Discernment: the ability to judge well.

Thanks: an expression of gratitude.

We all need to be questioning what we read in The Nugget and The Bulletin. Is it factual? Does it make sense? Do I agree or disagree with the writer or article?

For example, in the July 1 Nugget Letter to the Editor," a visitor, Mr. Chris Schaffner (Tangent, OR), says regarding the trail system: "so the proposed path would benefit the same 'wouldn't it be great minority' (my italics) at the expense of all of you."

According to what I have read in The Nugget, Black Butte Ranch (twice) has voted in favor of the trail and Tollgate took a survey and two-thirds of those responding were in favor (183). So, if the majority has voted for the trail, why and where does the writer get away with saying the minority want the path, while the majority does not?

Additionally, Steven Madsen writes in The Nugget (July 8) that only 41.5 percent (183) of 440 Tollgate homeowners surveyed were in favor of the trail. Another source says 67 percent were in favor, 183 out of 275 respondents... I have no idea what the actual numbers were, but I would discern that 100 percent of the homeowners (440) wouldn't reply to any survey. 

Another example, is one of Mike Morgan's quotes in The Bulletin on July 7 ("Sisters councilor resigns after less than a month"). He is quoted saying, "But there have been pretty serious missteps over there" (i.e. City Hall)...and also notes, "City Hall's focus on 'big projects' over day-to-day operations." Ok, specifically, what day-to-day operations are deficient? The city never looked better. I'm told by several merchants that business is strong. The city's recent survey of businesses confirms that they are very satisfied with the city's work. I understand the budget is balanced, no phantom employees are on the payroll, that I have heard of or read about... So, what are the specific problems?

And what should we consider serious? A one-man hot dog stand at the corner of Boyd's bike shop property, plus three other one-person food stands (i.e. "food cart controversy")? Every merchant in town that can figure out how to add food services is doing so. That includes art galleries, the coffee company, two bike shops, an in-town market and a clothing store - and good for them!

The article in The Bulletin of July 7 also paints Sisters as a "problem city" that "no one will touch with a 10-foot pole." I disagree! I think we have a wonderful community and I want to thank the staff at City Hall and the city counselors for their work on behalf of all of us. 

In my opinion, the city employees do a great job for us. Lets start with Kathy Nelson, the "guardian" of city hall. Every good organization I have ever known has someone like Kathy; they care, they own the joint. Thank you, Kathy. Paul Bertagna, public works director, treats the city property like it's his backyard. The city never looked better. Thanks, Paul. Andrew Gorayab does a great job as city manager and "gets things done." Carol Jenkins in planning, with her great smile, has been with the city since there was a city (seems to me). Finally, the receptionists are always friendly and helpful.

Thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication.

Things can always improve. We all need to advocate for our community while always doing our individual part to make it better, not tear it down.