News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor…

Coping with COVID

Editor’s Note: The Nugget will pause letters to the editor on COVID-19-related subjects for a couple of weeks, after this edition. The community needs a cooling-off period. Letters we have been receiving in recent weeks are becoming increasingly personal and hostile, and generate more heat than light.

The subject has been thoroughly addressed from a variety of points of view, and it seems unlikely at this point that the discourse will provide new information or perspectives for readers.

We will revisit this move as the COVID-19 situation evolves in Sisters and Central Oregon.

Jim Cornelius


s s s

To the Editor:

To prevent further spread of the coronavirus, we should require everyone to get fully vaccinated (including a possible third dose) — unless exempted by a sincerely held religious belief or medical condition. We should write to our legislators and executives at all levels of government.

Alvin Blake

s s s

To the Editor:

A letter in The Nugget stated 358 children in the USA died of COVID-19 January 2020-July 2021. Inaccurately, the letter said none of those deaths were in Oregon. Furthermore, it is not correct that Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS 127.507) gives Oregon citizens the right of mask refusal. The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and ORS provide clarity.

OHA defines children/pediatrics as those not yet 18 years old. CDC includes age 18. CDC reported from January 4, 2020 to October 2, 2021 there were a total of 587 deaths of children from COVID-19; 181 aged 0 - 4 years and 406 aged 5 - 18. OHA reported three pediatric deaths; April 26, 2020 to September 12, 2021.

Importantly, both CDC and OHA report a marked increase in hospitalizations of children ages 0-5 years from August to early September 2021. OHA reports the highest number of COVID cases for children are in Grant, Harney, and Jefferson counties. Of the 334,969 cases reported in Oregon to date, 18,044 (5.4 percent) have been hospitalized, and 3,823 (1.1 percent) have died. Lucky us.

Under the doctrine of in loco parentis, schools and teachers are responsible for and have authority over the safety and health of children — like requiring masks.

ORS Chapter 127 is titled “Powers of Attorney; Advance Directives for Health Care; Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment Registry; Declarations for Mental Health Treatment; Death with Dignity.”

ORS 127.505 is titled “Definitions for ORS 127.505 to 127.660.” Definition (9): “‘Health care’ means diagnosis, treatment or care of disease, injury and congenital or degenerative conditions, including the use, maintenance, withdrawal or withholding of life-sustaining procedures and the use, maintenance, withdrawal or withholding of artificially administered nutrition and hydration.”

Therefore, when ORS 127.507 states, “Capable adults may make their own health care decisions,” it has absolutely nothing to do with one’s right, or not, to don a mask. It means if one is in the midst of a personal health crisis requiring a life-threatening decision to be made and one is also capable of making that decision, then ORS 127.507 protects that person from others making that decision for them.

What allows the mask-less to be so is that there are no “teeth” in the mandate to wear masks; no punishment. One can choose not to wear a mask, but then the school district has the legal right to add teeth: refuse the mask-less admittance, eject them from the premises, and/or fine the mask-less. For the same reason it is not acceptable to scream “FIRE” in a theater, one is not allowed to put others’ children at risk during a pandemic.

Susan Cobb

s s s

To the Editor:

In her letter to the editor of September 29, Mary Chaffin is obviously frustrated with the effect of COVID-19 and that people are not complying with her belief that taking the shot is the only solution according to science.

She claims people can safely take the vaccine and that is true. Does that mean in reality there are no side effects and/or unknown long-term side effects? What happened to “my body my choice” or “it’s between me and my doctor and family.”

If you are vaccinated, protected, and also wear a mask, where is the logic that somehow a person who has natural immunity is a danger to you?

In going to the link she referenced (concerning misinformation) I looked for her idea that The Nugget should adopt the approach taken by the Malheur Enterprise and “name and shame those who do so.” It may be there but I didn’t see those words “name and shame.” In my opinion it’s a dangerous “woke” slippery slope.

So who is the arbiter of truth — Don Lemon, WHO, Biden, Pelosi, Fauci, or Governor Brown? People on all sides of the argument are concerned or scared and don’t agree on what “science” or “data” to believe. Therefore, sticking with the freedom to choose however your conscience leads you should be respected at this point.

Somehow, I can’t stop believing that the whole truth is tied to following the money.

Jeff Mackey

s s s


To the Editor:

Clarification of my letter to the editor on October 6: Although Thomas Jefferson did indeed coin the term “Separation of Church and State” in his early writings, the phrase does not ultimately appear in the final ratified text of the Bill of Rights. I apologize for any confusion this caused.

Sharon Booth

s s s

Conspiracy Theory Mom

To the Editor:

I just read some back issues of The Nugget, and laughed when I read the article regarding the conspiracy theory mom. This generation has grown up with spy novels and action movies to guide our beliefs and thoughts!

