Letters to the Editor 4/19 | Letters to the Editor | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Opinion » Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 4/19

A call for more multilingual covid info, tenants not paying rent and more in this week's letters

We need systems that prioritize and deliver multilingual communications now and everyday. 4/16

I easily take for granted the fact that information which impacts me is always available in near real time. When news and recommendations were issued about COVID-19 I never doubted I would be able to follow the changing information day to day in a language I speak and understand well. This, however, isn’t a given for nearly 8% (5000+ households) in Deschutes County who speak a language other than English. We are doing a disservice by not prioritizing that everyone get access to important information to protect our communities’ health in a timely and equitable way.

Public information about COVID-19 has lagged or simply not been available in Spanish. Spanish-speaking communities are being asked to turn on the “closed captioning” or use the “google translate” function to understand the information coming from our local health systems, governments, community services, and businesses. The lack (or lag) of information available in Spanish, makes these communities more vulnerable.  Oregon Health Authority data shows that at least 22% (340) of Oregonians who tested positive for COVID-19 are Latino or Hispanic, likely more.

This is not a new issue. Access to translated materials is one of many system failures amplified as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. High-quality translations are produced by trained professionals, and must be included in official communication plans. Too often, bilingual staff are asked to do these translations, or even worse, community volunteers.

We need systems and resources that prioritize and deliver timely bilingual communications now and every day.

-Whitney Swander

Re: Tenants and Landlords "In It Together" for Now, 4/13
  • Pixabay

Tenants NOT paying rent?

I sell shelter.  I am a landlord.  I don't sell pizza or groceries, beer or medical services.  I sell shelter.  It is a service.  The money I receive is spent by me for my own groceries and shelter.

The government has decided I don't need to receive money for my service.  The government allows grocery stores, pizza restaurants and doctors to charge for their products and services. 

Shifting a tenants' problem to his landlord doesn't solve the problem.
The City of Bend still collects sewer use fees, and for water used.  Rubbish collection, electricity, property tax, insurance, and mortgages still need to be paid by landlords. 

The state government could raise taxes, and build three million residential units, and become the landlord.  Instead they expect private investors to become social welfare agencies.

The state is engaging in an unlawful taking of my property without compensation. 

- John Foote

Saving our local farmers, restaurants, caterers, 4/15

With so many people losing their income, many living from paycheck to paycheck, money for food is running short. The community is stepping up its efforts, providing soup kitchens and food banks to compensate. In the process, however, our farmers, restaurants and caterers are being left out, the market has lost its monetization and becomes dysfunctional. If this goes on for any length of time, many of our beloved local businesses may not survive.

There is an urgent need to bring purchasing power to the impacted consumers, so that they can decide what is best for their own food needs and who to buy from, but most importantly also pay for the products. SNAP is a logical tool to use and expand. Programs such as “Double Up Food Bucks” can bundle local donations and not just help the individual, but also stimulate the local economy at the same time. Same idea goes for the local food bank, lobby government to provide funding to these groups but also funnel donations to enable them to purchase from local producers.

Another option is to establish a local currency, most easily accomplished on short notice with a voucher program. In either case, redemptions can be specified and limited to a specific range of products as well as participating vendors. This is an enormous challenge to our community, and will impact us all for a long time to come. Will our favorite restaurant, bakery, butcher shop still be here when this is over?

-Klaus Mager

Re: Despite CDC Pandemic Guidance, City Moves Forward with Homeless Camp Evictions 4/16

For Pete's sake,  put all the homeless people into one of the vacant office buildings around Bend. Forget Property Rights because we are in a National Emergency.  Several Businesses are vacant now and even have bathroom facilities for personal hygiene.

Come on,  put yourself in their shoes.  How would you like to be treated this way?   Remember the Golden Rule.

Faith without works is dead.

-Tom Fosdick, via Cascades Reader

Comments (2)

Showing 1-2 of 2

Add a comment

Add a comment

Latest in Letters to the Editor