I am shocked that the Source would recommend Clinton in the primary—in an article containing specious arguments and half truths. "However nice, smart guys don't always make the best presidents." You mean like FDR or Lincoln? Or are you just thinking of Obama while you aim at the highly experienced Sanders? "Clinton has experience..." Yes, but what is the nature of that experience? She voted for the Iraq War, was responsible for the collapse of Libya into chaos and ISIS, would like to go to war with Iran, and her proposal of a no-fly zone in Syria is an even worse provocation for the Russians than Obama's destroyer in the Baltic Sea.
You say she is married to one of the most popular presidents in history. Since Bill signed and wildly approved of NAFTA, he will never be deemed one of our great presidents, once everyone understands exactly how NAFTA destroyed American manufacturing jobs. You praise the Clinton Foundation, which received major contributions from various totalitarian states such as Saudi Arabia while she was secretary of state, and she promptly approved of major arms sales to them, to the profit of our arms manufacturers and the destabilization of the world. I'd love to elect a woman for president, but not one who is totally in the pocket of Wall Street. She says she will confront the hedge fund managers, when her son-in-law is a hedge fund manager?
Roads, Parks and Utilities to do list
Bend is a great and friendly city of the right size with a never-tiring view of the beautiful Cascade peaks, but no place is perfect so here are some suggestions for making Bend even better.
One) To Bend's road planners: Please, please, please stop building those road rage triggers / slender fender benders / traffic circles, especially the scary two-lane ones. How many potholes could be filled with the millions of dollars spent building each one? Many people don't like them / fear them / avoid them.
Two) To the Bend Parks Department: Instead of building more ball diamonds and water parks, how about building a half-Olympic-size, shallow swimming pool dedicated for lane swimming only? It is nearly impossible to have a lane to yourself at the Juniper pool so I've given up swimming as an exercise. A pool would be used day and night year round, which is not possible with ball or water parks and ice rinks. Of course, a laned-pool would not attract tourist dollars like those other features do; it would just keep us residents healthy so it's not as important.
Three) To the City of Bend Utilities Department: Please stop billing neighborhoods for the maintenance of storm sewer lines which they do not have and please refund all of those residents' payments which have been collected in error over the years. It taxes my credulity that $60 per household per year is necessary even for the neighborhoods with storm sewers, much less those without! We live in a freakin' desert that gets eleven inches of precipitation per year! How many Bend households have been flooded over the years due to clogged storm drains? And why are the storm sewer payments sent to Seattle for processing? Why doesn't the City of Bend Utilities Department handle its own revenue collection? Guilty conscience?
If Bend is really looking for low cost housing, tiny homes on expensive lots are not the answer. Most people really do not want to live in a 300 to 400 square foot house, and most people do not want them squeezed into their neighborhoods.
I was a mobile home dealer in Bend for 15 years and sold over 800 homes (not RVs). They provided a safe, code compliant and cost-effective housing for lower income residents. So why not develop a factory housing subdivision on the massive undeveloped city-owned Juniper Ridge land. This can address both the cost of land and the cost of a housing structure.
Term limits, not career politicians
I find it appalling that a nation of over three hundred million people could not produce two better presidential candidates than Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It's like having a choice between being stabbed or shot. I place the blame for this squarely at the feet of a political system that has, over time, evolved to be self-serving, feckless and corrupt. For those of you who can't fathom the appeal of Trump, it isn't so much based on who he is. It's based on, rightly or wrongly, what he doesn't represent... politics as usual, our current system of government.
Power, privilege and personal gain have so infected the body politic that only radical surgery can return it to some semblance of health. The first antiseptic I would apply is term limits. No more career politicians please. I would propose one six-year term, eight max, then go get a real job. The first two would be as a non-voting intern under the tutelage of a seasoned public servant, the last two as a tutor to the next crop.
As for the current practice of professional lobbying... amputation needed. Junk it and start over with strict laws that will at least lessen the potential for special interest groups pocketing the best politicians money can buy. Term limits and the dismantling of a corrupt political aristocracy. On that second point, I seem to recall reading somewhere we fought a war over that... and won. I rest my rant.
What speed limit?
We are developing a serious safety issue. The parkway has a 45 MPH limit all the way through town, but somehow people are doing 65. Between Bend and Redmond, the speed limit is now 65, but people are doing 80. And the police don't seem to care. More people moving faster on crowded roads means more danger, and it is already starting to show. I have seen more accidents in town and on the highway in the last year than in all my decades living in Deschutes County. It's very alarming.
It's well known that DUII is [one of] the most common crimes that people are arrested for in Central Oregon.
Drinking and speeding. Not good.
So, I offer a challenge to all the self-proclaimed locals: drive the speed limit. Show how local you really are by driving in Bend like it's still 1995. Franklin Avenue downtown is 20 mph, so drive at 20. The parkway is 45, so drive 45. Leave generous space between your car and the car ahead of you. And put your damned phone down.
Drive like a local.
Ray – Thank you for the letter about speeding, including the mention about cell phones. You are right that there have been more accidents (and fatalities) lately on Oregon roads. In fact, the Central Oregon Highway Patrol recently conducted a Distracted Driving Saturation Patrol for this very reason, issuing dozens of warnings and tickets. Please continue the conversation with a cup of coffee on us. Pick up your Palate gift card at the Source Weekly office.