Letters to the Editor

Dangerous species on trails

I have been walking the trails in the Deschutes National Forest for 14 years and have had multiple frightening encounters with a species of animal that is potentially dangerous. These animals are often uncontrolled and unpredictable. They are purportedly domesticated but often act as if they are feral. They leave a trail of litter, including broken glass and unburied feces. Some are on foot, others on wheels. Some have weapons that are much scarier than teeth. If it wasn’t for the protective company of my dogs, I would never walk the trails. I propose that the Deschutes National foresters make the trails safer by not allowing this species unless they are leashed.

Bengal Turner

Bend

Another view on cyclists

I would like to respond to Bill Groesz, of Redmond, who thinks bicyclists should be rewarded for using alternative transportation.

I was traveling west on Reed Market Road, a couple of Mondays past, at approximately 5:30 p.m. It was dark and the traffic was heavy, as is usual on Reed Market at that time of day. I noticed a bicyclist, dressed in dark clothing, pedaling along, to my right on the side of the road, also headed west.

Suddenly, without any notice whatsoever, this cyclist turned left right in front of me, crossed my lane and the eastbound lane and continued onto American Lane. Had I been a split second late in hitting my brakes, I would have creamed this guy. Then, I’m worried about being rear-ended and being sent flying into the car in front of me. And this same drama is being played out in the east-bound lane.

If it had been raining, or snowing, likely no one could have stopped in time to avoid hitting this irresponsible person. This incident had the potential to create one of the worst and most tragic accidents I can only imagine.

So, in response to Groesz, when bicyclists begin obeying traffic laws, and being concerned for their own safety as well as for those around them, and being cited and paying fines just like any other driver, then and only then would I consider rewarding them for their effort regarding the environment.

Bicyclists should be licensed and made to carry insurance.

Diana Hopson

Bend

Need to close Citizens United loophole

As a member of a group you accuse of favoring a “ban on speech in a quixotic quest to save democracy,” I am shocked by your amazingly poor grasp of the facts. Your Dec. 8 editorial urges readers, “Don’t ban speech to save democracy.”

Saving democracy for “We the People of the United States” is precisely what the Move to Amend is all about! Please note what that first “We the people” sentence of the Constitution does not say. It does not mention corporations or unions or any of those artificial entities — those that now pour money into campaigns to elect politicians who will do their bidding.

We do believe that the Constitution protects only the rights of individuals. We favor an amendment that would give federal, state and local governments the right to regulate artificial entities’ giving to political campaigns.

The Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case has led to an explosion of political giving by artificial entities. As individual donors, our support is blown away by those of the big money outfits.

We support an amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s decision, one which Sen. John McCain has described as among the court’s worst ever. Several major opinion polls have shown that 75 percent of Americans of all political stripes favor such an amendment. It will be a vital first step toward closing those loopholes of which you speak.

Dave Goodwin

Bend

Dog-trail petition is a win-win

As a member of Summer Dogs on the Deschutes River Trail, I would like to respond to The Bulletin editorial, “Unleashed dogs could be trouble on the river trail.” The petition to the Forest Service offers a win-win-win solution. Win No. 1) Dog owners who want to recreate with their dogs off-leash during the summer would have legal access to more than the one mile that is currently available. To our knowledge, there have been few, if any, dog-related problems on that one mile of trail. Win No. 2) Access to a reasonable length of trail would reduce illegal use on the remaining restricted section of the trail, which would benefit trail users who do not wish to encounter off-leash dogs. Win No. 3) The USFS, which has limited personnel, would have better ability to enforce the restriction on a shorter section of trail. None of the other “95 percent of forest trails that do not require dogs to be leashed” are close to town, easily accessible by car or foot and have access to water.

Val Gerard

Bend