Nugget Newspaper - Sisters, Oregon News, Events, Classifieds | Sisters, Oregon

HOMECALENDARNEWSCLASSIFIEDSCouponsNUGGET BLOGVideo LibraryWeatherROAD REPORT
Latest Sisters, Oregon, weather
Current News
Education
Business
Sports
Health
Home & Garden
Columns
Obituaries
Announcements
Area Events
Calendar
Arts & Entertainment
Student of the Month
Archive
Editorial
Letters
Contact List
Advertising
Camp Sherman
City of Sisters
Deschutes County
Public Library
Sisters Guide
Sisters Chamber
Sisters Map
Sisters Rodeo
Sisters Schools
SPRD




Advanced Search

home : opinions : opinions July 24, 2014


7/9/2013 1:08:00 PM
Paving independence
By Marck Thompson


It is a beautiful 4th of July, Independence Day. I started the day by riding my bike into town to enjoy the morning celebrations that have been occurring in our country for over 200 years. After riding back home, I sit on my porch eating watermelon in a peaceful gorgeous part of our country and reflect on two subjects with commonality: Independence and paved bike paths.

The topic of independence in the Sisters area has been around since Sisters was founded; the topic of paved bike paths is relatively new. Many caring and dedicated people have worked together cooperatively with the Forest Service to organize a small system of paved trails to allow our citizens beautiful, safe and friendly access from our neighboring communities to our town. Recently, there have been several letters to the editor addressing paved bike paths. A few of our citizens have been against these paved paths. It is to those people who are against these paved paths, and others with similar feelings, to which I would like to address my thoughts.

What does independence mean to you? On this Independence Day, most of us first think about our country's freedom; a freedom that came at great cost. On a more personal level, independence for many of us means not relying on others to aid or assist us. Most of us are fortunate to be able-bodied and independent. A few of us are not quite so lucky. Among those few are men and women of our Armed Forces who have been injured serving our country and have given up their independence so that the rest of us can enjoy our freedom.

For those of us who are still blessed with physical independence, we have 1.8-million acres of land in the Deschutes National Forest to enjoy in a myriad of ways. For those with disabilities, whatever the cause or level of disability, they often can't join us to experience the beauty and wildness of being in the forest. This could be a disable vet, a citizen who has had a hip or knee replacement, a person who needs a walker or a cane, a teenager who has suffered an accident, or a child with a birth defect. Those of us lucky enough not to be in one of these categories right now, could find ourselves or a loved one there tomorrow.

Wouldn't it be nice if each of us, who are so lucky to have complete physical independence, could give something to those having difficulty with physical independence, so that they could enjoy a small part of our forest - which is also their forest? Paved bike paths could do that. The amount of area the proposed bike paths occupy is minuscule in comparison to the total area of the Deschutes National Forest. Let's share this tiny bit of forest so that people with disabilities can enjoy it independently. I'm asking those of you who are against these paved paths to consider people with disabilities when you are choosing to speak out against the paved paths. These paved paths would give our citizens who are disabled a new way to get back and forth to town while enjoying the forest and getting exercise, something we take for granted every day in the vastness of our forest.

I feel you who are speaking out against the paved bike paths are basing your opinion on a selfish desire to avoid change and out of ignorance of being independent, a common oversight. If you really consider independence and the needs of others and you are still against these few paved paths, then you are selfish and narrow-minded.

I find that very sad.

Mark Thompson is a resident of Crossroads

Sisters Country Weddings




Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

Note: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number is for our use only, and will not be attached to your comment.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   

















© Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. The Nugget Newspaper, Inc.
PO Box 698 • 442 E. Main Ave., Sisters, Oregon 97759 • 541-549-9941 office • 541-549-9940 Fax

Software © 1998-2014 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved