If you want safety, you must change your attitude; Lemon Gulch proponents need to listen better

If you want safety, you must change your attitude

We've been here before, and it's criminal that we allow it to keep happening. To put things in perspective; we safeguard our money, we safeguard our houses, we safeguard our cars, we safeguard our computers and phones ...why don't we safeguard our children? We expect that when they head off to school in the morning that they will be safe and return to us in the afternoon. We expect this, but as a society, we do practically nothing to ensure this. Why? It wasn't like this when I was young. What changed?

Maybe that is the better question to ask, but first thing's first. School grounds should have fences around them. Not 4-foot vault-able fences but ones that are at least 6 feet tall. And schools should have single-point access gates -- only one way in and monitored.

Schools should have closed circuit cameras watching the exterior grounds and all access points, and a dedicated, fully manned camera control room, too. A person should not be able to enter school grounds unobserved or unchallenged.

Schools should have well-trained, well-vetted hall monitor personnel, not just a single police SRO. These monitors, preferably retired law enforcement and/or former tactical-trained military, should carry concealed handguns and possibly have access to something heaver, if needed. And there should be several on duty each day. So why don't we?

If you want to stop these mass shooting at schools, you are going to have to do something about it. And blaming an inanimate object -- the gun -- is not realistic or a fix in any sense. We have far too many gun laws on the books right now, and there are still mass shootings. Gun-free zones don't work, and most gun control laws are ineffective and unenforceable, placed by people who commonly have their own protection, paid for by you.

Hard choices must be made to protect our kids, and frankly speaking, the kiddos probably won't mind it a bit and will get used to simple but effective changes easier than a new app on their ever-present phones. It's time to get realistic and save our children.

(To clarify, I am retired military and a former LE and private sector security contractor. I know of what I speak.)

Brian O'Connor

Powell Butte

Lemon Gulch proponents need to listen better

This is a response to the opinion article "Other Side of Lemon Gulch Controversy,'' by Darlene Henderson, neatly placed on the top of page A5 in the Tuesday, May 17, 2022 edition of the Central Oregonian.

The article was 12 paragraphs. The first three paragraphs sum up everything you need to know about why the proposal is controversial. The first sentence of the first paragraph refers to "Lemon Gulch." There is no such place. Major private maps clearly identify "Lemon Creek." That identification is based on the USGS 1:100,000 series, which is the definitive source. So why the confusion? Ignorance cannot be the excuse because, according to the article, there are so many supporters that at least one of them should have known the correct name. This includes the Forest Service, after all, they are the stewards of Lemon CREEK. Maybe it is just a slick way of reducing scrutiny by the public during the required NEPA documentation for the proposed project. After all, "gulch" equals blank clueless eyes while "creek" sets in motion serious considerations. Maybe?

The second and third paragraphs list participants in the process. The interesting thing about the list itself is not the participants listed but the unprinted list of those not selected or choosing not to participate or having publicly distanced from the project. There must have been a few, or this project would not be controversial. If this were Sunday School, we would call this the "sin of omission." So much for all that working together stuff.

Paragraph eight sums it all up, "The input we received was overwhelmingly positive." Sure, that is why the project is "the center of controversy." Maybe what was meant was that Lemon CREEK is overwhelmingly at the center of controversy. Maybe.

Suggestion — try again. This time do not skulk around trying to slip something through the process easily. Do not try to bypass those who do not share the "vision." At least have the humility to live by the rules that many of the listed project participants foisted on others. Most emphatically, learn the differences in philosophy and values that have traditionally separated the Deschutes from the Ochoco, which would be the greatest of resource aids to the Forest Service — if they bothered to listen.

Ron Wortman


Central Oregon business not taking U.S. currency

There is a business in Central Oregon that is refusing to accept American currency. The federal statement of "This note is legal tender for all debts public or private" means exactly what it says. Any business that demonstrates anti-American policy is reflecting the anti-American attitude of the owners and should be boycotted. They don't deserve to be rewarded with our patronage.

Mr. Anderson


Rhetoric in some letters to editor are concerning

I always enjoy reading the opinion page in the Central Oregonian, however of late I find not only information but also misinformation in some reader's letters. If we take to heart all the "hair on fire" rhetoric contained in these missives, then our country is certainly doomed — and it's a wonder we haven't imploded before now!

Suddenly our school district and those across the state and nation are denying parental rights. Hmmm…I remember that if I wanted to know what my sons were studying or being taught in school, all I had to do was look over their homework or request a parent-teacher conference. Has that suddenly changed?

