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home : letters : letters December 10, 2017


11/14/2017 11:59:00 AM
Letters to the Editor 11/15/2017

To the Editor:

In response to the headline "Bus Barn to be built at high school," I say: "Hold on...not so fast!" There are big problems with this proposal.

Traffic safety issues are not adequately addressed. The proposed entry/exit is a potential choke point as buses, student drivers, maintenance vehicles, delivery trucks, bicycles and pedestrians converge. This traffic density will also degrade air quality.

Students who attend classes in the new technical education classroom must walk from the main building across several active traffic lanes.

Users of SPRD, skate park, bike park, disc golf and sports fields must negotiate a confusing route to their parking areas.

Snow removal will be significantly more difficult, with multiple traffic lanes, a roundabout and chain-link fencing to deal with.

This plan is like dropping an industrial park in the middle of the high school landscape. It is ill-conceived, unsightly, noisy and polluting. A metal warehouse doesn't complement our beautiful high school building. Trees will be cut to make way for an ugly chain-link fence. Rows of yellow buses will be fully visible through that fencing from the State Scenic Byway (Highway 242).

What's the hurry to push this project through? It wasn't on the list of projects that taxpayers voted for in the bond measure. $2 million is a lot of taxpayer money for a glorified bus barn! No overall vision has been developed for use of the windfall $4 million grant.

These grant funds are being earmarked in a rush, for projects from a wish-list created by school district insiders. Details of this plan are hard to find. A City "Notice of Land Use Action" flier at the site tipped me off.

The School District seems poised to act first and answer questions later. (Does the tree-cutting incident at the elementary and middle schools ring a bell?)

Maybe a transportation facility is necessary, but surely there is a safer and less intrusive place to locate it. If you are concerned and want more info, contact BreAnne McConkie, the principal city planner at 541-323-5208, or email her at bmcconkie@ci.sisters.or.us. The next bond oversight meeting is on December 6 and the next school board meeting is on December 13.

Dixie Eckford

•••

To the Editor:

The proposed bus barn to be built in the existing student parking lot of Sisters High School and Sisters Park & Recreation District could be more aptly named a bus warehouse.

This outsized metal shed will have the same charm and function as the most uninteresting and obtrusive examples of its type. Additionally, it would be plunked right down in the existing high school landscape, thereby reducing the number of parking spaces and necessitating convoluted access routes (think fun-house maze) for users of the high school, the skate park, the new bike park and SPRD. The Bus Warehouse requires severe tree reduction at the southern edge of the lot, as well as significant intrusion on portions of the disc golf course.

And, oh yes, a chain-link fence.

Who authored this remarkable plan; when was it conceived? And how does it happen to be but one step from approval?

I urge any regular visitor to SPRD, the high school, the skate park, the new bike park or the disc golf course to check out the proposed site. Look first at the little forest between the school lot and Highway 242, then imagine that view blocked by a large metal warehouse and fleet of school busses, all surrounded by chain-link fencing. While you're at it, think about driving into the parking lot or trying to walk or bike to the SPRD building or the other play spaces in the complex. The proposed plan seems hostile to walking or biking and current use of the area. It will be a big lot, for big vehicles, user-friendly only for busses.

Let me be clear, I recognize the need for an improved facility, but this design seems to have been conceived in another time, for a different space.

There is no need to get in a fever to spend the bond windfall on an outdated, uncomfortable plan. Our community is filled with smart, creative people. We can put energy into creating a solution that will actually solve the problem as well as respect the site and those of us who use it.

Options for action exist. The comment period is still open. Attend the bond oversight meeting December 6 at 5 p.m. Attend the school board meeting December 13 at 5 p.m. Send comments to BreAnne McConkie, city planner, bmcconkie@ci.sisters.or.us.

Linda Hanson

••••

To the Editor:

Once again Sisters High School honored the Veterans on November 9, with a breakfast and assembly.

Many of the students at the breakfast circulated among the veterans and expressed their gratitude for their service. During the assembly presentation a slide was shown welcoming home Vietnam veterans.

This simple expression was very much appreciated by many of us who did not receive such a welcome after serving in that conflict. We veterans cannot express our appreciation enough to the facility, staff, and especially the students of Sisters High School for hosting this event. The community of Sisters should indeed be proud of their High School and students.

