To the Editor:

I had the opportunity to read the book "George" by Alex Gino for the Oregon Battle of the Books. I enjoyed reading this book because it taught me about what she went through. It also taught me how not to judge others. I think everyone should read this book because all people deserve kindness.

Emmitt Buller, 4th grade

Sisters Elementary School

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To the Editor:

I am writing this letter for all the youth in Sisters who are a part of the LGBTQ community. I want to share my heart and tell you that there are many adults in Sisters (myself and family included) who love and support you unconditionally.

By unconditionally, I mean to say that you are enough being who you are. You do not need to change to make me or anyone else feel more comfortable. You are most certainly not a mistake. You have the right to be and love anyone you chose. That really is not our business. Yes, there will be some who think it is very much their business, but I beg of you not to listen or give them the "air time" they so desperately think they need. There are many adults in this town who are more than willing to process with you, listen objectively, and love you unconditionally without an agenda to try to change you.

Don't retreat and hide. If you feel alone and depressed, know that there are many safe spaces you can go to for help. Our community has a student-based health center, counselors, teachers, and many others who will keep your information confidential.

It is time for the adults to come alongside our youth and be a voice and an ally for our LGBTQ community (thank you to those that have). I'm proud of the author of "George," Alex Gino, for being brave enough to write a book about a transgender child because transgender people exist as do gay, lesbian, bisexual, and queer people. I hope we can fill a whole wall with books such as these.

So, to all the LGBTQ people out there, I see you. I appreciate you. I love you. You have such capacity to do amazing things in our community and in this world, just like every other person out there. Your life is precious and the world is better with you in it.

Katie Diez

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To the Editor:

Seeing the articles in The Nugget and The Bulletin about the Christmas dinner at the Fire Hall brought back memories of the past.

The Christmas dinner actually originated with the newly formed JayCee Club in 1971. At that time, a gift certificate for dinner at The Forest Café was issued to elderly couples who would be alone on Christmas Day. That continued until the Jaycees disbanded in (I believe)1974. At that time Don Mouser and myself, members of the Sisters Volunteer Fire Department, suggested to the volunteers that the Fire Department continue with the program. They all agreed and it became a Volunteer Fire Department project.

The Forest Café stopped staying open on Christmas Day, so we got permission from the school board to use the cafeteria and commons area in the old middle school, located where the library is now.

The complete dinner was cooked there by Don and Carol Mouser, Keith and Shirley Miller and myself and my wife, Naomi. We then opened it to anyone who wanted to come. Eventually we moved to the Fire Hall. However due to lack of ovens we needed a place to cook the turkeys and hams. Shirley and Naomi both worked at The Gallery Restaurant, so owners John and Glen Wilber let us use the kitchen at The Gallery. The Millers and my wife and myself continued to cook the turkeys and hams, plus the other fixings, there until I retired in 2003.

The rest of the dinner was fixed at the Fire Hall by the volunteers. Pies and other desserts were donated by the community and Sisters Bakery.

Throughout the years there were many who donated turkeys and other food items; also money. One year a gentle gentleman called to say he would like to donate two turkeys and would deliver them a couple of days before Christmas. To our surprise, they were live turkeys!

I told him we couldn't accept them until they were killed and dressed. He said he would take them home and do it, which he did, and delivered them Christmas morning. However he must have got tired of picking feathers, because they were covered in pinfeathers. Knowing we would never get all the feathers off in time, we skinned them. If anyone noticed the difference, they didn't say anything.

It was always enjoyable to see all those faces when we delivered the finished product to the Fire Hall, and how grateful everyone was.

I am grateful for all those who are donating time and resources to keep it going.

Donald L. Rowe, Sisters Fire Chief, Retired

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To the Editor:

I couldn't agree more with Bruce Carpenter's letter to the editor in last week's Nugget about the directional signs in Sisters' roundabout.

I was not a big fan of the roundabout idea, but now that it's up and working I have changed my mind. It works great. It was interesting to watch the art work in the center of the roundabout be put in last fall. I know there is more work to be done but it is a very nice start.

Then the state puts up those very obnoxious signs. As Bruce wrote "Those large, redundant arrow signs need to be removed, immediately, and a view of the circle restored."

Dick Tipton

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To the Editor:

All this talk about the wall - how much it will cost and if it will really keep out gangs, drugs, and folks seeking to bypass our legal immigration process. The arguments we hear are most often about us - our humanity or lack thereof, our safety, our economy. But let's take a look at what happens to the non-human inhabitants who live near the border.

We may think of the U.S./Mexico border as a wasteland, but it is comprised of six separate eco-regions from desert scrub to forest woodlands to wetland marshes and is considered a global resource in terms of biological diversity and importance. Residents of the border include bighorn sheep, Mexican gray wolf, jaguar, and ocelot, to name a few threatened species.

How would a wall harm these residents of the border? A wall isolates animal populations, thus limiting necessary genetic diversity. A wall limits the ability to roam for food, water, and mates. A wall disrupts seasonal migration and traps wildlife from escaping fires, floods, and heat waves.

The wall would cut through wildlife refuges and Big Bend National Park. Along the entire southern border of Texas, it would eliminate access to the Rio Grande River for wildlife who end up on the wrong side.

According to Fox News, over 2,500 scientists have signed a letter stating "In North America, along the 1,988-mile border, fence and wall construction over the past decade and efforts by the Trump administration to complete a continuous border wall threaten some of the continent's most biologically diverse regions. Already-built sections of the wall are reducing the area, quality, and connectivity of plant and animal habitats and are compromising more than a century of bi-national investment in conservation."

Susanna DeFazio