To those of you who live in our great community,

Recently there has been a lot of talk about the amount of crime and/or vandalism in our town. Unfortunately the tone is one that suggests that Sisters has changed. Well of course communities do change as they grow, and we certainly have been growing.

I’d like to share a recent personal experience. My wife and I own a long-time business here in Sisters, and on a recent Saturday night when we closed up we inadvertently neglected to lock the front door. We are closed on Sunday but a customer came to our door unaware that we were not open. When she opened the door she saw the lights out and quickly realized we were closed. She then looked around for some way to let us know our door was not locked. There was a flyer posted on the front door for an upcoming event in the store. There was a phone number for the person putting on the event on the flyer. She called that number and left a message that our door was open. The person she called was on the pass and did not receive the message till she got closer to Sisters.

The person who received the message went to the store and tried to find a home phone number for me. She found a number but when she called I did not have my phone so it went to voicemail. At that time another customer showed up who knows me and realized what was going on. He helped her find a key to the door here in the store and the two of them locked the front door. Then he also called me and left a message. Later that afternoon I checked my messages and saw what was going on. I went to the store and found all was well. There was no theft and no vandalism. I have been very grateful to the three different people involved and appreciate the good people of the community.

I realize at any given time there may be folks doing things they shouldn’t, dangerous, dishonest, and unhealthy. But the community of Sisters is by and large made up of honest, hardworking, generous and kindhearted people.

There is much talk in these times that is harsh, unkind and untrue. I appreciated this community and the spirit that makes it so great.

Fred McCaulou

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To the Editor:

I would like to share why I am a member of Indivisible Sisters.

These days, no matter what aspect of life, there are incredibly important concerns locally, nationally and globally. What I found most frustrating in my teensy roll to mitigate the crises of politics, governance and environment is that individuals are pulled hither and yon to donate time and funds to all kinds of good causes. It was frustrating and even upsetting to turn down some and to determine to which I could donate anything. What I found with Indivisible National, and with Indivisible Sisters in particular, was a welcoming NPO that focuses on citizens education and involvement and makes it accessible and manageable.  

Our emailed newsletter is shared with over 200 Sisters residents and with all Central Oregon Indivisible and ORD2 chapters and provides 3 to 5 action items per week to do or not of your choosing. The actions can be writing an LTE (letter to the editor) on a hot topic, calling one or more of your legislators State or Federal on another topic, attending a Town Hall, an invite to a Debate Watch Night, etc. A local graphic artist, Josh Burger, produces this newsletter – thank you! Indivisible will support one candidate or another once all candidates have been thoroughly reviewed. Indivisible coordinates with other NPOs to assist in sharing important information and upcoming events all geared toward citizenry getting involved.

It is progressive and focused on public issues/concerns.

Indivisible Sisters seeks to inform citizens how to run for office, what offices are opening locally, who are the candidates, arranges for meeting local candidates, and welcomes all citizens to take part in whatever way suits each individual. This works for me. Maybe for you, too? See Indivisible.org for the National NPO and Indivisiblesisters.org to sign up locally.

Susan Cobb

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To the Editor:

A recent letter decrying the use of the term “racist” in the past 2.5 years (but not before that?) demonstrates a common logic fault. The writer cites the many individual successes of black Americans as proof that white supremacy is non-existent in our country. The fallacy is the idea that an improvement (whether great or small) from a truly horrific original state must mean that the social, economic, and political conditions that caused or were concurrent with that state have simply disappeared.

An improvement over the last 150 years cannot obscure the fact that racism certainly exists today. At least as many examples of its continuance can be given as those success stories provided: starting with the denigration of Mexican immigrants as rapists and ending with last month’s tweets to four non-white congresswomen to “go back” to wherever — and all the many actions and words in between.

One man’s racism does not indict an entire country, but it does illuminate, and in this case, amplify and reflect on parts of ours. We are not a “white supremacist” nation, but there are certainly white supremacists in our nation — and the waxing and waning of their influence is to be noted.

