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Build bridge to build love of public lands

American author, environmental activist, cultural critic and farmer Wendell Berry wrote, “We know enough of our own history by now to be aware that people exploit what they have merely concluded to be of value, but they defend what they love.”

I believe when it’s used respectfully, the Deschutes River Trail serves as a stepping stone to loving and ultimately defending all of our public lands. It’s a gem, and yes, I love it best when I’m on it alone. But it doesn’t belong to me. It belongs to all of us.

I support a pedestrian bridge for additional access to the Deschutes River Trail for the same reason it would be ludicrous to stock a city library with books but not encourage citizen access to read them for fear the readers will crease bindings, dog ear pages — or diminish the coveted views of the book collection enjoyed by a handful of patrons in expensive lawn chairs.

It’s been suggested in this forum that folks using the trail are “spandex-covered bicyclists, dog walkers and pot-smoking hikers.” Maybe that’s the perception from those expensive lawn chairs. What’s harder but more important to see is the trail’s role nurturing citizens who love the river and land and who will then project that love into a broader commitment to defend public lands here and beyond.

Berry wrote, “We love what we particularly know.” More of us, not fewer, need to know the Deschutes River Trail.

Deb Goodall

Southwest Bend

Ireland focused on 12th week

On Jan. 25 I became aware the U.S. Senate would be voting on the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act. I contacted both Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden to urge their support. The bill would have banned abortion in most cases after the 20th week of pregnancy.

It was reported on Page A3 in the Jan. 30 edition of The Bulletin that the vote failed to pass the Senate after a similar bill was passed by the House of Representatives.

Interestingly, the article directly below spoke of an upcoming referendum vote to be held in Ireland which would repeal a ban on abortion and allow access up to only the 12th week of pregnancy. I found it interesting, another country also dealing with the issue of abortion would consider making it legal only to the 12th week.

Stan R. Stieben


U.S. was not defeated

The Bulletin’s editors and writers continue to refer to the Vietnam War as a loss or defeat — “Vietnam War’s Tet Offensive at 50” (Feb. 4, 2018). The United States did not lose the war, and we were not defeated. To suggest so is a disgusting slur to the thousands of Americans who served in Vietnam. The United States walked away from the war, left the field.

The men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces, many of whom were drafted, served their country honorably in a vicious and questionable war. Many paid the ultimate price; many were wounded for life. But they were never defeated. The United States was not defeated. Please get your facts straight.

James Scott


Support Nelson on pot grow applications

I support Sheriff Shane Nelson’s request that Deschutes County commissioners not grant any further cannabis grow applications. And I will not vote for, nor support, any county commission candidate unless they go on record agreeing with Nelson’s inspired request.

Commissioners Tammy Baney and Tony DeBone were two of the elected officials putting us in this untenable situation in the first place. At the time of their ill-conceived “opt in” vote, they ignored the wishes of a majority of Deschutes residents who had voted against the “opt in” on the original ballot measure. Since then, these same commissioners have approved grow after grow application. Why so many?

Oregon pot producers already grow three times as much as the state can absorb legally each year (per former OSU Professor Seth Crawford). So where does the pot go?? Out of state! Such illegal interstate dealings may end up jeopardizing many of these Oregon growers if U.S. Attorney Billy Williams clamps down on them (and he should).

From the standpoint of Deschutes County revenue, monies collected from marijuana are a drop in the bucket — certainly not worth the problems created by this health-jeopardizing and still-federally illegal drug.

Robert Perry