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Fires caused by incompetence

I am one of the thousands of Central Oregonians who suffered this summer from eye-watering and choking smoke because of the many, many wildfires burning in our state. In the past couple of weeks I have read numerous stories based on the Bureau of Land Management’s and the U.S. Forest Service’s pious reports about the causes and how they plan to mitigate future fires.

To all of the “best and brightest” government employees offering these explanations and plans, I say: Baloney!

The reason the fires spread rapidly is because, years ago, some Twinkies convinced the government that the spotted owl (and maybe a pink-toed dancing frog) was more important than the local economy and forest health. They decreed that logging was a bad thing. Now, that industry has vanished from Central Oregon and the forests have become undermanaged and overgrown.

The reason the fires became so large is that our government decided to not actually do anything about fires until they had grown very big. Then, they called in the contractors. Anyone who visited Sisters while the Milli fire was burning saw the tent city that had been erected there. There were hundreds and perhaps thousands of tents, with all the kitchens, food and sanitary-service vendors necessary to support the contractors’ employees. Big money! Taxpayer money!

The residents are being sold a bill of goods. Incompetence is the real reason for the fires and their effects in our area!

Dennis Douglas


Too much congestion

In the article on Sept. 29, “Drive-thru slated for Century Drive Safeway,” the developer “predicts the restaurant will generate an average 592 trips a day with a weekday evening peak of 39 trips.”

That sounds like a lot of extra traffic to me. If the restaurant is open 24 hours a day, that’s 24.6 more cars per hour. If it’s open 18 hours daily, that’s an extra 32.8 trips per hour. Those of us who drive on Century Drive are already aware of the backups that occur at the roundabout at Simpson Avenue and Century Drive. How is adding 592 more daily trips a good idea?

Let’s not forget the new five-story hotel being built at the Reed Market, Mt. Washington, Century Drive roundabout. It’s “only going to generate 46 more trips during peak times,” according to a previous article in The Bulletin.

Consider all these extra trips in the context of the current traffic to and from the schools on Mt. Washington, the traffic crossing the Bill Healy bridge, as well as the traffic to and from Mt. Bachelor, which is bound to increase as our population continues to grow.

Am I alone in thinking this sounds like a crazy recipe for traffic congestion that far surpasses what we’re already facing? At some point in time the powers that be are going to need to say no, thank you to more growth in areas that already exceed their capacity. Please, and thank you.

Bonnie Snyder


How troubled is America?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just released a study that 110 million Americans are infected with at least one sexually transmitted disease.

The incidence of gonorrhea increased 22 percent in men in just one year and is becoming antibiotic resistant.

Last year, syphilis rates increased by 18 percent generally and 28 percent among newborns.

USA Today reported that nearly 50 percent of black 23-year-old males and 40 percent of white males already have a criminal record.

Opioid addiction has reached an epidemic, and of 44 percent of adults who smoke weed, 51 percent are parents.

Forty-four million Americans depend on food stamps and 49 million Americans (or 19.4 percent) are considered disabled.

Educationally, American schools are failing, even though we spend more than any other nation. American students ranked 30th (out of 35) in math and 19th in science compared with their peers abroad. And locally, only 26 percent of our high school students are proficient in math and 49 percent in science.

According to the military, 71 percent of our youth are ineligible for military service because of criminal record, disease, obesity or poor education.

Socially, for the first time in history, the percentage of married adults fell below 50 percent.

We haven’t yet collapsed because we are borrowing nearly $1 trillion per year to mask the problems.

What can save our nation? Turning back to God. The Bible says, “Righteousness exalts a nation” but “the outcome of sin is death.”

A return to Godliness will save us from our troubles and restore American greatness.

John Shepherd