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Letters, Feb. 19

Remember the past

In response to Ira Edwards (Feb. 11):

George Washington said, in response to a suggestion by one of his officers that Washington should become a king over us, “You could not have found a person to whom your schemes are more disagreeable.”

As far as “efficiency” goes, Stalin (30 million people) and Hitler (6 million-plus people) prove just how “efficient” one man can be in enforcing his tyranny.

There is an adage that states, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” — George Santayana.

I encourage him to re-examine his thinking and position.

Donald Later

Medford

Solve plastic waste problem

With the start of the 2021 legislative session, what is important to me is tackling Oregon’s plastic waste problem.

The pandemic has created a surge of single-use plastics from food packaging. This comes at a pivotal point in Oregon’s history, where Oregonians are demanding plastic waste policy, with our recent plastic bag and straw policies. Unfortunately, in 2019, Oregon legislators were influenced by plastic lobbyists to narrowly reject a statewide ban on polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam).

Polystyrene crumbles, making it more likely to end up in our forests, rivers and oceans, where it stays for hundreds of years. Our precious wildlife then accidentally mistake it for food. This can harm or even kill wildlife such as seabirds, which have been seen accidentally feeding their chicks plastic. This plastic leaves them with no room for nutrition, resulting in starvation.

The excuse I hear not to ban foam containers is the cost. With a price difference of only 1-2 cents between foam and compostable containers, the benefits would far outweigh the costs. I hope that Oregon legislators take a step in the right direction to help reduce plastic waste and pass a statewide ban on polystyrene foam takeout containers and cups.

Joshua Fackrell

Grants Pass

America at its finest

Just got my second COVID-19 vaccination. I can’t pass up the opportunity to say thank you to all of the National Guardsmen and volunteer health care workers who guided our hundreds of cars through those many mazes of lines to the needle tables at the Expo.

Standing in the cold, every one of those helpers along the way guided us — prepared us — “shot” us — with smiles and warm, friendly attitudes. There must have been 40 or so people running that operation. It was America at its finest.

George Nye

Medford

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