LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Balance uses in Amazon Park
No other park in the city has as much as Amazon Park. Amazon is highly developed to meet the need of organized sports. The park has four tennis courts, three groomed baseball fields, four soccer fields, basketball courts, two in-line skating rinks, two sand volleyball courts and the only outdoor swim facility. Much of this is used only three months of the year.
I am not against ball fields but would like to see equal monies go toward the natural elements of the park. This park has seen a huge amount of industrialized encroachment. The worst examples have been the Amazon Parkway, maze of chain-link and baseball fields north of 24th Avenue, bus transfer station, five parking lots, illegal use of park land as a parking lot and concretization of the Amazon Creek with chain-link fencing. (For more information, contact AmazonNeighbors@lycos.com.)
On the brighter side, the city has been working to create natural areas to protect the Amazon Creek at the headwaters and west of town. I'd like to see the same kind of commitment in Amazon Park. To find a good balance between differing uses, those who use the park on a daily basis must weigh-in and have their voice heard as the majority that it is. Many parks are not yet built and other parks are in need of scarce funds. Let the city know that Amazon has far more than its developed share of ball fields than any other city park.
Usurpation no longer an issue
As I read the Nov. 6 editorial titled "Arnold's Shadow," I wondered if the editors' opinion of Gov.-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger had clouded their view of the issue. There is only one liberty that naturalized citizens in this country do not possess: the ability to run for the presidency. In the days of our founding fathers, it made sense to limit the backgrounds of the people who could run for the office of commander in chief. Constitutional framers were worried about the leadership of the new country being usurped by a foreign nation. This is simply not an issue in the year 2003.
The proposed amendment has bipartisan support in both houses of Congress because Democrats, too, have candidates who they feel deserve the opportunity to potentially run for president. Michigan's governor, a Democrat, was born in Canada and is a naturalized citizen. She is one of the up and coming leaders of the Democratic party and deserves the chance to at least mount a run for the presidency.
The proposed amendment is not about handing Schwarzenegger the Republican nomination in 2008; it is designed to grant full freedoms to all of our citizens. Senators and representatives in the House have a fuller understanding of this issue, which is why they make laws and have the power to initiate constitutional amendments, rather than basing such decisions on uninformed opinion polls.
SPENCER E. JACOBSON
These moms chose life
As I read the Nov. 10 letter from Planned Parenthood CEO Bill Sheppard, I wondered if he ever had an abortion. Oh, I guess not - he is a man. So then I guess he has never felt the pain and guilt (years later) from having one.
I am so proud of President Bush for signing that bill. God bless him. I understand about medical reasons that can make a pregnancy high risk. I know firsthand, as I have had such a pregnancy. I was told that if I didn't have an abortion that I would die and so would my baby. Well that was 20 years ago, and my daughter Krystal is a healthy young woman full of life and the love of it.
As the owner of a local business that deals with kids, I see many women who are sad over the loss of their unborn child. My heart goes out to them. I have also seen many women who were told the same thing I was told - to abort or risk losing their lives. As I watch their children run around my store and the proud look of those mothers who chose life, I see that they know they did the right thing. What mother wouldn't give her life up for her child?
I know that the Lord Jesus Christ can and will make a way. It may not be an easy life for them. Everyday life has trials, but we walk on, keep praying and pushing on. Things always work out with God's will in our life.
It's all about numbers
Mary Martinez-Wenzl's "Immigration freedom rides a catalyst" (Register-Guard, Nov. 6) compares the campaign to grant amnesty to the 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the United States to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. Martinez-Wenzl failed to mention one glaring difference: The civil rights marchers were not criminals. Undocumented immigrants are.
They have violated U.S. immigration law. American employers rely on this huge pool of cheap labor to bust unions, reduce wages and lower the standard of living of the American workforce. Congress and the president think that's just hunky-dory. They are pursuing a number of measures to grant wholesale amnesty, forgive crimes, grant in-state tuition rates to illegals and other steps that will encourage even more illegal immigration.
Of course, I will be branded a racist and a hatemonger for raising these issues. But this has nothing to do with race - it's about numbers: huge ones. Numbers that are costing the border states nearly $6 billion per year in medical and welfare expenses. Numbers that are a significant part of California's budget fiasco. Numbers that, if left unchecked, will double the U.S. population in the next century.
As our water supplies shrink, our energy resources dwindle, our schools become ever more crowded, our highways ever more gridlocked and our rivers more polluted, it's past time to enforce our immigration laws. But Martinez-Wenzl needn't worry: Neither major party has any intention of doing so.
