This Weeks Letters | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

The circus is coming to town, but how?

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey circus is coming to town, featuring Asian Elephants. As a woman who travels with her horses, I wondered, "How do the elephants actually live as part of a traveling show?"

The Ringling Bros. circus travels around 25,000 miles a year by truck or rail, visiting 30 towns over 50 weeks, performing 2 shows a day, 250 to 300 shows a year! Consider what it takes to bring us big shows like this.. While some choose a colorful career performing with the circus, other performers, like the Asian elephants, are born into a lifetime of captivity, traveling the year cramped 5 to a boxcar and shackled in chains for almost every hour of their life.

Here is what I've learned about the life of circus elephants:

Circus elephant babies are taken from their mothers before they are 2 years old

They are trained by domination to perform unnatural feats.

Life expectancy in captivity is 39 years old and they will likely be euthanized because of disease or aggression problems.

Nearly 100% of adult circus elephants suffer from a variety of lameness due to prolonged standing in unsanitary conditions.

Tuberculosis is rampant due to poor ventilation and crowding. Imagine the conditions when five 8,000 lb elephants travel in one boxcar for days, each producing 15 gallons of urine and 200 lbs of solid waste every 24 hours.

The sight of a real elephant performing unexpected stunts is truly awesome no matter how old you are. However, as compassionate people, we need to tell Ringling Bros that we want them to entertain us without the exploitation of enslaved performance animals. Yes, the "Live Elephant Show" has been the signature of the traveling circus for over 100 years, but times have changed.

If we aspire to teach our children to respect all the species on our planet, we cannot condone animal cruelty just to put on a show. Please save your money for another form of entertainment.

—Marianne Fellner

Limerick to the Editor

Another concocted attack

Like the lies that ignited Iraq

Show it's just as we fretted:

Barack's George Bush retreaded.

If you think things have changed you're on crack

—Bard of Bend

In reply to "The Race is On" (News, 9/8)

Hmmm, a DA with a defense background...sounds a bit skitterish with regards to the unsolved major cases still hanging out there...How does one with a strong defense background work to succeed in bringing prosecutorial justice where it is need? Just thinking.


It's great to have someone running against Flaherty who actually respects the office of the district attorney as well as the dedicated and hard working staff, which have been subjected to the current DA's gross mismanagement. Best of luck on your campaign! However, as a typically conservative voter, and one who will gladly check Mr. Hummel's name on my ballot, I'm a bit surprised and disheartened at his obvious liberal Bush bashing. For someone running for a bipartisan position, it seems a questionable tactic for getting elected in a fairly conservative county!


In reply to "Closure Sparks Safety, Business ConcerNs" (Bent Blog, 9/7)

One of the reasons the closure is so long is because the city agreed to build a better than average intersection.

Anyone who's tried to pass through that intersection during the height of the summer floating season knows that it's filled with kids with inner tubes.

The new design features removal of the stop sign so cars can pass more easily. However, local residents were very concerned that this means increased danger for pedestrians. Not only do floaters pass through here, but this is where the Deschutes River Trail crosses Galveston with all its walkers, bicyclists and tourists.

A compromise was reached. The city agreed to put in colored concrete, and other highly visible markings and features to protect pedestrians and cyclists. However, those markings require more street work than just paint on asphalt. Paint wears off in just a few months with all the studded snow tires in the area.

So the street is closed in an effort to really do this project correctly. Cutting corners now will create long term safety issues (think years!) for all the kids who float the river, the tourists sightseeing through Bend, and all the residents who walk or ride their bikes through that intersection daily.

This matters to our long-term identity. If the construction is having an impact on surrounding streets, let's fix that. Maybe a police officer assigned to this area every day?

We should also all make an effort to patronize the Galveston businesses even though the bridge is closed. Walk to the Westside Bakery, take some Ida's Cupcakes to your next potluck (you know everyone will love you for it!), pick up something yummy to grill at Primal Cuts, check out the new food carts by Hutch's & Baked and ride your bike to 10 Barrel to celebrate it all.

This project is about making Bend a better place in the long run. This is our only chance to get it right. Some people are bearing more of the burden in the short run for something that we're all going to benefit from in the long run. Let's give thanks, and support to those folks as much as possible, and get through this.

—Pam Hardy

Pam Hardy said, "This project is about making Bend a better place in the long run. This is our only chance to get it right. Some people are bearing more of the burden in the short run for something that we're all going to benefit from in the long run. Let's give thanks, and support to those folks as much as possible, and get through this."

Me likee the Pam.

"Not sure what Garret Wales is on about."

He sees the nightly figures. He may be right: despite what customers have said, there may have been a serious drop-off in sales. But, hey man, sometimes when you are doing business in a city, you have to suck it up when the city focuses on making things better for the general populace. Hang in there, be as easy as you can on the staff, and wait it out. 10 Barrel started strong and seems to be very popular—surely y'alls can weather this. The end result looks to be a nicer city. That's never a bad thing, for folk and for biz.

—That Jack Elliott

Letter of the Week!

While we typically bury our collective head in the sand when we see a poetry submission—not to mention a limerick, the worst form of poetry next to the haiku—we are feeling rather creative-writing-friendly this week. What with our Fall Fiction contest nearing a deadline and all. (See above) Thanks to the self-proclaimed Bard of Bend. Stop by our offices to pick up your Letter of the Week $5 gift certificate to Crow's Feet Commons.

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