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Letters 7/7-7/14



Hummm... The [Deschutes River Alliance] in their own analysis in various documents (and as Greg McMillan has said in various forums) has confirmed what [Portland General Electric] and [Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife's] analysis has shown: by the time the water makes it's way down the river towards anywhere near the mouth of the lower Deschutes the temperature in the river is completely dependent on air temperature. The temperature of the water being released at the bottom of the [Pelton Round Butte] dam complex in this stretch has no impact.

PGE and the [Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs] operate PRB per their FERC operating agreement, which calls for them to maintain the river at the temperature that it would be at if the dams were not in place, which is exactly what they are doing. They continue to modify their output regime, but it is only fiddling at the margins.

Let's face it: global warming is real. The past 2 summers have been the warmest on record and this summer could be warmer still. The Columbia is the warmest it has ever been. We can look for scapegoats but that is not going to cool off our summers and lower the water temps. Asking PGE to counteract the warmest air temperatures on record is an interesting request. As stated in the article, there is only so much cold water at the bottom of the reservoir. As the release protocol calls for, they will start to release it in larger quantities in August when the anadromous fish need it to start their journey upriver. Hopefully, air temps will recede then as well as the days get shorter.

This is an emotional issue for many anglers. As an avid steelhead angler I too am distressed by the water temps and it's impact on a fishery I love, but we need to stick to the best available science. Many of us think dams are bad and should be removed. Current river temps mimic what they would be if that were to happen.


Yancy is right. We need to stick to the science. Our own data, and PGE's data as reported by Charles Huntington in the PGE funded and published report, "Water Temperatures in the Lower Deschutes River, Oregon," indicate that temperatures throughout the lower river are impacted by dam release temperatures. From the Huntington report: "Our modeling suggests that PRB affects river temperatures all the way downstream to the mouth." (page 45). Last year when PGE reduced dam discharge temperatures on July 19, the impact was clearly seen within 36 hours at the Moody temperature gauge near the mouth of the Deschutes River. Right now we only need a few degrees cooler water to benefit fish.

As of today, PGE is continuing to increase dam release water temperatures despite already warm temperatures and record heat. The cold water supply from Lake Billy Chinook that was utilized last summer reportedly lasted until September. When shorter days and cooler temperatures prevail.

—Greg McMillan, Deschutes River Alliance


So, as a relative newcomer, let me see if I "get" this July 4 tradition: Freedom somehow means a bunch of white people get to exercise the privilege (not quite the same as freedom) of throwing empty beer cans and other trash all over Pioneer Park for some underpaid city worker (perhaps a person of color to boot?) to clean up? Well, that's great. Riding bikes in funny costumes on the 4th is clever, but leaving a mess behind for somebody else to deal with isn't. Rights and freedoms come with duties and obligations; we don't live alone, but in a community with others. Freedom doesn't mean being a jerk.

—Judy Ridner


The construction debris is not our first glimpse of the dark underbelly of the whole play-wave idea (e.g. last spring's frog-kill—see the Source article ["Frog Out of Water"] from June 3rd), which was sold to voters as a recreational and economic panacea with no downside. Not unlike the unintended consequences of last century's big dam-building era (albeit on a much smaller scale) the play wave is a physical embodiment of the hubris of those who feel nature should be engineered to suit their fancy. While I strongly supported the other aspects of the bond (trail expansion, river access, dam removal etc.), I voted against it because we should have learned our lesson from the last 150 years and simply restore the river: Remove the dam, provide safe passage and habitat...and be done with it! Here in Central Oregon, we are lucky to be surrounded by boundless NATURAL whitewater opportunities...and that ought to be good enough for those who have immigrated here to enjoy our rivers, lakes, and mountains. Forgive my vulgarity, but the play wave is like a pair of fake tits for the whitewater community.

I predict [Bend Park and Recreation District] and [Bend Paddle Trail Alliance] will have ongoing public relations difficulties connected to the play wave (such as drownings, malfunctions, public nuisances, environmental impacts) and that it will eventually be removed. After all, the bond only passed by a 51 percent margin, meaning that even among Bend's recreation-crazed, yuppie populace, the bond was nonetheless opposed by about half of people in town.

—Armpits Mcgee


Ho hum. More mainstream media poking fun at hippies. Pretty boring stuff to those of us who were there. What's so funny 'bout peace, love, and understanding? Yes, I know, a song that came much later. But, still a good question.

—Mickey Finn

Yeah man, I was there...back in the day. I'm something of an aging-hippie chick (on the younger side) who ended up in the Seattle suburbs (gasp... boring suburbia) to raise my baby hippies.

1. I'm not sure if you're talking about now or "then," but I think flower children don't usually wear tie dye. They wear organic cotton and (the girls) wear flowing, flowery tops and dresses. It might be different in Bend, but the true giveaway is the flower garlands on their heads. (I think it's more likely that you'd see a "wookie" in tie-dye...tie-dye shows less dirt.)

2. None of the trustfund babies I knew came from Connecticut, but I have to laugh at the part about the "permanent record."

And, even though I've just moved to the small town of Bend, I'm probably closest to a Metrohippie...sans chickens. Sounds like a good lifestyle.

If you have any questions about traditional (old-school) hippiedom, you can ask me or Mickey. I think Mickey sounds like he/she's in the groove.

—Tina Boomerina

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