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home : letters : letters December 17, 2017

10/3/2017 12:11:00 PM
Letters to the Editor 10/04/2017

To the Editor:

There is an application to commercially grow marijuana on Goodrich Road, just east of Sisters. (Deschutes County file #: 247-17-000216-LR/247-17-000217-AD). Marijuana, like gold, is very valuable in small quantities. Many marijuana producers also keep a lot of cash on hand, due to the fact that it's difficult to get a bank account for a marijuana business. These two factors make marijuana facilities the target of violent crime. Robert Casillas, a marijuana businessman who was robbed, stated that, "We are a high value target," in a KSNV interview. James Bowman, a legal marijuana grower in Oregon, was nearly killed after being tortured by robbers at his rural pot farm. Another grower in Mendocino was slain by several of his workers.

Do we, as residents of Sisters Country, want to see an increase in the risk of violent crime in our exceptionally safe natural environment? Sisters is special. Let's keep it that way. Our county should consider restricting marijuana cultivation to industrial areas that are located on regular police patrol beats.

Please let your thoughts be known on this issue. Attend the county hearing for this application; it's at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 16, at 1300 NW Wall St. in Bend. Please also visit for more information.

Adam Jones


To the Editor:

There is no doubt that Sisters, along with the other two "tri-cities" and outlying towns, will very quickly continue to grow in population in Central Oregon. We have water, lots of land, less traffic congestion (for now), good medical, good schools and few natural disasters (one has time to get away from a forest fire). Therefore, I would like to make a 15-year planning proposal of infrastructure work for our city and those nearby:

1. We plan with Bend and Redmond to eventually have an elevated high-speed rail set up between our three cities with separate walking, riding, bike paths and trials below. Huge project. Lots of vying players would be involved but in the end - far less traffic and safer on Highways 126, 97 or 20 between our cities.

2. We pass legislation to assure our aquifer is not and will never be privatized in whole or part. No loss of our water to a bottled water company or for profit firm.

3. We build a large park in our midst (the property between the post office and town along Locust would be perfect - check out the view to the Sisters mountains from the northeast corner) that could be designed to have benches, tables, latrines, grassy areas, large pond with trail around it, trees (but none to block the view), a rollerblade park, and covered venue with barbecue - the latter to be rented from the City for large events: weddings, celebrations of life, graduation parties, etc. This option assures that as we grow, our park can accommodate more of our residents. The Village Green and other parks are great but not large. All great cities preserve large green areas for enjoying.

4. We should assure we have a municipal broadband network, create municipal windfarms, and build or improve water treatment centers to feed recycled water to agricultural areas.

Let's plan ahead for the population growth due to national migration out of water-starved areas.

Susan Cobb


To the Editor:

After spending three weeks in Central Oregon managing the Horse Creek Complex and Rebel Fire, the Alaska Incident Management Team would like to extend our thanks to the residents in the McKenzie River, Sisters, Bend and surrounding communities who were impacted by the recent wildfires and our presence while fighting them.

The understanding and cooperation displayed by Oregonians in the face of nearly 50 days of smoke, angst and uncertainly generated by the fires was not only helpful, but inspiring. As a team, we are extremely grateful for the help and support provided by local residents, the U.S. Forest Service and the state of Oregon as a whole. The hospitality and gratitude expressed by residents in the communities we worked in and traveled through was humbling.

Hailing from Alaska, we tend to believe the Last Frontier is the most wild and beautiful place on Earth. And while we still do believe that is true, we learned that Central Oregon is a very special place, too. We tried our best to keep it that way.

On a side note, we Alaskans found it ironic that the weather in Oregon was harsher than what we are accustomed to in Alaska. From a weather viewpoint, our stay at the Incident Command Post at the Hoodoo Ski Resort was an interesting one, to say the least, with blizzard-like conditions and several inches of snow over the course of five days. Had we known what Mother Nature had in mind, we would have packed our skis along with our pulaskis.

