News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 8/12/20

To the Editor:

Central Oregonians deserve leaders who understand how to protect our communities from wildfires — and who will take decisive action. Commissioner Henderson is not such a leader. In The Nugget’s August 5 story, “Defending Sisters Against Wildfire,” he blames inadequate wildfire preparedness on one factor — too few days to implement prescribed burns — and suggests that additional funding will not make a difference.

In these statements, Henderson has missed two other important ways that we can reduce hazardous fuels near Sisters: thinning small trees and mowing dense brush in the understory. In 2019, the Deschutes National Forest reported that it has 141,000 acres of thinning and mowing through environmental review and ready to implement when funding becomes available. So when Henderson says that burn days are the key bottleneck on reducing fuels to make us safer, he ignores the fact that thinning and mowing don’t depend on available burn days.

Prescribed fire is an excellent final step after thinning and mowing, but even on their own, thinning and mowing are proven to be helpful in containing the spread of wildfires.

Insufficient funding for thinning and mowing is already making us less safe. For example, this March the Forest Service reported to the Deschutes Collaborative Forest Project Steering Committee that they have insufficient funds to offer a contract for a stewardship project (called Peso) west of Bend and south of Sisters in 2020. Implementing those thinning and mowing treatments in 2020 could mean the difference between being able to contain a fire in that area next summer, or that fire escaping and burning towards our homes.

County Commissioner Alan Unger, Henderson’s predecessor on the DCFP Steering Committee from 2010 until 2017, understood that supplemental funding for fuels reduction work was critical to protecting our communities and restoring the health of our forests. He tirelessly advocated for Congressional funding for DCFP work each year and helped secure $7 million from the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program for these projects. Importantly for Sisters, these dollars funded fuels treatments south and west of town that helped prevent the Pole Creek and Milli Fires from burning into area neighborhoods.

Unlike Commissioner Henderson, I understand how to protect our communities from wildfire and have worked locally for 16 years to address the barriers to fuels reduction: timber-environmental polarization, insufficient investment, and public acceptance of thinning and prescribed fire. Vote Phil Chang for our forests and our communities.

Phil Chang

(Editor’s note: Phil Chang is running for the position on the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners currently held by Phil Henderson).

To the Editor:

As far as I can tell, the core issue fueling the turmoil in America: Our traditional information gatekeepers can no longer be trusted. Most journalists are now actually activists in disguise. Many of our scientists are now pushing a social or political agenda. And, we have a president who’s a narcissistic liar.

No wonder Americans can’t even agree on what constitutes a fact and can’t navigate complex, nuanced concepts. I have yet to hear any of our political leaders talk about how we walk back from this post-truth future. I fear this is because these leaders are the ones who benefit the most from all the misinformation.

Josh Groves

To the Editor:

I’m 76 years old, I’ve seen the remnants of the First World War and lived as a child during the Second, in 1952 it was the Korean War followed by watching Castro bring Communism to Cuba in the ’60s. In the mid-and late-’60s, time was spent trying to eradicate racism; instead Dr. Martin Luther King, a great leader, was himself eradicated. With all this blood spilled there was still time to lose 58,000 soldiers in Vietnam.

In the ’80s things were slightly calmer and somewhat free of war except for the Middle East BS. Along came the millennium with 9/11, Iraqi, Afghanistan, Iran all to follow and still following.

These were devastating years, but today in 2020 I’m in absolute awe at this complete lack of governing by some of our largest and most beautiful cities. I watch the news and witness rioters and thugs terrorize these cities while pretending to care about Black Lives. They do all this, while the city leaders fend off any suggestion of outside help. Their cities are burning down and they’re telling their own police to stand down while kowtowing to thugs.

I am in absolute awe with some in public commentary, who sympathize with these protesters. A typical example of this is a letter written last week to The Nugget by Michael Wells in a rebuttal to Jim Cornelius’s commentary, where he had stressed the opposite sentiments.

Wells’ letter with its entire nonsensical partisan diatribe suggest that The Nugget’s Editor has no evidence that the cities’ leadership is negligent in their duties. Any intelligent being, regardless of political affiliation knows that these leaders are beyond negligent. It is pure stupidity to believe otherwise.

