Letters to the Editor 3/01/2022


Last updated 3/1/2022 at Noon

Protecting water

To the Editor:

In Central Oregon, we pay a lot of attention to water — water we drink, water used in agriculture, water used for recreation, water that provides and sustains the habitat for our fish and wildlife.

But Kurt Schrader doesn’t share our values when it comes to water. He voted four times to eliminate the Clean Water Rule that protects the waterways that feed into the drinking water of one in three Americans, as well as the streams, headwaters, wetlands, and other water bodies that serve as habitat for wildlife, reduce flooding risk, and naturally filter pollution. Instead, Schrader casts votes that serve the interests of his corporate PAC donors. One of Schrader’s long-time donors is Koch Industries, which has been fined repeatedly for violating state

and federal environmental laws.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner is a pragmatic progressive who’s running against Schrader in newly redrawn Congressional District 5. She’s never taken corporate PAC money. Instead, she’s driven 45,000 miles listening to what ordinary Oregonians have to say. She’s worked tirelessly to help communities recover from the devasting 2020 wildfires and has been a leader in drought mitigation. That’s why she wholeheartedly supports reasonable environmental protections to safeguard our water.

Fifty-three percent of the voters in CD5 are new. All of us in this new CD5 have a fresh chance to make a change in the May 17 Democratic primary — we can choose a candidate who shares our values regarding water and other natural resources instead of one who will vote for

the interests of his donors.

Mary Chaffin

Another secret socialist

To the Editor:

In response to Kris Calvin’s letter to the Editor published in the February 9 edition, I would like to express my desire to join the Sisters Socialist Society and commune with fellow socialists and RINOs on a weekly basis.

I find, as a recent transplant to Central Oregon, that I am unsure how to interact with people in the community because so much of who I am is a person concerned about her neighbors and affairs of our states and country. I am worried about the evil street we are heading down.

Now we have our European allies threatened by a force that we have not seen since World War II. Are we so far away from that history that we cannot remember the tales from our relatives who fought to save the world from tyranny? Are we so blind to the hatred that grew from that awful time? Why are there groups of citizens that want to remove this history from our children’s textbooks and not pass it forward to the future generations? I pray for what is happening in Ukraine; I support our country’s decision not to engage in a third world war, but I am not insensitive to how easily we could find ourselves repeating what our past generations fought so hard to prevent.

So, yes, include me in your meetings and I will bring the cookies.

Laura Smith

Insurance coverage woes

To the Editor:

The standards used by insurance companies to judge your home’s worthiness for coverage are flawed, and apparently not as precise as Bill Bartlett’s article (“Fires imperil homeowner’s insurance in Sisters Country,” The Nugget, February 23, page 1) would suggest.

After receiving a notice praising me for my attention to a phantom letter — no such letter was ever received — purporting to outline the fire-hazard issues with our homeowner’s coverage, our insurance company followed up by telling me they would be sending an “inspector” to our property. I suggested that making an appointment was an appropriate way to do that, but the insurance company is under the impression I work for them and so negotiations failed.

Several weeks later a 19-year-old raver with ruined credentials showed up at my front door — unannounced.

What followed from that unfortunate collision of interests was a letter declaring that it was likely our coverage would not be renewed.

I asked repeatedly for a copy of the “inspection” report, and to this day have never seen one.

What I did receive was a series of photographs taken by the hapless Pinkerton who, admittedly, was probably not on his A game after the long drive over from Mumbles, Oregon.

These photos were a master-class lesson in intense myopathy: the fall wreath on our front door, two chickens staring at a bug, and a very odd collage of the upper third of several ponderosa trees.

Each of the photos was captioned “brush,” and indicated a cardinal direction.

Apparently the Pinkerton is firm in his belief that south is north, east is west, and the bovine intellects at the underwriter’s office agree — which probably shouldn’t surprise anybody.

Our issue was ultimately resolved by a letter from the fire marshall stating that our home and property meets or exceeds all standards set by the Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District. But the experience is a warning shot across the bows of local homeowners. The inability to acquire or renew insurance coverage will ultimately have a deleterious impact on real estate values, and may ultimately prevent the ability to sell your home — a thing many are considering as Sisters continues its relentless campaign to pack 20 pounds of crap into a five-pound bag.

Craig Rullman

Support for McLeod-Skinner

To the Editor:

The first words in the Constitution of the United States are “We the people.” What it most certainly does not say is “we the pharmaceutical industry.” Unfortunately, Kurt Schrader, who is running for reelection in Oregon’s 5th Congressional District, which now includes Central Oregon, takes this oligarchic approach to politics. However, Jamie McLeod-Skinner is challenging this incumbent, and unlike Schrader, she does not seek support from these powerful corporations.

Let’s start with the facts. During 2021 and 2022, Kurt Schrader’s top contributor was the pharmaceutical industry, at a grand total of $92,500 so far, as reported by opensecrets.org.

Furthermore, as reported by outlets last September, Shrader opposed an opportunity to reduce drug prices through reconciliation. As an alternative, he proposed a separate bill, which hasn’t moved forward since. Coincidence? I think not.

As someone who depends on prescription medication for my well-being, I was heartbroken by this. That being said, I am not alone in my frustration, as I am one of many who pay ludicrous prices for prescription drugs that yield the pharmaceutical industry’s absurd profits.

However, Jamie Mcleod-Skinner, in her past campaigns, has never taken a single dollar of money from the pharmaceutical industry. She is continuing this pledge with her current campaign, and with her candidacy we have a chance for change.

To my fellow Central Oregonians, if we wish our government to represent us and not big-pharma, unseating a politician like Schrader and electing a grassroots candidate like McLeod-Skinner is a first step. If you are registered to vote in the Democratic primary on May 17, let’s make our nation more representative of us and vote for Jamie McLeod-Skinner.

Harrison Sky Wiltse


To the Editor:

Congratulations to Sisters High School and everyone who had a hand in producing Oklahoma. It was a fantastic performance with a large cast. Only one down side: A lot of the dialogue was unclear to understand. Even though they were miked the words did not come through clearly.

What an undertaking. Well done!

Diana Raske and Al Lovgren

Primary voting

To the Editor:

Vote in May because your vote counts! Unless you are not registered as a Republican (R) or a Democrat (D); in which case, your voting power is limited. May primary elections include partisan and nonpartisan open seats. Only partisan seats have a primary; candidates of the same primary party compete to be the one D or R candidate in the November election. Nonpartisan seats generally have one-and-done elections.

No matter your party affiliation, nonpartisan candidates are on your May ballot per your voting districts. Sisters’ redefined districts are Congressional District 5 (used to be in CD2) and State House District 53 (no longer in HD54). Sisters is still in State Senate District 27. Each of these district seats is partisan.

If not registered R or D, you will not have any partisan candidates on your May ballot. This is because Oregon has closed primaries. Thus, you will have no vote in deciding which D or R candidate is on your ballot in November. Understandably, you may not like either party. Unfortunately, these are the only parties in primaries and their candidates usually get elected and then, make decisions impacting all voters.

What to do? You can temporarily change your party affiliation before May and change it back before November. This expands your voting power and actually reduces electing fringe officials into office because historically, it’s the most incentivized/fringe voters who vote in May primaries. Voters have until April 26 to register or to change registration information for the May primary.

Susan Cobb


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