Letters to the Editor 10/28/21 | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

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Letters to the Editor 10/28/21

Unvaxxed and Off the Job, Bend’s Representation in Congress, Confusing Cause and Effect and more

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Editor's note:

@gooddogsofbend knows there's one sure way to the Source Weekly team's heart: Dogs! Murphy the pup is certainly ready for Halloween! Tag us @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured here and as the Instagram of the Week in the Cascades Reader. Winners get a free print from @highdesertframeworks. - @GOODDOGSOFBEND/INSTAGRAM
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  • @gooddogsofbend knows there's one sure way to the Source Weekly team's heart: Dogs! Murphy the pup is certainly ready for Halloween! Tag us @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured here and as the Instagram of the Week in the Cascades Reader. Winners get a free print from @highdesertframeworks.

Cannabis has been legal in Oregon for six years now, and believe it or not, this fine publication is still the only one east of the mountains with a dedicated column on the subject. Twice a year since 2015, we've also put out two special publications that focus more specifically on all things cannabis. This year, our "Leaflet" brings you some news and updates from the industry, as well as some fun. Check out our tour of a legal growing facility in the city of Bend, plus our look at some of the stunning glass artwork out there. And if cannabis is not your thing, don't worry—there's plenty of other news, food coverage, local film reviews ("Dune," anyone??) and more inside this issue.

Of course, who could forget that Halloween is right around the corner? Inside you'll find our special roundup of Halloween events for those looking for some scary business outside of home. If you want to start with live music, we recommend checking out our Sound section, where we outline some of the fun to be had at this year's Bend Roots Revival... which coincides with Halloween weekend.

Enjoy your week!

RE: Unvaxxed and Off the Job, News, 10/21

Always nice to cull the herd. I like healthcare providers that believe in providing healthcare safely. If you can let politics dictate what science you believe in, then you don't truly believe in what you're doing. If you can't step up during a worldwide health crisis, you don't have what it takes.

—Joseph Senko via Facebook.com

I'm curious as to what they decided to do if they left the job? Are they going elsewhere? Did they move to another state to work where there isn't mandates? I mean, you have to work so what now?

—Lacey Weeks via Facebook.com

It is difficult to accept that our hospital, like those across the country is understaffed. Despite this I feel that a scientific institution such as a hospital should be staffed by individuals with some basic understanding of science. Over 96% of physicians are vaccinated. From what I have heard about behind the scenes recordings at Fox News I suspect the numbers are similar there. Perhaps those leaving health care can staff Dairy Queen. I am sure those willing to give up their jobs have strong beliefs and they certainly have the right to choose not to vaccinate but they should not be part of a scientific institution and certainly not caring for sick people.

—Diane Izard via bendsource.com

Raising the starting pay to just $18 an hour is not enough. SCMC can afford to do better. Administrative salaries remain way high and none of those people directly care for patients. As for the overall shortage, it is happening in hospitals across the country. SCMC is not unique in that respect. Workers are finding some power and leverage to boost their living standards. More power to them.

—Michael Funke via bendsource.com

RE: Bend's Representation in Congress Has Long Been Shunted. Now It's Gotten Worse. Opinion, 10/14

This editorial fails to consider that approximately one-third of the voters in the newly drawn 5th Congressional District will be from Central Oregon. As a result, we will have a great deal of influence on who is elected to this seat.

We are surely better off in this new district, which will be a competitive district for both parties, than to be in the 2nd District, which is so Republican that no Democrat can possibly be elected, and the only contest is in the Republican primary.

—Peter Kunen via bendsource.com

Confusing Cause and Effect

Recently, I stood in front of a great painting, Manet's, Ragpicker. It powerfully conveys the timeless sadness of poverty and homelessness. My mind and heart raced forward 160 years to the "homeless" in Bend and the outlying areas. I considered what I know about poverty and what I've seen living, working and studying in poor and rich countries. I did some research on the demographics of modern homelessness in America. I've come to a very different conclusion about the nature of today's crisis and why it persists.

Research confirms that between 65% and 80% of the people we call "homeless" suffer from varying degrees of mental illness and addiction. If you have intersected with the homeless, you can see that for yourself. But advocates on the right and left continue to focus on a lack of housing as the #1 priority. Instead, we should be focused on the lack of mental health, addiction treatment and effective law enforcement that ultimately cause most homelessness. We are confusing cause and effect and can't see that the solutions run far deeper than temporary shelters, affordable housing and designated camps.

Paradoxically, a place to live does not solve most, "homelessness." The solution needs to be a sustained basecamp of focused resources that address the root causes of homelessness. If you are mentally ill and/or addicted under a bridge, you'll remain so with a roof over your head unless we invest in a completely different approach to long term care. For many mentally ill and addicted people, there may never be "a cure." We need to brace ourselves to care for a group of people who may never be able to compete for housing, jobs and wellbeing in our society.

Moving homeless people from one place to another is vanity, not a solution. These people are refugees from a socio-economic system that refuses to accept endemic mental illness and addiction. We are collectively called by compassion and pragmatism to create mental health, addiction and law enforcement solutions that remove people from the despair of living on the streets and the negative impacts that has on society.

—Will Warne

Letter of the Week:

Will—I believe what you are describing is a need for "wraparound" services, which is often part of the package in a "housing first" program. The managed camps proposed in Bend would, from what I understand, offer those wraparound supports—hence why they're called "managed." In any case, it's true that much more than housing is needed. What would it look like if we as Americans could count on universal health care—which includes mental health services? Yes, I said it. Come on in for your gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan


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