I am a local physician who, after attending a recent school board meeting in Medford, was struck by what I can only characterize as a tragic and indeed unconscionable assault on our highly trained, professional educators, who have done so much to provide an education for the children of this area — many of whom are extremely disadvantaged.
At the heart of this are the six members of the school board, some of whom ran unopposed in the last election. As expected, morale among the teachers is low, and there is a trend toward micromanagement of the day-to-day functions, usually attended to by the teachers themselves.
Why is this playing out? It's hard to avoid a cynical explanation, but if maltreatment leads to attrition of even a fraction of our teachers, it will put a significantly greater amount of money into the budget as less seasoned teachers will be hired at a much lower place on the pay scale to replace them. Where does this extra money end up and whom will it benefit? A recall is justified under these circumstances; and may be the only way to prevent a reduction in the quality of our children's education. — George E. Campbell, Jacksonville
A while back an excellent letter was written expressing the need to prosecute bullies if their actions cause someone harm. While this need is valid, there is more that needs to be done.
The victims of bullying, especially of verbal and/or cyber-bullying, are made vulnerable in part by misplaced values, false values often instilled by the entertainment and advertising industries. While it is desirable to look good and to be papular, these are not all life has to offer — especially to a young person. In addition, no person needs the approval of another to live and/or seek honest happiness and meaning in their own life. Those who speak the most aggressively often have the least to say.
It is the responsibility of religious leaders, teachers and parents to instill proper values in the coming generation. All persons need to know that they have intrinsic value that is beyond popularity and appearance, and all persons have a right and reason to be here, also the right to seek meaning in their lives as long as they respect the same rights of other persons. — Bill McWhorter, Medford
I am against the LNG pipeline.
Gas export harms rivers, forests and wildlife. This project will have major environmental impacts in Coos Bay and along the Oregon pipeline route as well as cause an increase in fracking in other parts of the country.
Gas export will cost Americans more money. Exporting our natural gas will increase domestic gas prices, causing U.S. consumers to pay more to heat their homes and run their businesses and industries.
Gas export will benefit energy companies at U.S. consumers' expense. No landowner or community should have to bear the seizure of private property for pipeline infrastructure or the environmental impacts of energy development for other countries so that energy companies can make billions while Americans pay higher gas bills.
Gas export of our limited supply of natural gas for short-term profit undercuts U.S. goals of energy independence. — Carmen Fendelman, Eagle Point
Unfortunately Reps. Dennis Richardson and Greg Walden joined the tea party stampede to condemn the Affordable Care Act, a Republican-designed plan that Republicans have worked consistently to damage or destroy, because of apparent blind psychoses against President Obama. Yes, there are problems trying to resolve the pre-ACA health care fiasco with over 40 million uninsured.
The ACA and Cover Oregon are not perfect, like any human endeavor and certainly mistakes have been made, however Republicans could have taken a more adult approach to make the system work instead of blocking progress at every turn and committing sabotage (irresponsibly voting over 40 times in the House to repeal "Obamacare," rather than work on job creation, shutting down the government, and threatening U.S. default). Most Americans see totally irresponsible and irrational behavior by Republicans. The transparent and fake outrage by Washington Republicans is comical, while destructive.
The Republican plan seems to be "Don't get sick, but if you do, too bad." That, plus cutting Social Security, Medicare and food assistance to poor families while cutting taxes for the wealthy and corporations is voodoo economics and immoral, shameful and unworthy of our great country. — Daniel Davis, Central Point