Letters to the Editor – 3/29/2023
Last updated 4/6/2023 at 2:07pm
Keeping it civil
To the Editor:
We know Sisters is going to change and grow, but we have a say in how it happens. This is not just about policy, buildings, and trees. While these are important factors, it’s as much about us, as humans, and how we choose to interact with each other.
Three years ago, I moved to Sisters from Bend. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the Sisters Country community, and the ways it comes together to lift each other up. As I got involved, I’d heard that several years back there was a high level of contention. I recently learned that there had been a need for an armed police presence at City Council meetings, The Nugget was filled with hateful letters to the editor, and community volunteers were quitting due to name calling and other such bitterness at public meetings and in private communications.
This does not describe the Sisters I want to live in.
These days, I attend or watch most Sisters City Council meetings and, like most Sisters Country residents, read The Nugget each week. I feel the heat rising in Sisters Country, and imagine you do too. Let’s regroup and not let our community falter.
Our local nonprofit, Citizens4Community (C4C), started as a grassroots organization based on Speak Your Peace, a movement to incorporate the principles of respect into community conversations. C4C encourages civil dialogue using the following nine tools:
1. Pay attention
3. Be inclusive
4. Do not gossip
5. Show respect
6. Be agreeable
8. Offer constructive criticism, and
9. Take responsibility.
That sounds easy, but how does it look in conversation?
Approach interactions with positive intent and aim to resolve issues and/or find solutions.
Be curious, ask questions, and seek to understand others’ points of view. Be considerate of the opinions and thoughts of others. Use easy to understand language. Base conversation in facts, and validate information from the source. Take time to apologize when needed.
Show respect and consideration. Be sincere and responsible for your own actions and words.
Let’s keep Sisters Sisters.
President, Citizens4Community Board
No to gas station
To the Editor:
Sisters does not need or want a mega gas station at the Space Age station. It would cause major problems of gas fumes, traffic congestion and excessive light. It would also eliminate C&C Nursery and the farmstand, which is more needed and wanted. My wife and I moved from Portland for the quiet and beauty of Sisters. Converting the Space Age gas station is the reverse of what we want.
To the Editor:
As I get older, my memory gets worse. I have forgotten much. Occasionally, I hear a story from someone in my distant past, and a memory gets restored. It’s like a gift!
Such is the letter in last week’s Nugget from Eugene Trahern about the Sisters Trails Alliance logo. I didn’t design it after all, I just made it camera-ready.
Thanks for the correction!
Preserve an Oregon treasure
To the Editor:
Sisters Country is an area of Central Oregon with many experiences for tourists. Its trails through forests and mountains, beside streams and lakes, are treasured by every Oregonian. Sisters country is unique, on a par with national parks. It should be preserved by the state of Oregon.
Visited by people from everywhere for its history, music festivals, art, clocking bookshops, restaurants, rodeos, and shopping. Near are three growing cities. Sisters can only be a mountain town with a cold, snowy winter. Within the town’s boundary there is little land left. It is a drought area with unknown amounts of water.
The City Council approved building houses, besides many along the scenic 242 McKenzie Highway. Many apartments already built are crowding the west part of town. There was intense opposition from many residents. But the state laws for using all available land now for future population growth, and rights of land ownership apparently gave them no choice but to approve. A change in the state laws is all that could preserve Sisters Country for the treasure it is.
Perhaps there is still a chance that McKenzie Highway property with the rare view of a ranch, animals, and snowy peaks, the scenic drive could still be sold and bought. Sisters needs to own 12 acres with a public building, and walks around trees and drought-tolerant landscaping instead of 12 acres of crowded, expensive housing.
Maybe all the town’s people can join together with the City of Sisters offer to buy it. Joining together as World Health Organization’s Age Friendly Sisters Country, applying for a grant?
Each citizen in Sisters can write letters or talk to state officials about the “best idea we ever had.” Probably we can preserve an Oregon treasure.