Letters to the Editor

Physics proposal at SOU is appalling

As an emeritus professor, researcher and administrator in the biological sciences retired from a major university, I am appalled that an institution calling itself a university, supported in part by the taxpayers of Oregon, would even consider scrapping its physics department.

Only bureaucrats wholly ignorant of natural science requirements could make such a suggestion. For instance, without physics courses, the degrees of students majoring in chemistry and biological sciences will be of little to no value.

Graduates in those areas will not be competitive nor qualified for admission to graduate programs, or medical, veterinary, dental and engineering schools. Instead, they will be subjected to the additional expense of post-baccalaureate programs to make up for the physics deficiency.

If the United States is to remain competitive in an ever more technical world, then schools such as SOU must take up the challenge of educating our future leaders. The subject of physics is essential to a quality science education.

H. Bernard Hartman


Don't promote resistant weeds

On Dec. 12, Tom Mueller, a University of Tennessee weed scientist, warned Pacific Northwest sugar beet growers about glyphosate-resistant weeds.

Having witnessed the pains glyphosate herbicide-resistant weeds have caused his state's growers, he said glyphosate-resistant horse weed surfaced as a Tennessee nuisance in 2002. In 2007, resistant Palmer pigweed emerged, forcing many of the worst-hit farmers out of business. He said, "It's become common now for Tennessee growers to send crews of workers into fields to hand-pick Palmer pigweed ... I can assure you 10 years ago, nobody was ever thinking about sending a whole crew out in the field."

Jackson County farmers do not have to suffer this fate. Measure 15-119, the Family Farms Measure, would protect our local farmers and land from this kind of problem that requires ever more dangerous pesticides to manage. Don't let it happen here. Vote Yes on 15-119, the Family Farms Measure.

Brian Comnes


Syngenta is not a good neighbor

Is Swiss biotech giant Syngenta a "good neighbor" farmer? It's altering local agriculture at this very moment at the expense of family farms.

Direct sales to consumers from local farms is a $14 million addition to Jackson County's economy. This market segment is a central trademark of our socioeconomic identity.

Growing Syngenta's genetically engineered sugar beet seeds provides only a few hundred dollars to landowners annually. Will adopting Syngenta into the family of farming neighbors bring greater or less prosperity to the community?

Genetically engineered crops are not part of the family farm model. Saving local seed varieties adapted to grow well here is an essential farming practice. One cannot save genetically modified seeds because they will always be the private property of a multinational corporation, making this biotechnology incompatible with a local family farm economy. Vote yes on the Family Farms Measure, 15-119, in Jackson County this May.

Andrew Mount


Stop taxpayer funded abortions

Did you know that right here in Oregon, $16 million of your tax dollars have been spent on abortions in the past 10 years?

That is $1.6 million tax dollars spent on 4,000 abortions every year!

While to most people this news may be quite unbelievable, I would encourage you to check out the Oregon Health Authority website, or Politifacts even did a Truth-O-Meter article on it.

Now for the good news: There is a grass roots initiative taking place right now that aims to end all this. Oregon 2014 is circulating a petition that — if successful — will put an end to tax payer funded abortions in Oregon.

The campaign will need 150,000 signatures by Mothers' Day to put this issue on the ballot so that we as taxpayers can decide how we want to spend our money. Sign the petition and get involved: www.oregon2014.org.

Ethan Hill

Eagle Point

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