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Letters, May 26

Thomas column was in error

On Saturday, the MT opinion page featured a column by Cal Thomas championing anti-abortion laws being enacted in Mississippi. This column advanced the assertion that crime is more rampant since Roe vs. Wade legalized abortion. That is simply false.

The crime rate fell dramatically starting in 1990 and continued to fall until right before the COVID crisis. Many researchers from reputable institutions such as Stanford University and several others have even attributed a substantial portion of the falling crime rate to the legalization of abortion. Do a simple internet search for Roe v. Wade and crime rate and you will find many references.

It appears that Thomas will present unverified information if it suits his anti-choice purposes. In the case of Mississippi, the efforts of religious zealots to force their religious dogma onto everyone else by legislation should not be celebrated nor promoted.

With regard to crime, Thomas seems to forget that many, if not most, of the domestic terrorist attacks before the Trump COVID debacle were committed by the anti-abortion movement. These attacks included arson, bombings and outright murder. These are quite obviously the only crimes that are directly related to Roe v. Wade.

Richard Melville


Homelessness solved

How about those who are suing the city of Medford to allow year-round camping along the Greenway, even during fire season, invite the homeless and their tents up to use their front yards? If the front yards fill up, open up their backyards.

Homelessness solved!

Larry B. Smith


Safety for I&M staff

I just want to share my story as private citizen and can not speak for my employer.

I conduct emissions tests on vehicles to protect people from harmful chemicals and particulates emitted from tailpipes. Last fall, our vehicle inspection station was surrounded by hazardous air quality as wildfires raged. We experienced trouble breathing and eye irritation for hours before we were sent home.

Thankfully, our union, AFSCME Local 3336, stepped in and negotiated conditions so our pay was covered and we didn’t have to return to outside work until conditions dropped to “unhealthy.” This isn’t a new problem — workers in Southern Oregon, including at our Medford vehicle inspection station, have suffered from smoke-related hazards and excessive heat for years.

Vehicle inspection staff, among the lowest paid at DEQ, face some of the greatest health risks — that will increase as temperatures rise and drought becomes the new normal. Now it’s time for all Oregon workers to be protected from these conditions.

We have a chance to set decent standards for all through Oregon’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule-making process happening now. Let’s demand that OSHA step up and set measurable and enforceable rules based on sound science.

Blake Gilbert


Homeless plan too costly

Wow! “If we build it they will come” — $450,000 to relocate the homeless from the Greenway to Biddle Road Tent City. Plus, $40,000-$50,000 per month for security.

What a waste of our police department resources at about $68,000 per officer, plus benefits, per year. That’s pretty expensive for custodial work to clean up the filth left by the homeless at the Greenway.

Couldn’t we hire cheaper labor, or prisoner trustees, or even healthy homeless people?

The homeless problem is not going to be solved with shelter and handouts; that’s just a Band-aid. With some creativity, like in the 1930s when I grew up, we had the WPA and CCC to build national parks and other infrastructure. I have several other ideas to solve the homeless problem, but I don’t have the power to do so.

Mathew J. Belzano