To the Editor:

In last week's letters to the editor, it was stated that I stepped down from my position at Sisters Folk Festival to pursue other opportunities.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I quit in protest of the elimination of Ann Richardson's position at SFF, and what I see as a wrong-headed decision on the part of whoever's making decisions for the organization.

Pete Rathbun

s s s

To the Editor:

I started skiing with Oregon Adaptive Sports four years ago. Since then I've been trained to hike and bike with the blind. I also kayak, bike and hike with a variety of disabled athletes. 

Our fundraising helps to support these athletes with equipment, transportation, lessons, scholarships and more. A sit-ski can run $2,500 and a recumbent bike up to $5,000, depending on disability. I am a volunteer, but there is a small staff of paid employees. They are amazing.

We are in the midst of our second annual "Ski For All" fundraiser. We all have our own web page. Please consider donating to my OAS web page. https://support.oregon

adaptivesports.org/fundraiser/1845976.

Denice Cristiano

s s s

To the Editor:

In response to what has been printed in this paper, I am calling to action our community to stand up against intolerance. Commit to disrupting hate and intolerance at home, school, the workplace, and in faith communities. Acceptance, fundamentally, is a personal decision. It comes from an attitude that is based in understanding and compassion: a belief that every voice matters, that all people are valuable, that no one is "less than."

We all have prejudices. Acknowledging them - and working through them - can be a scary and difficult process. It's also one of the most important steps toward breaking down the walls of silence that allow intolerance to grow. Luckily, we all possess the power to overcome our ignorance and fear, and to influence others to do the same.

We should be commending our teachers for creating a culture of acceptance, safety, love, and respect. Children learn from the language you use and the attitudes you model. If you demonstrate a deep respect for other cultures, races, and walks of life, they most likely will, too.

Suzy Hayes

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To the Editor:

The two letters to the editor by Lorene Richardson were excellent and well-expressed. Many of us feel the same and agree wholeheartedly. We aren't always able to express ourselves as well as she did.

We appreciate her well-written letters. In these Last Days, we need great discernment.

Thank you, Lorene!

Linn Watson

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To the Editor:

The members of the country dance band Dry Canyon Stampede would like to give a big thank-you to all who supported the Americana Song Academy for Youth during one of our recent shows. During our performance at The Belfry on February 15, it was announced by one of our members, Lilli Warona, that any monies we received in tips would be used to help fund the participation in the Song Academy for some local high school

students.

Lilli, a high school teacher in Central Oregon, will be bringing, for the second year now, some students from her high school to attend this wonderful program administered through Sisters Folk Festival. The generosity and outpouring of contributions from those in attendance was amazing and will definitely help for those students to participate, some who may not otherwise have the financial means to attend.

We realize that some in attendance who contributed do not live in Sisters and may not read or receive The Nugget. But we want to thank those we can for their generosity and support.

This community seems to step up every time for every reason. Thank you, Sisters Country.

Mike Biggers and Dry Canyon Stampede

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To the Editor:

I want to take this opportunity to expand upon a point made in an article that featured my business the other week. While the bulk of the article focused on Paulina Springs Books' decision to step away from social media, it also briefly touched on the importance of shopping locally and cited some dollar retention figures. From the article: "Studies show that if a customer spends $100 at an independent local retailer, $48 will circulate throughout the local economy. Spend the same $100 at a big chain store nearby, and only $15 stays local. Buying from online stores like Amazon drains money out of a community. A mere $1 remains local."

While these figures should themselves be motivation for keeping your dollars local, they're much lower than the studies that I've seen, which often put the dollar retention rate for local, independent businesses in the range of $65-$70 per $100 spent.

There's a whole laundry list of direct and indirect benefits to shopping locally other than dollar retention, but here a just a few: Local independent businesses are more likely to donate to local schools and support local organizations, as well as source materials, products, and services from other local businesses. Shopping locally is also environmentally friendly, conserves tax dollars (less wear on infrastructure), raises the value of homes in the area, and supports entrepreneurship.

In addition to the benefits of shopping locally, there are also the immense costs of shopping online, specifically on Amazon. Yes, items are often cheaper up front (though not as often as we've been trained to believe), but they carry many other costs. A recent study conducted by Civic Economics called "Prime Numbers: Amazon and American Communities" shed light on some staggering realities.

In 2018 alone, Amazon was responsible for 900,000 displaced retail jobs, 62,000 displaced shops, and $5.5 - $7 billion in uncollected sales tax. No wonder New Yorkers pushed back against having this behemoth put down roots in their backyard.

Sisters businesses are fortunate to have the tourism and second-home-owner boom of the summer months, without which I'm sure many would not be viable. But the true lifeblood of our town is the support of our year-round locals who spend their dollars at local businesses. Without them I know that Paulina Springs Books would not last long, and I'm sure the same is true for many other local businesses.

The math here is simple: If we don't spend our money locally, shops close, jobs are lost, our downtowns wither on the vine, we line the pockets of the mega-rich-and in the process, we lose much of what makes our communities unique and vibrant. One does not need to never shop online again. It doesn't take much to generate local self-reliance. Just every once in a while, when you're about to buy something online, think about hopping on your bike or lacing up your walking shoes, enjoying our beautiful scenery, and paying a visit to one of our local

businesses.

For those interested in more about these studies, check out The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Independent We Stand, Civic Economics, the "Prime Numbers" study, and indiebound.org's "Spotlight on Amazon."

Lane Jacobson

Owner, Paulina Springs Books

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To the Editor:

Thank you, Jim Cornelius, for the editorial in last weeks Nugget.

Your synthesis of the National Emergency declaration was clear, succinct and on point. Thank you for bringing a level-headed perspective to this illegitimate action.

Michael Valoppi