So the question is: how does one discern between conspiracy theory and truth? Objective evidence. Obviously, conspiracy mom’s beliefs and fears did not produce evidence of her theory. In fact, she started from her fears and looked for facts that confirmed her fears: a “communist” gathering next door turned out to be a Tupperware party. It’s one thing to accuse someone of being Marxist and another thing completely when they claim to be Marxist.

Several weeks ago I wrote an article on CRT and its influence in the country, especially in the Portland schools.

With a 700-word allotment in the guest column The Nugget had to edit out the researched websites.

One site I did not include because it does not acknowledge genuine challenges people of color experience and I believe is unfairly lopsided, however it does document names and places and activities which are taking place in Portland schools which does not create human flourishing.

The author risks being sued for defamation and misrepresentation if false.

I’d like to list a couple of references here while you do further research.

Thanks for including Conspiracy Theory Mom in the guest column! I appreciate others’ points of view.

Rufo, C. F. (2021, June 13). The child soldiers of Portland. City Journal. Retrieved October 7, 2021, from

Ball, J. (2020, September 23). A short history of black lives matter. The Real News Network. Retrieved October 7, 2021, from

Wikimedia Foundation. (2021, September 18). Struggle session. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 7, 2021, from

Janie Martin

s s s

Houseless solutions

To the Editor:

It may be easy for someone who is decently well off to say, “let’s keep emotions out of this conversation.” Tell that to someone who has been living out of a tent in the freezing cold.

What it really comes down to is how much do people actually care to fix this problem? I’m convinced that most people don’t care enough until it threatens themselves.

Many hardworking Americans can barely even afford to live in Central Oregon anymore. And it’s not just a problem in this area, this problem is affecting us nationwide.

Many lower class/young people are likely to no longer even be able to afford to live in this area pretty soon. This is a time we desperately need real solutions. We need people to stop thinking the ways they always have and to start thinking outside of the box.

As rent is increased for many of the apartments in this area, typically to $100 or more per year, how does anyone simply nod their head and think that is OK? It’s not. Many economists find that even when inflation does cool down, that doesn’t mean that rent is going back down.

That has serious implications for millions of people at our current inflation trajectory. Most people I know are barely keeping up with it as it is. Many people I know are resorting to living in vehicles and their car payment is now the new rent. The fact is that the cost of living is literally outpacing the wages of a regular person in America.

One idea that should be strongly considered in the face of this issue is Universal Basic Income (UBI). The idea is that every single American would unconditionally receive a sum of money each month to help form a baseline starting point. Many have suggested $1,000 a month, other towns in America right now are running trials giving out around $500 per month. The taxes to fund such a program would be specifically aimed primarily at huge corporate entities making billions — companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google which are currently using loopholes to get out of paying their fair share.

The findings from UBI trials in other towns are very promising, and it’s been shown to be extremely good for the local economy. Aside from pure economic value, the impact it has on people’s lives is incredible. Just think of how much a financial safety net for society would help people who are currently houseless. That’s a real solution. Cash.

I would encourage the City of Sisters to look into the possibility of being a part of one of these trials. Many of the current trials are donor-funded and they are being used as research to see what the effects of UBI would be on the nation. UBI is a pro-capitalist program that still allows America to function as the capitalist country that it is, but from a more human-centered perspective. Read about it, consider it. It’s an actual solution. ?

Andrew Roe

s s s

Flag etiquette

To the Editor:

While there is diversity in our country and community, there is one thing many US citizens agree, this country was founded on the principles of natural rights that include: the right to property, the right to question the government, and the right to have free and independent thought. The Declaration of Independence was established with consideration to these natural rights. Many who still respect this principle also believe in the United States of America, in its republic, one NATION under God with liberty and justice for all. The United States flag represent these principles, rights. and the people of this great country.

Many including myself are concerned with some issues happening in today’s government and political world. Recently I noticed a local resident flying an American Flag upside down. The United States Flag Code expresses the idea concisely, stating that a flag should never be flown upside-down except under one condition, being in some serious trouble. An upside-down flag is a signal of dire distress, in an instance of extreme danger to life or property.

Perhaps the individual who has chosen to fly the flag upside-down is actually troubled by dire distress facing the economics of the United States, state of this government, climate change of the entire planet? For whatever reason this individual has chosen to express their free speech right, to fly the American flag upside-down for a less obvious issue in this manner is actually reckless and disrespects many aspects of residents at large including the veterans in this community who serve(d) this country.

I hope a true patriot would consider the ramification of claiming dire distress in your community where new neighbors are moving in, others are trying to sell, and prospective buyers see the upside-down flag. This action is insulting to Americans and America. No matter your status in this county; legal or illegal, civilian or veteran, race, gender or creed, you have freedoms and liberties that we all should respect and be thankful for.

As a retired Navy veteran serving my country for 22 years, my flag flies proudly, out of respect for those friends who returned permanently wounded, and those who never made it back. It flies proudly for all who gave up portions of their life so that others could enjoy the freedoms of this country. It is my hope that eventually, everything will be all right.

Additional flag etiquette can be found at

Bill Anttila


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