1/16/2018 1:19:00 PM Letters to the Editor 01/17/2018
To the Editor:
How does this keep happening? In the past several months, countless healthy ponderosa pines have been cut down within Sisters city limits - the most recent on South Pine Street: nine healthy ponderosas taken down by a private resident.
As a previous president of an HOA within the city limits, I had more than one request from homeowners to have trees in our common areas taken down. My first response was to call an arborist and have the trees evaluated. If the trees were deemed healthy, no action was taken. I was also aware that if the trees in question were on public - or city - property, bordering the HOA, nothing would be done unless the City deemed it appropriate. The recent removal of countless trees in front of Sisters' elementary and middle schools, and now on South Pine seems unconscionable to me.
I will play the devil's advocate here and lean on the side of property owners who may simply not know the rules, which is in and of itself not acceptable. Every resident should know the rules of their community. But how is it that the companies called in to harvest the trees do not know the rules? Unacceptable, and unbelievable.
I am concerned it comes down to greed; they cannot not know the rules in our community, yet go ahead unheeded and ask for forgiveness after the fact. I would hope that in view of the recent travesty on South Pine that our City Fathers will determine that severe fines need to be imposed on offending residents and tree-cutting companies who are willfully ignoring the City ordinances.
I encourage the City to send a letter to all arborists and independent tree cutters reminding them of the City ordinances and the fines that will be incurred if they do not seek permits prior to commencing on a major tree-cutting project within the city limits. If this is not done, and enforced when violated, then we will continue see the unnecessary destruction of healthy trees in our community.
Enough is enough.
To the Editor:
In your editorial last week, you called the Attorney General's enforcement of current federal law an "overreach." While his personal views on marijuana use are misguided, enforcing current federal law is his job. Asking him to do what the Obama administration often did, and selectively choose which laws to enforce is dangerous. Do we really want our Executive branch to decide which laws to enforce and which ones to ignore? I could name some countries that allow that, but none of us would want to live there. The proper course of action here is for Congress to do their job and change federal law to allow the states to decide how they want to treat marijuana. Failure on the part of Congress to act whether it is marijuana, DACA, TPS or anything else is not grounds for the Executive Branch to decide. It is grounds for us to demand term limits...but that is another subject.
To the Editor:
Regarding marijuana production: The money spent to help pass the bill came primarily from out of state and dwarfed the local money spent in opposition.
The bill was passed by urban communities. It was overwhelmingly rejected by rural communities. Even with the rejection by the rural communities, these are the areas tasked with the production of marijuana. The question remains if the urban areas passed the bill, why shouldn't they house the production in commercial facilities like they are doing in Colorado?
With regard to the taxation of the producers, the fact is it is difficult to monitor the incomes in a cash business. I have a friend here that did a lot of construction work on a pot production operation near Pilot Butte. His fee was over $500,000 and he was paid in cash. Cash businesses tend to attract undesirable elements.
With no limit on the number of marijuana production facilities it stands to reason there will be much more product produced than demanded by the retail outlets in Oregon. Where will the excess product end up. IN THE BLACK MARKET. Better price, no taxes.
One last big question: how are the state and the counties going to monitor the adherence to production regulation, the quantity of production, and the tax implications?
It is possible counties like Deschutes will end up as major producers of pot for Oregon and the black market. I, for one, fear this will happen and in the process destroy our incredible life style - one of the major reasons we are the envy of the rest the country.
I make no comment regarding the health issue as there is much to be discovered.
But two of the largest health costs in the US are attributable to alcohol and tobacco.
It's all about money!
Mike and Sue Kline
To the Editor:
I'd like to start by thanking those of you who shared your appreciation of last month's letter. I am happy to share another letter following our School Board meeting on January 10.
Here are just a few of the topics that were discussed:
Enrollment grew by 18 students over the past month, putting us ahead of where we finished the prior school year! I credit this to the fact that we offer excellent schools that inspire families to move to Sisters to be part of our community. I also credit the staff and teachers - they are finding creative ways to meet the needs of our kids. Through their efforts, kids can be an integral part of our Outlaw community while enjoying the flexibility to meet their specific academic goals. Some families may still choose to pursue other options, but we're working hard to give them what they need right here in the Sisters' school system.
Rameen Vahdat, a Sisters fourth-grader, celebrated his Inventi-prize award and shared his presentation of a life-saving suit for Antarctica exploration. He will be attending a celebration with future scientists from around the state at the Bend Research Center next month. Congratulations to Rameen.
Kellen Werts and Jaxon Wetherell shared their work in Suzy Werts' class on bats. We were informed that bats play a critical pollination role and are critical to many crops we enjoy. With the help of Steve Madsen, they have built nine different bat houses that will provide shelter for 1,000s of endangered bats along local waterways. This is a great example of an experiential learning opportunity that has sparked the interest of our students.
John Pierson, Incident Commander of Incident Management Team 2, had previously presented Sisters School District with a certificate of recognition expressing their gratitude and appreciation to Sisters High School and the District for their support and assistance during the Milli fire this past summer. The certificate of appreciation was acknowledged and will be presented to SHS Principal Joe Hosang.
Please note the next board meeting is February 7 at 5 p.m. in the District office. These are public meetings and offer a great way to see how our students, staff, administrators, volunteers and community members all come together to make our District one of the best in Oregon!
Also, since January is School Board Appreciation Month, I'd like to add a special "thank-you" to our five volunteer board members who dedicate a great deal of time and energy to our district. If you see any of our board members out and about, please thank them for their services to our schools.