To the Editor:

Kudos to Craig Rullman, who always speaks his mind, and expressed so well the divisive hyperbole going around these days!

Our First Amendment free speech rights are in danger as are other freedoms we hold dear.

Carefully weigh and investigate what comes across the media. There is a lot of hype and hysteria out there.

Jeanne Brooks

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To the Editor:

I was delighted to see the stories in The Bulletin on January 24-25 about the improvement in graduation rates throughout the state, and especially in Central Oregon. Most of our area schools were not only above the Oregon average they were also above the last reported national average. Those improvements indicate that something is going right in our schools, and they all should be congratulated.

Even though Oregon's rate is still lower than the national average, increasing these numbers around the state is a step in the right direction.

I just finished reading a fascinating book by Emily Krone Phillips entitled "Solving the Dropout Crisis One Ninth Grader At A Time, The Make or Break Year." It focuses on how developing the Freshman On Track program in the Chicago Public Schools changed their graduation rates dramatically.

The book recognizes Oregon as being one of the states that has adopted this program and it was satisfying to read that many of the schools listed in the articles mentioned the Freshman On Track program. It highlights how individual attention to students during this crucial year can become a turning point for any student having difficulty.

I highly recommend the book for anyone who has a student in, or going into, the ninth grade and encourage all educators to become familiar with it.

Edie Jones

s s s

To the Editor:

Regarding the "George" book conversation, I'm confident I speak for the majority who are appalled that our children are being subjected to GLBTQ+ influence in schools. Few would be happy if their child decides to try to become the opposite of their biological birth.

Most children with such feelings naturally grow out of them. But in the current "social construct" they're being encouraged to question, experiment, even change themselves through artificial means to become something other. Going through changes of puberty is traumatic enough, without presenting them with confusing ideas that they may have been born "in the wrong body"!

There is an agenda to push this on our children, and force those of us who think differently to go along with it or be branded as bigots - punished for, among other things, using the "wrong" pronouns to address confused people. Statistics show the suicide rate among people who choose that route is very high. They find it hasn't made them happy, that they're missing something in their life. Some have transitioned back and become happily married with children, the ideal we were created for.

Our children should be taught not to bully anyone who is different for any reason -taught to be kind to anyone who is different, as did Jesus. He was sent by God the Father to rescue us from the sins committed in our free will. He does love all, offering forgiveness and mercy to all. He does not condone sin, but offers wonderful cleansing and new life to those who accept him.

God's supposed "mistake" of obnoxious weeds are a result of our first parents' giving in to Satan's deception, their subsequent sin and fall from God's grace (Genesis 3). The world continues to suffer from that ongoing deception.

Lorene Richardson

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To the Editor:

Sue Stafford wrote at the end of her article "Sisters man's donation speeds up trail rehab" (The Nugget, January 30, pg. 1) that the proposed resurfacing of the Tollgate-to-Sisters High School trail "will also serve as a community-wide recreational extension to the Tollgate pathway network that is open to the public."

Contrary to Ms. Stafford's assertion, Tollgate is a private community and its pathway network is not open to the wider public except by explicit invitation from residents.

Many people in Tollgate steadfastly oppose the resurfacing of the north end of the Tollgate-to-Sisters High School trail (which traverses Tollgate property) because it would expedite illegal use of Tollgate's private facilities and provide quick getaway for burglars of Tollgate homes. They also worry that use of the trail by the broader Sisters community could cause Tollgate to lose its easement rights to its own property through a prescriptive easement acquisition.

But this is more than an issue for just Tollgate residents. Sisters Trails Alliance (STA) has an ulterior motive in resurfacing the trail. During their guided walk of the trail a couple weeks ago (which Ms. Stafford attended), STA representative Kris Calvin told participants that the resurfaced trail could possibly become a spur trail to the highly controversial Sisters-to-Black Butte Ranch trail.

For all the good STA has done in our community, they are very slow learners. A few years ago, the Sisters Ranger District declined to fund or even sanction the Sisters-to-Black Butte Ranch trail (a proposed wide asphalt path through the Deschutes National Forest) when it became obvious (after several rancorous public meetings) that its proposal was severely dividing our community.

Here we go again. All those in Sisters who oppose a revival of the Sisters-to-Black Butte Ranch asphalt path should send STA a loud and clear message: Hands off!

Michael Cooper