The nugget. (Sisters, Or.) 1994-current, October 10, 2018, Page 2, Image 2

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018 The Nugget Newspaper, Sisters, Oregon
The better angels of our nature
The temperatures are cooling down and the
air is growing crisp — but the political season
is heating up and the atmosphere is growing
heavy and hot.
The Nugget invites and encourages a vig-
orous discourse on all the issues facing the
Sisters community, Central Oregon and the
nation in this election cycle. We request that
letters address issues and candidates’ positions
and records and refrain from personal attacks
either on candidates or their supporters.
We strive to publish all letters that meet our
standards. However, those addressing local,
regional and state issues and races will be
given precedence.
The national political temper is very raw,
and it can easily percolate into local discourse.
In these fraught times, Sisters author Larry
Len Peterson provides a quote from Abraham
Lincoln’s first inaugural address. Lincoln’s
words failed to calm the roiled waters in 1861,
but perhaps they will resonate here and now:
“We are not enemies, but friends. We must
not be enemies. Though passion may have
strained, it must not break our bonds of affec-
tion. The mystic chords of memory will swell
when again touched, as surely they will be, by
the better angels of our nature.”
Jim Cornelius
Editor in Chief
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.
The Nugget reserves the right to edit, omit, respond or ask for a response to letters submitted to the Editor. Letters should be
no longer than 300 words. Unpublished items are not acknowledged or returned. The deadline for all letters is noon Monday.
To the Editor:
Living in Sisters I love how easy it is to get
outside; public lands are nearby and opportuni-
ties for amazing hikes plentiful. When a day
last week dawned smoke-free; skies dark blue,
trees touched with the first trace of fall — we
naturally set off on a hike.
The Black Crater Trail, newly reopened
after last year’s burn, was our objective. We
found the lower half of the mountain heav-
ily charred; stark black snags offering end-
less peek-a-boo views of Mount Washington;
a monochrome landscape, stunning in its own
way. The Forest Service has done a great job
of restoring this section of trail; crosscuts have
removed fallen snags, the tread has been nicely
redone and high quality drainage structures
added to prevent erosion. Impressive work.
All in all we had a very nice hike. But, it
started me thinking about exactly what the new
quota-based, limited-entry, permit system pro-
posed by the Forest Service will cost. No lon-
ger will we be able to spontaneously celebrate
a gorgeous morning with a walk on our wilder-
ness trails. Permits, accompanied by fees of yet
undisclosed amounts, appear likely to soon put
an end to such casual unplanned hikes.
We saw no crowds on the Black Crater
Trail. We saw none of the litter, trash, human
waste and toilet paper described by the Forest
Service in their documents defending the need
for a limited-entry permit system. In fact, what
we did see was abandoned cable, hundreds of
feet of it, from the old lookout. Why after so
many years is this still here? Isn’t a pack-in-
pack-out philosophy now the law of the land?
An earlier hike up Tam MacArthur Rim
yielded the same results — no trash, no gar-
bage — though the trail was seriously in need
of the efforts of a skilled trail crew. True, these
trails are popular and receive a lot of use, but
is that so bad? It made me wonder, how do
you compare the benefit of reducing use from
120 people on a peak weekend, to say 80, with
the cost of denying so many the opportunity
to experience these amazing public resources?
Will such restrictions really offer a signifi-
cant payback in protecting environmental
quality and wilderness values? Wouldn’t bet-
ter education coupled with much better trail
See LETTERS on page 27
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Who’s at fault for our
immigration situation?
By Steve Nugent
Guest Columnist
How did we end up
with millions of unregis-
tered immigrants living in
the U.S., some that have
been here for 20 or 30
years? Why do we need
immigrants, even legal?
Immigration seems to
be a hot button for most
Republican candidates,
even though illegal south-
ern border crossings are
at decades-lows. It is also
a convenient enemy for
President Donald Trump
because they supposedly
take all of the good jobs.
Lets explore what caused
our immigration situation
and what the impacts are.
Who is to blame: I put
most of the blame on the
U.S. Congress who failed
to enforce U.S. laws by
neglecting to adequately
fund border security and
immigration courts for
decades. They also failed
to stop corrupt regimes
and help failing economies
in South American coun-
tries. The vast majority
of Mexicans came to the
U.S. to find work and live
a decent life. It is our own
fault that we have so many
“Dreamers” in the U.S.
now, so we need to find a
way to accommodate them.
Multiple administrations
have failed to deal with
this problem head-on in a
thoughtful, compassionate
way, including the Trump
administration. Trump’s
zero-tolerance policy is
neither thoughtful or com-
passionate, and separating
children from their parents
is cruel and un-American.
Secondly, I blame ille-
gal drug use in the U.S.,
which created enormous
demand, initially fuel-
ing cartels and gangs in
Mexico and Colombia and
more recently in Honduras,
Guatemala and El Salvador.
It is our fault that these drug
cartels and gangs exist. It
is our fault that gangs like
MS13 make life unbearable
for the residents of these
countries. It is our fault that
30,000 Mexicans died in
2017 at the hands of cartels.
None of this would have
happened if not for the drug
users in the U.S.
Are immigrants a secu-
rity threat?
Gang members from
MS13 should not be allowed
into the U.S. The MS13
members already here are
getting away with more
crimes and getting stronger
since Trump’s deportation
policies have made much
of the Hispanic population
afraid to call police.
Anyone who might com-
mit a terrorist act should
not be allowed into the US.
The vast majority of ter-
rorist acts are not commit-
ted by illegal immigrants,
but instead by U.S. citizens
influenced by foreign ter-
rorist groups. We can start
by banning guns from any-
one on the “do not fly” list.
Congress cannot even do
that because the NRA lob-
bies against it.
Tr u m p c l a i m s t h a t
63,000 people were killed
by illegal immigrants since
9/11. According to Snopes,
the number of undocu-
mented people arrested for
murder during this period is
more like 8,000. The statis-
tics show that illegals have
a murder rate almost half of
the general population.
Are immigrants helpful
and even desirable?
As the U.S. population
ages and birth rates among
whites decline, we need
new immigrants to fill posi-
tions in our economy. As
the demographic includes
more and more retired
people, the U.S. is fac-
ing serious deficits in the
future that will reduce the
funding for Social Security,
Medicare and Medicaid.
The only way we will meet
the employment needs of
our growing economy and
provide benefits to our
growing elderly popula-
tion is to have significant
Contrary to what Trump
claims, the majority of
immigrants from South
America do NOT take jobs
away from citizens. They
do the jobs that no one else
wants to do, like picking
crops, cleaning hotel rooms
and other janitorial work.
Without them, we would
be hurting. The Trump
administration’s policies
have already caused seri-
ous shortages of crop pick-
ers and seasonal fishing
We need to start valu-
ing immigrants more; after
all that’s who built this
Opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the writer and
are not necessarily shared by the Editor or The Nugget Newspaper.