Letters to the Editor 1/25/2023


Last updated 1/24/2023 at Noon

Contrasting classified scandals

To the Editor:

Before I sit down to write something I might seek to have published, I ask myself two questions: What point will I try to make, and who is my intended audience? In his opinion piece “Jammin’ in Joe’s garage” (The Nugget January 18, page 2), Mr. Cornelius fails to explain the first, and it is obvious what is the second.

He explicitly promotes the notion that “both sides do it” (mishandle classified documents), as means of eliding the significant differences between the actions of ex-president Trump and President Biden. His audience are his friends in the community of Trump supporters who will read him and say “Nyah, nyah, Biden has done the same as Trump.” No, Biden didn’t.

The most recent article that details the differences can be found in The Guardian.

‘The scale of the scandals is hugely lopsided: thousands of documents in Trump’s possession, including many marked top secret, versus an estimated dozen in Biden’s….Trump declared his intent to take documents, refused to hand them back, had to be raided by the FBI to secure the records, then fought authorities in court for months.” Chris Michael, Andrew Witherspoon, and Richard Luscombe (The Guardian, January 20).

In addition to this, ex-president Trump continues to assert that he owns presidential records (he doesn’t) and had his lackeys tell the National Archives that he had returned all of the presidential records and classified documents (he hadn’t).

Other than a passing reference to “…Biden at least looks like he’s cooperative,” Mr. Cornelius provides no detail about what President Biden did when he discovered these records. I suggest he didn’t want to make clear that stark contrast.

As to Mr. Cornelius’ claim that there is an unjustifiable disparity in “accountability” for these violations, I ask, what accountability? Have the investigations concluded? Have Republicans disavowed Trump as their presidential candidate? Will Mr. Cornelius cheer when Trump is indicted for violations of federal laws regarding these records?

Perhaps when he next writes on this subject, he can title his piece “Party’n at the golf club.”

Michael Wells

Editor’s reply:

Mr. Wells simultaneously misses and proves the point raised in last week’s column (“Jammin’ in Joe’s garage,” The Nugget, January 18, page 2).

The trust we put in our chief executive to preserve national security — including their handling of classified materials — should not be a partisan matter. Apparently, it’s hard for some folks to break the Red Team vs. Blue Team paradigm.

Mr. Wells asks: “…what accountability? Have the investigations concluded?” We citizens don’t need investigations to hold both Donald Trump and Joe Biden accountable.

It’s established that classified materials were in places where they don’t belong.

Willful or sloppy matters to a special counsel, but not to us.

Mr. Wells seems to have missed this part, so it bears repeating: Both men appear to have handled classified materials inappropriately.

Both men should be held accountable — to include being barred from running for the office again.

That means each party should reject each man as their 2024 nominee.

It’s high time we put principle and character over party and politics.

We need to close up our checkbooks and vote the untrustworthy back into private life.

If we choose instead to deflect responsibility because we prefer someone’s politics, we get exactly what we deserve.

Jim Cornelius

Editor in Chief

Measure 114 is not common sense

To the Editor:

Regarding S. Blauvelt’s letter in The Nugget, I submit that the supporters of Measure 114 were fooled.

Firearm sales applications have quadrupled before and after passage. M114 passed by a resounding majority of less than one percent. Simply put, a half-dozen western Oregon counties showed their ignorance regarding current gun laws. Deschutes County voted No, as well as the majority of other Oregon Counties.

Common sense, while sometimes accurate, is not always reliable as it uses commonly held beliefs and assumptions rather than a systematic analysis of facts. M114 was poorly written and will cause irreparable financial burdens to Oregon counties. Deputies need to be in the community, not sitting behind desks.

Currently, firearm purchasers must willingly submit to a background check and fingerprinting. The majority of Oregonians buy their firearms legally, and will never use it to commit a crime. M114 will do nothing to stop unlawful gun transfers and sales by those skirting the law, mostly criminals.

A lunatic doesn’t just need a firearm or a large- capacity magazine to cause harm to society. The Supreme Court recently struck down laws limiting magazine capacity, yet M114 still included a ban.

I don’t believe the Constitution is an 18th-century artifact. The Constitution does not grant any authority to vote away the rights of others. I am not an extremist; however, I adamantly support the Second Amendment. Responsible gun owners must understand how to safely operate, store, and transport firearms. Oregon law already requires citizens to keep their firearms locked and be licensed to conceal carry.

This flawed measure won’t fix a societal problem by making law-abiding firearm owners succumb to additional punitive measures and by adding additional costs to buy a firearm for hunting, recreation, and personal safety.

Lastly, if M114 supporters really choose to be led by common sense, start by using facts and then seek to understand both sides of an issue. M114 may prove to be the biggest firearm sales promotion Oregon has ever seen.

Rand Rietmann

A letter to the underappreciated

To the Editor:

I’ve come to you for over 35 years, sometimes in grief, sometimes in joy, sometimes in dullness of heart and soul.

You never fail to be there for me, whether you’ve had a peaceful day or seen death in the night.

At times you have been my church, my savior, my salvation. You have stopped me dead in my tracks and you have given me room to go forward.

