To the Editor:

A dollar store in Sisters? Seriously? And to add insult to injury, right next door and competing with Bi-Mart, which is in every way a more useful place to shop.

The fact that Sisters would welcome such development is enough to turn me cynical regarding the entire visioning process that our community engaged in. What next — Walmart? Factory Outlet Mall? What a sure-fire way to undermine our identity as a hub of art, music, recreation and natural beauty.

I ask the Planning Commission to please, for the love of Sisters, put a stop to this degrading development.

Susanna DeFazio

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To the Editor:

My husband is working for the U.S. Census and currently verifying addresses in the Sisters and Central Oregon area in preparation for the 2020 census mailing. He carries a briefcase clearly marked U.S. Census and has a lanyard badge with his name and photo on it. If your address is on his list, he is required to come to your door and, if you are home, ask you two brief questions to verify your address.

He’s not an axe-murderer and he’s not going to steal your stuff. At one house in a local neighborhood he was actually told by the woman living there that “he could get shot” for walking up to someone’s door. What kind of a world do we live in where people think like that? How about offering him a cookie instead — and thanking him for his efforts.

Ann Richardson

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To the Editor:

Following the mass shootings in El Paso on August 3 in which 22 innocent people were murdered and 24 were wounded and the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio in which 10 innocent people were killed and 17 injured like many others I put my flag at half-staff in memory of those who died in this senseless tragedy.

Since these incidents I have refused to raise the flag to its normal position. I intend to leave the flag at half-staff for the entire month of September unless the United States Congress passes a gun-safety law.

This is personal for me. On January 8, 2011 when my wife and I were living in Tucson, Arizona where we go every winter, there was an assassination attempt on Gabrielle (Gabby) Giffords. I shall always remember that day. I had been playing golf with friends, and when I returned home my wife greeted me at the door and told me what happened. We sat together on the sofa with tears running down our cheeks in an avalanche of frustration, anger and sadness. The mass shooting in the Safeway parking lot resulted in the death of six innocent victims and 18 wounded. The lone killer was firing a Glock pistol with a 33-round magazine. He was apprehended when he was trying to reload his weapon.

Among the victims was a federal judge, John Roll; a 9-year-old girl, Christina Taylor-Green whose dream it was to be the first female to play professional baseball in the major leagues; and a man who stepped in front of his wife of 50-plus years to take the bullet intended for her.

The number of mass shootings is going up every year. In 2019 so far there have been 255 incidents resulting in the death of 273 victims and 1,065 wounded. Recent polls indicate that 90 percent of the people in this country favor stronger laws that would require background checks before a gun can be purchased. People, by a large majority, favor the banning of the sale of assault rifles and extended magazines. In spite of these facts, the United States Senate, led by Mitch McConnell, refuses to take any action other than offering “thoughts and prayers” to the victims and their

families.

For my part, I will continue to lower our nation’s flag in protest. I will also tie a yellow ribbon around the staff in a remembrance of those that have tragically been murdered. At the end of the month I plan to send a copy of this letter and my yellow ribbon to Ron Wyden so he can pass it along to Mitch McConnell. I am inviting others to join me. If you’d like to stop by and tie a ribbon around the staff of my flag and perhaps leave a note in a box below the flag I would be gratified. I plan to purchase an adequate amount of ribbon for this purpose. If you are unable to stop by, write me an email and I’ll print it and send that along, too (camptucson@yahoo.com). Thank you to those who share my frustration about this important issue.

Daniel Ramberg

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To the Editor:

I will be joining the September 20 Global Climate Strike, probably in Salem.

According to the website globalclimate

strike.net, “On September 20, 3 days before a UN emergency climate summit being held in New York, young people in the Fridays For Future network are mobilizing for their largest global climate strike ever. They have invited everyone to join them on Friday, September 20 and again the following Friday, September 27 when they will join Earth Strike for a general strike.”

I want to show my concern about climate change. I have come to the conclusion that the best way to act against climate change is to convince our leaders that it is a top priority, and actions speak louder than words.

I encourage others to set that day aside from all the other priorities in our lives, and attend a Climate Strike.

Kathy Reynolds

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To the Editor:

Les Zaitz, editor of the Malheur Enterprise, has shown once again why he is the North Star of highest quality Oregon journalism.

According to the AP story in the August 28 Nugget, Zaitz’s reporters in the tiny town of Vale were investigating why a new carwash did not receive the property tax break that Malheur County had allegedly promised. The inquiry led to Greg Smith, the county’s economic development director.

A reporter repeatedly tried to get Smith to comment. But this public official, who doubles as a state legislator, accused the newspaper of subjecting him and his staff to “endless phone calls, hostile emails at all hours of the day, and unwelcome office visits.”

I’m guessing he also prevailed upon the county’s lawyer to ask the sheriff to investigate whether the newspaper’s calls and emails constituted a crime. It must have taken Sheriff Brian Wolfe the better part of 10 seconds to conclude: no.

Zaitz told the AP: “The public is entitled to that information – not only entitled…it deserves it.” That Greg Smith, a state and county public official, construed the paper’s efforts to provide this information as criminal activity is, to borrow his own words, hostile and unwelcome. And revealing.

Dan Bernstein