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Letters in the editor's mailbag.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Settlements cause terror

Hal Applebaum and Shlomo Libeskind (letters, April 1), in answering Jordan Blumberg-Enge (letters, March 23) have ignored the most prominent cause of the terror - on both sides - in the Middle East, the Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

For years, the Jewish state, while pulling its troops out of some areas, has continued to promote and protect settlements in Palestinian territory, regardless of what party was in power. Israel ignored U.N. resolutions to the contrary and was met by a series of incidents involving rock-throwing young Palestinians, who achieved little but to get themselves killed. The Jewish government even promoted roads linking the settlements, which can only be used by Israelis, and which divide Palestine into a series of cantons.

Now many Palestinians have come to realize that the only thing that the Israelis understand is force, so they destroy themselves while taking some Israelis with them. My, how that gets attention! They were going to get killed for throwing rocks, so why not kill a few Israelis as well? When young Israeli "terrorists" attacked the British mandate in the late 1940s in order to found a separate state, they were acclaimed as heroes. Why should we expect less of Palestinians?


Charter schools fill need

As part of a national recognition of charter schools, I would like to contribute my perspective regarding charter schools.

I teach movement and physical education at The Village School here in Eugene. The Village School is unlike anything one could find in a regular public school. Charter schools are public schools: they simply provide a different choice of educational environment. The Village School's curriculum is designed to educate the entire child, recognizing that the way to educate the intellect is through the arts, music and movement.

The mere existence of The Village School is more important now than ever as we see the priority of education taking a back seat to business interests. Who doesn't know that it is complete idiocy to cut high school and middle school sports at a time when kids need them the most? Who doesn't know that music education makes us smarter? Who doesn't know that childhood obesity is on the rise? Yet we continue to cut the programs that help develop the intellectual capacity of our children.

Rather than seeing the charter school movement as sucking the lifeblood out of public school systems, the educational goals of our state would be better served by re-evaluating the way in which we finance the entire operation. The charter schools fill a need that our school system is consistently neglecting and eroding. Until education is actually the priority our Legislature says it is, we will continue to see more of the same.


Health care for all

Two days ago I received a letter from Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Oregon informing me that my health coverage under their HMO Oregon plan was being terminated, According to the letter, this affordable plan is no longer going to be available in Lane County due to rising health costs. This is yet another symptom of a larger problem in this country - the lack of affordable health care for all Americans.

People with pre-existing conditions are excluded from affordable health insurance plans, For a worker who has been laid off, COBRA can be prohibitively expensive. A recent study has shown that poor women with breast cancer are more likely to die than other women with the disease. This situation is insane. Every other developed country has socialized health care. Yes, people in those countries pay higher taxes. But if they are diagnosed with cancer they can worry about getting better, not paying their hospital bills. They don't have to choose between taking their kids to the doctor and paying the rent.

The health care industry will pitch a fit and fight any calls for reform. It will scare the public and say that affordable health care for all will mean waiting lists for procedures. But everyone who needs the procedure gets it, and that is the point. Our taxes would pay for medical research, prescription drug subsidies and doctors' salaries. It works in Canada; it will work here.

The premise of a movie like "John Q" should be unacceptable to any reasonable person - health care should be affordable for all. It won't be until we demand it. I'm afraid this situation will get worse before it gets better,



Letters received in past week: 186

Letters published: 53

What's on readers' minds: Palestinian-Israeli violence in the Middle East dominated Mailbag flow for the second consecutive week. We received 42 letters on the Middle East; 15 about Bob Welch's April 7 column on the Kids Helping Kids program, eight endorsements of candidates in the upcoming May primary election, and five each on the recent elections mix-up involving Eugene City Council candidates and the West Eugene Parkway.

- 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. 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:Apr 13, 2002
Previous Article:Setting it Straight.
Next Article:Reaching for reparations.

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