Letters: At length

You can help save Darfur

If you saw the excellent movie, Hotel Rwanda, you know that in 1996 the U.S. and other nations of the world knowingly stood by and allowed hundreds of thousands of human beings to be brutally slaughtered by their fellow countrymen over a period of three or four months. At any time, the world community could have said, "No! This will not continue!" and put a stop to it. But, it didn't. We didn't.

Those who knew, such as our president at the time, Bill Clinton, and his advisors and our other politicians and leaders, didn't even bring it to the American people to test our will &

to see whether we were the compassionate people we think ourselves to be. It was kept quiet by them as well as by the mainstream media, allowing most of us to go about our business and our pleasures, unheedful, unmindful and mostly undisturbed by the horrors unfolding at that time.

And, here we are eleven years later, this time in Darfur. And again you and I go about our days only vaguely aware and mostly indifferent to the plight of the so many, many suffering people &

real people who need our sympathy and concern and, more importantly, our determination to help. As happened in Rwanda, hundreds of thousands of people have been murdered and millions of others have been and are still being terrorized, brutalized and driven from their homes, often after seeing parents, husbands, wives, children and other family members and friends killed before their eyes and having been subjected themselves to rape and other personal horrors. These terrible events are made even more tragic with the realization that they could be stopped quickly, if only the people of our country and of other leading nations had the determination and the will to put an end to it.

On the positive side, there is a groundswell of people here and around the world organizing to end the genocide in Darfur and elsewhere and they tell us that even small gestures can make this happen. You can become a part of this movement.

I invite you to join me. We can do a lot and if we're going to stop the brutalities happening right now, we must set aside a small part of our lives and take action.

Here are a few suggestions: 1) read the book, "Not on Our Watch" by Don Cheadle and John Prendergast; 2) watch the movie, Hotel Rwanda; 3) write to me at dwerth@jeffnet.org or call me at 488-3014, so that we can explore ways to work together and share means of helping; and/or 4) log onto , and to learn more and to send donations.

Don Wertheimer

Time to change Measure 37

We don't get a lot of second chances in life, but we'll have one soon &

thanks to the Democrats in the Oregon legislature. They are placing Measure 49 (a Measure 37 revision) on November's ballot to correct Measure 37's unexpected outcomes.

Amazingly, all of the Republican legislators voted against this referendum &

saying that the voters already approved Measure 37. Excuse me! That's like saying once you vote for someone who gets elected, you should vote for that person in each successive election &

regardless of his/her track record.

Measure 37's track record is frightening. An example was highlighted in this paper in June. Jackson County approved a claim to develop 137 lots on a 242-acre farm next to Ashland, although the owner died in 2003, and there is insufficient water!

Measure 37 won in Nov. of 2004 for one big reason, TV ads. Heavily financed by corporations, they plucked at our heartstrings by showing an elderly couple who couldn't build a house on their farm for their grown children. However, the thousands of outrageous development claims that soon followed its passage revealed the true intentions of many of its backers.

Seneca Jones Timber Co., the biggest Measure 37 contributor at $321,000, submitted Measure 37 claims worth $6,750,000. Greed rules again &

or does it? Not if we pass Measure 49 to protect us from urban sprawl while restoring fairness to land use planning. It includes a fast-track to allow that elderly couple to build up to three houses on their land.

Roy Sutton

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