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Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Try riding the rails

I see that more people are picking ground travel as opposed to flying (Register-Guard, Oct. 21). I am sorry they are choosing to go by car, though. I recommend the train - by far the least polluting and most energy-saving means of mechanical transportation.

The train never seems to be crowded, even on holidays. Children go half-fare, and they are well behaved because they are having a good time: They can get up and move around, and there is a children's room with movies. The landscape is much closer than it is to the highway: Cattle, sheep, fields of pumpkins in the fall, iris in the spring and corn in the summer are right next to the embankment.

When you arrive at your destination by train, you have really experienced the journey.


DeFazio has D.C. clout

The 4th District congressional race will soon be decided by voters. I served in the Oregon Legislature with Rep. Peter DeFazio's opponent. I strongly believe DeFazio's proven ability to win major victories for Lane County and southwest Oregon citizens merits our continued recognition and support.

DeFazio's leadership in gaining the Clinton administration's cooperation in passage of the historic rural counties timber payment legislation was directly responsible for this $20.1 million annual payment (the largest in the nation) to Lane County. As a Lane County commissioner, I testified in Washington, D.C., in May of 1999 before the House Forests and Forest Health Subcommittee, on which DeFazio serves. The subject was compensating our forest counties for the presence of federal lands in our counties. I found DeFazio to be alert, skilled and thoroughly informed.

Without DeFazio's persistent efforts to fight for our federal forest counties, this lifeline legislation would have been dead and buried. By October of 2000, I was privileged to be in the Oval Office at the signing ceremony for the forest counties payment legislation. There I saw that DeFazio had earned high esteem, had established working friendships across party lines and had shown his strong legislative clout on our behalf back in Washington.

Peter DeFazio is in a unique position to provide many years of productive and principled service as our voice in Congress. I urge his re-election.


Lane County Commissioner Eugene

Mannix shows arrogance

In more than 30 years of following politics at the national level and in several states, I have never heard of a performance as arrogant as that of GOP gubernatorial candidate Kevin Mannix at a recent debate in Portland.

Having agreed to the joint appearance, Mannix kept an audience of voters (and his opponent) cooling their heels long past the time he had promised to appear. When questioned, he coolly explained that he needed to meet with wealthy contributors, and the voters would just have to to wait.

If you are undecided, consider that you have been warned. If Mannix treats the people like this when he needs our votes, how would he behave once he is in office?


Make the pie bigger

Oregonians have traditionally believed that providing our children with a high-quality education is the first priority of government. We have reasoned that educated children will flourish and that a pool of smart young people will attract business and industry and build a strong state economy. Unfortunately, we were wrong.

Test scores demonstrate that the state schools are well above national average, but the state economy is so feeble we can't adequately fund state services. If our children stay in Oregon, they are likely to be underpaid, underemployed or unemployed. They may also be hungry and in poor health.

We top the nation in unemployment and our wage levels are well below average. We have the highest percentage in the nation of people going hungry and among the highest in people who can't afford health insurance. Is this the bright future we want for our children?

Our politicians busy themselves creating a sales tax, higher property taxes and an income tax surcharge to save the schools. The real problem isn't how to cut the small revenue pie, but how to grow the pie to adequately meet human needs.

We've proved that high-quality schools can't carry the economy, but a strong economy could certainly carry the schools. The economy should be job one for state and local governments. We must act now, for the children.


Health building a disgrace

This week I went to the public health building to meet a friend. When I walked in, I was astounded to see carpet that is worn and stained, in a building that is outdated and generally in disrepair. This building shows no respect for the people who work there or the people who come there for help.

Public health is our first defense against E. coli, smallpox, tuberculosis, West Nile virus and anthrax, just to name a few. Please vote yes on Measure 20-63 - for our community, for our families and for our friends.



Letters received in past week: 262

Letters published: 62

What's on readers' minds: The November general election was by far the most popular topic in the past week's Mailbag. We received 92 election-related letters as of mid-morning Friday, with 32 of them focusing on Measure 23, the Health Care for All Oregon Initiative (18 letters supported the measure, and 14 opposed it). We also received 14 letters on the governor's race; nine on Measure 20-67, the proposal to use city of Eugene property taxes to support programs in the Eugene and Bethel school districts, and eight each on the U.S. Senate race, the 4th District congressional contest, Lane County Measure 20-65, which proposes building a planetarium and learning center at the county fairgrounds, and state Ballot Measure 27, which would require that all genetically engineered foods sold in or distributed from Oregon be labeled.

- 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. 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:Oct 26, 2002
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