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Letters, May 29

Can’t afford PERS cut

I work for the Oregon Department of Human Services and I am currently of retirement age. Government employees’ wages are lower than those in the private sector, but this is offset by a small pension plan. I contribute to my retirement package. A mandatory 6% is deducted from my wages each month, which is put into my IAP retirement account.

In 2007, Oregon’s retirement liability was fully funded. Then the 2008 economy crashed. I lost almost everything. While I and other low-wage workers are still struggling from the effects of the recession, top earners and corporations have recovered. However, the Legislature is trying to balance their budget on the backs of state employees. They propose to divert 1% of the IAP to pay current retirees: 6% of my wages is diverted to my IAP, but only 5% will be deposited into my retirement account. This is a pay cut.

I hope to retire when I am 77. My pension is 22% of my final wage plus my IAP and I will be unable to maintain my modest standard of living. I hope to stay above the poverty line. I cannot afford to retire on any less than what I anticipated.

Barbara Walsh

Phoenix

Irresponsible dog owners

I would like to bring attention to a small but important issue I have been coming across for several years now: filled dog poop bags!

Most folks clean up after their pets. In many of the walking areas, poop bags are provided for you. What I don’t understand is the person that uses the bag and then leaves it sitting on the sidewalk or in the bushes, wherever the business was done.

Or in my most recent situation, two rather large bags full less than 50 feet from a trash barrel and bag station, abandoned. To make matters worse, in a parking lot adjacent to elementary school.

Are they thinking this bag is just going to walk over when nobody is looking and hop right into the trash? Or the dog poop fairy will pick up and dispose of this for them? Or because the bags are disposable, they ill vanish into the earth?

Come on, folks. They give you the bag, trash bin and a nice area to walk your dog. Can you not at least finish the cycle and get it in the trash bin? Maybe you should just stay home with your dog and see what transpires.

Alana Henry

Medford

Iran is not a threat

If you loved the U.S. war in Iraq or Vietnam, you’ll love even more the slaughter and massive waste of resources which will occur if the U.S. attacks Iran.

Contrary to what you may think if you read the New York Times, watch the liberal CNN or MSNBC, or “conservative” Fox News, Iran is not a threat to us, just like Iraq never was. But some billionaires want a war with Iran or Venezuela. And they are counting on us to invest our sons and daughters, or at least any chance of dealing with climate crisis or having national health care.

So, you decide. Do you want another stupid war and more homeless veterans? Or do you want a slim chance of the human species surviving? Because if the U.S. goes to war with Iran or Venezuela, or both, we are toast, even if we “win the war.” I will never fight for the rich man or woman. I fight for myself, my family, my community. And the people who want these wars don’t give a damn about me or the planet Earth.

Jim Yarbrough

Ashland

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