Lane County wrong; Avoid round buildings; False border narrative — Letters to the Editor, Feb. 16, 2019

Lane County continues to get it wrong

There is a perception that a judges’ ruling is self-validating and beyond reproach. Judges are people who come to the bench with their own biases and are often subject to manipulations by silver-tongued corporate-backed attorneys.

That’s why two judges won’t always agree and could render opposing decisions. As it is said in life and with judges, “ it’s the luck of the draw.” And the people of Lane County are experiencing really bad luck in Judge Chanti’s decision (2-11-2019) to deny ballot access to the Right of Local Community Self-government Charter Amendment (RLCSG), which legally authorizes citizens to write and pass laws.

Oh, you thought that the initiative system already did that?

Not in Lane County.

Lincoln County’s aerial spray ban included a RLCSG provision and sailed onto the ballot, begging the question, “What’s going on in Lane?”

Lane courts continue to get it wrong and are complicit in denying the rights of the people to our own initiative system. These administrative reviews are about procedure, but have been used as an excuse to deny the substance of the law.

Lane courts are blocking an amendment that’s about our right to be decisionmakers in “the democratic process.” Obstacles to the citizen’s initiative process have been steadily gaining traction ever since it became clear that the citizens intended to use the system to insert ourselves into the decisionmaking process.

People must continue to fight for justice to get this measure on the ballot.

—Michelle Holman



There’s financial reasons to avoid round buildings

The new city hall looks pretty good.  But is it $2.5 million pretty good?

Besides the odd looking stone and brick design in front, the round curves added to the cost of the building by a tremendous amount. As a retired general contractor, I know that the cost of building anything round adds tremendous labor costs.

It is pretty standard in the construction industry that to figure the labor costs to build round or curved, the estimator has to triple the cost of labor to build with straight lines or diagonal lines. The front of the building could have been built with diagonal lines instead of round and achieved a similar look for a lot less cost. 

I want to assume the architectural firm would have informed the client, City of Florence, that round adds higher labor costs to the project. 

Maybe not.

If I or any other knowledgeable contractor had been asked to sit in on the original design discussion, perhaps that information could have been brought forth.

See any round buildings out there? 

I do like the city public works building. Very nicely done and quite simple. Of course, that design would not necessarily fit the city hall lot size. 

—Dana Rodet



President offers false narrative at the border

I read with interest the letter from David Eckhardt (“Some Common Sense,” Feb. 13). I disagree with his premise that we need a wall at the southern border. 

I am not a “hater.” I just disagree. 

In my opinion, there is no need for a wall the entire length of our southern or northern border. There is no national emergency at the southern border, other than the crisis manufactured in the mind of the current president. He has exaggerated the numbers and mischaracterized the reasons for the immigrants wanting to come to the United States and repeats his misrepresentations until people begin to believe his rhetoric. 

To the contrary, the majority of immigrants seeking to enter America are refugees fleeing for their lives. They are honest, hardworking people leaving their homes and country due to violence and poverty.

They travel in “caravans” for safety.

The drug smugglers, criminals and human traffickers rarely, if ever,  join the caravans of refugees by trekking thousands of miles on foot with only the clothes on their backs. The criminal element comes in to this country through legal ports of entry, by sea and air as often as over land. 

The majority of those walking to the border are honest, hard working people; they are not using deception to gain entry. 

An “illegal” immigrant is one who lives under the radar on American soil without ever attempting to become a legal citizen. The vast majority of the immigrants coming from South America through Mexico to our southern border are immigrants, but their status is not “illegal.”

As they set foot on American soil, the majority request asylum, and go through the legal process for asylum seekers.

There is no “invasion,” no horde of murderers, rapists and drug lords storming our southern border.  

—Marybeth Marenco


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