News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the editor - 7-21-2021

Off-leash dogs in forest

To the Editor:

It would be nice if The Nugget had Bill Bartlett expand on his statement that there are 1,200 acres in the Deschutes National Forest which are open to off-leash dogs. I am sure this is true — but not a complete picture/assessment of the off-leash rules.

My experience and conversations with the sheriff’s office is that the dogs may be off-leash but must be under the control of their owners. This means I assume, they must “come” when called. Also, they cannot chase deer.

I know of almost no one who has a dog so well trained that it comes when called all the time. I have encountered many dogs who do not “come” when called. Friendly dogs are fine with me, I love them! But I have encountered many mean dogs who go after me and my leashed dog. It is a scary situation.

When I have encountered an aggressive dog — the first thing I hear from the owner is, “My dog can be off leash out here.” Total ignorance of the owner’s responsibility to maintain control of their dog. They do not know that they have a responsibility to control an off-leash dog.

My understanding, after talking to the sheriff’s office a couple of years ago, is that I have the right to do whatever I feel necessary to protect myself from a dog who is “in my space” unwanted, and/or aggressive, if I feel threatened. I am not sure what the standard is for feeling threatened. It was suggested to me that I carry bear spray because it is hard to get off of the dog and the owner may think twice about letting their aggressive or inadequately trained dog off leash again.

I never asked — but I wonder. With all the people carrying guns today — is your dog at risk of being lawfully shot if a person carrying a gun feels threatened? That would be a terrible situation, but frankly, I would blame the owner for not being realistic about their dog’s behavior and training level. Just not fair to the dog.

I think that the mere statement that dogs are allowed off-leash in the Deschutes National Forest is not enough information. Please do a follow up article and educate the public.


Nancy Kelm

Critical Race Theory

To the Editor:

Many thanks to Rev. Anne Bartlett for her clarifying explanation of “Critical Race Theory” as a metaphor for living in an old house in need of updating.

Somehow this way of truthfully framing the actual history of our nation has become a source of fear to those who do not fully understand what is included, how it is taught, nor why it is so important in understanding the current culture in our country. When Jeff Mackey repeatedly asserts that our schools and teachers are forcing Marxist propaganda at every grade level to make children hate America and each other, that Critical Race Theory is racist and part of the Marxist agenda, and teachers are revising our actual history (Veteran’s Day, Memorial Day, and Fourth of July articles), I vehemently object!

Mackey may not know that in the two blocks containing his house there are 21 teachers and additional administrators from every level of education, elementary through college, public and private, who have taught from the west to east coast and in Europe in almost every subject area. We are all curious about his evidence, school experience, and credible authority in making such unsubstantiated claims, and, indeed, indignant! I invite him to sit down with any or all of us and share his basis for such accusations and baseless claims.

Without actual evidence, Mackey merely stokes the flames of ignorance, fear and divisiveness rather than his calling for “loving one another” (July 7, 2021).

Wendie Vermillion

To the Editor:

Whether we are a Democrat, Republican, Independent, or Libertarian, we are all Americans and most of us love America. We are all made in the image of God. I have lived through World War II, and all the wars that followed. I have seen the radicals of the 1970s become professors in colleges who have been brainwashing the students, where no one is allowed to speak if they disagree to what is taught.

Now certain groups preach hate and fear and call everyone in America racist that doesn’t agree with them.

Our country was founded on life, liberty, and justice for all. We are not perfect and in our history we have had the good, bad, and the ugly. But we have come a long way to fix that. We all love our families, even if sometimes we don’t agree with them. We do not want our history destroyed, nor do we want our precious children and grandchildren taught to hate each other because of their skin color. The CRT [Critical Race Theory] agenda is evil. The Bible tells us to love God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Pat Farr

To the Editor:

Once again, Mr. Mackey hits the mark and arouses the wrath of our woke neighbors.

Not wishing to further inflame, I will refer to the statist, collectivist politically correct open border government party as the champions of Critical Race Theory; as they endeavor to expunge themselves of their white guilt.

Please don’t shut me up and set me down by calling me a racist, sexist, fascist, xenophobic, deplorable. Just let me plead guilty to being a patriotic old white boy.

Larry Benson


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