LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Support parental notification
Petitions are circulating for a parental notification initiative that would require that those responsible for a minor's welfare be notified before the minor can obtain an abortion. Current Oregon law already requires notification for those 14 and younger.
The initiative does not require permission for the procedure - only notification. There is a bypass provision for those living in abusive situations to petition for a telephone hearing with an administrative law judge from the Oregon Health Department to authorize the abortion. Married or legally emancipated minors are exempted from notification requirements.
As one of the area coordinators, I would like to remind petition circulators not to photocopy the petition, as this will invalidate all signatures on the photocopies. Extra petitions can be obtained by calling 503-390-3645.
All petitions should be returned to Protect Our Teen Daughters, P.O. Box 13249, Salem, OR 97309 by June 15 so that coordinators have time to finish validating the signatures on the petition to eliminate duplications.
Please get involved. A teen you know may need the emotional support of her parents when faced with a most difficult decision.
Bill Mahn right call for assessor
Hold on, kid! Step out of the batter's box and call time! We need to talk this over. This Lane County assessor recommendation game is about to strike you out.
That was a good swing you took on April 15 in recommending Gary Cook, but you sliced it a bit and it went foul. On April 19 you let the peanut gallery in the stands talk you into swinging at a wild pitch Jim Gangle selected. These are the same clowns who got our team into such poor condition we are in 36th place in a league of 36 teams! Don't listen to that "Hey batter, batter!" chatter.
Luckily, in this case, you get three strikes before you are out. Get a grip! Keep your eye on the ball, because your last pitch is Bill Mahn. He is a good, honest fastball right down the middle of the plate.
Now get back in there and take your best swing and give us a solid hit to help Lane County Department of Assessment and Taxation get out of the cellar and start winning again!
TABOR cap would be a disaster
The League of Women Voters of Oregon rarely takes a position on an initiative petition until it qualifies for the ballot. However, because of the probable drastic impacts of initiative proposal No. 6 on state services, the league urges voters not to sign the petition. Known as TABOR - the taxpayers bill of rights - the initiative would tie state spending to inflation rates and population growth. If passed, a rigid and arbitrary spending cap would be placed in the Oregon Constitution.
Health care, education at all levels, transportation and law enforcement funding would be affected. The costs of some state services, such as those provided in the Oregon Health Plan, are rising faster than inflation. In this time of rapidly changing economics the inability of the Legislature to act quickly in fiscal matters could be disastrous to Oregon's future.
Data from Colorado's 13 years of experience with TABOR shows a decrease of 25 percent in funding for education and social services. Colorado citizens voted last November to suspend the law for five years in hopes of getting the state back on track in providing services. The Oregon Legislative Revenue Office did an analysis of the impact of a TABOR-like spending cap if one had been enacted in 1990. There would have been a decrease of 25.6 percent in the state's general fund for 2005-07.
The threat posed by Initiative No. 6 has led to the League's recommendation that citizens would be better served by declining to sign the petition.
League of Women Voters
of Lane County
Will believers accept science?
Mike Jaskilka (letters, April 20) is deluding himself if he thinks that having yet another example of so called "intelligent design" explained by science is cause for hope for those who are constitutionally incapable of accepting the scientific consensus on evolution.
Just because an idea can be discredited by science does not make it scientific, it might merely be pseudo-scientific. In fact, this is exactly the case for supporters of ID who disingenuously claim that ID is not religion.
Since the fundamental argument from ID is that because science hasn't yet explained the complexity or apparent design of say, X, then that complexity or appearance of design must be from God. This is simply the argument from ignorance or incredulity: "I can't understand, or I can't imagine ... therefore God." Science can falsify any number of bad ideas (scientific or otherwise). The problem is, will the believers ever change their minds and accept the science?
Stop bird flu, be a vegetarian
As days go by, the risk of a bird flu pandemic becomes more and more real. Just walk into any factory-farm chicken or turkey shed and it's easy to see why.
One shed houses tens of thousands of birds who are never allowed outside and are cooped up in their own filth. When one bird gets sick, the disease can quickly spread to all of them. History shows that each and every pandemic within the last 100 years arose because of animal agriculture. Farmers know that they have created breeding grounds for diseases, so they dose their animals with massive amounts of drugs.
Every time you put yourself in contact with or consume animal products, you risk infecting yourself with bird flu or some other deadly virus. If you are going to eat meat, then ensuring that you and your family are protected from bird flu and similar food pathogens requires that you treat your kitchen like a biohazard laboratory.
