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home : letters : letters June 24, 2016


8/6/2013 12:43:00 PM
Letters to the Editor 08/07/2013

To the Editor:

To the community of Sisters,

On behalf of my brother, Johnny, my dad's wife, Maura, our extended family and myself, I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the incredible support you have shown our family. Although we have moved away from Sisters, this will always be our home and as a family we feel so blessed to be a part of this community.

We were very distressed leaving my dad's body in the woods that first night and we were assured that he would not be alone. Someone was with him on the mountain every minute until we could retrieve his body, covered overnight with an American flag. Respecting and honoring him after his death by surrounding him and never leaving him alone on the mountain gave our family a profound sense of peace.

After gathering his remains, we were led in a procession through Sisters by the Deschutes County Sheriff, which included numerous members of the Forest Service, firefighters, local fire departments, and local ambulance crew. People lined the streets through Sisters and seeing familiar faces of people who love my family and knowing we had their support and prayers was immensely humbling.

To Johnny and I and our children, Dad has always been our hero and larger than life. As we slowly drove through Sisters, I had never felt such an honor to be his daughter and to be raised in Sisters. We were escorted to Redmond by at least 45 fire trucks, sheriff vehicles and forest service vehicles. All along the way, fire trucks lined the sides of the road. The firefighters saluted us, raised American flags and removed their hats. Civilians pulled off to the side of the road and joined the procession. We may never know any of you but you have touched us at such an important time and we appreciate your solidarity.

A special thank you to Governor Kitzhaber for flying the flags at half-mast for 48 hours and lining the streets of Redmond with American flags as far as the eye could see. His phone call to our family and the actions he implemented made us feel embraced and acknowledged.

We also want to thank all the foundations for fallen firefighters for their offers of support. To Rick Kintner and Norman "Jay" Crawford as well as their families, my family will never be able to thank you enough for being by our sides during this tragic ordeal. For that we are so grateful.

Johnny and I hadn't had the pleasure of meeting Jay prior to the accident. Since meeting him, we are completely in awe of the man that Jay is. After everything he had been through experiencing my dad's death, sustaining multiple upper body injuries from the accident and then the accident debriefing, he still chose to be with us to recover dad's body despite his emotional and physical pain. He was with us all day and participated in the rodeo memorial with us that evening.

Even with his multiple upper body injuries, he did not stop trying to get Dad out from under the fallen log. He tried to dig him out, he tried to get his chainsaw started, but his shoulders and arms were so affected by his injuries that he was unable to do the only thing he wanted to do at that moment. Dad thought very highly of Jay as a man, a logger and partner.

I want the community to know that this man is a true hero.

As a family, we know that he and Dad, two of the most accomplished timber fallers in the country, were meticulous about their practice and Dad could not have been with a more trustworthy partner. We know that if there was anything that Jay could have done for Dad, he would have eagerly done so. Knowing that Dad had Jay by his side gives us peace in the knowledge that nothing could have been done by either of them to prevent this terrible tragedy. It was clearly Dad's time to join God.

On behalf of my brother, Maura, myself, our children and extended family we humbly come before you all to thank you for all you have done. Your prayers, thoughts and support have been such a blessing and are helping us through this very difficult time.

God bless you all,

Kelli Jo Hammack

•••

To the Editor:

The accident last week at Barclay and Highway 20 was not the first one there, and it won't be the last. With the large number of high-school-aged drivers coming and going to school through that intersection, sooner or later it will be one of our kids. A quick look at a cell phone, combined with too much speed from someone trying to get through town will end in a tragedy for our community. The sad part is that there is a way to prevent a death from EVER happening at that

intersection.

As a member of the transportation committee that spent months looking at the best (and safest) way to move people through and around town, I know that placing a roundabout at that intersection is the ideal solution. It will slow incoming traffic to 15 mph, allows the easy crossing of Highway 20, is the safest alternative for cyclists and pedestrians, is much more pleasing to the eye than a signal, and it will prevent the eventual loss of life. All we need now is to have our elected officials make it a priority.

Do we really want to wait for a death before we march on city hall and demand action?

Carey Tosello

•••

To the Editor:

Regarding Randy McCall's comments in support of the biking trail: First, I am opposed to paving of our forest.

Second, as to his challenge to try riding our bikes to town or the school, my husband and I do ride our bikes from Tollgate to town several times a week and enjoy the ride. We are both in our 60s and have no problems whatsoever riding those

paths.

Deb Cavanaugh

•••

To the Editor:

I have owned my home in Crossroads since 2005 and serve on the property owner association board of directors. It's been very hard to get clear concise statements of fact regarding the paved trail

projects.

