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Letters 5/15-5/21



I am going to keep this short and sweet. Mr. Jegglie's comments around Michael Sam and his apparent attack on our very fabric of society are shameful, but not from the standpoint of his belief system, but from the standpoint of you choosing to publish them. I do hope this decision to print was born from one of diverse opinions versus salacious comments to fire up the readership. So let me ask you this, if I wrote that women should be stoned for infidelity or that children should wed a person of their parents' choosing, would you publish that nonsense? No, so leave Mr. Jegglie's archaic worldview to the last century and let's move on to the here and now in the 21st century. 

— Damien Sands


Here's a response to the anti-cat/wildlife expert's articles, which have been driving me nuts for years.

Two things I would like to address. First, if you have a cat in your neighborhood who preys on wild birds, why do you attract birds to your yard with a bird feeder? I would suggest you are not a candidate for Mensa (to put it nicely) when you complain about the birdkiller. Put the feeder somewhere else, so the birds can benefit from the food, but not risk their lives in the process. Second, toxemia is more of a risk to humans who have cats who are not allowed outside and use a litter box. The exposure is greater than a cat who poops outside. I am not saying that cats should be allowed outside and not be kept indoors. But pick your battles. Either cats are more a risk to humans or wildlife. As a cat (and dog) lover—with cats being the most popular pet in America—you should work toward workable solutions instead of the cat-hate rantings you have been exposing us to. And with regard to toxemia, I am 56 years old and have been "exposed" to it all of my life. Why am I still here? Not that I advocate pregnant women or anyone else ignoring doctors' recommendations—I am just pointing out killing all cats or hating them is not the solution. I love what you have done for our wildlife, but sometimes, I hate your articles.

— Duffy


I love rivers. When I paddle a kayak, I much prefer moving water to flat water. I love the way it moves, caressing each rock in a unique way, rolling over unseen contours. Poets and non-poets alike have been mesmerized by flowing water as it moves along, pulled by gravity, making way or swallowing up obstructions. Rumi wrote some 800 years ago: "The wonder of water moving over that rock in the stream justifies existence." A local Oregon author, Barry Lopez, who lives on the banks of a river, writes, "To stick your hands into the river is to feel the cords that bind the earth together in one piece."

There's been much talk about Mirror Pond and the dam that creates it. Aside from the financial and logistical issues that I won't get into (talk about houses being under water), there are very significant environmental issues involved. Around the country, there's an emerging trend of removing dams in order to restore the environment. Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, recently wrote in a letter to The New York Times (May 7) about the environmental impacts of dams:  

"Dams degrade water quality, block the movement of nutrients and sediment, destroy fish and wildlife habitats, damage coastal estuaries and in some cases rob surrounding forests of nitrogen. Reservoirs can also be significant sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

"Put simply, many dams have high environmental costs that outweigh their value. Removing them is the only sensible answer. And taking them down can often make economic sense as well. The River Alliance of Wisconsin estimates that removing dams in that state is three to five times less expensive than repairing them.

"The idea, once considered crazy, is gaining momentum. We should seize it and push for the removal of the many dams with high costs and low or zero value. The environmental impacts are too enormous.

"The message has been slowly spreading around the country. More and more communities and states have reclaimed rivers lost to jackhammers and concrete. Last year, 51 dams in 18 states were taken down, restoring more than 500 miles of streams, according to the group American Rivers. Nearly 850 have been removed in the last 20 years, and nearly 1,150 since 1912."

I'd like to see Newport Dam removed and the Deschutes run free through our town. I'm a recent arrival to Bend—five years—so I don't have a strong attachment to the historic and aesthetic qualities of Mirror Pond (aside from a local ale). I am aware, however, that the river has undergone a huge transformation just upriver, and the town is better for it. I'm speaking of the conversion of the lumber mills to the Old Mill District.  The river and bank restoration was sensitively done, as I'm sure the Drake Park conversion will be.

Chouinard again says, "Time and again, I've witnessed the celebration that comes with the removal of an unnecessary dam. After a river is restored and the fish have returned, you never hear a single person say, 'Gee, I wish we had our dam back.'"

— Donald O'Brien


Just a little info on cask influence for two of the local beers. The Darkside Stout is aged in CW Irwin Bourbon casks and the Ale Apothecary was aged in a one-off dark rum cask, also from Oregon Spirits—and oddly, the dark rum was named Dark Side.

— Jonny


It's appropriate that the most bloated public service in Bend has a trophy riverfront office. They couldn't buy Millers Landing without donations but they sure take care of themselves.

— A taxpayer


Jon "It's a choice" Jegglie:

"Jackie Robinson could never make a conscious decision to change his skin color." Is being homosexual a matter of choice? Can we change our orientation simply by changing our minds? Here's a thought: Try this simple test in the privacy of your home. I assume you're straight, so decide to be gay for four hours. Decide to be sexually attracted to men. If you can make the switch, then yeah, sexual orientation is a matter of choice. If you can't, no matter how hard you try, then maybe it's not. Oh—there's no danger in trying this simple test, because if orientation is purely choice then you won't get stuck gay.

—That Jack Elliott

Letter of the Week

Jack - If we can add to the experiment, we suggest watching Benico del Toro movies while doing this experiment. It may help. And, can we suggest an experiment for you? Stop by our office and see if we give you a $5 gift certificate to Crow's Feet Commons for the Letter of the Week.

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