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

Fish passage and Mirror Pond

There is no question that if the city and park district are considering using public money for dredging Mirror Pond the issue must go to the voters.

One of the options voters should be allowed to consider is whether the project should include fish passage at the dam.

I would not support any proposal that does not include an effort to restore habitat connectivity for redband trout and other species. These trout are adapted for life in the desert. The Deschutes Basin “redsides” are part of the Columbia River redband trout species for which range and abundance have declined substantially. The major threat to these fish are streamflow barriers that create isolated populations.

Across the Northwest a priority is being placed on removing fish passage blockages.

Large dams have gone down on the Sandy, White Salmon and Elwha rivers. Smaller diversion are being eliminated or improved for fish passage.

So what about Bend? Do we want to be a community that says “no” to taking care of the river and its critters? Will we settle for simply digging a new hole for the pond and keeping the old dam as the only fish passage blockage in the Upper Deschutes?

Or do we want to join the rest of the Northwest in taking steps to improve salmonid populations? And therefore do something we, as a community, can be proud of.

Fish passage at the dam will not eliminate Mirror Pond. It will just make it different, and better.

Bill Crampton

Bend

Parking hassle in downtown Bend

Citizens and visitors to Bend beware! The Bend city government does not want you downtown.

Their latest parking scheme is charging for parking in certain locations via a smart phone with the appropriate app, which is very difficult to access and use. They assume everyone owns a smart phone and that it is surgically attached to your body.

I am sure that visitors to Bend will want to clutter their phone with this valuable app during their short visit.

My suggestion is to avoid the downtown area for you shopping or business if at all possible.

Bill Sager

Bend

Piping canals

I have read several articles recently regarding piping of the irrigation canals, and the thought that over 3 miles of those canals should be considered historic, and not piped. This is really counterproductive to saving wildlife habitat and conserving water.

Those canals also are becoming more and more dangerous as more people move to Bend and Deschutes County that are not familiar with them, and don’t realize how dangerous they can be.

More people and pets drown in them every year. My suggestion to solving this problem would be to pipe the canals, but have signs posted about the old canals, their history and why they are now piped for water conservation. I would also build some demonstration plots at the High Desert Museum, and several other of the historical museums around Central Oregon showing how the old canals worked using recirculating water systems, then explaining why they are now piped and how much water that saves both in the river and for irrigation. The farmers and our elected representatives have worked long and hard to find solutions to the water issues and pipe these canals Maybe this is a compromise that can save both water and lives.

Ann Snyder

Ashwood

Follow New Zealand on gun control

Kudos to the Kiwis. As reported in The Bulletin, “New Zealand’s parliament voted almost unanimously for a law that bans most semiautomatic weapons … less than a month after 50 people were killed by a white nationalist-inspired gunman.”

It appears they have more moral backbone than we do and are willing to act to protect the lives of innocents. Will our representatives and senators ever have enough courage to withstand corporate lobbying and the narrow interests of the NRA to enact such legislation?

And, if they can’t in this instance, why should it be any different on any substantial issue facing us?

Robert Currie

Bend

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