News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Letters to the Editor 6/12/2024

Housing crisis is real

To the Editor:

I’m writing to comment on Gary Leiser’s letter to the editor in the May 22, Nugget. It took a bit to write this to you, Mr. Leiser, because I was so shocked at your opinion. There are other people in Sisters that are retired and many wealthy. What do you define as wealthy? You should have gone to the forum on housing as you may have learned something about living in Sisters. Yes, there is a “housing crisis” for those that serve you in all businesses here. Yes, Sisters is a very desirable place to visit and live. I laugh at “there are people from San Francisco and Portland come here who are ‘flush’ so the ‘housing crisis’ is irrelevant. Really?

So who will serve all these people that are moving here or passing through? Do you see the Help Wanted signs in business windows? Who cooks and serves your meal at the restaurants in Sisters? How about the checker of your groceries and the person that stocks the shelves? Do you think any of these folks can afford to buy a $400,000 home at the 7 percent-plus interest rate? Can they afford the $1,800 - $2,000 in rent monthly, plus buying food, electricity, gas, and more? Supposedly “affordable housing” is advertised by all the new developments. No one can define what affordable is. It’s a joke.

You say the housing crisis in Sisters is relevant chiefly to some workers who do not wish to commute there and to some public employees. Do you really think an issue is not wanting to commute? People do commute to Sisters from Bend and Redmond because they can’t afford to live here so they pay $4 and more per gallon of gas for a job. I laugh that you say the housing crisis is an issue for only a very small portion of the population. Do you really think that if employers just pay workers higher wages, they will then be able to afford housing? What rock have you crawled out from under? Apparently, you don’t watch/listen to TV or read the paper. Businesses are closing their doors across the country because of the high cost of materials and the cost of labor. Many businesses here in Sisters rely on income from tourists in the summer. If it’s not a good summer for them a few may not survive through the winter.

I’ve lived in Sisters for 25 years and have seen a lot of growth and change. Some good and some not so good. I don’t want to see Sisters grow like Bend and Redmond, but change is inevitable. I’m on a fixed income and the prices are affecting how I live, as all of us are affected.

I’ll never leave Sisters.

Ann Marland

Not a casual ride

To the Editor:

The Nugget recently portrayed the Sisters Stampede as lots of fun, riding two abreast, almost a tail gate party.

I ride it every year for the reflection on Memorial Day and my lost comrades over North Vietnam in particular, with an American Flag in my helmet.

In eight years of riding hard and visiting after the race, I have never uncovered the casual theme.

The race course has difficult places with large rock outcroppings, sudden turns in sand, narrow gaps between trees.  All the racers I know are serious riders and getting around a gab party obstructing the racers should be avoided for race riders’ safety.

Please enjoy the Peterson Ridge trails for casual riding, but not on race day, the Sunday before Memorial Day.

Jack Addison

A letter of gratitude

To the Editor:

I would like to acknowledge all the hard work the VFW does for our town. They are the ones that put up all our flags in town and put on the Memorial Day celebration at the Village Green Park. A ‘thank you’ is not enough to say, so I would like to publicly thank them and let them know how much we appreciate them and are grateful that they take the time to put the flags up. Washington Federal has the largest flag in town by the roundabout coming into town and Earl Schroeder always makes sure that it is in good condition and replaces it when it gets tattered by the weather. He has been taking care of this for years and we are extremely thankful.

It is always a nice sight when driving into town and seeing a flag flying in the wind. It gives you a sense of pride and makes you remember all the veterans that have served and are serving. Thank you, veterans. I can honestly say our town loves that you take the time and energy to put on the events and help maintain the flags.

C. Sutton

Congrats to the class of 2024

To the Editor:

The final school board meeting of the 2023-2024 school year was accompanied with a Budget Hearing, in which board members adopted the budget for the 2024-2025 school year. Following the Budget Hearing, Elementary School and Middle School principals presented the results of i-Ready assessments. In both schools significant progress was noted. Tim Roth, principal of the Sisters Middle School, attributed the success to several factors, including implementation of high yield teaching strategies, as well as the integration of goal sheets and student-led conferences, where students take an active role in their academic achievement, goal-setting, and character education. Principal of Sisters Elementary School, Joan Warburg, mentioned that goal-setting and student-led conferences had also been tested in a few classes at SES, demonstrating promising results, and will be implemented school-wide next year.

