Letters, March 1
Rule of law fast disappearing
Reading Larry Fields’ letter in Tuesday’s MT and reading that Republican state senators had again fled the Capitol — refusing to do their duty — gave me a double dose of dyspepsia.
Fields’ snarky take on the Democratic candidates for president, and the GOP senators’ boycott, designed to destroy any chance of our state taking responsibility for our greenhouse emissions, spring from the same greedy philosophy espoused so often by the president: No government is good government except when it’s helping the wealthy get wealthier.
Under Trump and his followers, the “rule of law” is fast disappearing and seems on course to be replaced by the “rule of tyranny.” Fields wants the government to “get out of our way” by focusing on less regulation.
We are going to see what the lack of regulation and cutting the safety net at the federal level gives us, and it’s not going to be a pretty picture. National parks disintegrating, national monuments open to mining and oil/gas exploration, EPA emasculated and allowing polluters to create ever more Superfund sites, hungry people getting hungrier, more people homeless.
Who cares? I got mine, is the attitude. Woe to us if this philosophy prevails.
Not how democracy works
I’m a Democrat. I believe that climate change is real, human-caused and is already affecting us here in southwest Oregon. Our current water year precipitation is over 4 inches below our average of 11.9 inches. This is likely part of a long-term climate change trend that we need to address now.
Our legislators were about to vote on a modified SB 1530, a Clean Energy Jobs Bill, when most Republicans left the building, preventing a quorum. This lack of integrity is not how democracy works! They need to return and vote yes or no, but vote! If changes are not enough, return and vote no. Politics is compromise. I’m disappointed.
This concern includes our House District 6 representative, Kim Wallan. Before her election I spent time with her reviewing our water situation in the Rogue Valley. It did not matter that she was a Republican or Democratic candidate. Water resources are that critical for us.
Dozens of other necessary bills, ready to pass with hundreds of hours of due diligence development will die, hurting Oregon residents and needed programs. These bills deserve legislative attention as well.
Safety concern or bias?
There was an interesting juxtaposition in your Feb. 26 edition.
Pam Allister, an Addiction Recovery Team outreach worker, spoke of substance abuse and mental illness. She ended her letter saying Jackson County needs a long-term plan to treat mental illness, including substance abuse.
Brooks Durham wrote the adjacent letter voicing concern as a parent over a planned transition facility run by Columbia Care, which would house homeless veterans one-half mile from South Medford High School. She feels this facility could present safety concerns for students.
Ms. Durham must understand that getting homeless vets off the street and into transitional housing is a huge step in treating mental illness and substance abuse in Jackson County. Residents must be clean and sober, and must participate in ongoing mental health counseling to remain in the program. There is virtually no leeway for bad behavior. These veterans have been abandoned by many programs, including the VA. Columbia Care helps them to rehabilitate and reestablish themselves as valued members of our community, which they are.
So, in fact, the homeless, be they veterans or not, who are outside such a program, constitute the real threat to students.
Ms. Durham’s real concern appears to be NIMBY.