Letters to the Editor 12/21/2022
Last updated 12/20/2022 at Noon
Sisters Country Vision
To the Editor:
As 2022 winds down, the Sisters Country Vision Implementation Team (VIT) is gaining momentum and making progress on new goals and projects for its fourth “vision year.” Each vision year, which runs from September through August, provides an opportunity for a collaborative team of local leaders and community members to advance the Vision Action Plan. The VIT is facilitated by local nonprofit organization Citizens4Community (C4C).
Along with Josie Newport, C4C’s new executive director, who took the helm in May, members of the 2022-2023 VIT include (but are not limited to) Jennifer Holland, executive director of Sisters Park & Recreation District; the Deschutes County Commissioner; Schools Superintendent Curt Scholl; Ian Reid, USFS Sisters Ranger District; Chief Roger Johnson, Sisters Camp Sherman Fire District; Jane Paxson, C4C board president; Scott Woodford, City of Sisters; Tammy Baney, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council; and community members Steve Swisher and Elizabeth Kirby.
As the vision year progresses into 2023, VIT members will continue to prioritize and align their efforts, both individually and collaboratively, using the four focus areas of the Sisters Country Vision. These focus areas – prosperous, resilient, livable, and connected – continue to act as a guide for decision-making in Sisters Country. To learn more about the Sisters Country Vision, visit http://www.sisterscommunity.org/sisters-country-vision. Here you’ll find the history of the Vision, a more detailed look at the four focus areas, and recaps of each vision year.
You can also get involved in the community via events hosted by C4C, such as Let’s Talk! discussions, Community Builders meetings, and Community Conversations. And for even more opportunities to learn, collaborate, and connect with Sisters Country, visit www.citizens4community.org.
Carrie Uffindell and Elizabeth Kirby
Hope springs eternal in Christ
To the Editor:
This Christmas season is one filled with the message of hope that is found in Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world! Yet for many this time of year is only a magnification of the hopelessness and despair that they feel inside. Whether this hopelessness comes from a loss of a loved one, a commercialized view of Christmas, or maybe even the difficulties we all faced in the past several years.
The gift of Christ is a clear expression of love when taken in the context of God, Creator of the universe, choosing to offer his only Son in exchange for our salvation. The Bible reveals truth from beginning to end, in that all things lead to Christ. Personally, I can’t think of many occurrences in the past two years that say: “Wow, that truly gives me hope.” It wasn’t that long ago when a winning lottery ticket was over $1 billion! What’s the probability of that becoming your answer to hope, extremely small? The probability of finding real hope in Christ is 100 percent. Without the birth of Christ, we wouldn’t have salvation from sin and the certainty of eternity in heaven.
Who among us has not felt at some point in our life a feeling of hopelessness, despair, depression, rejection, or grief? Relief comes when we turn our focus to the hope that springs eternal in Christ.
Smoke & mirrors
As follow-up to my recent interview with Deschutes County Sheriff Shane Nelson, I submitted several questions to the Oregon Department of State Police. Specifically, asking who is on the steering committee regarding Measure 114 and why no notes or official record has or is being kept of these meetings.
Below is the response I received from that law enforcement entity.
I would submit a state law enforcement agency such as OSP, which is inviting and hosting such meetings, and on a subject that has state and federal constitutional implications regarding the right to self-defense and firearms ownership, must convene a formal committee and must keep records of such meetings in the public interest.
To do otherwise echoes similar efforts to restrict and indeed take away the rights of a county, state, or country’s citizens to own firearms for any number of reasons – as was done in Nazi Germany. wyoleg.gov/InterimCommittee/2019/01-201910313-04Handout.pdf
Oregon State Police reply:
The group’s meetings do not constitute a public body and as such they are not subject to Oregon Public meetings law. Answers to your questions are below.
- What are the names of those chairing the 114 steering committee? Answer: As noted above, these meetings are ad hoc informal meetings.
There is no set structure for the meetings, and no one holds any position or title related to organizing or guiding the meeting.
There is no “chair” for these meetings.
- What is the name and position of the head of this committee? Answer: As noted above, there is no formal structure to the meetings and no head of the group that meets.
OSP merely set up the Teams invites to facilitate the meeting for the group.
- How often does OSP anticipate the ad hoc group will meet over the next 90 days? Answer: OSP anticipates meeting on an “as needed” basis.
It is unknown at this time if the group will meet further beyond this week.
- Why were no minutes kept? Answer: No minutes were kept because this is an informal ad hoc group meeting and not a formal “steering committee” governed by statute or rule.
There is no legal requirement to keep minutes at informal ad hoc meetings.
There is little to no transparency in what is taking place regarding Measure 114, and it is both sad and a travesty that our state police are accepting of this, and indeed participating in such “smoke and mirrors” at the cost of civil liberties in Oregon.
Greg Walker (ret.)