News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 12/14/2022

Recycling center

To the Editor:

Re: “Dumping a problem at center,” (The Nugget, November 23, page 3): This is a case of defining the problem over and over again, and abandoning the solution! This I know, when the [recycling center was managed by the County it was clean, unacceptable materials were not accepted, just didn’t happen. The facility was managed by an on-board staff member. As Morgan Schmidt’s campaign message said, “Give a Schmidt.” Well now, by the growing disaster displayed at the “Center” not enough users give a…

Our society is loaded with growing disrespect for anything or anyone. Example: speed limits, flicking trash out of vehicles, violating noise laws, and the list goes on and on and on. The signs at the Center obviously have little or no impact on user behavior. An unmanned camera is a waste —power et al. — dang!

Proposed solutions: 1. Shut the Center down —redirect to the county transfer center on Fryrear, clean, well-managed by an on-deck employee.

2. Set up a job-share employee program to “live” monitor/manage the Center during open hours. Close the Center (gates) during the posted hours, 4 p.m. close and 7 a.m. open. The proposed monitor/management for the nine open hours could look like this: two shifts, 7 a.m. to noon; 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the hour overlap providing time for the employees to talk / share. Recommended wage $15 with some benefits, provided by and managed by the City, not Republic.

3. If the Center stays open, ask the sheriff’s deputy to do drive-by checks during the closed hours. It’s way past time to reset bad behavior at the Center!

Bob Hunt

Christmas parade

To the Editor:

What a wonderful Christmas Parade it was! It has been years since there was even close to this number of entries. I imagine that someone or lots of someones really worked hard to recruit groups to celebrate the start of the holidays this year.

There were returning favorites like the corgis, the Science Club knocked it out of the park, a Rodeo Queen, several horse groups! Even floats! The fire departments brought their super-shiny rigs, always a crowd favorite. I was dazzled and delighted, my holiday spirit got fed and blossomed.

Thank you so very much for a splendid time. I really look forward to next year! Ho ho ho.

Karly Lusby

Protecting wildlife

To the Editor:

The Winter Wildlife Range Closures went into effect on Dec 1. One of which is the Tumalo Winter Range ( This late summer and fall there has been ongoing, extremely sad and illegal OHV activity (see regulations and restriction at both on BLM land and Oregon Department of State Lands, in the Plainview area. There has been elk poaching to the east of this area this fall. And more recently, as the previous week’s Letter to the Editor documented, there has been deer poaching directly to the west of the illegal OHV activity.

All these may be unrelated. However, they may not be. Since the illegal OHV activity has not been present in the past, I might guess that it is being created by someone new to the area that is not informed about the ethical care and stewardship we all must partake in for the sustainability of our natural habitat. And just as critical: fire protection.

With the closures now in place, I would ask all the people in the Plainview area to please respect the wildlife and habitat. The destruction of this critical habitat and disruption of wildlife migration is unacceptable. From ignorance to education to enforcement.

Scott Stoery

Sisters parks

To the Editor:

A recent column by Cathy Russell (“Sunset Meadows project should be redesigned,” The Nugget, December 7, page 2) presents a well-reasoned analysis of the ways the development fails to meet key priorities of the Sisters Comprehensive Plan. However, her statement that there are no parks on the west side of Sisters begs for clarification.

The Sisters Parks Master Plan: Park Inventory Report lists numerous parks and public facilities located on the west side of Sisters.

For example, the Sisters Park & Recreation District has two community ball fields, the Hyzer Pines Disc Golf Course, a playground, and a half-pipe for skateboarding.

Community residents may utilize the various school district amenities (playgrounds, basketball courts, baseball fields, soccer fields, and picnic benches) that are available during non-school hours.

The Trout Creek Conservation Area walking/biking trail connects the schools with Tollgate.

The Village at Cold Springs and McKenzie Meadows developments have pocket parks and linear green spaces with picnic facilities and playgrounds.

The Forest Service land adjacent to Village at Cold Springs offers forest habitat laced with well-used trails and logging roads that connect with Tollgate and the Trout Creek Conservation Area trail.

