- Photographer Jesse Polay and Big Mountain Heli Tours share a view of Saturday's Pole Pedal Paddle watercraft staging area at Riverbend Park.
Sun Up Till Sun Down — Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone
Bend, yeah you. Whats up? It's been a minute since we spoke.
I have been gone for some time but to the newcomers (welcome?) let's chat. So, I keep hearing about the throngs of sun travelers — the thousands coming into town to, you know, wreak havoc. I keep getting phone calls from friends and family who have lived in and worked in Bend for over 50 years, saying the roads, garbage, fire, water, police are all spread thin for events.
Wow, with no bus worth a darn and rocket fuel beer and weed rolled into the sun what could go wrong? Not to mention Bend doesn't have mucho gallons of gas. Buy water, food and have a plan. The traffic? Who makes sure your senior citizen neighbor gets fed?
What's that dumb sticker people have "Be nice you're in Bend?" Let's hope Bend's residents take notice of that decal and work together to reduce traffic accidents, DUIS, forest fires and river accidents.
You got this Bend, don't mess it up. Have a great summer.
— Garrett Corbari
Clear Cutting Trees for Housing Development
I was born and raised in Oregon and appreciate and love the natural environment for which this state is well known. I have also noticed how large healthy trees are being clear-cut to make way for housing. I acknowledge that Central Oregon needs housing and it would be nice if it was affordable, but that is really a myth.
Some of these developers could certainly save some of the trees, especially the large pines and firs. Cutting all the trees certainly has a lasting impact on the animal and avian life in the area. What studies have been done on that? What studies have been done on the air quality and erosion action? What studies have been done on the cooling impact that these trees contribute to the immediate area?
Just a street away from my home, there is a severe excavation for a house. The excavation has dangerously exposed the root system of two extremely large ponderosa pines and created such a precipitous edge on one side of each tree that either the trees will fall down on their own or fall in the next windstorm right on the house being constructed on the spot. It is appalling that the landowner who sold off this lot would allow such wanton disregard for the trees and allow the creation of such a dangerous situation. Why hasn't the city inspector not said anything about this? The city cannot be blind to these situations and developers must be more responsible. Don't tell me that it will make the houses cost more to preserve some of the trees as that is just not an acceptable excuse. We live in this area partially for the natural habitat and the beauty of the trees, rivers, lakes and wide open spaces. High density does not lead to a peaceful environment or appreciation of the natural beauty at one's doorstep. Stop and think before allowing clear-cutting in the city.
— Joselyn Houk
In Response to, Election Results In: $268 Million School Bond Passes (5/17)
I think the big news of this election is that three women in the Bend precincts were elected to positions previously held or currently contested by good old boys. Thank you for your recent stories encouraging women to enter politics.
— F. Fell, via bendsource.com
In Response to, Out of Reach — Affordable Housing isn't a Niche Market Anymore (5/17)
All points taken, but the big picture reason that here and across the country, affordable housing is so crazy is: real estate has become a "casino mentality" in the last few decades. Portfolios and investment opportunities drives up the market prices for people that just want a place to live. Then throw in the vacation rentals in Bend and you have what we have now.
Sometimes it seems that we talk about affordable housing as though it's just a thing to talk about. When in fact, we are a society bent on making a profit at the expense of everyone — no matter the consequences to the greater. Nothing illegal going on, "But I just can't get enough properties in my portfolio to feel safe and secure."
How many houses in Bend sit empty from out of state owners, again, no crime. McMansions filled with empty space so that when I visit I feel like I'm the king of the world. Again, no crimes. So we plug along with noble solutions, thinking that if we could just get enough inventory the problem would be eased some. But then some rich person from 'anywhere' pops into town and buys the new apartment complex and turns it into condos and townhouses. Good for them and their investment, no crime committed, it's the American way.
What if a really rich person swooped into town and bought lots of houses and apartments and then rented them out for below market value and you had to prove your worthiness? It would help, but we all want to capitalize on opportunities. And there just doesn't seem to be a profitable opportunity when it comes to low income affordable housing. We just haven't gotten hungry enough or creative enough to solve this.
Maybe check out what Barcelona, Spain is doing with their city blocks, it's awesome. But that's Europe — didn't we leave that place a couple of centuries ago because of oppression? "Build it and they will come," Bend real estate interests have been promoting Bend to the world for decades. The Bend theme park is alive and well, so enjoy the ride! Because like it or not, Bend is going upward in building size so that those that work the low end jobs can support those that come to the theme park for fun.
— Doug Cristafir, via bendsource.com