Terry Coultas

To the Editor:

The time is approaching rapidly where Americans must make an important decision as to the direction of our country. Aside from the tragedy of COVID-19, there is an evil embedded within peaceful demonstrations across the country seeking to destroy America with a socialist/Marxist agenda.

Supported by the mainstream media and senior politicians in the Democratic Party by omission of intelligent response, they seek power at any cost.

Consumed with hate for President Trump, they appear to have little concern for America’s future as demonstrated over the past four years’ fabrication of one corrupt hoax after another. It’s all about attaining power. They failed to enslave African Americans so have now upped the ante to enslave the entire country with socialism/Marxism and endless promises of free stuff, equal pay for all, open borders, defund the police, guaranteed income, etc.

One must wonder how the last surviving members of the Greatest Generation feel about this fascist war on America. World War II saw the defeat of evil that has its same roots embedded within today’s hate-America movement. Take the murder of an unborn child and selling the body parts for profit. If that is not evil straight out of the pit of hell what is?

We have the greatest country on earth with the greatest governing documents ever conceived — the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. We, and the world, all own a great deal of gratitude to those that paid the ultimate sacrifice during World War II. Can you even imagine back during that period a journalist asking the President “Mr. President why do you keep calling the attack on Pearl Harbor Japanese?”

It’s now time for all Americans to stand up and show their respect and honor to those past and present who sacrifice(d) so much for the freedoms we now enjoy; and to DEFEAT those pushing the Marxist/socialist agenda and destruction of America.

Jeff Mackey

To the Editor:

The opinion column of July 29 by Jim Cornelius (“Echoes of tumult,” The Nugget, August five, page 6) was well-balanced. No apology needed!

Compliments to Sheryl Pelligren, Gregory Walker for exposing the truth of Portland and all the big cities now.

After reading Marxist Communist Manifesto, I understand what they have been doing for 75 years-plus, working for the complete destruction of the U.S. and world.

With the double hit BLM and COVID-19, they are winning.

The Christian Church and others have been asleep for years! Time to wake up! Study the platforms of the political parties, then vote November 3.

I still believe in the God that created everything and gave us a peaceful way to live if we would follow His manifesto. Christians know the beginning and end of the Bible.

Chet Davis

To the Editor:

President Trump — Restoring Sen. Hatfield Legacy.

Sen. Hatfield would agree with Trump’s actions re:

• Pro-Small Business: Allows 20 percent tax deduction and organizing for low-price health plans, reduced regulations and utility costs, opportunity zones for neglected communities, expand broadband to rural areas.

Favor limited, responsible government: Goal of reducing 34,000 fed jobs, institute policies to fire poorly performing fed workers including VA, eliminate degree requirements when not essential for the job. Sacred rights of all citizens: Protecting peaceful protesters until they or infiltrators become violent, arrest/seize those causing serious human rights abuse against children and women( protect US borders), protecting Second Amendment.

• Politics, policy are about good governance, not ideological, cultural warfare:

Oppose Democrat ideological identity-cultural warfare, enact prison reform, First Step

Act and increase support of Black colleges ($250 million), all praised by Black leaders.

• Anti-war: Refused to wage any additional wars while bringing troops home from Syria, Afghanistan, Germany. Isn’t it better to form agreements with North Korea to halt nuclear missile tests than wage war? Better to end ISIS control in Syria and Iraq? Better to issue sanctions against Russia and close their Seattle embassy than wage war? Better to put tariffs on China?

Some other executive actions: Return jobs to U.S. (cancel/change trade agreements); health coverage of pre-existing conditions/right-to-try med for terminally ill; defer student loan payments and cancel interest/increase unemployment; end & make retroactive payroll taxes from July 1 through 2020 for those earning less than $100,000 (make permanent if win re-election); force Big Pharma to lower prescription prices; allow vets to see doctors outside VA; facilitate jobs returning to U.S.; fund U.S. drug manufacturing.

By 2020 Blacks, Hispanics, Asians enjoyed lowest-ever unemployment and most new jobs went to women, improve rural healthcare access, $12 billion to farmers for former unfair trade practices.

Sharon Scott, Former Dem


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