Active letter writers
This letter is to honor the Medford and Ashland community of readers of this newspaper:
While researching a particular metric, I was tasked to compile letters to the editor of the largest, by circulation, newspapers in congressional district 2. The Mail Tribune ‘Letters to the Editor’ significantly outnumbered the other newspapers: 33 percent of all LTEs were contributed by Mail Tribune readers. The next largest came in at a distant 14 percent contribution of the total.
Though this community is not without its significant challenges, one thing is certain. Your voices and contributions to the health and political diversity of this valley are remarkable!
Back to school
Now that the a new school year has begun, we should perhaps try to remember imporrtant lessons that we had learned by the time we started third grade:
1) There are no alternative facts, only self-serving fantasies.
2) People who lie regularly about little things are not to be trusted about important things.
3) Conspiracy theories were once called fairy tales.
4) Bullies are never your friend. The bully who claims to be your friend will surely turn on you tomorrow.
5) Mom taught you one of the most important things ever: Above all, Truth.
Just showing up
Someone famous once said, “showing up is 80 percent of life.” If that’s true, then Jamie McLeod-Skinner is a winner in my book. Jamie is showing up everywhere these days in Oregon District 2 — actually, she’s been showing up everywhere in ORD-2 for over a year, visiting and meeting people in all of the district’s counties. But where’s Walden?
Jamie’s message is clear: people over party, support Oregon’s values of creating jobs and a livable wage, access to affordable healthcare for all, support veterans, stewardship of our natural resources, education without debt, create and enforce just laws, build strong communities and protect our “Dreamers.”
And now we must all show up in November and cast our vote for change. Let’s be that 80 percent (or more) who show up and vote for all of us: the people who work, teach, study, serve, retire, create and enjoy all that ORD-2 has to offer.
Voting is easy
Is voting in November a top priority for you? Registering is easy in Oregon: visit https://sos.oregon.gov/voting/Pages/registration.aspx? lang=en. Obtain a paper application at a library or post office, mail before Oct. 16, no procrastination!
Some politicians will say anything to get elected and then act differently once in office — if a majority votes then we put brakes on politicians. Your vote is the only way to hold politicians accountable; it is how we tell them they are doing a good/bad job. Politicians can only be accountable by all of us.
You heard about the candidate who lost by one vote? That one vote could have been yours. If you say your vote doesn’t matter, then you are saying that you don’t matter, and that is not true.
You really want something to happen with respect to forest management that makes sense, don’t you? Vote: Atkinson, McLeod-Skinner, Golden, Marsh, Witt and Thuren. Fantastic slate!
Louise D Shawkat
Build a pool
The USA Today report on Medford landing third in the list of “the 25 worst cities in the U.S. to raise children” did not entirely surprise me.
One of the criteria the authors considered was access to exercise for children. The director of Medford Parks, Recreation and Facilities called the low ranking “a bunch of hooey.” He said that US Cellular Park “draws attention to Medford ... We routinely receive phone calls ... wanting to know how the city of Medford was able to build a facility of this size, caliber and quality.”
I imagine the director has never received a phone call inquiring about Medford’s outstanding indoor water facility, since one doesn’t exist. As a matter of fact, no public pool exists on the entire east side of Medford! How are the children who live in this area expected to learn how to swim? The director of Parks and his staff should be working overtime to come up with a plan for the city to fund and build an indoor pool facility. Perhaps having a first-rate pool facility would prevent future embarrassing articles from the national media.
The result of hot air
My kudos to Russell Gillette of Jacksonville for his letter last week on hot air. His statement: “maybe it time for everyone to get real and admit there are just too many people on this earth.”
I must say I cannot agree more. Think of the billions of people on this earth. All need the three essentials to survive: clean water, clean air and good food. Think of the millions of pollutants that are going into our air and into our waters. Think about the “plastic island” floating around in the Atlantic bigger than the state of Texas, and others in the Pacific.
How can people who are aware of conditions in the world even think about having large families?
Glad for the deep state
A recent news item in the Mail Tribune reported a man in West Virginia was cited for having 18 rattlesnakes in his house. Turns out there is a law in West Virginia that allows only one rattlesnake in one’s house. One must hope there is a good reason for legalizing home ownership of rattlesnakes, or one must truly question representative government.
Turns out the president cannot just wave a magic wand and remove security clearances. There is a whole process involved, vetted by the CIA. There must be a legitimate reason, better than just spite. Not hard to see it’s that way for good reasons.
Not hard to imagine how deep the body of law, regulation, history, experience and custom must be around an issue such as security clearences.
When people rant about the deep state, they seem to think they are ranting about people in government who have a political agenda. But that’s not the deep state. The deep state is really the structure of our government constructed over time through experience in dealing with the citizenry of a country that legalizes home ownership of rattlesnakes.
So let us all be glad for the deep state.
Gush, gush, gush
Thanks to Gary Spires’ letter (“Drip, drip, drip,” Aug. 30) explaining his support for Greg Walden. I assume he means that our congressman is committed to promoting policies that support the vast major of his constituents who live from paycheck to paycheck. Namely, secure and affordable health care; earnings that would at least allow folks to purchase a home, have some savings, and take an annual vacation; and, perhaps, ensure that federal education policies promote quality education for all.
Walden’s unflinching efforts, since his first term in 1999, to support the “desires of the citizens he represents” and “values and policies that we all share” is even more remarkable given his reported net worth of $2,551,515 in 2016 (Center for Responsive Politics). It is an easy thing to check how well Walden is representing all of us by examining his voting record (votesmart.org).