LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The Environmental Protection Agency recently completed a watershed assessment of Bristol Bay, Alaska. It confirms what fishermen already know; that building the nation's largest toxic mine at the headwaters of nation's greatest salmon run threatens the more than 12,000 fisheries jobs.
I'm one of 139 Oregonians who holds a commercial fishing permit in Bristol Bay. Those permits translate into more than 400 Oregon jobs and $41 million invested in Oregon small businesses.
Oregon's sport fishing industry also gains much of its income from Bristol Bay. Many of the sport fishing lodges have Willie boats, Bauer reels and book trips with Fly Water Travel, all Rogue Valley businesses.
These industries are threatened by plans to build North America's largest open pit copper mine called Pebble. Pebble mine would store 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste at the headwaters of North America's largest salmon runs in perpetuity.
Bristol Bay is a sustainable fishery providing jobs for thousands and food for millions. Bristol Bay feeds Oregon families, and I look forward to fishing the bay with my two young sons. Please support the EPA in protecting Oregon jobs by encouraging them to stop the Pebble mine. — Forbes Jonasson, Medford
Regarding the letter from John Mittendorf on May 18, in which he complains about Obama and his policies: Unfortunately, Mr. Mittendorf is mouthing right-wing talking points rife with dis- and misinformation that are being smattered over the political landscape. Apparently he chooses to look away from facts as he lists tired anti-Obama blather.
Job growth, while slow, has increased steadily over the past three years. Taxes are not set to increase next January, unless you consider the Bush tax cuts for the super wealthy that will expire in December. Revenue from normalizing those taxes will raise revenue and help mitigate perceived Obama "failures." The stimulus package was not a failure; look at the auto industry. The president has no power over gas prices. Even Republicans have acknowledged this point.
"Obamacare" is designed to, among other things, spread the cost of health care among a greater population and limit expensive emergency room visits, a factor that forces increased premiums for those of us who do have health insurance.
Before anyone regurgitates stale talking points, they need to do their homework and check the facts. — Dennis Rasmussen, Rogue River
I was horrified by an article about the Gold Hill City Council's questioning giving permission to march in a parade to a man who may or may not be a neo-Nazi.
If I understand correctly, this is a classic civil rights case. Even though the Gold Hill City Council may disagree with what this man believes, our constitutional freedom of speech rights require us to allow him to speak, or in this case march. This question was settled long ago when members of the the Ku Klux Klan wanted to march and eventually were allowed to do so.
Although the Gold Hill case is a small thing, it is part of an insidious, creeping infection in which we are progressively giving up our constitutional rights in the name of safety. From the Patriot Act to drone assassinations, government is progressively intrusive without constitutional basis or benefit. Was it Benjamin Franklin who said, "The man who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither and will get neither?" — Joel A. Tobias, Medford