Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Biased, inaccurate information

Paul deWitt’s Oct. 21 guest column “Wrongheaded climate change prevention is costly,” is yet another example of biased and inaccurate information. This time, deWitt cherry-picks information from Dr. Gordon Fulks, who cherry-picks scientific data. Fulks is a climate science denier who has made a career on this stance. Fulks is a policy adviser for The Heartland Institute, a conservative think tank funded by anti-regulation promoters and corporations such as Koch Industries, Exxon Mobil and Phillip Morris. In 2016, Heartland raised $5.5 million in donations.

The Heartland Institute has been in the business of science denial since 2008. This year, according to a report from PBS Frontline, the institute mailed out copies of its climate science denial booklet to K-12 science teachers, as well as college educators. The goal was to influence 200,000 schoolteachers nationwide to teach their students that climate change is nonhuman related.

When writing a guest column, I think it is critical to provide accurate and legitimate facts, even if the information is contrary to your personal opinion.

Facts matter.

For the most accurate information, I gathered facts from such sources as The New York Times, PBS, Washington Post and Yale University Climate Connections, as well as from Fulk’s website and the Heartland Institute website.

Carolyn Franz

Bend

Trail needed for off-leash dogs

Bend is a dog-loving town. That is clear. Forty-nine percent of Central Oregon residents own a dog, and Bend was named DogTown USA by Dog Fancy magazine in 2012.

Over 40 restaurants accommodate dogs on their patios, and there are 13 off-leash dog parks. These are all great things, and speak to how highly we value our furry friends.

However, not all dogs thrive within the confines of fences and crowded patios. I am the proud guardian of two elderly mutts who are happiest when they are wild and free. Berkeley and Maverick do enjoy going to dog parks, but what they really love is going running in the woods, off-leash and unconstrained. Sadly, the options for this in Bend are few and far between. Most trails in the area require leashes during all or most of the year, and the very few that don’t are overrun with mountain bikes.

All dogs deserve an opportunity to run free, and my proposal is this: allow off-leash dogs on the Shevlin Loop Trail. The Creek Trail is too congested for off-leash dogs, but the loop trail typically has few people using it. This would leave the majority of the park as a haven for dogs that need to be on leashes and people who want to avoid loose dogs, but would create a fun, legal option for dogs that occasionally need their freedom.

I hope this idea will be considered. Dogs such as Berkeley and Maverick will be eternally grateful.

Jessica Groseth

Bend

Tobacco retail licenses help protect kids

As a former physical education teacher, high school coach and athletic director, I am passionate about helping kids live healthy lives and remain free from addiction to deadly products like tobacco. That is why I support the American Cancer Society Action Network’s effort to create a program to license tobacco retailers in Deschutes County.

Right now, Oregon is one of 13 states that does not require retailers to have a special license to sell tobacco — like businesses must have licenses to sell marijuana, firearms and alcohol. Without having this license, it is impossible to stop retailers from selling tobacco illegally to minors. Why is this important?

The Oregon Healthy Teens Survey reveals youth smoking rates are higher in Deschutes County than across the state. Cancer rates are higher, too.

Eighty percent of smokers begin this addiction before turning 18, with many teens getting their first tobacco products from peers.

Tobacco products are often placed at eye level next to candy so they appeal to youth.

I have seen firsthand how tobacco can shorten your life and affect your family. My mother was a daily smoker who passed away from heart and lung disease at a very early age.

Do you want to help save lives and protect our kids? Deschutes County’s elected officials need to hear from us as they consider this important tobacco control policy. Visit acscan.org/Oregon to get involved.

Gary Tash

Bend

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