Everyone involved should take a step back, take a deep breath, and ask the USFS and SPRD for all relevant information with full disclosure and complete transparency. What is the impact of these trails on all of our outlying communities? Will the private streets in Crossroads be used as a connector to the nearby mountain-bike trails? Be inclusive, poll the entire Sisters community. Have an independent source conduct a new all-inclusive survey. The surveys done over the past few years were exclusive, biased, and cannot be used to measure the opinion of the majority of affected residents. Educate and bring the entire community up to date. Wouldn't that be better than "legal action" or the "he said-she said" rumors (is the project a "go" or is it pending grant funds?), or the weekly commentaries that pit residents against each other and seem to be splitting the community apart, or turning everyone away from caring what happens

at all?

There are 199 properties in Crossroads; many of our owners have expressed a desire to get clear and concise information regarding the proposed trails. Crossroads residents have not been surveyed by our board of directors, Sisters Park & Recreation District, Sisters Trails Alliance, or the U.S. Department of Forestry. How can the needs of the community be known without a scientific poll of the greater Sisters

community?

I attended the last SPRD board meeting. It was obvious that property owners in Crossroads, Tollgate and Black Butte Ranch want transparency, full disclosure, and to be included in a comprehensive survey that targets the entire Sisters area from the city limits to Black Butte

Ranch.

Joanne Anttila

•••

To the Editor,

This letter is addressed to local teenagers, guys in particular.

I and others from the Sisters Trails Alliance have adopted a local hiking trail, which is a little gem. Unfortunately on this trail is graffiti, the numerals 96, obviously put there by students of that graduation year.

I calculate that those guys are 35 now and hopefully more mature. The graffiti is still quite distinctive despite years of wear and attempts to remove it. Given its sheltered location it is likely to be there up to 100 years.

Guys, painting your graduating class year on a rock is really lame. Are you going to brag about that 15 years from now? Get creative. Come up with something else that you can brag about in years to come while sipping a beer with your high school buddies. Vandalism isn't cool. It's stupid.

Ken Serkownek

•••

To the Editor:

The City of Sisters' recent award for a new park is a wonderful feather in the cap for our

community.

That said, something which should be more pressing an issue than allocating funds to build a new park is to bring the community's existing parks up to federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

standard.

Currently, none of the community's existing parks meet this code, and it's my understanding that the issue was even discussed by city council a few years ago, with the decision being made to "ignore the issue until forced to comply by way of a complaint filed by the ADA."

As the situation was described to me, the reason for this logic came down to cost. First, none of the city's parks have designated ADA parking, approved pathways, picnic tables or the like. Second, in the case of Creekside Park on Jefferson, not only does it lack the aforementioned facilities, but the foot-bridge over the creek to the campground would have to be replaced at a cost exceeding an estimated $50,000 alone.

In addition to this, part of the downtown corridor improvement money being used for sidewalk/curb cuts along Highway 20 between S. Locust Street and Jefferson Avenue is written describing how this new sidewalk will "connect to existing pathways along Jefferson, through Creekside Park, over the foot-bridge and on to the "important FivePine Resort." Unfortunately, there are no existing sidewalks or compliant pathways along Jefferson or through the park and once again, nor does the foot-bridge meet federal ADA

standards.

In short, the way the grant is written is tantamount to fraud.

That the city would take a posture of this type, "close an eye to one problem so it can spend money elsewhere" not only is unlawful; it is unconscionable, immoral and just plain wrong. As someone who suffered temporary paralysis from an accident some years back, I've had first-hand experience of what it is like to be confined to a wheelchair, and the obstacles and challenges encountered by those confined for lifetime face on a daily

basis.

City council, and our new city manager, need to get their priorities straight, and bring the existing parks into compliance before any new parks are

built.

Ky Karnecki





Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, August 9, 2013
Article comment by: Randy McCall

I wanted to commend and congratulate Deb Cavanaugh and her husband on riding to Sisters via the forest paths from Tollgate several times a week. My original letter just pointed out how sandy those trails get this time of year and that it becomes difficult, at least on the trails I was riding on. I will be in complete awe of both of you bow down and chant "I'm not worthy" if you respond that you do these trail rides on road bikes with skinny tires though!

I too manage to ride my mountain bike into town via the back trails from Tollgate on the way to trails in Peterson Ridge but I'm often looking to ride up to McKenzie Pass or somewhere equally spectacular, and my road bike is not the tool of choice for those trails.

As to paving the forest - no one has suggested that, only paving a narrow trail through the forest, a lot like the trails that already exist next to the paved roads throughout the forest in Tollgate. No one will make you ride a paved trail that makes this loop easier you are still free to blast through the sand bogs. But for those of use riding road bikes the only alternative then becomes an occasionally terrifying trip down Hwy 20!

Keep on trucking, and keep the rubber side down!

Randy McCall




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