Public libraries now are the focus of those claiming children are being indoctrinated by certain books. I loved, loved, loved horses growing up, so I read everything Walter Farley and other authors wrote on the subject. It didn't turn me into a horse. Reading a love story between two same sex persons didn't make me queer. Books teaching children about diversity won't change who they are — it will give them a better understanding of people they will meet and know throughout their lifetimes.

And then there's the concern that someone won't be able to officiate a sporting event because of the draconian requirement that children be kept safe from disease. I'm old enough to remember when vaccines weren't available and some of my schoolmates suffered or died from diseases that are now preventable. It amazes me that the same people who are concerned about government oppression support passage of laws that would restrict my liberties.

We shouldn't have supported the school bond issue because children at Steins Pillar Elementary utilize the public library. Never mind that that particular school doesn't have a library of their own — horror of horrors they use the PUBLIC library where they are exposed to…what? Books that might expand their knowledge of the big, beautiful world we live in?

How could you not support the school bond based on that? Sad to say not enough people did support it and it failed.

An author attacks a political party as a whole — the assumption being that because someone belongs to Party X or Party Y that he/she/they agree with everything that particular party stands for. In my experience there are conservatives, moderates and liberals in both major parties and perhaps in the smaller parties as well.

Perhaps we should learn to separate truth from fiction and news from opinion.

Perhaps we should learn to listen to others instead of always shouting them down.

Perhaps we should be more Christlike in the way we treat our fellow human beings.

And since I started writing this letter, 19 children and 2 teachers are dead in Uvalde, Texas, because we don't have common sense laws governing who can purchase military-style rifles. Arming teachers won't stop those intent on doing harm. Mental health professionals can only help those who are their patients — and sometimes not even them. We are the only country on this planet that experiences these types of school killings — what does that say about our society? It says we care more about gun ownership than we do about human life. Thoughts and prayers will never take the place of good policy.

Priscilla Smith


Politicians, do something, anything about gun violence

OK, you got elected now do something, anything. All you politicians local, state and federal need to do something about gun violence.

A political group has accepted billions in donations from gun groups and successfully blocked legislation for as long as I can remember. You always say that you can't compromise. There is a first for everything. Do something, anything is better than nothing.

A former president had even invited survivors of a school shooting to talk with him in the White House. He promised them that he "would do everything in his power to prevent the shootings from ever happening again"? Of course the 16+million in gun donations blinded him from doing anything but lip service. For the rest of his term, all the American people got was..."Our thoughts and prayers are with you," which didn't stop killings or donations.

Assault weapons are not needed to go hunting or shooting. Most hunters need only one shot to down their deer or elk, not a 30-round magazine. Many states outlaw the .223/5.56 caliber for hunting. But it very efficient in killing and wounding humans. That is what it was designed to do.

What is a human life worth? Is it worth just $450 to $1,500, the cost of an AR assault rifle ? Have you ever seen what is left to a child after he/she is hit with an assault rifle bullet? Many of the Texas school shooting victims could only be identified by DNA samples. Because the bullets ripped them up so much. ALL POLITICIANS NEED TO VIEW THE GORY POLICE PHOTOS OF DEAD CHILDREN AFTER A MASS SHOOTING.

Hard line gun advocates need to see those photos, too. Maybe then they would actually do something about gun violence and mental illness. Do something, anything.

Brent Bunch


Remembering the 80th anniversary of Midway

Christmas Day 1941, Admiral Chester Nimitz arrived alone by Catalina flying boat to command the Pacific Fleet. He saw the Pearl Harbor attack had missed dry-docks, repair shops and the tank farm. Therefore, the carriers, their escorts and submarines stood ready to take the offensive.

Nimitz determined some good men had taken a terrible beating. When he officially took command Dec. 31, he told the assembled staffs he had complete and unlimited confidence in every one of them. He immediately sent submarines into Japanese waters and conducted carrier operations disrupting Japanese initiatives.

The discovery through code breaking of enemy intentions for Midway provided a unique opportunity to fight their main carrier fleet, but against long odds. Preparing Midway Island for invasion and assembling the carrier task forces for battle required the combined achievements of thousands in logistics, ship repair, and naval intelligence.

Yet, on June 4, 1942, the final margin for victory resided with the fearful sacrifice of a few brave men. About 550 airmen lost over half their number killed when flying into the concentrated anti-aircraft fire and fighter attacks to destroy four heavy carriers and defend Midway.

This splendid victory permanently seized the initiative from the Japanese. One could easily paraphrase Winston Churchill to say never have so many, who fought in the Pacific, owed so much to so few. Walter Lord and Gordon W. Prange considered this accomplishment incredible and miraculous. For Mitsuo Fuchida and Masatake Okumiya, it was the battle that doomed Japan.

Nolan Nelson


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