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Letters, Nov. 1

Freedom to choose

Ted Vogel’s letter Sunday, Oct. 24 trumpets his desire to “have a choice of what we put in our bodies.” I couldn’t agree more.

But that raises the question: wouldVogel also agree that a woman should have the right to an abortion if she chooses?

In Oregon, 62.52% of the population is fully vaccinated, and abortion is legal. In Texas, only 52.97% are vaccinated and it has made it a crime just to seek an abortion.

I’ll choose Gov. Brown over Gov. Abbot any day.

T. Alan Gielow

Shady Cove

John Muir controversy

How does a name become offensive and when should it be changed?

Frequently, public spaces are named to honor individuals for significant philanthropic deeds. It has become common to condemn some of these historical figures for what were at the time commonly held beliefs.

Our country is made up of people of various backgrounds who react uniquely to different situations based on past experiences. Individuals honored by some are reviled by others. How do we decide who to honor and who to condemn? Perhaps these controversies can be treated as teachable moments?

Are we really unhappy that John Muir was instrumental in creating our national parks? We are disturbed by the way that the indigenous people living on those lands were treated and the way he described them before changing his initial impressions. Does removing his name from a school change the historical record? No, but it does stop the conversation when conversation may be the only path to learning and change.

Kathy Fennell


Hold assessors accountable

It’s not too late to vote yes on Measure 15-201 — and change how we choose our county assessor.

Future assessors will be carefully vetted according to their professional experience and competence. They’ll be hired — and fired if necessary — by the county administrator.

Currently, we elect our assessors. But where has that gotten us? In 2018, our current assessor made errors affecting 91,000 taxpayers, yet he was re-elected last November. Now he’s made a whopper of an error that’s affecting Almeda and Obenchain fire survivors to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

We can ensure we have competent assessors in the future — and hold them accountable. Jackson County has a good track record of hiring capable administrators. It’s a better way to go.

Ballots are due Nov. 2. Can’t find yours? Call the Elections Office at 541-774-6148. They’ll help!

David Sours