Pass clean energy bill
It’s time for Oregon to transition to a clean energy economy. The Clean Jobs Bill is good for Oregon. It will clean up our air by putting a cap and price on climate pollution. This is good for our health, climate and economy.
It will add thousands of jobs in Oregon. Presently 48,000 Oregonians work in the clean jobs industry. California has half a million jobs in clean energy. Lets put hundreds of thousands more Oregonians to work! An article in Fortune says "solar and wind are each creating jobs at the rate of 12 times faster than that of the rest of the U.S. economy." Compared to the fossil fuel industries, clean energy jobs create 2.5 to 1. Clean energy is also increasingly less expensive for the consumer.
It will help slow down our changing climate which is already affecting our shellfish, salmon and trout because of warming water. It's contributing to the extreme forest fires we've had most of the last five years.
The Clean Energy Jobs Bill will invest the proceeds into local energy with a focus on economically distressed communities in Oregon. We are counting on Oregon to lead the way.
Killings in Florida
The killings in Florida by someone who has had multiple conflicts with law enforcement is appalling. Life has so much value, and any time it is ended in such a tragic way rends the heart.
The emotion that is expressed pains our hearts and tears at our soul, and rightly is expressed on a national stage. Daily, hundreds of young lives are literally torn apart in the wombs of mothers. Sons and daughters who will never see the light of day, or feel the love of another’s caress, or know what real love is.
Where is the rending of the national heart, where is the outrage and compassion for their loss? Any tragic needless loss of life is an abomination, and something that needs to be addressed. Taking a life with a gun, or taking a life by vacuum aspiration is analogous. It is done consciously and with forethought. It is murder.
This is exactly the time
It’s guns! It’s mental illness! It’s toxic masculinity! It’s the failure of parenting! It’s hard to keep up on this moving target (pun intended). NRA-purchased congressmen and self-righteous, Second Amendment-guarding, militia-prone gun owners are busy week blaming mass shootings on others responsible for the social condition that precipitate gun violence, not on guns themselves.
News flash: Those issues are all to be blamed. But there’s never consensus on what to do, where to begin, and when. It’s partly why nothing has been done. So lawmakers in Congress punt and say, “this is not the time to work on the gun control issue.” Hey Donald, Mitch, Paul, Marco, Greg, this is exactly the time to do something about the epidemic of gun violence.
While we can’t have a simultaneous, full-frontal attack on all fronts, then we should start with the most obvious: assault weapons. After seeing the brave, outspoken tirade by frightened survivors of the latest school shooting, no issue is more important than working nationwide to make assault weapons illegal.
Enigma of Trump and Russia
It is now incontrovertible that Russia interfered with our 2016 election and attempted to sway the result in Donald Trump’s favor. Despite even his own security team’s unanimous concurrence, Trump refuses to acknowledge the invasion and tampering of our most sacred democratic process. Nor does he do anything about it to protect us in the future.
Since it would seem politically favorable to Trump if he took aggressive action against Russia, one must wonder why he doesn’t. Two possibilities occur to me: 1) his decision-making is so warped by his narcissism that he can’t do what is right for the country if it puts the legitimacy of his election in doubt; or 2) Putin has damaging “kompromat” on Trump that could be made public and Trump knows it.
Meanwhile, the GOP congressional leaders, by allowing Trump’s essentially treasonous behavior to go on, are shamefully complicit in not protecting the country.
Bruce Van Zee
Restore the program
I do not deny that the five commissioners of the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission may be/are hardworking.
However, I fault them for the following:
1. All male.
2. Arrogant attitude towards the democratic process. Voting for reorganization prior to hearing public input. Totally ignoring public comments.
3. Fiscally irresponsible: a) Approved spending of $230,000 for an out-of-state firm to plan the next 100 years of Lithia Park. We can do it ourselves. b) Spending $49,000 on a performance audit, and then totally ignoring its recommendations, c) I question the cost and benefit of replacing a manager with a superintendent. The budget would be almost doubled.
APRC is building a bureaucracy that will focus on paperwork rather than direct services to seniors in need. Let us restore our former efficient and effective program.
Recall based on falsehoods
There are several aspects of the current recall campaign about which I would respectfully engage in a rational discussion with the proponents seeking to remove three Ashland parks commissioners. There is, however, one major underpinning of this recall effort about which there can be no give-and-take discussion, and that is a little thing called truth.
The campaign to publicly shame these public servants, to garner signatures and to gain public support has been riddled with outright falsehoods and half-truths. Pants-on-fire dishonesty items include: Senior Center is being closed down. Olympic size pool is being built to replace Senior Center. Entire staff was summarily fired. Open meeting laws were “repeatedly and flagrantly” violated. A hired Portland consultant will “decide the fate ... of Lithia Park.”
There is more, but the above claims are the most egregiously false. The truth is under siege in our political discourse in the wider world. In our small town, let us join together and reject the efforts by a disgruntled few to shape an election based on outright falsehoods by voting no on the recall. An abiding regard for the truth should start in our own back yard.
The Parkland, Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead on Valentine’s Day by a 19-year-old former student armed with an AR-15 assault weapon legally purchased by him provokes gun control as doing something to prevent the tragedy.
As a combat veteran (Vietnam 1966-'67) I know that the military style AR-15 is an efficient killing machine that has no place in the hands of citizens unless special self-defense circumstances demand it.
Something is wrong with our society that allows a 19-year-old expelled student to legally buy this killing machine and commit a mass murder under the guise of a constitutional right to bear arms (Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”) As a nation we have let the NRA and the extreme right run away with the “right to bear arms” to allow a military AR-15 assault weapon to be purchased by a frustrated young man without any control. It is time to protect ourselves by making it illegal to buy an AR-15 by all citizens.