News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Opinion / Commentary

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  • Three tips for successful surgery

    Maret Pajutee|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    It happens to the best of us as we age. Sometimes, after a long walk, you have a little hip or knee pain. Then it starts happening more often. You get together with older pals and the first half hour becomes what one friend calls the “Organ Recital”: “my hip, your eye, her shoulder, his pancreas.” Pain starts waking you up at night like a nagging toothache. You join Team Motrin and start gobbling anti-inflammatory pills that eventually hurt your stomach. You buy the economy-size gel form called diclofenac to smear on the ach... Full story

  • A matter of history

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Feb 27, 2024

    The Three Sisters Historical Society packed the Sisters Fire Hall Community Room last Sunday for a presentation by Larry Len Peterson on the legendary photographer of Native Americans, Edward S. Curtis. Peterson, a Sisters resident, is the author of a magnificent study of Curtis, titled “Printing the Legends: Looking At Shadows In A West Lit Only By Fire.” Last week, we published Maret Pajutee’s wonderful account of the wild times and violent demise of Sisters pioneer Tillm... Full story

  • Breach the dams

    Greg Pozovi|Updated Feb 20, 2024

    There has been a lot of controversy and litigation involving the possible breaching of the Snake River and its lower four dams to save salmon and steelhead. There are pros and cons on each side. Native Americans, environmentalists, fishermen, and scientists favor removing the dams. Utility companies, barge owners, and farmers along the Snake hold a different view. My view is that the four dams should be breached. The Nez Perce and other tribes have been fishing in the Pacific Northwest since time immemorial. In 1855 the Nez P... Full story

  • Furry Friends helps Sisters families

    Kiki Dolson|Updated Feb 20, 2024

    What do you do when you get a call from a mother who just lost her job and is facing the difficult decision to release her young daughters’ cats to the Humane Society? She knows she now won’t be able to afford to spay and neuter them and is running out of cat food. Furry Friends listens, then schedules and pays for their surgeries, and the mom picks up cat food at the Furry Friends pet food bank. The kitties are staying in their home, the family is staying together. What do you do when a senior man calls crying on the pho... Full story

  • None of your business?

    Jim Cunningham|Updated Feb 20, 2024

    Unless you have been living in a cave for the past year, you cannot help being exposed to some degree to the political fighting going on between the current and immediate past administrations over the handling of “classified” information. The discussion and debate over the safeguarding of the nation’s secrets has been playing out in a very public forum from the news media to the courtroom. Is that good or bad? It certainly raises issues that the general public rarely pays attention to. Why do we need to guard state secre... Full story

  • Don't 'rescue' kids - they need to work through problems

    Edie Jones|Updated Feb 13, 2024

    The children of our community are in good hands, in their classrooms, and in relationships with their parents. This is obvious every time I have a chance to listen to or meet one of the young people in our district. Knowing that, I am also aware of how difficult the job of being a parent is. I believe it is the hardest and the most important job we will ever have. It can also be extremely satisfying and rewarding. There is no manual of how to do this job. We are on our own, and often the examples that have gone before us... Full story

  • Stuff that works

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Feb 13, 2024

    I sat down this weekend to write a column about dysfunction; 700 words on the bipartisan cascade of incompetence, cynicism and decrepitude that we witnessed on the national stage last week. Nope. Just couldn’t do it. I’ve already said my piece in these pages about the proper consequences of the willful mishandling of classified documents, and calling out cynical, partisan hypocrisy isn’t even sport. It just leaves me full of dismay, disgust, and despair. Not exactly the mood... Full story

  • How can women bridge the retirement gap?

    Updated Feb 6, 2024

    Women still need to make up ground in a key area: retirement security. Women’s challenges in achieving a secure retirement are due to several factors, including: • Pay gap – It’s smaller than it once was, but a wage gap still exists between men and women. In fact, women earn, on average, about 82 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to the Census Bureau. And even though this gap narrows considerably at higher educational levels, it’s still a source of concern. Women who earn less than men will likely contribute... Full story

  • Expand board of commissioners

    Karen Spears Zacharias|Updated Feb 6, 2024

    Years ago, while working as a reporter in Oregon, I was tasked with covering the county commissioners. At the time, I had very little understanding of who the county commissioners were or what their jobs entailed. Probably like a lot of voters, I trusted that these public servants were doing their best on the public’s behalf. As a reporter, I learned that is not always the case. Some used the position to enrich themselves or their friends. One commissioner I reported on was investigated by the state ethics board for such viol... Full story

