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Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

Byline: The Register-Guard

First, exile Castro

The May 16 editorial "Carter's candor in Cuba" points out once again how forgetful some of the news media can be.

The editorial called for lifting the embargo on Cuba, noting that Castro has held his country under his dictatorship during terms of 10 American presidents. The implication seems to be that we should therefore reward the tyrant for his longevity.

Let's see, now - what actions has Castro taken since 1959 that deserve the reward of normal, full trade and travel relations with the United States? How about inviting the Soviet Union to actually start installing nuclear ballistic missiles just 90 miles off our shores? The result: The closest the world has ever come to an all-out nuclear war.

And how about Castro's export of communist civil war to South America, Central America and Africa? As late as the winter of 2000, Castro had Robert Mugabe, the tyrant of Zimbabwe, as his guest. Upon Mugabe's return to Zimbabwe, he violated his country's constitution and ignored the rulings of Zimbabwe's Supreme Court by beginning the process of confiscating farms as a pay-off to his armed thugs who keep him in power.

If the Cuban people want and deserve the benefits of free trade and travel with the United States, the solution is simple: Exile Castro and hold elections, and the doors will open.


Cut health bureaucracy

Dean Kortge, representing the Oregon Association of Insurance, gave an expectedly negative response to Health Care For All - Oregon's signature drive for a single-payer health and dental plan.

Our financial plan has been studied - along with another dozen or more single payer studies - and all have concluded that our health care finance plan is cheaper without the bureaucratic insurance paper shufflers. No more forms to fill out, no waits when being admitted to the hospital, no more permission slips for procedures and only a charge card for the plan is needed. Also, no more multimillion-dollar salaries for CEOs.

Our elected board will produce efficiency and health care for everyone at an affordable cost, or they will be ousted. More than 500 companies in Oregon are now self-insured, and they find it has been cheaper to provide excellent health care without insurance companies. Our plan has thoughtfully included a fund to retrain insurance providers, and we hope they understand that our medical dollar must be spent for health care.

Orange-shirted volunteers are usually found at local stores, libraries and at the Saturday Market, giving people an opportunity to sign on to support this health plan, which was put together by health professionals concerned about Oregonians' health.


Vandals hurt Kidsports

My daughter's soccer team participated in the annual Kidsports Memorial Day soccer tournament over the Memorial Day weekend. When we showed up for the first game of the day at Thurston High School, we were dismayed to find that all 18 soccer nets had been slashed by vandals. Instead of spending half an hour warming up and shooting at our goal, we spent that time trying to tie the nets together so we could play our game.

While I can understand why a hungry person would steal food from a supermarket, I cannot understand what enjoyment someone gets out of vandalizing soccer nets. Kidsports has been raising participation fees and laying off employees in order to balance its budget. The perpetrators of this crime have made it necessary for Kidsports to purchase new nets instead of using that money on more worthwhile causes.

The soccer communities of Eugene and Springfield request that whoever slashed the soccer nets at Thurston High School refrain from this activity in the future.


Out-of-touch GOP

Post-election comments from Republican leaders regarding the defeat of Measure 13 indicate how out of touch with reality they are. For instance, Rep. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, is quoted in The Register-Guard as saying "I can tell you the message I didn't get (from Measure 13) and that was that voters want us to increase taxes." Sorry, Rep. Knopp, but I voted no on Measure 13 because it was clear to me that our schools should be funded out of current revenues and not by tapping reserves.

This voter doesn't want our schools to suffer severe budget cuts in order to balance the books, and I'm sure countless others feel the same way. I suggest that the state of Oregon separate its income tax structure from that of the current federal government's coddling of the rich and increase the progressive taxation that will take away some of the excessive wealth enjoyed by those who enjoy annual incomes in excess of $100,000.

Our schools need not suffer further devastation in order to increase the insolence of the gated-community crowd.



Letters received in past week: 167

Letters published: 47

What's on readers' minds: Readers addressed a wide range of issues during the past week, with no single topic dominating the Mailbag flow. We received nine letters on the West Eugene Parkway, eight on an environmental group's opposition to a Eugene-based running camp's use of the new Steens Mountain Wilderness Area in southeastern Oregon, and seven each on Palestinian-Israeli violence in the Middle East, the proposed Health Care for All - Oregon ballot measure and the $8.5 billion shortfall in the Oregon Public Employees Retirement System. We also received five letters on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' drawdown of Cougar Lake and its impact on the McKenzie River.

- The Register-Guard


The Register-Guard welcomes letters on topics of general interest. Our length limit is 250 words; all letters are subject to condensation. Writers are limited to one letter per calendar month. Because of the volume of mail, not all letters can be printed. Letters must be signed with the writer's full name. An address and daytime telephone number are needed for verification purposes; this information will not be published or released. Mail letters to Mailbag, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188 Fax: 338-2828 E-mail:
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jun 1, 2002
Previous Article:Minister to leave after 12 years.
Next Article:Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

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