News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 5/27/2020

To the Editor:

I have never met Kay Grady that I am aware of, but I think I would like to meet her when social distancing is over, and shake her hand.

I viewed the ponderosa tree Kay referenced in her letter (May 20), and actually, I think it was closer to 200 years old. We also have many trees being cut in Crossroads by “modern lumberjacks,” trees that provide shade to prevent soil evaporation, habitat, and drink our septic water, which keeps it out of our crystal clear well water.

The tree you referenced was probably only about two feet tall witnessing the War of 1848, and maybe six to eight feet tall during the days of our Camp Polk and Civil War between the states. It probably was 30 feet or taller by the Spanish/American War, 1898. It survived World War I and the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, World War II and the Nazi gas chambers and Pearl Harbor, the Korean War and polio, the Kennedy and Martin Luther King assassinations, The Vietnam War, Wars of the Middle East, 9/11, and Afghanistan battles.

It even survived the closing of septic tanks in Sisters (with introduction of a new sewage system), which watered and fertilized many of the towns trees.

What it did not survive was a Paul Bunyan during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unfortunately, Kay, we are few and far between. I don’t think we are “tree huggers,” just people concerned about a tree, which witnessed so much, and provided a habitat housing for so many during its’ very long life, which unfortunately, was cut short!

Bill Anttila

To the Editor:

Any one who’s paid any attention to what is going on politically is very worried about November 3 election and the god-awful campaign that we are all beginning to watch.

Did you see Biden on the news the other night? Of course not, because the TV vacuum that is President Trump sucks it all up. I thought the media learned a lesson in 2016 but here we go — no coverage for his opponent. I doubt there will even be a debate. Hopefully, Biden will debate an empty chair to push the point.

Sadly, the Republican Party is truly bleeding membership. The Huffington Post report in February 2020 noted that national counts of Independent registered voters outnumber Republican registered voters for the first time! It is so: Democrats, 39.66 percent of total registered voters, Independents 29.9 percent and Republicans are 27.87 percent.

Yup, Democrats are fewer than they were in 2016 at 46 percent or 2018 at 44 percent, but the GOP remained a few fewer than Democrats in the same timeframes. However, now, the GOP needs a tourniquet. This means the GOP is no longer one part of a major-two-party system but a bystander.

This is huge news that the media is not really that excited about — who knows why not. These numbers scream that this nation needs to adjust its campaign and elections systems to accommodate at least three political parties rather than two having all the power/attention.

Time for huge campaign reforms and I am for removing advertising out of the campaign business forever — but the latter is a whole other can of worms.

I share this because we are in for a very, very bumpy campaign. We need to bond rather than fight with each other. I want to encourage you to not be afraid to talk it out with family and friends, to listen to each others’ concerns and hear one another out, even if you do not agree. There will be all kinds of political fights on the news and social media and it will be crazy, but do not give up your right to vote out of frustration or anxiety or both. This election is critical to the survival of this Republic — no exaggeration.

Please, remain informed and vote.

Susan Cobb

To the Editor:

One reads with consternation a letter in The Nugget (May 20, 2020), by the Sisters City Councilor no less, demanding an end to Governor Brown’s quarantine because, he claims, it is unconstitutional.

Said councilor has a right to attempt suicide by exposing himself to a lethal disease, but he has no right to threaten the rest of us with death by demanding an end to the quarantine before it is safe to do so.

He is morally wrong, dead wrong.

Gary Leiser

To the Editor:

I loved the column in The Nugget “A time for good neighbors,” (May 20, page 2).

I personally choose to wear a mask inside a business. Sometimes I want to wear a mask and sometimes I feel it’s silly. Maybe face coverings aren’t as efficient or full proof as I want to believe they are. I know they aren’t comfortable...but I do feel that wearing one is the least I can do for myself and my neighbors!

Kathleen Blesius

To the Editor:

Reading Jim Cornelius’ editorial of May 20 (“A time for good neighbors,” pg. 2), I found myself agreeing with every word.

But at the same time a part of me was screaming inside with anger and frustration at what seems to be the worst national response to a major crisis in living memory. As was pointed out, in this kind of complex situation there are no absolute right answers for everyone. But is it untoward and overly partisan to point out incompetence and obfuscation on an unheard-of level? Ignoring science (including the “science” of economics) helps no one. No one likes the shutdown and all that goes with it. I do not want to be restricted. I want my children to be able to find jobs. I hate the fear and the drumbeat of not-so-distant deaths and the specter of mass economic collapse.

Yes, the local community is where we can best help, and putting aside our political partisanship to care for ourselves and one another is essential. But does that mean we should zip it when it comes to what in God’s name is going on in DC? We have an election coming up in six months.

If now is not the time to make the case for leadership that is even marginally competent and truthful, when is? Dealing with concurrent economic and health crises is not easy. It requires leadership, transparency, and a level of sacrifice from all of us, rather than following the siren song of simplistic solutions. I agree we should not politicize every facemask or lack of one, but that doesn’t mean we should opt out of politics completely and leave the swamp a-festering.

Beware of false dichotomies. To see danger and say nothing risks complacency and lemmings-over-the-cliff blindness. We cannot be so afraid of political discourse, differences, and riling one another not to speak out with civility and clarity. A little riling gets people moving and voting — also known as democracy. Let’s be involved citizens of the whole country as well as of Sisters country.

We are all in this leaky canoe together; it’s a mistake to think that what happens in DC doesn’t affect us here.

Linda West

To The Editor:

Responding to Richard Esterman, May 20 Letters to the Editor, and his frivolous push to bill Gov. Brown for lost income, I remind him that the constitution states our right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” with no mention of business profitability.

I am grateful to the Governor for her mandates that have kept our Oregon numbers much lower than many other states, precisely because she has focused on keeping as many as possible alive, as the first named “right” of everyone. Surely, as a city council member, Esterman could think of something positive and helpful to our citizens, and remember that in his zeal to blame the Governor, he seems to have forgotten the high percentage of our population who fit the “most vulnerable” category, and who are grateful to her for care and protection!

Similarly, in his April 22 editorial, Jim Cornelius chose rather callous language in his vehement demand to reopen the economy, describing victims who have died as having “shredded” lungs, a terrible image for those who grieve nearly 100,000 losses! He claimed that the economic fallout will claim as many lives as the COVID virus, which seems gravely overstated. Undoubtedly many already do and will continue to suffer tragic deprivation, hunger, depression and extreme financial loss and hardship, but that does not equate to death.

Then when he said opening up would “entail risk and sacrifice,” I guess he meant me, my neighbors, and friends throughout Sisters, as we most often die.

It is possible to address harsh realities with compassionate language and action for all concerned. Because we have thus far been spared any significant presence of the virus in Sisters Country, it is tempting to think we have escaped. However, the experts remind us that it will continue to move among us for months or years, that reopening is treacherous still and that continued precautions like masks and social distancing are vital.

How about you two prominent gentlemen taking a true leadership stance in wearing a mask anywhere in public, as a demonstration of caring about others, not just when asked! Think of the shopkeepers who are trapped with whatever folks bring in; wear one for them. Think about what you might be carrying, asymptomatically, to spread; wear a mask. Just think of being caring of others, rather than being forced into some burdensome costume. It is such a small concession, friends! Forget the Western “rugged individualism” stance and think about how to slow this scourge, and maybe save some lives.

Kudos to the shopkeepers who ask for and wear masks, disinfect and request distancing! You are our lifeline to a thriving community and we need to care for you and each other!

Wendie Vermillion


Reader Comments(0)