LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
I read about Eagle Point School District approving a charter school.
I, my children and grandchildren have gone to Eagle Point schools. Some have graduated from there, some have not. A couple have chosen to get their high school educations at private schools.
I wonder why a school district would choose to spend over $1 million opening another school when they should be working to improve the ones they have. If it will be overseen by the same people, how will it be different from the public school?
The administrators have done nothing to improve District 9 in my opinion. They are worried about losing 400 kids to other schools, but what about the kids they still have?
Those students who have left the school district left for a reason. I think the district should go to them and ask them why. Now they want to take 200 kids and put them in a school with two teachers and one administrative assistant. That seems to me to be severely lacking in supervision.
I'm glad to see James Mannenbach appointed as chairman, but if he has views and opinions like his father did, will the administration run him into the ground, too? — Gary Whipple, Eagle Point
Kudos to President Obama for limiting emissions from coal plants. It's nasty stuff.
The coal industry is afraid of losing jobs, but would workers keep them if they knew coal emissions are America's leading contributor to global warming? Would they trade their family's health for a job that is the dominant source of mercury and other toxins in our air?
Yes, coal plants produce electricity, but three-fourths of carbon emissions are generated for only one-third of our electricity. There are much cleaner alternatives, which could employ many people in coal-dependent states. Do coal companies have the best interest of their employees in mind, while devastating their beautiful landscape, transporting it overland spewing coal dust along the way, and shipping to countries like China who have the worst air quality in the world? We all share the same air and climate effects.
If we want to be a global superpower, we must lead the way by taking responsibility for our part in creating climate change on this fragile planet. — Diana O'Farrell, Ashland
According to legend, William Tell escaped execution by aiming a crossbow at an apple on his son's head. Few of us would wish to emulate that feat in order to escape a tragic end. Life is a constant exercise in risk assessment; for William Tell, the risk was worth it since the alternative was certain death.
With climate change we are also playing a serious game of risk. The science tells us that if we continue business as usual, meaning pumping ever more carbon dioxide and methane into our air, we will impose on future generations a planet that cannot support the natural ecosystems, agriculture, forestry or fisheries that we currently enjoy.
While we are certainly already feeling the effects of climate change and are suffering billions of dollars in costs, the penalty for our failure to address this challenge will be more severe for our children and grandchildren. The challenge for us is to decide what we are prepared to do to minimize the risk and solve the problem.
Neither denying the clear patterns we can see around us every day, nor denying science, will help us achieve a solution. We must act, and elect representatives who will act. — Paul Jackson, Grants Pass
The Cover Oregon fiasco follows a typical Oregon government high-tech pattern of failure.
First, they didn't get a competitive bid. Then they chose an "expert" (read: friend of the people in power) who, by the way, used to work at Oracle. The folks in power don't know the difference between a database company (Oracle) and a software company (many), so the ex-Oracle employee picked (surprise!) Oracle.
Then they decided not to hire an integrator to coordinate the programs because they could hire a political friend who knew nothing about the subject (Rocky King) because, let's face it, our politicians are so smart they can run anything, right? Wrong! A quarter of a billion dollars is wasted on a program that didn't sign up a single person and Cover Oregon is the laughingstock of the nation.
Then the fun began. Bureaucrats lied to us ("We didn't have time for oversight, blah, blah, blah).
The governor couldn't do it; he was seeking happiness with his girlfriend in Bhutan. The Legislature couldn't do it; they were busy trying to build the boondoggle bridge over the Columbia.
At least now we know who to throw out in the street come November. — Lee Topham, Talent
We sure are divided on this health care insurance reform issue.
As a small-business owner, I am encouraged for a several reasons. Since the Healthy Kids and Affordable Care acts passed, many unfortunate kids and people with pre-existing conditions are finally getting basic medical care.
My personal experience with the Cover Oregon insurance exchange in providing health care insurance for my staff and family has also been a positive one; saving $350 per month without any changes to deductible or co-pays, or government subsidy. Arranging for health care insurance for a small business can be daunting — doing it for the whole state is a monumental task.
I am grateful for the vision of Senator Bates and others like him for enacting health care reform like Healthy Kids and ACA in our state and nation. But it's a work in progress, just like you and me, only much more complicated.
Here's the trick for making this plan work for you as it was intended — use a broker to navigate the options. It's free and it works: then maybe we won't all have to be so divided on this issue. I recommend Gina at Strauss and Associates in Medford. — Gerald Starchvick, Jacksonville