News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 7/15/2020


In The Nugget’s July 8 editorial “Wear your mask,” the daily death toll from coronavirus was cited as totaling about 1,000 for all age groups. It is more accurate to state that — allowing for a couple of spikes well above 1,000 — the daily number has hovered between 500 and 1,000 through most of June and into July (down from peaking at 4,900 in a single day on April 16).

That positive trend may be shifting as there has been an uptick in deaths in recent days as a lagging indicator in a significant surge in cases in many states.

To the Editor:

I just read of the future workforce housing planned for the Forest Service property.

This is excellent news for the City of Sisters, for the future Sisters’ employers and their workforce and for Downtown Sisters. I have long felt that workforce housing was the very best use for most of that section of the Forest Service property. Its location is perfect for residents to walk or bike to work, to grocery shopping and to downtown events, activities, dining, socializing and shopping.

The news comes with the additional bonus of the investment by Laird Superfoods CEO. This speaks to the long-term and strong commitment of one of Sisters’ most promising and high-profile employers to the city and to the workforce they foresee needing as they grow.

The City will eventually realize a huge boost to it’s tax base that will probably contribute in excess of $1 million annually to Sisters’ schools and services.

That sounds like five wins to me!

Nick Veroske

To The Editor:

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted for me the problem with banning single use plastic bags and allowing reusable bags. The world needs an alternative to plastic, but until then, allowing reusable bags in retail stores is a major public health issue based on scientific studies.

Viruses and bacteria can survive on tote bags up to nine days based on studies.

The risk of spreading viruses was clearly demonstrated in a 2018 study published in the Journal of Environmental Health. The researchers, led by Ryan Sinclair of the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, sent shoppers into three California grocery stores carrying polypropylene plastic tote bags that had been sprayed with a harmless surrogate of a virus. The researchers found sufficiently high traces of the surrogate to risk transmission on the hands of the shoppers and checkout clerks, as well as on many surfaces touched by the shoppers, including packaged food, unpackaged produce, shopping carts, checkout counters and the touch screens used to pay for groceries.

In a 2011 study, reusable bags were collected at random from consumers as they entered grocery stores in California and Arizona. In interviews, it was found that reusable bags are seldom — if ever — washed, and often used for multiple purposes. Large numbers of bacteria were found in almost all bags and coliform bacteria in half. Escherichia coli were identified in eight percent of the bags, as well as a wide range of enteric bacteria, including several opportunistic pathogens.

In a 2012 study, researchers analyzed the effects of San Francisco’s ban on single-use plastic grocery bags by comparing emergency-room admissions in the city against those of nearby counties without the bag ban. The researchers, Jonathan Klick of the University of Pennsylvania and Joshua Wright of George Mason University, reported a 25 percent increase in bacteria-related illnesses and deaths in San Francisco relative to the other counties.

Oregon and other states confirmed reusable bags spread disease by temporarily lifting plastic bag bans for the current pandemic.

Reusable shopping bags are just plain nasty and need to be banned.

JK Wells

To the Editor:

We will gather at Village Green July 25, 7 p.m. for an evening of solidarity and contemplation honoring George Floyd and the many Black lives lost this past decade to police violence.

Participants will be required to wear masks and observe physical distancing.

Like many other communities, Sisters has been engaged in a process of coming to grips with the racist legacy and reality that Black Americans face. We know that all lives should matter, but only when Black lives matter will that be the case. Their issues have been ignored, minimized, or worse, aggravated, throughout our U.S. history.

Therefore, Indivisible Sisters is committed to advocating peacefully for fundamental societal changes to address deep-seated, systemic racism and to create a fair and just world for all.

Our mission is to champion democracy by building community through conversation and action. Contact Indivisible Sisters at [email protected]

Linda Weick

To the Editor:

If we fail to recognize and more importantly uphold the principles on which we as a nation are founded, we sabotage our own framework and literally invite an inevitable collapse. A people simply cannot at one point endeavor to undertake with such great discipline the spirit required to have built this nation, expecting it to then stand evermore against the wind of time and upheaval if they cast off that spirit and that conservatism that built this country in the first place.

Those who clamor for some nebulous “transformation” of this wondrous haven of freedom have neither any idea what they are conjuring, much less what they are injuring. They have been deluded, taught to believe that America isn’t good enough for all. Yet, if you have the backbone to lay the blame where it belongs — at the feet of those who have chosen not to carry their own weight — you will see that the problem lies more fully in who is truly not good enough. The fairer measure of worth lies in the caliber of one’s own character. It is moral character, multiplied a thousand-fold, that either builds or destroys nations.

John Baldwin

To the Editor:

When one approaches the ripe old age of 80 and the winds smell of revolution and bridges burning, well, it is time to deal with the end-of-life scenario. I am a social worker with a financial background who uses the arts in the healing process, and as such have always advocated a bottoms-up approach to economic development, and like the salmon, I’ve been swimming upstream to spawn to no avail.

Someone obviously must demonstrate to our President Donald the purpose of The Social Worker - The Artist - The Poet - The Musician - etc. Thus, we at propose the creation of an old fashion town hall meeting where legislation is created and passed on to the appropriate governmental body, i.e., Congress state and national, and the local city council and county government. The legislation that we are proposing created reads as follows: “Unless at least 50 percent of registered voters vote in any election (local-state-national), the election will be declared null and void, and the election will be required to be redone.”

Thus we are seeking the Democratic National Committee endorsement and that of all Democratic candidates currently running for office. The ones already in office know better. Other legislation with respect to the emerging hemp industry will also be on the agenda. Your cordial attention to the matter of democracy in America would be most appreciated.

William T. Dawson

To the Editor:

Never having served in the Confederate Army, nor owned a slave or pressed my knee upon the neck of a black man, I have no white guilt.

Also, I feel no guilt at having the blessing of being born in a great country that has offered me and EVERY other American the greatest freedom and opportunity of any place on earth.

My self-hating white neighbors and the raging leftists in the streets — of whatever color — will never drive me to vote for Burisma Joe and the destruction of America.

Larry Benson


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