Opinion » The Mailbox

Letters 12/7-12/14

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In Response to, "Inside the Malheur Trail," (11/9)

Thank you for your invitation to respond to the insider perspective.

The well written article about how the verdict was decided clarified for me the absolute insanity of our national legal system that permits individuals to shirk responsibility for engaging in behaviors that created millions of dollars in expenses, trashed public lands and desecrated a Native American sacred site. Silly me for not understanding that legal justice goes to the ones receiving the verdict they want. Really?! "And justice for all", is a travesty.

Also, silly me for not knowing that being armed to the teeth at an alleged peaceful protest is merely a quaint fashion statement. Perhaps at a future event if an armed protestor sets an intention to shoot weapons, and said bullets strike and kill people, is this merely the unfortunate effect of an innocent intent, similar to the chili intent-effect described in the article?

—Pat Homeyer

In Response to " Editorial: Malheur Verdict," (11/2)

The distaste for this verdict shows the level of sheep-ism in our country these days. People tend to forget that Federal buildings, State buildings, or any taxpayer funded property is THE PEOPLES, not private property. The "domestic terrorists" did what they thought was needed done in the light of them being treated tyrannically by our government. These folks had previous arrangements made for the grazing and we don't need to get back in to the facts. Let's not forget that a person lost his life for all of this, his life would've been saved if the law enforcement just let him get to the courthouse and didn't intervene for no real reason.

It scares me to think how people would react if/when their fellow citizens rise up against a future government that has gone beyond its boundaries, like what our fore fathers did from England.

Apparently the highest court in the land felt they were justified, that's enough for me.

—Brent Howk via bendsource.com

Hey, How 'bout those roundabouts

One of my favorite things about Bend is Roundabouts. They are not just about traffic control.

Roundabouts teach us about civil behavior; to cooperate and pay attention. On our approach we anticipate and assess the situation as to others' intentions. Communication in the form of signaling helps. We adjust our own behavior in accordance to their actions and our needs. The shuffling nature of roundabout traffic means we share the responsibility for sensible and courteous behavior. In doing so, traffic continues to move in an efficient way. There's a flow that softens the jerky stop and go of other situations. Notice the difference between a 4-way stop and the roundabout. The stop requires less personal responsibility and attention. You are told what to do with strict rules – it is authoritarian. The roundabout only requires that you proceed with attention, caution and courtesy. If you are skillful in your driving everyone moves more smoothly and quickly. Because of roundabouts, I have found driving in Bend to be more efficient and enjoyable. Often, I am across town much more quickly than I expect. I admire other drivers when they maneuver a roundabout effectively and take pride when my own driving is skillful.

I have noticed a diffusion of roundabout behavior to other aspects of life in Bend, with people voluntarily giving right-of –way to others in a courteous manner. Perhaps by driving in Bend and using roundabouts we are learning some basic lessons of how to get along.

—Tom Jerome

In Response to "What's Next for the City?" (11/23)

I'm surprised to see no question related to fixing roads. Specifically, where's the money going to come from?

—Michael Funke via bendsource.comI

In Response to "Uber Time? (11/2)

Before moving to Bend last year, I lived in Portland and remember the "before" and "after" regarding Uber. When my girlfriend or I would call for a cab, the operator would often be curt and slightly rude—like you were bothering them by calling. I've found this in Bend as well, btw. Sometimes the cab wouldn't even show (and if it did, it was usually filthy with a questionable odor). One evening we waited an hour and finally had to walk the two miles home late at night. You can get away with this when you don't have any competition. It was so wonderful once we started using Uber: Half the price, a five-minute wait max, clean cars, pleasant drivers (that are trying to earn a favorable rating for their service). Because it was so much more affordable, we started using Uber every time we went out. No worrying about parking, or having one too many. Surely, with it being more affordable than a cab, drinking and driving has to have been reduced due to Uber as well (hopefully less money coming in from DUI's isn't a factor in a city's decision). Please Bend! Let's step it up!

—Brandon Campbell via bendsource.com

In Response to "Uber Time? (11/2)

I drove cabs and private town cars in Bend for 3 years. I can in all honesty say that with the exception of two particular companies (there are several new companies in town I know nothing about) most of the vehicles are unsafe, possibly not properly insured, smelly, unsanitary, patched together junk. The fact that they (cab owners) are using improper maintenance or vehicle condition as an argument is ironic to say the least.

I do agree Uber should be required to carry the same amount of insurance as any other cab company does. Especially since most insurance companies void any coverage if you are using your vehicle for hire. It could leave a gap in coverage if there is an accident involving serious injuries.

I also believe every cab should be required to be physically inspected for safety and the Vin number verified as insured properly. I personally witnessed paper swapping and plate swapping between cabs because they weren't all purposely insured. It's unsettling to not know if you're covered while driving passengers.

As far as the amateur argument, every single cab driver was an amateur when they started and let me also say that as someone who drove in this town I'd rather drive for Uber then have to work with most of the "professionals" here.

I actually contacted Uber 3 years ago and tried to get them to come here but they told me our market wasn't big enough for them. Rant over.

—Andrew Newcomb via bendsource.com

Letter of the Week

Andrew – Thanks for sharing your experience. Paper swapping?! As with a lot of things, it seems there's far more to both sides of the story than we see at first glance. Please enjoy $5 at Palate on us.

—Nicole Vulcan, Editor

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