Tom Kurth

Incident Commander, Alaska Incident Management Team


To the Editor:

The City of Sisters licensed three vacation rentals in 2006 and 2011 under our name.

Two of the three are in a commercial zone and one is a cottage in Pine Meadows.

The Nugget Newspaper made mention regarding the City of Cannon Beach that approached vacation rentals a number of years ago. One of the end results of their planning regarding future vacation rentals was to adopt a "grandfather" clause for current owners of vacation rentals. My understanding is those grandfathered owners can sell their homes as vacation rentals and they are able to continue being licensed as vacation rentals. New rules were established by the City of Cannon Beach that did not financially hurt current owners.

The vacation rentals currently licensed by the City of Sisters should be able to continue their licensing status in the future as long as they have fulfilled the requirements of licensing that made their original decision to invest in a Sisters vacation rental. Homes purchased for the use as vacation rentals should not be impugned as a result of the city not addressing this issue years ago.

To my knowledge, having been in the industry for almost 10 years, I have not heard of vacation rentals being anything other than an asset to the community in terms of dollars spent and events visited and have not seen any comments in The Nugget of problems with visitors to our small community regarding vacation rentals.

I am surprised at the low percentage of units licensed in Sisters and can appreciate the City wanting to review its licensing for the future. But to redo our agreement with the City regarding the investment we made years ago to build for our retirement, to bring new visitors to our community and having a very capable manager these past 10 years to oversee our investment in Sisters would be to us a loss in our livelihood both now and the ability in the future to sell our cottage for the same purpose we bought it for.

David Mendenhall


To the Editor:

In response to "Unsportsmanlike conduct," The Bunkhouse Chronicle, The Nugget, September 27, page 14:

I claim a little bit of high ground in stating that I've always thought of the NFL (and any other mega-sports-TV-thing) as a collection of disconnected, under-worked and over-paid weenies (while freely admitting that the least of them could kick my ass without breaking a sweat); and those who'd spend even a dollar to watch it live or on TV as - sorry - knuckle-draggers with too much time on their hands.

I don't in any way intend to demean the athletes themselves; I suspect most of them work their butts off to get where they are, get through school and excel. It's the system that commoditizes them that I have a problem with, and the consumers who mainline that commodity and keep the system flourishing.

I admit that I haven't watched commercial or cable TV in several decades, so I've been blissfully disengaged from the cacophony of the major-league-TV-sports phenomenon. The only time I see sports on TV is when some ignoramus doesn't turn it off when company (me) arrives, or when I'm trying to enjoy a meal in one of our fine local dining establishments (another story altogether).

The first and only time I purposefully sat down to watch a National-Whatever-League event was the 1985 (Maybe '86. Or was it '87? Might've been '84...) uber bowl, and I don't even remember who was playing. My then-wife had a respiratory emergency just before half-time (maybe she was overwhelmed with excitement; but it probably had more to do with the pneumonia she'd had for a week or so), and we had to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to take her to the ER. She survived, and I can't recall even the slightest detail about that game.

I reckon I'm out of touch, but I'm continually amazed at how many otherwise intelligent, hard-working people spend untold hours and b'jillions of dollars watching that crap on TV. Day after day, week after week.

Really? Nothing better to do with your time or spend your money on? How about pouring that time and money into your local school teams? Or better yet the local food bank?

For better or worse, the reality is that these days the men and women of the big sports franchises are what amount to heroes to many - especially kids - and millions upon millions of people watch what they do. Day after day, week after week.

If even a fraction of those people - or their kids - pays attention to what their heroes are saying then maybe, just maybe, we can elevate the conversation about racial and social injustice from one that only happens when a white cop shoots an unarmed black guy to one that actually makes a difference.

Pete Rathbun


To the Editor:

After returning from out of state, we recently found out from our good neighbors that representatives from the fire department came to our home (and others) in Tollgate. They checked our property, blew needles from an outbuilding's roof and took other proactive measures to better our fire protection.

My husband and I are so grateful to have landed in such a wonderful community of caring and forward-thinking people.

Thanks so much.

Linda and Rod Terry

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