Drop the camp near schools
Please add another past Bend High School name to the list of teacher/coaches requesting the Bend City Council to drop any consideration of locating an experimental homeless camp/village adjacent to Bear Creek Elementary and Bend High campuses. Bend City Councilor Barb Campbell, homeless coordinator, Colleen Thomas, and village manager Chuck Hemingway all mean well and sincerely want to help the homeless, but have demonstrated a lack of elevated understanding of human nature.
Homeless camps are not working and can be harmful for communities and camp inhabitants. They tend to enable poor behavior by many who use the homeless title to abuse the system. Bend leaders could go a long way to diffuse the Eastside vs. Westside area tensions by following existing rules and regulations regarding the placement of businesses and activities near schools that could pose a threat for students. A homeless camp/village fits this description and should not be placed at this location.
The homeless camps would disappear if we allowed our law officials to enforce existing laws regardless of who we are. No citizen should get a homeless pass to steal shopping carts, trespass, litter, or completely ignore sanitation laws. (A possible future scene for some of our Bend/LaPine students to view up close.).
Let’s have Bend leadership treat all neighborhoods fairly by working within the spirit of our existing regulations. It would be in everyone’s best interest rather than dismissing those that Councilor Campbell personally imagines that is O.K. to ignore.
The more taxpayer dollars poured into the homeless debacle, the more the problem will grow. We have heard it many times. “Provide, and they will come.” This is now playing out in Bend and has become a direct threat to our schools and students.
— Bill A. Smith, Southern Pines, North Carolina
More, please, from our elected officials
Last week's column by Deschutes County Commissioner Phil Chang was most welcome in explaining our water rights problem here in Deschutes County. How helpful it would be if other elected officials in our city and county would also contribute to the guest column so that more sides of the many current, urgent, and controversial issues could be intelligently addressed by us citizen/voters.
— Rev. Barbara SilverSmith, Bend
The dangers of RSV
While daily lives have been altered by COVID-19, the safety precautions that have now become routine were already familiar to any parent with a premature baby. Social distancing, hand washing, disinfectant and hand sanitizer are all part of the preemie parent playbook and will continue to be so after this COVID pandemic is over. Preemies are very susceptible to disease especially the Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV).
RSV is a disease that takes the life of over 500 American children each year and puts tens-of-thousands more in the hospital. It is the number-one cause of sickness and re-hospitalization for preemies, and prematurity is the greatest risk factor for severe RSV infection. There is no RSV vaccine and only one prevention method that involves a once a month shot that is incredibly expensive. So, when my son’s pulmonologist told me that multiple RSV vaccines may soon be approved, I cried. An RSV vaccine would be a remarkable heath advancement for all children but especially those with premature babies. RSV right now is surging in parts of the country that are also experiencing spikes in COVID cases putting real strain on health systems and pediatric ICUs.
An effective RSV vaccine will help mitigate future outbreaks and the Centers for Disease Control should ensure that it is included in its recommended vaccination schedule just like vaccines for hepatitis and mumps and should also include it in the Vaccines for Children program to help make sure that American children have widespread access to RSV defenses.
— Kim Gammond, Bend