Letters to the Editor 11/1/2023
Last updated 10/31/2023 at 9:36am
My dark wish for Sisters
To the Editor:
When I walk out my front door in Borrego Springs I can see the Milky Way — ours is a designated international dark-sky community.
It is estimated that 80 percent of humanity has never seen the Milky Way and never will. This is largely the result of urbanization and the bright night-lights that come with it. The 20 percent who do enjoy a clear night sky are taking steps to protect it. On my recent visit to Sisters to give a Science Club Talk at The Belfry (Starry Starry Nights, October 24) I was pleased to learn the City Council is working on a Dark Sky Ordinance (The Nugget October 18).
The benefits of a dark -ky community are many. First, some visitors are attracted to Borrego Springs just for the night sky, and there is a popular three-day convention for serious amateur astronomers held annually. Additionally, our local art institute often features works of astrophotography and imaginative night sky paintings.
Second, dark nights bring out the desert night critters many of us enjoy: owls, bats, coyotes, and, yes, scorpions. Third, some folks enjoy walking at night when the moon is bright — there are no street lamps in the neighborhoods, and the few people who still illuminate their house have hooded soft lights that point downward.
Sisters has a pristine night sky that everyone can and should enjoy. It has an astronomy club in the high school that has been doing research on asteroids. It has a community astronomy club with monthly meetings at SPRD, “star parties” that are open to the public.
I anticipate a dark-sky ordinance will prove popular with just about everyone. As Galileo said, “I so loved the stars I did not fear the Night.”
It’s about our kids
To the Editor:
I was blown away last Friday evening at our Homecoming football game (won by the Outlaws, 27-20) by the presentation of new landing pits for our Outlaw jumpers (“Beloved track coach honored in ceremony,” The Nugget, October 25, page 1). What a total surprise, orchestrated by Dennis Dempsey, our first modern-day high school principal and track-and-field coach.
Dempsey, Jim Reiss, Rob Phelps, Curt Scholl, and Sarah Thorsett transported the heavy, bulky pole vault and high jump pits to Sisters from Hayward Field in Eugene. Quite a trip, I heard.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the many many many in our community who donated money, time, and effort (Bethany Gunnarson, our art teacher) to the project at no cost to the school district. If I have forgotten anyone, please forgive me.
These foam pits, along with high-quality standards, become part of a running, jumping, and throwing facility that will be used successfully for many years to come. A huge thanks to Charlie Kanzig and Jonathan Kelly and our high school and middle school cross-country teams, who stored the pits for the winter. It’s all about our kids. Wow!
To the Editor:
So instead of keeping our roads safe, ODOT is using the funds to build EV charging stations, etc.