|1/30/2018 2:09:00 PM|
Letters to the Editor 01/31/2018
To the Editor:
I was confused when I read Jim Cornelius's article, "Sisters explores regulated marijuana commerce," in the January 17, 2018 edition. When I went into the Deschutes County Clerk's website and looked up the election archives, in fact, I didn't see any election related to marijuana in 2015 AT ALL, as was quoted, "In 2014, voters in Sisters rejected a measure that would have allowed medical marijuana in Sisters. However, in 2015, voters in the City precinct showed a 51 percent approval of the state measure legalizing medical marijuana, according to City Manager Brant Kucera."
But we need to look at all of Sisters Country.
The precinct for Sisters City proper is #30, and in the general election of November of 2014, Measure 9-101, 57.62 percent of the city opposed medical marijuana within City limits, and 42.38 percent were in favor. In the state-wide measure for recreational marijuana, Measure 91, also in 2014, Sisters precinct #30 voted in favor 521 to 498 opposed; a very small margin. But that is only a part of the story. If one takes into account all of The Nugget's circulation, or Sisters School District, places like Cloverdale, Plainview, Highway 126, Black Butte Ranch, Tollgate, Crossroads and even Camp Sherman, the numbers are 2,907 in favor and 3,548 opposed.
That is 641 more no votes than yes, for recreational marijuana.
Please remember that Sisters is our town, too.
Our officials have the duty - I'd say responsibility - to do the will of the people.
To the Editor:
The "In Our America" signs seem to be very popular here in Sisters, and, I assume, across the state. In an effort to better understand the sign's message, I'd like to break down some of the sign's statements, ask some questions and perhaps get more clarity.
Black Lives Matter: I think this speaks to a perspective that black Americans have been mistreated by law enforcement. Does race-based rhetoric really empower people or does it merely foster/nurture racial divisiveness and a crippling sense of victimization?
Immigrants & Refugees Are Welcome: My guess is this speaks to not just legal immigrants but illegal immigrants as well. On the surface it seems very humanitarian, but what does it communicate to those who legally fought to immigrate into this country? And is it saying that if the human need is great enough, based on some subjective measurement, the law can be ignored?
Women Are In Charge Of Their Bodies: Does this include those women yet to be born? Or does their dependency preclude them?
Diversity Is Celebrated : It's a catchy slogan, but I'm sure most of us would agree there is usually a limit to the amount of diversity we truly celebrate. If the "diversity" falls within our worldview, then great. If it falls outside our worldview, at best we respectfully disagree and try to cogently express our differing opinion. At worst, we demonize the other, resort to name-calling and maybe even physical harm. Perhaps a more realistic sentiment is "Diversity Is Accepted," a state where we respectfully acknowledge our differing opinions and examine the facts to determine whether such opinions are rooted in fact or falsehood.
To the Editor:
Several years ago, plastic bags used to hold any purchases were banned within Portland city limits. So shoppers use cloth bags (like at Trader Joe's or Whole Foods), paper sacks elsewhere, or bring their own cardboard boxes.
Plastic bags can't be used to start your woodstove, but paper and cardboard can.
Why don't the county commissioners in Deschutes and Jefferson counties ban plastic bags? Also, why aren't milk and bleach containers worth 10 cents?
Been shopping in Sisters over 50 years
Posted: Monday, February 12, 2018
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Finally, the Promised Infrastructure Bill
My favorite definition of infrastructure is “the basic facilities and installations that help a government or community run, including roads, schools, phone lines, sewage treatment plants and power generation.” (yourdictionary.com/infrastructure)
Basically, the United States is one big community. Our schools, roads, bridges, water and sewer systems, electric grids, power generators, and communication systems do their best to hold us all together. But much of our infrastructure is getting on in years, like all baby boomers. It, too, was born in the 1950s and 60s. We need a new 21st-century infrastructure that is modern and safe and supports our big community along with all the small communities within it.
President Trump has finally come up with an infrastructure plan, which was one of his major campaign promises. He calls it a “$1 trillion dollar” plan. But…who pays for it? Federal funding will cover only 20 percent of all those dollars. The rest will come from the states, including Oregon, through tax increases. The federal portion will come out of the Highway Trust Fund which is already underfunded. In fact, President Trump has said he will NOT invest new federal revenues into our over-the-hill infrastructure.
The administration’s plan will try to push state and local governments into using private equity financing through public-private partnerships. This kind of financing is a lot more expensive (generally three to five times more expensive) than municipal bond financing, adding hugely to the cost of new projects. Replacing low-cost bond financing with high-cost equity capital will make it harder for states to repay debt for new projects. In the end, this is a massive handout to Wall Street hedge funds.
The White House plan also favors mega-projects that reward Wall Street with the highest profits instead of helping small, rural communities with the repairs they really need to their roads, bridges, schools, affordable housing, water systems, and electric grids. The plan will likely roll back environmental protections in the name of “streamlining,” leading to dirtier air and water.
House Congressional Resolution 63 lays out the principles of a good infrastructure bill. You can read it here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/63/ text?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22infrastructure+ principles%22%5D%7D&r=8
Please urge Greg Walden to support this resolution by calling 541-389-4408.
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