LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Try alternatives to decorating
The Register-Guard's Nov. 19 story on holiday lighting impels me to prop up a moral reality.
Extravagant decorations designed by zealous homeowners, who shoulder outrageous utility bills and navigate byzantine wiring diagrams, stand to gain nothing but the attention mostly of total strangers. Instead, please join me by contributing and serving at any of several churches, synagogues and community agencies providing shelter, food baskets, toys and holiday meals to the needy among us.
The transference of costly fuel-generating dollars to caring for our neighbors could be a more meaningful way of sharing the blessings of the holiday season.
Tax burners, not smokers
Since Measure 50 didn't pass, I suggest that we impose a high tax on field burners. Their tax dollars would help pay for the health care of the children they make sick.
I'll bet that tax measure would pass!
Pacifica Forum misrepresented
The 15 co-signers of this letter, all frequent attendants at Pacifica Forum, have no recollection of seeing Judy Dellar (letters, Nov. 13) at eight forums.
Few, if any, forums present "anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Semitic bigotry and hate" information. The forum has never devoted time to "the hanging of a Jewish child." Many people, including Mark Weber, who have been dubbed "Holocaust deniers" by Dellar and many others, do not "maintain that the Holocaust did not exist."
Weber's recent address in Eugene was devoted to the Israel lobby in the United States, not to Holocaust denial. Dellar grossly misrepresents the forum when she states, "Virtually no discussion is tolerated."
Many in Eugene have misrepresented or caricatured the forum time and again for more than four years. All who wish accurate information about what goes on at the forum are urged to attend rather than depend on letters to the editor or on hearsay, gossip or rumor.
and 15 co-signers
Public employees aren't wealthy
I am the president of the classified employees union in the Eugene School District. We are members of the Oregon School Employees Association.
John M. White (letters, Nov. 20) states that the recently settled contract would provide benefits to employees who only worked four to six hours per week. This is incorrect. Employees must work a minimum of 20 hours per week in order to be eligible for benefits. This current settlement provides benefits for employees who work a minimum of four to six hours per day!
It is clear by the tone of White's letter that he has a preconceived opinion of public sector workers. I have worked for our school district for 28 years and have been proud to serve my community and its children. I would like to invite White to join me for one day, and I will take him into the schools to see our food service workers feeding children. Or we can ride a special needs bus route, and he can observe our bus aides working to maintain medically fragile students to ensure they arrive safely at school. Or we can visit a classroom where some of our instructional assistants are providing leadership in reading groups that include behaviorally challenged children.
Public sector workers are not knee deep in cash. The truth is that many of the people that I represent must work two and three jobs in order to make ends meet.
Virus not proof of evolution
As I read the Nov. 20 letter about the flu virus and evolution, I had to smile. The writer attempts show that a new virus is proof of evolution.
I suppose it depends on your definition of evolution. The term is used so loosely it can be used to explain anything. However, the letter writer himself disproved his own statement when he called it a "newly evolved flu virus." Why isn't it a new cold virus? Or maybe a worm or a horse? Because a horse is a horse, of course, of course.
Change within a kind isn't evolution, it is only variation within a kind. Until that flu virus "evolves" and becomes anything other than the next new flu virus, my mind is made up.
Of course people are free to believe any myth they like, just as long as they don't proselytize me with their fables!
Impeachment is possible
Regarding Fran Gillespie's Nov. 18 letter, "Put impeachment on the table," I totally agree that impeachment is appropriate and should have happened much sooner. I am sending a copy of Gillespie's letter to Oregon's two senators, Congressman Peter DeFazio and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, with a reminder to all that President Bush also deserves impeachment - but only after Vice President Dick Cheney has been removed from office.
Impeachment is possible, and my hope is that impeachment of the president and vice president would restore some of the good will to the United States that has been so badly eroded by those two malfeasants.
Lawrence R. Kirchoff
Accept Frohnmayer's challenge
Ward Ricker's question (letters, Nov. 20) is answered by John Frohnmayer.
On Sept. 13, Frohnmayer announced he is a candidate for the U.S. Senate and will seek the nomination for Oregon's Independent Party and election to the seat held by Sen. Gordon Smith, R-Ore., in 2008.
"A vote for either a Democrat or a Republican is a vote for business as usual," Frohnmayer said.
For more information visit www.ivotejohn.com/announce or write to John Frohnmayer for Senate, 5060 S.W. Philomath Blvd., No. 366, Corvallis, OR 97333.
My plan is to accept Frohnmayer's challenge to "take a seat at the table" and change my voter registration to the Independent Party.
W. REX STEVENS
Problems a lifetime in making
I read the article about the Ryan Salisbury incident (Register-Guard, Nov. 18), and I want to tell about experiences I have had with the Springfield Police Department.
I have a daughter who has serious emotional issues and has difficulty dealing with normal life. She takes a number of medications to stabilize her behavior, but unfortunately she has had numerous incidents in which the police have been called.
I have seen lots of contacts between the police and my daughter, and I have always observed them to try to talk with her. She has been treated with respect and compassion, even when her behavior was what I would consider violent. I can't say that I am always totally satisfied with every police response, but I do believe that they have always had my daughter's best interest in mind.
I am a mother who understands a great deal about mental and emotional health. I understand my daughter and what she needs, but I am not always capable of dealing with her. How can we expect police officers to come to an incident like the Ryan Salisbury incident and immediately fix problems that have been a lifetime in the making?
I know how difficult it is to communicate with my own daughter when she is having problems, and I don't know how we can expect our police officers to be better prepared to deal with our children than we are.
Council takes role seriously
As a physician board-certified in psychiatry and chemical dependency, I served on the supervisory council of the Health Professionals Program, (HPP), for the Oregon Board of Medical Examiners for 12 years. The council is made up of physicians with expertise in addictionology and/or in recovery themselves. The council reviews especially challenging cases, brought to our attention by the medical director, involving physicians who are abusing or addicted to drugs or alcohol.
I cannot directly comment on the case of Dr. Patrick J. Bergin, which was detailed in the Nov. 25 Register-Guard. The names and other identifying details of the physicians in treatment are withheld from council members reviewing cases, and confidentiality laws would prevent public comment anyway.
What I can say is that the HPP council takes its role of both helping impaired physicians and protecting the public very seriously. My gold standard in reviewing cases was always, "Would I want this physician treating myself or a family member?"
The Register-Guard's article stated that Bergin's drinking had not affected his work; may I add - not yet. Should a physician's license be taken away only after he has killed or injured someone due to his drug or alcohol use? Who would you prefer to have perform your surgery - the doctor who was partying all night, or the one who had only one glass of wine at dinner?
The board and HPP exhaust all options before revoking a medical license, and cases such as Dr. Bergin's are much more than a doctor not wanting to attend a 12-step program.
Susan Polchert, M.D.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Nov 27, 2007|
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