Learn compromise; Underreported; war on working class — Letters to the Editor 1-10-18

Learn the art of compromise

In the late months of 1864, two friends met to discuss what could be done to end the terrible blood bath known as The Civil War. Gen. Robert E. Lee had come to visit Gen. U. S. Grant at his home in Galena, Ill., with a request which would greatly ease the tension between the apposing forces. 

It seems that Gen. Lee’s in-laws, who were very wealthy, owned a sizeable piece of property in the Washington, D.C. area, and were very concerned that should the Union forces prevail, this property would be claimed as Union held assets. 

They had hoped that the property would benefit the entire country.

After much discussion, a solution was reached, and Gen. Grant made the commitment to recognize their wishes (Gen. Lee’s in-laws’ name was Arlington).  This was one of the several moves which led to the end of this war that had pitched family members against family members, states against states and businesses against businesses, killing 620,000 in the process.

There were no other countries involved. The end was brought about through a series of discussions between two parties who really wanted a peaceful solution.

The technique was called compromise.

As the days go on, it seems our country is again becoming more and more fractured in more and more directions by name calling, lying, fabrications, etc., with no one being interested resolving any of these fractures peacefully.

My fear is that we now have another legislative body (according to Sen. McConnell) called the NRA, which will certainly not help reach an intelligent conclusion.

My biggest fear is that we are building towards another Civil War rapidly. Sure, the colors are different (red and blue instead of blue and gray), the wealth lines are more definite and the artillery hasn’t been fully placed yet, but the battle lines have been drawn with beliefs and attitudes.

I only hope that we do not have to go through another Civil War before we can get to the process of compromise.

—Charles Pennington




Climate change underreported by local media

A new report, “Carbon Omission: How the Media Underreported Climate Change in 2017,” finds that the U.S. media has largely failed to connect the dots between our warming planet and extreme weather events (Read the report at http://pubc.it/2lXlwq8.)

When the Environmental Management Advisory Committee (EMAC) sent a request to Major Joe Henry to join forces with other climate mayors across our state and the country, he declined.

When I asked the Siuslaw News to follow up, there wasn’t any.

Already in 2018, record cold and record snowfall, both consistent with our changing climate, have ravaged communities along the eastern seaboard. 

As evidence of our warming planet continues to amass, I urge you to report on the climate crisis with the quality and quantity it merits.

Cover climate in 2018.

—Michael Allen



Thanks to community for time and talents

On behalf of our team at Three Rivers Casino Resort, please accept our sincere thanks for all those in our community who gave their time and talents over this holiday season to serve others.

It was gratifying for so many of us to come together, collecting donations and working toward the common goal of ensuring that families in need had toys and gifts for their children to enjoy. Thanks to those efforts, hundreds of toys were donated to the Soroptimists of Florence who, working in collaboration with other local organizations and volunteers, helped bring food and toys to hundreds in our community.

In addition, over 1,000 pounds of food was donated to the Florence Food Share. Its staff and volunteers worked tirelessly to distribute food and other items that were generously donated from local businesses and individuals.

From all of us at Three Rivers Casino Resort, thank you to all those who worked so hard to ensure that so many others could enjoy the holidays.

—Rich Colton

Director of Marking

Three Rivers Casino Resort


War on the working class

  In July of 2017, the Oregon legislature quietly passed as a declared emergency what was framed as a transportation improvement tax (HB 2017). This bill was declared an emergency in order to prevent public discussion. More than 50 percent of the bills passed in the last long session were declared an emergency for this reason.

The anticipated revenue from this tax is estimated to net about $5.3 billion to the state of Oregon, or roughly $1,200 from every man, woman and child living in Oregon. Carefully written into this legislation was a small increase in the state income tax. 

Other components of this bill included the Bicycle Excise Tax, Vehicle Privilege Tax and Vehicle Use Tax, a statewide transit tax.

In addition to what I feel is this onerous increase in taxation on Oregonians, we are now being asked to agree to an additional tax on the healthcare benefits of working Oregonians in the form of Measure 101.

Measure 101 will levy an additional 1.5 percent tax on the value of healthcare benefits provided to the working people of Oregon. Elected officials have specifically exempted themselves as well as Medicare recipients from this legislation.

Thus, this becomes a tax on the working people of Oregon.

The state of Oregon already has the second-highest income tax rate in the country, with California being the highest. If you read the language in these bills, it is easy to see that they represent the beginnings of a targeted sales tax on working people in Oregon.

This legislation and the continuing tax increases targeted toward the working class highlight the disconnect between the political class in Salem and the working people of Oregon.

It’s time for a change in Salem. As working Oregonians, we need to hold our elected officials accountable for how they are spending the money we earn. We can start by voting “no” on Measure 101 — but that’s only a start.

It’s time for the working people who fund our state government to insist their money be spent wisely, not in the dead of night. If our elected officials are unwilling to do this for the people of Oregon (their employers), we should replace them with people who will be better stewards of the people’s money.

—Katie Prosser


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