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home : letters : letters May 26, 2018


5/2/2018 9:13:00 AM
Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

After 35 years as an educator, my husband, David, and I moved to Sisters for the schools. That's right. Two 60-somethings put "great schools" at the absolute top of our relocation list. True, the natural beauty and clear evidence of community involvement were draws, too, but it was our serendipitous interactions with students in Sisters which capped our decision to choose Sisters. Seriously, who wants to live where its citizenry does not actively support education?

Those engaging students eventually drew me into their schools as a volunteer and a member of the Sisters School Board. The quality of my interactions with the students, educators, and volunteers in Sisters schools, complemented by the passion and commitment of numerous Sisters community groups, convinced me once again that educated and compassionate citizens equal a vibrant, healthy community and are the backbone of Sisters Country.

Sisters teachers and students consistently demonstrate a superior level of commitment to academics, while devoting endless hours to imagining and creating unique, life-changing programs. The renewal of the Sisters Local Option will ensure the continuation of a more personalized education for students, plus programs unique to Sisters: all-day kindergarten, smaller class sizes, Mandarin Chinese, a thriving arts curricula (Thank you, Sisters Folk Festival!), the Sisters High School aviation program in cooperation with Sisters Airport, Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics experiences (Thank you, Sisters Science Club!), while simultaneously making meaningful connections through outdoor experiences via Farm to Table and the Integrated Environmental Education program.

It's even clearer to me now, that Sisters outstanding schools are no accident. Renewing the Sisters Local Option is one vital way to ensure Sisters schools remain top-notch. Together we thrive and together we maintain our uniquely educated, vibrant, and desirable community. Please join me in voting YES on Measure 9-21.

Kay Grady

s s s

To the Editor:

Vote Yes on Measure 9-120.

Sisters Park and Recreation District has been a true community asset for more than 20 years. This small, efficient, and nimble district has strived to keep up with the desires and needs of our community.

In its infancy, the district focused on after-school programs assuring our kids had a fun, safe, and encouraging place to go after school instead of being left home alone. Since then, not only has the population of the area more than doubled, but the demand for services has meant that the district now provides over 100 programs that serve patrons from pre-schoolers to seniors. Over 3,000 youth registrants annually enroll in SPRD activities and another 1,600 adults annually participate in wellness, outdoor recreation, and fitness programs. District facilities have also expanded from a double-wide trailer to the 10,000 sq. ft. Coffield Community Recreation Center located on a 15-acre recreation complex that also includes Sisters' only skate park, bike park, and disc-golf course.

All of this has occurred without any additional tax support. As a result, the district has become reliant upon user fees, fundraising events, and donations to keep the district functioning as Sisters Country's primary recreation provider. Currently just 27% of SPRD's total revenue comes from its tax base compared to 43% in 2009. This funding model is difficult to sustain over the long term and is inadequate. As a result, SPRD has a significant backlog of facility maintenance, high staff turnover, high fees that limit access to programs, and uncertainty about the future.

We encourage your yes vote on Measure 9-120. Your small investment in the district will assure that the district will continue to meet the changing needs of our residents including expansion of programs for adults of all ages; reduced fees so that no child is turned away from our programs; continuation of special events that bring our community together; recreation facilities that are safe, well maintained and accessible; and last but not least that we retain a highly professional, energetic, passionate, and personable staff. SPRD deserves and needs our support.

Bob & Christi Keefer

s s s

To the Editor:

Even though I rarely agree with Craig Rullman, his column is one of the first items I go to in The Nugget each week.

He is an excellent writer and his ideas are thought-provoking. In my opinion, it is so critical for all of us to expose ourselves to different points of view. Imagine, occasionally we might even broaden our outlook and embrace a new idea.

I fully agree with Jane Poss' letter of April 25, and hope to see Craig Rullman's column regularly in The Nugget.

Gudrun Kibak

s s s

To the Editor:

Tammy Baney has been a regular attendee at Sisters Country events. And she has served Deschutes County well for 12 years as a Deschutes County Commissioner.

I have attended many of the Board of Commissioner's meetings, and I have been impressed that she is unfailingly polite, patient, and respectful of all citizens who come before the Commission to testify about County decisions.

Tammy Baney was raised in Deschutes County, she was educated here, and she chose to raise her own family here as well. She knows Deschutes County, its people, its farms and ranches, and its cities and towns. She also knows our challenges as well, particularly transportation and housing, and she has worked hard on these issues not only in Deschutes County, but also in Salem, where many of the most important decisions affecting our county are made.

In contrast, her opponent admits that she just moved to Deschutes County four years ago. But now she is asking us to let her run our county government even though she concedes that she has no prior government experience anywhere at all.

I hope that you will vote to keep Tammy Baney working successfully for us for another four-year term. She has earned your support through her continued dedication and commitment to our community for the last 12 years.

Paul Lipscomb

s s s

To the Editor:

At my slightly advanced age of 75 years, I still find myself profoundly lucky to be able to assist young artists at Sisters High School on a near-daily basis. The students keep me on my toes, with their energy, humor, creativity ... and yes, their music! It is my privilege to work with them, and it helps me keep a positive attitude. I cannot imagine their lives being cut short by some angry, twisted attacker with an assault weapon and a grudge against society. It chills me to contemplate the possibility. There must be a way to put this blight on our society to an end in a reasonable

manner.

Please understand that I am not anti-gun. I rather like guns. I was raised in eastern Montana, where a Saturday-night date might mean spotlighting jackrabbits on the frozen countryside, and selling them for mink food. Very romantic! We all hunted. I had pistols, shotguns, and long guns. However, when five grandkids came along, Janet and I decided to remove them from our home, in order to prevent even the slightest chance of an

accident.

