Membrane filtration not reviewed

A recent editorial properly praised the city’s efforts on broadening public input on the sewer project, thereby saving millions. However, the implication that the lack of outside involvement was the major problem with their handling of the water project misses the mark.

The major failure of the water project was that the city excluded the costly and controversial membrane filtration from any value engineering review as an “aspect of the project that the city does not want scrutinized by the team because they represent elements … that cannot be changed … must have membrane filtration.”

Then inexplicably at a council meeting last month, City Engineer Tom Hickman said that there was no restriction on the value engineering review of the membrane filtration system. He said the head of the VE team originally thought there might be substantial savings there but became convinced that the city’s plan was correct. Council then voted to proceed.

His statement was totally erroneous. There was no value engineering review of the membrane filtration system. A value engineering review is absolutely necessary to assure that this is not a flawed and overly expensive project. City management cannot continue to condone this type of performance.

The council and citizens deserve better.

Allan Bruckner


Focus on gun safety, not gun control

I agree with Delbert Linn’s letter of Nov. 29. Gun safety, not gun control, is the answer.

If you want to make America safer, you need to address social conditions, not pass feel-good legislation on gun control.

Sure, you might catch a handful of people, but the criminals who use the most guns will not go anywhere near a background-check system. All you have done is torture thousands of decent Americans with excessive paperwork and force them to pay for it with hard-earned tax dollars.

And here’s a thought. Since motorized vehicles kill more Americans every year than guns, wouldn’t it be a better use of tax dollars to police drivers? That way you don’t risk taking away rights unnecessarily. I mean, if your goal is really to save lives, not control.

Sure, it costs more and takes more effort to address social conditions, but it will be more effective, and you will never take the risk of trampling on the rights of decent Americans. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. More jobs and paying a living wage would be a good start.

Linda Dupree


Fewer meetings, more class time needed

At times when we go to town either in Bend or La Pine, we see kids on the streets or in the malls in the early afternoon — not in school. It doesn’t make sense.

The school system has teachers in the classroom for half a day each week (on Wednesday afternoons) and makes children get up early to go to school for just three hours. A lot of them have an hour’s ride to school and another hour’s ride home. Why not just close the schools down on that day; then the teachers can have their meetings all day.

(Yeah, I know the kids have to go to school so many hours a year for the schools to get government funding.)

In some countries around our great world, the kids go to school 11 months a year and do not have much time off. Ever wonder why our country is so far down on the world smart list? Kids get 2½ days off at Thanksgiving, a week off between Christmas and the new year, a week off for spring break, as well as for Easter and several other holidays throughout the school year. Also, a parent-teachers half-day meeting takes a week to complete in some schools. The kids only go to school for half a day all week. This happens only twice a year, though.

I’m not busting the teachers; they do a good job. I’m talking about the whole school system. Not so many meetings and more classroom time.

Mel Coffin

La Pine

Prescription report misses other costs

An article in the Nov. 21 Bulletin describes how low ACA enrollment might result in lower-than-anticipated prescription drug sales, noting that they would be less than the “best case” estimate of $460 billion, which would be an increase of $132 billion from the current level of $328 billion. The increase would be due to higher utilization by people previously uninsured but does not include any of the other costs involved with providing the services that would result in the increased numbers of prescriptions written. Things like premium subsidies, provider fees, lab costs and hospital charges might amount to costs many times more than the cost of the drugs — possibly exceeding $1 trillion a year.

This is just one more piece of evidence against the claim that the ACA will actually lower health care costs and if you like your plan, you can keep it.

Jeff Keller