WHITEWATER PROJECT DOESN'T HOLD WATER
With all the congratulations and backslapping after the [Bend Whitewater Park] spillway project opened, for many, it was a bit of a disappointment. In every photo of the proposed completed project—including the 6-foot by 8-foot photo at the McKay site—the "floater's passage" is shown as calm flat water channel, wide enough for watercraft going in both directions. That's what we voted for; that's not what we got.
I talked to other floaters at McKay Park and they reflected the same sentiment, "We thought it was going to be flat water and we could go in both directions." "It doesn't look deep enough for my boat."
I'm very happy that the whitewater boaters got what they wanted. I recall the struggle to turn Parks and Rec's head away from a proposed golf course and focus on a project that we, the Bend Community, could all enjoy (either actively or as a visual participant).
But the majority of the river play will not be tiny boats in the center channel; it will be various rafters and those with larger boats wanting to navigate from Farewell Bend Park to Drake Park without a portage. The present floaters channel doesn't allow that. Inner tube floaters even had trouble going down that channel.
We've experienced politicians claiming "Mission Accomplished" before. Our property tax bill will arrive soon. Be sure to note how you give to Parks and Rec every year. Perhaps we can find a way to gently remind them to provide the community what they promised.
UNCOMMON CANNABIS COURTESY
This is a matter of life and death. My husband will go into anaphylactic shock if he eats or smokes the smallest amount of pot. One bite could cause severe shock or death. And if this happens to him, I'm sure it could happen to others.
Unfortunately, I know of too many examples of people thinking it's fun to give pot brownies, etc., to unknowing friends. You may have experienced this yourselves, it's so common.
That's why I'm raising this alarm, and begging all pot brownie and other edibles lovers, never give a sample to anyone without letting them know of the pot content. Your well-intended fun could turn into tragedy.
OREGON'S PLAN TO KILL COUGARS
The State of Oregon is proposing to expand trophy hunting of our state's cougars, and officials have no plausible rationale for it. Their reasoning is that cougars are taking too many mule deer, and that leaves fewer deer for hunters to kill. You want hunters to wipe out more of our native cats because they are eating deer? Eating deer is what cougars do and is what balances our ecosystem. If there are fewer deer because the food chain is working properly, then we simply need to issue fewer hunting licenses this year. Maybe next year the hunters will win, but this year it would seem that the cougars have it. The bottom line is that this logic has no place in public policy.
The state not only wants to kill cougars, but they want to use methods that many would consider unsportsmanlike. Federal Wildlife Services agents are allowed to kill cougars with painful traps called "neck snares." And, although Oregonians have consistently voted to ban hunting cougars with dogs, government volunteer hunters are still allowed to set radio-collared hounds loose to track and chase cougars until the cats are cornered. Using GPS technology, hunters follow the signals from the hounds' collars and show up in time to shoot the cornered cougar. A method that's dangerous for the hounds and unfair to the cougars. It's a case of trophy hunting, plain and simple.
I have just called the Department of Fish and Wildlife to tell them I oppose this plan, and I hope everyone who reads this will do the same: 541-388-6363.
PLANNED PARENTHOOD: A VITAL RESOURCE IN BEND
In February of 2014, I went to East Cascade Women's Group to get an IUD, reportedly the most effective form of birth control. A few months down the line I began having symptoms of pregnancy, such as loss of period, weight gain, and mood swings. I blew these signs off as related to the hormones in my new birth control. My OBGYN had specifically informed me that losing my period is a normal side effect of an IUD. After a while my intuition led me to take a pregnancy test, which revealed that I was, indeed, pregnant. The hours that followed were nothing like they are in the movies. I was overcome with shock and a multitude of confusing emotions that I had a hard time sorting through.
I have always believed myself to be a "pro-choice" woman, and thought that if I found myself to be pregnant against my desire I would have an abortion. I never thought the choice would be difficult. Goes to show you never know how you will react to any given situation until you're in it. I was angry that politics had polarized and simplified what was suddenly a very challenging, multi-faceted, complex, decision. Pro-choice or pro-life. For it or against it. It was not that easy.
For reasons that I do not feel the need to explain nor justify here I decided to have an abortion. It was not an easy choice, but it was the right choice for me and for that tiny spirit inside me. Abortions are not offered at St. Charles. My only option in Bend for an abortion was at Planned Parenthood. However, due to potential complications during the procedure from my IUD, I flew back to my parent's home to have the operation in a hospital setting. I am fortunate to have had the support I needed during this difficult time.
But this isn't about me. This is about Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood is a resource for women (and men) in Central Oregon who need information about safe sex, birth control, STD testing, and abortion/adoption/birthing options. Planned Parenthood is under a moral attack on a national scale at the moment. For the sake of brevity I will not recap the allegations made against the organization, though I do encourage you to read articles from both sides of the story before making your own conclusion about the hot topic at hand. Planned Parenthood provides an option for women in Bend. Planned Parenthood is not the enemy. The only enemy I have seen present in the abortion/Planned Parenthood debate is the evil which silences and shames women into thinking they have only one choice, whether that is to keep or abort their unplanned pregnancy. Central Oregon needs both St. Charles and Planned Parenthood. Options. Choices.
We can show support for our local Planned Parenthood by offering our time as a volunteer, donating money, or standing by the building and demonstrating our appreciation for their services. I am up for a Planned Parenthood parade if you ever need a sign-holding partner.