Letters to the editor
Barnes Butte Recreation Area is worth the visit
Barnes Butte Recreation Area (BBRA) has hundreds of acres for people and their animal companions to enjoy an unspoiled and natural outdoor experience.
BBRA is open to walkers, hikers, runners, bike riders and pets. Many people bring their dogs to exercise and enjoy the natural features of the area. People carry leashes to control their pets in case they encounter others on the trails. It is a unique off leash area with few conflicts.
There is a comprehensive master plan and steering committee for BBRA. Details of the master plan are on the city of Prineville website. City officials and the citizens' steering committee did an excellent job of outlining a plan for future use of this area. Details can be accessed via the city of Prineville website: www.cityofprineville.com.>parksites. The name of the plan is "Echo of the Butte."
Future improvements include better access, improved ADA features, watershed improvements and a visitor's center. The city has secured grants to make the improvements that provide for better access to the area. The goal is to keep the area natural with opportunities for all users.
Walkers, runners and hikers make up the majority of BBRA users. The master plan specifies that 73% of the area will be dedicated to foot traffic.
There are many unimproved trails on the butte and a paved path on the lowlands. The trails on the butte will be preserved for those in search of an unspoiled outdoor experience. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the natural areas. Bikes and similar vehicles will have designated areas and trails.
BBRA is a wonderful feature in our Crook County community. If you have not visited yet, put that on your bucket list for 2023.
Library board meeting venue not big enough
I tried to attend a meeting of the library board Thursday evening, open to the public. I read it was to be on children's LGBTA books. However, the room in which it was held was very small and unable to hold very many people who came. Therefore, most were standing around in the hallways, unable to hear anything.
The board surely didn't plan well and seemed unconcerned about the citizens who were there. I might as well have stayed home.
LGBTQ books in the library's children's section is not inappropriate
I am disheartened and frankly angry about what is happening within our public schools and the public library. I have been a lifelong resident of Prineville and we are getting an extremely ugly reputation for not being inclusive to all who live here.
Certain members of the community want LGBTQ-related books removed or stuck high on a shelf. Having LGBTQ books available is not "sexualizing children," as they claim. I don't know what they think will happen if their child reads a book about a kid with two dads or two moms. They might gain empathy, compassion and learn that not all families are the same.
People that don't fit the binary gender mold have always been around. We just didn't have a name for it. Now that we do, people are upset about "pronouns," even bullying a school administrator because she used preferred pronouns to a child who was not even at school at the time.
I trust our public librarians and school administrators' expertise to choose books appropriate for children's ages. Just because a few don't want their children reading LGBTQ-related books does not mean that everyone else should not read them. This is censorship! My granddaughter, who is being raised by two dads, needs to see her family represented on bookshelves. If you don't like the book, don't check it out, but you don't get to control what everyone else reads.
We aren't "grooming" your kids to be LGBTQ. It's not an easy life for anyone. Why would we want that? We are trying to save our own LGBTQ children from being bullied and preventing them from taking their own lives! LGBTQ youth are not inherently prone to suicide risk because of their sexual orientation or gender identity but rather placed at higher risk because of how they are mistreated and stigmatized in society. Imagine what your words at a school board meeting or library board meeting does to a closeted student? It just feels like hate.
For the past two decades, I have worked with the LGBTQ community. I was President of PFLAG Central Oregon/Bend for 10 years and have served on their board for almost 20 years. I was the PFLAG State President for three years and now I, along with several other community members, are forming a Prineville PFLAG chapter. The National PFLAG organization was founded in 1973 by a mother who marched in a "gay liberation" parade with a sign that said "Parents, unite in support of our gay children." Her son Morty was beaten by NYC police for doing nothing but being in a place that catered to LGBTQ people.
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