Political party problems, Making the world a better place, Art doesn't have to be accepted by all —Letters for May 11, 2022

Siuslaw News Letters to the Editor

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on these and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Political Party Problems

We do not have free elections. One must profess loyalty to a party.

Again, this election year, I fill out my non-partisan election ballot with sadness and frustration. I care very much about who is elected to help govern our state and the nation, and yet, because I don’t feel I belong to any specific political party or affiliation, I am not allowed to vote in the primaries for any partisan candidates running for office.

This is because Oregon’s political parties choose to keep our Primary Elections “closed,” meaning a registered voter is only able to vote for his party’s candidates, or, as in my case, may not vote for partisan candidates at all!

I will ask of the party leadership again, as I do every two years — What are you afraid of?! You are leaving so very many votes on the table and thousands of voters feeling disenfranchised

I certainly will vote in the election, but my choices will be limited to those who succeeded through the Primaries.

Judy Roth — Florence

Making The World A Better Place Anyway

I simply cannot comprehend the animosity and hostility of public workers (who we pay) against Leaven No Trace. The guy just spent over 50 days picking up trash and litter along Highway 126 — and he did it for free. All he asked was for Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to come along and pick up the bags.

You would think ODOT would be grateful, since he’s doing their job, but you’d be wrong. Same as here in our little town.

Raymond was arrested three times for picking up garbage in Florence, for cleaning up homeless camps. Arrested for littering.

There’s even a city employee who claims Leaven No Trace is a scam, but it’s a nonprofit.

The fact is that they can’t be bothered to get up and do something to make the world a better place.

Thank you, Raymond and Leaven No Trace. I am glad for your passion, I just wish our town felt the same.

Edward Gunderson — Florence

Art Doesn’t Have to be Accepted By All

If we follow Tony Cavarno’s proposition (“Fancy Words About Local Art,” May 4) to its logical conclusion, there would be no art at all.

Art isn’t intended to please everyone. The artist is doing their job if the art amuses you or confuses you or engenders any feelings at all. Passing judgment on art is an attempt to make it disappear — and that is the rankest form of censorship.

Art in public spaces doesn’t have to be acceptable to everyone. If that were the case, the work of Michelangelo or Picasso, for example, would never have made it to public view.

Francis J. Straley (“Taxpayers Should Have A Say With Art,” May 4) believes that when “local governing bodies are using taxpayer money and placing an item for public display, it must be voted upon by the people paying for it.” I attribute that statement to hyperbole for the obvious impracticalities it presents.

He contends that the entire town is subject to “the whims of a few committee members.”

The Public Arts Committee advertised in many different places seeking applicants for a recent open position on the PAC; I wonder if Mr. Straley applied for that position? Then he could himself be one of the few.

The members of the Public Arts Committee are dedicated to the too often thankless task of promoting all variety of art throughout our community. We should be grateful to those who are willing to take on this job.

Dolly Brock — Florence