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Letters to the Editor, March 1

Dirty tricks support LNG

I got a call from Boost Southwest Oregon — the group fronting for the Canadian energy millionaires who want to build the LNG project. That project would force hundreds of landowners to have a pipeline across their property, disrupt 400 waterways, and create the largest source of carbon pollution in Oregon.

They said they were taking a poll. The first question was whether I had an opinion about the LNG project.

I was afraid they would cut me out of the poll results if I said right away that I did, so I said, "Well, I'm really not sure."

Suddenly, they said the call was over and that they would send me a packet about why the LNG project should be approved by the state. In other words, their "poll" only wanted to talk to people who already agreed with them.

Can't wait to see this "poll" reported to the media to "prove" the public supports polluting our region so a Canadian company can make billions.

Because they hung up so fast, I never got to ask my own questions — like how much of the company's money is going to Boost Southwest Oregon and some of our public officials.

Matt Witt, Talent

Reverse discrimination?

I am truly not a racist! But there are a couple of things that cause me some concern.

I frequently hear references to the "Congressional Black Caucus." And the former mayor of Los Angeles (Antonio Villaraigosa, a Hispanic gentleman) recently was in Washington, D.C. to accept an award from the "League of United Latin American Citizens," and he discussed his possibly running for the U.S. Senate with the "Latino Victory Project."

If the Caucasians had a "Congressional White Caucus," or a "League of United Caucasian American Citizens," or a "Caucasian Victory Project," we would be labeled racists, firmly attached to a rail by tar and feathers and exiled to the hinterlands. Smacks a bit of reverse discrimination, huh?

Murray LaHue, Medford

Who made that decision?

In the Feb. 20 Region section, I read where a Charles Manson follower named Robert Beausoleil was up for parole. This fellow requested a transfer to the Oregon Penitentiary in Salem. The reason: he had married an Oregon woman in 1994, and wanted to be near her — I mean, very near her. He fathered four children since 1994.

My question is, who's paying for the well-being of that family? And what egghead official approved of such a deal? Could we send that official a bill for caring for that family?

Doesn't this make everyone wonder what the heck is going on in these executive decisions? And of course, when said executive retires, we'll have PERS to take care of him.

Gary Lewellyn, Medford

Weather is not climate

In response to Mr. Ron Smith's letter concerning the nation's recent deep freeze and record snowfall, I would like to suggest that he read up on the difference between weather patterns (localized and temporary) and climate shifts (global and long-term).

Global warming, while the correct term for the planet's increasing average temperature, is a misleading phrase in that continued shifts in air and ocean current patterns could send some regions of the globe into a deep freeze. For example, a shift in the Gulf stream southward, as Greenland's ice pack melts, could plunge Ireland, Britain, Germany and France into frigid winters.

A better term is "climate change," which the vast majority of scientists (and even an oil company!) agree is occurring. As the climate changes, our region will see hotter and drier conditions, but other regions may experience a variety of severe weather conditions.

Does Mr. Smith think that there's a conspiracy? Look to energy barons, like the Koch brothers, who hire people to spew unsubstantiated doubt in the face of alarming scientific evidence.

Kevin Culhane, Ashland

Thanks to sweepers

It is so nice to bicycle the roads of Jackson County — especially after the street sweepers have made their rounds.

Thank you, Public Works!

Eric Dittmer, Medford

Tax unreasonable

I was prepared to vote for a modest pot tax to offset county expenses related to the new law, until I read the measure itself.

It won’t work. It’s too complicated. Enforcement is either impossible or so expensive it will offset any gains from the tax. Also, imposing a 25 percent sales tax is a great way to strengthen the black market.

If the idea was to punish growers because the commissioners disagreed with the voters, a “We’ll show you!” approach to implementation, I’ll grant that it is likely to take us back to a brisk business in illegal pot and give the already short-staffed Sheriff’s Office more to do. If that’s the intent, this measure could work. However, it is unseemly for public officials to brazenly circumvent the will of the voters.

I can approve of backing up and starting over on a reasonable tax measure. This isn’t.

Nancy Ames, Siskiyou Pass

Why spend $100,000?

It is my understanding that the special election for Measure 15-133 is costing the taxpayers approximately $100,000. In the overall county budget this is a minor amount of money, but considering there is an election already scheduled for May 19, what is the reason for spending our hard-earned money to have this issue decided by the voters 70 days early?

Sharon Keppler, Eagle Point

Climate denier myths

I’m disappointed that Ron Smith still buys into climate change denier myths (“Global freezing,” letters, Feb. 19).

While weather events usually can’t be tied to climate change, patterns can. Storms in the East and South are actually the result of climate change: warming in the Arctic, causing loops of the jet stream to move south, bringing frigid weather. Mr. Smith’s letter actually highlights events that undermine his argument!

If he is open to pertinent information on climate, here are patterns stemming from global climate change that he might consider:

  • Repeated fall record low Arctic pack ice, in both extent and thickness.
  • 2014 was the hottest on record globally (latest in string of records).
  • In January 2015 there were 3499 record high temperatures in the U.S. and only 775 lows.
  • Since the 1970s, fire seasons in U.S. lengthened substantially.
  • Earlier springs are occurring across the Northern Hemisphere (just look outside in Jackson County).
  • Extended droughts across parts of the U.S.

Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that multiple lines of evidence support the reality and human causation of climate change, and that it is a major threat to our civilization.

Please wake up and smell the early daffodils!

Robert John Scheelen, Medford

Vote for Starchvick

I am writing in support of Karen Starchvick, who is running for Position 4 of the Medford School Board in the May 19 election.

I am impressed with Ms. Starchvick’s long history of involvement with the field of education and her sound, realistic approach to the needs of our schools and the students they serve. Her service to our region is evidenced by her involvement in an array of organizations and campaigns far too numerous to list in a short letter, but all evidencing a passion for education and the health of our community, an informed understanding of a wide range of important issues we and a practical, balanced ability to work with others to find solutions.

Please join me in helping to elect Karen Starchvick. She exemplifies the hardworking, intelligent and committed representation that is sure to benefit all of us.

William Coyne, Medford

Letters to the Editor, March 1