I’m writing to offer my strong endorsement for Carrie McPherson Douglass in her reelection campaign for Bend -La Pine School Board. I’ve worked in education with Carrie for over a decade. Simply put, Carrie has the wisdom, tenacity and effectiveness we need on the school board.

Unlike her opponent, Carrie has been a leader through the pandemic. As chair of the Bend-La Pine board, she’s helped shepherd us through the COVID-19 crisis, working tirelessly to ensure Bend-La Pine was the first large district in Oregon to safely reopen schools.

Unlike her opponent, Carrie has the professional experience needed to lead from Day 1. She’s been a teacher, school system leader, and is co-founder and co-CEO of a national education nonprofit that helps school boards in cities across the country improve public education.

Unlike her opponent, Carrie can’t put more than $25,000 of family money into her campaign, and she doesn’t live in an 8,000-square-foot home in the Highlands.

Carrie was born and raised in Bend and graduated from Bend-La Pine Schools. Carrie’s opponent moved to Bend in 2018 from the Bay Area and has no professional experience in education.

This election matters. Carrie is the right choice. That’s why Carrie has such strong support from Bend-La Pine teachers, parents and community members. Please show the special interests backing Carrie’s opponent that the Bend- La Pine board isn’t for sale.

— Ethan Gray, Bend

This will be the first time I’ve written a letter to an editor. This idea of removing the requirement for developers to provide adequate parking for residents is absurd because it lacks forethought and proper planning.

Yes, this has been tried in many large cities in the U.S. I wonder how that has worked out. In one neighborhood I know of in Concord, California, residents living with reduced parking availability have been forced to walk home in the dark after work because they had to park blocks away from their homes. They have risked parking in red zones and in other people’s reserved spaces out of desperation, sometimes finding their cars towed the next morning.

This idea places the cart before the horse. Provide reasonable access to public transportation. Provide safe walking and biking routes (not like the bike lane on the Bend Parkway, which is dangerous, littered with bike-unfriendly gravel and almost entirely unused, in my observation). First, document a measured increase in use of these alternatives, then approve your reduced parking requirement.

Please think this through, councilors, before you vote.

— Elizabeth Warnimont, Bend

Republicans cut a deal on April 15 to get representation on the redistricting committee by agreeing to stop slowing things down or walking out as explained in The Bulletin: “Deal gives GOP more redistricting power to speed up bills: Democrats have agreed to give up an advantage in redrawing the state’s political districts for the next 10 years in exchange for a commitment from Republicans to stop blocking bills in the Oregon Legislature with delay tactics.”

Now, Republicans are back to their old tricks, asking for the reading of all bills. Slowing down the work of the Legislature is so hurtful, and your promise lasted only 13 days!

As for the reason, no one likes the shutdown, but if we keep complaining instead of complying, we will keep going around the same cycle over and over again. The graphs in the April 29 Bulletin show the surge in cases in Deschutes County plain as day. The reason: “if we don’t act now, doctors, nurses, hospitals, and other health care providers in Oregon will be stretched to their limits.”

Figure it out! This is needed to stop the surges and protect health care systems. Stop being a bunch of babies and maybe start encouraging people to get vaccinated. Most of all, get back to work. The business of the state of Oregon is what you were elected to work. Your antics may please your base, but it will lose you the thinking person’s vote.

— Tom Kelley, Sunriver

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