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home : letters : letters May 26, 2018


4/24/2018 6:28:00 PM
Letters to the Editor 04/25/2018

To the Editor:

Recent letters to the editor attacking Nugget columnist Craig Rullman are disappointingly intolerant: One can disagree with columnists without attempting to silence them.

Newspaper columnists are not ambassadors for their papers. They are not running for office or trying to win a popularity contest. Their job is to commit to the page their personal take on the world. The good ones are highly intelligent, talented writers, well-informed, well-read in history, and willing to do the hard work it takes to mine facts from rubble.

Agree with him or not, Rullman has all of those qualities and is an outstanding columnist. As a former reporter for a major metropolitan paper, I worked alongside many columnists, some nationally syndicated. These special writers would not have had their jobs but for their opinionated views and original voices, and yes, they were frequently provocative.

There are a lot of newspaper columnists from whom to choose. I can disagree with some, yet still learn from them. There are many Nugget readers who look forward eagerly to reading Rullman's columns.

Jane Poss

•••

To the Editor:

Yesterday I was nearly hit by a car in the crosswalk on Main Avenue.

A lady with a dog in her lap was stopped on Larch Street at the stop sign, making a left turn onto Main, heading east past The Nugget. I thought she saw me. She hurriedly made the left turn, then made a screeching halt, barely missing hitting me. She was driving too fast.

As we approach tourist season I strongly suggest that we all slow down. Our speed limit is from 20 to 25 MPH and should be even slower considering conditions. Those conditions are kids, crowds, meandering pedestrians, and distracted drivers!

Maybe we need the crossing flags on Main Avenue as well as on Cascade.

A note to pedestrians, make definite eye contact with drivers before you cross. Do not assume that they see you. I was dressed in grey. The road is grey. She was in a hurry. She mouthed, "Sorry."

We would both be much more sorry had she hit me.

Karen Keady

•••

To the Editor:

The Society of Professional Journalists has a code of ethics that functions on four principles: seek truth and report it, minimize harm, act independently, be accountable and transparent. Opinion pieces aside, from where I stand most contemporary journalists and media outlets have abandoned their code of ethics. Generally speaking, the media has adopted persuasion and pressure tactics with the goal of forcing their audience into that journalist's personal line of thinking. These all-knowing attitudes shut down discussion and education, they even train us lay-people to approach difficult subjects in the same closed-minded manner.

I'd like to compliment a few of our local young people who have recently made their voices heard in The Nugget Newspaper: last week's Letter to the Editor about plastic bags written by Natalie Sits, Emilie Turpen, Olivia Bertagna, and Austen Heuberger as well as last month's article about electric cars written by Ethan Ferwalt.

Thank you all for presenting your information accurately, fairly, thoroughly, and with integrity. You've given me pause for thought and inspiration to further educate myself on those subjects.

Lorna Clarke

•••

To the Editor:

On May 15, Deschutes County Republicans will have the opportunity to choose the candidate to represent them in the general election for County Commissioner Position 3. Commissioner Baney has been in this position for 12 years and has presided over increases in taxes and the costs of county government disproportionate to the actual growth in population.

Patti Adair is someone who will bring commonsense fiscal policies to reign in spending. Her background as a Certified Public Accountant, a business administrator, active participant in state and local political organizations make her uniquely qualified to serve as County Commissioner. Patti is passionate about protecting the quality of life we all value as Central Oregonians. Those of us who have worked with her are constantly amazed at the enthusiasm, energy and unfailing positive attitude she brings to every endeavor in which she is involved.

Deschutes County needs Patti Adair and her fresh perspective as we deal with the challenges of our rapidly growing communities. Please vote for Patti Adair on May 15th for County Commissioner Position 3.

Andy Sichler

•••

To the Editor:

During the past seven years community members of the Sisters Science Club have periodically been invited into Sisters schools, K-12, to help with science and engineering lessons, demonstrations and field trips. This has been a privilege and pleasure for us. The teachers are simply outstanding, and the focused attention and joy of achievement they have instilled in their students is palpable - a wonderful environment for our children to grow and learn.

Community organizations like the Americana Project, Sisters Park & Recreation District, Roundhouse Foundation and the Science Club work hard to add value with special programs, but their contributions would be greatly diminished or even lost if the base support provided in our local option is not renewed.

