I was recently approached in a public place by a woman with a very kind face and a very hard message: “Help us keep the Hunnell Road encampment out of southeast Bend. These people are criminals and the city has no plan to provide us with security.” Her information was wrong. The source of her information was a neighborhood chat group. Perhaps she has not read or does not believe in Bulletin coverage, which has documented over a year that the Hunnell Road encampment includes a mix of people with stories that span the gamut of life experience. Stories that could have been, or could be, ours. Life is messy and sometimes unfair. My guess is that the people who have learned this the hard way often provide each other with more community and compassion than those who have been spared.
— Janet Whitney, Bend
Baffled by nurse pay raise request
Your article in The Bulletin dated March 5 was a real mind bender.
It appears some nurses are offended by their low pay and high home costs in Bend. Also noted, was the average pay for a St. Charles nurse, currently $58 per hour.
The nurses are requesting a 65% pay raise, and there have been several meetings to work out a new contract.
Is it me or anyone else in Central Oregon who is baffled by these events and requests by the nurses?
Let’s do the math. $58 times a 40 hour work week, times 4 weeks equals $9,280 per month! 65% increase in pay, as requested, would equal $15,312 per month.
A couple of observations concerning this request for additional pay.
Early in my career, I spent 30 days in a Navy hospital, almost unable to move after a 5½-hour operation. Housed in a ward with 30 other beds, completely full from guys shot up from Vietnam. I will tell you from personal experience, nurses are the most valuable people in a hospital. A valiant nurse actually saved my life late one night.
I can never show my support and admiration for the job they accomplish.
However, even if they do not get this enormous pay raise, what does it say about the people in Bend working in retail, pumping gas, waiters and waitresses, etc. Who deserves $15k a month to be a nurse in Bend??
The market should dictate current wages. Wonder how much the doctors are making?
— Wally Long, Bend
Wyden and Merkley and the border
According to the The Bulletin, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, is scheduled to host a town hall in Bend. Having attended several of his town halls in the past, I give him credit for smoothly evading answers on “tough” questions.
The Biden Administration has opened our borders allowing thousands of unvetted migrants to illegally cross our southern border along with a record amount of fentanyl. This action has created a crisis for our country in terms of lack of security and sovereignty and resulted in the deaths of thousands of our citizens from fentanyl. I receive communication emails from both Sens. Wyden and Jeff Merkley and neither has bothered to mention these problems. When Donald Trump was president, they were front and center about making their opinions known about his actions to control the border. Now, both are AWOL.
Usually, both Wyden and Merkley respond to questions about the border by saying something to the effect that “it has always been a problem,” or the classic response, “we need comprehensive immigration reform,” a vague statement which is code for amnesty.
I hope The Bulletin, or individuals attending the meeting, will not let Wyden off the hook on these issues and ask what he plans to do to help secure the border, without amnesty being his first priority.
Both our senators have done good things for Oregon in the past, but are now classic examples of the need for term limits.
— Charles Payne, Bend
Don’t create new homeless camp
The new homeless area proposal by the Les Schwab Tire Center at the southern end of Bend: It’s bad for all the businesses in that part of town and the theft and garbage issues are going to be major problem. If the Bend City Council wants to go through with this they should all be fired immediately!
— Robert Rhodes, Bend
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The city is mulling a transportation utility fee, a seasonal fuel tax and/or a targeted sales tax on food and beverage sales to cover transportaiton costs, repairs. You can respond directly to the city at firstname.lastname@example.org. See our editorial at https://bendbulletin.us/3n5cACr
Well Mr Payne, at least they come to Bend for a town hall. We never did see Clifford
Thank you, Janet Whitney, for your excellent letter.
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