Letters to the Editor…
Last updated 11/16/2021 at Noon
To the Editor:
It was so heartening to read Jonathan M. Burks’ Patriot’s Pen Award essay in The Nugget. His essay had tremendous insight on what it means to be a true American patriot.
Any serious student of U.S. history will tell you that we became the United States of America against all odds. And I can see our Founding Fathers’ spirit of independence, fortitude, and responsibility is still alive in our young people! Many people could learn a lot from his essay.
As a first-generation American and vet, I have always loved the rich history of our amazing and unique country. Both my parents were orphaned due to the ravages of World War II in Europe. They immigrated to this country in the early 1960s, and always had a deep love and appreciation for our unique form of democracy. As Jonathan so eloquently articulated, “No matter where you come from, no matter who you are, you decide what you want to do, and who you want to be.”
This is exactly what my parents taught me and my siblings — you are the creators of your life. It’s a message of independence, fortitude, and responsibility. Risking their lives, our Founding Fathers communicated this same powerful message hundreds of years ago. Yes, our unique American spirit is still alive and well through a long and unbroken chain of true patriots.
Thank you, Jonathan.
To the Editor:
Sisters area Veterans and family from VFW, American Legion, and Band of Brothers got together at Takoda’s on November 11, to eat pizza and share memories of military service and how it has impacted their lives.
There was a strong sense of patriotism, emotion, and also serious concerns regarding the tumultuous times we are living through. Representation from wars in Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East were represented. Veterans of World War II (The Greatest Generation) are few and were unable to attend.
Veterans Day and Memorial Day are essential reminders of who to thank and honor for the freedoms we enjoy like nowhere else in the world. Just a few reminders: It’s the soldier, not the reporter, who gives us freedom of the press; it’s the soldier, not the minister, who gives us freedom of religion; and it’s the soldier, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. And while the protestor kneels or burns the American flag in disrespect, it’s the soldier whose coffin is draped by the American flag that gave them that right.
To the Editor:
First, let me start by thanking all of our Veterans for their service to our country.
Next, 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, handwashing, and mask-wearing protocols that have been put in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Although we have had some individual quarantining happening, we have avoided a “school-based outbreak,” which would cause a pause for an entire school.
Additionally, five of our fall teams qualified for the State playoffs. I want to commend our boys and girls soccer teams, boys and girls cross-country teams, and our volleyball team for all qualifying for the State playoffs. Further congratulations to our volleyball and boys cross-country teams for their second-place finishes at State.
We continue planning for our new elementary school. On Wednesday, November 17, at 6 p.m. at the commons of the elementary school, the District will host a community information and feedback session on the facility and building plans. Please join us to give feedback on the plans for our new K-5 elementary school.
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.
Another challenge is having enough substitutes this fall. If you have a bachelor’s degree and would like to substitute in the district, please contact Joe Hosang at [email protected] for more information.
Sisters School District Superintendent
Together for Children
To the Editor:
A big thank-you to The Nugget for the Partners in Giving section of the November 3 edition.
Being connected with the not-for-profit Together for Children for over 30 years, I know firsthand the value of the contributions of the many organizations mentioned. Together for Children, a program that serves families with children birth through 3 years old, came into existence in 1988 as a pilot project funded by the state of Oregon.
In 2003, due to the then economic environment, the legislature dropped the funding. Overnight, just like now during the pandemic, it appeared Together For Children would have to close their doors.
The state funding to serve this organization went from $62,000 biannually to zero dollars. Despite this, they are still serving families 18 years later, thanks to many of the organizations you highlighted; chief among them is the Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration. Every year, for 14 years, the Country Fair, put on by church members, raised upward to $21,000, every penny going to youth-serving agencies in Sisters. This year and last, COVID-19 has not allowed the fair to happen. In 2021, appeals to the congregation to fund this outreach still amounted to over $18,000. Together for Children is indebted to their generosity.
Up until the pandemic made meeting in person difficult, Together for Children was still offering play labs for parents and children, home visits, self-care nights, and parent education. When virus restrictions are lifted, they will again be there for families; helping parents understand brain development, early childhood stages, and providing input on solving the many issues that arise during the toddler year. If interested in knowing more about the program please visit our website at http://www.together-for-children.org.
A big part of being able to continue reaching out to families will be because of the generosity of many that were mentioned in the article.
Again, thank you for recognizing those that help the rest of us. We, as many, would not be here without them.
Public records files and forensic audits
To the Editor:
Since the 2020 election, many constituents in Oregon have written to our local elected (or appointed) officials, local governing bodies and our executive branch about public records files and forensic audits. This includes our voting system and voting integrity.
The executive branch proclaims to be transparent with public records files, but they are not. I’ve been on my own personal journey for 15+ years in dealing with Oregon’s government and judicial systems to no avail in accessing what I have a legal right to. In Oregon, they simply don’t comply to requests or ORS (Oregon laws). Just look up articles on why Ginger McCall resigned in September, 2019 from her position as head of the Public Records Advisory Board.
Recently, State Rep. Vikki Breeze Iverson (Prineville) requested forensic audits of the last election. She asked cooperation from all 36 county clerks and Secretary of State (SOS) Shemia Fagan to do forensic audits of the 2020 election and she listed many legitimate reasons why this should happen. It was rejected by our SOS Fagan. This should be a conflict of interest in my opinion, as Shemia Fagan was a candidate on the ballot running against a much more experienced candidate, Sen. Kim Thatcher.
