Letters 8/26-9/2 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
Mark Lehrbass
Wildfire smoke settled into the valleys and caused car headlights and some construction lights from Interstate 90 to reflect off it. The massive bright spot on the right is Seattle's contribution to the light pollution. Also, that's Mt. Rainier in the background with the Milky Way rising above it.


Is it time for rent control in Bend? As a renter, I am seriously questioning that this might be a necessary evil. The proposed multifamily units are anything but affordable, and though I have seen quotes of rental increases this last year of 1.5 to 2.5 percent in the media, I can assure you that they are way higher than that! My own rent just increased over 7 percent, up from 4 percent last year. I work in community mental health and my clients have recently had increases in rent up to 30 percent. Is this even legal?!

We are not seeing salary increases. Central Oregon historically pays lower wages than other areas of Oregon, and especially in Bend. I have a Master's Degree and over 15 years of experience in the field and I took more than a 50 percent cut in pay to live here. I have to have a roommate to help pay my rent. When the vast majority of the people who live in Bend are in the service industry, working in restaurants, hotels, and resorts, do you really think they can afford the proposed rents? Many people already work 2 or 3 jobs just to get by, and in case you haven't noticed the huge amount of homeless people we have living in this county, with the continued rise in housing costs and lack of available housing, we will continue to have a serious problem of homelessness.

Is Bend really approving "affordable housing?" Affordable to whom? Certainly not for me, and certainly not for all those folks you buy your morning latte from! As far as "affordable housing" meaning white trash and crime; as someone recently stated in the Source, open your limited view of the world. A family, where all the adults are gainfully employed, should be able to afford a reasonable rent to put a roof over their head and their children without having to spend half or more of their income to do so!

The parking, traffic, and planning issues are some of the issues with the proposed development. There are so many other problems associated with this current development it is imperative that it is revisited and revamped!


While housing is a need, a greater need is long term intelligent economic planning. That piece of land would better serve residents by alternative transport (reducing traffic congestion) and put a big water fountain art piece for people to play in, do a visitors center, and there you go...similar to the Old Mill District—improving outdoor entertainment which is what residents and visitors are drawn to. Right now the east side bites, except the hospital.

—Hope Dalrymple


Could someone please explain to me how a gas tax could possibly be a good idea? Seems like a regressive tax to me, akin to sales tax on groceries. I mean, we live in a world where folks need to buy gas to get to work. Period. There is effectively no useful public transportation in central Oregon. This is a town with a largely service based economy where a lot of said folks are scraping to get by. Seems to me taxing John Q Public so he can gas up his 1996 Subaru to get to work at his crap job is just not where it is at. Wouldn't it make more sense to tax those who have the most impact on the roads like semi trucks and those who buy studded tires? And hey, why not figure out a way to tax the tourists more? —Mr. Common Sense


Looks like all the old grumps wrote in. Bend will not be a zero growth, or negative growth town. It's impossible, and towns that aren't growing are dead towns, anyway. You'll only continue to be cynical and frustrated if you wish that Bend stop growing. Accept the growth, and encourage that the growth be smart. Limiting the size too significantly will only drive up housing costs exponentially. Houses on small lots and "dorm like quarters," i.e. apartments and condos, is what Bend needs more of. Nearly everyone from Bend came here from somewhere else. Can people please stop wishing it was the same as when you moved here? The new people coming are doing exactly what you did. Oh yeah, and Sage, the greater problem is with drivers not following the law, rather than cyclists. Please try not to overgeneralize and apply your angst to all cyclists.


Sage, guess who's in my way during rush hour (or any hour)? Other drivers. They floor it when they should yield. They run stop signs, they run red lights well over the speed limit (gotta take advantage of that yellow), and—worst of all—they can kill you if you find yourself in the wrong part of the street when they do these things. And it won't matter if you're in your car, on foot, on your bike, or on friggin' horseback. Get T-boned by some schmuck running the red at 45mph and your chances aren't good.

There are a lot of deadly drivers on the road, and most of them would rather stare at their phones than steer around that mini-van in the center lane just ahead . . .

It amazes me that so many people actually think there is some kind of rampant killing spree committed by rogue bike riders with such frequency. Do you know how many people are killed getting hit by bicyclists in a year? Eight (maybe 10 in a bad year). Lightning strikes kill almost 30. You read that right. You're three times as likely to die trying to absorb 1.21 gigawatts to go Back To The Future than you are to be killed by a bike rider, no matter how careless.

Crappy drivers kill over 30,000 per year. Consistently. That's roughly the population of Juneau, Alaska, being wiped out annually.

Nationwide, bikes represent just under 1 percent of trips taken each year. If bicyclists were the dangerous boogeymen you seem to believe (as dangerous as crappy drivers) they would be killing 300 people per year. However, as it turns out, the real totals mean bikes can really only be 2.7 percent as deadly as cars.

I honestly don't care how many bicyclists are running stop signs and annoying the crap out of me, Sage. It means they're not pulling that crap in their cars, and I feel really good about that.


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