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home : letters : letters May 29, 2016


8/20/2013 11:44:00 AM
Letters to the Editor 08/21/2013

To the Editor:

After reading Ms. Miller's commentary (The Nugget, August 14, page 21), I noticed she left out a couple of big facts concerning Crossroads.

Fact #1: A final decision memo dated and signed by Kristie Miller on 9/10/12, the first paragraph starts out: "After careful review of the proposed action, the environmental effects of the proposed action and the consideration of public comments, I have decided to approve the construction of a 1.1 mile PAVED multi-use path from the community of Crossroads to the Sisters High School..."

Fact #2: Crossroads residents were not polled. You stated your paper of record is The Bulletin and you put a public notice in that paper 8/9/12. Since no comments were received, this is not subject to appeal.

Ms. Miller, not everyone reads The Bulletin. Something this important should have been posted in The Nugget; you should have contacted Crossroads to make sure all residents were aware of your plan. You, the Sisters Trails Alliance and Sisters Park & Recreation District chose not to. I suspect because you knew it wouldn't fly. Now you have a fight on your hands because you chose to be sneaky and underhanded.

Oh, and there is one more fact - your "paved" path goes only so far, it then goes back to dirt, why? Because it butts up to a homeowner's property and the balance of the trail STA wants to build to complete is on their property. Did you bother to do your homework first before spending money on a path to nowhere?

Ms. Miller, I have copies of all kinds of paperwork and emails. Please make sure you have stated all facts when writing your articles. Whatever happened to "telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God?"

Brenda Hartford

•••

To the Editor:

Thank you for the July article about the new immunization law signed by Governor Kitzhaber.

This practice will have a significant contribution to the health of all Oregonians. Oregon is one of the most under-immunized states in the country. The risk of childhood illnesses is great in our state and, unfortunately, some parents have incomplete education about immunizations.

It seems very reasonable that parents should have reliable information about the impact of withholding immunizations from their children. As a nurse, I have cared for young children with pertussis and witnessed their terrifying whooping coughs as they struggled for breath. Measles can cause deafness, mumps can cause sterility in males, rubella can cause congenital defects during pregnancy, hepatitis B is a leading cause of liver cancer, chicken pox can cause death. Immunizing children also protects the health of the elderly and the rest of the community.

Sen. Tim Knopp calls our public health department a "religious minority" and highlighting his quote seems to advocate for parents to withhold this health-promoting intervention. Instead, please emphasize the quote from Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward: "This is a huge step forward for public health in Oregon."

Mary Nyquist Koons, RN, MSN

•••

To the Editor:

The USFS continues to cite biased and outdated data to justify the "need" for a $2.8 million trail.

The 2010 survey that Sisters Ranger Kristie Miller referenced in her recent column was sent to STA members and others on the STA mailing list. One hundred and thirty people responded but only 14 expressed "interest" in connecting communities by multiple paved trails. Subsequent public meetings had 30 people or less.

The alleged meetings with BBR and Crossroads either never occurred or were held without public notice; there is no agenda, minutes, or sign-in sheets. This is the sum total of evidence demonstrating "need" for a $2.8 million system of paved trails.

The USFS sent out 753 scoping letters but only received 61 responses. Despite requests, a summary of results has not been released by the USFS. BBR and Crossroads were NEVER sent scoping letters and, consequently, were denied the right to comment on the paved trails proposal.

The STA solicited endorsement letters from the homeowner boards of Tollgate, BBR, and Crossroads to support multiple grant applications. This was done without the knowledge, input, or endorsement of owners in these communities, making the level of support suspect at best.

The USFS is responsible for community outreach. All we know for certain is paved trails are supported by some biking enthusiasts. There has been little regard for due process. Data has been exaggerated to demonstrate the "need" required to secure funding. The "need" for connectivity has not been established by an unbiased sampling of public opinion. The proposed paved trails are without community input, demonstrated need, or broad support.

The STA operates as a partner committee under the direction of SPRD. The board of SPRD needs to step up and demonstrate leadership or risk a loss of credibility and community support.

Jon Richman

•••

To the Editor:

One does not have to be Clarence Darrow to see that many of the recent arguments in readers' letters to The Nugget contain a number of errors, half-truths and selected disclosures concerning the proposed trail project.

Despite the intended impression, they are not based on an objective measure of input and approval from the affected communities. It is obviously a cherry-picked, biased argument supporting the trail, thinly disguised as a broad-scale public outreach program.

There are bound to be competing factions in any large-scale project effecting the environment, homes, public funds, and beneficiaries, not to mention local government agencies with their own agendas. There is a process for resolving these kinds of public disagreements in a fair and equitable manner. It is based on an open, honest dialogue, full disclosure and respect for due process. It is called DEMOCRACY.

Unfortunately, in this case it appears that there are allied factions working in concert behind the scenes to slip this project through the jurisdictional agencies by precluding a balanced public airing.

It is time for all concerned parties to agree (through their own volition or public sanction) to put all their cards on the table and resolve this issue properly. It is also past time for the bureaucratic agencies to show transparency by keeping the public informed and answering requests for information.

Patricia Schulte









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