Abbott and the Green New Deal

I haven’t had a really good laugh out loud over the past year until I heard Gov. Greg Abbott, Republican of Texas, slam the Green New Deal.

The crisis in Texas has shown that the state’s existing power structure was never designed or upgraded properly to deal with the possibility of extreme cold weather.

I can’t surmise if he thinks his constituents live in such a misinformation bubble that they don’t realize that the Green New Deal is a climate proposal, a House resolution passed last year (H.RES. 109) and not actual legislation. It is unconscionable that an elected official would lie so blatantly to his constituents at a time when many millions are without electricity, water and running low on food.

— Barbara Craig, Bend

We need more trails

I don’t believe that permits, restricted access and fees are necessary to limit and disburse crowds on hiking trails.

I have lived in Central Oregon for 30 years and hike two to four times a week all year. During my time here, the population of Bend and Deschutes County more than quadrupled, but the U.S. Forest Service, to my knowledge, has not added any new hiking trails in the Cascades and national forest. Rimrock Trail trailhead parking has been improved, but hiking trails existed already. Some trails were actually closed off during that time and access to some was made more difficult.

Taking into consideration that in addition to population growth we also have hordes of tourists using the hiking trails, it should not be surprising that trails are very crowded without addition of new hiking trails.

The Bureau of Land Management has done a much better job. It has added quite a few new hiking trails, so crowds are minimized. As residents, we are paying the price for population growth and tourism growth with diminished quality of life!

— Hanne Madsen, Bend

‘The Great Gatsby’ and now

I recently read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” a novel set in the mid-1920s. Toward the end of the story, Nick Carraway, the narrator, makes the observation about some characters he’s come to know.

“They were careless people. … They smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was the kept them together and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

Have we experienced this over the last four years? What do you think?

— Toni Clifford, Redmond

BLM was right to raise fees

As an environmentalist and fiscal conservative I applaud the Bureau of Land Management for raising access fees on the Deschutes and John Day rivers to cover their cost to manage the program.

They should use the same policy on cattle grazing as they do for people who want to access our Wild and Scenic Rivers. Last I checked, the BLM received $1.35 per cow per month to graze and despoil the habitat along these rivers. BLM’s cost to administer the national grazing program was closer to $20 per cow per month. Why are we subsidizing the degradation of one of Oregon’s most precious economic and wildlife resources? Why are cows treated better than people on our wild rivers? At least charge grazing fees that approximate the cost to administer that program. In the future they should also consider a fee to pay for the restoration work necessary to preserve the wild and scenic values.

— Craig Lacy, Bend

Homeowners need space

I am writing to strongly object to some of the housing solutions proposed by Karon Johnson, land use chair for the Old Farm District neighborhood association, in her letter published by The Bulletin on Friday Feb. 12. Her No. 1 solution “Eliminate single family detached houses,” is a great idea only if you want to cover every inch of buildable ground with apartments. There are lots of examples of what this looks like.

Ms. Johnson states “The 6 -foot separation between single family detached houses is a waste of space.” I disagree. We are not lab rats being jammed into cages or convicts living in cells. Even Johnson admits people need green trees and space. Personally, I don’t want to hear my neighbors making love on the other side of my bedroom wall in the middle of the night.

—Dave Stalker, Bend

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