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Letters, Sep. 30

The voiceless plurality

According to the latest figures from our secretary of state, of Oregon’s 2,938,479 registered voters, about 35% are registered Democrats. Under that party’s redistricting plan, Democrats likely will end up with 83% of the congressional seats (5). OK, that seems about right.

Webletters Graphic.jpg

Registered Republicans are about 25% of the total, and they would get 17% of the seats (1). Fine, seems fair enough. (Wink, wink.)

Now, 35% plus 25% adds up to 60%. What about the largest group, the 40% of us who registered as “neither of the above” — non-affiliated or various small partie? This is far and away the fastest growing voter registration group in Oregon. Apparently, I’m not the only one fed up with hyper-partisanship and runaway polarization.

So, what representation do we get? Zero. Zilch. None. That’s mainly due to Oregon’s closed primary system, which means we have no voice in choosing candidates for the two dominant (but minority!) parties. Lately, the primary process has been largely controlled by the activist extremes.

Open primaries and ranked preference voting would be steps in the right direction. It would give some voice to the voiceless 40%. But I doubt I’ll live to see either in our wonderfully progressive state.

Bruce Borgerson

Ashland

Why we are picketing

Much to the dismay of the residents of our neighborhood, the Chevron station and Pinnacle 365 convenience store is up and open at Springbrook and McAndrews. We have been picketing the site for several weeks now.

Why picket? Our hope is that the city approves a new land-use code whereby a gas station and car wash cannot be built in a residential area when there are homes on two or more sides. We want to educate others to be aware of what is happening with ordinances and zoning laws in your neighborhood to prevent this from happening to you. Additionally, the city of Medford allowed the Pinnacle 365 development to open on July 23, giving them a 30-day temporary certificate of occupancy in which they had to complete the east 8-foot buffer wall. The east wall was completed within 30 days; however, the 8-foot north buffer wall is still noncompliant. The city has let them be open for just over two months and the homeowners primarily along Ashwood Court have still not been properly buffered from the activities at the Pinnacle 365 site.

Learn from our nightmare. Don’t let this happen in your neighborhood.

Carole Chaney

Medford