News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 3/17/2021

Turn off your porch lights

To the Editor:

A recent article in The Nugget focused on the very real possibility of the monarch butterfly going extinct. Two reasons were given for this drop in its population: the loss of its main food source, milkweed, and climate change. Another reason not stated is this: electric lights.

For the past 130 years, electric lights have come to cover the globe, bringing with them a destruction of the natural circadian cycle shared by all living things such as butterflies, birds, mammals, plants, amphibians, fish, and humans. Darkness and starlight are needed for nighttime navigation and for sleep and wakefulness patterns.

What can you do about this?

Well, besides planting milkweed in your yard as food for butterflies, check to see that your outdoor lights are designed well. Are they shielded, dimmed, point down or do you have a motion detector?

If you’re used to leaving your porch light on all night, ask yourself, why do you do this? Do you think it makes the world a safer place? There is no proof to this kind of thinking. Actually, they have done tests to show that criminal activity actually increased when more light was present. Do you think your neighbors appreciate your lights being on all night? They don’t. Yes, they can pull their blinds but some people – like me – enjoy looking out their window at the stars, as well as waking up by the morning light.

Be a thoughtful neighbor, as well as a friend to the monarch butterfly and all other living things on earth. Please turn off your porch lights!

Paul Bennett

To the Editor:

It wasn’t the fact that the power went out at the exact moment I was working on a timed assignment for school, nor the fact the pellet stove went out due to the power loss and the evening was a late winter cool in Sisters.

It wasn’t the fact that we had to eat our dinners cold to the romance of candlelight nor the fact the hot tub wouldn’t provide the massaging bubbles so required after a day’s labors.

It was the fact the 29-electric-meter-area affected by the transformer blowout made the clear evening Sisters sky dark enough to remind us of how beautiful and anciently mystical the portion of our sky was when all the neighbors’ party lights, overflow lights from windows, and against-code porch lights were snuffed out, if only for several hours while the ever-reliable service crew from Central Electric Co-op worked to restore the science-and-technology-provided convenience we have come to rely upon daily for our comfort — and occasionally, to some dismay, the destruction of the natural beauty that surrounds us on a nightly basis, when we sat in the still-hot, but nevertheless quiet, hot-water spa.

I encourage our neighbors throughout Sisters and the surrounding neighborhoods to consider following the lighting code thoughtfully provided in the city web page.

Chris Patrick

Improve each other’s happiness

To the Editor:

I was delighted by the column “Happiness and well-being” by Mitchell L. Luftig, Ph.D. (The Nugget, March 3). The author cites solid data in making his case for ways we can all improve each other’s happiness in Sisters. I appreciated Dr. Luftig’s article from two perspectives:

1. My full-time career for the past decade has been teaching the science of happiness to organizations such as the National Park Service, Dreamworks, and various branches of Oregon State Government. Dr. Luftig clearly knows that happiness is a choice that can be guided by solid data.

2. I happen to be one of Sisters’ newest residents, along with my wife and two daughters, 8 and 12.

The author is correct: While we are delighted to be in this friendly and beautiful place, we newcomers do lack local social connections. One of the many wonderful things about the science of well-being is that so much of it is win-win. When the people of Sisters are friendly, kind, and generous toward others, it helps the giver even more than the recipient, according to peer-reviewed studies.

In a wonderful full circle, Dr. Luftig suggests that current residents can help newcomers (like me) become aware of volunteer opportunities, and reading The Nugget has been a key source of information about such opportunities. Expect to see us volunteering in the months ahead; we know we will benefit more than those we serve.

I hope that The Nugget will keep featuring data-based articles that can help the people of Sisters thrive. And I hope the people of Sisters help themselves by helping others. Together, we can all apply science to thrive. Please let me know if I can be of any help to anyone at Sisters, by contacting me through my site

Scott Crabtree

Growth in Sisters

To the Editor:

Laird Superfood has contributed so much to Sisters.

A super factory to enhance Sisters’ aesthetic appeal. Super generators for all the folks who enjoy living near the vibrant thrum of progress. Super lighting to offset the darkness of night. Super job opportunity for hundreds of commuters daily flooding to and from Redmond and Bend.

How super-enlightened our planners and boosters are to welcome these improvements to our little town. How wonderful that Laird is “breaking” more ground for super expansion. And how comforting to envision all that useless Forest Service land in our town being converted to low-income housing for the benefit of this super company.

It’s super-inspiring to see our town’s ongoing vision process yield such super outcomes. Way to go Sisters!

Susanna DeFazio


Reader Comments(0)