It is imperative that these resources be protected, and expanded where possible. If joint use agreements for outdoor school recreation facilities between the City of Sisters and the Sisters School District are informal or nonexistent, they should be formalized so that the facilities remain unlocked and open to the public. Natural areas, such as the Forest Service property adjacent to the northern city limits, must not be traded off for developmental purposes. The west side of Sisters is being developed with increasingly dense housing, and the proximity of natural forest habitat provides intrinsic environmental, aesthetic, and recreational benefits to Sisters’ residents.

Paul Twelker

Housing again

To the Editor:

I read the preliminary census data for Sisters (The Nugget, November 16) with interest. PSU (Portland State University) will use this data to try to predict Sisters’ presumed population growth and housing needs out to 20 years. I wonder if the City Council will postpone rubber-stamping such sweeping developments as Sunset Meadows until after PSU makes its predictions?

Looking over the current “City of Sisters Housing and Residential Land Needs Assessment” based on the 2010 census used by PSU, one can’t help but be extremely skeptical of such predictions and how they can be used or misused to justify development, because there are too many unpredictable variables affecting them.

For example, I saw no mention of interest rates.

And how much of the presumed population increase will result from children born to residents and thus do not need housing? The population of Sisters might even drop as people move away, or pass away, or businesses leave.

After all, economies can change.

Such things were not discussed.

Indeed, in the current assessment there was, in fact, an astonishing housing vacancy rate of more than 20 percent.

If so, how could more housing be justified?

Moreover, the assessment (PSU) makes no distinction between a “need” for housing and a “demand” for housing.

In my view, these are different things.

There is a need for housing for those who wish to be employed in town and do not wish to commute (commuting is another variable).

There is a demand for housing for those who are not employed here but wish to live here because it is a nice place.

How many people “need” to have housing because they work here? How many sold their house in San Francisco or Portland and decided to move here? We don’t know, but certainly there is sufficient housing for the latter, who seem to be the great majority of potential residents and can afford market prices.

In short, I see no justification for such reckless development in Sisters as Sunset Meadows, which Susanna DeFazio rightly criticizes (The Nugget, November 16).

This project is irrelevant to need while promoting artificial demand to the benefit of the developers and to the detriment of the residents.

It will be the final blow after the Woodlands Project in ruining Sisters as we know it.

Sisters will become a congested amorphous blob, a mini-Bend.

The City Council constantly pleads that it is constrained by state land-use laws, which require it to approve all developments that meet certain requirements.

If this is the case, the laws need to be changed to the advantage of municipalities and not developers so they can control their future.

Perhaps it is time for the city councils of Sisters, Bend, Redmond, etc.

to unite and march on Salem.

Gary Leiser

Resurrection of the Sisters to Black Butte Ranch path

To the Editor:

Ten years ago, the town of Sisters grappled over a proposal to install a bike path that would start in Sisters and lead into the gated community of Black Butte Ranch.

Ugly, damaging, and highly divisive, this controversial proposal literally pit neighbors against one another and resulted in some longtime friendships being terminated. To current residents not around at the time, to give you some idea of the discord and rancor attached to this proposal: The last time the general public was invited to a meeting to discuss the topic, it necessitated the presence of an armed police officer “greeting” folks as they entered the meeting. The U.S. Forest Service ultimately chose to reject the project, and things thankfully calmed down.

Well, it’s back. And amazingly, it’s the same proposal and the exact same objections and concerns still remain. None of the concerns regarding environmental destruction / habitat disruption, private property encroachment, and taxpayer funding that ultimately led to the proposal being rejected have been addressed.

Additionally, it’s tone deaf and uncompassionate the juxtaposition of a path, that if it were to be installed as currently proposed, would mean bulldozers plowing through existing homeless camps in our forests in order to clear space for a bike path. Should we not prioritize addressing people with real needs, and preserving our forest’s natural beauty over a superfluous eight-mile treadmill?

Grab your seats and get ready for the Buzzwords Olympics. The early favorite appears to be “Sustainability,” but don’t count out “Alternative Transportation,” or that old stalwart, “Need for Connectivity.” Pardon the cynicism, but we have been down this path before. Is it really in the community’s best interest to go through this highly divisive and exhausting exercise again? Surely, there are far less damaging ways to get our cardio on.

Greg Werts


Reader Comments(0)