News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor…

Vaccine injury commentary

To the Editor:

I was aghast when I read columnist Bill Bartlett’s two “Commentary” pieces, “Seeking to solve a health mystery” and “Controversy in ‘vaccine injury’ reporting.” I am very sympathetic to the health challenges that Sheryl Reuttgers has endured and to her and her husband’s desire to get answers to their many questions.

But Senator Ron Johnson, whose counsel, Bartlett approvingly notes, the Reuttgers have shared with others, is not a reliable source of factual information. Bartlett’s comment that “Johnson … has taken several politically controversial positions” is far short of the whole truth. In fact, Senator Johnson is well known for repeatedly spreading false information about COVID and the vaccine. (“Four Pinocchios for Ron Johnson’s campaign of vaccine misinformation,” The Washington Post and “Johnson pushes Ivermectin and vaccine conspiracies despite federal warning,” Wisconsin Examiner.)

Being sympathetic to the Reuttgers’ plight does not mean one has to buy in to the conspiracy theories peddled by Senator Johnson.

Likewise, Bartlett’s description of the recent opposition to booster shots voiced by two former FDA scientists (which he hyperbolically describes as a “scathing critique”) is also very misleading. He states: “This [article] further fuels the debate already raging over masking and employer vaccine mandates.” In fact, the scientists’ article does no such thing. Instead, the authors argue, “The vaccines that are currently available are safe, effective, and save lives,” and assert, “The limited supply of these vaccines will save the most lives if made available to people who are at appreciable risk of serious disease and have not yet received any vaccine.”

The scientists’ position is based on their judgment that, “Even if boosting were eventually shown to decrease the medium-term risk of serious disease, current vaccine supplies could save more lives if used in previously unvaccinated populations than if used as boosters in vaccinated populations.”

There is nothing in this article that calls into question masking or vaccine mandates. (“Departing FDA officials, WHO leaders argue against broad rollout of COVID-19 booster shots,” BioPharma Dive.)

Bartlett’s articles leave the reader with a very misleading and false picture of what the science is regarding the vaccines. Misinformation, even labeled as “commentary” and not “reporting,” is dangerous and harms everyone, not just those who will now feel justified in refusing vaccines. When people who can safely take the vaccine refuse to do because of this kind of misinformation, they end up clogging our hospitals needlessly, and people who urgently need treatment are turned away.

Maybe it will be your husband who has a heart attack, your wife who is in a serious car crash, or your child who develops acute appendicitis who will need that hospital bed. Instead of disseminating misinformation, The Nugget should adopt the approach taken by the Malheur Enterprise and name and shame those who do so (

Mary Chaffin

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Keep Sisters’ skies dark

To the Editor:

I am just about to leave Sisters from a four-day stay, and I am very distressed.

Four friends and I have been coming every September for years for astronomy and stargazing. We love that Sisters is a dark sky community. Imagine our dismay when the entire FivePine Campus is brightly illuminated from dusk to dawn. These are some of the brightest lights we have experienced, and there isn’t even a downward shield.

This may sound trivial to others, but your town is growing rapidly. If this disregard is allowed now, you may find it near-impossible to control in the future.

Sisters is a gem! The dark skies designation attracts people near and far.

I called to express my distress to the City and felt pushed off.

I am writing to you, city people of Sisters; please require your businesses to adhere to the current code for nighttime lighting.

Marcia Cooper.

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Political anger

To the Editor:

Real story not real names.

My best friend died last week. Mike and I first met in 1955 when we were in the fourth grade [and] we maintained that friendship until his death Sunday, September 19.

This letter isn’t about Mike, it’s about allowing political anger to inject itself into relationships, causing hardships between loved ones. Hearing about his death today brought a single thought to my mind — it reminded me that I haven’t talked to him in over three months. Why? Because Mike was one of these Trump lovers where Trump could do no wrong. I have always despised Trump but admittedly defended most of his policies. I was an outspoken critic of Trump the bully; I despised him for so many reasons but I didn’t hate him.

After 67 years of friendship with Mike, he blocked me out of his life over political anger, caused by my not giving 100-percent devotion to Trump.

I suddenly woke up to the thought that I have other very close friends and relatives that have chosen to distance me from their lives because we don’t agree politically. I first heard of Mike’s death from my brother. I immediately thought something was wrong with either his wife, Jane, or son Bill, both of whom have removed me from their guest list. Why? Because of political anger.

A death makes it impossible for us to either apologize or accept an apology from the inherent effects of political anger. My daughter, who I love more than life itself, and her husband, who I love and highly respect, have fallen to the effects of political anger. My brother George, his son Chris and beautiful wife and daughter have also turned their back on me because of political anger.

I have reached out to my brother several times but his hate toward my beliefs have prevailed for any kind of retrieval for a viable relationship.

My best friend died last week, and I can only hope he didn’t take that anger with him. Life is way too short for this BS. It shouldn’t be about who’s right or wrong, it should be about what’s right. Use your common sense as a guide, maintain your friendships by appreciating who you’re talking to, but most of all don’t take that anger with you.

