In reply to "Glass Slipper, Half-Full" (Editorial, 2/6)
What an excellent portrayal of one of the—if not THE—greatest economic and sustainable growth opportunities to come to Bend in a long time. Transformation, innovation and dynamic community growth requires a bit of stretching and thinking outside the box. Yes, no one said that would be easy. Thanks Source, Bend will indeed rise to the occasion to help make the OSU-Cascades campus a great community investment...Glass Slippers to ya!
In your February 6 editorial you describe the audience at the OSU-Cascades presentation as "grumpy." I attended that meeting and observed that the audience feedback was insightful and constructive. It would be useful to your readers to hear some of the concerns expressed. First off, OSU and city staffs are piecemealing the transportation analysis such that the full range of traffic impacts will only be understood after approval for construction has already been granted. How is this considered competent urban planning? Consider the recent failures associated with the water supply project and the urban growth boundary expansion. It seems we are heading down that same road. Neither the city nor OSU-Cascades staff bothered acknowledging Reed Market Road or other possible areas of impact during their presentation. Anybody who drives Reed Market near the project site understands that the road is already near capacity. Much of the poor communication dynamic derives from the fact that the OSU project team has set the unrealistically ambitious goal of having an operational campus by next fall. The project is being rushed to the detriment of sound planning principles and honestly administered public participation. Is it too much to ask for more effective critical thinking by those who manage our local government and those who report on it?
Mt. Bachelor Bustin'
While riding at Mt. Bachelor on Saturday (2/8) a friend and I made the mistake of arriving at the Outback lift 10 minutes before the lift was ready to open for the day. We were greeted there by a ski patroller, Rick, who collected ski pass information from the dozen or so riders in attendance while schooling us on what a blatant disregard for safety our actions had constituted. On the next run, we found that our passes had been blocked, or "hot listed," and we would need to report to the ski patrol to determine why. Upon contacting ski patrol we were informed that our behavior had resulted in our passes being blocked not only for that day, but for the next week and that we would be required to attend a safety class at the mountain on the following Saturday, a holiday weekend, in order to have the passes reactivated. It's ironic that those with day tickets got just the one-day suspension while season pass holders, as "valued customers," would suffer a more serious consequence. My purpose in relating this tale is to encourage Mt Bachelor to reconsider the heavy handed way that they're approaching finding a solution to the problem of people arriving early at Outback. Blocking our passes for the remainder of the day would have sufficiently communicated the serious nature in which Bachelor's management views our actions, which you'll recall was arriving 10 minutes before the lift opened. Adding an additional one-week suspension and requiring all of us to drive to the mountain on Saturday of a holiday weekend to attend a 10 am safety class is entirely unreasonable. I find it hard to believe that Mt Bachelor would choose a management strategy that seems designed to create more work for staff and further alienate a user group that the mountain has a tenuous relationship with at best.
—Doug Elliot, a 15-year season pass holder
Box Stores Blocking Views
One of the best public mountain views in Bend is at the intersection of 3rd Street and Franklin. Due to the natural landscape and depression of terrain, a full mountain view is enjoyed by everyone, abating the woes of everyday commutes, and reminding us that we live in a truly amazing place. Recently, Murray and Holt sold the lot on the southwest corner of this intersection to Walgreens, who is currently building yet another retail outlet in Bend. While it's true that Walgreens has promised to "beautify" this corner and adjusted its architectural plans to do so, it is still a box store. Moreover, the building height, at 25 feet, blocks what is now a public and pristine mountain view from Bend's east side.
Bend! Lets not trade our view for a chain retail outlet that will likely provide 20 +/- jobs, most of which don›t even pay a living wage to our community members.
I have recently been in contact with city officials and community volunteers, only to learn that the Greenwood - Franklin corridors along 3rd street permit buildings that are up to 55 feet in height. While I certainly endorse the urban growth boundary and agree that development in these areas are needed, a small manipulation of our city building code to bring the building height down would preserve our landscape and views.
Bend! Let's be discriminating. Let's follow in the footsteps of Oregon towns like Ashland, which limit the number of box store or chain drive-thrus allowed in town so as to provide a base for a locally driven economy. Let's not give away the farm because we are enticed by "development." Let's change our city development code to mirror the "buy local" mantra that is ubiquitous on car bumpers around town.
In reply to "Good Luck Getting DMB Tickets" (Bent, 2/7)
Went to get Dave Mathews tickets. On that day, sold out. Next time you could only get them at other sites for double the price, plus a $40 handle fee and a $15 delivery fee. Something stinks here. You watch, I bet the same thing will happen with Ringo!
—Gary A. Davis
Dave Matthews Band tickets sold out on line in three minutes . I don't need no stinking tickets to go see Dave in August. Volleyball party.
On the bright side, we'll always have the 90s.
In reply to "Editor's Note: Letters" (2/6)
I used to think that you guys were trying to be real journalists, but were just bad at that. Now, having read your response to the two letters correcting your lackluster attention to historical detail, I realize that you're perfectly happy with "in the ballpark" as far as accuracy goes. So given that standard, "Well Done!"
The recent firing of Bend's Chief of Police is appropriate. The chief, unaware of a decade of sexual activity by another officer during working hours and in city offices, deserved to be terminated. Eric King, Bend City Manager stated: "I hold department heads and all staff to high standards." However, during a recent council meeting regarding Bend's piping project from Bridge Creek, City Engineer Tom Hickman openly lied to the city council and the public. Hickman said a value engineering (VE) study had been done for the membrane option of the water treatment project. Furthermore, Hickman said the VE team strongly supported the membrane option. This is completely false since no VE study was ever done for this most costly component of the project, yet Hickman still gets a city paycheck. Apparently, the high standards of the city are quite variable. It appears Hickman's pants need to be off, instead of being on fire, to be terminated.
Letter of the Week!
For your excellent wordplay combining a school-yard taunt with a local sex scandal, Pinocchio, we award you Letter of the Week! You're a real boy now...celebrate with a $5 gift card to Crow's Feet Commons on us.