The new math curriculum chosen for 6th grade Algebra was presented to the board by SMS teacher Jonathan Kelly. After a long and in-depth selection and testing process, Big Ideas by Cenage was the math curriculum selected by a team comprised of staff from all three schools. Some of the exemplary features of the curriculum include extensive digital classroom tools, instant detailed feedback, skills focusing on domains rather than grade level for added support, and it offers a comprehensive K-12 curriculum, versus just 6th-8th grade. After a round of questions, this curriculum was unanimously adopted by the board.

Lorna VanGeem, Director of Student Services, shared a presentation about the district’s collaboration with Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) that was given recently at the State Advisory Committee for Special Education (SACSE). In conjunction with OAS, our district has been providing skiing and snowboarding opportunities at Hoodoo Ski Area to special education students for 13 years. In that time span, 1,900 mountain hours to 92 students has been registered. This has only been possible thanks to the amazing volunteers, OAS, SSD staff, and funding from Unified Sports Grants from the Round House Foundation, Sisters School Foundation, and Kiwanis Club.

The new Sisters Elementary School is nearing completion with a scheduled move-in date on June 24 and keys to be officially handed over on July 15. (See related story, page 1). And finally, the meeting concluded with some board business, such as policy review, deletion and adoption.

To conclude, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all the students that worked hard and have made it through another school year. And this could not have been possible without the incredible support of our amazing and dedicated staff, coaches, volunteers, and community members. To celebrate certain key steps in the student’s educational journey, the 8th Grade Promotion will be held at Reed Stadium on June 13th at 5 p.m., and High School Graduation will take place at SHS Gym on June 14 at 7 p.m. Congrats to the class of 2024!

I wish everyone a safe and wonderful summer break!

Curt Scholl



To the Editor:

A few clarifications are in order regarding two rambling apologies for Israel in June 6 edition of The Nugget.

When the Zionist settlers first arrived in Palestine in the late 19th century, they began to purchase land, much of it from absentee landlords in Beirut. This land was to be used exclusively by Jews in perpetuity. In the 1948 War the settlers were able to conquer (steal) vast areas of Palestine and ethnically cleanse it of most Muslims and Christians, who were driven out or massacred. Their villages were obliterated. These Palestinians had no military forces or weapons. The British had, however, allowed the settlers to fully arm and some had served in the British army in WWII. Most of the land that was conquered was also reserved for Jews only (90 percent of it). Today a Christian from Oregon, for example, cannot purchase land in Israel.

The writers of these two letters have no historical context for the events of last November. The full reality of the conditions of the Palestinians is lost on them. And they can’t bring themselves to mention Israel’s slaughter of innocents in Gaza. Israel has subjected the Palestinians there, in the West Bank, and in East Jerusalem, to the longest and one of the most brutal illegal occupations in modern history. It is a basic moral principle that no people under such an occupation are required to provide security for their occupiers. That would be absurd. Each time the Palestinians have become restive in recent decades the Israelis have subjected them to a massacre, or, in Israel’s terms it ‘mows the grass.’

Keep in mind that the goal of Zionism continues to be the creation of an “ethnically pure” Jewish supremacist state in Palestine from the “River to the Sea.” This will help you understand a monster like Netanyahu. Meanwhile, read Rashid Khalidi’s book “The Hundred Years’ War on Palestine: A History of Settler Colonialism and Resistance, 1917-2017.”

Gary Leiser

Dark hearts

To the Editor:

There are dark hearts all around us. One of the darkest, without cause or justification, stole our dog from us and then abandoned her in unsurvivable conditions. Our dog was a joyful and innocent creature adored by so many. He knew only friends and our loving hands.

Anything else the dark heart(s) might have taken from us could have been forgiven. But not this. Someone with a conscience has information about this evil and cruelly tragic deed. Will that someone dare be brave?

Kathy Smith


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