LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
In accepting the recent federal budget deal, Oregon legislators shamed themselves. By cutting military pension adjustments by 1 percent, they've thrown military retirees under the bus. Unlike other federal pensions, military pensions are calculated on only a portion of the pay and are usually not enough to live on. Most retirees end up having to find supplemental employment. Do I need to add that many face lifetime challenges from combat wounds?
I would have found this marginally less despicable had our legislators also cut federal pensions (including their own) by the same amountt. Instead, they gave all government civilian employees a 1 percent raise. If we're going to seek cuts, let's at least play fair.
The military retired community is an easy target. No national voice. No union. No large donors. Apolitical and thinly dispersed throughout the state, this group has nobody watching out for their interests except Congress. I'll bet most any of us in Southern Oregon could have come up with some fairer, and more substantial, ideas for bringing down federal expenditures. Picking on our retired warriors is shameful.
I urge you to contact our senators and representatives and have them right this wrong. — Tom Carstens, Applegate
Our Sen. Ron Wyden, as head of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, has finally come out with his version of the O&C lands logging bill. This is as opposed to the bipartisan bill in the House authored by Congressmen Schrader, DeFazio and Walden.
The House bill would basically return the O&C lands to state control for sustainable logging and forest management. The Wyden bill would maintain federal control, impose another level of regulation and allow some very limited logging.
The federal government got control of these lands in the first place by promising to provide the counties, Jackson, Curry and Josephine, to fund themselves through logging revenues. This turned out to be one of the biggest con jobs in Oregon history. The percentage of revenues and amount of logging allowed were gradually reduced over the years to close to zero.
Senator Wyden likes it this way; counties begging for money means control. If Oregon has control he might not be treated so well when he ventures out from his home in New York.
The Wyden bill is only a red herring to fend off a bipartisan bill that will help all Oregonians.
Thanks, Ron! — Lee Topham, Talent
In regard to the priest who was murdered in Eureka, Calif., I question the police procedure of releasing a man, at midnight, after just eight hours of being obviously agitated and intoxicated! Wouldn't it have been better to have held him another six to eight hours in jail until a more resonable 6 to 8 a.m. when the day is turning light?
Reporters need to question of the Eureka Police Department. Why so early? — Dan Heath, Medford