Letters to the Editor


Last updated 11/10/2021 at Noon

Nonpartisan commissioners

To the Editor:

Many of you have already signed the citizen’s initiative petition to make the Deschutes County commissioner seats and elections nonpartisan. Thank you so much for your support.

We do not have enough signatures and currently are 47 percent of our goal. We want it in the May 2022 election. Unfortunately, citizens’ initiatives can only be signed in person (no e-signature or online allowed). If interested to sign, circulators will be at Paulina Springs Books (PSB) at 252 W. Hood Ave. between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. The bookstore will be fundraising for the Warm Springs Community.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this citizens’ initiative, please go to our webpage http://www.nonpartisan-deschutes.com. In essence the initiative requests that commissioner seats no longer have a primary (like all other elected seats in Deschutes County). Currently, the only seat in our county that has a primary (in which only Republican and Democrat candidates and their registered voters can partake) is that for our county commissioners.

Why are these seats needing a primary when all other county seats do not? Beats me. There is no law that states it has to be this way but we do need a law to change it. We, the citizens, may not write a law but we can ask our county commissioners to write said law, and if we vote yes for this initiative, that is what they would be required by law to do.

We need 6,721 valid signatures. We want to meet the signature deadline, early February, for the May 2022 election, but will continue gathering signatures to assure we meet early September for November 2022 election. Perhaps you’d like to help us by signing and/or by collecting signatures. Come see us at PSB, sign the initiative, and make a donation to Warm Springs. Questions: email [email protected]

Susan Cobb

s s s

ODOT must act on dead trees

To the Editor:

I would like to thank Editor Jim Cornelius for the article dated June 23 titled “ODOT will look into tree die-off along highways,” and the follow-up article dated September 29 titled “ODOT will remove hazard trees along highways.”

As you may recall, ODOT admitted in 2018 to using the now-banned herbicide Perspective along highways to control weeds. It was proved that this herbicide killed 2,000-plus pine trees that needed to be removed between Sisters and Suttle Lake north of town.

I own 200 acres two miles east of town on Highway 126. I have over 20 dead or dying pine trees on my property — all of which are right along the highway. My property has well over 500 pine trees, all of which seem to be healthy. The only dead trees are right along the highway. There are also many dead pine trees south of town on Highway 20. Could it be that the herbicide ODOT sprayed was not just limited to Highway 20 north of town?

After countless calls to various ODOT employees and administrators, I now no longer can get anyone on the phone, and my voice- mail messages go unanswered.

Not only are my dead pine trees a fire hazard to me and my neighbors, but as we know, dead pine trees fall over. Being right along a busy highway, you would think that the risk to life would make these dead trees a top priority.

Not so far.

Dave Helm

s s s

What started Grandview Fire?

To the Editor:

Who, or what, caused the Grandview Fire from July 11 of this year?

Almost immediately we knew when and where it started, and surely by now investigators have figured out how it started. Was it manmade or naturally caused, and, if manmade, what efforts are being made to figure out who did it?

Every morning I am reminded of the damage done to my and my neighbor’s property, and every week I have spent hours cleaning up this damage. It would be nice to at least get some closure to what happened.

Steve Woodside

s s s

Congratulations volleyball team

To the Editor:

To the amazing Sisters Varsity Volleyball team, thank you! Thank you for such an exciting season. Thank you for stepping up when losing your star player to a leg injury early in the season. Thank you for continuing to give it your all on the court every game. You have brought me and many other parents, grandparents, and spectators so much joy watching you.

I know the championship gold slipped away at the last minute, but remember YOU got to play for that title. Others didn’t get there. You played hard against a tough team and earned second place in the state! That is something to be extremely proud of.

We are all so proud of you! There are good teams and then there are great teams; cheers to this great team! No. 2, Greta Davis; No. 1, Bailey Robertson; No. 7, Sydney Myhre; No. 3, Mia Monaghan; No. 8, Maddie Pollard; No. 4, Skylar Hartford; No. 13, Bre White; No. 5, Gracie Vohs; No. 6, Hannah Fendall; No. 9, Anna Landon; No. 11, Gracelyn Myhre.

Cheryl Scheer

s s s

Sisters Woodlands project

To the Editor:

The project to develop the 31 acres of land at 201 N. Pine St., Sisters, for mixed housing and industrial use must be rejected.

This project, which would result in some 359 residential units and 44,000 square feet of commercial and light industrial space, is tantamount to building a small town in the middle of Sisters.

It would dramatically alter, indeed, destroy, the character of the City.

It would fly in the face of certain critical provisions of the City’s master plan.

For example, it would nullify the City’s goal “to conserve, and enhance the quality of the City’s natural and scenic resources; maintain the quality of its air, land, water, and wildlife habitat; and improve community health.”Among other things, the “Woodlands” project would, in fact, eviscerate the woodlands on the acreage and obliterate whatever natural beauty and habitat there are left in the city.

Moreover, the project would inject some 600 to 700 vehicles into the City, with their accompanying pollution.

When these vehicles are combined with those associated with the housing under construction next to Dollar General and from the industries being enticed to move to the lots north of the project, not to mention “normal” traffic through town, the result will be paralysis on the streets.

The fact that the developer is including parking space in the project for the expected vehicles is not a solution.

The problem begins when these vehicles start to move.

Tourists are already complaining about the traffic in Sisters.

Who wants to visit a traffic jam? The Woodlands project will make a mockery of Sisters as a tourist destination.

In addition, and this is extremely important, the development will require an enormous amount of water, which will be extracted from our aquifer. We are in the midst of a drought. The City has had to drill wells to meet water requirements. How will the developer replenish the lost ground water? He can’t. Paying a fee for water is not a solution. The residents of Sisters will pay the real price.

In short, the Woodlands project would be a catastrophe. Its approval would be completely irresponsible if not suicidal for Sisters.

Gary Leiser


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