IN REPLY TO "LETTER: REFUGEES CONTRIBUTE TO CLIMATE CRISIS" (DEC. 16)
Um, Climate Change is a global event, not limited to the U.S.A. While it's true that limiting population (globally) would be good for the climate, it's practically irrelevant where refugees settle. Not totally irrelevant, since we in the U.S.A. have the highest per capita carbon output. But I can't see your proposal to close our borders helping to a) limit global population or b) limit global climate change.
FUTURE OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING IN BEND
Enterprising developers in the Portland metro area might be one step ahead of their counterparts in Bend. They are turning old houses into modern rental units with miniscule apartments that rent for as low as $800 per month in NW Portland! The kicker is for 800 bones a month you get a whopping 150 square feet, yes that is ONE HUNDRED FIFTY SQUARE FEET of living space, enough for a bed, toilet and kitchenette. People are happy to be able to get these units for such a low price in such a great location. Could this be where affordable housing in Bend is headed?
IN REPLY TO LETTERS OPPOSING A GAS TAX
We all seem to be in agreement that Bend streets need major repair work, and that putting off repairs would cause costs to skyrocket. We agree new funds are needed, and that we don't want to raise property taxes or cut essential services. Most of us even agree that a gas tax would be the fairest way to fund repairs, since costs would be borne by road users, including Bend visitors. Also, if we want to get serious about keeping our planet habitable, we need to get serious about cutting carbon emissions, and taxing carbon sources is one of the most efficient ways to do so. With gas prices at historic lows, the timing could not be better.
Still, we have people who oppose the tax because they don't trust City government, and believe that either the City will spend too much, or is incapable of solving any problem at any cost. Well, the sad fact is, there is nobody else who is going to fix the roads. Even if they spend twice what it should cost to get the job done, that's still fives times less than it could cost if we keep putting off repairs as our roads continue to deteriorate. This is a no brainier. Making local government accountable is a vitally important, but separate issue. In the meantime, let's pass this tax and get to work fixing our roads.
IN RESPONSE TO "LONG ROAD TO RELIEF" (12/16)
"Bend is desirable because it's expensive!" That makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Crime is lower here because Bend is still somewhat small, has minimal urban sprawl, and a population made mostly of white, affluent people. Bend is desirable because of the proximity to a multitude of outdoor activities, small town feel, great beer, food and of course those views. The reason affordable housing isn't build on the west side is because it's not affordable, it's no secret la nd is more expensive on the west side. Low income families may not contribute as much as homeowners, but they still pay state tax and contribute their share....sorry they aren't wealthy but they still smile at you while serving you your next trendy drink. Affordable housing is a really big deal here right now, houses with multiple roommates, low paying jobs, and growth need to be addressed. My family and I moved here in 1978, I have seen the many changes Bend has gone through, from logging town to now a destination. In my opinion, Bend was greatest around 2000-04, Bend had almost all of the same amenities it has now but a population around 50k. The supply of all housing needs to increase, this will bring housing costs down and the quality of life will go up and not just for those of you that have deep pockets. Though it feels this way even to me, Bend is not all about you people that sold a house somewhere more expensive and then moved here and quit working. Bend is full of people in the service industry that love it here, but scrape by—even rooms for rent can cost 750 per month. If you look at the median hourly wage in Bend, it has barely risen since the '70s, yet housing has skyrocketed. It's time that the UGB is expanded for real growth, open up land for development and bring prices down. People are going to keep moving here, let's have some places for them to go instead of stacking them into overpriced and over crowded homes.
PLEASE BE RESPONSIBLE: RUN SNOW TIRES IN THE WINTER!
Having attended Bend Senior High in the mid-90s and lived in Central Oregon much of my life, I was astounded at the recent chaos caused by a fairly typical winter snowstorm. What once would have been a winter event that simply focused drivers to slow down to 35 mph and take care when driving ended up in massive mess. Cars stuck in the ditch; abandoned cars, closed roads, and traffic moving 15 mph on the highway for days.
Unlike what other posters are likely to do, I am not laying the blame on ODOT for this one. The roads were not especially slick: temperatures were fairly low for this storm, and the snow was relatively dry. The culprit instead was the many drivers out in the storm, dangerous driving, and the lack of snow tires on most vehicles.
This was not previously the case. In the 80s and 90s, most cars were not [all-wheel drive], and the only way to get around in the winter was to install good winter tires. Today, as most cars seem to be equipped with AWD, it seems many drivers forego the need for good tires and assume that AWD on a car will be fine in the snow. It is if you only have to accelerate. A set of all-season tires simply can't get the job done controlling a car when stopping or turning in slick conditions. Driving in winter conditions simply requires winter-specific tires. Anything less is dangerous, both for the driver of the vehicle, and anyone else on the road that may be hit by that vehicle.
Having owned high-powered [rear-wheel drive] cars over the years, I can testify that they are far superior in snow as well with the right tires, compared to an AWD car with all-season tires.
This winter, please drive reasonably in poor conditions (just assume that you are driving without brakes), but most of all, don't fall into the trap of assuming your state of the art SUV is bulletproof in snow. Without the right tires, you may end up rolled over in the ditch or worse this winter, putting yourself and others in danger.