News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor, 5/6/2020

To the Editor:

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our teachers who provide such an excellent education to our children. As a grandparent raising three kids I have watched for eight years these dedicated professionals going above and beyond expectations to expand these young minds. In so many creative and innovated ways they create an atmosphere where children are eager to go to school and learn.

These days, the schools are closed and we are all learning from a distance. I have heard stories from parents in other districts who say that their children are struggling, that the way lessons are set up is a nightmare. My children have concise lesson plans and a flexible schedule. Teachers want their students to continue to learn but not get too stressed out about it. The well-being of everyone is taken into account.

I moved here when my oldest granddaughter was starting seventh grade. The district we were living in had a seventh through twelfth combined middle school/high school. It was not a place I wanted her to go. I knew the reputation of the Sisters schools and had to get these kids over here for their education. I have never regretted this move. Having been an educator myself for 30 years I realized immediately the dedication these amazing people have toward their students.

As we navigate through these strange times our teachers are a lifeline connecting us to a sense of normalcy. They work harder now providing students an education than they did in the classroom. I know how much my kids miss their teachers and classroom and I know how much the teachers wish they could greet their kids every day. I’m hoping people will take the time this week to reach out to a teacher and let them know how much we value them.

Thank you teachers of District No. 6. We love you!

Debra Lajko and family

To the Editor:

I just wanted to write to express my concern about the new prevalence of orange parking notices that I have been seeing all around town.

This greatly frustrates me that the city and sheriff have decided that now is a great time to crack down on parking — during a worldwide pandemic. It was already frustrating enough to hear a while back about the city’s new, very unreasonable policy for the Sisters Folk Festival parking and now this? What is happening to the small little town that used to be so quaint and reasonable about things? What is happening to common sense?

Should people really be getting threats of having their own vehicles towed for parking in a city parking spot in a town with a little over 2,000 people and PLENTY of parking spaces? And during a pandemic when people are struggling just to make it and get by? To me it just seems ridiculous, especially right now considering the circumstances.

The tons of parking spaces in Sisters are not even close to getting filled up and that’s what annoys me so much about seeing all these orange notices. It hasn’t even happened to my vehicle, I just think it’s so unfair considering the size of this town and amount of available spaces.

One of the greatest things about Sisters was free parking and it looks as if that doesn’t even exist anymore. Why in the world would anyone want this place to end up like all of the other cities? I moved away from the city to get away from that crap and I don’t like that I see it happening here! Let’s keep the corporate, big city mentality OUT of Sisters. Please.

Andrew Roe

To the Editor:

I am buffaloed by the non-reopening action of our Governor related to deaths by COVID-19.

It is my understanding that all state parks have been closed until the spring of 2021. Our schools and colleges seem to be closed indefinitely. We cannot conduct community business in any normal kind of manner. We are told to stay at home and to not congregate in large groups.

The states do have the power to protect citizens from harm or danger. But in doing so the leaders have an obligation to communicate clearly the reasons for each decision. The state does not have the right to issue unexplained orders and ignore the appeals of its citizens, regarding decisions made. People in a democracy need to understand the “why” of what is going on.

Our Governor has tied herself and our state politically to Washington and California in deciding when it will be appropriate to open up Oregon. That is crazy logic. The following information should help explain why her logic in doing so is faulty.

Oregon’s death rate per 100,000 citizens is two! Washington’s is 11, and California’s is five. Regarding a comparison of death rates between the 50 United States and our four territories: Washington is 15th highest in deaths; California is 26th highest and Oregon is near the bottom at 44th highest. There are only six states that have a death rate of 1 per 100,000 citizens, which is the lowest.

It makes no sense to say that Oregon is even closely related to Washington or California regarding reopening the economy because of COVID-19 recovery circumstances.

It is time to make realistic plans for opening the state economy. It is time to make plans for starting school sooner rather than later. It is time to “give a little.” It is time for my lovely wife to get her hair cut.

This data came from state and federal health sources through internet sites, such as U.S. COVID-19 death rates by states. Get on Siri and ask.

Gene Carlson

To the Editor:

Michael Wells recently criticized Mr. Tom Donohue’s letter to the editor summarizing what he thought Mr. Donohue’s points were in handling COVID-19, and then dismissing them as “right-wing talking points.”

When we label our neighbors we devalue and disrespect them. Disagree with points, logic or presuppositions leading to conclusions, or the conclusions drawn but let’s please not label others views as “liberal left-wing, right wing etc.”

