Letters to the Editor

Please show me the problem

Can someone please show me the problem? If 2 million workers chose to only work half-time, that opens (creates?) 1 million more full time jobs, or 2 million half-time jobs. Are we so math-impaired that this is not obvious?

Jerry Nutter


Pro-GMO PAC name is Orwellian

Recently I read of a political action committee in Jackson County receiving big money from the Oregon Farm Bureau and out-of-state sugar organizations. It's called Good Neighbor Farmers.

Seems a strange name, since GNF is working to undermine protections for local family farms from genetically engineered crops and toxic herbicides. This is not so strange if you understand Orwellian Doublethink.

In the classic dystopian novel "1984," George Orwell features the Ministry of Truth, an agency that distributes mind-bending propaganda to deceive citizens. Calling a political action committee Good Neighbor Farmers, that opposes a ballot measure to protect family farms in Jackson County from a multi-national chemical and genetically engineered seed corporation, is classic Orwellian Doublethink.

This corporation — Syngenta — is not even a neighbor, but based in Switzerland, where genetically engineered crops are banned. Corporate agriculture has increased pesticide use and hurt local farmers. GNF is not a good neighbor if it is promoting corporate agriculture.

Another PAC is operating in Jackson County. Its name reflects its membership and mission: Our Family Farms Coalition (OFFC). It truly is made up of local family farmers. These are sure to be better neighbors.

Gregg Marchese


Fight pessimism and climate change

I've been looking for a way to feel hopeful about climate change.

Last week I participated in climate-related activities with five different groups in five days. I'm amazed and heartened by how many different people are now moving in the direction of building a healthier planet where seven generations from now there will be enough clean air and water to sustain life.

It is going to take many of us — doing many different things — to accomplish this. I especially would like to call on our elected representatives — Rep. Greg Walden, Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden and our Oregon state representatives — to look at the big picture: to address putting a price on carbon pollution to level the playing field so clean, renewable energy has a chance to be developed as quickly as necessary.

Individually, we need to do our share with conservation and buying local, but it will not be enough without governments stepping up. It is a long haul, but the future will come one way or another. I actually had fun hanging out with a great bunch of optimistic people. Pessimism never works anyway.

Susan Bizeau, co-Leader, Southern Oregon Chapter of Citizen Climate Lobby


Light the way to a brighter future

For Oregon to have a bright future, our young people must have the chance to succeed. College is how the torch of opportunity passes to the next generation. But the light from that torch is fading as divestment from public universities causes suffocating levels of student loan debt.

Student loan debt increased more than 60 percent between 2005 and 2014, and now Oregon students graduate with an average of $26,000 in outstanding loans. This increase is the result of our state's divestment from public universities. Oregon provides 44 percent less funding per student than the national average, and students are paying for the shortfall with higher tuition.

To make sure the torch of opportunity isn't snuffed out by student loan debt, we need the Oregon Legislature to reinvest in public universities so tuition can be more affordable. Let's light the way to a brighter future by showing our state that higher education is a good investment.

Kristi Wright


Give a break to vacation rentals

In response to Ruth Resch's letter to the editor on Feb. 6: City Council members just love to make more and more rules (such as the permitting for filming in Ashland). Can't they just stop micromanaging everything? Ashland grew from the '60s and '70s without their interfering rule-making.

I frankly feel the opportunity to make a few bucks should be available to all of us. The theatrical tourist and B and B complex should be open to all people, not just the powerful, moneyed people who can influence the City Council into making all these rules for vacation rentals.

I believe Ruth's letter about arbnb is representative of some citizens who are just trying to be able to stay in Ashland and who certainly contribute what they can to make this town such a vibrant intellectual community.

Get real. The whole accommodation field in the United States is changing. Check out the couch surfing, airbnb and VRBO listings. Ashland is going backward! Housing for all types will level off without prosecution.

Give some of these people a break. I know, hiring a compliance officer at the behest of the B&B organization to crack down on all these folks who might rent out a room probably reduces city coffers, and I am sure council members have these reasons to back up theirr zeal.

But their actions just contribute to making it more impossible for all of us to live here; it's not just for the organized, powerful and moneyed owners.

Wendy Eppinger


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