News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 1/10/2024

School is back in session

To the Editor:

I would like to extend my warm wishes to the Sisters community for a happy new year.

The first school board meeting of 2024 began with a celebration of our school board members, as January is board member recognition month. We thanked our five dedicated school board members for their time and commitment to our schools.

Joan Warburg, SES principal, and Joe Hosang, director of human resources and curriculum, presented the Early Literacy Grant, which will allow for additional investments over the next two years in professional development and coaching, extended learning programs and tutoring, student growth assessments, as well as improved tools and materials.

SMS Principal Tim Roth shared that the middle school Academic Week and Academic Olympics in December were a huge success. Students participated in a myriad of collaborative games and were recognized for their academic achievements through awards and prizes. He also mentioned that additional funds were approved for after-school certified tutors, which has generated a great increase in student participation and academic performance.

Steve Stancliff, SHS principal, shared that the high school was undergoing the accreditation process, which is now required every six years. Director of Student Services, Lorna Van Geem provided an overview of the collaboration and success of Care Solace, which is a mental health care coordinator, helping students, staff and beyond navigate the challenges of receiving proper mental health care support.

As for the usual business, enrollment is slightly up, the new elementary school construction is still on target for substantial completion in early May, workforce housing is progressing with viable candidates, and the district continues to partner with SPRD and Treehouse Therapies in repurposing the current elementary school as a community resource.

Finally, we are looking for interested candidates to represent Sisters on the HDESD (High Desert Education Service District) Board of Directors as of June 2024. If interested, please stop by the District Office for more information.

The Sisters School District would like to once again thank the community for their dedicated engagement in our schools. We hope that 2024 is filled with magical opportunities and exciting moments for all.

Curt Scholl - Superintendent


To the Editor:

So according to Mr. Phelps, Mr. Bartlett "jumped the gun" in his condemnation of the Hamas atrocities. He also took issue with describing those atrocities as "savagery" ("Call it for what it is," The Nugget, December 13).

But how could anyone call what happened on October 7 anything but savagery?

Of course, it's beyond difficult for the Israel forces to root out the terrorists without civilians being killed, especially since Hamas often dress like civilians, and prevent many of them from even leaving targeted areas. Yes, Israel is destroying the infrastructure; because underneath the mosques, the schools, the hospitals, and many of the other buildings, are the very terror tunnels the terrorists use to carry out their murderous acts.

Mr. Phelps surprising comparison of what happened in Israel to the Vegas bombing neglected to recognize one key difference: the Las Vegas murders were committed by one person. On October 7, literally hundreds of Gazans flooded the kibbutz to rape, murder, and abduct civilians. Should they all be brought to ultimate justice? Of course. Every. Single. One.

He also stressed the plight of the refugees. I wonder if he is aware that under the UNWRA restrictions, NO refugees are even allowed to leave the area! Why is that? And how odd that NO Arab country is offering to take them.

Israel is fighting for its survival and must do whatever it takes to eliminate the terrorist threat. To minimize the brutal methods and ideology of the terrorists as "pesky," is to fail to recognize the reality of the situation.

Deborah Halsten

Distinction without a difference

To the Editor:

What is the difference between deciding not to eat or drink, with the full knowledge that this decision will result in one's death (in approximately four days' time), and deciding to ingest a substance voluntarily which will hasten one's painless death? Society tolerates the first action but frowns on the second. I can see no moral difference between the two options.

To paraphrase the eminent philosopher, William James, "a distinction which makes no difference is hardly a distinction at all."

Bill Kemp

Unfortunate missive

To the Editor:

I don't want to play pile on concerning the ill-advised, specious and malevolent letter to the editor penned by Mr. Rob Phelps (Israeli savagery, The Nugget, Letters to the Editor, January 3).

In researching his Sisters history he's seemingly been a "positive" contributor in our community so I do not want to fully communicate my thoughts at this time given his extremely unfortunate missive. My hope and prayer is he will apologize to the people of Sisters for this error in judgement, possibly driven by sincere concerns. Obviously, we all make mistakes, and when we do so, we need to own up to such errors.

I wish Mr. Phelps all the best with regards to this matter, and look forward to his mea culpa.

Kirk L. Schlemlein


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