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Letters 9/28-10/5


In Response to, "Say No to National Food Chains," (9/15):

Steven, Steven, Steven (not the actor): If you want to stop national chains from landing in Bend, you're too late. That ship has sailed. Also, Cracker Barrel is not fast food, and North Highway 97 is not a "hip vibe" area. Relax dude. I'm happy to take your vacant seat at the Barrel for some biscuits and gravy.

—Jim Scott

City Council Race

Candidate Bill Mosely is now blaming the entire Bend City Council (if his door hanger is to be believed) for imposing "roadblocks" to affordable housing. In addition, he accuses councilors of "picking fights."

Let's remember that one of these fights grew out of the City's desire for the Park District to follow its lead and create more affordable housing by waiving SDC charges.

An OPB news item from July 21, in describing still another City policy that encourages workforce housing, acknowledged "Portland and other Oregon cities are now following Bend's lead on affordable housing fees."

I would rather my elected City officials fight for me and my community, rather than read from the script provided them by powerful donors. (Mr. Mosely has already been the recipient of a $1000 contribution from Central Oregon Association of Realtors.)

Mr. Mosely, from his website, apparently swears by the "entrepreneurial ecosystem" approach to social economics, which—as in Silicon Valley—can lead to dislocation, homelessness, and inequality.

Give me a fighter over a script reader any day.

—Foster Fell

In Response to "Rare Sighting: The Sierra Nevada Red Fox," (9/22):

Hi Jim,

I'm sure you don't know me. I have bumped into you at the Eagle Watch a couple times and read your columns in the Source on a regular basis. I just finished your piece on the SVRF and think we saw one. It may not be of use as it was several years ago and we don't have a photo. In the Fall of 2007 we were moving west to what turned out to be Bend. On the way, we stopped at Crater Lake NP and hiked up Mt Garfield. On the way up we witnessed what was likely the most exciting wildlife encounter I have ever experienced. A fox and a pine marten in a stare down and eventual chase. The pine marten made it but just barely. After reading your article just now, I showed my partner, who was with me on that hike, the photo in the Source. He said the fox we saw had the same white on the end of its tail. Now I would not possibly remember this but he is a photographer and has an amazing memory for details—especially in images that he keeps in his mind. I have no doubt that if he says that fox had white on the end of its tail, that it did. I hope this info is helpful in some way and I very much appreciate your strong viewpoints on protecting and preserving the natural environment! Thanks for all you do!

—Alice Hodgdon

In Response to Lisa Loo's Comment on, "From Community Activist to Longtime Mayor," (9/8):

Source Weekly recently published an op-ed by Ms. Lisa Loo. While her points about affordability and stewardship of public funds are well taken, there are a number of misstatements that require correction. Her comments about our mayor, Jim Clinton, are her own, but I have found him by far to be one of the most responsible and even-handed individuals with whom I have had the honor to serve outside or inside of government. Mayor Clinton has been a prudent steward of our local government for more than a decade and Bend will miss him on council, as will I.

When it comes to responsible use of public funds, put me at the front of the line. But let's get our facts straight. Property taxes in Deschutes County have little to do with the City of Bend and are set through the county tax assessor's office. Bend City Council does not have the power to levy taxes at all. Frustration about taxes should be directed to the right place, but it does bear mentioning that Oregon ranks in the lower half of states for property tax, and Bend has tax rates far below other cities in Central Oregon.

Comments about the fuel tax are also off the mark. Bend continues to lack adequate funding to improve and maintain our roads. Suggestions that we somehow found enough money in the budget are based on false statements by dissenting voices more caught up in ideology than actual budget analysis. Let's let the numbers speak for themselves while we continue to look for ways to improve our roads.

Finally, the letter was correct to call out the question of funding priorities that led to construction of a whitewater park on the Deschutes River. However, once again, the funding for that project came from Bend Parks and Recreation, an entirely different government entity that had nothing to do with either Mayor Clinton or the City of Bend. In fact, although parks are funded through their own county taxing process, like the City of Bend, they have no power to levy taxes themselves. Instead, money for the park came from a ballot measure passed by Bend residents in 2012.

I share concerns about how local government operates and the disconnect that sometimes develops between citizens and elected officials but let's not blame an outstanding Mayor for issues that the letter writer clearly didn't understand. Let's keep the discourse civilized and place blame where it's due, not at the feet of an outstanding public servant.

—Nathan Boddie, M.D.

Nathan – We're all for civilized discourse and an informed populace. If I believed otherwise, it might be hard to come to work every day... Stop on by for your gift card to Palate.

—Nicole Vulcan, Editor

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