Resolution for climate change; Not in harmony; Thankful for local cinema — Letters to the Editor, July 20, 2019

A few years back, the shuttered movie theater in the Grocery Outlet shopping center was rejuvenated as City Lights Cinemas

Resolution to address climate change

After many long and frustrating attempts at getting action from federal, state and local governments regarding our climate crisis, I presented Florence Mayor Joe Henry and the Florence City Council with a formal request at the July 15 city council meeting.

In it, I referenced a study released by the Rocky Mountain Institute that shows that pledges from cities, businesses and individuals throughout the world would enable us to reach two-thirds of the Paris Climate Agreement goals.

I requested that our mayor and city council produce a resolution that pledges to join forces with community, state and federal entities to address our climate crisis; I also requested that the mayor designate a commission that includes a wide range of interested parties in order to develop concrete actions for the City of Florence to take.

The study conducted by the Rocky Mountain Institute, a renowned renewable energy organization in Colorado, concluded that pledges by cities and business add up. I hope the mayor and city council also believe in their own power to effect change and follow my request.

Action on the climate crisis is way past due.

— Michael Allen


Not in harmony

I just returned home to Florence last Saturday. I’d been in Los Angeles for two weeks. I flew into Eugene, got in my car and drove back to the Oregon coast.

After crowded freeways and urban sprawl as far as the eye can see, the drive through the trees and along the Siuslaw River filled my mind with beauty, and LA became a distant memory.

I had crossed the last bridge, cruised past the casino and made the last curve coming into town when... oh my — I was taken back.

The mural; I had completely forgotten about it.

Before I left, I had begun accepting it as part of our town, a bit busy for my taste but bright and colorful.

Now it looked out of place. It reminded me of Santa Monica or Venice Beach — definitely not in harmony with the beauty I had just driven through.

—Jeff Ashmead


Thankful for our local cinema

When my wife and I were deciding on a retirement location, we were drawn to Florence by three things: the marvelous library, Peace Harbor hospital and the Florence Events Center.  Since moving here some 21 years ago, we appreciate these facilities more and more.

A few years back, the shuttered movie theater in the Grocery Outlet shopping center was rejuvenated  as City Lights Cinemas; had it been there under the current owner, we would have added it to the list.

As a retired engineer and data junkie, I keep meticulous computerized personal financial records and, in looking back at what we have seen at City Lights Cinemas, found we don’t often attend the Hollywood blockbusters. We do, however, attend less well-known screenings like the artistically recreated Van Gogh characters in “Loving Vincent” and the refurbishment of a classic formula 1 racing car in “Ferrari 312B.”

This week, we attended “Bikes of Wrath,” the story of five Aussie cyclists who decided to travel the path the fictional Joad family took in Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath.” Steinbeck paints a picture of the Joad family leaving their dust bowl farm in Oklahoma in search of the promise of jobs in California.  Instead of a broken-down jalopy piled high with all their worldly possessions like the Joads, the Aussies set out pedaling the same route.

Sixty-some years after reading Steinbeck’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel, I still get teary remembering his vivid descriptions of the hardships facing these Depression-era migrants. Throughout the movie, folks the cyclists met read short excerpts of the book. I was struck how little some things have changed.

The Oklahoma refugees from the dust bowl faced a string of hardships and were met with indifference and outright hostility along their journey.  And these were from fellow American citizens. The attitude of “we’ve got ours… too bad about you” existed then and has not yet perished. 

You need go no further than to peruse the Letters To The Editor in this newspaper to see that some in our own community would have felt right at home, urging the Joads to move on.

So thank you, Michael Falter at City Lights, for bringing this thought-provoking film to Florence. 

—Ken Janowski



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