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Letters 6/16-6/23

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You have probably heard of the new university planned on the east side of the Cascades. Its official name will be OSU-Cascades, but this looks like a misnomer. Among other problems with its planned location on Bend's west side, attending will be problematic for students who don't live in Bend. A more honest name might be OSU-Bend.

Driving directions to the planned campus alone are complicated, but they won't be necessary for students from outside the city because they very likely won't be able to park there. They will need to find a free parking spot near some stop for a bus going to the campus. Lotsa luck on that one.

Opponents of the west side location have proposed, among other sites, locating the university at Juniper Ridge in northeast Bend.  Directions would be simple.  From Sisters, turn east on Cooley Road from US20 to the roundabout at the Les Schwab building and turn north.  From Redmond and Madras and points in between same as Sisters except they would turn east from US97. Instead, students from the north will have to drive past these potentially convenient access points to zigzag through Bend's commercial areas in search of that free parking spot near a suitable bus stop.

Students from the south—Sunriver and La Pine—would just have to use the Bend Parkway and US97 to Cooley Road where they would turn to the east.

If you are concerned about educational opportunities for your younger residents, you might consider joining the opponents of this designated site.

—Bill Bodden, Redmond


Forgive me for getting personal, but I am 62 now. This REALLY Bugs Me! I feel fortunate to make something just over $17 an hour. I have worked everyday of my life since I was about 15 to pay my way in our society. I always thought that a PAY RAISE was tied to merit, or effort and not just an arbitrary decision to give everyone who is struggling financially a 30 percent raise. I don't feel very good about the fact that now my salary, which has not kept pace with the CPI (Consumer Price Index) in about 7 years, since the Great Recession, is stagnant.  People earning the NEW minimum will be just a couple bucks behind the earning level I've spent 50 years working up to. I was rewarded with raises base on hard work.  My purchasing power in today's economy is substantially lower than in 2007.  So when I see minimum wage workers about to get the equivalent of a 30 percent raise, WITHOUT any Merit or Performance Criteria applied to it,  I want to say "WHERE'S MY FRICKIN' RAISE"?

Simply raising the very bottom tier of wage earners income, while not increasing the ENTIRE WAGE SCALE, is illogical.  

If you raise the bottom level, then it follows you should up everyone's BASE.

Every year for the last 10 years of my income earning career, I have seen employers take the attitude that, "You should be glad you have a freakin' job at all!!"  NO raises, NO incentives. Just don't bitch.  

Our earning power is at all time lows for the last 30 years.

This is not the American Dream for older workers...it's an American Nightmare.

—Dave Stalker


I have a suggestion as to how we Oregonians can phase out the mutilation and horrific death of our state's wildlife by the few hundred sadistic Neanderthals who call themselves licensed fur trappers. I suggest that we citizens, through our legislature or by petition, prohibit the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife from granting new trapping licenses while allowing the current license holders to sell their licenses to us wildlife lovers. The current license holders could set their own prices individually and the free market would do the rest. That way there would be no "taking" of anyone's assumed "rights," which would ease the anti-government paranoia common in rural areas. Money talks, and it should have the power to halt this unconscionable, violent maiming and murder of OUR wildlife and pets. By enrolling capitalism to our cause, perhaps we can end this abhorrent situation. When the last sadist sells his license or dies, wildlife lovers across our state can have a giant party at finally ending this barbaric practice!

—Eddie Kinnamon


I live on the east side of town, across the tracks. Ha. In reality, it doesn't matter what part of town I call home; this issue isn't geographic. It's a pervasive mental condition called greed, which is as devastating as other addictions—often worse, as this reverberates through the system reaching especially the lowest rungs of society. When is enough, enough?

We received a letter from my landlord last week indicating a rate increase. Hey, the cost of living; maybe a little more—it's a part of life.  So I thought, until I kept reading...

"We are thrilled to have you as a resident and want to continue the relationship for another year. With Bend's current 1% vacancy rate, we know finding a new place can be very difficult and expensive. Additionally, there is the high cost of moving, the inconvenience of taking time off work and the many stresses that come with changing your residency. We hope that you will choose to stay in our community.  However, we are providing the following options for you to consider:"

Last year the increase was a reasonable +$25/mo. Things changed this year! We currently pay $1,275/month for a 3 bedroom close to Hwy 20/27th. Our new "options" range from $1,610 to $1,710 (length of lease dependent), which includes the new $55/month utility surcharge. Our new reality is $335-435/month less to spend for other living expenses. Did the cost of doing business suddenly jump for this realty management corporation based in Addison, Texas? I'd wager their cost of doing business increase was modest like the rest of us.

The dream of home ownership was just set back considerably, if even possible in this new "global economy/world order" we live in. For what? A rapacious VP or executive, in another state mind you, will likely get a bonus for inching up their quarterly stock price. It wasn't just my dream, it is the dream of scores of others that live here also and the countless tenants being displaced for the more profitable vacation rentals. This is greed! Next month more peasants will get notices like this. When is it enough?

—Paul Arebalo


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