In reply to ballot measure 9-94
I have been at The Bend Riverside Inn & Suites (was Motel) for almost forty years, long before we had a TRT. I can tell you guests were shocked that I was charging a tax in Oregon. Guests still comment, "Oregon has a sales tax?" That said I fail to see why we need to raise the tax. The economy has improved 8-10 percent as it stands now and tax income has increased that much or more. By enforcing the tax on the vacation properties this adds to that total. If the city would make these VRP get a license for their hot tubs and food service and commercial insurance many would stop renting. Why kill the golden goose? Collect the funds some other way and drop the tax. Being the only city in Oregon with no room tax is better advertising than any advertising the tax can pay for.
—Frank Wilson, Bend Riverside
Inn & Suites
In reply to "A Good, but Incomplete Idea," (News, 10/24)
Thanks, Erin, for taking an interest in such an important subject for Hoteliers. More funds for all parties is great for the community, and I am happy to see the collections for the first two months of this year 2013-2014 are up almost $120,000 (11 percent) over last years 10 percnt growth, and record collections. HB 2656 took hold in early summer and certainly will continue to be another source of Room Tax growth forever, regardless of how the vote turns out. As I have said many times no one has a "Magic Wand" to know if 9-94 will grow or hurt business, but as a career Hotelier I do know the results will have an impact on the hard working staff here, and I sure hope it is positive.
—Rocky Adrianson, Hotel Manager
Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center
Banks and Bailouts
So Chase and some other big criminal banks are going to have to pay back billions for bilking everyone with faulty mortgage derivatives. Yet they were the ones who got the billions in the big bailout. A fraction of that money could have been given to the taxpayers and we would have spent our way out of the recession, rather than having millions of homeowners lose their homes because the banks refused to help them even after getting all the bailout money. Trickle down economics does not work, as the events of the last few years have sadly underscored. The rich get richer while the rest of us get hosed. And on top of everything that has occurred in recent weeks, those goons in DC will undoubtedly vote themselves another pay increase as soon as they can. The American people should not stand for that. How much longer will Americans who don't belong to the elite ruling class continue to bend over and blithely accept what is being done to them?
In reply to "Low Water Leaves Scores of Fish Dead," (Bent Blog, 10/18)
Absolutely not acceptable!! This is a sign of the times and one more way, nature, is suffering at the hands of mankind's greed and ignorance!! Is there no other water source to help these farmers?? Obviously, this situation is not working!! Sick, just Sick....
The river above Lava Island Falls is in a unique geologic landscape up to Benham Falls. There are many pools and channels on the east bank where, in the spring and summer, young fish can grow and large fish can hunt. These same nurturing waters become a death trap when the water falls every summer.
One of the full time hazards to fish is on the East side of the river just above Lava Island. It looks just like a side pool when the water is high, but when the river drops, it exposes a long channel, 4 feet deep and 15 feet wide, with a large whirlpool at the end where it apparently drops into a lava tube.
While the irrigators are an easy scapegoat, its foolish to think the river didn't have sudden fluctuations before the dams went in. It's one of the reasons dams are constructed. For your safety.
Certainly better management could alleviate the problems, but changing western water law is hard. The haves are afraid to let go of their winning hand and get a new deal. What's the incentive? Their mistrust of environmentalists is deep and they have nothing to gain by negotiating away their water.
They see an economy that they built with this water that makes millions of dollars every year. Whether it's the twenty-some golf courses that dot central Oregon or the crops that produce the Gilroy Garlic seed and many other valuable crops, the value of the water goes far beyond a few stranded fish. It's their living. They need water like you need gas to get to work.
Let's keep this in perspective.
I normally don't troll, but some folks here have made several authoritative statements that are not true and this type of shoot-from-the-hip, wanna-be-water-wonk diatribe is why many people struggle to understand local water issues.
First, the Deschutes River above Bend did not historically see large fluctuations in flow...a combination of stable, year round inflows from springs and porous volcanic soils naturally attenuate flows in the upper river, creating a very stable system perfect for the blue ribbon trout fishery that it once was. The dams creating Wickiup and Crane Prairie Reservoirs are for irrigation (with the side benefit of recreation)–not flood control. The high summer flows and extremely low winter flows are caused solely by the very real needs of our local farmers.
In contrast, I appreciate TimB's call to avoid the demonization of farmers. These water users have many incentives to engage in the process of improving water management patterns–and they are. There is a work group comprised of agricultural, urban, environmental, agency and industry representatives working to address this, and many other problems with the river. These things take hard work, an open mind and time. The rant and rave, hyperbolic environmental drivel expressed by some here is ineffective at best and compromises the outcomes for which they advocate. Now go put on your big boy pants please. There is work to be done.
Trivia Challenge: Who can name just one golf course that is irrigated with surface water from the main stem Deschutes River (I only know of one, so someone educate me)?
I am outraged and find this situation unacceptable. We have campaigns—Stop the Drain, Save Tumalo Creek, and countless non-profits like Trout Unlimited, the Upper Deschutes River Coalition...and we still are ineffective in managing the Deschutes Watershed so as to stop killing fish. We pay and support the efforts at the fish hatcheries, just to experience this annual traumatic aquatic disaster?
Perhaps some strategically placed buckets of dead fish at he doorstep of some very influential folks , would result in constructive solutions...
In reply to "Chocolate Roundup," (CHOW, 10/24)
Thank you for your service of sampling the chocolate scene around Bend. Being a lover of a good dessert, I very much appreciate your sacrifice for the good of the many and the lessons so eloquently shared in this article. I must admit I am a bit disappointed though as I feel you missed a chocolate experience that is deserving of an honorary mention. On the menu at The Drake is a flour-less Chocolate Torte with Peanut Butter Mousse. If The Drake lasts in Bend this dessert may be the reason for its success. This dessert is worthy of a pilgrimage from surrounding areas to be experienced. I know the Peanut Butter Mousse may be a little daunting yet do not let it deter you as there is more than enough Chocolate to balance this delicate topping. Trust me and give it a try!
Letter of the Week!
Thanks for sharing your favorite desert with us, OhUigin! We will be sure to try it out. In the meantime, we'd like to treat you to a movie at the Tower Theatre. Perhaps you can stop by The Drake after and have one of those infamous flourless tortes. Pick up your tickets at our office!