|5/13/2014 12:36:00 PM|
Letters to the Editor 05/14/2014
To the Editor:
Kudos to Diane Goble for her letter in last week's Nugget. If you missed it, she was taking the Sisters City Council to task for their refusal to make digital recordings of City council meetings available online at the City's website. The City has claimed that recordings are already available for purchase at $10 each and that the $1,200 one-time cost of making them available electronically is prohibitive. Yet in the month of April alone the City paid $1,359 of taxpayer money to The Nugget to advertise "Information on what is happening in Sisters from the City's perspective." If that isn't taxpayer abuse, what is?
But wait ... there's more! As reported in last week's Nugget, the City now has a new contract forester, Dan Galecki, "working on the urban landscape of the City of Sisters" who was "hired to be a neutral, dispassionate consultant." When asked about the two-dozen trees cut down in Creekside Campground he said that the City's actions were "not out of line" and that "... yes, I'm supportive of what they did." This consultant was hired by the City manager and was paid $2,673 for the month of April for his services, services that the City received free of charge for years from the Oregon Department of Forestry.
I can think of no other reason for this new expenditure than that the City manager wants to have his own "Amen Chorus."
There was one expenditure in April with which I agree wholeheartedly: $3.78 was spent on an air freshener for City Manager Andrew Gorayeb's office because, clearly, something stinks in City Hall.
To The Editor,
I would like to alert the people of Sisters Country that a very important public meeting will be held on Thursday, May 15, 6 to 8 p.m. at Sisters High School, 1700 McKinney Butte Rd.
The purpose of this meeting is to give Sisters-area residents an opportunity to learn about possible changes to agricultural land-use rules in Deschutes County, to ask questions about what kinds of changes could be considered, and to voice their concerns and wishes about the future of rural lands in this county.
The Deschutes County Community Development staff has worked hard to present a well-organized, informational meeting. They are genuinely eager to hear people's opinions regarding existing uses of agricultural lands and whether the currently allowed uses should be changed.
This meeting is for ALL residents, not just those who own agricultural or EFU (Exclusive Farm Use) lands. The issues being considered will have impacts on our water resources, traffic, preservation of farmland, wildlife habitat, tourism resources, open space and quality of life in Central Oregon.
These issues and decisions will affect us all.
This public meeting will be our chance to help shape the future of development in Deschutes County. Your comments, opinions, and questions will be reported to our county commissioners to guide their decision-making.
I would encourage all residents who care about the future of Sisters Country to attend this May 15 meeting to demonstrate their interest and involvement. Our county leaders need to hear from you.
To the Editor:
Thanks to Jane Getty for her letter regarding the traffic light on Highway 20.
I agree with her sentiments, and also hope the light will be permanent. The plans call for removal of the "temporary" light sometime from June to October of 2014. It is my understanding that a roundabout will be installed in its place. Why?
I travel that road twice a day. The light is very visible when traveling east when people are reducing speed from 55 mph; the timing is set nicely so people don't feel burdened by stopping; it gives the trucks time to move into the left-hand turn lane to reach the bypass; it allows people to safely turn when going to or from the businesses in Arrowleaf Trail and, when school is in session, it forces the students to stop when leaving McKinney Butte Road.
The proposed roundabout will be very expensive (I have no idea how much the "temporary" traffic light cost) and will have to be very large in order to accommodate the semis. What fun it would be for students and/or impatient drivers to rush around the roundabout with little or no regard for the trucks or other travelers. Think about the people who come to our wonderful tourist town and have no knowledge of roundabouts. They are not used to seeing one there and will have little time to decide where they should be going. Some of them have undoubtedly never had to navigate a roundabout. Add to that the number of vehicles entering the roundabout at that very busy intersection and it seems like a disaster waiting to happen. Also, what about emergency vehicles? How to people pull over in a roundabout? How much will a roundabout slow the emergency vehicles down?
Do we need to spend more money on something that seems to be potentially dangerous and very expensive?
To the Editor:
I would like to see the stoplight at the intersection of Highway 20 and Barclay Road be made a permanent installation.