Terry Coultas

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Christmas programs

To the Editor:

I know it’s only the end of September, and many of us think it’s really too early to even think about Christmas — but it’s time to start the preparations for the annual Kiwanis Food Share and the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department’s Toys for Children.

The Food Bank and the Fire Department will start giving out applications starting Thursday. It is our hope to provide gift certificates to provide a good Christmas Dinner to everyone and toys and presents for children under the age of 17.

This is a Christmas gift from the whole community of Sisters. All you need to do is pick up an application, fill it out, and return it by the date indicated. The certificates will be mailed or if needed, picked up at the Food Bank before Christmas. The Fire Department will give the toys out on the day indicated on the form. It’s time to share the Joy of Christmas.

Shirley Miller

Chairman Kiwanis Food Share

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Masks and schools

To the Editor:

I very much appreciated your editorial likening the blocking of traffic to the “disruptive behavior” not suitable in a classroom modeled by a handful of attendees at recent School Board meetings. Thank you for attempting to assure everyone that it is OK to disagree, but it is not OK to throw a tantrum preventing our underappreciated volunteers from doing their jobs.

I then found it quite ironic when I got to the letter from Kristy Cooper, one of said attendees, accusing the School Board of having an “illegal school board meeting” if “they talked at all” during the “childish” recess. I have so many issues with her accusation.

My understanding is that the recess was an olive branch offered by the School Board allowing Mrs. Cooper and anyone else choosing not to wear a mask the time to drive home and participate in the meeting over Zoom. Mrs. Cooper believes the School Board should have the desire to hear the public’s wishes, which I guess means she wanted to speak during the Community Comments agenda item, the only time members of the audience are allowed to speak. If she wanted her “wishes heard” the Board generously and unnecessarily provided her an opportunity during that recess. Nothing childish about that.

Mrs. Cooper, like all constituents, can share her wishes with the Board and administration via emails, phone calls, letters, carrier pigeon… so many more respectful and appropriate options. Her family’s beliefs on masks are well documented in the August 4 meeting minutes so what reason other than blocking traffic is there for what happened on September 8?

I believe what is childish, besides the obvious disregard of the request to wear a mask is accusing the Board of breaking public meeting laws by “talk[ing] at all.” Mrs. Cooper’s lack of attendance at School Board meetings prior to the pandemic is clearly showing.

Over the last 10 years I likely have attended more Sisters School District board meetings than any other resident who was not required to be there, save for Steve and Novella Swisher.

The Board members receive the details on the Consent Agenda prior to the meeting and while they can ask a question, in the 50-plus meetings I’ve attended I can’t remember a single time a Board member has needed to.

There is no audience discussion as part of the consent agenda.

Board members would not have had to “meet in private for the purpose of deciding on or deliberating toward a decision” (the wording from your beloved ORS 192.630) to move and pass the agenda.

What are you attempting to do by throwing out unwarranted accusations? The only potential outcome I see is your false claims rile up others that don’t know the facts, and cause a waste of time at the least and taxpayer dollars spent on gratuitous legal fees at the most. Please stop taking time, money, and attention away from my kids and their education.

I believe the public’s wishes were heard in May when they chose not to elect your husband to the School Board.

Regan Roberts

s s s

To the Editor:

Hi! I’m Amy Larrabee, one of the “arrogant, belligerent women who defied the Board’s request to wear a mask” and a part of the “small ignorant minority that has disrupted their neighbors’ right to oversee their children’s education!” said Donald Harner in his letter to the editor.

While I am not surprised, I’m disappointed in Donald Harner and Charlie Kanzig’s lack of ability to report truthful news.

Donald Harner, ever once was I or the other unmasked people belligerent.

Not one of us were angry or raised our voices in an aggressive way.

We do have a legal right to refuse to wear a mask (ORS 127.507) which is an Oregon state law that supersedes the mandate by our tyrannical governor, but implying that we are not being responsible and doing our best to be vaccinated and wear a mask, is merely your opinion.

During the Board’s recess, it was calm chitchat.

Why try to make the readers think otherwise? There were two sheriffs inside standing close to us, don’t you think if the unmaskers were belligerent, the sheriff would’ve asked us to leave? Wasn’t it you, that was escorted out of the building by the sheriff and not allowed to return?

I am a Christian, attend a local church, and DO NOT live in fear. “The good Lord brought me into this world and He will take me out when He’s ready and I personally don’t care how He does it” was my quote to you, there was never an implication that it would be OK if the Lord took my children away!

How many kids have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began? January 2020-July 29, 2021, 358 children have died nationwide, none have been in the state of



Murphy researched every death and 100 percent had underlying conditions (link below).

I want the truth to be heard but ultimately, I want to give hope! If you or a loved one is sick with COVID-19, email me, [email protected]! I follow an alliance of doctors who have vowed to put patients over profits.

They have prescribed preventative and treatment protocols (

Keep smiling, keep hugging, keep loving.

God bless you all! Link of scientific research to back up my belief in why masking in general and specifically masking our kids, is not OK!

Amy Larrabee

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