Letters to the Editor 11/16/2022

 

Last updated 11/15/2022 at Noon



Gender Identity

To the Editor:

Last week my husband, Kris Calvin, submitted an excellent letter to the editor referencing the controversy over nonbinary youth counselors at Camp Tamarack, and I’d like to chime in that I am also extremely proud of our daughter Amity Calvin (she/her pronouns, prefers term daughter).

She came out as gay in college and a few years later, in medical school, shared with us her nonbinary gender identity.

I’ll admit, when she told me she was having top surgery (bilateral mastectomy for the purposes of aligning with gender identity), it gave me pause. It seemed so radical. But that just showed me how strongly she felt about this. Amity would like to add that she is now six weeks post-op, and is ecstatic about her new body. She says she is so grateful to have the privilege to make her body finally fit her identity.

I’ve lived in Sisters for 32 years and remember well the pink balloon tied to the outside of my clinic door after she came into this world. Maybe it’s time to move on to purple or yellow or green balloons.

May Fan, MD

God is not a Republican

To the Editor:

This is a response to the commentary by Bruce Campbell in the November 2 edition.

In his piece, Mr. Campbell was reacting to a letter written by Jeff Mackey. He accuses Mr. Mackey of “cherry picking the Bible,” meaning that he is using verses out of context (according to him), to support his viewpoint.

Mr. Campbell then proceeds to do the very same thing. What I take issue with, however, from Mr. Campbell’s commentary, is that he labels certain Republican politicians and their supporters as false prophets. The implication I get from his comments is that certain Republicans are (or think they are) representatives of God, but in reality, because of their bad behavior, they are really false prophets.

God is not a Republican or a Democrat. He is the Almighty God. To be connected with God, one must submit to him and receive his Spirit (being born again). There are Republicans that have entered into this relationship with him and there are Republicans that haven’t. Party affiliation has nothing to do with where one stands with God.

Policy-wise however, there are in particular two issues in which Republicans tend to agree more with God than do Democrats.

One of these issues is in the legislation (promoted by the Democratic Party) that allows for the killing of unborn babies in their mothers’ wombs.

God’s Word clearly states that life begins in the womb (Ps.

139:13-16).

And God has said that He will judge the shedding of innocent blood.

Republicans, who have taken a stand for life, are in agreement with him.

The second issue is concerning what constitutes a marriage.

The Bible is consistent throughout that God has ordained marriage between a man and a woman.

He even speaks of homosexuality as an abomination.

This is also an area where most Republicans are likely to agree with God.

In conclusion, it seems clear that Mr. Campbell does not understand what biblical prophecy actually is. The false prophets of the Bible are those who claimed to have heard from God and claim to be speaking on behalf of God, but in reality are not. This has nothing to do with selling T-shirts, misusing finances, or expressing controversial political opinions.

Richard McDaniel

Dignity makes a comeback

To the Editor:

I was raised in western Pennsylvania, 20 miles from Youngstown, Ohio. At night the skies over Youngstown would burn orange from the steel mills. Those were prosperous times and, sadly, long gone. My mother was a bartender in a steelworker bar. The guys would come in after their shifts and order Iron City beer. They had the dignity of men who had put in a damned hard day’s work to make sure the American Dream did not elude their families. They were not choirboys, but as my mother always said, “These are good men.”

Another good man and son of the Ohio Valley, Tim Ryan, recently lost his Senate race to J.D. Vance. He had, in many estimations, run one of the best races in the country. Still, he lost, and it had to hurt. Yet these were the words he used in his concession speech: “I have a privilege, right now, a privilege, as someone who was the Democratic nominee, I have the privilege to concede this race to J.D. Vance. Because the way this country operates is that when you lose an election you concede. And you respect, you respect the will of the people.”

That was a dignified speech. Dignity may be one of those things that takes many forms, but you know it when you see it. It could be men showing up every day for hard and exhausting work or a politician who respects the will of the people and concedes a hard loss. I sure hope dignity is making a comeback.

Stella Dean

Reckless development

To the Editor:

I, along with everybody I know, strongly oppose the reckless pace of development in Sisters.

The level of growth we’re witnessing degrades the quality of life, the safety of residents, and the very nature of Sisters. It violates the will of the citizens and indicates no respect for the Sisters Vision process, thus making a mockery of citizen involvement in local decision-making. There seems to be little concern from city officials on the cumulative effects and swelling tide of unpleasant consequences rising from unchecked growth. Sisters does not have the infrastructure for the increased traffic, the increased need for medical care, the demands on water supplies, or evacuation in case of a deadly fire.

