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

Don’t encrypt radios

I am writing in response to local law enforcement’s decision to encrypt police radios. I have been listening to scanners for over 20 years. I don’t think they understand how important scanners can be to ordinary people. My small business requires us to drive all over town, mostly in the evenings. It is incredibly useful for us to know about power outages, downed trees and power lines, or flooding when the weather is bad. It is also nice to know about suspected drunken drivers, where the homeless camps are and avoiding accidents.

The equipment these agencies are using was bought with taxpayer money in using public airwaves. I understand their need for safety, but at the same time, they also have cellphones and computers when they need discretion.

I find their argument for encryption lacks justification. A portable scanner costs $250 to $1,000. Not something any petty criminal is going to invest in. The media invaded an active crime scene? That’s not the public showing up. If the people are interfering, or being lookie-loos, more than likely, it’s the neighbors wondering what is going on. Other departments are doing it? That is the argument of a 5-year-old. There have been listeners who have helped. An alleged rapist was caught a few years ago with the help of a tow truck driver who was listening.

The last point I want to make is about transparency. Something police departments everywhere need. While our law enforcement in general is doing a good job, those of us who have lived here for a while know that we have had quite a few less-than-stellar officers. Some were downright criminal. Having the public listening should be the least of their worries. Please turn our scanners back on.

Patricia Juslen

Bend

No SDC waiver

Is waiving SDCs to promote affordable housing a good idea?

My opinion is no, never. Why you might ask? “System development charges are fees that are collected when new development occurs in the city and are used to fund a portion of new streets, sanitary sewers, parks and water. These fees are necessary to provide adequate funding for growth-related capital improvements vital to maintaining the city’s level of service in transportation, water and sewer and Bend Metropolitan Parks & Recreation’s service in the city parks.”

Every time the city waives a fee, it is putting a burden on the city. Not for the benefit of all but for the benefit of a few.

Am I against affordable housing? Is everyone “entitled” to be able to afford to live in Bend? Absolutely not. I would love to live in Carmel, California, but I can’t afford it, so I don’t. Is that fair? Yes. If I want to live in Carmel, or anywhere for that matter, it is my responsibility to learn the skills necessary to earn the income that will allow me to afford the costs.

The second sentence of The Declaration of Independence states: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” There is nothing there that states the government (at any level) owes me affordable housing.

Marv Brophy

Bend

Try North Korea

In her Nov. 3 letter, Nancy Boever asks who will protect her from various forms of corporate wrongdoing if Republicans remove some of the rules and regulations that keep them from harming people and the environment?

If she is concerned, I would suggest that she go someplace where the government has complete control of the corporations and is able to make sure that everyone is safe and protected from their wrongdoing. Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea come to mind.

Jeff Keller

Bend

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