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home : letters : letters May 26, 2018


3/20/2018 2:12:00 PM
Letters to the Editor 03/21/2018

To the Editor:

Sisters Habitat for Humanity has made such a wonderful difference in the lives of so many of our local people. I am very impressed with all they do. Every time I hear from a Habitat homeowner about how buying a new, well-insulated house has changed their lives, I get tears in my eyes.

Thank you to all the people in the Sisters area who have made this possible

Sue Edgerton

•••••

To the Editor:

Let us be honest, all accidental deaths by cars, drugs, guns and yes cell phones are a tragedy. Annually over 3,200 people die needlessly from the use of cell phones while driving, 11 percent of these are under 20, another 421,000 are injured. By the outcry of so many for some type of gun control to stop needless death or injury to the 100,000 who are annually affected by guns.

Where is the outcry about cell phone misuse? More than four times the number of people die or are injured by cell phone distracted driving. Should we ban all cell phones? No you cry it's our right to have and use our precious phones. Then just ban everyone under 21 from having a cell phone; no again you cry it's our right for our children to have a cell phone. In reality your phone is a privilege not a right and yes if used responsibly they never kill anyone.

But isn't that the reality of guns, which actually is a right under the constitution of the United States of America? Guns themselves don't kill people, just irresponsible users for whatever reason that turns out to be: mental health, gang violence, crime, etc. Are we willing to sit down and quit being hypocrites with an agenda and really talk about common-sense fixes like guards in each school, teachers willing to be trained and conceal carry, better security systems in place and being willing to spend what it takes at all levels to make it happen?

No one wants their cell phone taken away, yet more are killed or injured each year by phones than guns ever have. So let us not take away our individual rights for a political agenda and get some common-sense fixes in place to save our children.

Gary Lovegren

•••

To the Editor:

In Central Oregon, not very many people think that oil pollution is a problem. People like to think that because we are far away from the ocean it is not a problem, but that is not the case. Every day, oil is frequently spilled, and it adds up.

Oil from cars and machinery that is spilled and improperly disposed of can easily get into drainage that leads to rivers. When it rains here in Central Oregon, the oil buildup on the roads is washed all at once into drains where in some places the water is cleaned, and in others it is drained strait into our rivers and creeks. Storm-water drained from some of Bend's paved areas has little to no treatment before it is drained into the Deschutes River. This oil that makes its way into water causes many problems for animals. Ingestion of oil can result in lung, liver and kidney damage, often leading to death for animals. Inhaling the fumes also causes a lot of damage.

Oil is an unfortunate problem that many people ignore, but everyone can help by changing small habits. Household oils like cooking oil is often improperly disposed of. Even small amounts add up, so it is important to properly dispose of household oils. These oils can be safely disposed of by putting them in sealed containers before throwing them away, or mixing the oil with something like cat litter that absorbs it. Leaked motor oil also contributes to oil pollution, so if possible we should bring our vehicles to professionals to get oil changes so that spills are minimal and that the used oil is disposed of properly.

Another way people can help is by not using their vehicles unnecessarily. Here in Central Oregon we have a wonderful climate perfect for walking and biking, which people should take advantage of, or at least carpool instead of drive. Everyone can help by doing small things to protect our waters and wildlife.

Sarah Rubbert

••••

To the Editor:

(Wednesday, May 14) some of our students were involved in a student walk-out in protest against gun violence and the tragic shooting deaths of 17 youth in Florida. As a district we decided to keep a normal day but were prepared that some students would walk out. We did not bring any additional attention to the matter because we did not want to misrepresent our intentions. Since this is the first time we've encountered this situation of such magnitude, we decided that if students choose to walk out and they're respectful and orderly and do not disrupt the learning environment for others, they would not receive any disciplinary action.

What ended up happening is that it became a lesson in civics. The students were asked to know their "why." They were asked to know the fundamental reason why they were walking out. Secondly, we asked them to know the consequences. Every action has some sort of reaction. This could be formal or informal, positive or negative consequences. Thirdly, we asked students to think about other methods that might be more productive to accomplish their goal. Sometimes civil disobedience is justifiable, but sometimes there are other ways to achieve the same goal.

With this in mind, one option that seems to fit well with our caring community is the "walk-up" option. Several school communities have adopted the idea of a walk up, not walk out. "The walk up movement asks students to reach out with friendliness and compassion to their more solitary peers," writes Dwight Adams in his IndyStar article. By moving out of their comfort zones and helping their peers feel more welcome at school, we curb angry outbreaks by disconnected students.

I feel we have a strong school culture in Sisters. I would challenge us to continue to support the Outlaw Culture in more than being an activist on this one day. Reach out to a classmate that you might not typically talk with. Sit next to the person that sits in the corner of your class and engage them in a conversation. Have lunch with someone that is sitting alone or that is outside of your normal group.

I would echo the message of care and connect from our recent community meeting. This is what will keep the Outlaw Culture strong and safe. Regardless of your position on the National Walkout day, I ask all students, and staff to walk up as we move forward and continue to strengthen the Outlaw Culture.

In any event, I am proud of our Outlaws and how they handled themselves today. They were orderly, respectful and a proud group. I know it was a great lesson in civic responsibility. Lastly, we have a great learning environment that is built on strong relationships and our caring for each other. At the end of the day my most important request is that each of us treats each other with dignity and respect, regardless of differences of any kind.

Curt Scholl

Superintendent, Sisters School District

•••••

To the Editor:

This past week our baseball team at Sisters High School held its first game on the new field, and I wanted to take the time to once again thank the community for all the support it gives Sisters High School Athletics.

