Free the River

Section of Steven Hawley's Oct. 27 talk (Code Blue).  For full remarks, click on the green button.

Last item: Mirror Pond. This is an issue I and a lot of other out-of-towners don’t
understand about a certain segment of Bend’s citizens. What could possibly be the
attachment to this structure, so outdated it would look run down in a Ghetto in New
Delhi or Lima? Really? You want to keep a dam so leaky that if a boy scout had built
it they’d have taken all his badges away?  


This deadbeat, delapidated, dangerous, fish choking sediment collector has to go.

After more than a thousand similarly run down dams have been torn out around the
country in the past 15 years? Really? You’re really going to buy it from Pacific Power
and rebuild it with perfectly good taxpayer money? Really? From a company that’s
torn out dams on the Hood, White Salmon, and possible soon the Klamath Rivers?
Really? When Medford has torn out its dam on Bear Creek? Missoula its dam on the
Clark Fork? After Augusta, Maine freed the Kennebec? After Boise built a 50-mile
greenway around its free-flowing, namesake river? Really? You want to be
out-greened by the capitol city of Idaho? Really?

What to do with Mirror Pond? I have
an opinion. As Andy Kerr once said of the now demolished Savage Rapids Dam on
the Rogue, “the only discussion we should be having about this dam is who gets to
push the plunger for the dynamite that would blow the thing up.” Trade the explosives for a truck load of demolition equipment and get rid of this thing. If it takes putting all the people you can muster on big yellow school buses and rallying on the capitol steps in Salem, go do it. Be persistent. Don’t take anything short of removal for an answer. And don’t stop until the Deschutes runs free through Bend, and Mirror Pond takes its rightful place as the name of a good ale from a local brewery.