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Letters 7/27-8/3


Troy Field: Next Step Fundraising to Save Our Field

Brownstone Development has withdrawn their offer for buying Troy Field, this now opens the door for residents to start to work to raise the funds to acquire Troy Field and keep it as it has been for over a century—a playing field.

We have come a long way over the last year, when The Source published, "This Used to be My Playground," in July 2015, with the news that the School District had accepted a $1.9 million offer from Brownstone Development for Troy Field who had planned on eliminating the field and building some condos.

That was the beginning of when the residents started the letters, petitions, and testimonies at the two hearings—the first hearing before a Hearing Officer—then the second before the City Council—both hearings had the same outcome—denying the change of the overlay zoning (denying commercial).

We are now at the next step.

Let us, together, save 109-year-old Troy Field.

—Julia Ohlson

An Open Letter to the Bend-La Pine School Board

Dear Bend La Pine School Board Members,

While I appreciate your service to our community, I want to voice my concern and disappointment with your decision to take a position against Measure 97 (IP28) in this week's school board meeting with your 4-3 vote: Nori Juba, Cheri Helt, Stuart Young, and Andy High voting in favor of taking a position against Measure 97; Julie Craig, Ron Gallinat, and Peggy Kinkade voting opposed to taking a position.

It is baffling to me why you would take a position on this. By continually relying on the tired argument, that you "just don't trust our elected officials with a blank check," you are essentially placing more trust in large corporations than you do in the democratic process.

You are placing more trust in multinational corporations like Comcast, Berkshire Hathaway, and Walmart. Incidentally, at the end of 2015, these companies along with 300 other Fortune 500 companies collectively held $2.4 trillion off-shore. A good portion of those funds that these corporations are actively and intentionally hiding, could be used to improve our suffering schools. Your trust would have been much better placed in the 450 members of the Yes on 97 coalition. Coalition members and small business owners who truly make up the backbone of our local communities, like the folks at Oregon PTA, Oregon Nurses Association, and the professional educators and classified employees right here in Central Oregon.

Regardless of how you feel personally about the specifics of the ballot measure, regardless of your professions outside of the school board, your job is to fund our schools, not to take political positions. It is especially surprising when the Oregon School Board Association (OSBA) has chosen to remain neutral on Measure 97. Why would you come out in opposition to something that your very own association has chosen to not take a position on? This sends a very conflicting message to our beloved region.

You see, this ballot measure is about something bigger. It's about making investments in a better future for all Oregonians by addressing decades of underfunding of our critical services.

Finally, with just one vote, you will likely divide our education community. You have chosen pessimism over optimism. Many of the gains made last year between district office personnel, administrators, teachers, and classified staff are now jeopardized.

All of this, while you search for funding solutions to cope with our growing student population. You know as well as I do that if our district grows by 7,000 students in the next 20 years, as it's expected to do, we will need to find significant additional funding to provide a quality education for every student. This measure is our opportunity to do that, which is why your lack of support is mystifying to me.

I, for one, feel betrayed.

—Travis Overley, History Teacher, Summit High School

Bike Issue

As a frequent, longtime cyclist in Bend, I eagerly picked up the bike issue, only to face disappointment. I feel that you missed an opportunity to educate our growing population on the courtesies that encourage safe commutes for two-, three- and four-wheeled transportation. Here are a few suggestions:

1) Automobile drivers, please remember that our flesh and blood is at your mercy. A slight mistake or aggression easily kills us, while we cannot hurt you with our 100-200 lb. mass.

2) EVERYONE signal! Turn signals have been ubiquitous in cars since the 1950s, and arms have been around much longer. Signal lane changes, roundabout exits, left and right turns and the exit ramp off the freeway, please. No reason not to.

3) Drivers, stay in your lane as you pass a cyclist. When you veer over the painted lines into oncoming traffic, you endanger us all. We are accustomed to keeping a straight line, within inches. Don't crowd us, but don't overcompensate, either, please.

4) Competent cyclists can be going approximately the same speed as traffic. If you need to turn right, and race past a bicycle to do so, they will not have enough distance and time to brake for you cutting in front of them, and will dent your passenger side with their body, as they crumble.

Thank you for your attention, let's all enjoy a safe, active summer!

—KarenLynn Robinson

Dog Rescue Bend Style

I would like to extend a huge thank you to the young man on the paddle board who saved my stranded dog from the river on Wednesday, July 13. Blackjack, my black and white terrier, had climbed over the badly leaning fence at the water park at Riverbend Park into a totally fenced off area where I was unable to reach him. I tried to coax him down river towards the launch area where there is a beach, but he had other ideas. He spotted a rock in the water and swam a few feet out to it. After eating most of the goose poop on it he was too scared and nervous to jump back into the water. A few minutes later a young man and dog on a paddle board appeared and, thankfully, agreed to rescue Blackjack. He had never been on a board, but fortunately he did well! I was so happy to get my precocious puppy back and would like the opportunity to thank this thoughtful and kind paddle boarder. If he reads this please respond. I have also called Bend Parks and Rec who agreed to check the leaning fence and make necessary repairs. I hope that they follow through on this in a timely and efficient manner.

—Mary Robinson

Mary—We are happy to hear that Blackjack is safe and sound! In honor of the Dog Issue have a cup of coffee from Palate on us. Maybe his rescuer can join you for a cup!

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