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I remember when they first talked about building the new hospital “way out of town,” and many people were upset that it was too far from the center of town. Look at it now; it is the center of the east side of Bend. Homes and businesses have grown up around it.

The same thing will happen to the location of the new library. Already, there is a school nearby, and homes are expanding all the way out O.B. Riley Road. Businesses are set to move in across the highway, and more growth is projected. Yes, the highways and roads will need to be reconfigured, but the state is already working on plans for that. There will be growing pains.

But, we voted for this new facility, and I urge people to trust the vision of the library board and administration. You will still be able to walk to the downtown library or the East Bend Branch.

As a former staff member of the East Bend Library, it pleases me that so many people have supported it and requested that it become a bigger and better branch. The citizens of Bend support libraries.

— Sue Fountain, Bend

On a recent weekend, I was honored to join the Central Oregon Landcruisers and Central Oregon Off-Highway Vehicle Association for a China Hat cleanup. These groups teamed up with neighborhood volunteers to fill two huge dumpsters and make countless trips to the landfill. To mitigate wildfire risk, they scouted out abandoned vehicles, secured funding, organized machinery and tow trucks and worked with local officials to get approval for removal.

About a month ago, Wanderlust Tours organized a China Hat cleanup, as well, which included sandblasting graffiti from the walls of our lava caves.

China Hat Road is the nearest access point to the Deschutes National Forest for those of us in southeast Bend, and it is heavily used by a diverse group of people.

I am so grateful for these truly heroic efforts to keep this public land clean and protected.

— Sara Moss, Bend

The clearing of the homeless from Emerson Avenue described in the recent Bulletin is disheartening. Local government is abdicating its responsibilities to not only the homeless but to the residents of south Bend, who will now be asked to bear the burden of risk created by uncontrolled encampments up China Hat Road.

The forests are a tinder box in this year’s drought. Three fires were caused by or associated with RVs on public land only yesterday, and the solution by Bend City government is to move people into the forest. This problem has become the responsibility of an undermanned Deschutes National Forest department who are asked to enforce the laws, clean up the mess and fight fires. For residents of south Bend, we are asked to bear the brunt of increased fire risk.

Isn’t it time for local government to create safe campsites for those who are living on the streets? Providing sanitation, safety, support and decent living conditions for these people until they are able fill the myriad of unfilled positions now advertised? The very block on Emerson could be leveled and services provided there.

Simply moving the homeless into the forest does not make them go away, it only makes them less visible and puts all of us in danger.

— William Cosgrove, Bend

According to the stats on COVID recently provided by The Bulletin , we are doing pretty well in Oregon, and locally.

In Oregon, one person has died out of every 75 people who have had COVID-19. In our tri-county area, one person out of 95 with the disease has died. In Deschutes County alone, one person has died out of 123 who had or have the disease.

It is much worse in other areas of our country and the world. We must be doing something right, and getting vaccinated might be the key. The availability, and turnout, at the county fairgrounds has been well received and applauded.

The goal is to have 70% of the people in the United States vaccinated by the end of July. Sadly, there are areas where people are not convinced, and they are staying away in droves.

I’m not trying to downplay the seriousness of COVID, but many disease states have a worse mortality. My grandfather died in the flu epidemic of 1918, and at least 20 million died worldwide, and some reports say it was two or three times that number.

So don’t despair, get your vaccination! They are saying that most of the people dying now were not vaccinated, and this new variant is adding fuel to the fire.

— Dr. H. D. Kelley, Bend

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(1) comment

kindergentlerbend

Thank you, William Cosgrove, for those valuable insights. Services were being provided on Emerson--just not by the City of Bend, which dishonestly attempted to portray an irredeemable situation of crime and trash accumulation to justify the "humane removal" (in the words of its Orwellian policy). In fact, dozens of private citizens from the community came to pick up trash, provide showers, set up and maintain porta-potties, and provide innumerable other services. The City chose to disregard these essential contributions, and--instead--sought to close down the community, cut off the support that so many of these campers were receiving and send them--as Mr. Cosgrove so well stated--into a limbo of an existence that further endangered them, as well as--in so doing--ourselves with increasing fire risk. This should never happen again. Out of sight does not mean out of danger.

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