News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 4/24/2024

Better angels

To the Editor:

Tim Hockett’s guest column, “We Must Do Better” in the April 10 Nugget was beautifully written and so important. It’s a reminder of where we as a nation have been and a caution to where we’re going.

Jim Cornelius, would you offer Mr. Hockett his own column? In these times, we could use someone who speaks to the “better angels of our nature.”

Terry Weygandt

Pets and pot

To the Editor:

A quick PSA for all the dog owners out there and a request for those partaking in cannabis products in public spaces. Dogs can get stoned so please be more thoughtful with your stash. My wife and I have been running, biking, skiing, and hiking with our pup off-leash (yes, I hear you “put your dog on a leash!”) in Central Oregon’s national forests and public lands without incident for nine-plus years.

However, twice now in the last two months, in completely different locales around Sisters, our pup has found and ingested some cannabis products. We know this because she tested positive for THC at the veterinarian. While rarely fatal, too high a dose can cause severe toxicity and complications. In our case, we were lucky; she was just good and stoned. It can, however, be unnerving to see your pup struggling to stand up and flinch away from you when you try to comfort them.

I encourage dog owners to know the signs and symptoms of THC toxicity ( and I ask that cannabis users think twice before tossing the end of that blunt or the crumbs from that last edible out of your car or backpack onto the trail, parking lot, or floor of the cross-country ski shelter.

I’m all for legalization and recreational use — just not by my dog.

Thanks! And here’s to happy trails and wagging tails.

Walter Major

Supporting McLeod-Skinner

To the Editor:

I have worked for Jamie McLeod-Skinner when she was interim City Manager for the City of Talent. During that time, she led the wildfire recovery for the City after the devastating Almeda Fire in 2020 that destroyed a third of the city.

She was an effective and supportive leader, focused on serving the community during a time of crisis. Staff found Jamie to be a positive force that was driven to do our best for the community. The City of Talent staff also wanted her to stay on and gave her an award when she returned home to central Oregon.

While I worked with Jamie, I have no idea who wrote the negative letter, and wish there was a way to fact check claims made in that letter. These negative attacks are what people hate about politics. I hope that OR-5 voters elect Jamie McLeod-Skinner as she will be a great representative for Oregonians in Congress. As someone who worked for her, I can tell you that we need effective and compassionate leadership during these difficult times and Jamie is just that person.

Kristen Maze

Chang dodges on forests

To the Editor:

In an article dated January 13, 2024, stated “Chinese billionaire Chen Tianqiao’s $85 Million purchase of Oregon timberland is missing from government records, alarming lawmakers: Is now second-largest foreign owner of U.S. land.”

That land is 198,000 acres of timberland in TUMALO. He “has held executive roles in organizations affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and is allegedly an admirer of Chairman Mao, according to Chinese media reports.”

This went undetected until Tianqiao was selling some of the property. I have a problem with a billionaire with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party buying up Tumalo land — or any huge amounts of land — anywhere in the U.S., and you should, too.

But apparently Phil Chang doesn’t. When asked about the deal by the Bend Bulletin his response was: “I think it’s more like investment right now — investing in resiliency and in future stand conditions more favorable to saw log production.” Phil Chang is a Deschutes County Commissioner whose background is in natural resource management. What?

Where is the outrage, Mr. Chang? Where is the transparency? Why wasn’t it public record? His artful dodging of the real issues, these questions, shows that Phil Chang doesn’t care that Mr. Tianqiao bought the property in the first place, and it was never recorded.

In Chang’s commentary in The Nugget dated April 3, 2024, entitled “Accessible and affordable insurance” (which is neither affordable nor accessible any longer) he mentioned that he assisted the state in preparing the state-wide wildfire-hazard maps. I would say we can’t afford your “help” any more. You claim that these maps were “mistakenly blamed” for higher insurance rates. Yes, insurance companies have their own actuaries, but putting most of Sisters Country at “high risk” certainly didn’t help. Our homes have for the most part been fire-proofed for years, but that was not taken into account on the maps you helped create. Also, isn’t Senate Bill 1511 the one that’s going to again raise our already high taxes to fight wildfires? Our taxes already go for paying for fire fighting. The answer is not to throw more of our hard-earned money at something we are already paying for.

Mr. Chang is just another politician side-stepping the questions when we need answers. I think we can do better. Any of the other three candidates would be better, but Rob Imhoff has excellent common sense, a great background to fill the commissioner’s seat and he gets my vote.

Jayne Simmons


To the Editor:

Is anyone else outraged that Costco has blown up 60 acres of land to replace their east side (Bend) mega store with an even bigger one on our north side when the original store was more than adequate?

Are all the people moving here obsessed with consumerism or do you actually appreciate and value our naturalness and beauty?

I for one will be boycotting this store. The traffic will be insane.

Jeanne Brooks


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