News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor…

School is back in session

To the Editor:

I want to thank everyone for a successful first week of the 2021-22 school year. It is great to start the year with all of our students in class for in-person learning. Thank you for following the physical distancing, hand washing, and mask-wearing protocols that have been put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Again, our schools are an ecosystem consisting of a wide range of people from our community. Although I know that we all would prefer not to wear masks, the safety of the entire ecosystem must be considered. This vigilance is why we have had success in opening our schools on time and have all of our cocurricular programs running.

Our enrollment is up over 60 students from the start of last year. We are currently at 1,146, which is six above our projection. We are seeing full buildings and classrooms and the growth that we were expecting in our schools. Even with the COVID impact on enrollment nationally, we are seeing strong numbers.

On the growth front, I want to thank our community for supporting the bond this past May. Our bonds sold in just over two hours and an advantageous market netted Sisters School District just over $39 million dollars to support our projects; the priority being the construction of a new K-5 elementary, which would consolidate our K-12 campus.

Currently, one of our biggest challenges is bus drivers. Those that we have are talented, but we need more to be able to support the full slate of field trips and activities that we want for our students. If you know of anyone that is interested in a permanent position or being a substitute driver, have them contact Kim Henderson at [email protected] or call 541-549-9681.

Curt Scholl

Superintendent Sisters School District

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School Board and masks

To the Editor:

A few of us showed up to the September 8 Sisters School Board meeting, whose concerns were the forcing of our children to wear masks, some were parents, some were grandparents. Some of us chose to not wear masks. When the meeting was due to start the chairman told us we had to have masks on, I said, “No I don’t,” he said, “Yes you do.” I told him, no, there is an Oregon law that states I am in charge of my own health decisions (ORS 127.507) and my health decision is to not wear a mask. So they made a very childish decision and said they would have a half an hour recess, and reconvene later.

What went on where they adjourned? They did it without declaring an executive session, and if they talked at all, then that’s an illegal school board meeting (ORS 192.630). When they came in to reconvene, the whole thing started over again and they told us the governor mandated that we wear masks. I told them, law supersedes the governor’s mandate and the governor cannot make laws.

The whole time, a sheriff’s deputy was standing there in the room. Now, if we were breaking the law, he had every right, and duty, to escort us out of the meeting; he didn’t. He did however ask the person screaming at us within six inches of our faces to leave. When the board saw we would not leave, the chair called for a vote to pass all of the agenda items, with no public discussion, input, or explanations.

This may be legal, but it begs the question, did they talk about taking this action in that back room? And if they did, that was an illegal school board meeting (ORS 192.630). How could they come back and reconvene and vote to pass the entire agenda without having talked about it in the back room?

It appears to me that it may have been an illegal meeting. To not have the meeting was very childish, and it showed no desire on the part of the board to hear the public’s wishes. I repeat, it showed zero desire on the part of the school board to hear the public’s wishes, nor to be heard by the public. Who votes for them again? The public!

Kristy Cooper

s s s

To the Editor:

No, Kristy Cooper, et al, you have zero right to disrupt our school board meeting because you don’t want to wear a mask to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 virus.

Having had the virus yourself, you may not be the person to decide the protective measures for the rest of us! You do have the right to determine your own health measures, but they have apparently not worked for you, so you may not be the best person to decide the protective measures for us and our children.

After 40 years of industrial hygiene and public health work, I can assure you that masks DO protect us from dangerous exposures and harmful materials. Please let our governing officials, school board, and public health professionals do their jobs.

Have a look at the U.S. COVID-19 map and you’ll quickly see the states where people don’t wear proven protection, distance, or get vaccinated.

Joseph Sanders

Certified Industrial Hygienist

Master of Public Health

s s s

America on the wrong course

To the Editor:

I am a veteran of the Vietnam War where we sustained over 59,000 casualties. My father before me was a true World War II army veteran who was a Bronze Star recipient, a war in which we sustained over 400,000 casualties. My grandfather was a World War I veteran, in a war where we sustained 117,000 deaths.

These heroes are a reminder to all Americans why we have a free republic. Our flag represents the republic in which these sacrifices were made and why we don’t now speak German or Japanese.

So now we have a segment of our country that wants to take us back to the ideology of Marx or Lenin or the teachings of social radicals like Cloward and Pevin. For those who want to reverse our progress in race relations by inserting CRT or giving credence to the BLM movement, you have been sold a soft version of that which will certainly destroy all that our dead military members fought for.

