Letters to the Editor 2/14/2024


Last updated 2/13/2024 at 9:39am

A sick society

To the Editor:

American society is sick in so many ways. No surprise really, given all the obvious symptoms.

Before going further, I know many of you would dismiss my views as negative and offering no solutions. So be it. And I commend anyone who still has hope that this society will survive as we currently know it.

The most glaring symptom of course, is that a large portion of U.S. citizens have been brainwashed by a misogynist, white supremacist, unhinged felon (all facts)— who may become the first dictator of this country. Secondly, yes, it was an insurrection (fact), and he was responsible for it.

But these absurdities I am so sick of contemplating, so I would like to remind folks of yet another horrific symptom, and even offer a solution. I am referring to inhumane execution, a societal atrocity that we all were just reminded of on January 25. On that day, the state of Alabama executed Kenneth Smith using nitrogen hypoxia. Witnesses reported that Mr. Smith “shook, convulsed, writhed, and gasped” for minutes until pronounced dead after at least 22 minutes.

Putting anyone’s (including my own) moral views about capital punishment aside, arguments supporting this or any other form of inhumane execution are sick or absurd. Here’s why. Reports suggesting that there is a shortage of drugs used for lethal injection, or the inability of prison or medical personnel to perform effective, efficient venipuncture are simply wrong or inexcusable. My solution: if it’s so difficult for humans to humanely execute their own kind, then why not have able and willing veterinarians get involved. As a veterinarian who has performed numerous euthanasias on dogs and cats for 35-plus years, I (and a majority of my professional colleagues) have a very good grasp on how to facilitate a calm, effective, and humane death. And by the way, I am pretty sure that the same or similar sedation and euthanasia drugs could be used for humans, and they are not in short supply. So, I am only half kidding when I suggest — let states that allow the barbaric practice of capital punishment (oops, I said I would put my own moral views aside, oh well) be able to hire willing, end-of-life/hospice veterinary specialists to perform humane executions, if and when they still happen in this morally corrupt, sick, society.

Steve Blauvelt

Land use coverage

To the Editor:

Please provide more comprehensive and timely reporting on community issues and policies regarding UGB, STR and state legislation and bills regarding land use. The public seems to be the last to know regarding the motivations of public officials in making their policy moves and seeking infrastructure funding rewards

Senator Merkley’s bill on hedge fund purchases of real estate is important and needs to be highlighted. Please connect the dots on these relevant and current issues that certainly pertain to our future community.

Thank you for your attention to this timely matter.

Zenia Kuzma

School calendar

To the Editor:

The February 2024 School Board Meeting began with Paul Andrews, superintendent of the High Desert Education Service District (HDESD), presenting the Local Service Plan, a document outlining the services that are offered to the Sisters School District, as well as other school districts throughout Central Oregon. The services fall under four categories: administrative and support services, services for children with special needs, school improvement services, and technology services. The services offered by HDESD are vital to our district and we look forward to our continued collaboration.

The three school principals provided mid-term updates. Some of the highlights included: positive results from the elementary and middle school in the iReady assessments, which evaluates students’ level and progress in math and reading, the afterschool homework club at the middle school has been a huge success with up to 20 students attending and receiving support from certified teachers every day after school, and finally, the high school is at a midpoint in the reaccreditation process, which requires tremendous effort, but is a highly insightful process.

As has been the trends over the past few years, student enrollment figures were up again after Christmas break, reaching over 1,200 students in our district. The construction of the new elementary school saw some delays due to inclement weather, but everything is getting back on track. And the district continues to support and advance on the workforce housing project.

For closing, I would like to make two announcements. The 2024-2025 SSD calendar was approved and is now available on our website (https://district.ssd6.org). Also, we are still looking for candidates for the SSD Budget Committee. If you are interested, please contact the District Office for more information on how to apply.

Thank you for your continued support and I wish everyone a pleasant winter season.

Curt Scholl — Superintendent

Kudos to Sisters City Council

To the Editor:

On January 31, The Nugget printed my letter to the editor regarding the City Council’s resolution regarding a temporary cold weather shelter.

I have since learned that the City Council passed another resolution reflecting their desire to better meet the needs of our homeless community. I commend them for following up on the first resolution and attempting to deal with this difficult issue in a way that better addresses the needs of the homeless community in Sisters.

Rosemary Vasquez

To the Editor:

The pro-wolf mythology was narrowly represented in last week's letter to the editor. Specifically when it only mentions the Oregon Wolf Plan rules as it relates to domestic livestock. The dirty little secret unmentioned are the thousands of deer, elk, rabbits, squirrels, turkeys, etc., slaughtered each year by predators.

The only phrase hinting at the wolves’ effect on other wildlife populations was the generalization that they "only hunt the most vulnerable prey.” This is disingenuous at best.  

Ungulate (hoofed mammals) populations in Oregon are below the ODFW management objectives. Populations are declining in total based on the latest estimates. Population surveys are admittedly hard to estimate and herds might be even more in peril.

It wouldn't be fair to completely blame the wolf for herd declines, as cougars, coyotes, and bears take their share. Hunting these predators using dogs was the only effective management tool available until it was outlawed in 1994. Those predator populations are now virtually left unchecked. Now we have reintroduced an apex predator, a much more efficient killing machine. 

Wildlife survival is being threatened by development, habitat encroachment and poaching to name a few. Seems a bit short-sighted to justify supporting one wildlife or predator species over another. Coexisting in the animal world means one animal species must be eliminated to feed another. And at what cost is this experiment to taxpayers and wildlife populations? 

Sadly, even our wildlife can’t even escape the political morass. There are almost always unintended consequences to every political decision and certainly another side to the story that needs examined.

Rand Rietmann


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