Letters to the Editor 2/22/2023


Last updated 2/21/2023 at Noon

Finger waving code

To the Editor:

Re: “Not so much moseying in Sisters these days,” The Nugget, February 15, page 2: I was in my 20s (I’m late 60s now) when I finally asked my father about the finger wave from the wheel. He was driving me in his pickup on Lower Bridge Road near the dicalite mine and had just waved twice to cars, but differently. To one car he had just lifted the single finger, but to the second he had taken the thumb and two fingers off the wheel and almost lifted another... just as Bill Bartlett describes!

So I said, “Dad, what’s going on with the weird finger discrimination?!!” He replied, “Oh, that’s easy. Raising the index finger is for a car you don’t recognize with out-of-state license plates. Two fingers is for a local you don’t know. Three fingers is for a neighbor or a friend. But if you see a sheriff’s deputy it’s got to be the whole hand off the wheel and a big grin!”

So, over the years I began to do the same. This summer I happened to drive through Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana up through Saskatchewan to Northern Manitoba. On all rural back roads, especially gravel, the finger wave language was understood. But not in Canada. The people were so friendly in Saskatchewan, and it was definitely rural with mostly gravel roads, but there was no waving while driving. I had the idea that the language evolved from the horse drawn wagon era where waving while holding the reins could cause problems. But that doesn’t explain Saskatchewan.

Anyway, I enjoyed Mr. Bartlett’s column this week!

Henrik Kibak

Transgender issues

To the Editor:

As a parent and human being, I read with dismay the February 8 letter to the editor in support of transgender kids. Ms. Vermillion, identified as a former teacher, asks us to educate ourselves on the issue of transgender youth. On this point, I wholeheartedly agree, but the consensus ends there.


Vermillion’s letter is a perfect example of the manipulation of language in this devastating cultural development.

She uses a personal history of gay and lesbian relationships to parlay into general support for transgender and nonbinary youth, citing the need for “diversity” and “acceptance.” But there is a big difference between an adult choosing to live as a homosexual, and a minor child who is going through the turbulence of puberty in a social-media-saturated society being encouraged to identify as the opposite sex.

There is a real danger here when that identification is accompanied by encouragement and support for irreversible gender transition procedures.

I daresay these medical procedures do not leave these individuals “to be just regular people,” as Ms.

Vermillion posits.

Schools cannot administer aspirin to a student but they can “affirm” their identity as the opposite sex without alerting the parents.

In the state of Oregon a minor cannot get a tattoo — even with their parent’s consent — but they can obtain puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones, and even gender reassignment surgery without their parent’s clearance.

In the 1990s we decried female genital mutilation in African countries, and yet here we are celebrating performing double mastectomies on 15-years-olds and calling the supporters of such things “heroes.” If a parent, teacher, or medical provider speaks out about the insanity of these heinous procedures, they are immediately charged with being a bigot.

Brothers and sisters, I do not say this lightly: This is not tolerance. This is child abuse. Transgender ideology in our youth is a lie, and the procedures that enable “gender transitions” create life-long medical patients out of healthy children’s bodies. It is madness, and we must stop masking it with words like “tolerance” and “affirmation” and futile debates on pronouns. We can love, affirm, and accept our youth without kowtowing to this dangerous cultural phenomenon.

Dawn Bernhardt


To the Editor:

So with the Bend camping restrictions looming over Bend’s unhoused people, and particularly those on Hunnell Road, I wonder if there will be an uptick in the unhoused that are displaced from those clearances coming out to Sisters and camping on the Forest Service property in our area?

Oh, I don’t wanna go borrowing trouble, but it seems like it would be good for the City, and the warming shelter proponents of Sisters, and the Homeless Leadership Coalition to be eyeing any potential situation. Is there anyone in our community that can share any data? Is there any data to be shared?

Michelle Ehr

Reject gas station expansion

To the Editor:

Anne Thompson hit the nail on the head in her letter to the editor of February 8.

Let’s be frank. By any relevant standard, a 16-pump station at that location (on the corner of Cascade Avenue and Pine Street) would be inappropriate. Full stop.

On its very face, the proposal violates both the words and the spirit of the Comprehensive Plan. There is no way that an objective, rational, and merits-based —i.e., responsible — land-use process should approve it. A decision to deny the proposal may be a difficult and uncomfortable one, as Sisters is a small city, and officials in small cities often have legitimate community or social connections with proponents of a project.

These connections can influence — however subtly — the decision-making process. But they must not. The bedrock principles of a proper land-use process dictate that decisions be made wholly unencumbered by such influences. And the public — aided by the accountability afforded by the land-use appeals process — expects no less.

Kirk Johns

Sisters as we know it

To the Editor:

I sympathize with the letters to The Nugget (February 15, 2023) critical of the proposal to build a 16-pump gas station at the site of the Space Age station. This proposal is a result of the City’s inability or refusal to rein in development.

The City’s approval of the many apartment units behind the Dollar Store followed by its approval of the extensive tract housing of the Woodlands and the Mckenzie Meadows projects will add perhaps a thousand cars to the streets of Sisters. These cars will need services: gas stations, repair shops, dealerships, etc. The explosion in population will require additional services: larger schools, larger police and fire departments, a larger city hall, big-box stores, etc. Indeed, try to imagine the ripple effect of this runaway development. The City certainly didn’t.

Sisters as we have known it will disappear. Its future will be that of a mini-Bend, a mess.

It cannot be said often enough that these housing developments are not meant to address organic need but to attract people from elsewhere to the profit of developers who have no interest in the consequences of their projects.

The City frequently claims that it must approve development if it meets zoning requirements. This is a tired excuse used to justify destructive projects. If true, and if the City cares about the quality of life of its residents, then change the zoning or, even better, go to Salem and get the legislature to change the land laws to favor municipalities over developers. Otherwise, may the residents of Sisters be damned and be prepared for more gas stations.

Gary Leiser

Nothing is unbelievable anymore

To the Editor:

Could it get any worse? Sadly, yes. I wasn’t planning to write another letter quite yet since my comments on Measure 114 (The Nugget, January 18 issue). On that topic, two mass shootings in California just in the week after, and more since. I rest my case on the endless debate about the need for better gun control in America.

On to another topic that is completely mind-boggling to me: Will this country actually stand by, and allow Trump — the proven “leader” of the January 6 insurrection, run for any political office, much less the presidency again?! Even worse, if that is possible, the rumblings about M.T. Greene being considered as a running mate? Whoa, if that actually plays out — then, as my Dad used to say, “give us strength.”

I don’t think anyone will really ever figure out what has happened to the Republican Party, and I have never voted Republican, but Liz Cheney, please run for president in 2024, so I can vote for you — you are one politician who might be able to restore some semblance of common sense to this country, and not cater to MAGA supporters or “Let’s Go Brandon” fanatics.

Steven Blauvelt


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