Letters to the Editor

Deschutes treated like an irrigation canal

Much discussion and opinion has been bantered about concerning the Mirror Pond dam.

The bigger issue is the Deschutes River being treated as an irrigation canal.

What once was one of the most flood-proof, even-flowing rivers in the West is now manipulated by man raising and lowering water levels. This has proven damaging to fish populations and had an environmental impact.

The undulating water levels in the Deschutes produces lots of silt that collects behind any barrier, such as the Mirror Pond dam and the Colorado Street dam.

Removing the Mirror Pond dam would merely allow silt to fill up Pioneer Park Pond behind the Steidl Dam. The problem would be shifted but not resolved.

The Mirror Pond dam, with some annual, upkeep is in good enough condition to support the continued existence of the iconic pond — even if it has no use as a power dam.

A reasonable solution for man, fish and wildlife would be to focus on stabilizing year-round water flows in the Deschutes River and to dredge out a main channel in the pond on an annual basis.

Another island or two in Mirror Pond created from the dredgings wouldn’t hurt a thing and would give the waterfowl a safe place to hang out.

Win-win, as they say.

Bill Enyart


Stolen valor

I just read the article about Joel Lisson and his military record being called into question. All military medals except the Congressional Medal of Honor can be bought online at “Medals of America.” They don’t require proof of the person earning them; just send in the money.

Wes Cooley showed us his true colors 20 years ago, and I can guarantee plenty of wannabes are still around. I have problems with the historical records now being recorded from military survivors of the past to be kept for future generations. How much background research goes into the person’s military record to be sure we’re recording the truth? Are we recording hero wannabes for future generations to listen to? I don’t think the service organizations require any real proof of service to join (I belong to VFW, DAV), just an individual saying he or she served during a certain conflict.

Don’t we require proof of a person’s college degree when hiring for a job? Why shouldn’t we require military persons to prove their service, medals and awards. I really have doubts when I hear a “veteran” brag of his or her being a Green Beret, Ranger or a Navy SEAL, about special expertise such as a sniper or being awarded the Silver or Bronze star. These were not passed out like candy. They were hard-earned, and the ones who really earned them (I did earn the Bronze Star) should be acknowledged.

Maj. Russ Hanson (retired)


Seeking the facts on Tumalo Creek project

Please, just the facts. About Bend’s water supply project, that is.

I’ve read plenty of arguments and recommendations about the proposed Tumalo Creek water project, but they have all been someone else’s opinions — someone already having his or her own conclusions and private agenda.

I’d like to make up my own mind, but I have yet to see publicized the basic facts I need for such a conclusion.

Maybe that’s because I’m a relatively new Bend resident. But I’d like to see answers to the following questions, all of which answers I am certain must exist with the project planners:

• What is Bend’s present population?

• What is the present annual water use per capita?

• What is the present annual agricultural and manufacturing use?

• What is the projected requirement for each of the above in five and in 20 years?

• Very briefly, what alternative, other than the presently-proposed water sources and pipeline improvements, were considered?

• Was each of those alternatives rejected because of (a) higher initial cost, (b) higher annual operational cost or (c) environmental restrictions and demands?

Knowing those facts, I could make my own judgments. And I could also better assess what motivates the many opinions with which we are all being bombarded.

Dale McCoig