Opinion » The Mailbox

Letters 2/8-2/15

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Our spotlight on homeless voices was shared more than 130 times on Facebook.
  • Our spotlight on homeless voices was shared more than 130 times on Facebook.

In Response to, Connecting the Disconnect. (2/1)

MORE STORIES LIKE THIS. We need to shed more light on the stories that aren't pretty or comfortable or cater to tourists. Our citizens give the flavor and spice that is Bend. Thank you for doing on the ground journalism with stories like this.

— Allison Murphy via bendsource.com

I love bringing the reality to light. I'm a single mom of four, currently living in a friend's art studio with my kids. I am on waitlists since April. For one income, households in Bend have become unaffordable. Most one bedroom apartments are $1,100. Then you need to make three times rent, then add first last and deposit...it's hopeless.

— Somey_is_now via bendsource.com

Has grown children and grandchildren....and no place to live? I'd be damned if I let one of my family live on the streets...something other than rent being high is messed up here.

— Nicole Jackson, via bendsource.com

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Cougar Operation in La pine.

For the next phase of its public safety operation in La Pine, I would suggest that Deschutes County Sheriff's arrest the members of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Commission who make decisions that result in cougar-human conflicts.

All joking aside, I do not dismiss for a moment the sorrow of the people of La Pine whose pets were killed or disparage the efforts of law enforcement to protect them.

But, emerging evidence indicates that the type of indiscriminate hunting of Puma concolor sanctioned by ODFW actually increases complaints and depredations of pets and livestock.

Research suggests that human hunting pressure disrupts cougar populations by targeting the dominant "trophy" males that lend stability to social groups. The chaos that follows forces male juveniles to scatter into human conflict zones.

On the new community Facebook page, Facts About Cougars, read abstracts from several recent research articles. Learn how to oppose new legislation proposed in Salem that would reintroduce hound hunting of cougars. Urge Rep. Buehler and Sen. Knopp to vote against bills H217, H2589, S371, and S458.

— Foster Fell

Closing of Women's Clinic - Zero Midwife Options

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A year and a half ago my wife and I, like many others, went through the painful process of a miscarriage. While the doctor we worked with was kind and knowledgeable we felt as though we were on a conveyer belt and part of a large and already very taxed system. When the miscarriage occurred on a Friday evening we proceeded to have a lonely, long, and scary weekend. I hope to share our story as a way to highlight a hole that is opening up in our town's healthcare system.

We were lucky enough to get pregnant again and once we found out we were pregnant we chose to switch to the St. Charles Center for Women's Health where we could work with a team of midwives. We have always been drawn to working with midwives but also felt more comfortable having a hospital birth. Immediately we noticed that our care was incredibly relationship-based and holistic. Our appointments were long in length, focused on all of our well-being, and we consistently felt empowered to make the best decisions for our family. The care we received felt congruent with the warmth and care that we so often find throughout our wonderful Bend community. This was exemplified when we met with Jessica Nelson, CNM after our due date. We were anxious and concerned about what would happen since our boy had not yet arrived and worried about being pressured into an induction. Instead Jessica was incredibly comforting as she normalized the process and explained the risks and benefits of various approaches. She spent an incredible amount of time with us and we left the appointment feeling empowered and cared for.

As our due date neared we were nervous that we might not get to work with a midwife as the schedules have been reduced and many of the doctors do not want midwives as part of their team. Luckily our baby boy was born at the Birthing Center at St Charles with the incredible support of the team of nurses and the guidance and calming presence of Certified Nurse Midwife, Hannah Renzi. Luckily my wife went into labor when Hannah was on call and she proceeded to spend many hours helping my wife through a painful labor and encouraging her to breathe when the baby's heart rate dropped. While others may have jumped to medical intervention, Hannah used her trusting relationship she had built with my wife over the past nine months to coach her through how best to help our boy's heart rate recovering. Our boy was born healthy and we cannot express how grateful we are to the nurses and especially Hannah Renzi.

We had a wonderful experience and felt that we had professionals who were focused on a holistic, relational approach. The loss of St. Charles Center for Women's Health in Bend means that parents will not be able to work with a midwife as the attending if they choose to utilize the Birthing Center and that there will only be one clinic in town. I am writing this letter because I am concerned about a glaring hole in our local system that is soon to exist.

I feel an incredible sadness for my neighbors and friends who will not have the option we had to work with Jessica Nelson or Hannah Renzi as midwives here in Bend. As Bend grows we need more options not fewer. We also need more medical professionals focused on building meaningful relationships and empowering each of us to take control of our holistic health. I hope that my sharing of our story helps others take action.

— Sean Roberts

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In Response to, Attack of La Sexism (El Nina Cover 1/26)

Your cover graphic of Volume 21, January 26, 2017 is offensive. At a time when women's rights are under intense attack from powerful people, do we really need our local, supposedly progressive weekly newspaper to use cover graphics that objectify women? Although loosely tied to a story about the El Nino weather pattern, it appears to have been used, as these types of pictures generally are, to increase circulation. At a time when our rights to control our reproductive fate is under severe threat, when women still make less money for the same work as their male counterparts, when sex trafficking is on the rise, when we have a president who denigrates women and openly belittles them and judges them by how they look, do we need The Source to present this type of female objectification to all of the young girls and women in our community? If a woman chooses to present HERSELF in this manner, that is her choice and power. However, your use of the graphic is exploitive. If it were known to increase circulation, would you put a graphic of someone in blackface on the cover, circa 1938?

How about an article about all of the hard working, strong, fabulous women in the region? From our city attorney, to the many women physicians, to the women who help us at the grocery store, to the women teaching our children, to the single moms and working moms who are struggling to get by, to the women who help all over town in organizations such as Neighbor Impact, Bethlehem Inn and Planned Parenthood; there are many to choose from. Those are the stories and graphics the young women of our community need to see on the front page of your paper, not some throw back sexist graphic from 1958. We deserve your respect, your thoughtfulness, and to get out from under objectification, exploitation, sexual assault and harassment, and men in Washington, D.C making decisions about what type of birth control to which we have access. Yes, it is all linked. Don't make us come down there to picket you with our pussy hats on!

You get the boot.

— Alison Lynch-Miller, MD

LETTER OF THE WEEK

Alison gets the letter of the week for a number of reasons. #1: Because thoughtful dialogue among people of opposing views needs to happen more often. #2: Because we agree with paragraph two, calling for highlighting the great work of local women. All of the orgs mentioned have been given ink here at least once in the past year, and will again. While we maintain that our La Niña cover portrayed a woman of strength and spectral power (who, yes, gasp! is wearing a bikini—is that better or worse than a burqa?!), Alison and I did have a meaningful conversation about how the various generations of feminist movements may or may not agree with our take—and we are OK with that.

—Respectfully signed, your single mom, working mom, woman editor.


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