Ronnie Frigulti

•••

To the Editor:

I am shocked: No restaurants or businesses had any advertisements for discounts or free meals, or buy one get one, for our beloved veterans! I scanned The Nugget a couple of times thinking surely I missed something; even made a few calls asking.

All the hype to shop and stay local, which we do more often than not, even though it is more expensive; recently filled our rigs with gas at .024 per gallon more than Bend.

We had a fun time in Bend and maybe more from now on.

Jeri Johnson

•••

To the Editor:

Thank you, Kiki Dolson, for all things The Nugget.

Enjoy the wonder of your new adventure; you deserve it!

Judy Bull

•••

To the Editor:

Having just read Douglas Beall's calendar article in The Nugget (2018 Oregon Bird Calendars available, October 25, page 14), I'm disappointed that there was no obvious disclosure that Turtle Ridge Wildlife Center is not local. This Salem facility provides no services to our local Sisters or Central Oregon wildlife.

It is certainly Mr. Beall's discretion to promote the wildlife facility of his choice. My concern is that potential calendar purchasers understand that Turtle Ridge is located in the Willamette Valley and that no proceeds will benefit local hard-working rehab facilities or assist in the rescue of local birds or wildlife.

Mary Ann Kruse

•••

To the Editor:

We live east of Sisters, close to government-managed lands. We had a friend - a long-time resident of Bend - come out for dinner. To walk around on the magic lands that we so cherish. And then a mid-fall feast. At the end of the walk, off in the distance, were rapid bursts of gunfire. I would have presumed them to be automatic weapons.

When will the veterans, hunters, and other legitimate gun owners help us who are so deeply saddened by these human losses at unnecessary weapons to say "Enough!"?

Scott Stoery

••••

To the Editor:

Congratulations are in order for the National Rifle Association, whose resistance to a rational gun control policy is fast-tacking our country to catch up with Somalia in terms of lawlessness, death and disorder.

Some headlines about the Sutherland Springs Church massacre asked the question as to how the gunman got his weapons since he had a domestic violence record and had been hospitalized for mental illness. The real question is "why does anyone outside of the military or law enforcement have access to these types of assault weapons?"

Owning assault weapons is not a "right." Yes, according to the Second Amendment citizens have the right to "bear arms," but that right is limited. For example, citizens may not own automatic weapons, rocket-propelled grenades, flamethrowers, etc. As the Second Amendment reads "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." My question to the gun nuts out there, what "well-regulated Militias" (except the NRA) do these various killers belong to?

In regard to the NRA slogan that we need more "good guys with guns" to control "bad guys with guns," I ask where were those "good guys" in Las Vegas? Surely there were numbers of individuals in the audience of a country and western concert who were carrying weapons. Yet as far as I know, no one other than the police returned fire. Both the killers in Las Vegas and the Sutherland Springs Church killed themselves as did multiple killers before them.

The only way we will be able to establish an effective gun-control policy is to vote out of office any politician who accepts money from the NRA, as for example, Greg Walden. Rep. Walden is a co-sponsor of SHARE, an NRA bill to make purchasing silencers easy. Wouldn't that be great for any of these people planning massacres? Imagine how much more efficient the gunman at Sandy Hook Elementary could have been with a silencer! Walden is the only Oregon co-sponsor of this legislation. If you communicate with him, ask him to give back the $38,250 he has received from the NRA - or better yet ask him to donate that money to funds for victims and their families.

Ken Serkownek

•••

To the Editor:

Terrific brief summary article on the Dawn of the Red Century ("Meet the new boss: Dawn of the Red Century, The Nugget, November 1, page 19).

I saw firsthand how Communism was not a good idea when I spent almost three years in the Army in Berlin (1962-64) watching the so-called German Democratic Republic (that is communist East Germany - classic euphemism in that country name) finalize the Berlin Wall.

Another barbaric workers' paradise that did not quite work as planned as some 4 million refugees fled the workers' paradise hell-hole before the Wall locked the rest of them in so they would not flee their homeland.

West Berlin was thriving while Communist East Berlin was an economic disaster with the state police (Stasi) spying on everyone.

Korea is another reminder of the different government systems.

Sadly, I think the wisdom of your brief recap of history is lost on most of the current generation and is too often not taught in our schools - or worse yet a sugarcoating of evil communist dictatorships as "workers' paradise."

Keep up the great history articles. Very good.

Gary Wehrle





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