Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Please Listen To Your Constituents - Marina Martinez-Cavallo, Bend

Representatives, June 12, 2007

I am writing as a community member of Central Oregon and as a workforce and career education consultant, regarding SB 30 (Metolius). I want to express my overwhelming support for this bill. I have never written to legislators before but this matter requires urgent action. My friends in Central Oregon as well as visitors/ friends of ours from out-of-state are also writing to you about this. I have also copied many people with this letter (Bcc).


Many legislators are concerned about the economy and feel that allowing the destination resorts to develop will help. But, many well-educated and professional people will actually stop coming to this area and spending their money because this area will be just like the many other places we have in Central Oregon and California. Don’t we want to preserve our economic stability with environmental stability?

The proposed resorts will produce just above minimum wage jobs—food, retail, landscape etc. This is more of the same in Central Oregon.

Don’t we need to spend our energy recruiting corporations that will bring in higher wage jobs, provide occupational diversity that will actually increase our state economy and help us with the global workforce that we have RIGHT NOW? As a workforce consultant, I see how we CONTINUE in Oregon to develop these low-level minimum wage jobs and their disastrous effect on our families, marriages, and children; parents have to work 2-3 jobs to make a house payment and put food on the table. Our children suffer with lack of childcare and attention and find inappropriate ways to entertain themselves, ultimately causing more financial strain on our state. (I come from a gang-infested state.) And important to our economy, we are lagging in education nationally because of lack of funding. We can do better than this!

I moved to Central Oregon a few years ago and have been visiting it quarterly for over twenty years. I have come to learn that the Metolious River Basin is a precious diamond in this land. People actually go there to restore their sanity and to remember why they live in this beautiful state. It’s not uncommon for people to call this area “a spiritual place.”

We need this very delicate, environmentally unique, and peaceful place to stay in tact with the surrounding ecosystem. People need to find peace so that they can go on and deal with the changing global workplace, leaders they can’t believe in most of the time, and now the uncertainties of the global warming threat. Over 60% of marriages end in divorce, we have children taking care of their aging parents, and jobs that come and go on a regular basis. We need a place that feels good and feels like “home.” In sum, this area is rehabilitative to most of us.

Quite simply, if we don’t take care of the precious landscape we have, it won’t be able to take care of us. PLEASE DON’T LET THE DEVELOPERS WIN THIS ONE! Don’t let us become another uncaring California!
Clearly, the Metolious River watershed is at risk:
§ Destination resorts consume vast quantities of water (shouldn’t we be saving?)
§ Their golf courses, wastewater and pavement runoff can pollute surface and ground waters (Do we NEED more than 35 golf courses in an area this size? We have SO many ways tourists can enjoy our area)
§ Thousands of more visitors will crowd the unique Metolious Wild and Scenic River (I have camped here for over 20 years; I already see the pressure from too many people. It’s getting much harder for this area to bounce back)
§ Damage to the sensitive riparian areas and healthy fish habitat, not to mention wildlife like river otters will occur.

Please, Please, Please PASS Senate Bill 30. Let’s provide meaningful employment in ways that will really help our economy.


Marina Martinez-Cavallo, M.S.
Bend, Oregon

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