Letters to the Editor 07/27/2023 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 07/27/2023

click to enlarge Letters to the Editor 07/27/2023
Courtesy @travisscontii
Thanks to @daniel_maggiora for tagging us in this fun action shot of @travisscontii biking at the Big Sky Bike Park! The park has several features including a pump track, a learning area, a skills course and multiple trails! Don’t forget to share your photos with us and tag @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured as Instagram of the week and in print as our Lightmeter. Winners receive a free print from @highdesertframeworks.

Guest Opinion: Stop the Hate

Were you aware that July is disability awareness month? Do you have any awareness of what disabled people go through to survive and navigate this world? A disabled person's risk of becoming homeless is much higher than the able-bodied. Our system allows medical bills to ruin people. My son has been chronically ill for five years. He managed to graduate from Ridgeview High School, and he's an incredible artist. Sometimes I wonder if we will avoid becoming homeless.

Did you know that a lot of homeless people work? Drug addicts work, too. I have worked in a grocery store for years and I work with them. Now, we don't have enough jails to lock up all the homeless, and the suicide route is slow going. The best option for everyone is to make housing everyone a priority. Crime goes down too, research shows, when people are housed and fed.

My kids and I were hate-crimed recently in Redmond. We were crossing the street at a crosswalk. A man, who was white, driving a fancy car, was forced to come to a stop, which really chapped his hide. As he pulled away he yelled, "f*cking faggots" at us. Central Oregon, take a look at yourself. It's not the first time my kids have been hate crimed here. People who do this type of thing, and worse, feel safe doing it. I have observed that some people think an all-white society is better somehow. Wrong! Diversity is much better. Look at nature. How many flowers come in only one color? There are many jobs to be done to make our communities function day in, day out. If you have a problem with queer folk, people of color or the disabled, that truly is your problem. You should get help. Maybe, like, read a book or something. We are all human and we need to learn to take care of each other. Do you think that you're better than somebody else because of the color of your skin, or who you choose to love? Wrong. That's the biggest load of garbage in the world. We have to work together to fix the problems our system is creating. Some homeless people are disabled, some are veterans, some are queer kids who were kicked out for trying to be themselves. Would you rather they all die than help them?

The anti-trans laws in other states are creating internal refugees. More than 200,000 trans folk are trying to flee right now. A Data For Progress survey last month found that about 1 million people are considering fleeing their state due to anti-trans legislation. It is the largest domestic migration crisis since the Dust Bowl upheaval of the 1940s. The queers are here and we have always been here. We can work together to continue addressing these issues on a community level. It starts with education and shining a light on the importance of our interdependence.

—Kayla Boyd

Protect waterways like the Fall River. Pass the River Democracy Act

The Fall River is one of Central Oregon's coolest rivers, literally and figuratively. It's home to crystal clear waters, old-growth forests, hiking trails and plentiful, but not-easily-fooled, trout. However, despite this past winter's above-average snowpack, this spring-fed tributary of the Deschutes is experiencing record-low flows this summer. In fact, several of the springs that feed the Fall River are completely dry. For a river that provides vital fish habitat, outstanding recreational opportunities and is an important source of clean, cold water for the Deschutes, this trend is concerning.

The streamflow issues plaguing the Fall River — and other Central Oregon streams — stem from climate change and prolonged drought from years prior. Snowmelt, naturally filtered through layers of lava rock and soil, emerges several years later in the springs that feed the Fall River. It will take many years of above-average snowfall to get back to normal streamflows.

Drought and climate change necessitate that we take all measures to protect our water sources. Fortunately, the Fall River is included in Senator Wyden's pending River Democracy Act. While this legislation won't solve all of our climate issues, it will require agencies to "protect and enhance" designated rivers and the important values they provide, such as drinking water, fish and wildlife habitat, and outdoor recreation. Over 3,200 miles of rivers and streams across the state are included.

Our rivers provide for us in so many ways. The River Democracy Act is our opportunity to give back by providing them with these critical protections.

— Sami Godlove, Oregon Wild Bend Office

Electric bicycle dangers on our trails

Anyone who walks our many great bike trails in Bend has seen the dangerous behavior electric bikes have brought us; people ride them so fast, and act as if they are their very own raceway. There has already been a death of a child on one, and many accidents. How long do we have to wait for constructive change? We need a minimum age for them, speed limits and real enforcement. What are the council people waiting for????

—Larry Anuzi

Letter of the Week:

Larry, the minimum age for an e-bike is already 16, but you're right — there's probably more to be done to ensure that is enforced. Come on by for your gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan

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