Forest thinning bill is flawed
The Nov. 5 Register-Guard editorial on the forest thinning bills pending in both houses of Congress accurately compared the two versions, but, like the Healthy Forests Initiative itself, it falls far short of addressing the myriad ecological, social and economic drivers of the current forest fire prevention and salvage logging debate.
Up to now The Register-Guard has covered the issue in a fairly balanced and probing manner, so it was disappointing to see blanket approval of a Senate bill that takes such a simplistic approach to an undeniably complex issue.
Public Lands Director
Pacific Rivers Council
He'll put money where mouth is
In his Nov. 13 letter, Ted Evans said school funds have not yet been cut. That sounds to me like the result of anti-tax propaganda and is simply untrue; every Sunday I file for unemployment specifically because school funds were cut, and I was laid off last year. I am a jobless elementary school music teacher, and this is particularly frustrating because there are schools nearby operating without a music specialist (or art, P.E., or media specialists, for that matter).
After learning and teaching in schools in Oregon, Illinois, New York and Minnesota, I feel the condition of Oregon's schools is embarrassing when compared with the holistic education and personal attention public school students receive elsewhere, where class sizes are acceptably small and the importance of the arts, personal fitness, and foreign language in the lives of developing persons is understood and valued.
Let me put my money where my mouth is: I will gladly see the removal of additional taxes from my unemployment check for the benefit of Oregon schools, even though it's too late to get my own job back.
Or maybe, like others, I'll just choose another state.
Another ice age on the way
I read Wojciech Szalecki's Nov. 8 letter, "Warming theory is a gold mine," with some amusement.
The author drums up a number of arguments used for years by industrialists to deny the damage they are doing to our planet. Unfortunately, all these arguments fall apart on closer inspection. It is long established that the problem isn't global warming, rather it is global climate change.
According to Wood's Hole, the world's foremost oceanographic institute, ocean circulation in the Atlantic is breaking down due to ice melting in the polar regions. This melting is due to the carbon dioxide we have put into the atmosphere. The last time such a melt-off occurred, we experienced the Little Ice Age of the 14th century, which caused massive death and famine in Europe. Human-caused global warming is on its way to causing another ice age.
Second, Szalecki cites petitions signed by thousands of scholars around the world. One such petition was the Leipzig Declaration, produced by the oil companies. The declaration was supposed to prove that global warming had significant scientific opposition. But in fact, most of the declaration's 80 signatures were either fraudulent or from nonspecialists.
The oil industry has a vested interest in keeping us from realizing what its products are doing to our planet. If we fail to address the changes we are causing in our atmosphere, we will continue to suffer major economic damage.
Floods, blizzards and hurricanes aren't cheap. And it's hard to buy gas if you're dead.
AuCoin, Ivins: 2 of a kind
I was mildly amused when I read Les AuCoin's attempt at a guest viewpoint, "Nominees outside U.S. mainstream" (Register-Guard, Nov. 5).
AuCoin's opinions are, of course, slanted to the extreme left just like columnist Molly Ivins' opinions. These two extreme left-wing thinkers bash anything that is conservative or connected to the name of President Bush. That is why I will place AuCoin on my "do not read list" along with Ivins.
May their columns go unread and be relegated to the classified section, along with the political cartoons.
L. W. HUFFMAN
Is GOP pro-democracy?
Tom Preuss writes (letters, Nov. 7) that the Democrats will commit any perversion to regain power.
I'll reserve comment on the over-the-top rhetoric - and let's not go into the history of the dirty tricks arm of the GOP that started by Donald Segretti under Nixon and that continues to this day. But I wonder if Preuss also includes such perversions as arbitrary purging of voter registration rolls, illegal roadblocks and vigilante challengers in heavily Democratic voting districts.
If the Republicans are so pro-democracy, why won't they let the people vote?
JOHN DONOVAN Eugene
Letters received in past week: 182
Letters published: 60
What's on readers' minds: No single topic dominated The Register-Guard's Mailbag during the past week. We received 12 letters on the Bush administration's Iraq policy, the majority of them focusing on the rising death toll of U.S. troops. We also received 10 letters on the proposed referendum on the Legislature's recently enacted $800 million package of tax increases used to balance the 2003-05 budget; eight each on Willamette River pollution and energy legislation pending in Congress, and five each on the Healthy Forests Initiative and the so-called partial-birth abortion bill recently signed into law by President Bush.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Nov 15, 2003|
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