I use this route whenever I come into Sisters and feel that safety at this intersection has improved with the stoplight. I do not know the accident statistics but have observed no problems with the stoplight versus a number of near-misses without the stoplight.
It is also much easier to cross or turn left onto Highway 20 with the stoplight. I also see no real downside with the stoplight.
E. Paul Janssen
To the Editor:
In response to Alex West's observation about all the Republican political signs on Highway 20 (The Nugget, Letters to the Editor, May 7), I find them useful to decide who to vote against.
Between Sisters and Bend there's a rogue's gallery of Republican lapdogs of America's ruling oligarchy. In a letter from one of the oligarchy's Fido brigade, Gene Whisnant, he acknowledge (sort of) that he might have had consultations with ALEC on a bill that he worked on. I couldn't tell exactly, since his letter was mostly "Arf, Arf" of ALEC and Republican talking points.
The worst of this sorry collection of oligarchy hit-men is Greg Walden, because he has the most power.
He's all over Internet websites with his "fight to repeal Obamacare" crusade. Obviously Walden doesn't want folks to have health insurance without the pre-existing conditions clause. I guess because he fears that policy-holders will cheat those poor beleaguered insurance companies as some of his Republican colleagues in Georgia claim, by lying about pre-existing conditions. Apparently Walden doesn't like the fact that young people can stay on their parent's insurance policies until they turn 26. It will create a mindset of "dependency" don'tcha know. Oh, and Obamacare's clause that does away with limits on cost of treatment is, to Walden, another blow to the Insurance companies "free-market" right to gouge policy-holders.
Walden is also passing himself off as a defender of Medicare. He's outraged that Obama has "cut" $700 billion out of Medicare. Of course, if one actually examines those "cuts" they don't cut services to Medicare recipients. They do change the way providers are paid and raise rates on Medicare Advantage Plan, that giveaway to the insurance industry that Bush II got through Congress, and that has turned out to be way more expensive than advertised.
This all over a 10-year period.
But then Walden doesn't explain that he voted for the Ryan budget, which does away with Medicare and turns it into a voucher system, or that many of those same "cuts" that he is whining about are also in the Ryan budget. Along with privatizing Social Security.
Any of my fellow senior citizens who trust Walden, or any other Republican with "protecting" Medicare must believe that using a fox or skunk to guard your chicken coop makes good sense, too.
To the Editor:
There will be hundreds of lacrosse players and their families in Sisters this weekend playing, eating, shopping and boarding locally as part of the Sisters Annual Lacrosse Invitational (SALI). When you see the energy and excitement surrounding this special event, you'd never know that youth sports programs are on the decline across our country.
Sadly, many youth sports programs face budget cuts that reduce or eliminate the invaluable impact that being part of an athletic team can have on our kids.
DICK's Sporting Goods is giving $2 million to youth sports programs. Thanks to the fine efforts of the coaching staff, the athletic department and SPRD, the Sisters Outlaws have won the right to earn $14,025 - but they need your help.
Outlaws Lacrosse has to raise $14,025 in order to earn the 100 percent match from Dick's Sporting Goods. Your tax-deductible donation will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, by Dick's!
At the time I submit this letter, 92 Outlaws had already donated over $10,000 - that's 71 percent of the goal in four weeks! They have one week left, so they need your help NOW!
Please consider making your tax-deductible donation to Outlaws Lacrosse. Visit https://sports
matter.com/outlaws-lacrosse-cowboy-up to make your donation. It only takes a few minutes and it will ensure that ANY member of our Sisters community who wants to play lacrosse next year will be able to do so.
THANK YOU to the lacrosse coaches who mentor and shape our kids on and off the field: Bill Rexford, Andrew Gorayeb, Randy Burdick, Clay Warburton, Paul Patton, Cris Smoot, Kris Harwell, Tiffany Tisdel, Michelle Hammer, Whitney Hanson, John Connolly and Randon Beech. Also, thank you to the athletic coaches of all the great Sisters teams, the many volunteers and fans.
Sports matter to our kids because of you.
To the Editor:
Tradition for Sisters High School (SHS) graduates is for the senior parents to host a drug-and-alcohol-free all-night party, and as parents of the class of 2014 we are continuing that tradition.
