Silt problems start farther upriver

I find it interesting that no one seems to address the real concern regarding silt and sediment problems in the Deschutes River.

What about the North Unit Irrigation District and all the related irrigators that seem to continually create stream flow variables that constantly churn up sediment and debris, causing harm to riparian habitats and fish-spawning beds?

Shouldn’t these irrigators be financially responsible and accountable for the river damage their releases and discharges create?

This is not just a problem for Mirror Pond, but their annual irrigation actions affect the whole Deschutes River system. I live upriver from Sunriver (20-plus miles from downtown Bend) and I can recall river water level changes of several feet in just a matter of a day or two, creating turbid murky water conditions downriver until the flow stabilizes — which I assume sends suspended debris particles all the way to Bend.

My section of the river is experiencing major sediment buildup also.

Again, address the source of the problems and have all stakeholders liable for solutions, including North Unit Irrigation District’s and Wickiup Reservoir’s impoundment in your financial solutions.

Duane Wyman

Source: The Bulletin ©2013

Offer a prize for an idea for Mirror Pond

I have been following the progress of Mirror Pond and the process of a decision as to how to solve the problem of removing the silt as economically as possible and not breaking the city.

It seems like a really tough problem. Still, there must be an answer somewhere.

There must be a really smart person that has the answer. Perhaps if the power in control would make an offer of, say, $50,000 or so — a prize to the winner of the idea to come forward? There is an old saying, “You usually get what you pay for.”

Gary Robertson

Source: The Bulletin ©2013

Remove the dam and let the river run

Remove the Deschutes River dam.

Dredge Mirror Pond.

Geez! People of Bend, look at the bigger picture for a change. Dams are now unpopular and yet, here in Bend, we have the old-fashioned people, living in the past.

When we remove the dam in Bend, we will make the cover of Time magazine, be written about in The New York Times and on and on. People will flock to Bend to see a river run through it instead of what we have now. The small limited picture is to leave things alone. Well, the bigger picture is to remove dams, for a flow of river water and all of the amenities that come with that. The Bend Park & Recreation District could redo Drake Park and use some of that money from the bond issue. Yes, remodel the old-fashioned Drake Park, what a novel idea. And to Millie Nolan’s letter from March 17, I say, “A river runs, it just runs.”

One doesn’t dredge a river, one watches it flow. We are Bend recreationists, so the brochures say. So let’s be “outdoorsy” and remove an old dam — for free-flowing water, traveling downstream from up in the Cascades.

Tom Filcich

Source: The Bulletin ©2013

Idea for Mirror Pond

Pacific Power owns the dam that creates a small but profitable return of energy for this facility. The dam is also the cause of the Mirror Pond build-up. The cost to remove the dam and restore its construction area would be significant to Pacific Power. Why not leave things as they are and Pacific Power pays the cost of dredging the river every 10 or 15 years as the silt builds up.

Harold Anderson

Source: The Bulletin ©2013

Preserve Mirror Pond

Thank you for printing the view of Cary Robles in the Feb. 26 paper. I am in total agreement about Mirror Pond. I worry that a huge mistake will be made by removing the dam. What will Bend be without our beautiful river and Mirror Pond? Someday there would be a plea to build a dam again so Bend would have another beautiful pond. Bend residents should at least have the chance to vote on the decision.

Not all of us want a mud flat at Drake Park, natural or not. We should take care of this treasure that Bend has and keep it up by more frequent dredging. Thank you again.

Millie Nolan

Source: The Bulletin ©2013

Let voters decide about Mirror Pond

Cary Robles’ Feb. 26 In My View article is right on the money. What to do about the silt in the Deschutes River should not be decided by a steering committee, and we certainly should not be spending another $200,000 on another study. He suggests letting the voters decide and I agree.

I read the questionnaire online and it’s good, but answers can be interpreted differently. The dam could be modernized, the silt removed every 15 or 20 years and the river allowed to continue as it is. To restore the Deschutes to the “natural” wild river it used to be would be ridiculous. It’s in the middle of a city with many homes on its banks and many people enjoy it as it is. Let the people hear the facts and vote.

Maralyn Thoma

Source: The Bulletin ©2013

Mirror Pond process flawed

At a Feb. 12 public meeting, Mirror Pond Project leader Jim Figurski doggedly defended the “Visioning Project Questionnaire” now being circulated. He proudly announced that 1,200 had so far been filled out.

He took pains to defend the scientific validity of this questionnaire, which, he said, will help determine the fate of Mirror Pond.

However, the very underpinnings of the questionnaire appear to be fatally flawed. It looks suspiciously like a political push poll: It limits choices to various versions of Mirror Pond as it now exists, and it does not allow consideration of alternatives.

The other problem is the claim this questionnaire will provide an accurate representation of a cross-section of Bend opinion. But, how can we know how statistically representative the sampling is, when the questionnaire does not even ask for the age or income grouping of respondents?

The questionnaire should be rewritten, and we are fortunate in having a data analyst and statistician sitting on the Mirror Pond Management Board — newly elected City Councilor Victor Chudowsky. We should put his professional oversight to work in fashioning a new one.

At the Feb. 12 meeting, Figurski ruled out the possibility of a referendum election to allow the public to vote on alternatives. Lacking this and realizing that tens of thousands in public funds are now being spent in this “visioning” process, it would, at least, be nice to know that a true reading of public opinion will emerge. Please, redo the questionnaire.

Foster Fell

Source: The Bulletin ©2013

Audience lacked courtesy at Mirror Pond meeting

I attended a Feb. 12 public meeting regarding Mirror Pond that was hosted by the Mirror Pond Steering Committee and moderated by Jim Figurski.

First, I would like to sincerely thank Figurski for conducting a professional and informative meeting under what I would consider trying circumstances. Second, I was shocked by the lack of courtesy and respect that many in attendance displayed. There is an appropriate, respectful way to provide constructive feedback and to solicit further discourse. However, the behavior I witnessed was no better than what I see on MSNBC and Fox News each day.

Shame on you people!

Kevin B. English

Mirror Pond ownership

Before any money is spent on planning studies or remediation of Mirror Pond, which may cost millions, perhaps it would be wise for the city to really determine who owns Mirror Pond. Then have the assessor check to see who has been paying taxes on it and send them a bill. If no one has been paying taxes, then maybe nobody owns it.

John Bihary Jr.

Source: The Bulletin