Pride for public works; Trump travel costs; Disenfranchised voters; How long will mural stay?; Kids in the dark; Come speed on our river, destroy docks — Letters to the Editor, Oct. 12, 2019

Our Public Works is something to be proud of

For those who didn’t make it to the City of Florence Public Works Open House, you missed a very well put together event.  Aside from the generous food offerings, employees were available to talk about and demonstrate their respective jobs.

It felt good to see that the city already has some eco-friendly, cost-saving programs in place. 

If employee satisfaction were the only criterion, this would be a success story. Factoring in public satisfaction, there is a lot to be proud of,   

Thanks, City of Florence.

—Nan and Don Harvey


When voters are disenfranchised, senators must decide

In a recent Letter to the Editor in the Siuslaw News (Voters Decide President, Not Senators,” Oct. 9),  a reader from Dunes City objected to Sen. Jeff Merkley taking a position for the impeachment of the leader of the present administration in Washington.

He proposed the unique proposition that voters should decide who is president of these United States. I support his position completely. However when millions of voters are rendered voiceless by deliberate partisan gerrymandering, Jim Crow era voter suppression and an archaic electoral procedure, someone must speak out.

This administration does not represent the will of the voters only the that of an out of touch reactionary minority, out of control corporations and lick-spittle sycophants jockeying for power.

Keep speaking out, honorable Senator Merkley.

Someone must.

—Frederick L. Miller


Trump travel has already cost taxpayers more   

In his Letter to the Editor (“Compare Trump’s Travel Expenses to Democrats’,” Oct. 5), Mr. Tony Cavarno suggested we should compare President Trump’s travel expenses to the Obamas’.

So I did. According to a Forbes article from July 10, 2019, at that time Trump had taken a total of 139 outings to golf courses (interesting side note: Of those visits only three were to non-Trump properties), had likely played 139 rounds of golf and was confirmed to have played 88 rounds.

The cost of these 139 outings was determined to be at least $105 million. This number was arrived at “from a combination of an analysis from the HuffPost, the GAO or General Accounting Office, Politico and the Washington Post.”

I wasn’t able to find any information about Trump family trips, but the 21 trips Melanie took to and from New York City, Florida and Washington, D.C., in the three months between the inauguration in January 2017 and April 2017 cost more than $675,000, according to a Jan. 29, 2018, article at

These were not all personal trips, per se, but all were necessitated by the fact that she and Barron didn’t move to the White House until the end of the school year.

The total expense of the Obamas’ family trips for the entire eight years Obama was president comes to $114 million, according to Judicial Watch as cited in a Newsweek article dated Nov. 12, 2017. By comparison, if Trump were to occupy the White House for eight years, his expense for golf trips, alone, is extrapolated to reach an estimated $340 million (according to the above-cited Forbes article).

As for Mr. Cavarno’s assertion that Democrats are campaigning for the presidency at the taxpayers’ expense, he might want to check out the Federal Election Commission’s website’s page “Public Funding of Presidential Elections” because, while it is true that presidential hopefuls do receive some public funding, they must also meet certain standards and requirements to receive any funds.

And if he wants the Senate to “pay attention to the nation’s business,” Mr. Cavarno might want to take that issue up with Mitch McConnell.

—Debra Walker


How long will the mural stay there?

I want to praise the new proposed changes between the city and PAC. I hope this will be productive for all of the community. Especially, using our talented area artists.

If I was younger and physically able, I would be more involved with the process other than writing to the newspaper.

My summer is now officially over. Having had seven out-of-town families visiting from Rhode Island, Washington, Ohio, California, Hawaii, Eugene and Portland. I was repeatedly questioned about what seemed like graffiti. Only two recognized it as a mural but wondered what it was supposed to represent.

Other comments included:

“That doesn’t show what Florence is about.”

“From that piece I wouldn’t know this was a beach town with some great recreational areas.”

“If they were going to have a mural greeting folks coming into the town, it should represent the town, not looking like the graffiti found in the larger cities.”

“Feels like I’m back in CA ... sorry your town is trying to be a big city that allows stuff like that.”

“Nothing from that would make me want to stay if we weren’t seeing you.”

And, I feel one 5-year-old, summed it up best with her question, “They were allowed to do that?”

Her dad asked, “How long does that have to be up there?”

I couldn’t answer that. But like one of the previous writers, I would also donate to have it removed.

On that note, how long is the mural going to remain up there?

I look forward to reading updates on future projects for the area.

—Richard Mabius


Don’t keep our kids in the dark

We are in a crisis — climate change is here. And it will only get worse if our politicians don’t do something about it. Our kids, to whom we leave this mess, need to know about it, understand it and know how to fight it.

Yet when teachers teach the subject, surprisingly enough, some parents feel the urge to stop them from enlightening their kids about climate change and call the school to complain.

Do these parents really think if we don’t teach it, it will not happen? Do they believe if kids don’t know about it it will disappear?

This problem must be addressed and must be discussed so we can get rid of politicians that put money before people, animals and the planet. If our kids understand it, we may have a chance.

If we insist on keeping them in the dark, we are stealing their future.

—Liat Meller


Come speed on our river, destroy our docks

Hey Fishermen. Come to Florence and fish on our river.  No one will check your fish or your boat bottom. And, although it’s a no-wake river, no authority will watch your speed.  So put those 90HP to 225HP engines on your 16-foot boats and you can race each other up and down the river.

Don’t worry that your wakes are destroying docks and loosening rip-rap that protect the banks of the river. No one with authority will bother you about your speed, life preservers or number of fish you’ve loaded into your cooler.

So come to Florence and speed up and down the river while you break another dock.

—Gene Olson



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