Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giving the 1 percent some love in Bend

Bend's 1 percenters need
a publicly-funded athletic facility
Okay, not everyone on Bend's west side is in the dreaded 1 percent class of Americans who look down on the rest of us.

In fact, much of the west side contains the struggling 20-nothings to 30-somethings to 40-wanna-bes.

It's fair to say, though, that the vast majority of Bend's 1 percenters live on the west side.

But, the park district doesn't want west-siders to travel an additional mile, or less, to work out.

The park district is looking to spend more than $2 million on land to build another swim and fitness center on Bend's near west-side in the Shevlin Center.

It would cost more than $5 million, money the district doesn't have, to build a facility to duplicate the popular facility in Juniper Park, which is on Bend's near-east side.

Both facilities would be about a mile apart, as the crow flies.

The Juniper facility is "nearing" capacity, which apparently is a crisis mode for the park district.

Meanwhile, public schools have to be at least five years over-capacity before it dare ask citizens to approve a bond measure to build another school.

Of course, if you want to build a prison in Oregon that won't be needed for 10 years, you can ask for the money yesterday, and get it.

The big question for the park district is why?

Why do we need another redundant facility so close to the other one?

Is it because the 1 percent west-siders don't want to shower with the 99-percenters, the un-washed masses, on the east-side?

Is the Athletic Club of Bend, for the city's 1 percenters on the west side of town, too exclusive?

In fact, what will happen when the park district builds a west-side athletic facility that puts the Athletic Club out of business?

Well, we know the answer to that.

The Athletic Club, a private entity, will get the park district (meaning taxpayers) to buy the Athletic Club, which will maintain higher fees to cater to the 1 percenters. In other words, the have-nots subsidizing the haves.

The new west-side facility in the Shevlin Center will attract the un-washed masses on the west side of town.

It's a good thing, apparently. You don't want to mix the classes in America.

Because we are classless.


  1. Is this the best way for the Park and Rec to spend their money, maybe not? That's a reasonable debate, but to paint the debate between the 99% and the 1%, as you have, is not only statistically, but intellectually, disingenuous.

    The VAST majority of the westside is NOT part of the 1%. You know this just as well as I do.

  2. As a westside resident (but nowhere close to a 1%er), and a long time is obvious that JSFC (at least the swim facilities) are well used and may be close to capacity. With schools, swim clubs, water polo, and rec swimmers using the facility it is busy, and at times it is overtaxed. I know that Bend Parks & Rec. has identified a second swim facility as a projected need for some time (I think the recent Riverbend Park had been a possible location for a while). It seems to make sense to develop one in conjunction with others as a joint use facility, thus the COCC location (if they are offering a site...also near Summit HS) would make sense. When we first moved to Bend and I explored what was available for swimming options, Bend Athletic made it quite clear that no memberships were available (at that time) and that I could add my name to the list, but not to get my hopes up. I have always supported public rec facilities, and part of that is that they are not exclusive. A new public facility (located on the west, north or south side of town) would be welcome if it is addressing a demand and need for use.