News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 1/18/2023

Good job, Oregon majority

To the Editor:

My compliments to the great state of Oregon, that, once again is at the forefront of advocating for common sense on a highly controversial issue.

Yes, gun control boils down to “common sense,” not ludicrous views held by NRA-supporting, right-wing, “Don’t Tread on Me” extremists.

I’ve read all of the recent columns, opinions regarding M114, mostly written by “gun rights at all costs” advocates.

People that know me could probably see this coming, but I’ve held my tongue long enough on the topic of gun control.

I am compelled to write something on behalf of the majority of Oregonians who voted last November to pass M114, knowing full well there will be backlash from Second Amendment misinterpreters, “constitutional sheriffs” (listen to NPR Today Explained podcast “Power Tripping Sheriffs,” December 7, 2022), or some judge in Harney County (pop.

7,495, twice the size of Sisters) — blocking the will of the people under the guise of his “due diligence.” Even though I have virtually no hope that any substantial revision of gun control laws will happen in my lifetime (I am not naive), and, granted, M114 is not perfect, still, I’m a “you have to start somewhere” kind of guy.

Gun ownership is not a “God-given” right.

Nor do I think that the Founding Fathers would be too thrilled about mass shootings and school massacres that horrifically are the “new normal” in American society.

Uhh, last I checked it is now 232 years since the Second Amendment was ratified on December 15, 1791, and 10 years last month since the Sandy Hook slaughter, and just a few days since a 6-year-old shot his teacher; sadly, nothing is unbelievable anymore.

Will gun control ever change? Maybe not, but as the passing of M114 proves, there’s plenty of us who will keep up the commonsense fight — just ask any parent of a child slaughtered by a lunatic who will always find a way to get a gun.

Dr. Steven Blauvelt

Sign of the times

To the Editor:

This is an open letter to the person(s) who stole the little sign from my driveway. You know, the little red, white, and blue one. The one that proclaims my values and beliefs around a number of subjects: hate, kindness, science, human rights, injustice, Black lives, etc.

You know the one.

You took it twice.

The first time throwing it away toward a remote end of my property.

But I found it, thinking surely recent winds had blown it there.

So I promptly put it back up only to find it gone again this morning.

So obviously you and I must have different worldviews on those subjects.

Let’s do this.

How about coming down for a cup of coffee so I can better understand and consider your views, and why you feel that way.

You obviously have very strong reasons for them.

And beyond the sign’s proclamations, perhaps you can better understand and consider mine and the reasons I feel as I do.

There is room for both.

Maybe we will change minds, maybe not.

But it’s worth a shot.

And oh, please bring back the sign. You know where I live.

Clyde Dildine

Pride of place

To the Editor:

As a councilor elect, last week, Paul Bertagna, director of Sisters Public Works took me on a town tour so full of impressive and detailed information that all I am able to share is a 40,000-foot perspective. Besides Paul, there are five full-time employees in Public Works — hold that thought.

Public Works is about water, sewer, roads, and parks. It entails the creation and maintenance of public roads, bridges, fencing, sidewalks, bikeways, pathways, and parks. Our Public Works installed and maintains our water lines and wells, the chlorination systems, and manage the water systems’ pressure. We have excellent water quality, and a high-capacity aquifer. They keep it all so clean one could eat off the beautiful, huge, blue-and-green water pump pipes.

Public Works installed and maintains our sewer system that is a work of artful engineering, top-of-the-line infrastructure, and, as with our water system, the sewer system is monitored 24/7 and there is always someone on call. Both systems are also very secure. The sewer system engineering makes efficient use of the gentle slope of our topography to receive our refuse at the Rope Street pump house and move it out to be biologically processed and put back into nature – treated. We are returning water even as we use it. The sewer system is environmentally sound, from our drains all the way out to three effluent ponds in southeast Sisters.

Our Public Works headquarters is completely fueled by solar energy! It’s a huge building that is built to last with thick, insulated concrete walls, metal roof, and concrete floors.

Within those walls are a few offices, a workshop (one employee was putting new coats of paint on our 75-plus park picnic tables after having cleaned them), an auto shop (another employee was servicing one of our big trucks – one of his many roles), and there are three garages for all kinds of maintenance and service vehicles.

Everything a city needs is there, from the biggest truck, built to be a humongous vacuum in case we have a major sewer problem, to a cute little Bobcat with lift or shovel to get into tiny spots in town.

All the equipment, vehicles, parts, tools, machines, and supplies to keep our town in working order is there, was acquired with economy, and all is maintained by six dedicated employees — another savings to the City.

Public Works staff also hang and take down signs, flower baskets, banners, and decorations as seasons and events demand, sweep and snowplow our streets, and beautify our parks and common areas. Most importantly, they advise Council on every future concern you or I could possibly imagine; future needs of water for fires and growth, future sewer lines and pumps, increasing connectivity for all of us in Sisters, and more. Six Public Works employees, and all who work for Sisters, constantly think about the future because they truly embody the phrase “pride of place.”

Susan Cobb

In defense of the Country Club Republican

To the Editor:

Recent presidential scandals, involving the hoarding of top-secret classified documents by a shambolic buffoon and a geriatric dinosaur, call for the return of a refined, privileged class of leaders to manage the fair prosecution of government.

We need to resurrect Republicans who can argue in the House Chamber and Senate Floor during the day and then indulge in Malbec and steak with their political rivals at night.

It’s a far better option than our current state of partisan futility.

I yearn for a time when this country was great and led by the haute bourgeoisie.

The current bunch of wannabe dictators who shovel ketchup-laden meat down their greedy gullets is a dangerous harbinger of a governmental Frankenstein.

The GOP finds itself at an evolutionary impasse, teeming with populist Lumpenproles. Malignant junk DNA within the party has metastasized, spawning nefarious Trump acolytes like Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor Greene. The disruptive House Speaker election drama was a shameful display of ideological autocoprophagy led by a small faction of plebeians.

Nevertheless, it’s not too late to revive the traditional, small government, cocktail wielding, country club, cigar-chomping Republican.

You know, the archetype that adheres to corporate philosophy aligned with the opinions and preferences of the business community.

They tend to be economically conservative but mostly hands-off on societal matters.

They possess a sense of superiority and are reluctant to change, but are courteous, respectful, civic-minded, and have a paternalistic sense of obligation to the “great unwashed.” Let us return to the Rockefeller aristocrats who maintain American capitalist supremacy, but also discreetly “take care” of a teen daughter’s unwanted pregnancy or pull strings to quash pop-collar frat-boy drug dalliances.

Country Club Republicans, while Christian, differ from the evangelical “God, Guns, and Gays” crowd that is vehemently concerned with outlawing abortion, banning same-sex marriage, and having the government promote modern Christendom. Trump nearly extinguished the mellow compromise Republicans who, frankly, were the sane members of the party. They recognized that compromise is the very heart of democracy.

Replace the ReTrumplican Tea Party with “Jurassic Herbert Walkers.” This noble movement is necessary to return political normality; to fend off mobocratic, rabble-rousing January 6 rioters; to prioritize structure over anarchy, respect compromise, and occasionally break campaign promises for the unpardonable offense of doing the right thing.

Jonathan Leahey


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