Letters to the editor

Look at how others vote

This may seem a bit of a cop-out, but one way to vote on measures that you don't completely understand is to see how people or groups you like vote. Sometimes there is a problem, because people you like are on both sides, but not here.

For example, on Measure 49, that tries to clean up Measure 37 on land use, Governors Vic Atiyeh, Barbara Roberts, John Kitzhaber and Ted Kulongoski all say vote yes. Also the League of Women Voters, the Oregon Farm Bureau and the Nature Conservancy, along with several other well-known groups, say vote yes.

Opposition to Measure 49 comes almost completely from obscure and unknown individuals and groups.

Measure 50 on health care is supported by numerous health care and senior groups, Governor Kulongoski, the Oregon Business Association, the Urban League of Portland, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Providence and many others say vote yes.

The leading opponent of Measure 50 is the tobacco industry, which has poured millions of dollars into Oregon to defeat it. As with Measure 49 opponents are obscure and unknown.

Harry L. Cook

The League of Women Voters support Measure 49

In 2004, Oregon voters passed Measure 37. They thought it was intended for homeowners who wanted to add one or two houses on their property, but instead, throughout the state, land speculators &

including large out-of state developers and some giant timber companies &

have become typical claimants and large subdivisions, common proposals.

Claims have been filed that potentially may develop more than 750,000 acres of Oregon land, including these in Jackson County:


a 162-acre forest on Old Siskiyou Hwy for a 32-lot residential development;


a 1,217-acre farm on N. Valley View Road for quarries and rural residential home sites;


a 679-acre forest on Dead Indian Memorial Road for a 105-lot subdivision.

The well-financed "Stop 49" campaign is fueling a distorted, media barrage designed to confuse voters. Measure 49 does support the "little old lady's" right to build another house on her property. In fact, under Measure 49, she will now be able to transfer her right to new owners to build on the property within ten years from the time they acquired it &

something she has not been able to do under Measure 37. Under an "express lane," she will be able to build up to three home sites. Under the "conditional path," if she lives within an urban growth boundary and wants to build up to ten houses, no state waiver will be required so long as a professional appraisal of her land shows its value when she bought it and the loss she sustained from later land-use regulations.

At a recent Measure 49 forum, a panelist pointed out that every 25 years, we need to review our land-use laws and assure we have a flexible system that can adapt to regional differences and respond as Oregon changes and grows. Without Measure 49, however, Measure 37 would do away with land-use laws altogether. Measure 49 modifies 37 to clarify property owners right to build homes, yet limit development to protect high-value farms and forests and groundwater-scarce lands. It makes clear that local zoning ordinances that restrict land to commercial, industrial or residential use override any claims for development to the contrary. It balances the rights of private property owners with the rights of their neighbors and preserves Oregon's special quality of life for future generations. We urge you to Vote yes on Measure 49.

Judith Benjamin Vanya Sloan Co-Presidents, League of Women Voters

Measure 49 protects ecosystem

Much of the wildfires in Southern California residential development are taking place in the interface areas with timber and brushlands. In Oregon, as in California, we've given up on land use planning as away to reduce fire risk in these areas. Riverside County is establishing a fire hazard zone, similar to the 100-year floodplain that would prohibit development. San Diego has banned wood shingle roofs. We do neither. Meanwhile, Oregon is choosing between Measure 37, which allows subdivisions regardless of location or hazard, while Measure 49 would allow few houses near the interface.

We think of climate change and consequences are 50-100 years away, but its happening now in forest ecosystems through fire.

Land use planning is well-suited to map out hazards and help avoid them. But once houses are placed there by Measure 37, it's too late. At least Measure 49 prevents subdivisions on these wildlands.

Porter Lombard Medford

49 will repair 39's damage

Measure 37 was the true "Wolf in Sheep's Clothing." Measure 49 will undo some of the damage to Oregon's future from Measure 37, but the distortion and fabrication in TV ads against Measure 49 paid by the wolves has predictably arrived. Measure 49 promotes the common good over the unbridled hacking up of our landscape. It protects farming and forestry from incompatible neighboring uses. This will help grape growing in the Rogue Valley which is important because grapes are fast displaciing pears as our most valuable crop.

Measure 49 offers fiscal responsibility in that the low density development from Measure 37 over large tracts of land would cost taxpayers far more than the compact development called for in the 1973 Senate Bill 100 and Measure 49.

There are people who are in denial regarding fiscal responsibility in development and about what it takes to have a viable farming and forestry base. They seem to stop at nothing to defeat that which might be for the future common good or common benefit over their unbridled "rights" to commit community or statewide degradation at the taxpayers expense.

Please vote for agricuture and for fiscal responsibility. Vote yes on Measure 49.

Brent Thompson

YAAL will maintain great programs

I attended Bellview Elementary as a child, and graduated from Ashland High School in 1990 before the extreme budget cuts imposed by the Oregon legislature. Now, I am the parent of a student at Bellview Elementary, and I want my daughter to receive the same kind of great education I had. The Youth Activities and Academics Levy will help achieve that goal. It will help pay for physical education and music classes in elementary school, foreign language in middle school, and much more. These are the kind of activities that enriched my school years. If the programs are cut due to a lack of funding, my daughter will greatly miss her music and physical education classes. I believe that students do best with an education that includes excellent academic classes as well as high quality extra and co-curricular activities. Please vote for Measure 15-80 to help the Ashland schools continue their great programs.

Amanda Ray

Share This Story