Which leads to a hopeful (if ironic) point: We can’t reduce racism (and several other isms that we may care about), if we don’t acknowledge it. The very upfront and obvious nature of its expression by some of our leaders and SOME of their happy followers, makes it easier to see, discuss, and confront. There is an argument to be made that the more blatant the hate, the more repugnant it appears, the greater the pain, and the greater the backlash against it will be.  

Laura West

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To the Editor:

I was glad to see the recent letter from one of your readers that relieved me entirely of my worry about racism in America.

I was enriched to find out just how successful African Americans are. I am glad to know they aren’t victimized by racism and are among our most highly recognized citizens. I will from now on discount all the reporting we get about the victims of racism and violence; I will stop considering the nonsense about the inequities of wealth in our society. And I will continue to appreciate the fact of so many people of color who fill our political spectrum.

These fake presentations about suffering poor of color — how good to know there’s no truth about racism in any of that so-called news, thrust upon us by Dems. Weren’t they Democrats, all those Southerners, who fought so hard to protect their slaves from White Northern Republicans? They may have been slaveholders, but certainly not racist.

Richard Lyons

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To the Editor:

When is enough, enough?

The proposed construction of a Dollar General Store in Sisters is absolutely appalling. There already are 15,000 stores all over the country. Do you think they care about the quietness, charm, serenity or the quality of life of the city of Sisters and those who live here? Not on your life!

Did you notice that not one of the participants in this project is from this area? They are from Eugene, Scottsdale, Arizona and St. Louis, Missouri. Do you think they will have our best interest in mind?

If that 9,100-square-foot building is allowed to be built next to Bi-Mart, try to imagine what the increased traffic will do to the already congested area. With the traffic from all the surrounding businesses, the residents of The Pines and Hayden Homes trying to enter the roundabout at Highway 20 and Barclay Drive, it will be a total nightmare. It will affect traffic coming from all directions.

It is time for the Sisters Planning Commission to step up and consider what is best for the citizens and businesses of Sisters. The construction of a 9,100-square-foot Dollar General Store will certainly adversely affect Bi-Mart, who deserves better than this.

Donna Holland

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To the Editor:

I would like to thank the volunteers who will be cleaning up Zimmerman Butte. But I would say that the trash out there is a symptom of a mismanaged facility. Surely the Forest Service should be ensuring that trash, fire safety, and noise pollution are appropriately managed at their gun range.

The notion that this is used by target shooters is a misnomer. As a neighbor to this facility we hear fully automatic weapons and noise levels that are disturbing and certainly spoil our ability to enjoy the forest. People riding or hiking near the facility feel unsafe and the Forest Service is chartered with ensuring the enjoyment of the forest for all.

We should all demand that they do so.

Stephen King

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To the Editor:

Responding to Mr. Mackey’s letter denying the rise of racism in America.  Sir, naming a dozen successful black people no more demonstrates the absence of racism than a list of rich people proves there is no poverty. I am saddened by such a “head-in-the-sand” perspective. Following the tragedy in El Paso, can’t we be a little more aware?  

Declaring the majority of news to be “fake,” I can only assume what resources Mr. Mackey relies on for his facts. FBI Director Christopher Wray has recently testified before Congress about the rising number of arrests in our country related to white supremacy. By mid-year the rate was twice that of 2018. “New Hate and Old,” a comprehensive report from the Anti Defamation League’s Center on Extremism starts with this clear conclusion: “White supremacists in the United States have experienced a resurgence in the past three years, driven in large part by the rise of the alt right.”

The report details substantial evidence behind this claim. A report by the Southern Poverty Law Center states that last year the number of hate groups active in the USA rose to its highest level in two decades. There is much more. Indeed, the rise of racism in America is real.

We live in a privileged, well-educated yet particularly non-diverse community in a state with a notably racist past. On this and many issues, I believe we have a special responsibility to stay well informed, speak from fact and act in a way that contributes to progress for all.

Scot Davidson

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