News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Opinion / Commentary

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  • For the graduates - you made it!

    Edie Jones|Updated Jun 18, 2024

    Congratulations, graduates — the day is here. It’s been coming a long time. If you start counting with first grade it’s been 12 years. If you begin from their first year with a teacher, as in pre-school, it could be as many as 16 years. That’s a long time to stick with something. A celebration is well in order. How is it possible that so many of our young ones have reached this day, and done it well? The 2024 Sisters’ graduation rate will be above 90 percent. As well deserved as it is, they didn’t do it by themselves.... Full story

  • Beaver State - protect the state animal

    Adam Bronstein|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    It is a truly sad state of affairs here in the Beaver State: Our salmon stocks are struggling mightily, biodiversity is crashing under the weight of human activities, climate change is accelerating, drought is greatly affecting regional agriculture and wildfires threaten our communities every summer. But there is a nature-based solution that could help. Protecting our state animal could greatly assist human and wildlife communities adapt to the many challenges we face. The wetlands and habitats that beavers create work all... Full story

  • Father's Day in Sisters: It's cool to be a dad

    Edie Jones|Updated Jun 11, 2024

    In a recent magazine, an advertisement appeared with a young man wearing a sling across his chest, carrying an infant. The purpose of the ad was to send the message that it was “cool” to be a dad. Yes! To be a dad is cool. Where would we be without them (beyond replenishing our species)? Where are we when they are absent? It’s easy to think of the many practical things dads do — fixing things, earning an income, transporting to and from events, teaching a firm handshake, helping with chores, and giving strong, bear hugs to... Full story

  • Questioning prescribed burning

    George Wuerthner|Updated Jun 4, 2024

    The U.S. Forest Service plans to ramp up prescribed burns across the West on the presumption this will contribute to forest health as well as reduce landscape scale wildfires. However, the Forest Service exaggerates the presumed benefits of prescribed burning and ignores the problems. One of the most critical issues is that most wildfires never encounter a fuel reduction, whether from thinning or prescribed burns. So, even if prescribed burns were effective, fires seldom occur in treated areas. Second, the burn must be... Full story

  • Inflation factors

    Cliff Brush|Updated May 28, 2024

    Traditional inflation meant prices rise then retreat. Now consumers see it as high prices stay high. Presidential candidates, be honest about what you can and will do to lower them. Begin by admitting some factors are out of your control. The Ogallala Aquifer supplies groundwater to Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. It supports 20 percent of America’s corn, cotton, cattle, and wheat production. It provides 30 percent of all U.S. irrigation water. Since significant g... Full story

  • It's just a shot away

    Jim Cornelius|Updated May 21, 2024

    In 1968, the world was falling apart. The Vietnam War was at the height of its intensity; the Tet Offensive launched in January was a disaster for the Viet Cong, which was badly mauled in weeks of fighting — but it proved to be a political victory, because Americans were shocked that a nationwide uprising of that scale could even happen after General William Westmoreland assured the nation in November 1967 that the U.S. and South Vietnamese were making great progress and t... Full story

  • Endowed by our Creator

    Ryan Moffat|Updated May 14, 2024

    The world as we know it is becoming slowly less and less stable. A simple observation when we look at the condition of the world clearly demonstrates the fragile moment we are all living through. Anecdotally I hear more and more cynicism, doubt, and despair about the future. Birth rates are dropping, marriage and nuclear families continue to implode, the economy is hanging by a thread and it’s beginning to psychologically effect our corporate psyches. These are actual statements I’ve heard from people in our town the last few... Full story

  • Rethink wolf reintroduction

    Steve Allely|Updated May 14, 2024

    Let me start off by stating I’m not anti-wolf, nor am I a “wolf hater.” There are issues that need addressing in regards to Ander Rhoades’ article “Recreating with wolves in Central Oregon’s forests,” from April 24, as the article was naive and unrealistic, especially with “what to do” if you see a wolf, and its author has probably had little if any real life experiences with close predator encounters. I also question the info he was given by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW). Here’s some little known wolf f... Full story

  • Celebrate Moms!

