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Letters to the Editor 9/2/21

Guest Opinion: Support for Bend-La Pine School Board

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Editor's note:

Long, long ago, before my time as editor of this fine publication, some smart minds saw the writing on the wall and knew that Bend was fast becoming a micro-brew darling. Boom, our beer column was born. Where we once called the column "Micro," the proliferation of the term "craft" to signify everything small- and medium-sized in the beer world (along with the explosion of non-beer craft-made beverages) sparked a change to the title "Craft" a few years back. That column is now where we house any manner of drinky goodness—with OG beer coverage populating the space most weeks, and wine and cider and craft cocktails also getting plenty of ink. But in homage to Bend's roots as a beer town, we also have to roll out a Beer Issue from time to time—including right now, when I for one find an increasing number of reasons to dive into a bath of suds at the end of a long, pandemic-ridden day.

Cheers to @cazztr0 for this capture of Mt. Bachelor in the smoke. Love the image, not the burning eyes and lungs that come with it! Tag us @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured here and as the Instagram of the Week in the Cascades Reader. The winning photo gets a free print from @highdesertframeworks! - @CAZZTR0/INSTAGRAM
  • @cazztr0/Instagram
  • Cheers to @cazztr0 for this capture of Mt. Bachelor in the smoke. Love the image, not the burning eyes and lungs that come with it! Tag us @sourceweekly for a chance to be featured here and as the Instagram of the Week in the Cascades Reader. The winning photo gets a free print from @highdesertframeworks!

Check out all the news and opinion we have on offer for the week, and then roll right into some coverage of what remains Bend's favorite beverage. Or, at least, the beverage we still like to talk about most.

Guest Opinion: Support for Bend-La Pine School Board

I am writing to you as a mother and an aunt of children within the Bend-La Pine school district. I voted for and I support this school board and their goals, and here are two reasons why.

1. The Pandemic. I work in Emergency Medicine. I am not a doctor, but I have the privilege of working with the top physicians and researchers in our country. Some of these doctors are currently working in the hot zones in Florida and Texas. There is not one difference of opinion from these experts on how to keep our children safe. They all agree; masking, social distancing and vaccines. In fact, all you need to do is look at what has happened to the school districts that have returned to school without these measures. Their COVID numbers have exploded causing their ICUs and ERs to be overwhelmed, and thousands of children are now back at home quarantining. Our own local ER physicians and pediatricians wrote letters expressing the importance of masking, social distancing and vaccines. The newly elected board members ran knowing they would be governing in the middle of a pandemic. They have stated publicly that they would be taking their guidance from public health officials to keep our kids safe and schools healthy. This leadership is why they were voted in, and it is why they have my support.

2.Awareness. When my son was in grade school he was harassed for the color of his skin. To be clear my child is very white, but he has his great grandpa's olive Armenian complexion. He was harassed to the point where I caught him scrubbing his skin raw one morning before school to "look like his friends." This bullying stemmed not from the children on the playground, but from the mouths of their parents at home. My husband's work hours meant that I was the only face at school, a lot of the parents assumed he was black, and that my child was "mixed." (Yes, someone said that to me out loud) When they finally had the opportunity to meet my husband the "that's his biological dad?" and "where did your son get his complexion?" statements began. Once they realized we were a "white" family, their kids were allowed to play with mine again. We switched schools. The point of this experience is not to say we know what it is like to be discriminated against, because we don't. My point is to say if my very white child can experience this type of aggression in grade school in today's time then what are our children of color experiencing within our schools? The Deschutes Historical Society wrote about how our board has not had a person of color on it in over 100 years. It is important for our children of different ethnicities to see leaders in our community who look like them, and it is equally important for my white child to see leaders who do not look like him. Our school board is comprised of highly educated, successful people of all backgrounds who ran on inclusion. I want our children to attend schools where equity, human decency, and kindness are a rule not an exception. To get there we need more education, and this board has a plan for that.

—Amber Hossick is a parent in the Bend-La Pine Schools district, and among a group of parents who demonstrated outside the BLPS building during its most recent Board of Directors meeting in support of the board.

RE: Redmond Won't Ban Confederate Flags News, 8/19

The reasoning employed to reject this resolution is suspect. Would those same folks have voted to not condemn flags of other American enemies, such as ISIS flags? Al Queda? Swastikas? Hammer and Sickle? The exact same reasoning would justify allowing any of those flags to be flown. As American citizens, we are permitted by the 1st Amendment to fly any of those flags, but I would hope our city leaders would vote to condemn their symbolism.

—Nelson Rivers

RE Poll Question: Should Local School Districts Have Control of Their Own Mask Policies?

I do think the mask mandate is important for controlling the pandemic but, each person and each district has different circumstances in their demographics, location or facilities that may necessitate a more individual. We humans are so stubborn, even to the extent of taking care of our own health. A mandate without exceptions causes disgruntlement and even anger. I hope we can all express love and care to everyone we encounter as we pass through this world.

—Mary Lowe via bendsource.com

They should not override a state order, but request a waiver if they disagree, somewhat like what our school board did in asking the governor to let us open our schools.

—Mimi Graves via bendsource.com

RE: Housing, Hospitals and Health: It's All Connected. Opinion, 8/26

I absolutely agree that short term rentals in new developments should be at ZERO! At this crisis point, our housing needs to go to residents, not weekenders.

Bend is a desirable place to visit, and the vacation industry cannot be allowed to dominate our local community. Visitors should be staying at one of our many large and welcoming hotels. Houses are for our families!

—Diana Hall, via bendsource.com

Letter of the Week:

Thanks for sharing your view, Diana. Housing needs are dire in our community right now, and more people are waking up to the many levers causing the shortage. Come on by for your gift card to Palate!

—Nicole Vulcan

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