LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
These victims have no choice
As usual, The Register-Guard's April 20 editorial on the Supreme Court's ruling on partial-birth abortions focuses on the possible harm to the woman and totally ignores what her decision to end the life of her child in such a barbaric way does to the child. And, as usual, the editors took the politically correct position of the woman and failed to mention the trauma a baby experiences as its brains are sucked out as it tries to enter the world. Instead of being embraced by a mother, it is killed and tossed aside by a female of the human species.
Way to speak out for the innocent victim who has no choice!
As for the potential harm to the woman, the editors should give the actual data. How many who were denied this gross service actually were harmed or killed? Isn't it a bit of a stretch to believe the Constitution intended for an adult to take the life of another human being under the guise of "the right to choose?"
Sites are not buildable
When are buildable lands not buildable?
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and four city councilors made a bold move with their recent decision to move forward with a public hearing regarding using eminent domain on two famous parcels in Eugene's Amazon Headwaters that amount to 65 acres.
One development, Green Valley Glen, proposed 113 houses, and Deerbrook proposed 91 houses. You will be hearing plenty about this removal of land from the buildable land supply and that these parcels are zoned for residential development. The truth is, both of these parcels have huge earth flows moving through them, proven with the use of LiDAR, cutting edge aerial photography. No reasonable person would consider building a house, let alone nearly 200 homes, on an active landslide.
Mitigation plans for these geotechnical issues would require prohibitive measures such as overexcavation of soils down to bedrock, which could be 100 feet and more in some areas of the flows. This action would destroy the natural features.
I suggest that the folks that are pushing the nonsense of proven landslide areas being developable lands get a grip and look at the facts on the ground and start practicing responsible planning and development, and keep development out of landslide areas.
The city of Eugene is liable for any harm, property damage or death caused by a landslide that happens in a development that the city approves. Public health and safety concerns are being served by council's decision.
Income tax is inequitable
I have in the past been a longtime supporter of the League of Women Voters; however, I am very disappointed in its support of Lane County's proposed income tax. League officials state in a May 1 guest viewpoint that measures 20-129 and 20-130 `represent an equitable and reasonable solution to an immediate and critical problem.'
I strongly disagree with their viewpoint, as well as that of The Register-Guard. The newspaper fails to mention that many income tax opponents argue, and validly so, that the tax is inequitable and unreasonable for many county residents who will be forced to pay the tax, while others are exempted. A fair tax is one in which all those who benefit from the tax (directly or indirectly) help to pay for it.
The public information brochure recently distributed by county gov- ernment fails to mention that this tax automatically exempts several groups, including retirees under the Public Employees Retirement System and federal retirement pensions. It exempts annuities of retirees, but not individual retirement accounts (including Roth IRAs). Those residents not fortunate to have a pension, but relying on IRAs for their retirement, will be subsidizing those more `fortunate' with pensions and annuities.
If Lane County needs to increase its revenues, there must be a better solution.
Keep lid on tax cookie jar
While the Eugene Budget Committee struggles to formulate an adequate budget, city officials are considering property tax exemptions of as much as $190 million. Seldom mentioned is the fact that tax abatements reduce already inadequate property tax revenues. Tax exemptions total more than $100 million, and the tax abatement cookie jar is about to be raided again.
By default, off-budget tax exemptions get priorities higher than all budgeted municipal needs. Reduced tax revenue may force the city to seek bond approval from the voters for important items such as public safety, the library and street maintenance. Meanwhile, opportunistically positioned entrepreneurs obtain tax exemption subsidies.
Tax exemptions expected to improve downtown economic development have been less than adequately successful over the last 30 years. Efforts to revive the downtown leave many commercial vacancies and two large holes, problems with counterculture youth, and little effort to learn by analysis of past project deficiencies. Overpriced real estate awaits more taxpayer subsidy while ignoring the fact that property value is the realized unsubsidized sale price. Hand-wringing city development officials, whose conflict of interest is invariably ignored, seek quick - tax subsidized - solutions by promoting purchase of price-inflated properties.
The above characterization of Eugene's downtown problems emphasizes the need for more study and public hearings before the City Council votes on this issue.
Why not replant after fires?
Katie Weidman's informative April 22 letter, "Old trees store more carbon," said young trees remove more carbon dioxide than old ones, while old trees store more carbon dioxide. She also said allowing public forest lands to remain in or return to old growth would be great for the future.
I once worked for the National Park Service at Yellowstone and am familiar with that park. Last summer, our family took the loop drive. Yellowstone is slowly recovering from the wildfire of the 1990s, but still has a long way to go to reach pre-fire conditions. Some plants and animals are thriving in the more open forest. I have a couple of questions:
First, if Al Gore is correct and we have only 10 years left to turn things around on global warming, why are people standing in the way of promptly cleaning up and replanting wildfire areas such as the Biscuit burn in Southern Oregon? Nature would take much longer to restore these burned areas, and dead trees don't remove carbon dioxide.
My second question concerns biodiversity. Some flora and fauna thrive in open forest conditions, while others do better in a climax forest. Shouldn't we take a balanced, pre-Columbian approach to habitat?
There are two ways of doing this. One is to let the wildfires burn. American Indians set fires if lightning didn't start them. It made hunting and gathering better. The other way is to log judiciously and replant, maintaining a stable, balanced supply of young forest and old growth.
R. CRAIG TAYLOR
Put national forests on tax rolls
While in theory I agree with the April 28 Register-Guard editorial suggesting that `Lane County voters should approve Measure 20-129 and the accompanying Measure 20-130, which would cap the income tax at 2 percent,' I also feel the editors are missing a bigger point.
If the federal government is no longer going to provide the subsidies to the counties, as it has in the past, then the federal lands located within Lane County should be placed back on the property tax rolls, and the federal government should be sent property tax bills just like any other property owner in the county.
The federal government can't have it both ways, and we, the voters and property owners of Lane County, should not have to pick up the slack left in the wake of the pulled pay- ments.
Where is county's creativity?
Logically, my mind tells me that Lane County is in dire financial straits, and you should vote for the county income tax. My intuition - my gut - tells me that despite the dismantling of worthwhile county programs, it does a great disservice to provide the county administrator, managers and the commissioners with a "way out."
I moved my family from Portland in May 1975 to take a job with Lane County that started in early June of that year. I was never told my position was on the chopping block, and I was laid off in early July. After about three weeks, I was hired back under the old federal CETA program.
I was still working for the county in the early 1980s when the then-elected sheriff parked all the patrol cars in his squabble with the commissioners and their budget priorities. I was laid off again in 1993.
This time I welcomed it. I was weary of all the yearly gloom and doom over the budget and continual threats of layoffs. The wailing that "there is no money" for the county is not new. It happens every year, some worse than others. It is a given when discussing the county's ability to fund any programs.
The administrators and commissioners, past and present, have had at least 32 years to figure it out. Their only response to the current "crisis" is a tired, worn-out, pathetic plea for an income tax.
Where is the creative vision and bold leadership necessary to figure out sustainable ways beyond an income tax to maintain county operations? Don't the citizens deserve it?
DeFazio an ethical politician
Congratulations to Congressman Peter DeFazio and his decision not to run for the Senate. Here is an ethical politician - surely a vanishing species in this day and age! He knows who he is, what he stands for, and what he wants to accomplish.
The Register-Guard welcomes letters on topics of general interest. Our length limit is 250 words; all letters are subject to condensation.
Mail letters to: Mailbag, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||May 3, 2007|
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