Don't decorate the bridge, support students, leftist tactic — Letters to the Editor for 9-13-17

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Against decorating the bridge
I saw in the Aug. 26 issue of the Siuslaw News that a “Call to Artists” has gone out to turn the steps leading between Old Town and the Siuslaw River Bridge into an art installation — making them “a canvas” on which to create art, making them “eye-catching and interactive while still maintaining their functionality and safety.”

First of all, I’m against decorating them.

While they may not be technically a part of the bridge and not protected from decoration as the bridge is through its listing on the National Register of Historic Places, they are considered a part of the bridge. Everyone refers to them as the bridge steps. I think enhancing them through landscaping and better lighting is a much better use of the money.

Right at the top of the steps, within only a few feet, is fast moving traffic. The stop sign located right there says 30 mph and traffic usually travels faster than the signs.

An art installation attracts and invites usage of all ages. I think safety is another and possibly more important reason to be against an “interactive art installation” located so close to heavy traffic.

Because of the two books I’ve written on the coastal bridges and the fact that many people refer to me as The Bridge Lady, I feel I have to speak up.

—Judy Fleagle
Local author and historian

Dismayed by lack of support for students
How sorry I was to read the news that the Twilight programs at our schools are being reduced. I have seen firsthand the work that educators and aides do during these programs to help our community’s children learn and grow.

The opportunity for some extra tutoring and assistance for these students is invaluable. That they may receive a nourishing snack of an energy bar, a piece of fruit or a carton of milk is a bonus.

So, I was dismayed to see the Letter to the Editor in the Sept. 9 edition, praising the end of these programs because the writer opined, “I don’t think taxpayers should be expected to feed and care for children whose parents can’t afford to do so themselves.”

Have we really become so jaded that offering a hand up is seen in the same context as a hand out?

I hope not.

As a community, we rely on many of those parents to provide the services and work to this heavily weighted retirement community. I know a number of young parents who are working multiple jobs to make ends meet. These are not living-wage jobs that afford any luxuries; sometimes these parents are faced with making choices between paying bills and putting food on the table.

Affordable housing is nearly non-existent here, so a disproportionate percentage of their paychecks go to providing a roof over their family’s heads.

The after school programs provide a safe, nurturing environment for their children. They offer stability, purpose, accountability.

It is not a childcare program, but an opportunity for students to have an alternative to the peer pressures that are very real and hard to avoid. It offers academic assistance and tutoring to help these kids succeed in school and, by extension, in life.

And it gives parents the reassurance that their child is safe and cared for.

I am tired of the conservative mindset that turns its back on those who are less fortunate, who are struggling to make ends meet. I am saddened by those in this community who vote against our schools and thus, by extension, the future of our community that is embodied in these children.

A very disturbing message is sent to these kids and their parents: “I’ve got mine, get your own.”


—Becky Goehring

Handling a crisis between tweets
After hurricane Sandy, the likes of Ted Cruz, John Cornyn, Key Bailey Hutchison and Rick Perry did not want to fund FEMA. Recently, President Trump was in favor of drastically cutting funds to FEMA, which I assume was an effort to get funding for the “Wall.”

Now the wall will likely never happen.

For decades man has been in search for the sunken city to Atlantis without success. We now have our own Atlantis and it is called Houston.

I assume that after our government funds FEMA to do the basic recovery needed, it will take years and trillions of dollars for Houston to be whole once again and arise from the waters.

My concern is how President Trump will handle the current situation beyond his tweets.
To paraphrase the Englishman Edmund Burke:

“All that this necessary for the trump of evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.”

—Win Jolley

Leftist tactic
I want thank Rand Dawson for his Letter to the Editor “Track Record on “‘Science’” (Sept. 9).

It is a classic leftist tactic of attacking the messenger when there is nothing to refute facts. The Guardian is one of the most leftist, biased newspapers regularly engaging in the same tactics.

The facts Dr. Spencer stated are verifiable on the NOAA website.

If science were ever settled, we’d still be living in caves and chipping stone tools.

— Ian Eales

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