Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.
Re-elect Rose to LCC board
Lane Community College is a resource of enormous social and economic value to the public that owns it. It has provided the means for countless thousands of people to improve their lives.
The current economic situation has required that LCC carefully re-evaluate programs because of diminishing financial support and changing needs of society.
This is a process that requires knowledge, perspective, commitment and the capacity to consider complex issues and think objectively about solutions. Mike Rose possesses those traits.
For four years, Rose has demonstrated that he has the qualities and the willingness to devote the necessary amount of time to do the job, and do it well.
I have known Rose for about 35 years. I have worked with him on many issues, and welcomed his opinions. I always knew they would be thoughtful and honest. I hope you will join me in voting to re-elect Mike Rose to the LCC Board of Directors.
Morgan offers new ideas
Tough times demand better ideas. Marston Morgan can add an infusion of new ideas and insights gained from unique experiences to the Lane Community College Board of Directors. Vote for Morgan for Position 6 in the May 20 election.
LCC has some great new buildings, but its old buildings are in trouble. Morgan's background as an architect qualifies him to share upgrading ideas. He has done it for Oregon schools, Gallaudet College, the Saudi government and American University in Cairo, among others.
Morgan has seen what works and doesn't work in the United Kingdom, Mexico and the Middle East at governmental levels while maintaining his roots in Cottage Grove. His planning background is exactly what LCC needs as it struggles to decide what its shrinking budget will cause the college to become. His recent service on the college Budget Committee will help him hit the ground running.
Ballots will arrive in the mail in a couple of weeks. Choose Marston Morgan for at-large Position 6.
Contribution in lieu of pay
Rick Moon's "PERS system unbalanced" (letters, April 10) contains two important inaccuracies that taint his argument.
First is the statement that federal civil service employees are not eligible for Social Security. That changed in 1983 when the new Federal Employees Retirement System was formed (Public Law 98-21). Moreover, pre-1984 hires who wanted to switch to the new system and be covered by Social Security were given two years to do so (PL 99-335). My father used this option and received Social Security payments for the rest of his life.
The second inaccuracy is an implication. It is true that many PERS employees do not contribute directly to their retirement accounts. The false implication is that this costs the public extra. What Moon fails to consider (and may not know) is that these contributions are paid in lieu of pay raises. At the University of Oregon in 1978, a scheduled 6 percent pay increase was not given. Instead, the university agreed to pick up the 6 percent employee contribution to PERS. No extra expense to the public occurred by this. That is the important point. Moreover, the switch actually helped state coffers in the short term because payments to PERS could be delayed, while salaries could not.
In the long run, this arrangement is pretty much a wash. Payments to PERS increase as salaries go up, but salaries are lower than they would have been and new increases are computed from a lower base.
JERRY M. WOLFE
Entering the twilight zone
Columnist Jim Hoagland, who occasionally gets it right, took my breath away with an April 18 sermon on the looting in Baghdad that could only leave you shaking your head in disbelief.
How anyone with a college education could embark on such a pretentious, sanctimonious Sunday school lesson on theft of cultural treasures, while ignoring the wholesale looting of Iraqi oil being arranged in broad daylight (in true looter fashion) by the Bush administration, is truly amazing.
Rod Serling, wherever you are, there really is a twilight zone. We call it Washington, D.C.
Foiling potential dictators
I'd like to ask how John C. Schulze (letters, April 17) can lump so many individuals together with his tag of anti-war, anti-Republican, anti-business, anti-military folks who love big government, support taxes, etc. He even calls them un-American and stupid. What arrogance!
As for me, I just don't like President Bush and his gang, but that in no way means I don't love my country or that I'm all of the above. On the contrary, I love my beautiful and bountiful America in a most passionate way.
There are just certain leaders who astound me with their arrogance and who seem to feel they own our beloved Constitution, for which many people have died. That piece of paper has thus far kept us from becoming another fascist state like so many before in the hands of a Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Saddam, etc.
We all realize that every country produces people who would be all powerful, all knowing - in short, potential dictators. But our Constitution has held that in check, hasn't it? Pray that it may continue to do so.
W. JEAN WRIGHT
Budget based on pay freeze
Regarding the proposed legislative budget (Register-Guard, April 18): Can anyone explain to me how leaders of the state Legislature can propose an educational budget that is $4.79 billion, and then say an additional $559 million in savings could bring the bottom line for state school support to $5.5 billion - but only if all 198 school districts in Oregon are willing and able to work out pay and benefit freezes with teachers and other employees?
Using that reasoning, they could just as easily say: "If schools simply don't pay their employees, their revenue will be greater." Perhaps if we didn't pay for supplies or utilities, the Legislature would then think it is giving us even more money. The message the legislators are sending is either the height of arrogance or the depths of stupidity. I can only think that the schools Sen. Steve Harper, Rep. Randy Miller and Sen. Kurt Schrader graduated from must be dying from embarrassment, if not from lack of adequate funding.
LONN D. ROBERTSON
King an outstanding candidate
Fresh and experienced leadership to guide our schools during this unprecedented budget crisis is crucial to our children's and the nation's future. Al King should be our choice for the Springfield School Board Position 3 when we vote May 20.
During his term in the Oregon Legislature, King was the leading expert for the Common School Trust Fund and played a key role in preserving the fund for the kids of every future generation. His thoughtful and visionary consideration of education in Oregon and Lane County has made him an outstanding candidate. We need Al King on the Springfield School Board.
ZANE and BETTY SMITH
War's critics earn respect
When I returned from a combat tour in Vietnam in 1969, I resented anyone connected with the anti-war movement. The sacrifices made by my fellow Marines and their families were foremost in my mind, and I saw the protesters as uninformed slackers who were helping the wrong side. It took some time and distance for me to let go of that simplistic notion.
The fall of President Nixon and multiple revelations of the abuse of power by many politicians have made it clear that our leaders are capable of gross errors. I admire individuals who take the time and energy to learn about issues, and respect their right to lawfully express themselves.
I have concluded that the best way I can support our men and women in the military is to oppose our current foreign policy in the Middle East.
Columnist set the stage
All deaths in the Iraq invasion are regrettable. That includes columnist Michael Kelly, whose work sometimes appeared in The Register- Guard.
Having described his writing in a previous published letter, I now write about an irony. It is that his death, like all others in the Iraq action, occurred in a needless attack orchestrated by a man, George Bush, whose policies Kelly praised in his columns.
It is understandable that fellow journalists, even the acerbic Maureen Dowd, would eulogize Kelly. But it cannot be forgotten that he set the stage for his death by serving as a right-wing cheerleader for government policies that led to the unjust invasion.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Apr 23, 2003|
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