Letters 8/3-8/10 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Bulletin Editorial

In an editorial written several weeks ago, the Bulletin wrote that if individuals wanted to save Troy Field, they should raise the money and pay the school district for it, the rational being that school district had an obligation to raise funds for more schools.

More recently, the Bulletin wrote that the Bend Park and Recreation District should donate to OSU seven acres that the district owns adjacent to the campus, the rationale being that it is time for the Park District to "do a good deed."

I believe both properties are public land and it is interesting to see the disparity in the Bulletin's positions.

I would suggest that the Park District sell the seven acres to OSU, or someone else. Then, apply the monies to the purchase of Troy Field and keep it as a park. I believe considerably more citizens would support this approach.

—Charles Boyd


This system is racist. Congress writes racist laws, administrative agencies devise racist policies, the criminal judicial system provides racist interpretation of laws, corporations profit from racist privatized incarceration schemes, banking cartels reap enormous profits from racist discriminatory practices, and the police state is empowered to terrorize and murder people of color with impunity. The press blinds itself to the racist system, perpetuating myths of white supremacy and black inferiority. The capitalist system was created and thrives on racism.

Government officials talk about building trust, community policing, modifying gun laws and occasionally offer platitudes for victims of police violence such as Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Freddie Gray and Fred Hampton.

The police are only one part of the racism story, however. The police do what the racist system demands which is to protect and serve people of privilege in a racist society.

Immediate steps to wage an effective campaign against racism would be to end the racist war on drugs, demilitarize the police, arrest killer cops, close privatized prisons, eliminate racist laws, monitor judges and justices on racist decisions, eliminate the bail bond system, remove cops from the public school system, create a system of juvenile justice based on justice for children and implement vote by mail elections with all citizens automatically entitled to vote.

—Sue Bastian

In response to, "Too Many Tourists?" (7/21)

Do not blame only the tourists. Bend is busting out of its seams because of out of control development fueled by greed. Unless we have another housing crisis, the City of Bend will reach its goal of 340,000 residents by 2040. Already the environment and wildlife are paying the price, being run over and overrun by too many careless people who do not truly value Bend's precious wildlife and surroundings. More people means more lost wildlife habitat, more habitat fragmentation, more deer vehicle collisions. It means more taxes for residents to build the infrastructure needed so the few can benefit. Wake up, Bend, make your voices heard if you do not want to see Bend turn into Denver on the Deschutes.

— Gisela Ryter via bendsource.com

Improving Bend

I moved to Bend four years ago with my native wife. She was determined to come home. I was ambivalent at best. I didn't come here thinking that I was the first and last, "outsider" to discover some remote utopia. I never expected that Bend was evolving exclusively to meet my personal sense of entitlement. I was only remotely aware of the pervasiveness of Oregon's, "better before you came" mythology that seems adopted by most within minutes of getting their first, local mailing address.

I arrived in Bend with a relatively open mind and some perspective of other places after studying, living and working throughout the U.S. and other countries. Since then, I've been generally amazed by Bend and stupefied by how many of us hypocritically gripe about essentially trivial lifestyle burdens; many of them self-imposed.

In my view, Bend is an impressive experiment in trying to balance the real needs of economic sustainability and diversification while retaining a commitment to things that other, even wealthier communities only dream of; beautiful, safe public parks, vast expanses of nearly empty wilderness, trails that on even busy holidays rarely see more than a few people past the first half mile, well established community services, public schools that seem to transcend most national averages, a respectful police force, a city government that earnestly and sometimes erringly tries to pursue the common good, a thriving attempt to become more culturally relevant and an entrepreneurial culture that would be the envy of far bigger towns and cities. That is the Bend that changed my ambivalence to appreciation and even love.

As a community, we should reconsider how much time we spend lamenting our privileges instead of addressing the far more profound challenges that we face; tattered mental health services, drugs, child abuse, violence and inequality. By obsessing about traffic circles, white water parks, university construction, Mirror Pond, tourists, litter and dog behavior, we seem to think that we are active and progressive citizens absolved from facing the far more important challenges of our town and our society. We are wrong. The fact that Bend no longer feels like some past myth or isn't one person's idea of what "Outdoor Magazine" promised them doesn't make Bend less of a great place. It just means that our individual and collective expectations are naïve and sometimes worse, mean-spirited.

There are many real opportunities to improve the city. Yes, I wish there were no traffic...as I too sit alone in my car. It seems City Council needs to be professionalized and likely paid for their service. A town of this size and scope clearly needs an elected, accountable mayor. Serious discipline needs to be exercised by us all not to speculate and over build. We need to welcome tourists and hold them and ourselves accountable to how we treat our rivers and our trails. We need to grow up and face the real and ugly socio-economic challenges that most of us seem to think only exist on NPR and not next door.

A great community is an honest gathering of people who reflect not only on the behavior of others but also their own. It gives credit for its good fortunes and it faces up to real challenges. Bend is and can continue to be a great community. We need to spend our collective energy and talent on shaping a positive reality instead of distracting ourselves with utopian fantasies about how great everything was before you, I and we showed up.

—Will H. Warne

Will: As a longtime Oregonian and brand-new Bendite, I totally pick up what you're putting down—and I'll do my best to avoid the us-versus-them stuff in shaping the direction of this paper. Maybe we can talk more about it when you come in to pick up your $5 gift card from Palate, on us. – Nicole Vulcan, Editor

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