I find it very fitting that on the week we are putting out our annual Poetry Issue, a young poet is the talk of the nation. Amanda Gorman's rousing inaugural poem was a balm we needed to inspire us and get us thinking not of despair, but about how we are, "a nation that isn't broken, but simply unfinished," on a globe that knows, "even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped, That even as we tired, we tried."
Poetry, like all forms of art, has the power to inspire and even to incite—to bring us out of our troubled existence into a brighter world where we can dream bigger and go further. It's my pride and pleasure to bring readers the news every week, but it's also my deep privilege to get to delve into the local art, music, culture and food scenes, too—where artistry, and especially during this time, innovation are on grand display.
This issue also happens to contain our Takeout Guide, a product of many weeks and many phone calls' worth of checking and re-checking what local establishments have on offer during this time.
So I guess this week's issue offers both spiritual food, and the type that fills your belly, too!
Recurring Cash Payments is Financial Stability during a Pandemic
Monthly stimulus checks are the pathway to Universal Basic Income. I believe UBI will be the future of the world. If We the People intend to ensure equity, equality and prosperity for All, we must demand monthly stimulus checks.
RE: Teachers, School Staff to Get Vaccines, News, 1/21
As much as I'd like to be closer to the beginning of the line for a vaccine, I support an educator receiving it before me. As with all things, when there's a limited supply, priorities must be set. We here in Oregon have been banging on the State to open schools back up...this is a quicker way to get there.
—Stacy Forson, via Facebook
I hope the superintendent and the school board listened to President Biden's inauguration address today. He made it clear that this pandemic is not to be a political divide any longer and that decisions should be based on science and that we need to unite on our efforts and come together in this time of the biggest surge in this pandemic. I implore the BLPS to please let teachers and the elderly be completely vaccinated before returning our students and teachers to in-person learning. You are putting our community at risk and creating division between people. Please listen to the science and look at the numbers that came out yesterday for Deschutes County. Please let's unite in the name of science and safety.
—Nicole Perullo, via bend source.com
RE: End Bottle Recycling, Letters, 1/21
I just about fell out of my chair after reading the letter Jan. 21st from James Scott regarding can & bottle recycling. May I offer a suggestion? You can return them at Fred Meyer or Safeway once you set up a one-time account with the "nasty" bottle return center. You can return 24 cans or bottles each day to Food 4 Less. This is what I do. You can also put them out once a week with a PLEASE TAKE sign or even hand them off to a "bum" at the recycle place. Anything is better than throwing them in with the garbage and adding to our landfill problem. That is just not an option. Please do not follow that suggestion. You may also find kids in the neighborhood that are willing to pick them up every week or two and deal with turning them in to some spending money. It's just a little bit of effort that we should all make to help the community and planet. Don't add to the problem.
—Jo Ann Wirth
I am respectfully responding to James Scott's letter which I totally agree with in regards to the negative experiences of the Bottle Drop.
However, I have an added observation after six and a half years of redeeming cans, plastic and glass.
I have gleaned nearly $7,000 returning resources that people and neighbors have finished using. I am retired so the added benefit of the bottle bill has wonderfully kept my gas tank full, treats for the dog and some extra groceries for me. Praise God for the pocket change.
Over the six years of frequenting the Bottle Drop I have seen it go from a friendly place to a fort with all the fencing and security work force.
Unlike Mr. James I have, while waiting in line, mentally improved on the looks of the building by installing live plants inside to purify the air indoors, installed waffle mats at the stations to keep sticky substances off shoes, replaced gross looking tubs with more colorful plastic tubs and with wheels that work and kept the floors regularly swept. Oh and I have fantasied on putting up a few landscape pictures on walls to encourage an atmosphere of "this can be as pristine a place that the outdoors is, as we repurpose our resources for the good of the country. (My previous career before retirement was a lower grade school teacher and part of the social studies course was how to care for our environment, so I am only practicing what the kids were taught.)
Thanks especially to Tom McCall for making this a practical law to care for our city and state... resources.
Oh, lastly the bottles, cans and glass are a stimulus for the marginalized people of lesser financial income. Thankfully they are doing their part also. Keep Recycling.
Thank you for hearing me out.
—Bottle Drop believer Diane Grube
James Scott's letter "END OF BOTTLE RECYCLING" voiced his frustration with the "bottle recycling" system and his solution was that his bottles would be "going in the trash." I agree there are always lines at Bottle Drop and that many of the individuals that hang out there can be intimidating, especially to women. Putting the bottles in the trash isn't an acceptable solution. When I lived in Portland, I donated my bottles and cans to schools. In Bend there are nonprofits that accept bottles and cans. I donate mine to the Humane Society of Central Oregon on SE 27th Street. Other organizations that accept bottles and cans are Bend-Redmond Habitat for Humanity, La Pine Community Kitchen and Mosaic Medical. Please don't trash what could be donated to good causes.
Letter of the Week:
James—Thanks for offering a solid alternative to tossing those bottles! Come on by and grab a gift card to Palate.
Judging by the number of letters we got on this topic, it appears that Source readers by and large support the bottle bill and the recycling of bottles, cans and plastic. I would have published more of the bounty of bottle bill letters we received—but readers, you have to include your first and last name if you want to see your words in print!