Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

The value of cats

I’m writing in response to Bill Burley’s letter concerning working cats. Personally, I was excited to see that The Bulletin published this progressive article about adopting community cats as working cats.

Working cats are a great method of organic rodent control! Community cats are cats who have been born in the outdoors and who may not be socialized to living indoors with people. They can easily be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and eartipped to show they’ve been altered.

Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) has actually proven to be a very effective (and humane) method of controlling a population if it is done in a targeted manner.

Bill made no mention of a solution to this issue, so until someone comes up with a more effective and humane way to control the outdoor cat population, this is it. We all want fewer cats, it’s just a matter of how we get there. Trap, neuter, return is not abandonment, as those who go to the trouble of trapping and neutering them also ensure that they have access to food, water and safe shelter. Concerned about toxoplasmosis? Cats only shed this virus once in their lifetimes. Concerned about wildlife? Fewer cats means less toxo and more birds; it’s as simple as that. Why not put some of these cats to work in your shop or barn? Others can live out their lives in managed colonies located in areas that are not wildlife sensitive. Contact Bend Spay+Neuter Project locally at 541-617-1010, or visit bestfriends.org for more info!

Megan Gram

Bend

Improve traffic in Terrebonne

Kudos to ODOT for its effort to help our community with the Terrebonne U.S. Highway 97 refinement. There is no question this is needed.

The focus should be on safety and reducing congestion in Terrebonne, not increasing it. Bike lanes, pedestrian access and cross traffic are a high priority, but a northbound interchange from Lower Bridge Way to U.S. Highway 97 seems to be off the table for discussion.

Wednesday night ODOT held a public meeting and shared the latest plan. Commuters from Crooked River Ranch and beyond (traveling to Highway 97 from Lower Bridge Way) will proceed south into Terrebonne, and then make a U-turn on the south end of town before returning north towards Madras.

Shouldn’t the logic be provide northbound access and reduce the amount of traffic in Terrebonne, reduce the pedestrian related incidents and make cross traffic and U-turns safer by reducing the number of commuters?

Our local law and fire agencies rely on each other. Mutual aid is critical to timely response. The current plan only increases response times.

I’m not an engineer; I have no experience planning or building roads, but as a former fire chief, I know how emergency response works, and I know how critical minutes are when it comes to public safety. This current plan doesn’t address this critical need; it only reduces the ability to assist our community in a timely fashion.

ODOT, put your pencils and protractors down and pick up the phone and call your local emergency responders.

Richard Hoffmann

Crooked River Ranch

More furloughs

Injustice raises its ugly head once again as federal employees are made to pay for the inability of the executive branch and the legislative branch to do our nation’s business. The president, members of Congress, and their staffs ought to go without pay and benefits while they posture and preen. Dare I say we should furlough them?

Wouldn’t it make more sense to give the legislative and executive branches the month of January to decide upon a budget, then allow them the next 11 months to argue, to debate, to propose legislation? If they can’t pass a budget in this one month’s time, then they should be furloughed (no back pay, no retroactive benefits). Meanwhile, the government continues to run, providing its citizens with the services and protections expected of it.

Robert Currie

Bend

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