A proactive approach
It is time to stop reacting to wildfire and take the initiative to manage fire and smoke. Vicky Aldous’ article Aug. 15 on the wildfire fight misses important points about the mess we are in and how we got here.
The article ignores extensive wildfire management science, instead focusing on the opinion of our two Sheriffs that more logging is the solution. While the sheriffs are able experts in law enforcement and incident management, they are not informed land managers.
The timber industry approach and Congressman Walden’s industry-oriented bill are 1950s approaches and not the answer. We will have to address climate change as a main cause, but until then, we know enough about proactive fuels reduction that we can minimize destructive and uncontrollable crown fires, eliminate dangerous plantations that are fire bombs, and, alternatively, have both sustainable logging, jobs and smoke minimization. Let’s consult with experts who have decades of experience with controlled burning and fuels reduction who can guide us out of this smoke.
Valerie Smullen draws the insulting conclusion in her letter of Aug. 13 that voters who want to replace Greg Walden don’t understand that Congress operates according to seniority. Is seniority a reason to re-elect a representative who no longer prioritizes the needs of the people he represents?
Yes, career politician Greg Walden now has the power that comes with 20 years in Congress, but lately how has he used that power? To raise over $3 million last year from big donors, 85 percent of them out of state. To march lock-step behind Donald Trump to disrupt our health care access and award the super-wealthy millions in tax breaks (with a few hundred to some of us). To initiate measures to fight the opioid epidemic while accepting over $367,000 from the pharmaceutical industry that repeatedly misrepresented their addictiveness to doctors and the public.
As a veteran and one whose profession has a code of ethics, I value integrity and accountability. So it was disheartening to contact the city of Talent regarding damage to my car caused by a sunken grade at the corner of Rapp Lane and West Rapp Road, and be met with an unwillingness to acknowledge any culpability.
In Oregon, if a citizen is considered 50 percent responsible, they are not entitled to recover damages; I was found to be 51 percent responsible. To appeal this, I filed a small claims case. The city denied it, requesting a civil case. The initial damage estimate was $1,668.77. It has since been confirmed that the front core support sustained damage (due to the depth of the hole), and the repair cost is $3,170.64. I was not able to afford a lawyer, and, conveniently, the case was dismissed.
Incidentally, within 24 hours of initially contacting the city, safety horses were placed around the area in question. Within 30 days, the drainage ditch was reconstructed and gravel leveled the hole. Eleven months later, the road is newly paved and there is no evidence of the former issue.
Sadly, case closed.