Well done with roundabouts

Bend is in love with roundabouts. And why not. They move traffic in an efficient and safe manner. The opening of the Empire Avenue corridor was fantastic … green space, sidewalk, canal crossing, ease of access. What’s not to like? Soon the newest roundabout will open on Purcell Boulevard and Butler Market Road. I look forward to this and I expect it will live up to high standards set by the excellent engineering and construction crews. In short, The Roadmen! Well done.

— James R. Shores, Bend

Redmond School Board earns an “F”

The Redmond School Board has decided to use district funds to hire an attorney to fight the governor’s mandate for masks and vaccinations. They want, “local control.” The governor used epidemiologists, virologists, and infectious disease specialists in formulating plans to control the pandemic. Who does the Redmond School Board use — the board members?

The school board declined to fire a teacher who chose to put her personal comfort before the safety of her students when she refused to wear a mask for the few hours a day she is in class. In doing so, the school board sends the lesson to students that they do not have to follow rules if they don’t like them. They could have taught students that they sometimes may be asked to do something they don’t especially like for the common good. Lesson opportunity lost.

Rather than hiring an attorney, the school board could use those funds to provide more comfortable masks, school supplies, school programs, etc., but instead, they choose to use school funds to attempt to subvert the governor’s mandate and give themselves more power. Shameful and dangerous.

— Pamela Robbins, Bend

Need substance on homeless solutions

On Oct. 8, The Bulletin’s editorial made a request to hear from people who support and oppose the city’s homeless policies. I think this is hard to do because the city councilors have not put forth solid, unambiguous proposals. The Guest Column by the Bend City Council, in recent paper, was unsatisfying. It talked about creating facilities to house 500 people. Not only does that represent less than half the homeless population there was no detail provided. Sixty to 80% of the column was not much more than empty rhetoric that filled space.

I do not believe that camping, managed or otherwise, is a long-term solution. The campers are harming nobody is a lazy attitude that has resulted in the increase in campers that we have seen in the past two years.

A city of Bend document distributed at the Project TurnKey Open House held in July, expressed that homeless policy solutions should include rapid rehousing, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. I think that fleshing out the details for each of these items is a good place to start. We need some substance.

— Frances S. Miller, Bend

Keep parks green

One of the most important things a community can offer everyone, in exchange for their tax dollars, is beautiful public spaces. Regardless of income or neighborhood, all can enjoy the parks, the rivers, fountains and other landscaped public areas.

Portland is a perfect example of what happens when you let your public spaces go.

Water for public use is more important than golf courses and, even hobby farms. If used wisely, water can support all. Just don’t trash the city in the name of conservation.

— Bruce Brothers, Bend

Efforts to help the homeless are appreciated

Thanks for the nudge, Bulletin editors! I’d like to acknowledge our Bend City Council, Deschutes County Commission and especially their staffs for their investigations, conversations and creative responses to the needs of un-housed Central Oregonians. The Homeless Emergency Task Force and the Homeless Leadership Coalition (representing regional agencies, stakeholders and citizens working directly on homelessness) are also digging deep, targeting services, resource sharing and strategic initiatives.

The intersecting circumstances contributing to increased homelessness are complex. There is so much to be done. As a community member, I commit to educate myself on these causes and conditions; to not react, but reflect. Our region, which is growing rapidly, can grow with compassion. Let’s keep working for our un-housed friends, together.

— Ruth Williamson, Bend

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