News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

A response to Richard Esterman

Thank you very much for your letter to the editor published in the May 20 edition of The Nugget. I sincerely hope that all intelligent and caring people in Sisters will read, digest and remember it. Perhaps The Nugget will even consider reprinting it closer to the Sisters City Council candidate filing date, and/or the election date, to remind potential candidates and voters.

It appears that you have a mistaken understanding of both the Oregon and United States Constitutions, as well as the legal definition of perjury.

As arbiters and ultimate interpreters of the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court has previously upheld the constitutionality of orders designed to protect public safety.

While the Constitution of Oregon specifically grants the Governor the power to declare a “catastrophic disaster” and take appropriate actions for 30 days without legislative approval, she did not declare a catastrophic disaster.

Instead, she declared an emergency, which she has the statutory authority to do and to take appropriate actions under the constitution (without a time limit).

I fully expect the Oregon Supreme Court to continue to uphold that authority.

As a military veteran and a fourth generation Oregonian, I’m proud to have defended, and to continue to defend, her authority to keep us safe. On the question of perjury, I suggest you look up the definition in the Oregon Revised Statutes.

Governor Brown was initially reluctant to order any shutdown and, for a time, resisted the calls of medical professionals and public officials to do so. However, her early implementation of effective mitigation is almost certainly responsible for the significantly lower infection and death rates in Oregon as compared to neighboring states and other states with similar demographics.

Researchers at Columbia University, applying standard scientific and statistical modeling to known data of the county-to-county virus spread within the U.S., estimated that if measures would have been implemented nationally one week earlier there could have been approximately 36,000 fewer deaths and at least 700,000 fewer illnesses. (Only science deniers would be dismissive of this information.)

We’ll never know how many fewer deaths there could have been if Oregon had shut down sooner. More importantly, however, how many more deaths would there have been if Governor Brown had acted later; or worse, not at all?

How many more deaths and how many more illnesses would have been acceptable to you in order to defend your perceived “right” to make money by risking the lives and health of others? Would you sacrifice members of your own family?

So you’re asking business owners to waste their time to request that all Oregon taxpayers contribute to reimburse them for taking appropriate steps (albeit mandated) to protect themselves and their customers? In line with your invoicing suggestion, please consider this to be an invoice in the very nominal amount of $50 for my time and materials writing this response. Rather than remitting that amount to me, please donate it to any person or persons that are risking their lives to keep you safe and healthy.

Again, thank you for your letter. The people of Sisters deserve intelligent, knowledgeable and caring leaders and I hope they can find them.

Thank you for your consideration.


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