Letters to the Editor 1/7/21 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 1/7/21

Rolling Back Environmental Protections, Where has Mt. Bachelor’s customer service gone, Source Material: Best of the Year, The Nature of Currency and The Christmas Tree That Almost Killed Us

Editor’s note:

For the first issue of a new year, it’s easy to slip into the familiar track, covering things such as “how to stick to your resolutions” and “cleansing after all that excess.” While you’ll find a slight blush of that type of content in this week’s Chow story covering intermittent fasting, for the start of 2021, the Source team was more interested in delving into the meatier topic of mental health. If this past year has not resulted in you personally dealing with more mental health challenges than you did in years past, it’s likely someone you know or love, is. According to stats found in this week’s story on Oregon’s new psilocybin therapy program, more than 300 million people worldwide are affected by major depressive disorder—and that’s only counting one type of mental health disorder. The toll of sustained unemployment, economic uncertainty, isolation, health concerns (not least of all, the concerns around getting COVID) and more is staggering, and we are only beginning to see the effects. While we know these topics can be tough to read about, and even tougher to experience, it’s our hope that by shedding some light on a few corners of these problems, we’ll all be better equipped to talk about them—and to find more funding and support for ending them. Happy 2021, readers. Onward!

Letters to the Editor 1/7/21
Courtesy Shemia Fagan
On Jan. 4, Shemia Fagan, age 39, was sworn in as Oregon’s next—and youngest woman—Secretary of State. Fagan gave inaugural remarks inside her fourth-grade classroom at Dufur School in Dufur, Oregon, where, as a struggling student and the child of a single father, Fagan was introduced to the after-school chess club by her teacher. Fagan later entered the Oregon State Chess Tournament and won the state championship for her division, the first girl to ever do so. “For the first time, I knew that it didn’t matter that I didn’t have everything that other kids had, that I was going to be OK,” Fagan said.

RE: Rolling Back Environmental Protections: A Laundry List of the Past Four Years, News, 12/31

Here locally the Forest Service is pushing to make it easier to log big old trees on public lands. The trees that store the most carbon and have thick, fire resistant, bark. Let’s hope 2021 ditches the bad ideas of 2020 and aims for a better future.

—Erik Fernandez

Excellent article, Damian. Thank you for writing it. We really need to do what we can on a local level and protect our wildlife and their habitats. There is way too much development going on in Bend and I think our city needs to reevaluate this and adopt some preservation goals, especially the cutting and mowing down of trees for development. With more growth comes more destruction. We need to slow the growth of population down here in Bend.

—Nicole Perullo

Where has Mt. Bachelor’s customer service gone?

So, where is Mt. Bachelor’s management team hiding? They don’t answer emails, don’t give the morning report early enough for people to plan with the crazy reservation system, and they have removed web cams showing how crowded the lift lines are. Don’t you think there’s a COVID safety concern that we should be able to see those cams?? And, they are not addressing the fact that by most early afternoons, the lots are mostly cleared out, but there’s no way to make a reservation for that. Terrible customer service. Thank you.

— Larry Anuzzi

RE: Source Material: Best of the Year, Sound, 12/31

Pete Kartsounes travels the world and lives local in Bend! His talents and sounds are amazing! Wide ranges of CD’s from soulful acoustic, bluegrass, Hawaiian ukulele tunes, to yoga meditation with wood flutes & drums! He plays online concerts weekly and offers wonderful songwriter symposiums! Most recently in collaboration with Dreamweave Productions to provide personal/professional/spiritual growth for total body, mind, and soul plus many other courses as well.

—Tracy Keene

The Nature of Currency

Since it replaced barter, money has been both a way to store “value” in a convenient transportable form, and as a medium of exchange.  Money’s other name is “currency.”  Picture current flowing in a river and the connection to making things move in our society—food, clothing, shelter and medicine—becomes obvious.

We need a government that moves with ALACRITY, BREVITY AND CLARITY to accomplish the flow of goods and services. Clearly, no one can work and “earn” money under circumstances we are in.  In fact “value” and “worth” are quite arbitrary and subject to whim. To illustrate, ask yourself how a pile of building materials, costing perhaps $50,000, in a few months’ work by skilled craftsmen, becomes a dwelling “worth”  $500,000 on the real estate market. Also, stocks fluctuate wildly in value every second the market is open, so where is “value?”

It may sound extreme but we are in extreme times.  President Biden needs to enact the Wartime Powers and use currency to move things where they need to go with alacrity.

In this emergency our nation needs to act with alacrity, brevity and clarity to move food, clothing, shelter and medicine to use currency to cause the flow of essentials to everyone who needs it.

—Tom Fosdick

RE: The Christmas Tree That Almost Killed Us, News, 12/24

I found The Christmas Tree That Almost Killed Us a great read—glad it worked out OK. It reminded me of an earlier time in my life. I lived in Norway for several years as a young man in the early 1970s. This was long before all-wheel-drive vehicles were common—and cell phones and GPS didn’t exist. Whenever we’d venture out of town during the long Nordic snow season, we’d always have a set of cross-country skis (along with poles and boots) with us. People just left the skis on their roof racks all winter long—no one would ever think of trying to steal them in Norway. If you were unlucky enough to get your vehicle stuck in the snow, you’d just put on the skis (everyone in Norway knew how to X-C ski!) and head to the nearest town (behind or ahead of you) and the first house you’d encounter would gladly put you up until help could arrive to rescue your car. They’d likely provide some schnapps (akvavit) to warm you up while you waited. As a result, winter casualties were almost unheard of back then and the rescue efforts were distributed throughout the country.

Cheers for 2021—may it be much improved!

—Ken McLean

Letter of the Week:

Ken, Thanks for that fun story! As a Swede (who only started Nordic skiing at 40) I keep Nordic skis on my vehicle, too. They’re too old and ratty for anyone to want to steal them… so I guess I’ll be good to go if I have to ski out of some lonely forest road!

Come on in for your gift card to Palate.

—Nicole Vulcan
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