  • Leadership in law enforcement

    Greg Walker|Updated Jan 30, 2024

    This year’s election cycle sees Captain William Bailey and Sergeant Kent Vander Kamp vying for the only elected law enforcement leadership position in Deschutes County. I know both candidates and have privately expressed to both my respect and admiration for their service to our community at large and their stepping up to the plate to run for office. As a leader at any level in an organization one’s first concern must be your ethical bearing. The word Ethics comes from the Greek word Ethos, meaning “self.” This is the Sel... Full story

  • Intelligent failures

    Edie Jones|Updated Jan 23, 2024

    Plunging into 2024 we are at a new beginning, one that takes place every year when the clock strikes midnight on January first. With it comes resolutions to do “better” — better at the goals we’ve put in front of us. Determined, this year, we will succeed! With that in mind, consider thoughtfully the value of not succeeding. The value of making mistakes. Recently, on “Hidden Brain,” an NPR program, Amy Edmondson, a Harvard researcher and author of “The Right Kind of Wrong, The Science of Failure,” shared data that revealed w... Full story

  • My name is not homeless

    Bill Willitts|Updated Jan 23, 2024

    About 10 years ago I was on an extended stay at a Eugene hotel. My mornings began with a walk to Starbucks. Along the way I passed a woman in her 60s bedding in a small alcove; we made eye contact and warmly greeted each other. On my second morning we introduced ourselves and shared conversation. On morning three we were on a first name basis, on my fourth morning I was driving back to Sisters when I decided to turn around and say goodbye. Towards the end of our farewell I handed her money, she pushed back and insisted she... Full story

  • Wolf hate on the rise

    Adam Bronstein|Updated Jan 16, 2024

    The wolf issue continues to heat up across the West, with states like Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and now Colorado, all getting a chance to show their preferred flavor of wolf management. Here in “progressive” Oregon, wolves are continuously being slaughtered by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, often with the help of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services. This state-sponsored killing (plus private poaching) has resulted in suppressed wolf numbers and a hampered recovery effort. Oregon finished 2022 wit... Full story

  • Walking on the edge of 'Constitutional Cliffhangers'

    Pete Shepherd|Updated Jan 9, 2024

    Suppose a twice-elected president sought to serve a third term despite text in the U.S. Constitution limiting presidents to two “elected” terms? Borrowing trouble? Sure, but could she succeed? Spoiler alert: Maybe so. Lawyers use fictional stories like that — called “hypotheticals” in the trade — to anticipate issues that could arise in future controversies. In Constitutional Cliffhangers, A Legal Guide for Presidents and their Enemies (2012), law professor Brian Kalt borrows six kinds of trouble in a series of what-if sho... Full story

  • The real deal - an antidote to celebrity

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Jan 9, 2024

    My wife enjoys watching award shows. I’d rather have each of my fingernails removed by the pincers of a medieval torturer than to sit through the Golden Globes. Not a problem — I simply retired Sunday evening to watch Cold War documentaries on YouTube. While the glitterati cavorted, I watched the fall of Dien Bien Phu. Again. This amiable arrangement didn’t let me entirely escape the cult of celebrity. I was informed at dinner that a moment had already gone viral when the h... Full story

  • A dialogue between past and present

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Jan 2, 2024

    A few days ago, Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley stepped on one of the most explosive landmines in the field of American history. Asked at a New Hampshire town hall what was the cause the American Civil War, the former governor of South Carolina tried to sidestep. “I think the cause of the Civil War was basically how government was going to run, the freedoms and what people could and couldn’t do,” Haley said. “I think it always comes down to the role of government... Full story

  • The great pathfinder

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Dec 19, 2023

    History is capricious. Who we remember and who we forget often has more to do with who had the better press agent than who was most accomplished. Most folks in Oregon have at least heard of John C. Fremont, who traveled through this country in the 1840s, mapping out the expansion of the United States. Before Fremont was a Mountain Man named Jedediah Smith. Few other than fur trade buffs know that name today. I was gratified last week to hear that a new popular biography of... Full story

