News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 9/20/23

Fishing poles

To the Editor:

I am responding to Terry Weygandt’s letter of September 13.

To be clear, I think most people, unless you are a monster, care about the plight and suffering of others less fortunate.

That said, there are two fundamental differences between conservative and liberal ideology. Conservatives feel that you are responsible for your own actions, whether they result in good or bad results. There is no such thing as luck. Secondly, they feel that it is better to give a person a fishing pole and teach them how to fish than to give them fish.

To suggest that myself and the rest of your readers, wherever they are in life, is the result of luck rather than hard work is both insulting and offensive. It’s also ridiculous socialist nonsense. I don’t feel any better than anyone else because I own a home. However, I do know what I did to earn it and pay for it.

I don’t know if the shelter is a good idea or not. I do have a sense that people are growing weary of the garbage, loitering, tents, as well as the damage being wreaked upon the forest that includes fires.

If the City Council approves the shelter, I will support that decision and hope that it provides the respite and care that people need, and that its mission is realized.

I also hope that part of program will provide fishing poles and not fish so that the residents can get back on their feet and headed in whatever direction is right for them.

James Petray

Rhetoric on shelter

To the Editor:

I saw many letters to the editor in The Nugget of September 13, in favor of the Sisters Cold Weather Shelter (SCWS). There was wording such as “haves vs. have-nots,” and “fearmongering” used about those who opposed it.

I think these writers have missed the point of much of the opposition to the shelter. I, like many people who live here, feel that something needs to be done to help the homeless population, especially families and children. The resistance to the SCWS as presented was not that the citizens of Sisters don’t want to help those less fortunate; it was that the proposal as presented was somewhat vague, and did not address many of the concerns that people have.

There was conflicting information presented from time to time, and I believe many of us felt there must be a better way forward than what was proposed.

I hope people can work together to find a way to help the people who deserve our help in difficult times (cold weather, smoke, etc). The document presented to us this time was not it.

Let’s not let divisive rhetoric take over.

Ann Thompson

Save the garden

To the Editor:

Nestled by the Sisters Airport, our community garden boasts 49 raised beds, including two elevated beds accessible to all, and six shared plots for fruit, herbs, and flowers. The dawn of this new year has ushered in a whirlwind of changes for our town — new school construction, rapid growth, alterations to the community plan, and an increase in smoke-filled days.

Among these transitions, one that may not be widely known is the looming closure of our beloved community garden. We have been granted a one-year lifeline. This garden, which has thrived since 2006, now faces an uncertain future.

Allow me to share why this garden holds significance for me.

In 2020, my family and I arrived in Sisters just days before the COVID-19 shutdown, still grappling with the loss of our mother. Alone in a new town, with a newborn and a toddler in tow, we were beset by worry and uncertainty. However, the spring of 2022 brought a ray of hope when we learned about the Sisters Community Garden. As a mother of three, I was eager to immerse my children in the world of gardening, hoping to glean the secrets of cultivating life in Central Oregon.

We’ve had the privilege of meeting remarkable individuals such as Mimi, Nancy, Becky, Karen, Jeff, and Janie, to name just a few. Our toddler, Eric, is drawn to the milkweed beds, where he engages in endless conversations with Jeff as he tends to the monarchs’ nectar. Becky has graciously cared for my newborn while I toiled tirelessly at the irrigation. It feels like fate that I was assigned to bed 26, right next to Nancy, the master gardener and the visionary behind our thriving Central Oregon garden.

We consider ourselves blessed to have discovered this sanctuary. However, to ensure its continued existence, we need support. Our community garden is more than just a collection of beds; it’s a place of solace, learning, and connection, where individuals like us can find refuge amidst life’s uncertainties.

We implore our community to stand with us, to rally behind this invaluable resource, and to help us secure its future. Together, we can ensure that the Sisters Community Garden remains a thriving symbol of unity, growth, and resilience.

Heather Yeoman


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