Letters to the Editor 12/23/21 | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 12/23/21

Mt. Bachelor Fast Tracks, RE: Short-Term Rentals: Let’s See the Data...Opinion, 12/16

Mt. Bachelor Fast Tracks

Many people of Bend have been upset about the introduction of Fast Tracks at Mt. Bachelor, a new program starting this season where you can pay an additional sum of at least $49 to skip the line.

Skiing and snowboarding are already fairly non-equitable sports by nature, due to the necessary purchases of lift tickets, equipment and transportation. The Fast Tracks passes increase this inequity by creating a two-tiered system; the more money you pay, the greater experience you receive. 

Letters to the Editor 12/23/21
Courtesy @buoyofbend/Instagram
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This system is particularly problematic because of the location of Mt. Bachelor on public land owned equally by every American. The preferential treatment given to wealthier patrons while outpricing local skiers and snowboarders is in opposition to this sentiment, and is a huge concern in the midst of the general issue of the inequity of snow sports.

It is up to the people of Bend to show our protest of Fast Tracks and overall rising prices at Mt. Bachelor by similarly speaking the language of money: a boycott.

Dining makes up about 15% of the income at major ski resorts, nearly a third of what is made off of lift tickets and season passes. That is why I propose a boycott of Mt. Bachelor dining. Dining is used by many people, is feasible to boycott, could have a significant impact, and has reasonable alternatives.

The proposed boycott would go into effect December 18, the day Fast Tracks begin to be available. 

We can show them that we care. 

—Sierra Goode

RE: Short-Term Rentals: Let’s See the Data...Opinion, 12/16

Before the city changes any laws, they should start by enforcing the ones already on the books! There are hundreds of unpermitted STR's operating in Bend. Airbnb and VRBO submits the Transient Occupancy tax (10% of the gross price of the rental) to the city *directly*—the property owner has no choice in this. The city literally has a list of all the Airbnbs (including both legal and illegal ones) via these tax receipts. All they'd need to do is compare the issued permits to the addresses of those tax receipts.

I find it amazing that this article was written without the slightest bit of probing to the City. Why aren't they doing anything about the illegal STR's? I think we know the answer: the City earns too much money from these unpermitted Airbnbs.

Unfortunately, as these studies seems to show, eliminating 100% of STR's (which ain't gonna happen—those promises have been made) might reduce housing prices by 2% at best. So that median price of $680k drops to $665k. STR's aren't the boogeyman you think they are, apparently.

Poorly run West Coast cities + remote working + wonderful Central Oregon = skyrocketing demand. Combine that with Oregon land use law that severely restricts building and you get a bulldozer-worthy 1 bed/1bath house that sells for half a million bucks.

—Ryan John Lenz via bendsource.com

Editor's note: A 2020 Source Weekly story examined the number of unpermitted STRs in Bend. Find it here: bendsource.com/bend/room-tax-rift/Content?oid=12070616

Homeless Solution

What would happen if we prioritized spending & resource allocation for the homeless instead of attempting to "fix the problem" by doling out money hand over fist?

We have limited resources for those TRULY in need. Prioritize these resources and make a REAL impact on someone's life. First, let's clarify the three types of homeless: -Those hit with tough times - Substance abuse / Mental Illness - Lifestyle choice Clarifying the types of homeless becomes our platform for resource allocation: 1) DON'T dilute our limited resources by spending on those that choose the lifestyle. 2) Get families back on their feet. Spend on our "neighbors" and NOT the "out-of-towners" migrating here to take advantage of our city's offerings. 3) If it's a lifestyle, enforce the law (camping, defecating in public, littering, drugs, crime.) Time to go work and support yourself. Pretty simple: 1) Develop a Budget / Plan to address homelessness 2) Prioritize spending: YES to families & NO to out-of-towners 3) Tough love for those not willing to work or willing to receive assistance. Bottom line, don't dilute the limited resources by supporting those not willing to become a contributing member of society. If you hand beggars money you are drug dealers' best friend. Enabling, not helping... YOUR money goes to meth, heroine, alcohol. NOT to FOOD or GAS as they make you believe. If you believe this is insensitive, think twice. Planning, Budgeting, Prioritizing drive positive results.Continuing the same practices / nonsense is actually CONDONING THE SELF DESTRUCTION OF A HUMAN BEING. Just look at Portland. 

—Jim Dunn

RE: The Shoes Protest Was About Something Not Happening in Bend. Is it a Frontload to a Bigger Fight?...Opinion, 12/9

These comment sections are always the best. Watching the ignorant fight with all they have to stay that way, in the face of mountains of facts and reality, is awe inspiring. The tenacity, the determination, the raw unadulterated mental flex from the depths of complete idiocy... it's truly a magnificent display. Bravo!

—Corey Sattler via facebook.com

Ah, the glory of the comments sections. Just think—the Source Weekly team gets to pore through the comments not only on our own website, but on Facebook. Instagram and Twitter, too! The opportunities for dismay, damnings, doxxings and delusions abound! Corey, you get letter of the week for maintaining your humor while taking it all in.

—Nicole Vulcan

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