The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, March 01, 2017, Page 2, Image 2

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
A despicable incident
By Eric Wattenburg
Guest Columnist
Letters to the Editor…
The Nugget welcomes contributions from its readers, which must include the writer’s name, address and phone number. Let-
ters to the Editor is an open forum for the community and contains unsolicited opinions not necessarily shared by the Editor.
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no longer than 300 words. Unpublished items are not acknowledged or returned. The deadline for all letters is noon Monday.
To the Editor:
As an airport supporter I am also concerned
about excessive noise from the airport and I
don’t think the principals have adequately
addressed that in a cooperative manner yet.
To that please let me introduce to the reader
what the Aircraft and Pilots Association, a
staunch supporter of General Aviation, has
to say about that (paraphrased for space;
Google, AOPA’s Guide to Airport Noise and
Compatible Land Use).
Many of the problems at airports today are
the direct result of poor planning for compat-
ible land uses. When trying to determine the
best ways to resolve noise complaints at your
airport, there are a few key issues to keep in
mind. The sound you love, like the drone of
a piston airplane, may be an irritant to others.
Complaint about noise may really be mask-
ing fears about the safety of having an airport
It does not matter if the airport “was here
first.” Now that it has neighbors, their con-
cerns must be taken seriously. Providing
community members with a forum to express
their concerns is important. Taking voluntary
action, demonstrating goodwill, and encourag-
ing community involvement with your airport
can go a long way to creating positive relation-
ships and reducing complaints. Sound or noise
is a matter of perception.
I supported exactly those thoughts when I
approached the skydiving persons last sum-
mer regarding the importance of establishing
a community meeting where they could listen,
but also to explain the efforts they are taking
to help, and to consider inputs of noise abate-
ment and safety from myself and other experi-
enced aviation supporters.
I have professionally flown out of many
See LETTERS on page 14
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I attended Senator Ron
Wyden’s town hall meet-
ing February 20, in Sisters,
Oregon, at the Sisters High
School auditorium, and
there was an episode there
that needs to be broadcast.
The auditorium was
standing-room-only, prob-
ably 800 people attending.
As one would expect, nearly
all of the attendees were
supporters of the Democrat
senator, and the evening
was dominated by the
crowd clapping and cheer-
ing like it was a campaign
rally (which these always
are, as elected officials are
ALWAYS campaigning).
Each attendee had been
provided with a green sign
emblazoned with the word
“Agree,” and a separate red
card with “Disagree.” These
cards went up and down
all evening like cheer-
leader pompoms at a home
ball game (no offense to
Speakers were chosen
by lottery. Most of the night
was dominated by activist
supporters bringing up the
typical anti-Trump talking
points and fear-mongering.
However, and probably
to the chagrin of the lib-
eral crowd, a conservative
had his number chosen near
the end of the evening, and
he challenged some of the
statements and positions
taken by Senator Wyden.
I must admit that the
Senator is very well-spo-
ken, intelligent, wise, slick,
and a consummate politi-
cal professional; I came
away from the evening with
a new impression of the
Senator in contrast to that
which I have had up to this
point based on the usual
conservative vs. liberal
positioning. He is a feel-
good politician and adeptly
handled the challenges.
But then came the despi-
cable incident on the part of
the entire audience, save for
the two of us conservatives
(not sure about the speak-
er’s wife who was there
with him, but she often held
up her card in opposition to
the rest of the crowd).
The speaker simply
asked Senator Wyden if he
accepted the outcome of the
presidential election and
the presidency of Donald
Trump, and to his credit,
Senator Wyden responded
“yes,” but with very little
comment otherwise.
The house was abso-
lutely quiet and calm, not a
clap or gasp or whimper to
be heard, and surprisingly,
no cards (that I could ascer-
tain) went up in the air.
Now, mind you, I arrived
just before the performance
started, and since the house
was already standing-room-
only, the only place remain-
ing for me to stand with-
out obstructing the view
of others was to position
myself along the left side
of the auditorium up near
the stage, against the metal
railing of the ramp lead-
ing to the stage, so I was
above the crowd level near
the stage, standing, and
noticeably visible. I was
wearing a black jacket; I
am Caucasian, tall with a
broad athletic build, mostly
bald with a closely trimmed
gray goatee beard — I eas-
ily stand out in a crowd
and I might have been
mistaken for a security
I was stunned that not
one person in the audience
cared to display their plea-
sure or disappointment with
Senator Wyden’s appropri-
ate and affirmative response
to the validity of the elec-
toral results — the bedrock
of the Constitution of these
United States of America.
So, I clapped deliber-
ately and exuberantly to
honor and thank the Senator
for his patriotism.
Not one other attendee
joined me. My clap echoed
throughout the darkened
auditorium like the howl of
a coyote in the dead of our
high desert Central Oregon
What have we become
as a society if we cannot
acknowledge and be grate-
ful for that most precious
feature of our system of
government — fair and
open elections?
Here, I will criticize
Senator Wyden for not
making this point before
or after this incident; he
should have lectured his
audience as to their com-
placency, particularly in the
context of this gathering,
taking place at a public high
school, an educational insti-
tution that ought to symbol-
ize more of those other pre-
cious bedrocks of our great
It’s not about whether
it’s Right or Left — it IS
about what is Right or
Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and
are not necessarily shared by the Editor or The Nugget Newspaper.