Sisters schools are the best in Central Oregon, and lead the state in science and graduation rates (https://renewforsisters.org,just-the-facts). We can build upon this even more and without increasing our tax rate. We urge you to vote yes with us on May 15 for the local option, measure 9-121.

Bob Collins and Cal Allen

Sisters Science Club

•••

To the Editor:

Please join me in supporting our valued Sisters Park & Recreation resources by voting "yes" on the upcoming local option.

So much of Sisters Country is all about our treasured natural resources and outdoor activities that keep our community young and older engaged. To ensure we keep pace with ongoing needs, it is critical that stable, base-level funding be secured.

SPRD has worked funding miracles in the past years to keep this wonderful resource in place. However, it is very difficult to build a strong maintenance foundation with so much dependent on events and fundraising. Lets provide a strong financial base that will attract and retain SPRD staffing and keep our investments we have made together well into our future.

Steve Janego

••••

To the Editor:

Sisters has seen much change since our families moved here more than 40 years ago. Our family of three has had the opportunity to be here for much of that change, and one of the greatest and most remarkable changes was the addition of Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD - formerly SOAR).

SPRD programs have been invaluable not only for our family, but for many other families in our community.

From its humble beginnings in a leftover modular classroom (on the current site of City Hall), SPRD was only able to offer limited youth and after-school programs. With SPRD's current facilities and programs, ranging from daycare to senior activities, SPRD has been able to accomplish all of this without increasing its original tax levy from 1998. Yes, 20 YEARS without an increase in the tax rate! I am not sure another organization in the state could say the same.

SPRD has attained this through generous donors, fundraising events, and participant fees, which make up approximately 70 percent of its income. Tax funding only accounts for about 30 percent of income. This may sound great, but, unfortunately, SPRD has become a victim of its own success, as this is not a sustainable model. Inflation alone should have done SPRD in many years ago, but the community has always stepped up to help keep SPRD alive. It is now time for us to formally commit with a yes vote for the SPRD levy.

Our son, now 24, may not have had the life successes he has had so far if not for the after-school programs, summer camps, excursions, and middle school sports (SPRD partnered with the school district to keep MS sports going when the district was almost forced to eliminate them). SPRD has contributed immensely to our community, expanding its offerings to people of all aged for over 20 years.

Please join us in voting yes on the SPRD Levy to continue the tradition of excellence in Sisters Country.

Darren, Donna and Brennan Layne.

•••

To the Editor:

Vote "yes" for the SPRD Levy.

"The only thing that is constant is change," and that sure has been true for Sisters Park & Recreation District in the year of 2018. It doesn't have to be that way though, and the first step forward is providing proper funding for the District to operate. SPRD provides a lot of programs with very little resources, and it does it to provide opportunities for youth, teens, and adults.

As a former Youth Program Coordinator for SPRD I have seen the impact these programs have on children by offering them physical activity, hands-on learning, and socialization. I have also seen the positive impact the special events, such as the Sisters Shootout Basketball Tournament, has on local businesses, restaurants, and hotels in times that tourism is slow.

It is imperative to have a high-functioning parks and recreation district in Sisters to serve the community in a positive way. It is time to turn the corner, starting with the new hire of Todd Garrett, and propel SPRD to new heights.

Vote "yes" for measure 9-120.

Erik Miletich

•••

To the Editor:

My husband and I have never had children attend the Sisters schools, but we are ardent believers that quality schools are a critical component to the quality of life we have in Sisters.

We support the renewal of the school levy and we urge you to join us in voting yes for our schools, our youth and our community.

Ann Richardson & Clyde Dildine

•••

To the Editor:

As we move forward into spring, I'm excited to announce that the Reed Stadium locker rooms, concessions, and public restrooms are complete. What's even more exciting is that Saturday, April 28, Sisters Rotary Invitational Track Meet will be the first event hosted in the new, completed facilities.

Prior to spring break, the district spent two days and held 12 various focus groups to receive feedback for the mission/vision work that is being done. The Mission/Vision Committee will meet again on April 24 to review the response from both the focus groups as well as the online surveys that were sent out to parents and staff.

Enrollment continues to slightly increase and is the highest it has been in the last few years.

Neil Fendall and Mark Stewart reported on Sisters Educational Options. This program offers numerous educational options and opportunities that are available to all resident students. They continue to provide students custom and personalized curriculum. This includes families that are currently homeschooling. If you have questions, please call Mr. Fendall at 541-549-4045, Ext. 5762.

