OSU campus site is wrong
It is wonderful news that Oregon State University is building a four-year college in Bend, but it’s in the wrong place. The area near Chandler Avenue and Century Drive does not have an adequate infrastructure to support such a large project as the planned expandable college campus. The idea of having a four-year campus in downtown southwest Bend is ludicrous. Anyone who has ever driven around the gridlocked traffic circle at Century and Mt. Washington drives and the circle at Reed Market Road and Brookswood/Bond at 7:30 a.m. or 3:30 p.m. knows what I am talking about.
Traffic is already at maximum capacity, and now the city wants to build a college nearby? If you think traffic is bad now, wait until rush hours when students are driving to and from satellite communities. Who is going to pay for the cost of these infrastructure improvements? Certainly not OSU!
Currently, rental vacancies are at less than one percent. Houses in southwest Bend start at $300,000. Water and sewer are already at capacity, wider streets (needed now), bigger roundabouts all will increase our property taxes. Students don’t pay taxes unless they own property.
OSU wants to eventually expand its campus by using the 45-acre dump site? Who is going to pay for the environmental cleanup? Tom Anderson, the Deschutes County administrator, told the Lund Report that the county is ineligible for federal money to clean it up.
I suggest another site that is suitable for expansion, centrally located, has the traffic infrastructure and is closer to Bend’s wastewater treatment plant.
Everyone should respect public land laws
I commend the law enforcers and officials who ensured the recent illegal ATV ride through Recapture Canyon in Utah did not escalate. But I am saddened to see my fellow outdoorsmen and women disrespecting public lands that belong to all Americans.
I am an avid outdoorswoman and I have spent most of my life advocating for public lands that are accessible and productive — places where people can get outdoors, commune with nature and catch their own dinner.
Public lands are owned by all Americans, and managed by the Bureau of Land Management. There are appropriate places for ATV use. But by law, ATVs are not allowed in Recapture Canyon because they harm sensitive areas.
If hunters, anglers and other outdoor recreationists are to maintain a credible voice for use of public lands that support rural economies, we need to follow our laws. It’s not OK to break a law that protects sensitive lands belonging to all of us.
These laws take care of our resources — wildlife and fishery resources that I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy. For hunting and fishing, I want public lands that are accessible and productive. Access must be managed lawfully, in a way that protects resources.
Recreation is important. It supports local economies and connects families and friends in unparalleled ways. Resources are also important. Breaking the law and endangering resources that belong to all Americans just to prove a point? I think we are all better than that.
Feed the tip jar
Having just returned from two great live music cities, Austin and New Orleans, I decided to extend the experience by attending May’s First Friday. The group Rare Boots was playing at one of the downtown merchants. They were exceptional local musicians: good tunes, fun to listen to, passionately performed.
What struck me as odd was how tight the listeners were with their wallets. I watched for about an hour. People walked in and out, many of whom I am sure dropped a bundle for an early dinner. Yet only one person besides us left a tip. This is so opposite of the culture of Austin and New Orleans. Musicians doing this type of show are usually not getting paid; they’re performing only for tips, food and beverages. I felt like physically passing the tip jar around the room, which is common in other cities. I’m not suggesting that you drop tips in every open instrument case along the street. But, when you hear music you like, let the artists know you appreciate it by opening up your wallets. The kindness will be rewarded with even more to come in the future.