  • Christmas: Good news for a tired world

    Ryan Moffat|Updated Dec 19, 2023

    Merry Christmas to the people of our wonderful community here in Sisters Country. Just a few short weeks ago many of us gathered for the Christmas parade and the definitive marker that it is now officially Christmas in Sisters Country — the lighting of the tree at Fir Street Park. As our community ushered in the joy and excitement of the holiday season, I found myself asking some deeper questions that many wrestle through, especially those who aren’t necessarily feeling all that “Christmas cheer” due to the pressures of this... Full story

  • Losing trees in Sisters Country

    Therese Kollerer|Updated Dec 19, 2023

    Sisters has lost two mighty ponderosa pines, one at Sisters Woodlands Development. And one by a tree poacher, in the Deschutes National Forest behind Crossroads. Click here to see related story. We know who is responsible for the first loss, at the corner of Pine Street and West Sisters Park Drive. Sisters Woodlands Development, which states it is committed to saving as many trees as it possibly can, mysteriously felled one of the largest ponderosa pines on its 35-acre site last month. This approximately 42-inch DBH... Full story

  • Submit or triumph

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Dec 12, 2023

    I was a youngster in 1975-76, when the American Bicentennial celebrations were underway, and I was obsessed. I dove into the American Revolution with all the passion you might expect a 10-year-old to bring to, say, “Star Wars,” or some such. I have always been a history nerd. I watched Disney’s “Johnny Tremain” in school, the kids cheering when the Minute Men ambushed and gunned down the Redcoats. Don’t imagine that happens anymore. I read the covers off of Esther Forbes’ nov... Full story

  • Call it for what it is

    Bill Bartlett|Updated Dec 12, 2023

    The BBC in London, often criticized for perceived pro-Hamas leanings, ran a story last week headlined: “Israel Gaza: Hamas raped and mutilated women on 7 October, BBC hears” The subhead ran as follows: “The BBC has seen and heard evidence of rape, sexual violence and mutilation of women during the 7 October Hamas attacks.” Meanwhile on college campuses across the U.S. and the world, thousands of students, many carrying Palestinian flags or wearing a keffiyeh (Arab headgea... Full story

  • Making Sisters a truly walkable town

    Cathy Russell|Updated Dec 12, 2023

    A few months ago, I addressed the issue of the increase in traffic at the west end roundabout and the surrounding area. Today, I am addressing pedestrian safety in this area, specifically McKinney Butte from McKinney Meadows to the roundabout. Currently, as you travel east down McKinney Butte from McKinney Meadows to the roundabout there is: a 25 mph near Fremont westbound, a 25 mph near The Hanger eastbound, a 25 mph near Desert Rose/Wellhouse westbound, and a 25mph near Arrowleaf /Mckinney Butte westbound. There are no... Full story

  • The joy of outdoor education

    Charlotte Seymour|Updated Dec 5, 2023

    At Sisters Middle School we have an outstanding outdoor science program called ECoS (Earth, Community and Self). It is offered to eighth graders and consists of five overnight, unforgettable expeditions and a few other amazing day trips. Some of the opportunities provided in ECoS include backpacking, building a snow cave, surfing, rock climbing, tree climbing, repelling, and much more. Mike Geison is the founder of ECoS and this is now his ninth year running it with his... Full story

  • Wolves: It's all in the family

    Wendy von Kalinowski|Updated Dec 5, 2023

    The topic of wolves is extremely controversial, and they are often seen as either good or bad. But no species is good or bad, as it's only we humans who classify their behavior as acceptable or not. Like any hotly debated issue, the more we understand and find similarities and commonalities, the more we can find acceptance - and in the case of the wolf, coexist. With wolves now taking up residence in Central Oregon and dispersing through Jefferson, and Deschutes counties,... Full story

  • Settler-colonial blues

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Dec 5, 2023

    The weather in Sisters is doing what it always does to me at this time of year. My soul hears the ancient horn call of the mythic North. A couple of nights ago, I fired up the electronic campfire (YouTube) for a tale of “Beowulf.” And because my mind works the way it does, it led me to thinking about “settler colonialism,” a term we hear a lot these days. The working definition of settler colonialism is: “…a type of colonialism in which the indigenous peoples of a colonized re... Full story

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