Letters to the Editor 2/01/2023


Last updated 1/31/2023 at Noon

Prospects for affordable housing

To the Editor:

Wow. Astonishment of astonishments! Imagine that! The new home developments (i.e. Sisters Woodlands) in Sisters are not panning out as originally planned.

Well, congratulations once again, our planners and council people have not listened to the actual people who live here, and this is what we get. More homes for out-of-towners to buy, rent, and continue to bog down a once comfortable place to live.

Welcome to Bend, Scottsdale, Vail, Jackson, Bozeman, etc.

Well done!

Brian Chugg

Learning about Oregon

To the Editor:

Greetings! My name is Adolfo Gradilla and I am a fifth-grade student at Salida Elementary School in Salida, California. We live in the Central Valley, located east of San Francisco. This year we are going to complete a state project. I picked Oregon.

I am asking for any and all information from you about your great state to be sent to me. If you would please send me any postcards, articles, maps, pictures, pins, pencils, stickers, or pamphlets from Oregon.

I really appreciate your help in making my project a success! I am lucky to have and learn about an awesome state like Oregon.

My school address:

Adolfo Gradilla

c/o Ms. Montgomery’s 5th-Grade Class

Salida Elementary School

4518 Finney Rd.

Salida, CA 95368

Less is more

To the Editor:

Attention Sisters community! Last night I had a dream I was in a small town with people who greeted each other with a smile. They were quick to work together when something needed to get done or someone was in need of help. This little place was surrounded by beautiful natural beauty, and it was a wonderful place for children to grow up and thrive. Neighbors knew each other and gathered for potlucks and to celebrate each other. No one in this community thought of profiting at the expense of their local people, or anyone for that matter. Everyone was equal and deserved a fair share and an opportunity.

Values in this community were not based on money and profit.

The bottom line was the well-being of families and nature and contentment.

The love of life was truly evident in the lives of these people.

Then one day some people came to town and saw how they could buy land, build more houses, develop the town.

Not in the name of community, but for profit and greed.

Slowly at first, the town began to change.

It got harder and harder to buy smaller and more cheaply built houses.

There were people camping in the woods.

People started to lock their doors.

People didn’t smile as much.

This untethered growth grew faster and faster.

There was trash in the streets.

Theft in the stores, and more and more people coming to make a profit.

It was no longer the town the longtime residents had loved.

Sadly, this is the nightmare our amazing little town is facing. We need to get involved with local government and make sure we our community. Less is more, and we need to let our planners know this in no uncertain terms.

Debra Lajko

Can Sisters be affordable again?

To the Editor:

Jan and I sold our home in Redmond in 2020 and moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania — primarily to live next door to my son, Chris, and his young family (four under the age of 10). It’s been a little over two years and we’re now ready to come back to Central Oregon.

Having lived in Sisters for 20 years (1992-2012) we’d love to come back and have been searching for an affordable home that we, now in our late 60s and partly retired, could afford. But that clearly doesn’t exist.

It reminds me of an article I wrote for The Nugget way back in August 2008. Granted, this was during the Great Recession, but it appears that conditions have not changed:


The fear I heard from people back in those days was that “Sisters would become the Aspen of Oregon.”

I certainly hope the City Council and economic development are actively working toward making Sisters Country affordable again.

Bill Mintiens

Bill Mintiens is a freelance journalist who wrote many articles for The Nugget.

Wrestling with language

To the Editor:

Your editorial of January 25 nailed a challenging subject (“What’s in a name? A lot, it turns out,” The Nugget, page 2).

We are all wrestling with language use today.

I propose that the challenge isn’t really about words. It’s about love and respect. When we finally all learn how to love and respect each and every man, woman, and child walking this earth, accepting each person as a whole, valuable being, we will no longer be so sensitive about language. That’s just an excuse for some to demean and others to take offense.

I spent years leading programs with groups of people working through the process of uncovering their core values. During those countless programs people were amazed to find that we all, regardless of outer differences, value basically the same things. This is a key to building mutual respect.

Bless Brian David Owens for his service to this great country. Let’s remember that we are all beautiful, valuable, loving souls under many varied surfaces.

Jean Nave

When is enough enough?

To the Editor:

I was just hand-delivered a notice of a proposed zone-code change for the area framed by Trinity Way, North Desert Loop, and McKinney Butte Road which takes in the three churches that front Highway 242. This code change would add yet another high-density residential area. Really?

(See related story, “Affordable housing project slated for Sisters”)

I find it ironic that when you open Sisters’ 2040 Comprehensive Plan, on the very introduction page you have a beautiful photo of a deer with fawns.

Then you scroll down to “Environment Goals” and read Goal 6.1:

Protect, conserve, and enhance the quality of the City’s natural and scenic resources; maintain the quality of its air, land, water wildlife habitat; and improve community health.

I must have missed something here, but how can you protect and conserve our natural resources when you continue to bulldoze good trees, add more cars, stir up dust with heavy equipment, and then drive our wildlife (literally) from their homes?

Now you’re proposing to add high density with this code change?

I hope you plan to increase along with it double the open space for people to be people and wildlife to survive, but then we need a magician for that.

This is crazy. We need to ask ourselves, When is enough, enough?

Linda Warnholtz

Measure 114

To the Editor:

Thank you, Dr. Steven Blauvelt, for your letter to the editor in last week’s Nugget regarding Oregon’s Ballot Measure 114.

This past summer, President Biden signed into law the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. The last major gun legislation passed by Congress was almost 30 years ago, the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. Among other provisions, this new law will incentivize states to create red-flag laws and give states more funding for school safety and mental health resources. Even so, in order to get enough Republican support, Democrats had to remove a ban on assault weapons, a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, and could not even keep assault weapons out of the hands of teenagers by raising the age to purchase from 18 to 21.

Even with all these major concessions, negotiations almost broke down over the so-called “boyfriend loophole.” The bill expands an existing law that prevents people convicted of domestic abuse from owning a gun to also include dating partners, rather than just people who are married. Republicans argued over the definition of the word “boyfriend.”

Federal crime data for 2020 shows that out of all murder victims among intimate partners, girlfriends accounted for 37 percent, wives accounted for 34 percent. Six hundred women a year die at the hands of a domestic abuser with a gun. That equals one woman being murdered every 14 hours.

Trying to justify allowing any domestic violence abusers to purchase a gun shows you just how craven these people are, but elected Republicans know that if they do what’s right their lunatic fringe will kick them out of office. So they’ll continue to whine and complain about those poor gun owners’ rights being taken away and will offer not one meaningful, common sense solution. Measure 114 is an important first step in restoring some sanity to the gun violence discussion.

Terry Weygandt


To the Editor:

I agree completely with Ms. Prince’s letter of January 25.

There is one cause of all of the world’s problems: overpopulation. There are too many of us. Too many houses, too many cars, too much everything.

We consume, we devour, we destroy everything in our path, with no mercy on the environment. We encroach on wildlife habitat with reckless abandon.

When aliens visit our planet hundreds years of years from now, they will say, “What have you ignorant, stupid people done to your planet?”

James Petray

Have mercy

To the Editor:

Cynicism, irony, and depravation in one sentence.

What will eventually solve the burgeoning Sisters community homeless-in-the-forest conundrum will be a drop in the property value of homes closest to the encampments, perhaps even entire neighborhoods or the whole town itself. Whether good and proper or poor and unseemly, a solution will then materialize. Have mercy on us all.

Chris Morin


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