Spring brings about many outdoor experiential opportunities for our Outlaw students. We have 8th-grade students that will be traveling to Ashland for a Shakespearean play, 7th-graders will hike Smith Rock for their retreat and 6th-graders are preparing for three days of outdoor school. All while high school biology, IEE, and sports medicine classes prepare for their outdoor excursions as well. And we cannot forget about the famous 4th-grade field trip where students are able to experience and study the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition.

The budget committee and the school board held its official budget meeting on April 18 for the 2018-2019 school budget. The next official budget meeting, coinciding with the school board meeting, will be held May 2 at the district office. These are public meetings and offer a great way to gather information on the great things happening around the school district.

Curt Scholl

SSD Superintendent

•••

To the Editor:

I believe that Patti Adair would be a breath of fresh air in the Commissioners' chambers when she is elected to replace Tammy Baney.

Our county needs another look at how our tax dollars are being spent, as well as preserving the pristine waters and beauty of our neighborhoods.

She will dig in and work tirelessly to get our county on the right track, back to our roots of sound fiscal policy. We want someone with her integrity and expertise (she is a former CPA) to be one of our leaders.

Do the homework, read the voter pamphlet, and vote for Patti Adair.

Jayne Simmons

•••

To the Editor:

Measure 9-121, the Sisters Schools Local Option, is a "no-brainer" when you vote in the coming election. Vote YES to renew the local option.

Voters in the Sisters School District have wisely renewed the local option in four previous elections. In voting yes, it doesn't increase your property taxes by one penny. What it does do is ensure that we don't have to lose 26 school days, or fire 15 teachers, or eliminate current programs involving art, music, sports and other extra-curricular activities.

We all want the kids of Sisters to have the best educational opportunities possible. That's why they currently outperform their peers statewide and are exceptional in Central Oregon in terms of test scores and graduation rates. So, to keep our kids, our schools and our community thriving vote yes and renew the Sisters Schools Local Option.

Patrick Smith

•••

To the Editor:

At a town hall meeting set up by the Redmond Patriots in March, I listened to Commissioner Tammy Baney and learned why after her 12 years in office it's time for change.

Tammy was asked about working in Salem, specifically if she received compensation and exactly how that work benefits Deschutes County. Her answer was that of a true politician. She explained how important her role was, what great things she was doing, but never answered the question.

When asked why the 2015 commissioners "opted-in" to cannabis grows she stated that they were afraid of how the residents would vote so they made that decision for us. Then she wanted to know how the challengers would fix the mess that she helped create.

While families here work two and three jobs to get by, Tammy had no excuse for why she voted YES to an additional 3.7 percent raise on top of the automatic 5 percent raise county employees receive plus a cost of living adjustment.

While bragging how she stood with residents through the recession, she forgot that she voted to increase property taxes 3 percent every year. She then touted that there is a decrease coming but neglected to point out that it was Phil Henderson that fought for this.

We need NEW commissioners that are focused on Deschutes County. Leaders who will respect our hard-earned dollars and protect our way of life, putting family and community safety first.

That's why I'm voting Patti Adair for County Commissioner Position 3.

Carolyn Spicer

•••

To the Editor:

Recently, I have received requests to "subscribe" to The Nugget. Whatever inclination I might have had to do so vanished when I read the recent essays of Editor Cornelius and his cowboy buddy, Mr. Rullman, especially on the subject of guns. We now have gone to Rullman's demonstration of Godwin's Law that says discussions of this type inevitably result in someone referencing the Holocaust in support of their empty argument.

Fear not, Messrs. Cornelius and Rullman (and others similarly inclined) may fondle their firearms in the privacy of their respective homes. I don't care.

However, I won't be coming around to their houses to ask for charitable donations.

Oh, and in anticipation of some who might claim that I am just some liberal ignorant of firearms, let me disabuse you. I was the Firearms Petty Officer on the submarine I served on in the United State Navy, fired several military weapons, including a fully automatic one, and qualified as a Marksman on the .45 Caliber service

pistol.

It would be better if The Nugget just focused on what it can credibly write about: local issues and events.

Michael Wells

•••

To the Editor:

It's not often Zoe and I allow signs on our old barn. The exception will be in support of Tammy Baney. As a tireless advocate for our community, she has a history of creating healthy outcomes. She is a proven fiscal conservative.

It's difficult to put into words the importance we put on Tammy's reelection. Simply put, she is the best. She represents the heart and soul of Central Oregon.

Bill and Zoe Willitts









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