Bend’s exclusive future

New York Times columnist Thomas Edsall quantifies expensive housing prices in San Francisco and other Western cities, and what that means to residents. This motivates upper-income individuals and families to move to Bend, attracted by its widely publicized lifestyle and its affordable houses compared to those in California cities.

These residents are changing Bend’s DNA from what it was five years ago. They continue to raise the prices of goods and services, while government further scrambles to increase affordable housing units. The taxpayer subsidizes this housing. Meanwhile, Bend becomes even more expensive for those neither wealthy nor qualified for government help.

Not a techie living on the west side — not a retiree in Broken Top — not one eligible to get subsidized housing? You squeeze by and occasionally buy a $10 glass of cabernet. And if you own a home, you deal with the ever-increasing tax burden as infrastructure bonds and special “fees” drain your checking account.

IT executives, attorneys, doctors and venture capitalists can bring their preoccupation of “when do we leave for Europe?” or “let’s get the new Audi!” This compulsion to stay wealthy and live the “lifestyle” creates a self-absorbing mindset that dismisses “Be Nice, You’re In Bend.” The Atlantic magazine calls them the “New Aristocrats.”

A plumber shares his observations, “The new professionals are a cult unto themselves, and the stresses they wanted to leave — they bring with them!”

My question for Bend councilors: “Is Boulder our model for the future?”

Tim Conlon

Bend

Parkway free-for-all

Law enforcement officials, by their absence of traffic code actions, along with their sheer lack of presence, have created a dangerous commuter atmosphere that encourages and incites unsafe and risky driving habits.

A daily drive of the Bend Parkway results in several encounters with narcissistic drivers who continually provoke others with their selfish driving behavior; speed being the most obvious concerns along with risky lane changes and tailgating. “A nonevidence” of enforcement creates a “free-for-all” vehicular danger-zone that promotes and perpetuates these habitually, hazardous routine practices.

Lack of enforcement or citations has built this sense of entitlement to countless drivers to travel in whatever dangerous manner is deemed suitable. Bad habits are hard to break, but with hazardous automobiles these everyday practices are never acceptable. Officials need to increase their roadway presence in a very proactive way, now. With summer coming on, this situation for Central Oregon will only get worse. The recent roll-over crash on the parkway is a perfect example!

Hey ODOT, here is a thought regarding local speed-limit signs: Ignore the mph numbers and just print, “Whatever you can get away with.”

This definitely will alleviate road rage so drivers can persist in their horrible and dangerous ways; since no one of authority is out on the roads to observe and correct Bend’s local driving infractions.

Duane Wyman

Bend

Questionable priorities

Having relocated to Bend from a small Colorado town whose “local rag” only regurgitated national bias from The New York Times, The Washington Post, et al., my wife and I fully enjoy and appreciate the breadth and depth of The Bulletin. Having said that, we were recently surprised at your choice and prioritization of recent events that appeared in your paper. What is really important? Is it the front-page center, main article about a has-been former porn star stripping at a local cabaret or the Page 3 “Around the world” column that merely mentions Gina Haspel being confirmed to lead the Central Intelligence Agency? Having spent 30 years in the CIA and going through a very difficult (but necessary) confirmation hearing, she is the first female to lead such an important agency. Does this accomplishment not trump and become far more important than a 39-year-old mother who still enjoys taking her clothes off to pay for her legal bills? What are your priorities? I’m sure your other subscribers would like to know as well.

Don Hayes

Bend

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