Political debate vs science; Lack of Leadership is an embarrassment; Point of art is discussion; Give citizens more voice with art; Need to know number of citizens; Thanks, Florence — Letters to the Editor, July 27, 2019

Political debate vs climate change science

A few weeks ago, Frank Williams wrote a Letter to the Editor  (“Report Concludes Climate Change Not Human-Caused,” July 17)about a report titled “No Experimental Evidence for the Significant Anthropogenic Climate Change,” which claimed that global temperatures are controlled primarily by cloud cover — and that only a small part of the increased carbon dioxide is controlled by man.

Just because one research project came up with this conclusion doesn’t make it true. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), natural causes can not be held responsible for global warming. Virtually every credible source of scientific research from around the world indicates that human causes — primarily the burning of fossil fuels — are responsible for global warming.

In fact, over 197 international organizations agree on this point.

More than that, according to Josef Werne, a professor of geology and environmental science at the University of Pittsburgh, human-caused climate change is not a scientific debate — it is a political/economic debate.

So yes, this is one of our most burning issues that we must tackle.

And if you want your kids, grandkids and great-grandkids to have a planet to live on, we must make drastic changes and spend whatever it will take to reduce the burning of fossil fuels ... which is entirely caused by man.

—Liat Meller


Give citizens more of a  voice with public art

Given the level of negative community response to the mural project and the Public Arts Committee’s handling of the project, it would seem better public input is needed.

To this end, let’s make it easier for Florence citizens to be aware of — and respond to — future projects being considered. Establish information points and survey sheets at many of the public locations around town, i.e., the post office, library, Florence Events Center, City Hall, Chamber of Commerce, Lane Community College, and all of the schools. Also, publish more information in the Siuslaw News.

Much of the work of collecting this data could be handled by volunteers at very little cost to the city.

—Bruce Jarvis


Lack of civic leadership is an embarrassment

We all see through different eyes.  We are all going to have differing opinions as to what is “good” or “bad” when it comes to art. 

I am neither overly pleased nor displeased by the mural on Quince Street. What I am pleased by is the use of art — any art — in highly visible public spaces.

Art, by its nature, should invite and encourage discussion; this is a positive thing and I’m all for more art. 

Let it be varied; let it be diverse. 

But let it be.

In the end, it’s only art. 

The behavior by our civic leaders on this issue has been an embarrassment. I’m almost certain there are more important issues demanding the level of scrutiny being imposed here.

—Randy Curtola


The point of art is to generate discussion

Perhaps Mayor Joe Henry “doesn’t buy, in his heart” that public art can be an economic boon to our community, but future decisions should be based on data and research — not our mayor’s internal organs.

Here’s a suggestion: Enter the phrase “economics of public art” in your favorite internet search engine. You don’t need to read the 368 million hits that Google generates, but a sampling of the first few pages should give you a pretty clear picture.

All of us, sometimes, extrapolate our personal likes to equal the community good; e.g., “I like those painted seals, so they’re good for Florence. I dislike that mural, so it’s bad for Florence.” This is both silly and egocentric.

Every work of art will promote discussion; that’s the point. That discussion, in turn, points to a vibrancy that Florence can benefit from, economically as well as socially.

—Bruce Hadley


Need to know number of citizens, not population 

Opinion: Within U.S., the number of State House of Representatives districts and the number of electoral votes assigned to states should be based upon citizenship, not population. 

Reason: In order to form a “more perfect union,” our founding fathers crafted a compromise for representation of the people within our new democracy for the executive branch, which ultimately led to a Civil War with a huge loss of life.

About 625,000 men died in the Civil War. That’s more Americans than died in both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam combined. This amounted to 2 percent of the population at the time, which would be the equivalent of about 6 million Americans dying today.

In order to form a “more perfect union,” Congress passed ammendments 13 (abolishment of slavery), 14 (citizenship) and 15 (voter rights).  In 1920, the 19th ammendment was ratified giving women the right to vote. Finally,  in 1924, Congress passed the Indian Citizenship act.

Will we, the people of the U.S., learn from our past? Hasn’t the loss and suffering over the last 150 years been enough?

I’ve heard it said, “History  does not necessarily repeat. However, it often does rhyme.”

Summary: The union needs to be perfected, and the number of electoral votes and number of house districts assigned to states should be based upon citizenship, not population. 

Our country needs an accurate census to inform the citizens of the State of the Union.

As the legislative branch, Only Congress representing its various districts within respective states, has the legal power to put forth the changes necessary for our country. 

Congress,  citizens of the U.S. have vested power in you — please do your job

As a citizen, I expect it.

—Jeff Stonelake


Thanks, Florence 

The Van Fans has many businesses and individuals to thank for the success of our Ice Cream and Pie Social on July 20 at the  Florence Events Center as part of the Power of Florence.

Because of the generosity of this community, this very needed service continues to survive and is here free for patients needing radiation treatment at the Willamette Valley Cancer Center and Oregon Urology. 

The van goes to Eugene and Springfield five days a week, 52 weeks a year (weather permitting) and is free to all patients. All of the Van Fans drivers are volunteers, so we are often looking for additional drivers.

Our thanks to BJ’s Ice Cream for its continued support and the donation of the ice cream for our annual social; also, thanks to Tony’s Garage for all of the support it gives in providing free service on our vans when needed; and thanks to the Rally Squad Girls from Siuslaw High School who gave us a cheer and helped keep the tables cleared and set up; thanks to all who provided raffle gifts, including Kitchen Klutter for the beautiful gift basket; and to the music provided by Jeff Lovejoy.

And lastly, a big thanks to everyone in the community for your support.

—Connie Rosenbalm

Van Fans


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