Letters to the Editor, April 20
For many years I have watched as Judge Patricia Crain has shown compassion and fairness to the participants of Community Family Court and our local drug courts.
Judge Crain has changed so many lives because she genuinely cares about the families in her courtrooms. Please vote to keep Judge Crain on the bench.
After careful consideration of the Democratic candidates for secretary of state, I am supporting Val Hoyle in the May primary. After 25 years of business experience, Hoyle won a seat as a state representative in 2010. Her caucus recognized her leadership skills and after one session elected her as House majority leader, a position she held for three terms.
Val has fought for education funding, paid sick leave, expanded access to birth control and reproductive health, and background checks on gun sales. She also has a record of support for the environment.
We need Val Hoyle in the Secretary of State's Office because she will work to get big money out of Oregon politics, cut waste, increase transparency and ensure corporations follow the rules. These are all objectives she has identified as priorities for Oregon’s secretary of state. Join me in voting for Val in the primary!
Support RVTD levy
One way to reduce local emissions is to maintain a healthy local public transit system. Unfortunately, local funding for Rogue Valley Transportation District has not changed in 30 years. Because of inflation, this means that in real dollars, funding is below 25 percent of what it then was.
Public transit improves access to education and provides opportunities for workers to be more mobile in their search for better jobs. Since businesses contemplating relocation often consider public transit a valuable asset and inducement to relocate, a vital transit system could enhance economic growth. Since fewer private automobile miles mean less air pollution, public transit reduces traffic congestion and improves air quality.
When residents previously rejected a small tax levy, RVTD was forced to curtail service. Despite numerous steps to reduce costs, service will be further curtailed without improved funding. Support the small tax levy on the ballot in May.
Institute at it again
The MT's Point/Counterpoint April 10 asked whether prosecuting climate change deniers would deny their free speech rights. The two articles discussed different subjects. Mr. Burnett stated that whether or not climate change is real "is still part of an ongoing, lively scientific debate." That is not true (the science of climate change is well-established), but it is, generally speaking, protected free speech.
Mr. Kraft wrote about fraud. Some Big Oil companies conducted analyses and concluded that climate change is real and humans burning fossil fuels significantly causes it. Some, such as Exxon-Mobil, nevertheless made statements disputing climate change in documents which would influence investors to buy Exxon-Mobil stock. To knowingly make a false statement to induce someone to invest in your company can be fraud. Fraud is not protected free speech.
Kraft likens it to tobacco companies lying that smoking does not cause lung cancer.
Burnett is a "fellow" with the Heartland Institute, a far right propaganda machine that helped the tobacco industry by claiming that whether smoking caused lung cancer was part of an "ongoing scientific debate." It looks like the Heartland Institute is at it again.