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Letters to the Editor, June 5

Whitewater park progress

The $10 million whitewater park opening in Bend this summer is going to be awesome, but not as fun as the whitewater park at Ti’lomikh Falls in Gold Hill.

The Ti’lomikh Falls Whitewater Park was just awarded $20,000 from the Robert M. Stafrin fund of the Oregon Community Foundation, contingent on a $90,000 grant from the state. The combined grants will pay for the engineering and permitting for the whitewater features. We’ll be looking to Oregon State Parks for $750,000 to fund the construction in 2017.

Moving forward with the park has been endorsed by the Jackson County Board of Commissioners, the City of Gold Hill, the Southern Oregon Regional Solutions Advisory Committee and the Mail Tribune. To visit the park, go to Exit 40 and follow ODOT’s signs for Ti’lomikh Falls to the parking lot funded by the Rogue River Greenway Foundation.

Better still, come join us for the King of the Rogue Race on July 11. There will be rafting, kayaking and standup paddleboard races — followed by a band and barbecue on the sandy Gold Hill beach. More info is at GoldHillWhitewater.org

Steve Kiesling

Gold Hill Whitewater Center

False witness

Denise Wittstock is one of the District 9 taxpayers falling for Superintendent Cynda Rickert's deceptions and diversions while students suffer because of Rickert and her board's poor education practices. Arrogance?

I attended D9 schools and have children attending now. One of my kids is suffering academically and emotionally because only D9 schools don't count homework and assignments as part of their grade. Teachers are struggling with the damage to students.

Wittstock says Cynda has always been innocent of wrongdoing. False. Another example: the employee and student lawsuit of Cynda's First Amendment violations of Oregon and U.S. constitutions. No wonder the extreme teacher turnover. How about her still using unlicensed counselors and still putting bus purchase money in the general fund?

Jim Mannenbach tells the truth using facts. He cares about the damage to students. False statements to discredit Jim have always been Cynda's tactic.

The 2012-2013 Eagle Point graduation rate from the Oregon Department of Education was really 62.18 percent. The 2012-13 (80 percent) rate quoted by Wittstock is deceptive by not counting high school seniors in alternative schools.

The 2013-14 graduation rate was 56.1 percent. Truth.

Wittstock has no facts, arrogant judgments and Cynda's research.

Beckie Figueroa

Eagle Point

BLM plan is risky

My hat is off to the Medford Bureau of Land Management for implementing several years of dry forest restoration timber sales. Many of these projects have focused on thinning smaller-diameter trees and avoiding new road construction while producing modest timber volume.

Several Rogue Valley mills have retooled to process exactly this type of material and have bid-up the price of the timber sales to the benefit of the BLM and taxpayers. Careful small-diameter thinning can benefit both the environment and local mills.

Unfortunately, the proposed new BLM management plan abandons this successful approach and calls for a return to controversial clearcutting on these public lands. As stated by the BLM on page 195 of the draft plan, an increase in clearcutting "would result in continuous horizontal and vertical fuel profiles and conditions more closely aligned with high severity fire."

I would much prefer more restoration thinning to the increase in fire hazard associated with clearcut forestry.

George Sexton

Phoenix Oregon

Letters to the Editor, June 5