This year, too early for studded tires

I understand it’s legal to have studded tires on your car as of Nov. 1. Am I the only one who cringes hearing them on dry pavement in town and seeing them on four-wheel drive vehicles when there’s not enough snow to open at Mt. Bachelor, other passes are clear and we’ve had no snow in town yet?

I wish the date for legally having studded tires could either be a little later in November, or flexible from year to year based on conditions. I know I’m a dreamer. I’m just trying to protect our roads.

— Bonnie Snyder, Bend

It’s often the driver, not the road

It is heartening to see the community and government agencies make significant commitments to transportation infrastructure in this area. This is a welcome recognition of roadway safety and traffic congestion issues.

There is, however, another factor that influences both traffic safety and occupant wellbeing: driver behavior. Clearly, three keys to safe driving are becoming more and more scarce: patience, courtesy and predictability.

As our lives and their devices speed up, we expect results right now. This bleeds over to our driving habits, leading to an inability to wait … at a stop sign, entering a roundabout, for someone to cross the street, for the car ahead of us to move. For some, chronic impatience leads to road rage, with its own negative consequences.

Using turn signals appropriately, actually stopping at stop signs and obeying traffic control devices are ways to communicate with the others in the roadway community and a way to impart your intentions. Taking up space on the road means you have an effect on those around you, and there are ALWAYS other cars around you.

Most everyone thinks they are an above -average driver, but half of all drivers are below average. Infrastructure funding and work is great and welcome, but the rest of us need to do our part for safe roads.

So slow down a notch, be patient, signal your intentions, be a positive member of the road community, criminy, just be a decent citizen out there. We’re all just trying to get home in one piece!

— David Howe, Bend

Take Navy showers

Bend’s rapidly growing population eventually will exhaust its domestic water supply. Since my family and I moved to Central Oregon in 1988, Bend’s population has quintupled to over 100,000 as its water resource has remained constant, at best, or perhaps even declined as a result of climate change. Stretching our water resource to meet this growing demand becomes increasingly problematic.

“What can I do?” you may ask.

There’s no single answer. But, as a retired naval officer, may I suggest you could help by taking a Navy shower? I did at sea, and I do at home. This is a practice that permits ships at sea, which produce their own potable water by desalinating sea water, to operate.

As defined by Wikipedia: “A Navy shower … is a method of showering that allows for significant conservation of water and energy by turning off the flow of water in the middle portion of the shower while lathering. The total running time of this kind of shower can last less than two minutes — using an initial thirty seconds or so to get wet, followed by shutting off the water, using soap and shampoo and lathering, then rinsing for a minute or less.”

Wikipedia explains that a 10-minute shower takes as much as 60 gallons of water while a Navy shower usually takes as little as three gallons. One person taking a Navy shower can save up to 20,000 gallons per year. Do the math. If 100,000 people take Navy showers, it really adds up.

— Les Joslin, a retired Navy commander, lives in Bend.

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