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Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Clean up our river

I am writing on behalf of my generation, the students 18 to 24 who have the lowest voting percentage in U.S. history. There are many key issues globally, nationally and locally that need our attention. For example, a key local issue is the state of the Willamette River.

In 1971, thanks to the tenacious efforts of then-Gov. Tom McCall, the Willamette became one of the cleanest rivers in the nation. It is now one of the most polluted rivers west of the Mississippi. Regulations are in place, but loosely enforced, that could keep the current practice of dumping nearly 5 million tons of toxic chemicals into our river per year.

We need both of the gubernatorial candidates in this election to pledge to enforce the regulations on the disposal of waste into the Willamette River. I want my fellow students and all other voters to vote this fall, and to make sure that when they do, they take into consideration the sewer-like condition of the Willamette. They must demand that the candidate they vote for take a strong stance on cleaning up our Willamette River.


Saddam is the enemy

The arguments against the United States taking action against Iraq appear to me to be based on a false premise: that all human beings think and act on equal moral and virtuous values, regardless of their culture. The facts prove otherwise.

We cannot make our decisions based on such flawed reasoning. Saddam Hussein makes no secret of the fact that he wants Israel and the United States destroyed. I believe this classifies him as an enemy. When your enemy does not care if he dies but in fact considers it an honor, threats are of no concern. When your enemy is willing to sacrifice his own women and children in the cause, your options are severely limited.

History has proven that trying to appease this kind of fanatic only results in more human suffering and lives lost. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain tried it with a similar individual, and it cost millions of lives. It took the so-called war-monger, Winston Churchill, to acquire the intestinal fortitude, face the truth and take the appropriate action. We know the facts and the truth; we cannot sit back, try to get along and let history repeat itself.


Hawkins a fighter

I met Araminta Hawkins, who is a candidate for state representative here in House District 14, nearly 25 years ago when she was working in the commercial loan department for First National Bank.

We were both pregnant with our first children at the time and discovered we lived in the same area. We remained friends through the years, and I watched her transform from the neighborhood mom who planned pre-school educational excursions into a thoughtful and well-spoken community advocate driven to protect the things we profess to believe in. What I've learned in the process is Hawkins isn't just my friend, she is truly the friend to the people of this community and this state, and I am proud to be supporting her candidacy.

Araminta Hawkins will fight for children, for senior citizens, for the disabled and for the disadvantaged. She will listen to our concerns and she will answer our questions. She will represent District 14 the way we want to be represented - with hard work, with dedication and with our best interests at heart.


Another Tonkin scenario

Those of us with gray hair like me (or bald) will well remember the Vietnam War of nearly 40 years ago, when President Johnson was looking for an issue to boost up and put spark to his sagging administration. He needed to rally the people behind him. His propaganda machine got to work. In those days, the evil of communism was then the hot issue. Communism was about to take over the world. It had to be stopped, and Vietnam was the place to stop it.

The Johnson administration, in pursuit of the president's agenda, manufactured the Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which provided the needed spark. The entire Congress, House and Senate, went along with Johnson - except for Sens. Wayne Morse of Oregon and Ernest Gruening of Alaska, who said no to the resolution. That was the resolution that led us blindly into the Vietnam fiasco.

Today, we are having a repeat of that scenario. The Bush propaganda machine has been working overtime to shore up our sagging economy and get the public to rally behind the great leader (which he's not, but wants to be) who will take up the banner and lead us against the evil Saddam Hussein.

War is not the answer. We must not let a rudderless leader and an emotional appeal guide us into another fiasco of getting those "bad guys" in a foreign land.

Today, Congressman Peter DeFazio and now Sen. Ron Wyden are both following the lead of Morse and saying no to the president.

There is a lot of evil loose in the world in Iraq and elsewhere. The evil of war is not necessarily the answer to these problems.


Approve in-house counsel

The Register-Guard's Oct. 10 editorial concerning Eugene city charter change for an in-house city attorney supports the good-ol' boy approach to the cozy arrangement that the city has had for all these years with a law firm that represents all of the major business entities, as well as the city itself. Although an in-house city attorney could save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars, money is not, as the editors suggest, the only issue. There is another factor that is far more important.

As a former law professor who taught legal ethics, I was shocked when I came to live in Eugene at the obvious potential for conflict of interest that is manifest in the current cozy arrangement. It is obviously a splendid arrangement for the real estate industry and other business interests of Eugene. A city attorney who is a member of the law firm that also represents the key business interests of that city is not going to tread too heavily on those commercial interests.

It is now long overdue that the city be represented by an attorney who has only one client: the city of Eugene. I know of no other city the size of Eugene that does not have its in-house counsel. I urge voters to vote yes on Measure 20-71.


Measure is destructive

Some in our state believe utopia is at hand in health care with the hoped-for passage of Measure 23. But they have failed to consider the long term consequences, which would destroy our health care system and our state as we know it.

The massive increase in payroll and income taxes needed will force many wage earners and businesses to leave our state - and those who are not contributors to our economy would move into our state in huge numbers to receive these free benefits.

Think clearly! Consider the long term! These burdens would hurt our state forever. We are struggling now to have sufficient money to meet our current needs, and we could look forward to eventual bankruptcy with the passage of this crippling measure, saddling all taxpayers with exorbitant tax hikes.

I urge you to vote no on Measure 23.

A. J. BRAUER, M.D. Florence

An alternative to war

An article in the Oct. 20 Register-Guard points to a road to peace, one that would make President Bush's war against Iraq unnecessary.

Bringing this concept to fruition would take less time than a war, would not kill any soldiers or civilians, and would not damage any property or destroy cities. It's not a religion to be contested by nonbelievers. It would cost less than war, and it would not pollute the planet. It is something the rest of the world can use.

What is it? It is the continued progress in the distribution of non-diesel, soybean oil-petroleum that can someday take the place of oil. This is the fastest growing alternative fuel in the country. With American ingenuity behind developing increased distribution, it has the potential to cut the world's dependence on foreign oil, cut pollution, and stimulate the global economy.

This is a venture even other nations will back. How much did World War II cost? The Gulf War? At a fraction of those costs, the distribution of this alternative fuel could be realized. Full distribution would take less time to realize than a war would take to win. Americans could back this as a viable means to thwart Bush's war against Saddam Hussein.

ALINE PRINCE Springfield
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Oct 26, 2002
Previous Article:Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.
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