There's an easier solution, though - adopting a vegetarian diet. For more information and to order a free vegetarian starter kit, visit GoVeg.com.
Classism in downtown debate
In response to Jerry Hoskins' April 21 letter "City needs upscale downtown," I must say that I have grown tired of this increasingly common attitude.
Hoskins refers to downtown as "a haven for transients, deadbeats, drug addicts, dealers and hoodlums." He's right, no thanks to Connor and Woolley. His description is also an accurate one for the Whiteaker neighborhood. Should we raze that as well?
To accommodate Hoskins' desire to see a downtown that is "much more upscale and filled with more profitable people," maybe we should send all the less-profitable people far away so we won't have to be bothered by the sight of them.
I really believe that Hoskins is beginning his descent down a slippery slope.
Vagrancy, poverty, drugs and crime are facts of life. They may be ugly, but they are real, and might not be cured by reopening streets or building nice apartments above wine bars. One thing that would surely improve the area would be keeping developers from leaving spaces vacant just to make it ripe for beautification, and thereby acquire more wealth.
I think we need to examine Hoskins' statement about "more profitable people." Am I the only one reminded of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" or Jonathan Swift's "A Modest Proposal"?
These writings reveal the idiocy of classism. However, if this is a sign of the times and we do endeavor to beautify Eugene, I suggest that we begin by cleaning up the minds of all those who share Hoskins' view.
No endorsement a better idea
With its April 19 "second thought" editorial regarding the Lane County assessors' race, it seems The Register-Guard has broken new ground. I don't recall The Register-Guard or any other daily newspaper with similar influence ever having retracted a political endorsement and then switching that endorsement to another candidate.
The editors say in their retraction that they misunderstood the extent of some of Gary Cook's experience. Isn't it a daily newspaper's first priority to check the facts before it goes to print? The perception that there may have been some political arm-twisting involved is hard to ignore.
It may well be the case that the editors based their original endorsement on some factual inaccuracies and thus felt compelled to reconsider their recommendation of Cook. It's also possible that Tom DeLay's retirement may have nothing to do with his alleged relationship with Jack Abramoff, but the perception by the public is quite different.
As was said in the initial April 15 editorial, all three candidates for Lane County assessor have some credible and appropriate qualifications for the job. Wouldn't it have been reasonable when the editors suffered second thoughts to endorse none of the above?
Let the voters sort it out; we're a pretty intelligent bunch. I'll take all of The Register-Guard's future editorials with a large lump of salt - it might wash the bad taste out of my mouth.
Hospital welcome at Delta Ridge
As a north Eugene resident, I'm glad to have McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center coming to our area. The chosen site is going to make good use of that portion of the RiverRidge Golf Course.
The traffic impact analysis shows that the hospital traffic won't be that noticeable.
Hospital employees will travel at off-peak hours and visitors, patients and physicians will come and go as part of the usual traffic flow.
In comparison, a housing development on the site would add many more vehicle trips during our commuting times and that really would create a traffic problem. The Delta Highway-Belt Line Road interchange has needed help for years and Ayres Road is already overloaded. Area residents will come out ahead if McKenzie-Willamette's presence and transportation improvements prompt state, county and city to work on the interchange, too.
Being able to drive good roads to reach the hospital means it will also be easier to drive Belt Line or get to our homes, shops and everywhere else we go.
McKenzie-Willamette is going to help Eugene on many levels, from road improvements to new tax dollars which will help offset our current budget problems.
Eugene should have its own hospital, and the selected site will work well.
MICHAEL T. ROBERTS
Reconsider obit photo decision
I am an oncology nurse at Sacred Heart Medical Center and the photos included in the obituaries of those we have cared for who have passed on bring us an enormous amount of comfort.
We grieve each time we lose one of our precious cancer patients.
Sometimes it is the only time we get a chance to see these remarkable people when they were healthy - or had hair!
The recent decision to omit photos ended that. It's not just the family that benefits from having pictures in the obituaries, it is everyone whose life has been touched or changed by that person.
We often cut out the notices and post them in our nurses' station. It seems so much less personal without the photo.
I hope The Register-Guard reconsiders the decision to omit photos except for those who can afford to purchase space. There will be a lot of grateful families and a lot of grateful nurses.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Apr 29, 2006|
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