Olson for Bend schools

My name is Shirley Olson, and I am a candidate for the Bend-La Pine School Board, Zone 4, representing south Deschutes County. I am an Oregon native and a full-time resident in Sunriver for 13 years — my grandson is a senior at Summit and my granddaughter is a 7th grader at Pilot Butte.

I have stayed active in the local area. I am a supporter of Sunriver Nature Center, Sunriver Library, La Pine Senior Activity Center, a Board Member of Sunriver Women’s Club, and a SMART Reader volunteer at Rosland Elementary School in La Pine. I serve on the Bend-La Pine Schools Budget Committee.

As our county continues to grow, challenges are still present in our schools. I believe that EVERY student deserves equity and excellence in their education. We need students back in the classroom with teachers and staff confident that they are safe. We need continued funding to bridge the gaps that this last year has highlighted…. like loss of learning, poverty and anxiety, and lack of adequate food and shelter. Schools have always been a safe environment for kids…. providing learning, food, health services and whatever else a student might need. Let's keep our schools that way!

After my total career devoted to serving schools, students, teachers, and families I decided to run for the Board. I understand the role of a Board member and am prepared to fill that role with integrity, representing south Deschutes County.

Thank you for your consideration. More information is available at www.shirley4schools.com.

— Shirley Olson, Sunriver

Bentz should focus on substance on immigration

I note that Representative Bentz is issuing a critical survey to his constituents. “Should the fencing around the US Capitol be removed and redirected to the Southern Border?” Gee, this political posturing seems like such a productive use of his time. His solutions to the problems that face his constituents run from abandoning his post at the Oregon legislature to putting up a fence that won’t ever keep people out once and for all.

Should this increase our confidence in representative democracy? Heaven forbid, our representative might do the hard work of drawing up comprehensive immigration legislation that would recognize what is taking place in our world - both inside and outside our borders. Facing reality on the ground is a lot harder than spouting political rhetoric. Get a move on, Congressman.

— Robert Currie, Bend

Concerns about Bend parking

I am very concerned about the proposed ordinance to allow permanent parking space use for outdoor dining. My primary concerns include:

1) This is public right of way, which according to ORS 368.002(6) is intended for "ingress to or egress from property by means of vehicles or other means or that provides travel between places by means of vehicles..." It does not include dining.

2) Why are restaurants receiving priority treatment over other commercial activities in an area that has already demonstrated a critical lack of parking? Restaurants already have the ability to provide dining on city sidewalks.

3) The city has paid for multiple parking studies. Those studies have estimated that it costs at least $10,000 to replace a single parking space. How will the city find additional parking to offset the loss of parking?;

4) The current "temporary" system has been abused by some restaurants. For example, at least one restaurant provides evening dining five days a week, yet takes up at least 4 parking spaces and also holds two additional spaces for "pick-up" orders only. These spaces are unavailable for other commercial activities

I find this to be very poor public policy, which favors a few at the expense of others.

The city should table this ordinance until a very equitable survey can be conducted with input from all commercial interests in the downtown core and seek public and consumer feedback. The proposed ordinance should not return on City Council agenda until the council is able to hold in-person council meetings again so the public can actually participate.

— Patricia Stell, Bend

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