LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
The MT on Jan. 12: Our health care system is in peril.
To those who trumpet American "exceptionalism" (an arrogant phrase in my opinion) why are we lacking in almost every health issue?
In 2010, when ACA was proposed, lawmakers knew the "system" was "in desperate straits." Back then, several forward-looking persons suggested offering Medicare to everyone. Why not? Medicare spends 10 percent to 12 percent less on paperwork than insurance companies. Insurance "stuff," reams of documents, dozens of forms, highly varied deductibles, extreme exclusions and more, from hundreds of insurance companies are a true disaster.
Republicans — there, I said it — who voted over 40 times to repeal the ACA would have been better served solving the, yes, several problems with Medicare, in place and working (however currently creaky) for many decades.
Reasonably priced with everyone covered, the cost would be less than what is now proposed.
It is patently nonsense to blame the ACA for health care problems. Countries that offer health care at half the U.S. cost have the same thing in common — universal health coverage.
We have universal coverage; it is just limited to "senior" folk: basics at a reasonable price. Read the entrails: Single Payer, Single Payer. — Harvey Rupp, Ashland
I am writing in an effort to raise awareness for Kid Time! and its need for financial support. My kids absolutely love Kid Time!
My son is autistic and going to Kid Time! regularly has helped him socialize with other kiddos, get his creative abilities out in the art room and run off some physical and mental role playing energy. My mom just purchased another annual membership for our family because we love to come in all seasons, but are unable to cover the cost.
Our family is financially not able to donate, but we can do our part by raising awareness about the Kid Time! financial burden. I think that Kid Time! has a direct impact on the community and to see its doors close or programs reduced due to lack of funding would be a huge loss to our community. I thank it for all of its efforts and for creating a safe and controlled community environment for educational play. We are one family that truly benefits from Kid Time! — Tracy Mancuso, Central Point
Shootings in public places have become a regular event in our country.
When will we Americans become so sick of these shootings that we insist that our government do something about restraining availability of guns? — Dorothy Brooks, Ashland
Ms. Wescott uses a mighty broad brush to tar local cyclists who use our roads. I've been a road cyclist for 45 years, first in California, now in Oregon for the last 15 years. I am pleased and amazed at the courtesy of Oregon drivers who will pull to the left, even crossing into the opposite lane to give cyclists room, even though I ride well to the right edge of the road. Thank you very much. In the more developed parts of the valley, with more traffic, things can get a little more difficult.
Contrary to Ms. Wescott's opinion, there are not bike lanes on most roads. Perhaps she misunderstands the white fog line at the right shoulder. It is very dangerous to ride to the right of this line, as there are many obstructions and there are no legal requirements to do so.
Most cyclists obey the law. We ride to the right and use bike lanes. And we carry far greater risk in the event of a collision.
I urge both bicyclists and motorists to become more familiar with the Oregon state guides to vehicular and bicycle law, which are readily available on the Web. — Stephen McChrystal, Phoenix
The media frequently imply that a substantial proportion of Americans rejects science, particularly climate science. While some individuals think the basic laws of gravity, physics and chemistry are opinions that can be repealed by legislative act, these are minority views.
A 2013 study revealed that two-thirds of Americans accept global warming is happening. Among this group, a much higher proportion is convinced they are correct than is the case among those doubting the science. Fully 75 percent also correctly think that most scientists accept the science of climate change.
Although 97 percent of climate scientists acknowledge the human contribution, only 50 percent of Americans accept that the warming pattern is caused mostly by human activities.
The data deny widespread doubt about climate science. However, though everyday news and evidence are clear, only about 40 percent think climate change is affecting Americans or other peoples currently. Considering the widespread reports of heat waves, floods, wildfires and dwindling snowpack, and the billions of dollars weather disasters have cost us, this lack of understanding is alarming.
The campaign by fossil fuel corporations and corporate leaders to sow doubt about science while appealing to fear and ignorance, is frighteningly successful. We must overcome it. — Paul Jackson, Grants Pass
I have just read, with some concern, the "Let the voters decide" editorial that originated from the Bend Bulletin. I feel compelled to make a statement regarding the use of alcohol in this country, and the often unfair (if not downright untrue) articles regarding the medical uses of marijuana.
I was recently encouraged by the "Since You Asked" response to a question about pot and lung cancer. I finally saw a "real" answer to a serious question. I hope people paid attention.
If this country wants to have a serious discussion about the uses of marijuana, I'm all for it. But, let's also have a "serious" discussion about alcohol and the damage that can be attributed to it! Do we, as a state, want to broaden the availability of alcohol, that we and the medical community have known for decades causes real harm to our minds and bodies, et cetera? We already know that teens can obtain beer easily. Do we really want to make hard alcohol even more available, and hence easier for them to obtain? Meanwhile, the City of Medford wants to withhold a "legal medicine" from its citizens. — Mark D. Cole, Central Point
I have been farming in the Applegate Valley for 15 years. Family farms in Southern Oregon, which have seen an increase in the past 10 years, signiﬁcantly contribute to the local economy and preserve the agricultural integrity, which attracts many people to the region.
I'm concerned when I see a plan like Sen. Wyden's O&C bill that would sacriﬁce the landscape where my farm operates for short-term gain. I rely on clean water and healthy soils for growing abundant, nutritious local foods. Senator Wyden's proposal to increase logging on public lands, especially in steeper streamside forests, will destabilize the soil, increase erosion, and muddy creeks like the one that ﬂows through my farm.
Policy changes that would sacriﬁce the forest surrounding our farms will result in a net economic loss to our communities. Let's come up with revenue-generating strategies that do not liquidate our irreplaceable natural resources. — Tom Powell, Wolf Gulch Farm, Applegate Valley
What a sad sight as I watched the Medford City Council meeting Jan. 23. Hundreds of homeowners lined up to beg the city not to destroy their neighborhoods and their property values with medium- and high-density housing.
I wondered, what is going on here? Why would a city knowingly destroy itself? It would seem that a part of it is being dictated by those fine folks in Salem who want to "densify" the cities in order to preserve farmland. But in Medford, the plan is to destroy Dunbar Farms, which makes the Planning Commission's proposal even more nonsensical.
When you drive around Medford, let's face it, it is not a pretty sight. We see run-down, empty buildings, empty industrial space, very ugly. So why not rezone some of the vacant industrial and commercial space into high-density housing? The property would be up-zoned which would make the property owners happy. The property is near markets, shopping centers, public transit, major roadways and it does not impact single family neighborhoods. Is this too easy?
Breaking up single-family neighborhoods with medium- and-high density housing is destructive to both property values and personal values of the residents. — Lee Topham, Talent
We the people do not want Obama's care. — Jackie Morava, White City
A little City Hall satire? The Medford City Council wants to erect more HUD multifamily housing in Medford for jobless and low-income folks? Housing built with low-cost materials, possibly imported from China, most likely with timber grown in Canada or Russia? Subsidized of course by U.S. taxpayers, with money we borrow from Chinese communists?
Do I have this right? We'll get U.S. tax dollars, likely borrowed from China, to build subsidized housing in Medford for folks who lost their jobs to China due to feckless free-trade agreements with China?
Our local timber resources are locked up because eco-extremists fought to close "public" lands to sustainable and salvage logging, increasing the cost of housing, killing the local job market, causing foreclosures, thus obliterating tax revenues that would help save us from our indebtedness to China?
Folks, The feds have no lawful authority to own all of that land, read Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution.
We need to sell off and privatize most "public" lands, apply common-sense covenants and restore our economic and tax bases. And finally, we must outlaw environmental extremism; it's time. — Roger Fredinburg, Medford