Tip jar etiquette

While I agree with Jerry Barnes, who wrote that we should always tip musicians, it is not always true that First Friday Gallery Walk musicians aren’t getting paid. Most merchants pay, and in our case, in the Minnesota Building, even our landlord helps pay. I hope that the rest of the landlords and merchants get on board. After all, no audience, nor any merchant, should expect an artist to work for free any more than they would expect their hair stylist or doctor to!

First Friday attendees, please do show your appreciation and help supplement the musician’s pay with tips. While you’re at it, thank the merchants for providing you with food, wine, music and other entertainment month after month.

As an aside, musicians and other artists or vendors on the street might be working for free, and while Barnes didn’t suggest you tip them, bear in mind they are also blocking the streets, sidewalks and access to the businesses that pay for First Friday. They steal audience from the very musicians who are being paid. After all, without people coming into our businesses there would be no First Friday Gallery Walk.

Karen Bandy


Be thankful for veteran services

Regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs in Bend: I’ve been going to them for quite a long time now, and it really bothers me when a veteran is not satisfied with his or her treatment at this clinic.

As in life, some people have legitimate problems — but I have found that some of those complaining also complained while on active duty.

The old saying, “You can’t keep them all happy,” is really true.

My assigned doctor in Bend was in private practice in the Redmond area for over 30 years and is being missed by his prior patients daily.

I have never seen a more compassionate person and I thank God I have him. I have been treated great by all the nurses and the assistants.

A lot of the top veteran chain of command are tied into a political war — this is what needs to be handled by our leaders.

We must do what we can on a local level. Say “hi” to that jolly volunteer at the door. Let him direct you to your appointment — and a smile for that person caring for you never hurts.

Let’s be thankful for the good care we receive, too!

Bill Richardson


(The letter below is being republished to correct an editing error.)

Common Core benefits all

In the 31 years since “A Nation at Risk” was published by President Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education, educators and reformers at the local, state and national levels have attempted to improve public K-12 education. Some efforts have been successful — witness the valiant work of our local educators — but results at the national level have been mixed at best.

Now come the Common Core standards, the most recent — and promising — national education reforms. A recent column by David Brooks (April 20, “When the circus descends,” http://bit.ly/SJn2ft) amply demonstrates how the coordinated attacks on Common Core are founded on misconceptions. As he points out, the standards “are not curricula. They do not determine what students read or how teachers should teach. They are the goals for what students should know at the end of each grade.”

Brooks further debunks many of the myths surrounding Common Core, such as that it is a federal mandate. The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers developed Common Core, and adoption at the state level has been by choice.

We often hear nationally that our students don’t measure up to their counterparts throughout the world. Through Common Core, we can raise the bar. Here in Oregon, such standards will help us meet our 40-40-20 goal.

David Brooks’ credentials are of the highest caliber. I encourage our community to read Brooks’ column and gain a deeper understanding of how Common Core benefits all of us.

Doug Nelson,

Former Bend-La Pine Schools superintendent

Change Bend sign to match the town

Concerning the Bend sign at the south end of town, it would be better that the new sign display not what the town used to stand for — peaceful greenery, river views and an infrastructure that supports the population — but rather what it stands for now — beer halls, marijuana and a population that far exceeds the infrastructure.

Gary Will

La Pine