LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Texas laws are harmful to patients
I have several family members who work for hospitals in Texas. All of them have said the mistake there with Ebola occurred for two reasons.
First, most hospitals in Texas are for-profit facilities. Thomas Duncan didn't have insurance. The doctor didn't run the lab work that would have shown he had something more than the flu. He got a typical prescription of an antibiotic and was sent home.
Why has the doctor who sent Duncan home with Ebola not been reprimanded? Because too few people in Texas care.
Gov. Rick Perry has signed very strict tort reform laws; it's almost impossible to win medical negligence lawsuits in Texas and that's probably the reason Duncan's family has no legal representation.
Perry also cut the state budget pertaining to areas of regulation and oversight in the health care industry. That's had the dangerous result of allowing hospitals and doctors not to be held accountable to anyone for their medical mistakes.
My mother was in an emergency room in Texas earlier this year. She was there for two hours, having a heart attack, and was given antibiotics for a urinary tract infection. She died two hours later.
No one cared, and no one got in trouble. Welcome to the new face of health care in Texas. Hopefully, the people in Oregon won't allow that to happen here.
Measure 90 would be undemocratic
What if you opened your Nov. 4 ballot and found you had no real choice in voting to fill many elective offices? Imagine a "choice" between two Democratic candidates, or two Republicans.
The "top two" law is already in effect in California and Washington, and will be in Oregon if Measure 90 passes.
Oregon now allows the primary election winner for each party, including minor parties, to be on the general election ballot. This year's ballot lists five candidates representing five parties for U.S. senator and six candidates from six parties for governor. That's good for democracy.
Under Measure 90, minor party and independent candidates could easily be shut out of the November elections. Researchers have found that voters in "top two" elections who don't identify with either of the two candidates in an office that's important to them will have little incentive to vote. That's bad for democracy.
All Oregonians should be able to vote for candidates who represent their values, not just candidates who are able to win in a "top two" primary election. Allowing candidates from all parties to be on the general election ballot - that's really good for democracy.
Vote "no" on Measure 90.
Renewing levy would secure gains
As physicians in Eugene, we believe a healthy school system leads to a healthy community. Underfunding of education recently led to the closure of many of the Eugene School District's school-based health clinics, severely limiting medical outreach in the schools.
Increasing class sizes and shortened school years have hampered the medical community's ability to recruit physicians to our area. The district's local option levy, Measure 20-222, would keep the problem from worsening.
The levy is a big bang for the buck. While the average household would pay only $109 more annually, that would equate to almost $500 per student in our public schools.
Without those funds, we might face class sizes above 40 students in elementary schools or the closure of more schools. With the funds we'll make strides to recover some of the losses in the Great Recession.
The tentative contract between the district and its teachers' union restores a full school year with no furlough days by 2016, increases elementary school preparation time and provides more special education services. All those gains would be lost if the levy's not renewed.
Healthy schools support healthy communities. Vote "yes" on Measure 20-222 on Nov. 4.
Byrke Beller, M.D.
Klarissa Beller, M.D.
Keep river access open to everyone
I've lived in Austin, Texas, and visited San Antonio, two cities that have done great things with their riverfronts. So I rolled my eyes at the artist's rendering that grandly illustrated the Oct. 8 front-page story regarding the Eugene Water & Electric Board's riverfront property ("EWEB picks foundation to redevelop waterfront").
Either someone chose a poor illustration or Eugene's missed the boat yet again, because the colorful vision of waterfront renewal contains nary a sign of the river. The view presumably depicts the "pedestrian-oriented street" described in the story.
Is Eugene's glorious new property really to be focused away from the river? That leaves the waterfront as a) the back or "loading zone" side of the property or b) a high-priced option available only to the rich few who can afford to live in housing units overlooking the river.
I wonder which one is more likely?
Way to go, planners. Let's create a few more prime places exclusively for rich folks that'll no doubt be subsidized/paid for largely with taxes from the rest of us.
Reviewer's description was correct
Regarding Jay Hash's Oct. 15 letter, I believe he read Dorothy Velasco's play review in too much of a hurry.
In no way did she "attack" the actress wearing the costume. She didn't even attack the person who made it.
It was Velasco's opinion - and mine, and those with me at the opening night performance - that the costume in question did make the character "look like a cheap slut," but as Velasco said, her second costume was perfect.
I thoroughly enjoy Velasco's reviews, and I usually agree with her - and I attend a lot of theater.