You have heard me sing and pray and cuss, sometimes all in the same day, never judging me, only pointing the way.

You have introduced me to many people over the years. You have given me best friends, and you have saved me from people who would do me harm.

You have a view of unparalleled beauty and a pathway that includes all manner of living things, flora and fauna alike.

You are straight as an arrow, yet your soft curves add to the delight of choosing to follow you.

You have offered me money, given me a kitty, and generously shared other people’s discards.

Your shoulders have caught me when I’ve fallen and your sturdy surface has allowed me to continue on, safely.

I have watched you age and change over the years and I have reported people who have treated you badly.

Even after all these years, I have a plan in place which will allow me to continue to enjoy our time together when I’m old and worn out.

Thank you, Cloverdale Road.

Judy Bull

Lost terrier

To the Editor:

I’m sending a big hug and thank-you to all the wonderful people who helped us search for our missing Cairns terrier, AnnaBeth. She ran away from the sitters in the Ponderosa Cascades community on January 10.

To all the people who put up flyers, allowed scent stages and trail cams on your property: Thank you so much. Thank you C.W., and C.W. We love you guys. You did everything you could possibly do to bring our sweet girl home. Thank you C., and B.; M. and M., for searching. A great big hug to the PET, and CCREW people for all the information you gave us. Thank you Broken Top Veterinary for taking a flyer of our sweet girl. If you found our beautiful blonde little girl, please take care of her, and love her. We have her license now, and she is chipped.

Bonnie and Harve Hall

Wildlife inventory story

To the Editor:

Bill Bartlett’s publication, “Wildlife census could impact Sisters Country” The Nugget, January 11, page 1) reflects an obvious bias, misleading The Nugget’s readers. Correction is also needed to his description of the January 12 meeting, where it was the Deschutes County Board of Commissioners, not the Planning Commissioners, who met and voted to allow the Wildlife Inventory Update (WIU) to proceed.

Statements made linking the WIU as a threat to development were overstated. According to Commissioner Chang, homes on large development tracts could be clustered in one corner, allowing remaining acreage for deer habitat. (Similar adjustments were done at Caldera Resort to mitigate loss of deer migratory corridors.) Livestock fencing can also be readily modified to make it wildlife friendly. Many other Western states have online resources available under “wildlife friendly fencing.”

Bartlett’s blaming cougar predation as a primary cause of deer decline is incorrect, as are his quoted numbers of cougars in Oregon. Refer to Page 51 of the Cougar Management Plan, updated 2017, stating that there are 3,300 adult cougars, not the 6,000+ so often quoted. ODFW is one of the only state fish and wildlife agencies that counts kittens and juveniles. No other Western agency counts them due to their high mortality rates.

The 1990 census showed Deschutes County human population at 74,958. By 2020, it was 198,253. Since 2002, the mule deer population has decreased by 51 percent. Habitat loss due to development expansion remains the leading cause of deer population declines. For coexistence to succeed, we need to take responsibility for this decline. Deschutes County residents within UGBs are already accepting denser living conditions. Those in rural areas should be willing to make some adjustments too. It’s past time for us to move over a little and allow the wildlife to have spaces to still be wild in.

Susan Prince

Wolf Welcome Committee

We count it all joy

To the Editor:

It is with full and grateful hearts that we (Greg and Vicki Everson) write this letter of thanks to the community of Sisters.

After 36 years in our dental practice in Sisters, I, Greg, am now fully retired (following Vicki’s retirement three years ago). We are now on to a new stage of life.

When we bought the practice, we were 28 years old with two young children: Matthew, 5, and Kirstyn, 2. It was a new chapter for us, and it’s amazing how quickly 36 years have passed. In that time, we had our third child, Scott, and have met a multitude of wonderful friends (those that worked alongside us, were our patients, our neighbors, taught our children, and attended church with us). We’ve either coached, participated in, or watched countless sporting events.

We’ve experienced so much joy, along with much heartache and sorrow — all of which were shared by our friends and family in this beautiful community. Thank you for your support — in the end, we count it all joy!

We thank our wonderful dental team members who helped build our practice and provided the personal dental care for which we strove. Thank you to the many patients who put their trust in us and that we came to know and love. It was a blessing working with and caring for you, crying and laughing with you, and becoming part of a very special community.

We feel so fortunate to turn our practice over to Dr. Trevor Frideres and Dr. Kellie Kawasaki. They are dedicated to their patients, providing quality dentistry, and to continuing education! A dream for Vicki and me.

It is now our time to travel and enjoy adventures with our children, grandchildren, and friends. We thank our God for all of you!

Greg and Vicki Everson

‘That could be my son’

To the Editor:

Writing about the pain and angst of losing a child to addiction and homelessness is a far cry from covering City Council meetings.

Sue Stafford wrote a heartfelt article that brought tears to my eyes (“Of a certain age: That could be my son,” The Nugget, January 11, page 23). She asked the question we all might ask, “How did he morph into a…shell of a man?”

Thank you, Sue, for letting us walk through your pain with you.

Rosemary Vasquez


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