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

Consider alternatives sites for bridge

In your April 5 editorial about the proposed bridge over the Deschutes River, you continue to assume that the bridge will be constructed in the same location that has caused all the controversy among homeowners and environmentalists. Let’s hope the formal public process to be conducted by the Bend Park & Recreation District is a truly open process that examines all the potential locations for the bridge rather than rubber stamping your chosen, preselected location. Otherwise, the process will be a sham and a waste of everyone’s time.

Leslie Hopper


Go vegan

The painful, terrifying deaths of 14 cows when the truck carrying them overturned in nearby Madras is a reminder that every step in the process of turning living, feeling beings into meat involves misery for animals.

Transportation is a grueling experience for animals exploited for food. As a campaigner for PETA, I know that the law allows these sensitive living beings — who feel hunger and thirst just as you and I do — to be deprived of food and water for up to 28 consecutive hours during transport.

Cows who survive transport face violent deaths at slaughterhouses, where their throats are cut open and they’re left to bleed out.

It’s no wonder that so many people are saying no to this cruelty by choosing humane and healthy vegan foods. The number of Americans who identify as vegan grew by 600 percent between 2014 and 2017, rising to 6 percent of the population, according to GlobalData. Dairy “product” sales are plummeting as people embrace delicious, cruelty-free nondairy products. Farmers can profit — and spare animals tremendous suffering — by transitioning to growing vegan foods instead of raising and killing animals.

I went vegan because I know that cows and other animals are thinking, feeling beings with the same desire to live that our cats and dogs at home do. I invite my fellow Oregonians to visit and watch video footage showing what happens to animals who are used for meat, eggs and dairy “products” — and then order a free vegan starter kit.

Kaleigh Rhoads


Vote McLeod-Skinner for Congress

On May 15 Oregonians will vote in a primary election. If you are registered as a Democrat, you have the opportunity to choose one of seven candidates who will challenge Greg Walden, a 10-term incumbent, in the 2nd Congressional District.

When was the last time you talked to someone running for office who did not simply attack anyone who held a different view? The 2nd Congressional District is enormous and diverse, encompassing rural and urban, rich and poor, educated and uneducated, conservative and liberal, Democrat and Republican. Unfortunately these terms have become labels stereotyping, dividing and dismissing each of us. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to be able to vote for a candidate who can discuss our problems using an accurate but neutral vocabulary, a candidate who works to find common ground among diverse groups and work productively with them? If so, consider voting for Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

When was the last time you talked to someone running for office who listened to you? During multiple town halls, county fairs and open forums throughout the district, McLeod-­Skinner has listened carefully, accurately and thoughtfully to different views. She can defuse flash points, stay positive and work toward mutually acceptable outcomes. Honestly, isn’t that the only way to represent all constituents? With a civil engineering degree (specializing in water rights) and a law degree, McLeod-Skinner is well-informed but remains open-minded. That’s why she has my vote. She is not only a Democrat but a candidate who is democratic.

Don Kunz


No plea deal

I am sickened to read The Bulletin article about the Derek Starbuck case and the possibility that he will be offered a plea deal without Jessica’s Law provisions. This man does not deserve even the slightest possibility of freedom. The actions and crimes that he admitted to represent the fullest definition of the word “evil,” and he deserves to rot in prison for the remainder of his life. The district attorney has a responsibility to defend and protect the victim and the potential future victims of Mr. Starbuck, and this plea offer makes it clear that the district attorney would rather do what is easy than what is right. I hope that the citizens of Deschutes County exercise their right to vote in May and make it clear that the performance of DA John Hummel does not represent the needs or desires of his constituency. Mr. Starbuck has been taking up space in the Deschutes County jail for far too long, and justice in this case should be swift and unyielding.

Erica Vandervort