From my viewpoint, amidst this great clamor, wailing and pontification on both sides of the gun-rights fence, the one thing that is glaringly missing is COMPROMISE. Most folks don't care to compromise, they like to WIN! However, the sign of a good compromise is that while neither side totally likes it, both accept it. It is a balance. Our American system is built on this dialectic balance of the (liberty) of the individual, and the well-being of the masses

(justice).

The compromise that I have in mind is one that allows private ownership of assault weapons, to be housed only at gun clubs. Owners could then check them out and fire them only on club property. Weapons would then be checked back in upon exiting the facility. Now I know that it is a real kick to blast, blast, blast away on some summer evening. It is truly fun! But, does that fun for the individual outweigh the rest of the population's right to live? Our school kids are answering that question loud and clear! This may be an idea whose time has come. At least it's a place to start a necessary conversation. Assault-weapon advocates will bemoan it as an infringement and others will complain that it is not enough. That may make this compromise just right ... liberty and justice.

Steve Mathews, Ed.D

Janet Mathews, Ph.D

•••

To the Editor:

After reading the Davis and Scofield letters in the April 18 Nugget in regards to a column by Craig Rullman, and detecting a bit of collaboration on the part of the letter authors if not directly at least in content, I was compelled to find and read the Rullman piece "The Stormy Daniels Upper," The Bunkhouse Chronicle, The Nugget, April 11,

page 13.

I was astonished in that I did not find the raving, "divisive," rambling account as described.

What I did find was a humorous and somewhat cynical social commentary. It was a serious commentary conveyed through humor and wild hyperbole. The underlying observations are accurate but perhaps lost on the authors who do not recognize what our civilization has become beyond the unrelenting division between blue and red. And by the way, total diversity is total absence of unity. We need more of the latter.

But divisive? Banning guns is a divisive issue. One is either for it or against it. Mr. Rullman clearly took a stand against it and should not be banished for that. The authors are really making a not-so-subtle plea to Mr. Rullman's employer to fire him for his beliefs. This is another all-too-common failure of our intolerant society.

Taking a stand is not a problem. What is problematic for our nation is taking a position without accurate, honest and sufficient knowledge of an issue. Another problem is the attempt to persuade public opinion by subterfuge.

I could suppose the authors, in their quest to avoid offensiveness and divisiveness, will vote neither for nor against the initiative. Does anyone believe that?

Michael Oneal



To the Editor:

Patti Adair is a neighbor of mine. Last summer my daughter was getting interested in horses, Patti let her come into her barn and help with her horses. My daughter loved it. Patti even lent her a child's saddle for the summer.

Patti is a wonderful neighbor. I came to learn that she is also an accountant and a tireless worker. It'd be hard to design a better candidate for Deschutes County Commissioner. She will make sure every penny works to keep Deschutes County beautiful. Please consider voting for Sisters' own Patti Adair as your next Deschutes County Commissioner.

Adam Jones

•••

To the Editor:

It is with great enthusiasm that I endorse Patti Adair for Deschutes Country Commissioner.

Patti Adair is a true fiscal conservative, and will promote policies to ensure stability in county government, as well as the private sector. As Wheeler County Commissioner and Wheeler County Republican Precinct Committee Chairman, I work with Patti Adair regularly. Voters can count on her to keep a tight rein on spending and work to control the size of county government.

Central Oregonians can depend on a realistic vision for the future which is in step with community values by choosing Patti Adair for Deschutes County Commissioner.

Rob Ordway

Spray, Oregon

•••

To the Editor:

A resource center of inestimable value is now provided by Council on Aging to Sisters citizens at SPRD in the Sage Room. Even though it has been mentioned in The Nugget and in flyers distributed about town, I fear many who could find their needs met there might not know of it. It's worth anyone's time to go there and ask about what resources our community has (then perhaps even add themselves or their services to the expansive list of resources).

Call 541-797-9138.

SPRD is next to Sisters High School off McKinney Butte Road. Since it is a pilot program, I am concerned that, if it is not used it will be available only temporarily. Use it or lose it? It helps me to realize that through networks of friends and family, and via personal connections, the word will spread about new services available for aging adults in Sisters.

The Central Oregon Council on Aging funded this as a pilot program. Toni Landis as COA Resource Specialist has been available since March 5, each Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. That is 72 hours of hard work plus many hours donated to Senior Alliance. She is a knowledgeable person with much compassion. With expert skill she has organized information about the many resources available for people in Sisters Country. With much caring she can match individuals' needs to resources. Since this is a pilot program great efforts are only wasted if resources go unused.

Some, maybe many, do not have transportation to visit this center and are among the isolated in need of services that can help them live independently. All are invited to accompany a friend in need to the beautiful Sage Room prepared by Shannon Rackowski at SPRD, and together pick up a list of phone numbers to meet needs and age with dignity in Sisters Country.

Senior Alliance met its goal of having an all-community conversation the evening of April 25 at the fire hall, when 130 people showed up and spent the evening expressing their dreams of what will continue to make Sisters an age-friendly country. Everyone's comments and suggestions were recorded and weighted in importance. It became apparent that suggestions were pertinent for any age. It hails the possibility for Senior Alliance to be an All Ages Alliance - AAA, standing like three snowy mountain peaks

Joann Power

•••

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 15 for County Commissioner Position 3.

Andy Sichler

•••

To the Editor:

With reference to Steve Nugent's column of April 18, one thing occurred to me right away. He wants to ban all semi-automatic rifles except .22 caliber.

Most hunting rifles in this day and age are semi-automatics. Bolt and lever action are not the choice of most hunters that hunt in this country.

He didn't mention semi-automatic handguns and I am sure that is right behind semi-automatic rifles. The next step would be confiscation.

James T. Walz





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