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Letters to the Editor

Take action on Earth Day

In February, "Forward on Climate," a national day of climate action, was celebrated locally by "The Rogue Thing: Bringing Climate Concerns Home."

Sponsored by SOCAN (the Southern Oregon Climate Action Network), the Medford event saw hundreds of local residents produce over 1,300 house-shaped tiles depicting what is important to them as residents of the valley or what is threatened by climate change. These became scales of a huge salmon in the Porters Restaurant parking lot. This earned the area a national reputation for climate change creativity. This was our regional first step.

The theme of Rogue Valley's Earth Day Celebration (11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at ScienceWorks) is "Taking the Next Step." When Hurricane Sandy barreled ashore, it followed two years of droughts, wildfires and severe weather across the nation that had taken lives and imposed climate-related devastation. Imposing costs exceeding $200 billion, the devastation resulted in over 50 percent of our counties being declared disaster areas.

The time to take individual and collective bold action to address climate change is now. During the Earth Day Celebration, SOCAN (http://soclimate.org) will be challenging visitors to Pledge to take Bold Action. Please join us and rise to the challenge by making your pledge.

Additionally, plans are underway for the Salmon created for "It's A Rogue Thing" to go to Salem for Oregon Climate Action Day on May 22. Watch for details at http://oregoncan.info/.

Kathy Conway, co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Network


Muir story omitted scope of opposition

J. Eastman's article about Superintendent Di Chiro's meeting with John Muir School parents and staff excluded much and misrepresented more.

Missing was the magnitude of opposition of virtually all parents and 75 percent of teachers to DiChiro's plan.

DiChiro stated her decision was made. Staff, teachers, and parents were excluded from the process.

The plan reconfigures JMS from K-8 with classes K-2, 3-4, 5-6 and 7-8, to K-1, 2-3, 4-5, and 6-7-8. No incoming students would be allowed at the middle school level. Since attrition peaks in 6-7-8, this means quick death to those classes.

Stress would increase, with all teachers required to teach a new grade while transitioning to the Common Core. In larger schools, 6-7-8 classes have succeeded. In small JMS, it's ludicrous to assign one lone teacher such an age gap and developmental span. The gifted 7-8 teacher expressed she'd rather leave than do kids such disservice.

School board members, the only ones who can overturn DiChiro's decision, apparently cannot discuss its reasons. They cite, "they're confidential." The few reasons given seemed unsubstantial.

John Muir, an award-winning model school for the two of my four kids blessed to attend. What now? Home school?

Hyiah Sirah