The passing of the bond several years ago has had a tremendous impact on the district in multiple areas, and as athletic director I see it daily for our student athletes. This spring we have nearly 200 athletes out in nine different spring sports, and the majority of them are getting to use these recent upgrades.

Funding for our schools here in the state of Oregon is always a challenge, but your continued support in the form of the bond, donations, and volunteer hours provides incredible help and resources to build off of. We strongly believe the experiences our athletes have are part of their education they receive at Sisters High School, and you are making this experience even greater.

Additionally, each year we have thousands of visiting athletes and fans come on campus for a variety of contests and tournaments, and we receive constant compliments and praise for our high school and athletic facilities. This is a reflection of both your generosity and the hard work of our facilities and grounds team, and we are so blessed to have this kind of support.

Once again, from all of us at SHS, thank you for all you do and GO OUTLAWS!

Gary Thorson

Athletic Director

Sisters High School

••••

To the Editor:

I would like to express my support for the Sisters School District levy in this letter. After reading about the levy and how we enjoy the lowest taxes in the region for school and education, while having some of the highest quality schools, I will be voting yes on the levy. I strongly believe that every child, teenager, and young adult, regardless of gender, race, disability, or sexual orientation deserves a quality education.

School was not easy for me. I live with a case of autism. That makes things like learning harder for me, which is something that other students may not find as hard. When I was in school, I required things like a quiet testing room, a calculator, and even my own laptop because my handwriting was terrible. I wanted to be in the general education classroom because most of my friends and classmates were in general ed either for part or all of the day, and I wanted to be with my friends when in class. The only way I was successful in the general education setting was in smaller classes. I needed additional help from teachers and staff. In a large class I could not have been successful.

I feel the levy had a direct impact on me as an autistic student. This levy fuels the operating budget, and allows for classroom impact, such as smaller class sizes, which for me is a huge plus. This is an important choice. It had an impact on my family and I wouldn't be where I am today if it was not for the levy.

To conclude, I do support the levy, I will be voting yes on the levy, and I hope that others will follow in my path. We do indeed have some of the greatest schools in the region, and it would be a shame to see them suffer financially. I would like to thank you for your time.

Craig J. Wessel

•••••

To the Editor:

While Sisters Country is blessed with wonderful public schools, some local families, like many throughout the U.S., choose a different course for their children's education - such as home schooling or private schools. Reasons for doing so vary, but often parents are seeking something extra for their children. This frequently includes enrichment of their children's education with elements of Christian teaching that are absent from public schools due to legal constraints.

Sisters Christian Academy offers local families the option of an accredited private education with emphasis on Christian values, for children in pre-K through eighth grade. SCA serves families looking for smaller classes with closer student/teacher interaction, as well as families who might wish to home-school but who lack time or resources to meet home-schooling's demanding requirements.

From my own experience of volunteer teaching at SCA and having grandchildren who attended there, I can attest to the benefits of including Christian elements within the curriculum. I am referring not only to biblical teachings and belief in God, but to a heavy emphasis on instruction in moral behavior with a focus on personal integrity, kindness, honesty, self-control, respect for others, forgiveness, tolerance, wise decision-making and good citizenship. When emphasis on these qualities is included in children's education along with the all-important fundamentals of math, science, history, English, etc. I believe not only do the students benefit, but the entire community does as well.

Private schools of course cost money to run. SCA receives no government funding and relies solely on tuition and donations. The school has deliberately kept tuition low to allow attendance by children from young families with limited finances. A drop in recent enrollments has put the school in a tenuous financial position, which threatens its future continuation. I would strongly encourage the Sisters community - its churches, businesses, community service organizations and private citizens - to carefully consider the unique added value SCA gives to our community, and to offer your financial support for this outstanding non-profit school.

We should not let this shining light in Sisters go out.

Bruce Williams

••••

To the Sisters Community,

I have been a volunteer for the Sisters Christian Academy (SCA) for five years. During this time I have witnessed the consistent kind, caring, patient treatment of all the students. When you walk into the school you feel a warm, loving atmosphere.

SCA is in a crunch due to lower enrollment. These students and teachers are part of the Sisters community, they need our support and help.

As a grandparent, taxpayer and a founding member of the Sisters Schools Foundation, I urge our community to step forward and support SCA. What better investment than these beautiful children who will eventually be adult members and taxpayers for the city of Sisters.

We will be supporting Sisters Christian Academy in several ways - volunteering, fundraising and, yes, financially, too.

Patricia and Roger Lamoureux

••••

To the Editor:

Thank you for sharing with the community the financial situation and enrollment challenges of Sisters Christian Academy (SCA). SCA is more than a school to the students and parents that have been touched by its devotion. To all that enter its doors, Sisters Christian Academy is a family and a home. The school is a safe, loving environment where communication between teachers and parents is a foundation for academic growth for each child. With small student-to-teacher ratios, children flourish and parents feel connected to the staff. SCA is a school where children say the Pledge of Allegiance and God's love is taught as students learn respect and morals.

Teachers carefully evaluate and tailor education to the needs of each student. For children that are at or above grade level, the teachers academically challenge them to go the distance and often have them doing work above grade level. For children that are behind, have a learning disability, or just need a little extra help; the teachers are supportive and encouraging. With less students than an average classroom, they can spend extra time with those that need more assistance and give them the tools they need to succeed. With such a supportive family of staff as mentors, respectful behavior is both illustrated by example and reinforced.

Day in and day out the teachers and staff are showing the love and faithfulness of Christ in real time, and it is making an impact on the next generation. As we look toward the future, please join us in celebrating the blessings of Sisters Christian Academy.

Eryn Elbers, Kim Williams, Katie Van Handel

SCA parents





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