Let’s show respect for our neighbors thought processes, values and individuality.

Gretchen Honan

To the Editor:

There are seven Republican candidates vying for the 2nd District U.S. Representative nomination: a crowded field to say the least. I believe Cliff Bentz is by far the best candidate to represent the 2nd District. He has a proven record of conservative leadership as a state representative and state senator over the past 12 years.

Cliff is pro-life, pro-second amendment and has proudly supported President Trump. Unlike some candidates who have recently taken on the mantle of these values, Cliff has a proven record of unambiguous conservative leadership.

We need the honesty, integrity and work ethic Cliff has always demonstrated and he will take those values with him to Washington, D.C. as our congressional representative.

Cliff is an authentic person. He did not show up a few months ago presenting himself as an Eastern Oregonian. He didn’t need to as he was born here. He does not stick his finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing and then craft positions which would be most advantageous to winning a given election. Cliff’s positions don’t change for political expediency.

We need his wisdom and leadership in Washington, D.C. now more than ever. Please join me in voting Cliff Bentz for U.S. Representative, 2nd District.

Andy Sichler

To the Editor:

A quick shout out to 2020 graduating seniors — my daughter being one of them.

Yes, this kind of sucks. However, just a few quick thoughts:

You are a unique group in a very unique time. I can barely remember my high school graduation, though I am pretty sure I received a diploma. (Quick shout out to current and any possible future employers: I’m practically positive I graduated. Undoubtedly, with a bunch of Latin sounding condiments on my degree. No need to check.) Though the conclusion of your high school chapter probably feels very anticlimactic, you will never forget this surreal but very real, awful, bonding, screwed up period in time. This will definitely be one to bore the grandkids with.

Seniors, your final game was not rained out. Rather, you are part of that small group that happens to be in the stands to witness a rare no-hitter. Not to suggest that this horrible virus is anything to celebrate, but it is truly historic. And you were there.

As the great philosopher Mike Tyson once mused, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” We have all been punched in the mouth by this pandemic; some certainly have been hit harder than others. You have been smacked, but you are in the very early rounds. It is certainly better to have a plan than not, but you are all experiencing and living a plan that didn’t go as planned. You are learning to positively adapt to the unexpected, which has to be one of life’s biggest lessons.

Having to deal with the consequences of this historic pandemic now may very well put you in a better position to deal with the inevitable challenges and letdowns that take a swing at you later on in your journey.

Go Get ’Em Outlaws.

Greg Werts

To the Editor:

My wife Carol and I moved to Sisters in June of 2019. Previously we lived in Paradise, California where they had the devastating fire. I had lived there for 39 years. Although many people suffered greatly and are still feeling the effects, the whole experience turned out to be a giant opportunity for us in many ways, for which we are grateful to God.

About a year before the fire we had determined that we wanted to relocate to Sisters, my family having most of their roots in Oregon and Washington. We subscribed to The Nugget and after the fire, when we called to update our mailing address with the newspaper, they upgraded our subscription to first class mailing at no additional cost to us, an early indication that we are moving to the right place! Reading The Nugget helped us to look forward to our relocation, and not look too much in the rear view mirror.

Regarding the Paradise fire my wife and I agreed that our worst loss was the loss of community. The familiar patterns of seeing friends at church, and visiting stores and restaurants, Les Schwab, etc., and being served by familiar faces that we had known for years.

Our sense of community was quickly restored when we moved to this unique and wonderful place and we have met so many friendly and helpful people (too many to mention) that have helped us feel right at home.

Of course, now we are all adjusting to the coronavirus and its effect on everyone in so many ways. We are again strengthened and encouraged by the inhabitants of this caring community and the unique role your newspaper plays in binding us together and preserving the important sense of community. Many thanks to you and your staff for all you do.

Grayson and Carol Sorrels

To the Editor:

Hikers and runners using the Sisters Trail from the town of Sisters north to Indian Ford Campground are leaving a trail of blue plastic flags, pink flagging ribbon, and cardboard signs. None of these are ever removed.

The result is a junky-looking trail.

The Sisters Trail is so well marked with the enameled metal signs on special posts or trees. I am thinking that the hikers and runners who cannot navigate with those should probably not be on the trail. It is a special privilege to have such a trail. I would hate to see us lose that opportunity.

Joan Wood


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