I am writing in response to your editorial on Oct. 19 titled “Why doesn’t Bend school board make complaint public?” I think the answer is obvious; because “unwarranted attacks against school board members” have become a tool of some conservative political organizers to spread fear and hate across the nation. Making these “unwarranted attacks” public by publishing the report about them promotes the spread of these lies by increasing the number of people who read the lies.
As you state in the editorial, “If people are making unwarranted attacks against school board members, the public should know.” You have accomplished that task by reporting the existence of the attacks, that they are only leveled at minority members and the resulting actions taken by the board. Specifically that the board hired an investigator and that investigator concluded “ ‘the complaint misrepresented the actual events that happened and that they were turned to make a fallacious attack.’ ”
You also state that “the public should be able to know — to read the findings for itself.” Restating the fallacious attack so that the public can “read the findings for itself” only rewards those creating the fallacy and makes The Bulletin complicit in promoting these fallacies.
You have also used the word “unwarranted” that the Cambridge Dictionary defines as “not having a good reason and therefore annoying or unfair.” False rumors attacking minority members of the board are more than annoying; they are at the least unfair, and more likely racist hate mongering.
The Bulletin should take a stand and help end these attacks on our school board that you have reported elsewhere in your editions. Giving them the megaphone of publishing them is not the way to do that.
— Tom Kelley, Sunriver
County Commissioners Patti Adair and Tony DeBone have breached their public health duties once more. When it comes to county employees, unlike comparable government entities, reproductive health cases will not be covered. The two commissioners, who have declared their intention to run for reelection, directly contravened the recommendations of the county’s Employee Benefits Advisory Committee and the state of Oregon’s Reproductive Health Equity Act, both of which support the reproductive health and choice of women.
Ms. Adair and Mr. DeBone have diminished the County Commission to serve as a forum for political hackery. If they had their way, their extreme political views would parallel the egregious public health laws that discourage masking and vaccination requirements and reproductive health care that are now being implemented in the state of Texas.
The commissioners’ stances on public health consistently counter the well-being of county residents. Why do our COVID numbers well exceed those of other counties on a per capita basis by often times five-fold? Why are we not willing to provide insurance coverage for reproductive health to our county’s employees? Come November 2022, I will vote against these two commissioners with every fiber of my being and would encourage others to do the same.
— John Biestman, Bend
I began following my father on hunts when I was 9 years old, but it wasn’t until I reached my 20s that I realized the responsibility that hunters and anglers hold in engaging with conservation work.
As an avid outdoorsman and former Steens Mountain Advisory Council member, protecting our state’s invaluable public lands and waters has become a top priority of mine.
At the end of this month, we’ll be celebrating the 21st anniversary of the protection of Steens Mountain, famous for its brilliant fall aspen groves and unparalleled mule deer hunts. Although there is a special management plan in place to protect these public lands, the many wild streams that cascade down the mountain require better protection to safeguard the rare and threatened fish and wildlife they support, which include Lahontan cutthroat and redband trout, bighorn sheep and greater sage-grouse.
Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley’s River Democracy Act would protect several creeks that rush down the rugged east ridge of the mountain, as well as ones that flow through the glaciated gorges of the west side. These mountain creeks act as critical water sources in an otherwise dry landscape, and are more than deserving of designation as Wild and Scenic Rivers.
We need the proposed Steens Mountain Wild and Scenic Rivers protected if we want this special place to remain the remarkable refuge for fish and wildlife and destination for outdoor recreationists that we know it to be.
— Karl Findling, owner of Oregon Pack Works in Bend