The SHS grad party is funded through fundraising, donations, and students' pay-to-participate fees. Unfortunately, this year's fundraising efforts and local business cash donations have been extremely low and as parent party planners, we find ourselves at the mercy seat.
As of today we only have 46 seniors signed up to participate in the all-night party, which is a low number. We have heard that there are some groups of senior parents that have planned their graduates' celebration party on the same night and same time as the all-night grad party.
We had previously sent out informative letters to senior parents, educating them about the fun and amazing plans we had for grad night, asking them to plan their parties for another night so their student could participate, as this is the last hoorah for this senior class together.
Venues and vendors have been procured for the party and senior gifts have been purchased, so we are still trying to forge ahead, but are finding ourselves short of funds. We still need to have either 25 to 30 more students pay to participate, or have donations totaling up to $2,500 to make this party happen - or the party will have to be cancelled.
We will have to make a judgment call no later than May 25 as to whether the party goes on.
Contact Suzanne at Sisters High School to donate or for more information.
On behalf of Class of 2014 Senior Parents All Night Grad Night Party Committee
To the Editor:
Rachel Marsden's April 30 op-ed regarding the Keystone Pipeline is so full of misinformation it's hard to know where to start, but not once does she mention that the pipeline would transport one of the world's dirtiest fuels and be a disaster for the climate.
James Hansen, NASA scientist and climatologist, has stated that if the Keystone Pipeline is built it would radically increase greenhouse gases and would be "game over for the climate." Rachel's main point is the pipeline would increase national security, but an article titled, "Keystone XL Pipeline: Undermining U.S. Energy Security and Sending Tar Sands Overseas" claims just the opposite.
"The Keystone XL is actually a pipeline that bypasses America in order to maximize Big Oil's profits. By skipping over refineries and U.S. consumers in the Midwest, tar sands producers will be able to send Canadian crude to the Gulf Coast refineries in tax-free Foreign Trade Zones, where it can be refined and then sold to international buyers - at a higher profit to Big Oil."
To the Editor:
In The Nugget's May 7, 2014 opinion section guest columnist Robert B. Reich discusses "the four biggest right-wing lies about inequality." I wasn't even through right-wing lie No. 1 and knew exactly how the discussion would end. Those who have worked hard, got an education, made good choices in life and were fortunate to be successful need to pay higher taxes.
He claims that the middle class and poor are the job creators through their purchase of goods and services, not CEOs creating jobs. Only an individual who never held a job or started a business could make such an incredible statement. Right-wing lie No. 2 declares people are paid what they are worth in the market. No, that's not a lie, it's a fact of life. We live in a free-market capitalist society and it's made us the greatest country on earth. He claims we need more strong unions bargaining for the workers. Democrats and unions, for example, have controlled the city of Detroit for the last 50 years and the result is complete and utter economic failure.
Right-wing lie No. 3 declares anyone can make it in America with enough guts, gumption, and intelligence. Robert may have a point here but I've never met anyone personally who did make it without exhibiting guts, gumption, and intelligence. And of course Robert tells us it's the rich not paying enough taxes on education that holds the poor back.
Right-wing lie No. 4 states that increasing the minimum wage will result in fewer jobs and falls back on his theory that increased minimum-wage spending creates jobs; a comment almost as ridiculous as President Obama telling business owners "you didn't create that business." Minimum-wage jobs aren't designed to be lifetime careers. I certainly don't remember working at a car-wash for $1.25 per hour thinking that I will be soon be able to buy a house, get married, and live the American dream. Towards the end of Robert's article, when he mentions his three colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley, his out-of-touch-with-reality worldview becomes blatantly obvious. Left-wing liberal tax-and-spend ideology does not work. The so-called war on poverty initiated by Lyndon Johnson has utilized trillions of taxpayer dollars and poverty has only gotten worse. It's time for a change.
Posted: Friday, May 16, 2014
Article comment by:
If a roundabout is better than a signal light on Highway 20, then why didn't they put one in for construction? Maybe because it ISN'T better? Oh just keep the lighted intersection. It is so much better for vehicle, bike, and pedestrian safety.
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