Letters 9/7-9/14 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Sustainable Living

It's time for Bend to make sustainable living a priority. Climate change is knocking on our doors, and the community cares about preventing it. Youth especially. Climate Action legislation is the perfect way for this generation of voters to act out of their concern for the future of their children. The City Council of Bend needs to adopt legislation because youth deserve the commitment of their government to protect their natural resources.

Climate change should be at the forefront of the Bend City Council's attention also because without measures to prevent it, all other responsibilities of the government become moot. If climate change is allowed to spiral out of control, there will be no clean air left to breathe, extreme natural disasters will wreak havoc, and thousands of square miles of land will be submerged. It will be too late. Conversely, if Climate Action legislation is passed and a plan is successfully formed in its wake, then the council will face less conflict from the damage climate change will no longer continue to inflict upon Central Oregon.

This may seem exaggerated. How can Bend alone brighten the future of our youth? With the passing of Climate Action legislation, Bend will inspire other communities across the world and other youth to fight for their right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate. Concerned citizens in Bend were inspired by communities like Fort Collins, Colorado and Eugene, Oregon; Bend could just as easily be renowned for its commitment to sustainable living.

The Bend Climate Action legislation is an opportunity to educate, collaborate, and reform to face the issues of our day. As many famed historical figures have articulated, "Every crisis is an opportunity." Let Bend seize this opportunity.

—Kyra Kladhim

In Response to, "Bend's Growth Rate: Scary of Sustainable?" (8/10):

Your recent article on Bend's growth illustrates why so many of our citizens are disillusioned with out political and economic leaders. Consider that Roger Lee and Tim Knopp both benefit economically by rapid population growth, as do many city and county personnel and school managers. The larger the populations, the more they are paid.

Concerns of ordinary citizens about traffic congestions, disrupted neighborhoods due to overbuilding of new units, a declining deer population due to growth and a general decline in the quality of the natural environment are ignored, or dismissed by city leaders. A 3 percent or 4 percent growth rate is held up at a desirable which, according to the "rule of 69" means our population will double every 23 years, or 170,000 by 2040. How many ordinary citizens think that growth is a good thing?

Mr. Abernathy needs to define what the "Bend Feel" is. Those of us who were born and raised here more than 50 years ago can testify that whatever "feel" Bend had, it is long gone. I suggest the Source interview members of the Pioneer Association for a more balanced view. It is amazing how many people move to the "beautiful" town of Bend and the first thing they want to do is change things.

Finally, we need to remember that we live in the high desert and water is a finite resource. With global warming, water may decline as we continue to experience a sky rocketing population. Why don't our leaders ever mention this? I will not vote for a potential council member who supports, or encourages this un-sustainable growth rate.

—John Russell

In Response to Kyleanne's Letter, "Open Letter to Walden," (8/17):

Dear Ms. Hunter,

I, as a veteran myself, was also moved by the speech of Ms. Pat Smith who also lost a son in service for his country. Hillary needs to be called out as well for lying to her about how her son died and for the time wasted on deciding whether to wear uniforms or not while the attack was under way. Your criticism must be fair.

—Kevin James via bendsource.com

In Response to, "From Community Activist to Longtime Mayor," (8/31):

I think it's time Mr. Clinton stepped down. Property taxes have risen over 40 percent since 2008. People who are buying newly built cookie cutter homes for $300,000 (are) paying more property taxes than the guy coming in from California buying older Westside homes on Drake Park at $700,000, paying less property taxes then Eastside dinky tacky built home owners. Yet, this guy wants to raise your taxes every time you turn around. Bend needs to stay nice, yes, but at what tune and to whom? Westside homeowners reap most of the city improvements...yet their property taxes are lower then new homeowners on the Eastside? This guy wanted to impose a gas tax because the complaint is there is no money for roads, but then the gas tax voted down and guess what? Oh, we have money now! The problem with Bend politicians, are they want to turn this city into some kind of outdoor wonder city park and increase your taxes for Bend Park & Recreation, yet they have no money budgeted for roads. How irresponsible of our leaders. It's terrible.

What Bend is really about is its natural beauty. What is surrounding this city is what is attractive...not the taxes that are increasing every year. We do not need a rapids park when you have a whole bunch of natural ones right down the road for FREE. Hello? Who are these people and where do they come from? PLEASE, think about the future and the people who have lived and created Bend for the many years ago when nobody wanted to live here back then. Seriously.

—Lisa Loo via bendsource.com

Missed Connections

To the woman in the green Subaru with the out-of-state plates: You and I were enjoying a beautiful Bend evening. I was on my bike and noticed you gazing into your cell phone as we both entered the traffic circle on Industrial Way. You approached me with your car, I thought you'd recognize me as a human on bike; but alas you did not see me. You did not see me slam on my brakes, you did not hear my scream as you missed hitting me sideways on my bike, you missed seeing:

I am a Mom

A wife

A friend

A sister

A daughter

A healthcare provider;

and in that moment of the here-and-now—a human...on a bike.

You kept staring into that screen, into the circle, around the circle, through your turn and as you glided forward in your green metal chamber onto the street ahead.

Our untimely and potentially destructive connection was missed.

Next time on a beautiful evening try to stare out at the world, notice who and what surrounds you, maybe we will meet eye to eye and you will see who I am. I pray you put your phone down so that you see my son, his friends, and all other humans on bikes, as equally worthy of the attention you gave that glorious evening to your glowing screen.

—Katie Hayden-Lewis

Hey, Katie – Congrats on avoiding death-by-distracted-driver. Come on down to the Source for your $5 from Palate. Seriously people, we love our wives, mothers, health care providers, etc.—so put down your phones when you're driving. It's even the law! Need directions? Have that super-smart phone talk to you so that you don't have to look down.

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