To the Editor:

After retiring, my wife and I moved to Sisters — a place we always loved to visit and enjoy. However, our enjoyment of the small-town experience is fading away.

Businesses moving in, traffic getting worse (try to make a left on to Cascade Avenue sometime), and increasing vandalism. The vandalism is the reason I am writing this letter.

Within the last few days someone went into the Village Green and vandalized our flag pole. We assumed we had a pretty secure installation as the rope pulley is inside the pole and access has to be made through a locked hatch. Someone managed to pick the lock, lower the flag and remove the counter-weights from the rope. This allowed the flag to go back up to the top of the pole with no easy way to get the flag down. And, of course this is just before our Memorial Day event that the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars hold in the park. We are appreciative of our city in their willingness to help effect repairs.

While looking around the flowerbed surrounding the gazebo to see if the counter-weights had just been tossed into the flower bed (they hadn’t), I made another discovery. The vandal(s) have broken a piece out of the rock that has the memorial plaque and names of our departed veterans on it. Then I noticed that the plaque that held the information honoring one of Sisters’ veteran supporters had been removed from its mounting. Fortunately, the plaque was found in the flowerbed.

Maybe this is just a sign of the times, but it’s a sad period of time when a memorial to all of our local veterans is desecrated. Seems like

a pretty brazen act to me. Right in the park, across from the Fire Department. There was nothing taken of monetary value, only willful destruction of property.

Gene Hellickson

The American Legion

Past State Commander

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To the Editor:

I was disheartened to learn of the tort regarding the high school girls basketball coaches this past week.

My family and I moved to Sisters a little over two years ago and my daughter joined the basketball team, under previous coaching. While she enjoyed the social aspect of the game, I didn’t see the spark in her as I did with other sports. This past year, under new coaching staff, that ember was fanned to flame with my daughter’s love for the game increasing immensely, as well as her confidence and attitude.

Now, I don’t know all the issues surrounding or leading to this tort claim and will not judge, but I do know the current coaches had a positive impact on my daughter and helped her to understand some very important things.

Most importantly, they helped her realize that this world isn’t going to coddle and comfort her every time she makes a mistake or things don’t go her way; she must own up to those mistakes, learn from them and focus on the next possession or play.

What a great life lesson for my little girl!

Tim Schwartz

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To the Editor:

I have lived in the Crossroads community for 20 years.

Recently, I learned of serious concerns regarding a few HOA board members.

I would like to urge every homeowner in Crossroads to attend the June 1 annual meeting to be well-informed regarding who is serving as board members, as well as their duties and responsibilities to the homeowners.

Lisa Woodworth

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To the Editor:

It was with a mixture of outrage and sadness that I read The Nugget’s front-page article on restricting ACP use (“Use of tree-killing herbicide restricted”).

After reading all of the restrictions on its use, and being acutely aware of its impacts on the community, I was incredulous that anyone with a conscience could allow the use of this poison anywhere, ever. How much direct evidence does one need to acknowledge our poisoning of the Earth? But then we’ve been doing this — using the planet as a chemical waste dump — for many decades now. And without having a clue about the impacts of the thousands of poisons we spew by the millions of pounds a year.

Needlessly. These chemicals aren’t needed; there are far better, non-toxic ways to solve any agricultural problem. A few people today use such commonsense practices, but most remain ignorant of the potential of working with life instead against it. Some of those practices originated here in Oregon and were demonstrated here, even here in the hay-growing area of Eastern Oregon.

But the chemical way is the most profitable way, and creates its own imperatives and dependencies. The list should be familiar by now — neonicotinoids, Agent Orange, Round-Up. The list is tens of thousands of chemicals long by now. So we kill our forests, and almost every living soil microorganism in the affected ecosystems, thus poisoning ourselves, region-wide and over the whole Earth. Needlessly.

The once-majestic ponderosa and lodgepole pine forest that showed the way to Sisters so beautifully is now a source of sadness and outrage as I drive through the devastation. Sadness over our hubris and the mounting damage, and outrage at the human carelessness that is endemic. But it’s the grief that stays with me.

Charlie Stephens

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To the Editor:

I STRONGLY support the girls basketball coach and her staff and all that she stands for. My daughter has played on both school team sports as well as club sports since she was 5 years old. She has competed in either soccer, basketball or track for 13 years.

While there have been some standout coaches, as well as some not-so-great coaches, she has never had a coach challenge her as much as this year’s basketball coaching staff. How did they challenge her? She was SOLD on the idea that doing the hard work is a good thing. A great thing. And that it would benefit her and the team. She was pushed. She was encouraged. And was ultimately rewarded with a positive experience.

It would be a shame and disappointment to lose one of the best coaches Sisters School District has ever had. The girls basketball program has an opportunity to not only have successful seasons to come, but also has the ability to raise good, strong, determined young women who know how to persevere and challenge themselves to be GREAT women.

This can all be accomplished by being coached by a positive role model such as Brittaney Niebergall.

Lisa Thorson

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To the Editor:

Over the next two months, about this time of the year, we see our country’s flag displayed all over our town, and for special reasons.

May 18 is Armed Forces Day, to honor our military forces, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.

On the last Monday in May, Memorial Day, we remember all military who fought and died, knowing that freedom is never free.

On June 14, known as Flag Day, we give special attention to the meaning and symbolism of our U.S. flag. Sometimes called “Old Glory” or “Stars and Stripes,” we honor what it stands for — FREEDOM.

And then there is Independence Day, celebrated on the Fourth of July, a day of our Declaration of Independence. Although our country’s flags have changed and matured over the past 243 years, the freedom for which it stands is recognized by all nations of the world. I’m always proud when our flag passes before me.

Our colors are visible all over Sisters, about 150 I’d guess. In front of all governmental buildings, schools, business and homes. Take a little time to stop, and maybe give a salute to honor our flag.

All summer long, visitors who come to Sisters Country can see, with pride, our country’s flag. May we always be the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”

Earl C. Schroeder