News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 3/15/2023

Road repair

To the Editor:

Les Schwab has been a great good-neighbor business in Sisters for many years. Perhaps the city of Sisters would be so kind to pave the transition road that connects Highway 242 to Highway 20. This little section of road has had frost heave humps in it for several years. I think Les Schwab deserves better.

If the City determines it is not responsible for this section of road, perhaps the City can investigate who is responsible and have that section of road repaired.

Bill Anttila

Trail vandals

To the Editor:

Thank you for bringing attention to this issue yet again (“Sisters trails vandals caught on camera,” The Nugget, March 8, page 1). As stated, the Sisters Trails Alliance works in partnership with the USFS and deeply values the collaborative efforts together on the trails.

We would like to clarify one point: This article featured myself, the primary representative of the Sisters Trails Alliance, speaking for our own organization, and not on behalf of the U.S. Forest Service. The Forest Service does not have any investigations related to the stickers at this time.

Scott Penzarella

STA Executive Director

No going back

To the Editor:

I am currently a resident of Sisters in a home that I just built two years ago. My sister has lived here for eight years. I was a regular visitor to our city, visiting her frequently from out of state. I fell in love with the beauty, Western feel, and, mostly, the people of Sisters.

I have personally witnessed the destruction of good communities around my previous home. I am afraid that Sisters is starting to go down the path of fast food, congestion, and premature approval of permits without the proper input from its residents. An article in last week’s Nugget newspaper by Bill Bartlett was quite revealing regarding the results of his online survey.

“The most lopsided question result was 80 to 20 percent” that the City and its officials are not doing a good job regarding managing growth. The survey was taken by 275 people in a short time period. Maybe we all should take a time-out and examine this proposal again.

The Space Age truck stop is really not in the interests of most people that I have conversed with around town. Firstly, I do not feel that the residents are seeing a correct and authentic depiction of the proposed “remodel.” Actually, this is a demo and a rebuild. The 16 pumps and their islands/canopy is almost two stories high. The 30 or so fluorescent lights will be on until closing time in the late evening (what about dark skies?). Space Age will design and build the new truck stop to their specifications. Check out these monstrosities in adjoining towns and cities. Mr. Pliska is the owner of a franchise. They design their own gas stations, not the owner.

Your hasty approval of this permit will maybe encourage the other gas stations in the city to also “upgrade” their stations so that they can compete with the new guy in town.

Are we going to have four to five truck stops in the downtown area of Sisters? Why do our officials and Mr. Pliska think that building this business in almost the center of town is a good idea? Mr. Pliska was honest when he said, “We’re a business and we’re discounters.

Like any business we’re looking for efficiency, a way to drive down our costs.” Also, this other structure (“general store”) will be more like a mini food court with unhealthy and processed food around a large lamp-heated buffet.

There appears to be no outside Western Architectural Design Theme involved (section 2.15.2600).

So we trade the farmstand for an I-5 truck stop buffet?

Finally, funneling transient trucks through the center of town will be a logistical nightmare. If another competing gas station goes the same way with a “remodel” of their property, one can only imagine the gridlock that will occur between our two roundabouts. Foot traffic will become more dangerous and most drivers will start avoiding downtown, and then there goes small businesses. Why are we sacrificing our community’s beauty and ease of moving around for one person’s need to reduce “costs”?

Please listen to the residents of this community. Please go slowly on this process and look at the real depictions of this truck stop. Please consider what traffic nightmare that you are approving. Once it is built, there is no going back.

Elmer Carr

Invitation from C4C

To the Editor:

Citizens4Community is alive and well! But many people may not know what we do. C4C is a local nonprofit with the mission to promote civility, convene meetings, and collaborate with individuals, groups, and the City. You may have seen our Sisters Country Civility Project cards, the ones with the Sisters mountains and blue dove with nine ways to practice civil dialogue on the back. Many businesses around town have them by the cash register, free for the taking. Please consider using the tenets for your meetings.

C4C brings people together. The Community Conversations/Forums we have led at the Fire Hall, with The Nugget as our partner, have been on a variety of topics including the First Amendment, growth in Sisters, and houselessness.

We facilitated a survey for the Sisters School District and did a Let’s Talk about the elementary school and what to do with it when it becomes the old elementary school. Let’s Talk, often held at Paulina Springs Books, is a monthly meeting about local issues and was recently about child care.

Let’s Sing is an event we have done at The Belfry, which always has people asking us to do them more often. C4C facilitates the Vision Implementation Team (VIT) meetings. You may have read an article about that last week. We also hold Community Builders meetings every month to talk about local issues and look for ways to collaborate. Anyone is welcome to join those meetings! We don’t have the answers, but we pose the questions and want everyone to have a chance to talk civilly about issues and solutions.

C4C works this way to stay neutral. There may be many ways to solve a problem or look at an issue; we think the people of Sisters can work together to suggest answers. We hope to see you at a C4C event soon and please join me in congratulating Sarah McDougall, our new Citizens4Community president.

Jane Paxson

Outgoing President


Gas prices

To the Editor:

My husband and I have lived in Sisters for 50 years. We are the owners of the Sisters Chevron and C-store (we do not own McDonald’s). We are the only locally owned and operated gas station in Sisters. This is our only station, while Space Age (Pliska), based out of Clackamas, owns 21 stations, Sinclair (Hattenhauer) out of The Dalles 30 stations, 76 (Rohit Sharma) out of Portland owns several in the Portland area.

This letter was prompted by Mr Pliska’s false statement, (March 1 Nugget), that “our business model is to sell less fuel at a higher margin.” That would be a poor business practice on our part.

Even though it costs more, we chose Chevron because of its high quality and Techron additive. Techron improves engine performance, increases gas mileage, and minimizes emissions (

As Mr. Pliska very well knows, just because our prices are higher than Space Age doesn’t mean we are selling at a much higher margin. Unbranded stations can shop around for the cheapest gas to sell. We only sell Chevron. The companies that own several stations can charge a lower margin and recoup that by charging a higher margin at one of their many other stations. Compare apples to apples and check our price (credit not cash price) with the Chevron stations in Bend and Redmond. We are almost always the same or sometimes lower than the Chevrons in Bend and Redmond.

We pay the city of Sisters 3 cents a gallon fuel tax (no fuel tax in Bend and Redmond).

Additional jobs added? Notice the Help Wanted signs in every business.

When we built our station in 2005, the city code did not allow for any new drive-thru or gas station sites to be located in the downtown commercial “pedestrian friendly” zone. It allowed for a remodel of an existing station, but you could not expand; it had to be rebuilt in the existing footprint. The Highway Commercial Zone was for “auto oriented.” When did the code get changed?

We believe competition breeds excellence. Just don’t throw the rest of us under the bus by throwing out false assumptions and statements.

Robin Rodgers

Hats off to STA

To the Editor:

About 25 years ago I designed the original Sisters Trails Alliance logo. It was a quick, simple, and sort of a temporary identity for an unfunded group of visionary volunteers.

The accomplishments of these folks over the years has been more than impressive. Their contribution to our community is immeasurable and likely taken for granted by many.

A new graphic identity that reflects their success has been long overdue. I don’t know who designed it, but I love it.

I doubt that vandalism will continue, but if there are any others out there who really like the now-historic logo, maybe you can just put it on a mug or a T-shirt.

Hats off to STA!

Dennis McGregor


Reader Comments(0)