    Edie Jones|Updated May 7, 2024

    Since May is the month we traditionally honor mothers, it’s a perfect time to reflect on the many things they do in that role. In many small ways their love manifests itself in common gestures that are easily overlooked as important. Yet so important. From the time of a child’s birth a mother’s hands are there to cradle, clean, caress, and correct. Have you ever given thought to what life would be like without those four “C’s”? In the worst scenario, a child would not live, unless someone else stepped forward to perform tho... Full story

  • Ode to an old growth warrior

    Maret Pajutee|Updated May 7, 2024

    Standing in a quiet grove of old growth pine trees near Glaze Meadow, east of Black Butte Ranch, Tim Lillebo would often start a talk by saying "There we were... it was war." And it was. Between 1991-2005, the Sisters Ranger District was challenged on nearly every forest management project. Trust between the Forest Service, conservation groups, and many in the public was low after broken agreements. This led to a federal lawsuit and a mediated agreement putting the District... Full story

  • Put out the fire on home insurance

    Rep. Emerson Levy and Councilor Anthony Broadman|Updated May 7, 2024

    Fire and fire insurance are top of mind in Sisters. No wonder – because of devastating wildfires, Oregon homeowners face soaring premiums and few property insurance options. Some have had their policies canceled when they came up for renewal, and some insurers no longer write new policies. If the insurance companies tag your home with the label “high risk” you may be forced to get coverage from our state’s Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan, insurance of last resort. But that will be a costly outcome – the plan... Full story

  • Country deserves better than Trump

    Diane L. Hodgson|Updated Apr 30, 2024

    It was a quiet morning, I had just gotten my latte at Sisters Coffee, sitting in the corner with my dog, Bo. The young man sitting next to me was busy working on his laptop. He asked me what kind of dog Bo was and I informed him he was a 9-year-old Shiba Inu. We exchanged pleasantries and he informed me he was an administrative assistant to an entrepreneur. As we continued to speak about religion, the environment, and current political issues, I learned he was very religious, very driven in his current job, happily married... Full story

  • So calm out in the open

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Apr 23, 2024

    Tejanos curse in Spanish and a Cajun eyes the weather There’s black mud on the belly of the yellow colt I ride Never thought I’d catch myself so calm out in the open As a gulf storm deals in bucket loads and hits from every side — Turnpike Troubadours, “A Cat in the Rain” “We are more often frightened than hurt; and we suffer more from imagination than from reality.” — Seneca, First Century Roman Stoic These are unsettling times, no doubt about it. Wars and rumors of war. A “b... Full story

  • Housing as essential community infrastructure

    Emelia Shoup|Updated Apr 16, 2024

    As a young professional who has lived and worked in Sisters for nearly four years, I have been invited to share my story for C4C’s Community Forum about local housing challenges, “Who Gets To Live Here? The Search for Local Housing Affordability.” It was spring 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown was in full swing in Portland, when I graduated with a degree in urban planning. It was important for me that I get a job in my field as soon as possible, but as uncertainty from the ongoing pandemic continued, fewer job openi... Full story

  • All we are and all we ever will be

    Jim Cornelius|Updated Apr 16, 2024

    There’s nothing like contemplating the end of the world to start off your weekend. I headed out at daybreak on Saturday to get in a good training session at Zimmerman Butte. Kettlebell complexes and shooting — a kind of biathlon. I like to listen to a podcast while I drive out there and set up, so I scrolled through the new stuff, and ran across a fresh one from Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. He was interviewing Annie Jacobsen about her new book “Nuclear War: A Scenari... Full story

  • We must do better

    Tim Hockett|Updated Apr 9, 2024

    A few years ago, in the very early morning hours, I visited the Lincoln Memorial. A crew was busily cleaning the huge statue. I acknowledged the workers with a wave. One man shouted to me, “Sorry for the inconvenience, but we don’t want grime to build up on Mr. Lincoln’s face.” April 15 marks the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. One hundred and fifty-nine years ago, a ruthless bigot, John Wilkes Booth, resentful that the federal government dared to stop white folks from owning black folks, shot Mr. Lincoln in the back of the... Full story