It shouldn’t matter what political party one is registered to; every Oregonian should support forensic audits of our public records and elections. We the people need to have faith in our government and that our vote is legally counted for the candidates and the bills we support.
Please help by writing to our county clerk, county commissioners, and to our SOS.
Deschutes County Clerk:
Steve Dennison, email: [email protected]
Jefferson County Clerk: Kate Zemke,
email: [email protected]
Linn County Clerk: Steven Druckenmiller, email: [email protected]
SOS Fagan: email [email protected]
To the Editor:
For this writer, the Sisters Planning Commission public hearing on the Woodlands project on November 10 was a depressing experience. The City’s planning department had already approved the project pending modifications and now it remains for the Planning Commission to rubberstamp it.
Despite the self-promoting platitudes of the developers about their love for Sisters, it was obvious that they will destroy the “woodlands” and their habitat. Some trees will be spared, and others will be planted, but the forest will nevertheless be destroyed. So much for the City’s environmental concerns.
It was also obvious that this project will result in a gargantuan traffic fiasco. The developers admit that they have no solution for this and have thrown it into the City’s lap. Not their problem! As for water, a City staff member stated that it was not a concern. He claimed our aquifer was “robust” but admitted that the extent of the aquifer was unknown. My understanding is that it takes two years for water to reach the aquifer from the mountains. We are in the middle of a drought. In two years, the state of the aquifer could be much different. The developers have no way to replenish their depletion of it.
Surprisingly, there was no discussion in the hearing of the ripple effect of the scale of this project. It is large enough to become an incorporated town of its own. The citizens of greater Sisters will be shocked when the population of the city skyrockets by more than 30 percent, changing its character forever. Try to imagine the pressure this will put on public services, including public safety, schools, and infrastructure. We will need a larger city hall with more staff. Who will pay for this? Are we to assume that property taxes and fees from the project will cover such projected expenses? This would be naive.
Finally, among their platitudes, the developers claimed that they undertook this project out of concern for the future of Sisters and to provide “affordable” housing for those who wish to live here. This is nonsense. They undertook this project to make a huge profit no matter what the consequences for the City. When asked by a Council member what housing units would sell for, they replied that the price would depend on the market and there was nothing to stop investors from buying units and flipping them.
Does the City Council have the courage to reject this catastrophe or at least drastically reduce its impact?
Continue to stuff the truck
To the Editor:
I’m writing in response to an article in the November 10 edition of The Nugget. I am a member of Sisters Kiwanis and a volunteer at the Food Bank almost every Wednesday and Thursday for over 10 years now. I’ve been there through some pretty lean times and now, some pretty prosperous times.
The Kiwanis board decided rather than receiving the donations we usually get for the Food Bank, because we are so fortunate at this time, to have the donations go to other worthy causes. Because we know, without a doubt, if the Food Bank is in need, the community has always came through with help. Every year through some lean times, I saw the miracle happen. I remember one year in particular, when our operating funds were pretty low, there were some that were worried. I told them to just sit back and watch the miracle of Christmas happen. It does every year. Saying that, one of the reasons for the letter.
It seems the article has caused a problem with Ray’s annual “Stuff the Truck.” Some people think since we have an abundance, we don’t need the program. But, through the efforts of Ray’s and Oliver Lemon’s, we don’t have to spend as much of our capital every month on food. And maybe for the folks who don’t have $20,000 to donate, but have $20, it gives them an opportunity to help support the Food Bank. For those that may only have a couple dollars and can contribute to Oliver Lemon’s “Food for February” also have an opportunity to be part of this needed service.
We as a community should be proud of what we do to help others. And I think both of these programs give the opportunity for anyone who wishes to, to be involved. I know we have plenty now, but we all know that could change.
Also funded by community donations to the Food Bank is the “Christmas Food Share and Gifts” in partnership with Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire Department. Both organizations are working to make this happen. This is for anyone, single people or families, in Sisters School District, who qualify to receive certificates from Food4Less and Oliver Lemon’s, to provide a Christmas dinner and gifts for children. Applications are available at the fire hall or Food Bank. We are so fortunate to live where the Spirit of Christmas is alive through the whole year.
Wishing all an early Merry Christmas,
Shirley Miller, Sisters Kiwanis
Get involved in library design
To the Editor:
Last November, the citizens of Deschutes County approved a $195 million bond measure to fund the design and construction of an approximate 100,000-square-foot central library, to double the square footage of the Redmond Library, and to expand and update existing libraries in Downtown Bend, East Bend, La Pine, Sisters, and Sunriver.
The Deschutes County Library Board has hired architects and is now beginning the process to design these projects. We want you to be a part of this process and participate in the design of our libraries.
Go to the Deschutes Public Library website at http://www.deschuteslibrary.org and click on the “Be a Part of the Story” link at the top of the first page. There you will find videos for these projects, a detailed PDF called “Conceptual Designs Report,” and explanations of the conceptual designs of each library. I would encourage each of you to watch the videos, particularly the Sisters and Central Library videos, and click on the “Give Us Feedback” link to voice your opinions and ideas. Our architectural firm sincerely wants your feedback.
There is also a link for Spanish-speaking library users to view these projects.
You are the users of these libraries, and you know what works best for our community of Sisters and the larger community of Deschutes County.
We are putting the vision into action and it’s exciting. Please go to the Deschutes Library website and see what the future of our libraries looks like and voice your ideas.
Deschutes Public Library Board Member