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No more nice in Bend

Bend’s informal and uplifting slogan is “Be Nice, You’re In Bend, Oregon.” But that sentiment has worn off just as the patina of most bumper stickers do.

Now that city officials are focused on mapping out where to put more and more people who want to move to Bend from some crowded and less hospitable cities to our west, south or north, the idea of being nice seems to be just “… so last year.”

But being nice, considerate or friendly is not limited to a geographic behavior, but it is a treasured element of why so many of us call Bend home.

So here is an idea for city officials to help right the scales of civility and to set the standard for the thousands of new people who will come to Bend during the next decade.

Tie every new building permit to enhanced traffic enforcement: 10 tickets for running red lights equals one building permit that can be issued. Ten tickets for failing to stop for a pedestrian in a crosswalk or at an intersection gets one more building permit, for example. Oregon has a storied history of tying changes in social behaviors to sometimes competing agendas.

I know that being behind a traffic stop where a Bend police officer is writing three drivers for running the same red light will make our increasing congestion worse. But think of that in another way — it is simply preparing us for what our future gridlock will really look like.

Brian Bell

Bend

Be civil

Civility is an essential quality for lasting civilizations. It’s acquired and maintained through nurturing and role models. It’s a pleasure to share ideas and come to common understandings with civil people. Relaxed comfortability is the mode of these conversations, and out of them come better perceptions and improvements.

Presently, civility is lacking in much of our society. Discussions become in your face demonstrations. Legislators push their agendas with slight wish to listen to others’ ideas. Their uncouth language pushes in a way that encourages push back which negates sharing. Uncivil dialogue divides societies.

Civility is about relationships. It’s established by choice of words, a welcoming venue and a desire to understand. Without these relationships societies become isolated. Unknowingly they spurn the wealth and knowledge that surrounds them. They become self-centered.

Presently, the non-civility infecting many elected representatives has made them self-centered. It has removed them from the needs of the electorate. They’re not hearing us. They’re more interested in being heard on the media and reelected than working collaboratively for what is best for the country. The electorate doesn’t want just more programs and handouts. The electorate wants to be heard and empowered in a way that gives them self-esteem. They want a government that gets things done in a civil way. Wake up Washington, D.C., and be the leaders and role models that our country needs.

Charlie Young

Bend

Bulletin should be valued

Toby Bayard made some good points in a guest column, the gist of which was a local newspaper is a necessary resource for a community, and we are in danger of losing The Bulletin. A major reason for this threatened loss is the paper’s declining circulation, largely due to declining paid subscriptions. We all know people who don’t subscribe to the paper for whatever reason; I will suggest a partial solution to the paper’s circulation woes might be for those of us who value its continued existence to give a friend a subscription. Not everyone has the extra room in the household budget for an extra subscription, but some of us are fortunate to have that room if it’s for something we value. I’ll admit I have groused as loudly as anyone every time the cost of my Bulletin subscription went up, but I wrote the check anyway. The local rag is something I value.

Jerry Wright

Sisters

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