  • Just Like Us: Matthew

    Lisa May|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    Have you ever wished you could travel through time? What would it have been like to set out on the Oregon Trail in a covered wagon in 1840? What was life really like in a European castle in the Middle Ages… or in the villages outside? What if we could actually climb into a time machine to experience life alongside the people of another time period? I suggest that there is a sense in which we can. For thousands of years humans have seen the value of recording their stories i... Full story

  • Fly fisher people tie one on

    Valarie J. Anderson|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    There is nothing quite like sitting across the table from a fisherperson. There is genuine happiness in their eyes, laughter, and pats on the back. Their faces light up like a warm campfire when they start spinning yarns with hands outstretched ("It was that big!"). We eavesdropped as the older guys shared the location of their favorite fishing holes. Some kids from a middle school fly tying club sparkled with anticipation and awe as they took in every word. Best of all,... Full story

  • Accessible and affordable insurance

    Phil Chang, Guest Editor|Updated Apr 2, 2024

    Sisters Country homeowners and business owners are struggling to access affordable fire insurance coverage. I’ve worked for 20 years to protect our homes and communities from wildfire and now I’m working as your Deschutes County Commissioner to keep insurance accessible and affordable for residents. We need to make our homes and communities more resilient to wildfire and then we need to get insurers to recognize those improvements in coverage and premium decisions. Since 2004, I’ve worked to build collaborative agree... Full story

  • The eyes of India

    Mike Amsbrerry|Updated Mar 19, 2024

    We are all going to miss him dearly. How does one go about describing Sibi? Many of you are blessed to have come to know Fr. Sibi over these last five years as he pastored the flock at St. Edward the Martyr Catholic Church. Whether as a Young Lifer, pickle-baller, hiker, mountain biker, or just hanging out with the guys at the Space Age. His kind and gentle and humorous nature made him so easy to be around, to be drawn to. His detachment from the world and abiding joy... Full story

  • Nothing is all that can be done

    Erik Dolson|Updated Mar 19, 2024

    To the parents of Trenton Burger: I am so sorry for your loss. No words of mine can mend your wounds. I can’t even imagine the pain you have endured. Trenton, 15, died after he collided with a minivan while riding an e-bike in Bend. The driver of the van was not cited, it being determined that the driver was not responsible. There are many ways to imagine how this tragedy might have been averted. Trenton was illegally riding on a sidewalk. Trenton was was not of legal age t... Full story

  • Why play?

    Edie Jones|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    Recently I came across a reminder that the Harry Potter books are not about never failing, but rather are about rising every time we fall. The story about the Sorcerer’s Stone is a great illustration of how overcoming obstacles creates growth. Those words took me immediately back to the article, “Ten Things You Should Do Now So Your Kids Know How to Deal with Failure,“ by Dr. Jill M. Richardson, and her emphasis on the value of failing. A primary piece of that article emphasized the value of play and what it teaches kids.... Full story

  • Choice of wildlife leader is critical

    Adam Bronstein|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    On May 10, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled to decide who to hire to lead the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Department as its new director pushed back an initially aggressive hiring timeline. “Hearing people is more important than speed,” Chair Mary Wahl said at the February 16 meeting in support of the decision. This process comes as Curt Melcher, who has been director for the last 10 years, prepares to retire. As the commission navigates the hiring process, I want to express my thoughts and giv... Full story

  • Introducing our High Desert Heroines

    Maret Pajutee|Updated Mar 12, 2024

    We live in the shadow of mountains named after three women. One of the names for the river that runs through town came about because Native American women often camped along its shores. A legend about the black volcano that guards our skyline says it is a woman resting on a long journey with her pouting husband. Our town is even named after the girls in the family. Sisters is the perfect place to celebrate Women’s History Month and the lives that helped make our community what it is today. Many women walk through the pages o... Full story

  • Urban and rural are interdependent

    Erin Borla|Updated Mar 5, 2024

    On February 26, The New York Times published a column by Professor Paul Krugman titled “The Mystery of White Rural Rage.” While the professor’s opinion perpetuated stereotypes and tropes about many communities across America, I can imagine it may speak to people looking outside of their circle for someone to blame for policies they don’t care for, or the divides seen in our country. With Prof. Krugman’s platform he has the opportunity; and as a professor, he has the obligation; to encourage others to think critically about th... Full story

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