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Letters 1/27-2/3 

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IN REPLY TO ANARCHY IN EASTERN OREGON (1/14)

Enjoyed the article on the Malheur occupation. But in reading the section about the history of Malheur Refuge, I notice one glaring omission: For all the wonderful things that we can say about the Malheur Refuge, how it came into being was not all so wonderful. Much of the land that is the refuge property was ill-gotten through taking people's ranches under condemnation. A dirty little secret that much of the state knows nothing about. Same with wildlife area in Summer Lake, OR; folks had no choice but to give up ranches and homesteads to the 'greater good'. Really. Paid for their land, you say. Yep, pennies on the dollar that they had to accept or get nothing. Coerced.

And yet everyone involved has managed to put that behind them and live in peace. The resentment is beginning to boil over now. Thank you for your coverage of this important human rights issue. But continue to dig deeper and walk in the other guys shoes for insight.

—Marie Brain

MALHEUR MILITIA STANDOFF (1/14)

By standing by and doing nothing in Harney County, the FBI has allowed more guns and more people with guns to settle into the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. They have allowed the militia to come and go as they please, even collect mail in Burns. They have allowed the militia to rummage through federal government files, tear up the landscape, prevent federal workers from going to work, and settle in for an armed conflict with the feds.

The feds have hamstrung state and local officials and allowed this to get out of hand. The time to act was Day 2, when they should have blockaded the refuge to prevent anyone from going in and out. They should have cut the power and surrounded the handful of people who were there.

The federal government has failed the people of Oregon. Call Rep. Greg Walden at 202-225-6730, Sen. Ron Wyden at 202-224-5244, and Sen. Jeff Merkley at 202-224-3753, and demand that the federal government stand up for the overwhelming majority of Oregonians and Harney County residents who want this band of militia misfits arrested and charged with the various crimes they have committed. It is up to the people of Oregon to stand up and take our land back from the Bundyites!

—Michael Funke

SNOWSHOE VS. FAT BIKING – "AIN'T HAPPENING" (1/21)

Bogus, alarmist argument. There is NO real conflict between Fat Bikers (really just normal cyclists after all) and snowshoers at Swampy, Meissner Snow Parks, or elsewhere. I don't have a fat bike, wish I could afford one, but I am an avid local mountain biker (along with XC skier and snowshoer) and know lots of people in Bend that fat bike. And, like the vast majority of local riders, they understand, respect, and exercise the IMBA and COTA etiquette and protocols when confronted with pedestrians and equestrians on the trail. That means yielding to virtually every other trail user, period. And I've never seen a fat biker on an XC track, ain't happening.

The Forest Service does an incredible job of managing trails, here and elsewhere. They already have an established policy and it's called multi-use. Aside from separating motorized vehicles from pedestrians and cyclists, and occasionally equestrian traffic, they expect trail users to apply common sense. And it works. The last thing we need is for some self-serving alarmist to jack up Deschutes National Forest management and staff to develop a specific protocol. They already have it right!

—Harry Williamson

SHOULD BILL CLINTON'S PAST MATTER FOR HILLARY'S CAMPAIGN?

I want to address the millennials who will be voting for President this year. You are too young to remember the scandal, but I was there and Bill Clinton lied to Congress and the American people every day for months before finally admitting the Lewinsky affair in the Oval Office. A liberal Democrat friend of mine said, "He only lied about sex, what's the big deal." The big deal was that he also lied to the Grand Jury under oath. The politicians impeached him, but the people allowed him to stay in office for no reason I could understand.  Then the other women he groped or assaulted came out with their stories. He lied about them too, and his lies are recorded in history. So are Hillary's. The entire time it was happening, Hillary was out there defending him, lying to everyone about her husband's infidelities. She said, "I'm not some Tammy Wynette standin' by her man!" But that's exactly who she was. So please, don't believe her when she tells the country, especially you young people, that she's defended women's rights all her life. It's not true. There's a reason a large percentage of the public doesn't trust her. You shouldn't either.

—Maralyn Thoma

RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE (12/31)

In its December 31 issue, the Source staff shared the hope that in 2016 "we focus on acceptance..." by, among other things, standing up for religious tolerance and opposing extremism. I agree. Today's news is filled with stories of hundreds of people dying each day as a result of armed conflict or terrorism, often arising from religious or ethnic differences. We must learn to see ourselves as members of a single human race and the earth as our common home. One of the biggest challenges to unity is religious intolerance. According to a 2015 report by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center, there are over 1.6 billion Muslims, a little over 23 percent of the world's population, and this number is rapidly increasing. We owe it to ourselves, family and community to formulate our world view and our opinions about Islam based on knowledge instead of ignorance. I encourage all to join the Interfaith Network of Central Oregon on February 9 at noon when it presents a talk by Dr. Yosef Wanly, Islamic scholar and educator, entitled "Living in Peace: An Islamic Perspective." It has been said that education is the key that unlocks mysteries and this talk should prove to be very educational.

—Jim Slothower

IN REPLY TO SNOW SHOE VS. FAT BIKING (1/21)

As someone who skate skis several times a week (Wanoga/Meissner) I see plenty of Fat Bikes . I have no beef with the Fat. I love to see people enjoying snow in whatever fashion fires them up. If the tracks from Fats ruffles your stride, take it as a challenge. It will make you stronger!

If you are concerned that your snowshoe pace will be broken by an oncoming Fat...really? Step aside and walk on once they pass. We are all out there to suck up the beauty: fresh air, trees and snow. It's multi-use out there. Don't be a jerk and we will all have a blast!

—Maureen C. Cruse

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