch fireworks together with more people than I have ever collectively seen in this space, I knew that the aftermath of this celebration would likely leave me a little disappointed. How lucky are we to have this undeveloped beautiful place in our community? A unique place where 360 degree views allow for amazing glimpses of this place we ALL call HOME? A place that we are all FREE to visit, a wild space that is OURS (not yours but OURS), because of this FREEDOM. I went back to the butte this morning with a garbage bag in tow, and bowed my head in shame, for I know others have cleaned up too, and even still, I picked up so much "FREEDOM" that was left behind. The irony of bottle tops with "Worth Sharing" printed on them, cigarette butts, copious USA-colored beer cans, so many broken bottles tossed from the top, their tiny shards too small to begin to capture, plastic bottles, a lighter with a mustache on it, a Birchbox, a Persol sunglasses case, a pair of red, white, and blue boxer shorts, a patriotic climbing rope left tied around one of the old Junipers, the Spy Games firework that someone carelessly launched over the crowd that night, McDonalds cups, plastic straws, a bag of peanuts. I could throw a hell of a party with what was left behind. Dear Bend, we can do better than this, with one simple act....RESPECT.

Hey Source peeps, can we please talk about this issue in our community? I have photos of the trash "organized neatly" that I collected and snapped on the butte. I would love to get some dialogue going so as a community we can begin to come up with ideas to reduce the lack of respect that is part of and growing within our community. It all starts with each one of us; we can be the change that we want to see.

—Kim Brannock

In Response to, "A Ski Village at Mt. Bachelor"

Personally I am waiting for a Grand Hotel at the top of Bachelor. That way I could stay there year round and avoid all the crazy Disneyland Nature Park enthusiasts. But only if it is a rotating hotel so I don't have to move to another room with a different view. The bigger question is will my wifi work at such altitudes? But you would have to throw in a Helipad so I could avoid traffic issues completely. But let's not stop there...dig down into the core of Bachelor and create a series of tunnels so scientists could come from all over to study human skiing techniques. Perhaps Bend needs a new slogan. Bend, Oregon's Country Club for the Naturely Challenged Enthusiast.

—Doug Cristafir via bendsource.com

Livability Project and Disability

The focus of the Livability Project was well intended. Unfortunately, a very significant aspect for everyone in the community to consider did not make it onto the radar of attendees, in spite of the good intentions of Bend 2030. 

Approximately 20 percent of the population has a permanent disability. Many people also experience temporary disabilities from illness, accident, or sports injuries. Disability does not discriminate and crosses all age groups and socio-economic categories. The aging population has the highest rate of disability, with 27.5 percent of persons in Oregon in the 65-74 age group having a permanent disability. It rises to 53 percent for folks 75 and older. How many times has Bend been recognized as a great place to visit and/or retire? Seniors and all people with disabilities want and need to participate in life in the community with friends, companions, family and co-workers. Every accessibility challenge for seniors and people with disabilities also impacts their companions and their ability to participate in the fabric of life in the community. If one person in the party relies on mobility equipment, then the decisions about where to go and what kind of activities will depend on accessible elements. Seniors and people with disabilities rely almost exclusively on vehicles for transportation to shopping, dining, events, activities, tourism, getting to work and all manner of interests. And, the vehicles used for transportation also need to be able to park. People who rely on DMV-issued parking placards are seriously underserved by the mere minimum standards for required numbers of designated parking spaces. 

This is just a snippet of information that attendees would have learned if even one of them had chosen to visit the Disability for a Day workshop. You read that right. Not even one registered participant came to the disability workshop. We filled the lobby of the Health Careers Center, so it is not as though the workshop could not be found. The ironic thing is that every one of the 200+ people who registered and who were so interested in the livability of Bend will at some point in their life or the life of a loved one, will experience the challenges that so many in the community have to deal with on a daily basis—26 years after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Disability is a reality. It is an issue that needs to be seriously planned for, for the benefit of every resident and visitor to this community. Accessible elements serve everyone!

—Carol Fulkerson

Carol—Thank you for your informative letter on community members living with disabilities. Stop by the Source Weekly office and grab a gift card to have a cup of coffee from Palate on us!

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