To the Editor:

I must express my disagreement with the contention that rifle bullets pose a fire threat to our community (letter to the editor May 1). Wild fires may be started by: power lines, mufflers, cigarettes, camp fires, lightning, arsonists and “controlled burns.”

However, I have been shooting for over 50 years and aside from the type of ammunition used on military reservations I have never known of a fire started by a bullet.

But anything that could be hung around the necks of shooters or gun owners can only be a win for our progressive friends.

Larry Benson

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To the Editor:

I wish to express my thoughts about the 2,000 noble, beautiful trees that made the west-to-east drive into Sisters a scenic delight, and the hundreds of years that these trees needed to obtain their majesty.

I would like to explore a definition of professionals: Professionals always consider all outcomes, and ramifications of their decisions. If killing 2,000 ponderosas is not in your job description, then you ought to do the research to know what you are doing. Ignorance about product and effect is not an excuse. Incompetence is not, either.

Seeing these trees lying down in big rows is heart sickening. Let’s hire professionals and avoid this tragedy in the future.

Tom Egan

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To the Editor:

We are writing to share our support for Jeff Smith for the Sisters School Board, Position 3.

Jeff Smith embraces the educational values of the Sisters School District. He has worked hard to build the trust of the community and listens to what the community values educationally. He believes that smaller classes are good for children, both in terms of improving academic skills and maintaining the social-emotional wellness of our children.

Jeff has demonstrated a willingness to work with and for the children of the Sisters School District. He has spent countless hours volunteering with students as a mentor in the Circle of Friends program and as an adult leader for both the IEE program at Sisters High School and the ECOS program at Sisters Middle School. Additionally, he has been a youth coach for over 20 seasons, volunteers for the Sisters Science Fair, Sisters Folk Festival, and effectively serves on the Sisters Schools Foundation Board. As a member of the School Board, Jeff Smith has been unanimously elected Board Chair for the past three years.

We are fortunate in this community to have a leader like Jeff Smith. We urge you to support him for the Sisters School Board, Position 3.

Winter and Treasure Lewis

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To the Editor:

In the May 8 Nugget, guest columnist Steve Nugent leads off with the topic that there are still chants of “lock her up” referring to Hillary Clinton. That is exactly what should have happened and the voters were not as stupid as Democrats thought; thus one of the many reasons she lost the election. Thanks to Judicial Watch and lawsuits to obtain FBI and Department of Justice documents under the Freedom of Information Act we know the decision to not prosecute her was made before the FBI investigation even took place.

Reminds one of the chants “drain that swamp!”

No other government person is known to have set up a private email unencrypted server in their basement to conduct government business, let alone anyone at that level of responsibility for protecting America’s secrets. Numerous examples of classified documents were in fact found on her server including Top Secret. What was really on the 33,000 that she had erased? Why BleachBit? “Like with a cloth or something.”

When Steve makes the comment “she was never indicted for any wrongdoing” it’s obvious he’s done zero investigation into the issue or chooses like many others to ignore the facts for political purposes; much like Benghazi. Why not ask who and at what level knew this was going on and why it was allowed to continue exposing American secrets to foreign hackers? What do espionage statutes say about gross or negligent mishandling of classified information?

Steve’s column could have easily filled the entire section with an honest, research-based discussion regarding the facts available surrounding Clinton’s email system abuses. Instead, as he’s done in the past, the column was crammed with more gibberish from the mouths of Rachel Maddow and others from CNN?

Hopefully Attorney General Barr will take a peek at the facts.

Jeff Mackey

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To the Editor:

An article in last week’s issue of The Nugget stated, “Everybody knows that the growing season in Sisters Country is painfully short.” A few years ago, another article maintained our growing season was only 90 days. Not true.

For the past nine years, I’ve been growing vegetables for at least eight months each year — outdoors, and virtually without using cold frames. (I have one cold frame that is closed only at night to keep seedlings from freezing in the late winter and from late summer on.)

I typically start planting the first week of March and don’t retire my gardens until early or mid-November. Even with the heavy snows we had in late February, I planted spinach and mustard greens in mid-March. Last Wednesday, I harvested my first salad of spinach, mustard greens, radishes, arugula and chives.  

