News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 8/19/2020

To the Editor:

The tirade against Jim Cornelius (Letters to the Editor, The Nugget, August 5, page 2) represents the attitude of too many demonstrators we have seen, i.e. “my way or the highway.” It should make thoughtful people take notice.

The urge to beat up Donald Trump overflows into condemnation of all who disagree with their myopic viewpoint. Civility is passé, it seems. The style now is sarcasm and spin.

Nothing new about that, but it should be recognized as vitriol, not analysis.

Donald Harner

To the Editor:

I am the mother of a Black child that was repeatedly bullied for months in the Sisters school district. After getting nowhere with the many phone calls, emails and face-to-face meetings with the adults in the school district that were supposed to be protecting her from the other child, I chose to contact the Oregon Department of Education. They took the situation very seriously and came to Sisters to interview everyone involved. When their report came out, it said that the Sisters school district was found to have discriminated against my child on the basis of race and gender and allowing her to be discriminated against on the basis of race and gender by the other child.

We had the choice of taking them to court, where the judge would use the report and find them guilty, or go through a conciliation process where we would have a chance to make changes in the school districts policies and procedures so that no other child would have to endure what my child did. We chose to go through the conciliation process with the school superintendent as well as an employee from the Oregon Department of Education.

We are not trying to make George Floyd a role model for our children based on anything he may or may not have done during his lifetime. He has become the face for injustice because he was murdered by a policeman who felt he was above the law. Does that mean we are against all police? Absolutely not! I appreciate and respect every policeman that has each person’s best interest at heart. I also understand I’ve never walked in a policeman’s shoes, and feel they have a tremendously difficult job. But I will not close a blind eye to racism and injustice just because they are police officers.

If am choosing to protest alongside someone with a BLM’s sign, does that mean I am in agreement with everything the founders believed in when they started the organization? No, it just means, I agree black lives matter and that we are stronger in numbers.

As far as the riots are concerned, I don’t believe I understand what is going on enough to comment on it. I do know our oldest son was at a peaceful Black Lives Matter protest two years ago in Portland, when a group of people, who no one had seen before, came over and started lighting things on fire. The next days newspaper had a picture of the fires burning with a caption stating it was a BLM’s protest.

So yes, if you live in a safe community, thank the police. If you live in a dangerous community welcome the police. And if you see anyone causing harm to anyone else, whether it’s verbal or physical, stand up, and say or do something to help that person. It’s not just up to the police to keep our communities safe.

My favorite quote is by Winston Churchill “Evil persists because good men do nothing.”

Cheryl Soleim

To the Editor:

Failed COVID-19 management. Failed economic downturn management. Now the intentional unraveling of OUR US Postal Service; a service that Veterans, elderly, and rural citizens depend upon for their lives. It is not hyperbole to say our lives and the lives of people we care about are at stake in the 2020 election, as well as the continuation of our Republic and the democratic freedoms we had taken for granted.

See “The Lincoln Project” and “Vote Vets”. Given Trump has unabashedly stated some of the ways he plans to cheat in order to “win”, what we need now is a massive groundswell of volunteers for Biden to ensure this Trumpian nightmare is replaced with competent leadership, integrity, civility, and chaos-free governance, which Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will provide on day one.

This election is different: It is not about Rs versus Ds; it is about saving our democracy, and people’s lives. At least one of our fellow Sisters citizens has died in unnecessary pain because his pain relief meds sat miles away, as per “Campaign-donor-turned-Postmaster General” DeJoy’s recent direction on mail processing, including the removal 671 sorting machines.

It is not enough to say, “Yes, I will vote for Joe and I hope it works out!” Patriotic action is needed from voters of all parties and voters with no party affiliation because imagine yourself waking up on November 4 and wishing you had done a little bit more. Go to

Monica Tomosy

To the Editor:

I grew up in a small Oregon town surrounded by forests — hiking, working, and hunting in them — and I am willing to do what it takes to protect our forests and our communities.

Last week, Democrat County Commission candidate Phil Chang wrote a letter to The Nugget, attacking my perceived leadership inadequacies, without actually knowing more about me, my background, work or my positions on Deschutes Forest fire prevention. This is a problem of his. It’s exactly what I try not to do in order to lead effectively for County taxpayers. I believe in getting all of the facts first.

Having lived here for 31 years, I am very aware there are (3) major action components of most forest treatment plans to protect our communities from fires. They are thinning trees, mowing underbrush and then burning the vegetation and slash. These steps have all been used successfully for years. The outcome of the Milli Fire was much improved because of prior fire treatment work. Like many of you, I witnessed that.

As a Commissioner, I have been involved and informed on the planning for fire projects in the Deschutes National Forest for several years, as a member of the Deschutes Forest Collaborative. The different steps of treatment each have different challenges to their completion. I am aware that financial costs are one of them.

Two weeks ago, I was asked by The Nugget’s editor, Jim Cornelius, to comment on Mr. Chang’s call for efforts by County Commissioners to advocate for more federal money needed for “treatment” and criticisms that I had done “too little.”

I responded that in my membership on the Deschutes Forest Collaborative over the past three-and-a-half years, more emphasis has been made by our committee on changing and improving the “smoke rules” for the final step in the treatment — burning the undergrowth and slash, after thinning and mowing. Less discussion has been made by members for increased funding for thinning.

Specifically, this past spring I asked Deschutes Forest District personnel at these same meetings, whether they needed my help getting more money because it is a skill I am effective at — having been a businessman and lawyer and being an elected official. I didn’t get an answer. In 2019, I worked with City of Bend officials, ODOT and Congressman Walden to obtain over $60 million for road improvements at Bend’s north end from the Federal government. I am ready to do more on this for the Deschutes National Forest.

Protection of our forest by fire prevention is a top priority to me.

Phil Henderson


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