3/5/2013 12:34:00 PM Letters to the Editor 03/06/2012
To the Editor:
Mike Morgan's opinion in The Nugget asserted that Sisters High was behind all four Bend-La Pine high schools in their 2012 math scores. I was surprised, so I checked the results on the Oregon Department of Education's website. I learned that the Sisters School District had BETTER math scores than the Bend-La Pine District.
How could each of the "regular" high schools in Bend-La Pine be higher and still have the total district be lower? The answer is that the Sisters score included all students, while each of the Bend-La Pine high schools was able to exclude students by counting them in an alternative school. So, each Bend-La Pine high school avoided counting many of their low achievers. In addition, the higher dropout rates in Bend-La Pine tend to eliminate many low-achievers and this increases their scores.
So, in spite of the fact that Sisters High School included more of their total potential student body, our scores exceeded those of the Bend-La Pine District. So when Mike Morgan says that we should face reality, we really do have better scores.
I think it will be impossible for us to maintain our advantage if we fail to renew the local option. Let's support our kids and continue to build a strong community.
To the Editor:
With the deepest respect and admiration for all those who have worked so hard to make the Local Option election a success, we'd like to add our support for the following reason:
We chose the Sisters community to retire to because after all the elections we'd been through since moving to Oregon in 1983, Beaverton (our residence of choice until 2000) and Sisters were the two communities where local school levies, options or bonds always passed.
We are indebted to the Beaverton district for the excellent education our children received, and we are confident that supporting the local option for Sisters School District will positively impact children, parents and the entire community for years to come.
Barbara and Kerry Bott
To the Editor:
Here recently I went to the city council meeting on February 14 in support of Wild Mountain. During this meeting I never saw such an obtuse city council as well as mayor and city lawyer. This meeting was a complete farce. It was obvious the city council had made their minds up before the meeting started.
During the meeting I heard the economic development person talk about the need for new businesses in Sisters. I spoke to city council about my interest in purchasing the Wild Mountain stand and moving my wholesale wild food business to Sisters. The plan I was considering was to purchase a piece of land and build a 30,000 to 50,000 sq. ft. warehouse that would bring at least six full-time jobs for Sisters residents.
After seeing how Wild Mountain was treated I have (to) think twice. If after I built my facility at some point I did something someone on city council didn't like would council then treat me like they did Wild Mountain? I'm now actively looking for property here in Culver, Oregon. I feel it's not worth the risk trying to do business in Sisters. Also its nice to know Culver is 101 percent behind me. Culver is for new businesses and patronizing existing businesses.
Every year I entertain my client chefs and purchasers from all over the country in Sisters and they think the Wild Mountain stand is a great idea, which is how I got interested in buying it. Sisters is losing a valuable little business with Wild Mountain being forced by the city to close. I can't understand their thinking. There are so many empty stores in Sisters, and now there is one more and myself.
Joseph L. Daugherty
Joseph L. Daugherty Specialty Mushrooms LLC
To the Editor:
Just the other day, I was walking around downtown Sisters and felt the feeling of an empty ice box on a cold winter day. Living in Sisters since 1989, this is the first time I have felt this feeling.
Thirteen years ago, I began promoting events in our community because the people that were doing them would not listen to any outside suggestions. Today, nothing has changed. This year, I added three more events, totaling seven, to promote full-time. Next year, I have plans to add even more events to the schedule. Events are very important to a community like ours, being we survive on much of the tourist trade.
We live in such a great community with so much potential and opportunity that is not marketed to its fullest. Recently, I approached the Sisters Chamber of Commerce with a proposal to partner with them with the Harvest Faire. Out of concern for our community's events, I do not want to see this show go by the wayside (low exhibitor participation), like others have in the past years. Their reply was, "At this time the board of directors would like to keep all Sisters Chamber events managed in-house by our new part-time events coordinator."
Maybe their focus should be on thinking of ways to generate business for our community, instead of competing and running their own business. If you compare chambers of commerce across the nation, you will find their concentration is on promoting their community to bring in business. So with this said; Running business needs to be left to those who know how to run businesses and promoting events to those that know how to promote events.
To the Editor:
Quality of life ... how do you measure it? If you live in Sisters Country, I ask you to really consider the effect our strong school system has had on the quality of life for all of us.
I grew up in Sisters and graduated from Sisters High School in 1999. When we first moved here there wasn't a high school and local kids had to attend Redmond High. To go from no high school at all to an institution that is one of the most respected in the state is remarkable in itself. Further, achieving the rare status of being able to offer a private-level education to a public community over a sustained period of time speaks volumes of the quality of teachers, coaches and staff our district attracts and devotion they have to our children.
My family moved from Alaska to Sisters in 1988. My parents could have started a coffee company anywhere, but it was the quality of life that drew them to Sisters Country. Many of you have similar stories about why you moved to Sisters, but on everyone's list is the quality of our school system. It affects the real estate market, local businesses, accounts for numerous events on our community calendar and provides local jobs to 131 teachers, staff and administrators.
I cannot thank the teachers and coaches enough for the quality of education I received. When my wife and I decided to move back, it was because we valued a quality of life that few communities offer at the level of Sisters Country. As a local business leader, active member of the church community, school board member and SHS Alum, I can attest to the value of Sisters Schools. It's a sound investment.
Please join us in voting "yes" for the Sisters local option.
Justin & Leigh-Anne Durham
To the Editor:
My name is Melvin Herburger and I own a retail store here in Sisters. Both of my children went through the Sisters school system but I currently have none in the system. Since 2000 we have had a local option tax in place to help ensure that our children receive the education they deserve. It is time to renew that option again. Do I think the local option is a good idea? Well, let's see...
1. It is not a new tax, so my taxes are not going to change. That's good! 2. It will keep our schools financed at a level that will keep class sizes smaller. That's good! 3. It will help finance the classes that our children need to get a good education. That's good! 4. It will help our school district maintain its high standards, which in turn helps bring families to Sisters, which in turn helps bring revenue to Sisters. That's good!
Most importantly, the local option will ensure that the children of Sisters, our children, our future, will get the education they need to be competitive in this economic environment. I for one want every child that attends Sisters schools to have the best opportunity of getting a great education so that they can go into the job market more prepared than their competition. The local option is a small price to pay to make sure our children have a bright future.
So, do I think the local option is a good idea? Heck yes! Voting yes is a great way to say, "I love you kids, and I want to help you have a bright future."
Melvin and Sandee Herburger
To the Editor:
We moved our family here last June from Portland, where our children were enrolled in one of the best private schools in Oregon. We chose Sisters believing that a strong public school supported by a close-knit community in a beautiful, healthy setting was the best character-building education we could give our children. This was not a decision we made lightly. We had friends in the community and did our homework first. We visited the schools, researched Sisters versus other districts, and talked to as many parents and teenagers as we could.
What have we found? Incredibly dedicated teachers who truly care about the students and strive to build personal relationships with each student; Teenagers who look you in the eye with a well-rounded confidence and plan for the future that is rare in most districts; A community that supports the schools with incredible science, arts, music and other programs that inspire kids to learn.
If the schools didn't have a reputation for being outstanding, we would never have considered this move. We know there are many other families that have chosen to live in Sisters instead of Bend or Portland because of the schools. Local option, 100 percent of which stays in Sisters, is an important part of that.
A friend with three children called this weekend. Their home in Portland has finally sold and they are considering moving here. The last question she asked me? "When is the local option vote?" "March 12," we told her, "and we are all praying it passes."
Everyone benefits from strong schools. The local option helps to keep our schools strong. Please vote to keep Sisters strong.