News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor - 6/9/2021

Vaccine check is small price

To the Editor:

As a recently retired physician, I must respond to the letter from Steven Rudnitzky in the June 2 Nugget. He is distressed that his “beloved” Sisters Athletic Club is requiring proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to go without a mask at the gym. He even admits this “makes sense for safety reasons,” but continues to say that this is a “gross overreach of the power of the state,” and that vaccinated people have the same chance of serious illness due to COVID as getting “flu” (influenza). Influenza caused 61,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2017-18 and 810,000 hospitalizations. I’d say that most of those people who died were also likely “beloved”!

Vaccine “passports” have been around since the early 1950s, and some countries still require certain vaccines to protect their own people. “Relinquishing freedom in the name of safety” is a daily occurrence, as we modify our rights on a daily basis by using seat belts in cars and respecting driving rules and regulations for the good of all, etc.

How he got the notion that relaxing mask requirements in Texas and Florida had no bad consequences is a mystery to me as every time this step has been taken there has been a surge in COVID cases! It is time that people get off their paranoia trips and get with the program. We are so fortunate to have an effective vaccine! And unless more people get it, we will have years ahead of high mortality rates of our loved ones. The “inconvenience” of masks and vaccine cards is a small price to pay to protect us all.

Sharon Booth, MD

Control growth

To the Editor:

Some comments regarding Mr. Woodford’s guest column of June 2.

Yes, we don’t want Sisters to become where we came from. Yes, Sisters is growing way too fast. Yes, we like the small-town (soon to be gone) feel of Sisters. I was under the impression that the city solicited input from citizens and the citizens responded with their concerns as requested. Mr. Woodford disregards these concerns and insinuates that if you’re not pro-growth then you are part of the problem.

People who have moved here know that shortsighted city planners were not proactive in protecting resources and maintaining infrastructure and now many cities are experiencing painful traffic conditions, massive drought and wildfires, and overcrowded housing. We really don’t want it to keep happening again and again. The concerned citizens of Sisters are not anti-growth but instead are voicing very real concerns about what is currently taking place in Sisters re: development and lack of infrastructure and drought conditions.

I like Gary Leiser’s suggestion that we form a committee to protect Sisters from urban sprawl so that all development is thoroughly disclosed and discussed.

And I’m frankly tired of hearing about how “Sisters Country Vision is a long-term planning tool.” Sisters Habitat is an example. They planned and started building a community of homes, with spacious lots, garages, and a high quality of lifestyle. The city now has “decided” that quality lifestyle is not the objective, but high-density housing, without adequate parking, and crowded, dangerous conditions, is what we need (see June 2 letters of John Stettler and Rick Slavkovsky).

As a resident of Bend was quoted saying when hearing about the sale of Riverside Golf Course, “Do we really need to eliminate every inch of greenery in the city?” Pay heed Sisters.

Mr. Woodford also says, “Efficiency measures may satisfy the need for all of the 1,100 units within the existing city boundary; however, it may be determined it’s not possible to accommodate all of them without compromising other values we hold dear, such as our urban forest and the character of Sisters.”

So, tough luck if you want to preserve the qualities we love about Sisters. It’s all about cramming in more homes and businesses. And if there’s not room, we can build between Sisters and Bend and just become a traffic-jammed bedroom community.

We’re not saying to “close the door” on anybody who wants to move here. Just don’t turn Sisters into another overcrowded, traffic-plagued town. We will not go down without a fight!

K. Meheen

Help Three Sisters Historical Society

To the Editor:

My wife and I have been contributors and supporters of the Three Sisters Historical Society since its founding. The information they have collected over the years is outstanding and critical to maintain the history of our great area. The programs they have presented over the years were a must-see for more history and meeting the folks who have been here for a long time. They have a wealth of knowledge of our history. We don’t want to lose this. When my wife and I travel, we always look for museums to visit in the area for local knowledge and the flavor of the community.

The Three Sisters Historical Society will provide this for our visitors.

I was disappointed to read about the loss of their location. I know the owner has the right to sell his property and I don’t have a problem with that. What I would hope is that he would allow the historical society to remain in their location until the building has sold. The new owners could then discuss the opportunity for the historical society to remain as a tenant. I would also hope that the owner is civic-minded enough to realize the value of the historical society to Sisters and will maintain their current rent agreement until the building has sold.

This will give the historical society a majority of the summer for their programs and to be enjoyed by our visitors.

I would also strongly request that ALL our local citizens contribute to the Three Sisters Historical Society. All donations qualify for the Oregon Cultural Trust tax credit. Please send your donations to PO Box 2386, or go online to to get a membership application. Please join today.

Thank you for your support.

Doug Wills


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