July 14, 2006 Support for public transit Thank you for your timely series, “In A Jam” because there is a solution and we need to start right now! The solution is a Public Transit System that is extensive and frequent, includin

Support for

public transit

Thank you for your timely series, “In A Jam” because there is a solution and we need to start right now!

The solution is aPublic Transit System that is extensive and frequent, including weekends and evenings! We had a great bus service in Ashland when RVTD ran every 15 minutes but because of recent budget problems, Route 5 has been cut. Route 4 servicing the Rogue Valley Medical Center is slated to be cut also.

We need a transit system to be strong especially since gas is expensive and global warming is looming. The solution: Immediately find the funds orperhaps pass a bond, to expanded bus service that eventually will provide service from Grants Pass to Ashland! Wouldn’t it be wonderfulto be able to go to a Grants Pass festival, or Jacksonville’s Brittor Shady Cove, the Lithia Amphitheatre, the sports park, Medford’s Craterion and Ashland theatres, the Jackson or Josephine County Fairs instead ofgetting into our cars and madly burning fossil fuels?

We need to think big because we have a big valley! Those 187,000 trips per day include going to work, running errands, shoppingand just having fun like taking the kids to a class or ball game.

The kids could hop a city bus to go to school. Mom and Dad could take buses to school or work. The family could go to the Britt by bus! A transit system takes us off the roads and reduces emissions and the pollution that keeps us from seeing the mountains and hills.

Does anybody know how much carbon dioxide 187,000 cars a day will produce over 365 days? Will we see the hills? Will we be able to breath?With the price of gas and thecost of emissions into our atmosphere producing global warming, a big comprehensive affordable bus system is the solution. Eventually we need a rail service running from Ashland, Eugene to Portland!

We need Amtrak to come into the Rogue Valley so we can catch a train to go to San Diego, San Francisco or Seattle. The rails and tunnel through the mountain are in place! Europe runs on a fantastic rail system and so should the United States.

How do we get started?

For now fund RVTD so it can roll all over the Rogue!

Sally Carl McKirgan

Protect Oregon’s roadless forests

Roadless areas make up the largest remaining tracts of intact forests in the United States. Incomprehensibly, the Forest Service plans on clearcutting some of these pristine wildlands in the Siskiyou National Forest in August. Logging Oregon’s roadless areas would open the floodgates for roadless logging throughout the nation. Despite the efforts of citizens and advocacy groups, the fate of these forests is now up to the “big boys.”

So where does supposedly “green” Senator Wyden stand on this precedent-setting decision? So far he hasn’t said a word. However could this be? Maybe the fact that Senator Wyden remains second only to G.W. Bush for timber industry campaign contributions, has something to do with his silence.

A quick look back into 2003, shows the Senator sponsoring one of the most irresponsible and destructive forest policies ever passed, the Orwellian “Healthy Forests Initiative,” which — under the guise of fire prevention — authorizes a kind of pre-emptive strike of logging across more than 20 million acres of federal lands.

Despite the Senator’s serious shortcomings, OLCV has given Wyden a 95 percent “green” record. Be that as it may, I hope the Senator remembers from school, that even if you get “A’s” all term, just one “zero” averaged into your grade can flunk you.

Josh Schlossberg

Eugene

Empathy for the homeless

I’d like to speak in defense of people who stand accused of “working the system.” This phrase gets used by job-toting folk who feel their tax dollars are somehow stolen from them by soul-preening posers who should admit to being bums.

A person gets labeled parasitical if he or she appears able-bodied and able-mindedyet performs no definable function that translates into cash. I can only submit, tritely but true: Walk a mile in that person’s shoes. Walk several miles. Going barefoot might start to feel preferable.

Not everyone is of a type capable of fitting into a tangible job title, try as hard as they might through will, pressure, education, or training. Shall they be shot?Perhaps the unaccountably indigent contribute value beyond price that a community cannot calculate with over-stressed sight. Perhaps — balance sheets to the contrary — we would all be the poorer with the benefit of the seemingly shiftless no longer in our midst.

If we shame people for helping themselves to services the system provides for those who know their own needs, we may unwittingly turn them towards suicide or crime at our own souls’ risk.

Karim Dour



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