To the Editor:

I’m a newly registered voter in Sisters. I’ve been following politics for a long time, and I’m concerned about making sure our elected officials stand up for our interests.

The legislature will convene on February 3 and will stay in session for just over a month to take care of the people’s business. But I’m worried that increased political partisanship has worn down our trust in each other and in state government. The threat of another state senate walkout in 2020 casts doubt on what can be accomplished in the legislative short session.

We need to remember how much we rely on each other — and on state government —and work together. Don’t we want emergency services when wildfires and natural disasters strike? Don’t we want support for public safety? Don’t we want access to health and family services? Of course we do. We depend on having a functioning government to support these programs. If our senators walk off the job, as they did last summer, they abandon work on basic services that we need.

We have a new senator, Lynn Findley. I hope we can all depend on him to stay on the job in 2020.

Mary Chaffin



To the Editor:

The residents of Sisters Country have a right to question the wisdom of opening a Dollar Store in town. I do not recall any public discussion of this move. If not, this suggests a lack of due diligence on the part of municipal officials. 

There is considerable criticism of Dollar Stores online. See for example, “The Dollar Store Backlash has Begun” at City Lab. It states, “While Dollar Stores sometimes fill a need in cash-strapped communities, growing evidence suggests these stores are not merely a byproduct of economic distress,” the authors write. “They’re a cause of it.”  

The article goes on to point out the negative effect of Dollar Stores on other stores nearby. When a Dollar Store opened in Haven, Kansas — subsidized through tax breaks by the local government—sales at the nearby Foodliner grocery dropped by 30 percent. 

In Chester, Vermont residents argued that allowing Dollar Stores to come to town “will be the beginning of the end for what might best be described as Chester’s Vermontiness,” per The New York Times. 

In Buhler, Kansas, the mayor saw what had happened to surrounding grocery stores in neighboring Haven and rejected the Dollar Store chain, also citing a threat to the town’s character.  And so goes the backlash. In my view a Dollar Store will be a blight on Sisters. Bringing it here is not a good idea.

Gary Leiser



To the Editor:

50 million Chinese locked down! 15 countries affected! Three confirmed cases in the U.S.! These dramatic headlines announce one more pandemic caused by our abuse of animals.

Indeed, 61 percent of the 1,415 pathogens known to infect humans originate with animals. These so-called zoonetic diseases, claiming millions of human lives, include Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, West Nile virus, bird flu, swine flu, dengue fever, ebola, HIV, SARS, and yellow fever. The pandemic “Spanish” flu of 1918 may have killed as many as 50 million people worldwide.

Western factory farms and Asian street markets are virtual breeding grounds for infectious diseases. Sick, crowded, highly stressed animals in close contact with raw flesh, feces, and urine provide ideal incubation media for viruses. As these microbes reach humans, they mutate to defeat the new host’s immune system, then propagate on contact.

Each of us can help end these deadly pandemics by replacing animal products in our diet with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. These foods don’t carry flu viruses, or government warning labels, are touted by every major health-advocacy organization, and were the recommended fare in the Garden of Eden. The Internet offers ample recipes and transition hints.

Siegfried Neufhaus