Letters to the Editor 08/03/2023 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 08/03/2023

click to enlarge Letters to the Editor 08/03/2023
Courtesy @jaydo_ventures
Thanks to @jaydo_ventures for tagging us in her picture of this sweet ride! Despite the smoke that Central Oregon has been seeing, this vibrant sunset peeking over the mountains reminds us of our city’s beauty. 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.

Ignoring The Homeless Will Have Consequences in the Future

I attended a county commissioners discussion on homelessness, and one would think that after all this time they would get it. It's clear that many are oblivious and believe that homelessness is a choice. They feel the homeless don't deserve help or empathy. It frustrates me when I hear people in leadership talk about the homeless as if they are not citizens in our county. I believe that many leaders and citizens have an unconscious bias and they view the homeless as less worthy of help due to their living situation, and ignore them out of prejudice.

When I attend or view these meetings, I can tell from the comments that many are unaware of the systemic barriers that prevent homeless individuals from obtaining stable housing and employment, so they view homelessness as a personal failing. This usually leads to an attitude of judgement or apathy towards those in need. Backing out of support for managed homeless camps is an unfortunate position from the commissioners who decided against it, and many will continue to suffer as we leave the heat of the summer and head into the bitter cold of the winter.

There is no perfect solution, but I can assure you that a managed camp will prove to be much safer for our communities. The alternative will eventually begin to look like other cities where elected officials chose to ignore the homeless problem and now are left with the aftermath of that bad decision. Commissioner [Phil] Chang couldn't have said it better: "A managed camp is the farthest thing from an unauthorized, unplanned, unserviced, undeveloped homeless facility." Catering to special interest groups, as many elected officials choose to do, is not leadership, but instead an easy way out. The citizens of Bend will know who to hold accountable when this explodes in their city, and good luck with trying to contain it once it reaches that point. I'm sure consideration will be given to incarceration, but keep in mind that homelessness is not a crime and it only exacerbates the issue.

—Clifford B. Evelyn, Sr.

More About Moths. RE: Celebrating National Moth Week, Natural World, 7/20

As an entomologist (one who studies insects) I appreciated the Source recently featuring the article about National Moth Week. Even though insects are the most numerous and important animals on Earth, and alone account for more biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems than all other animals combined, it's not often that they are featured in newspaper and magazine articles. The small size of insects mostly renders them unnoticeable to many people, but the benefits provided to humans and other animals are extraordinary.

Although some 80% of agricultural plants are pollinated by insects, the statement in the moth article that moths "... play an essential role in agriculture and the natural world," is misleading. Moths and butterflies are interesting insects to observe and study but, as reported by Prof. Erica Fleishman (Scientific American, 2021), "Lepidoptera aren't significant contributors to pollinating agriculturally important plants." Both butterflies and moths primarily pollinate wild land flowers. With respect to their importance to agriculture, economic entomologists have consistently noted that any benefits derived from the few crops pollinated by moths are far outweighed by the extensive damage the destructive plant-feeding caterpillars of numerous species cause to home garden plants, fruit trees, forests and such valuable agricultural crops as cereals, soybeans, corn, canola, cotton, etc. Think gypsy moth, cotton bollworm, tomato hornworm, corn earworm and many species of cutworms and armyworms.

Research on Lepidoptera (particularly moths) has resulted in significant contributions about how hormones control the metamorphosis of holometabolous insects, and how caterpillars sequester plant toxins into their bodies or metabolize poisons that function to protect them from predacious insectivores like birds and amphibians. Such biological phenomena has resulted in moths and butterflies being the most successful insects in using chemical defenses to prevent them from being eaten by predators. The entomological literature reports numerous examples of various would-be predators puking up distasteful Lepidoptera adults and caterpillars, and not attempting to eat such insects again. Moths and butterflies in over 20 families are known to synthesize toxins that protect them from being eaten by predators.

— Prof. John Anderson

Downtown Bend Sunday parking

As a very appreciative resident of Bend, I have observed quite a regular occurrence every Sunday in the Mirror Pond parking lots.

What I observe are apparent visitors and tourists attempting to try to pay for parking at the parking lot meters. Kind of sad to see them lined up, as the person in front is trying unsuccessfully to get the meter to work. And then there are those struggling with the parking app, too. When we are there, we always give a shout out that parking is free on Sundays. Seems since Bend is considered a favorite visitor/tourist town, that the City would post, "Free parking on Sundays" above the parking meters on the parking enforcement signs. Keep wondering why they don't ???

—Denise Chavira

Letter of the Week:

Thanks for the suggestion and for writing in, Denise! Come on by for your gift card to Palate.

—Nicole Vulcan

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