Check is in the mail
As befitting its name, the purpose of Medford Police Department’s photo-enforcement van is to enforce the speed limit. Having received a recent citation in the mail, I can attest it does its job capably.
However, it occurs to me that the van should also promote public awareness of the posted speed limit. In fact, if you look carefully at it, the van seems to have been designed to do just that. Mounted on the back of the van is a device meant to tell you YOUR SPEED as you approach. You likely have encountered such devices before and know that they blink if you’re driving over the speed limit.
Curiously, the Medford Police Department’s photo-enforcement van doesn’t turn this feature on. Which is unfortunate for public safety as it would effectively build awareness for the posted speed limit. Of course, it would also result in fewer citations being issued. Perhaps that’s why this feature of the van is disabled in the first place.
Given the choice between promoting the law and cashing in on it, the dark screen on the back of the photo-enforcement van shows us where Medford Police stand. My check’s in the mail.
No more cruelty
Animal advocates presented a proposal in May to ban painful training and punishment devices for elephants, primates, big cats and bears in Jackson County. This proposal would affect 10 events maximum per year at the Expo including animal exhibits, with a potential loss of $80,000. In addition, the paltry $300 fine for an ordinance violation may not deter traveling animal shows or may result in these shows taking place in incorporated cities, exempt from county law.
Colleen Roberts, county commissioner, opined that nuisance bears may be euthanized and such an ordinance could complicate these efforts. Hogwash. Instead of modeling efforts after Clatsop County, let’s adopt Multnomah County’s law: Ban traveling animal shows altogether! This means carnivals, fairs, festivals and circuses with animal shows are no longer welcome in county limits. Not sure Jackson County can handle such sophistication, however.
“For too long, wild animals used in traveling shows have endured cruel training techniques, constant confinement and consistent deprivation of all that is natural to them,” said Kelly Peterson, senior vice president of state affairs for the Humane Society of the U.S.
Multnomah County already bans ownership of exotic animals. Jackson County, get with the program. Abolish animal cruelty as entertainment.
Lisa A. Frost