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Letters to the Editor, Sept. 10

Remembering Judi

I was deeply saddened to learn of the recent death of Judi Drais, a retired public schoolteacher, former board president at the Southern Oregon Historical Society, key figure at Southern Oregon Learning in Retirement (SOLIR), teacher, friend, and just all-around fine human being. I’m sure many of her friends and acquaintances in the region will join me in lamenting the fact that she had requested that no memorial services be held. There is no doubt in my mind: Hundreds would have attended.

Judi made a huge impact on everyone who worked with her. Her courage in the face of a nearly life-long paralysis from the waist down, and associated health issues (she was shot at the age of 24 in Denver), and her fierce and proud determination to live a “normal” life, were inspirational. She never felt sorry for herself, and always asked “how can I help?” rather than “can you help me?”

I will never forget watching as she arrived for SOHS board meetings and other events. She would clamber out of her manual controls-equipped car, drag her folding wheelchair out of the back seat and haul her body into it, refusing much assistance, a smile on her face.

I will always be grateful that, when I was SOHS executive director and experiencing extreme criticism by some staff and the public for unpopular decisions regarding staffing and my less-than-stellar management style — when SOHS’s very survival was in question — Judi was a rock of support to me personally and to the organization. Rest in peace, Judi Drais.

John Enders

Talent

Little did we know

Little did we know during the Industrial Revolution that burning fossil fuels would someday produce such significant changes to the Earth’s climate.

But now we do know, and what’s our plan? Do we go on, business as usual, knowing current human suffering and knowing that it’s only going to get worse? Knowing that the rate of extinction of plants and animals is alarming and knowing we have a limited window of time to turn things around?

Bottom line: Burning fossil fuel must become past history. The Clean Power Plan is a significant step in this direction, but we need a broader policy. A more comprehensive solution is to levy a fee on all fossil fuels based on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emission potential from point of extraction to combustion.

Wouldn’t such a policy incentivize the energy sector to leave fossil fuels in the ground for investment in clean, sustainable energy? Wouldn’t it likewise incentivize you and me to lower our carbon footprint? This is putting the free market to work to find the best solution, not regulations.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby is working with Congress on just this idea and is building bipartisan support. Their legislative proposal is designed to address all GHGs across all sectors, incentivize other countries to have a similar policy, and improve the U.S. economy. Become informed at citizensclimatelobby.org, then write our three members of Congress. They need to hear your concern and call to action now!

Sherrill Rinehart

Ashland