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

Fix traffic

In response to Kirk Schueler’s explanation of traffic in Bend: Traffic in Bend doesn’t compare to congestion in larger cities where new residents have moved from. “Traffic will take care of itself over time. It’s not the end of the world.” … are you kidding?

It’s true, traffic in Bend doesn’t compare to traffic in larger cities, but that’s not the point. Longtime residents are concerned about the increase in traffic congestion, lack of planning for infrastructure improvements and resulting decrease in the quality of life.

I moved to Bend in 1997 and am unpleasantly surprised by the effects of growth. I’m not the only “old-timer” who now avoids local events due to the traffic, difficulty finding parking, as well as the disappearance of the small-town ambiance. I’m am not anti-growth or anti-progress. I appreciate some of the results of having a larger population, but I don’t see how “traffic will take care of itself over time.” I drive the parkway daily, and I routinely watch someone exit at Revere, Lafayette, Harriman or Colorado from the inside lane. That result of traffic congestion is not going to fix itself.

It’s also true that our traffic “is not the end of the world,” but again, that’s not the point. The disregard for legitimate concerns is far more important. Bend can retain some of its charm and appeal, or it can become just another midsized town that allowed growth to define rather than improve it.

Bonnie Snyder


Not everyone loves iPads

I was disheartened after reading your Jan. 27 article about the fifth anniversary of the iPad rollout throughout Bend-La Pine Schools. The article painted a very rosy picture of the impact and acceptance of iPads. It gave, at best, short shrift to the reality that many educators and families are dissatisfied with the dependence on iPads in our schools. We worry about the short- and long-term effects that these devices are having on the social-emotional development and health of our children.

I am an educator of over 20 years who has two children in district schools. I witness the impact of our current iPad practices every day. Unfortunately, insufficient attention is given to these downsides of technology. Even your article seemed to find glitches as the only genuine concern. What about the research on vastly increasing screen time linked to anxiety and depression in teens? What about the decreased social skills of students allowed to hide behind a screen during their free time at school? What about the ongoing investment of time and resources that goes into effective usage of technology, an investment that dwarfs the investments intended to encourage safe practices?

In closing, technology can indeed be an incredible tool for our students. However, if we continue to praise its benefits without paying the appropriate attention to the possible problems of such innovation, a tool becomes a hazard. Our students deserve better. There is too much at stake to be reckless.

Theo Wilhelm


A wall’s value

Many people think the Democrats want border security. But the Democrats do not have any alternative to a wall/barrier to prohibit people from stepping into our country. This essentially means that they want open borders.

I have repeatedly asked Sens. Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkley, Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi as well as asking those who are so opposed to the wall from The Washington Post and The New York Times what the alternative Democrat plan is. I have not received an answer from any of them.

Actually, I did receive one response from Sen. Merkley, but not an answer to my question, and that was to use technology and be smarter. This is not a plan. I have not read or heard of any kind of technology that will prevent a person from stepping across the border. Drones, motion sensors, aerial pictures, infrared sensors or additional border patrol agents will not do that.

We all know that in order to prevent somebody from stepping across a line in the sand that defines countries there needs to be a physical barrier. So why don’t they want it? Especially when they voted for it in the past? Simple, only one reason — they hate President Donald Trump more than they love this country.

President John F. Kennedy once said “My fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.” That certainly has been forgotten by the current Democrats.

Jim Persing