I urge the City to reject the entire Sunset Meadows proposal outright. This would send a strong message of respect and understanding to the community and could set a new precedent for consideration of human needs over the business opportunities of developers.

Planning commission members say they are constrained by state land-use laws to approve all these development proposals. If a law threatens to ruin a town, then the responsible thing to do is to challenge that law. I urge the City to show some courage in defying the “growth at all costs” mentality currently on display. I urge the City to go through the necessary procedures to adopt a moratorium on construction of housing developments. I believe there is ample evidence of the detrimental effects of these ongoing projects in our town.

Sisters will never be able to accommodate all the people who would like to live here. No matter how many new residents are added, there will be multitudes more who will feel “left out.” To continue on the current path will be a constant erosion to the livability of Sisters.

Susanna DeFazio

Density in Sisters

To the Editor:

Hello! Is anyone listening?

I’m sure that a great deal of effort has gone into the City’s attempt to grapple with Sisters’ housing dilemma. But I wonder whether any of our decision makers were listening to the hopes and wishes of the majority of respondents to the Sisters Country Visioning Process or the overwhelming opposition to the proposed dense development called Sunset Meadows. As some folks have observed, the name might be more apt for a cemetery, representing the death of Sisters, as we know it.

Clearly, the majority of Sisters’ residents want to preserve the qualities and character that make Sisters unique. Ours is a small town in a magnificent setting with a charming Western-style downtown. Preserving these special qualities is certainly necessary as we embark on a stepped-up effort to promote Sisters as a sustainable tourist destination.

We all understand that it is also desirable to have affordable housing nearby for folks who work in Sisters. But we must avoid ending up with the kind of sterile tenement projects found in larger urban areas. What most of us have demonstrated again and again is that we are opposed to high-density development with little or no open space.

Why not encourage developers to seek land outside the confines of our little town? The remaining available land within our borders is very expensive, thus raising the costs for any builder. Developments on less expensive property could allow for more affordable housing. And, with more room to spread out, that housing could be made truly livable.

Amending our Development Code to allow tiny lots and higher buildings would result in the loss of the very qualities that make Sisters special without ever really providing affordable housing for those in lower income.

To destroy the special ambiance of our town would be akin to killing the goose that lays the golden egg.

While I agree that we need to find a way to provide affordable housing for our current workforce, I also asked myself, “Do we really need to plan for ‘future growth’?”

Are we not already as big as we need to be? Do we really want to become anywhere U.S.A.?

The planning commission will conduct a public hearing on Thursday, November 17, at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting and an opportunity to provide testimony will also be available on Zoom. Meeting information, including the Zoom link and the Planning Commission packet, can be found at http://www.ci.sisters.or.us/meetings.

Suzanne Pepin

No homeless camp at park

To the Editor:

I am writing to express my extreme displeasure with the idea of allowing a winter homeless encampment at Creekside Park in Sisters!

Creekside Park is a “gateway” coming into the city of Sisters and a beautiful testament to our lovely community. The park is surrounded by homes and used daily by children on the play structure. There are often folks walking their dogs and relaxing in the park.

Creekside is used extensively by the elementary school children (the elementary school is across the road), which I assume could be a serious liability!

Yes, I own a home directly across the street. Yes, I am sympathetic to people on tough times that need assistance. However, I do not think this is the answer.

I worked two jobs for seven years in order to be able to purchase my home for my family.

A homeless encampment will decimate my property value!

I have two daughters and I am a single mom. I do not want the eyesore of an “encampment,” but also the crime, drug use, mental health issues, the list goes on and it is long.

It is my opinion that this is a horrible idea!

Do I have the answer? No, but it is not to put the unhoused in our beautiful city park that is used by the community, surrounded by homes, and a crown in the jewel of the city of Sisters!

This idea is closer to a reality than I realized.

If you have an opinion one way or the other, you should make your voice heard immediately.

Please send your thoughts to the county commissioners ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected]) and Sisters City Council ([email protected]s.or.us).

Jennifer McCrystal

Editor’s note: The suggestion that Creekside Campground might be used for a winter shelter was broached at the forum “Houseless in Sisters” in October. For more information see https://nuggetnews.com/Content/Business/Business/Article/Could-City-park-shelter-homeless-/7/88/32688?s=1.

 

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