Rubbish you say? Then why not do some research on how these theories make children cry in class, are made to feel guilty for no reason, and are the cornerstone of making the building of a socialist country. BLM is a joke. CRT is a delusional socialist agenda and you who believe in it are simply sheep.

Now we have a feckless president who cannot form a sentence, is led by someone behind the scenes who tells him what to say and not say.

We have runaway inflation, high gas prices, a complete disaster leaving Afghanistan, a trail of allies who no longer trust us, a general who is more interested in being woke and committing treason than leading the military.

We have an administration that is replete with coverups and collusion.

China is licking their lips at our new tax hikes so they can once again get American companies to move back to them.

China, Russia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria all inherited billions of dollars of U.S. military equipment.

Oh, that equipment is inoperable or will be obsolete because they can’t get parts you say? Reverse engineering will solve that issue, and the technology we left to them will come back and haunt us for years.

So why this rant? Because I care about the friends who died in vain, the friends who will never know the life they could have had.

Because our forefathers, the true patriots and the sons of liberty who made this great country would be rolling over in their graves to see the chaos of our republic.

I am mad we just lost 13 wonderful men and women service members to the incompetence and outright stupidity of our president.

Say what you will and disagree all you wish, but for those who think we are going in the right direction and are proud of the America we are becoming, I am sorry for you.

I am still hopeful we can turn this around and come together once again and be that republic we once were.

God bless America.

Owen Herzberg

s s s

Sense of community suffering

To the Editor:

As I read through the current issue of The Nugget, I couldn’t help notice that our sense of community here in Sisters has suffered greatly over the last 18 months or so.

Not that it was in great shape before that, but the divisions being sown from our federal and state government institutions had brought us all to a new low.

As I read the story about the disruption of the school board meeting, some of my ancient organizational learning education came to me. I’d just like to endorse the following, by David Korten, one of my teachers, and it seems to me it would be really good if the community could stop going through the public motions of process and start some conversations.

“Most public meetings, although originating from a democratic ideal, serve only to increase our separation from one another.

Agendas and processes try to honor our differences but end up increasing our distance.

They are ‘public hearings’ where nobody is listening and everyone is demanding air time.

Communities aren’t created from such processes — they are destroyed by the increasing fear and separation that these processes engender.

Such public processes also generate the destructive power dynamics that emerge when people feel isolated and unheard.

We don’t need more public hearings.

We need much more public listening, in processes where we come together and commit to staying together long enough to discover those ideas and issues that are significant to each of us.

We don’t have to interpret an event or issue the same, but we do have to share a sense that it is significant.

In our experience, as soon as people realize that others around them, no matter how different, share this sense of significance, they quickly move into new relationships with one another.

They become able to work together, not because they have won anyone over to their view but because they have connected in a deeper place, a place we identify as the organizing center or heart of the community.”

Charlie Stevens

s s s

Protection from growth

To the Editor:

We, the undersigned, have sent the following request to our representatives in Salem: [email protected] and [email protected]v. If you agree with this, we request that you contact the above and give it your support.

We the undersigned from the greater Sisters area request that you introduce legislation to slightly modify the Oregon Land Use Law in order to allow municipalities to protect themselves from industrial and residential development that would threaten to destroy their integrity.

Specifically, we request that a law be drafted that would allow municipalities to reject industrial or residential development within their urban boundaries, even if it conformed to zoning requirements, if it threatens the integrity of the municipality by urban sprawl and significant destruction of the natural environment, traffic paralysis, depletion of the water table and the like.

Without such a law, municipalities like Sisters may be forced to commit suicide by development.

Gary Leiser, Gayla Nelson, Ruth Schaefer, Rick Canter, Candace Terry

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The black abyss

To the Editor:

I agree with Jeff Mackey’s letter to the editor, September 15, “The good old days.” Sadly, they are disappearing now.

Chinese lab created COVID-19, delta variant and Mu viruses forced on the world, forced masks and vaccines endlessly.

We had the worst debacle in history of a withdrawal of troops, Americans, and Afghan interpreters, leaving thousands behind to be murdered or ransomed.

We left behind $85 billion, hundreds of millions of dollars cash, Bagram Air Base to the Chinese military.

We have hundreds of thousands illegal immigrants pouring over southern border every month with no requirement to mask up and get vaccine shot, but Americans required to.

We have $5-7 trillion infrastructure bill in Senate trying to pass?

I would like to challenge every American Christian church every week to pray to God to save this country from falling into the black abyss.

Chet Davis


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