8/12/2014 12:09:00 PM Letters to the Editor 08/13/2014
To the Editor:
The new wayfaring signs on Cascade are a complete failure.
They aren't readable from a car and they have almost no information. All they say is "Shopping" and "Restaurants."
The idea was supposed to be that these signs would make the sandwich boards directing people to individual businesses obsolete. This is inadequate. We need signs that will lure people off the highway to explore our town.
To the Editor:
Yet another guest columnist opposed to the Black Butte Ranch-to-Sisters bike path ("Unintended consequences of path, The Nugget, August 6, page 2).
That's two in three weeks. So here's another rebuttal to the latest column written by Steve Nugent in the August 6 issue.
Steve, you raise valid concerns. Let me try and allay each of them: First, maintenance of the path. I agree, there's no perfect asphalt. I would hope that those who are planning the path take into consideration ongoing maintenance costs and have appropriate plans which do not include raising costs for any one group.
About your concern of off-road sprawl. Rarely do I see this happening on other paths. Users of ped/bike paths tend to be environmentally conscious and are aware of the destruction that can be caused due to off-path use. Look at the paths in Bend, for example. The Deschutes River path does not have people straying off the path, creating their own route. The exception to that are homeowners who cut their own shortcuts from their houses. For that you would have to only look inward and fault BBR residents, not others who are using the path.
Your concern about motorcycle, snowmobile and other ATV use: Many paths have gates that allow bicycles and pedestrians through but keep out all others. Simply install these and you won't have any motorized vehicle use.
Next up, your concern about litter: Again let me say that most users of paths are earth-friendly and put trash where it belongs or pack it out. Again, let me refer you to any number of places that have existing paths and you'll see this is the case.
Your last concern about the potential for wildfires and campsite damage. Really? This is a tiny, short path. Plus who's going to camp out along such a short path when other users can easily spot any transgressors?
I'd like to add that there might be a possibility of "adopting" a section of trail by local businesses. They would be responsible for cleaning the trail if necessary and noting any unusual activity.
I would suggest you look at Sunriver and its many bicycle paths. They've only been a great advantage to locals and tourists. No trash, people policing themselves, safe areas for kids and adults to play and ride. None of the concerns expressed in your column have come to fruition.
To the Editor:
As a runner and former track athlete, I opened last week's Nugget in horror to see "Sisters' fittest athletes" damaging the school district track ("Sisters games test fittest athletes," The Nugget, August 6, page 1).
I'm sure that those in charge of the event know the impact of dropping heavy weights from a height of six feet. The track is made for running, and it isn't cheap.
The school district was obviously aware of the event. Maybe it's easier to just add more money to the proposed $14.5 million levy for repairs than it is to prevent damage from this kind of irresponsible use.
To the Editor:
As I and many others wonder about the new multi-million school maintenance budget, we are forced to ask: don't we have a nearly new middle and high school? If they need that much maintenance we should be looking for some claims against the builders!
I seem to recall a large expenditure not long after the middle school was built because it was designed with a "tropics" roof instead of Sisters snow! Who paid for the architect? What troubles me more is the message that our school superintendent will be so involved with meetings, trying to get his "slush bucket" budget passed that he will need an assistant. Didn't we just read that he might have to lay off custodians? Three small schools and he needs an assistant?
This week's Economist has an article describing in detail how an excess of meetings can detract from any executive's efficiency. No less than the Harvard Business School studied what they termed the "building of empires" by executives of all types -must include school superintendents - at the expense of progress.
Their cure? Force these executives to justify the meetings. Barring this, they say, results in "endless miles and long lists of objectives before they focus on their real job" (education?). The same issue tells that by 2020 America will need 41,700 cement masons, 114,700 electricians, 218,200 carpenters. Will any of these come from Sisters? Can our superintendent answer that question? Soccer or track, anyone?