A Bend resident is a leader at NOAA

Thank you for running the recent articles about the three fellow Oregonians nominated to head key agencies in the Biden administration. Jones Gaston (commissioner for the Administration on Children, Youth and Families), Geraldine Richmond (Department of Energy undersecretary of Science and Energy) and Richard Spinrad (undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and the chief NOAA administrator) will lead important organizations affecting all Americans and we should be proud of their Oregon connections. However, you omitted an important fact regarding Dr. Spinrad — he is a Bend resident!

Rick and his wife, Alanna, were active in fundraising for local environmental organizations and promoting the arts before they temporarily relocated to the Washington, D.C., area in June. Rick now oversees 12,000 NOAA employees, a $6.98B NOAA budget and is driving much of the nation’s policy efforts on addressing climate change and weather/climate prediction systems. He served in the U.S. delegation to the recent COP26 climate summit in Glasgow where he moderated a key session on Island resilience to climate change, featuring keynote speaker Barak Obama. We should all be proud of our fellow Bendites and we look forward to their return!

— Bryan and Jennifer Eichhorn, Bend

Not an embarrassment

Bend City Councilor Rita Schenkelberg recently remarked she is “embarrassed” by Bend residents who oppose low-barrier, outdoor shelters in neighborhoods and near schools, claiming such residents have not “put their own privilege aside.” I am hardly an embarrassment. I am a 40-year-old woman with a family and career, and have resided in Bend since 2014. Our family supports numerous Bend organizations — such as The Giving Plate, The Environmental Center, High Desert Museum, and St. Francis of Assisi Catholic School — striving to meet a diverse set of needs and objectives. I value charity as a matter of faith and principle.

All Bend residents deserve a safe environment, and the needs of all of the City Council’s constituents must be balanced and reconciled to the fullest extent possible. Therefore, our council needs to pursue options for the houseless in areas with good access to services while also respecting concerns regarding public safety in existing neighborhoods. This can be done; just look at the property selected by the city for Project Turnkey.

I see Bend residents all around that are decent human beings looking to support houseless solutions. But, this is a complicated issue. Unfortunately, instead of considering legitimate concerns of residents, Councilor Schenkelberg has chosen to step onto a moral superiority soapbox and oversimplify solutions.

To Councilor Schenkelberg, I say: We are not an embarrassment. Rather, we are Bend. Perhaps it is time for you to step aside and make way for a councilor who can serve all of Bend’s residents.

— Danielle Morone, Bend

E-bikes don’t belong on singletrack

This is a ridiculous argument to be having. The trails in question were developed specifically for non-motorized travel. There should be no ambiguity and thus no potential for arguments in the definition of “non-motorized.”

This is no different than trails developed for equestrian activities. Or trails dedicated to hikers only.

There are literally hundreds if not thousands of miles of dirt roads and trails that are within 30 miles of downtown areas of Central Oregon open to all, e-bikes included. There is no need to argue about the non-motorized trails being elitist or exclusionary. These trails were specifically developed for non-motorized activities.

Should groups of motorized users wish specifically developed trails, they can and should be allowed to develop them. There is ample space to do this. There are processes in place to request the ability to do this. These users should put there efforts towards developing trails suitable for there needs.

— Tom Mossinger, Bend

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(4) comments


Regarding Shenkelburg stating she is embarrassed by those opposing the low barrier shelters, there are several points. First, this is manipulation and a not so veiled accusation that the city council goals are the right thing to do without question: no debate has occurred so the policies haven't been vetted. We should not question the messianic wisdom of the council. So why would anyone fully support them if legitimate criticisms have not been dealt with. She is trying to use shame to get her way. Second, she is avoiding the lack of understanding of a complicated situation by turning the focus on those who are pointing out the councils incompetence.


This is a tired argument, Ms Morone. “The city should find a place for the homeless, but not near me.” If every neighborhood in Bend housed a couple of homeless, they would all be housed and no one would notice. I have been feeding folks at shelters for years. It’s a small fraction that need medical and/or mental help. Where is our Christian kindness? Councilor Shenkelberg seems to have it.

Transitory Inflation

'Perhaps it is time for you to step aside and make way for a councilor who can serve all of Bend’s residents.'

As the months go by, this is looking like the best plan for both Bend and the councilor. We should also look at cutting the number of seats down. Five is plenty.


Pretty straightforward and compelling argument. I have aging and disabled friends who now need to ride e-bikes, and I expect to be among them before too, too long. I’m absolutely certain that they would ride safely and not tear up the trails were they to ride them, but still, stepping onto the very slippery slope of motorized access strikes me as extremely dangerous. Realistically, limiting motorized access to single track to Class I e-bikes would be unenforceable, and before long much more powerful e-bikes would be ripping through at dangerously high speeds. Any serious discussion needs to take this into account.

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