Homeless veterans who live in Deschutes County, and their pets, need a safe place to be. Our county commission has the ability to purchase land, to lease for affordable housing. The commission can also provide, to lease for an animal-rescue and pet shelter. Veterans should not lose their dog because he/she went to jail. Or to re-hab.

I am Ron Boozell, aka Rondo. Local community volunteer and political activist.

My name will be on the ballot next November, 2022, for a seat on the county commission. As a nonpartisan candidate. As an anti-partisan candidate.

For the people.

For more about my political activities, visit rondo2022.org

— Ron Boozell, Bend

Keep prices reasonable

Public land agencies need to rein in skyrocketing prices charged by permit holders or concessionaires, and consider social equity, including for access permits. Lift ticket prices at major ski areas on national forests exceed $150 for a weekend day. Hotel rooms in some national parks cost more than $300/night. While acknowledging the need for maintenance and some risk with weather, these prices seem to go beyond what is needed to provide quality facilities on public lands. Some ski resorts, such as Mt. Bachelor, offer quick lift access to not wait in line. Public property shouldn’t foster a two-class society. Larger corporate permit holders focus on profits, investment returns and high pay for executives. These permit areas make exclusive use of public property and should be available and affordable to the majority of Americans.

Ski area permit holders, resorts and national park concessionaires tend to keep permits for decades. Permit renewal should include price controls or the opportunity for competition for the permit.

Public land managers and concessionaires increasingly use computerized reservation systems (e.g., recreation.gov). Where demand is high, those with time when reservations become available, and with fast electronics with good internet, are favored to get reservations.

I hope the government can find ways to include consideration of fairness, social equity and affordability in permits and concessionaires providing a service on land that belongs to all. This should include low cost public transportation to a resort or park.

— Robin Vora, Bend

We all benefit from clean energy

As a Bend resident and a vice president for The Tofurky Company based in Hood River, I see federal climate investment as an economic imperative for our entire economy, including right here at home in Central Oregon. When Congress invests in a clean energy future we all benefit.

There are already clean energy workers in every corner of the country, including over 10,000 in Representative Bentz’s district. That means workers and businesses here will benefit just as rural, coastal, Republican, urban, Democratic or heartland districts all over the country will. And for those of us not in clean energy, we benefit from a stronger, more climate-resilient economy.

That’s why the Build Back Better Act is so exciting.

With roughly five times more direct investment into the clean economy as the Bipartisan Infrastructure and Jobs Act passed on Nov. 5th, the Build Back Better Act provides the scale of investment we need to address the looming economic threat of climate change. Last year climate disasters across the country — like Oregon’s extreme heat and epic fires — cost taxpayers $100 billion. Those impacts are being felt in all sectors of the economy including mine. In fact, with temperatures topping 109 degrees at our HQ in Hood River this summer, we had to cancel two days of production and invest in equipment to battle the heat and smoke. We diverted resources from growth investment to dealing with a changing climate.

The infrastructure package had some good initial investments. Now I urge Oregon’s congressional delegation to support the Build Back Better Act.

—Chris Dennett, Bend

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