Aretha was right: It’s about respect

Last week’s town hall meeting, put on by Sheriff Brian Wolfe, was notable for its strong turnout – 400 folks would be a good crowd in a much larger community.

But the event was as notable for its respectful tone, which allowed the straightforward sharing of views and questions in an open forum. Respect – among friends, neighbors, colleagues, and even political foes – is an important ingredient in any functional community.

Respect was the missing element in the Bundy-led occupation at the wildlife refuge in Harney County. How often did we hear local reactions along these lines: We appreciate the spotlight they put on the Hammond sentencing and federal land management issues, but we don’t like the way they did it. That was a recurring theme heard in Harney County, here in Malheur County, and in other rural communities.

Whether by cutting . . .