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Letters 1/6-1/13


Democracy Needs Public Spaces

Troy Field is a community resource to serve all the community, not just the privileged few who want to privatize our commons for their profit.

Common areas open to all is fundamental to democracy. We are fortunate to have two common democratic spaces in downtown Bend: Troy Field and the Bend Public Library. The claim that the Bend School District needs to sell Troy Field, our resource, is simply an attempt to justify austerity for citizens and enrichment for the wealthy. Much more politically expedient than taxing the rich, of course.

Did anyone consider using Troy Field for affordable housing or building a shelter with toilets and water for the homeless or a tent city for the homeless? Any community that can afford a triple bypass—twice!—on the river and an ice skating rink for the privileged can certainly afford to fund public education.

What's next, they privatize the schools and library? So what will it be? Troy Field as a resource for the common good and democracy or austerity and privatization to enrich the wealthy?

—Sue Bastian

Healthy Climate Bill Deserves Support

In light of the recent international agreement on climate change, I am writing in support of an upcoming bill in the Oregon legislature to help transition from the agreement to meaningful action. Others have written about the local consequences of climate change that will only worsen if we do nothing. While this is important and motivating information, I would like to present the optimistic side of this issue.

The Healthy Climate bill would showcase Oregon as taking a leadership role in combating climate change. Oregon has already passed legislation supporting clean energy development. There is much more we need to accomplish and this bill, by pricing carbon, would be the next crucial step. Oregon has an opportunity to show the country that we are ready to lead the way towards a healthier future.

The Healthy Climate bill will also support many local established businesses and encourage additional investment in the renewable energy sector of our economy. There are already many Central Oregon businesses that do everything from installing solar panels to conducting energy audits to insulating our buildings. There are also local projects as well as programs through Central Oregon Community College that are involved in our renewable energy economy. The Healthy Climate bill would encourage additional projects, support more jobs and help grow this sector of our economy. Please join me in supporting this bill. Talk with your friends, neighbors and legislators and encourage them to add their voices behind this legislation.

—Alice Hodgdon

Special Education Funding at Risk in Oregon

In Oregon, nearly 12,000 children with disabilities or developmental delays qualify for early intervention (from birth to age 3) and early childhood special education (ages 3 to 5) services funded by the state. These children need immediate help, but funding hasn't kept up with demand. Oregon is at risk of a lawsuit if services aren't improved.

I applaud John Rexford, superintendent at the High Desert Education Service District and Rob Saxton, former Oregon School Chief, for working with lawmakers to get the $5.4 million currently needed and an additional $15-$20 million long term. Those of us who are concerned for the well-being of these precious youngsters, must add our voices to the funding push.

—Richard Asadoorian

In reply to Councilor Casey Roats' "Reflections on 2015" (12/30)

Casey, some of us who live on the west side of town live in rather small, older houses, not a big new house like you live in. Your comment lumping everyone on the west side together is snide, petty, arrogant, uncalled for, and unbecoming of an elected official who supposedly represents all of us. I can walk around the block in my neighborhood and see four or five new houses going up...each one of them bringing growth to the west side. You may be smart like Victor says, but comments like that make you sound plenty stupid.

—Michael Funke

In reply to "Top Theatre Performances in 2015" (12/30)

It is shocking to me that after only a cursory acknowledgement of Volcanic Theatre Pub's (VTP) contribution to Bend's live theatre scene, none of its performances were even mentioned in this list. In fact, after a quick exchange with the owner, Derek Sitter, I found that no one from VTP was even asked for an opinion. VTP's exclusion is at worse negligent and at best idiotic. I assumed from the start that this article was written to allow people affiliated with local theatres to give themselves a pat on the back (minus Will Futterman, who actually managed to compliment his rival theatre and Lylli J. von Hurst, who is listed simply as an avid theatre-goer), so I wasn't expecting much in the way of honest critiques. But I would think it would be common courtesy to give each theatre an equal opportunity to "toot their own horn."

And as for the Source, instead of excluding the only professional theatre in our community that is producing art, I would like to see you start celebrating the fact that we have a director/actor the caliber of Derek Sitter who is willing to continue producing plays for the edification of a community in dire need of his expertise.

—Emily Woodworth

In reply to "An Unseen Problem" (12/23)

The problem is related to density and City Council wants more density. Didn't someone say repeating the same mistake over and over again and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity.

—Anne Lee-Smith

Source Gives Voice to Racism

In reference to Brent Howk's letter published 12/24/15, we don't know which disgusted us more, the writer's racist comment or the fact that the Source printed a letter expressing such a prejudicial statement. One of the things that concerns us about this community we love is that the cultural diversity is so limited.

—Marilyn Massey and William Castell

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