Letters to the Editor

SOU, JPR should be disconnected

When I first read about the OUS audit/concern about the JPR Foundation, I was puzzled. The issue seemed to be a misunderstanding. Why didn't SOU step in and solve the concern? Then SOU threatened to sue all the foundation board members. What was SOU's motive?

When the content of the mediation agreement was revealed, it looked like a hostile takeover by SOU of JPR and the foundation. Why would SOU want the responsibility of running JPR, an entity that stretches from Redding to Springfield, Klamath Falls to the coast? They are laying off instructors, cutting courses and increasing tuition. Unless SOU wants all the JPR assets to use as collateral for their own building projects.

Thank goodness our local legislators and the governor stepped in to stop the process before irreparable harm was done to JPR. During the cooling-off period, SOU should relinquish all interest in JPR as soon as it is fiscally, physically and legally possible so JPR can become its own entity in its own building with no ties to SOU. Then SOU should publicly apologize to all the board members, the members of the Listener's Guild, and especially to Ron Kramer for causing this debacle.

Edith Montgomery


What are they thinking?

It's been a long time since I had a good belly laugh, but all those folks who say they're going to move to Canada or New Zealand or wherever because they hate Obama's health care plan and don't want to live in a "socialist" state give me plenty of reason for one. Don't any of them realize Canada and most other advanced nations have had similar health care plans for decades?

Too, one supposes that if they object to purchasing health insurance, they also must object to having to buy insurance before being issued a drivers license.

What are (some) people thinking anyway?

Matthew Lubic


Public radio is under attack

Disagreement between Jefferson Public Radio and Southern Oregon University is another attempt to damage our public broadcasting institutions. It is understandable that the far right would want to eliminate a news media outlet that they are unable to control. Recent attempts to defund public broadcasting at the federal level have failed temporarily.

Now the approach appears to be legal harassment at the local level. Independent, nonpartisan research has shown that the American public judges our public radio and television services to be the most trusted sources of information and an excellent use of our tax dollars.

The current dispute is a prime example of how our country is being taken over by the wealthiest among us. It is no longer important what the general public wants. The wealthy now control our political and legal processes.

The result is that good public servants are unable to serve because of legal and economic threats to their wellbeing and the best broadcasting service in the country is under attack by those who want to silence it. It is especially disconcerting when our educational institutions attack the best source of information, learning and arts on the airwaves.

Joseph Suste


Responders need training on PTSD

As I listened to Taps being played for veteran Scott Chappell's memorial services at the Interfaith Chapel at Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center and Clinics, I felt sadness and anger as I reflected back on how many times the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Oregon has held educational forums and panels that came to the same conclusion: Mental Health Court and Crisis Intervention Training for first responders would save lives! Why haven't they been accomplished?

We know the investigation of his death by Jackson County Major Assault and Death Investigation Unit (MA/DIU) continues and the autopsy results are not completed. Whatever the results of these processes, we feel if these two important programs had been in place, perhaps the death of veteran Scott Chappell, who suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the many others who suffered from a mental illness who have lost their lives after contact with law enforcement, might be alive today.

Jackson County MA/DIU is comprised of investigators, forensic teams and prosecutors from the major law enforcement agencies in Jackson County and is not an outside agency.

We feel it is improper to task this group with investigating their own officers. We respectively request that an outside independent agency be brought in to investigate the death of Scott Chappell.

Patricia Garoutte, president, National Alliance on Mental Illness of Southern Oregon

Grants Pass

New Zealand has universal coverage

Love the option of "move to New Zealand" on the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act. New Zealand has universal health care with real taxes, not our lowest in the civilized world. Kudos to Kitzhaber in working as a real health care professional to take care of all Oregonians.

Francis Van Ausdal


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