By employing four key strategies, you, too, can dramatically extend your growing season in Sisters Country. First, plant in raised beds (mine are 18 inches high); cold air will sink to lower ground outside the beds.

Second, fill your beds with lots of organic matter and use fertilizers containing beneficial micro-organisms. The bioactive substrate will raise the temperature of your beds slightly, giving your plants more protection from cold nighttime temperatures.

Third, use thick row covers — and be prepared to cover your beds in the evening, and uncover them in the morning after the temperature rises a few degrees above freezing. I use Territorial Seed Company’s Frost Blanket, which is made of a polypropylene fabric three times the thickness of Reemay row covers and protects plants down to 24 to 26 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fourth, buy premium-quality seed — I strongly recommend Territorial Seed Company’s — and plant cultivars (selectively bred plant varieties) that mature quickly and tolerate Sisters’ extreme swings in temperatures. Some of the cultivars I’ve had terrific success with include Olympia and Regiment spinach; Dragon Tongue, Spicy Green and Osaka Purple mustard greens; Cherry Belle radish; roquette (a spicy arugula); New Red Fire, Optima and Speckles lettuce; joi choi; Bolshoi kale; Flash collards; Favorit parsley; Seascape strawberries; Raider cucumber; Divergent cantaloupe; and Cherry Buzz tomatoes.

Extending your growing season takes more diligence than the casual summertime gardener tolerates, but the pay-offs are well worth the extra effort. Happy eating!

Michael Cooper

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To the Editor:

This is an addendum to Jim Anderson’s powerful column about bait traps and the secondary dangers of pesticides to wildlife, particularly in the Metolius Basin. I am a member of the Metolius River Summer Homeowners Association (MRSHA). Our homes are within the Wild and Scenic River Corridor, a riparian ecosystem of breathtaking beauty and pristine habitat.

The Metolius River’s skies hold bald eagles, osprey and red-tailed hawks. River otters, hooded mergansers, sockeye salmon and rare bull trout swim in her cold, clear waters. Anna’s blue and swallowtail butterflies flutter along her banks. And, currently, newly leafed willows and old pines are hosting the return of black-headed grosbeaks and Western tanagers, resplendent in their bright mating plumage.

Within all this cacophony of life and diversity are chipmunks, golden-mantled ground squirrels and chickarees. Because they harvest and hoard seeds, these animals play a crucial role in seed distribution and are a key part of the system. In fact, all players are essential. As we humans, who are lucky enough to share the magical Metolius, we ought to be her stewards. And it’s up to us to protect the entire ecosystem. So it would seem obvious that poison has no place in this fragile environment.

Here’s the language in the special-use permit:

Authorized Officer Concurrence. Pesticides may not be used outside of buildings in the permit area to control pests, including undesirable woody and herbaceous vegetation (including aquatic plants), insects, birds, rodents, or fish without prior written concurrence of the authorized officer. Only those products registered or otherwise authorized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and appropriate State authority for the specific purpose planned shall be authorized for use within areas on National Forest System lands.

Last fall, Ian Reid (USFS Sisters District Ranger) sent a letter to MRSHA spelling out the pesticide-use rules and, through e-mail, that message was passed along to the 108 homeowners. But in this case, the agency has a further responsibility — to follow up and monitor. Recently, I spoke about this with Ranger Reid. He suggested that identifying and removing bait traps could be incorporated into the annual property inspections. This is a great idea. Let’s get poison out of the Metolius Wild and Scenic River ecosystem!

Susan Prince

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To the Editor:

Our community is measured by the quality of our schools. Sisters School District has been fortunate to have Jeff Smith on the school board.

Jeff has provided years of thoughtful dedication to the education of our children and the needs of our teachers and school staff. Completely approachable and eager to listen to suggestions about improvements or concerns, Jeff Smith is a guy who can keep the lines of communication open between the community and the schools.

I urge the voters of Sisters Country to join me in voting for Jeff Smith for the Sisters School Board.

Kathy Deggendorfer