IN REPLY TO "ACCESS DENIED" (10/1)
I appreciate Erin Rook's illuminating article on disability issues in Bend. There is no question that the city's Accessibility Manager needs more funding and resources. More funding will help Karin Morris to succeed at her job and her success will mean a more accessible community for everyone.
The City Council needs to increase the budget for barrier removal and ADA compliance. That will not only help people with disabilities, but also seniors, parents with strollers and those who have temporary injuries that impact their mobility.
Tax revenues are up and some of that money should be channeled into ADA work. Money from pending land sales should also be used to bring the city into compliance with this civil rights law. And the City Council should instruct staff to investigate outside sources of revenue like grants.
For years now people with disabilities have been told there is not enough money. But there is money available. The City Council needs to lead on this issue.
VOTE CRAIG WILHELM FOR HOUSE DISTRICT 54
Based on Erin Rook's article in the October 2 Source and a recent TV ad, you might think that in the race for Oregon House District 54, a Democrat would do just fine voting for the Republican candidate. But this just isn't so. Which party your legislator belongs to really does matter.
So vote for Craig Wilhelm for Oregon House District 54 if you want Democratic and progressive values and principles at work for you in Salem.
Craig's the real thing. As a Bend small business owner who was a combat leader in Iraq and Afghanistan, Craig will bring practical, innovative, and courageous leadership to his job as our representative in Salem. Not only that, Craig is the only candidate in the race who's been endorsed by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and Planned Parenthood. Important labor organizations like the Service Employees International Union, the Oregon State Firefighters Council and the Oregon State Police Officers Association support Craig too.
But another big reason to vote for Craig Wilhelm is strategy. Let's face it: Oregon is a Democratic majority state. When the Legislature votes, "Republican" Central Oregon has no clout. But as a strong Bend-style Democrat from District 54, Craig Wilhelm will change that, bringing a vital East of the Cascades reality check to Salem. And that's good for all of Oregon. —Dorothy Leman
SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION ON MEASURE 92
Oregon voters are being hammered with a huge disinformation campaign about measure 92 funded by the likes of Monsanto, PepsiCo and Dow to the tune of $5.45 million. Separating fact from fiction can be challenging. Consider that the bottom line for these corporations is their profit. For Oregonians the bottom line ought to be food safety for our families, livelihood for our small farmers and preservation of our environment. To learn more go to our local website www.gmo-centraloregon.org.
MEASURE 90 ENSURES COMPETITIVE ELECTIONS
The Q&A with Sara Logue, who works for the No on 90 campaign, painted a misleading picture of the open primary measure, with both factual errors and possible intentional deception.
She stated that Measure 90 would not allow write-ins, and further stated that write-ins are allowed in California, where a version of open primary is law. She got that backwards. No write-ins are allowed in California, but under Measure 90 they will be allowed, period.
More importantly, she stated that Measure 90 will not open up elections, forgetting to mention that over 650,000 voters currently locked out of primaries will be allowed to vote under Measure 90 (independents and minor party members). This is a key feature (and fact) of Measure 90, and vitally important.
Sara also argues that Measure 90 will actually reduce choice. Not true. In the current system, most general elections are not competitive. 90 percent of the time one of the major parties is so dominant in a district the general election race is not competitive and the result is a foregone conclusion. That's not what a thinking person calls real choice. Having minor parties represented on the general election ballot, but who only have a chance of being a spoiler, is not real choice either. We haven't elected a minority or independent candidate to the legislature or to a statewide office in over 40 years.
Having two candidates on the ballot in a truly competitive race is real choice, and real Democracy. Measure 90 will ensure that we get more of that. The beauty of Measure 90 is that it returns power to the voters and will loosen the grip of the political establishment that Sara represents, and who fear any change in the status quo.
MARIJUANA IS A BENIGN INTOXICANT
Children like to alter their consciousness by riding on roller coasters and adults like to alter their consciousness by imbibing intoxicants. There is nothing wrong with altering one's consciousness. It is one way of having fun. Our big human brains enjoy altering the routine of everyday life.
An intoxicant is any substance that significantly alters one's body chemistry or psychological condition as it is being metabolized. There are good and bad intoxicants. Tobacco is an addictive and extremely carcinogenic intoxicant, alcohol is a powerful and devastating-in-quantity intoxicant, and coffee is a mild and relatively harmless intoxicant. Marijuana is a bit more intoxicating than coffee but an order of magnitude less intoxicating than alcohol or tobacco. It is stronger than tobacco (but not alcohol) in terms of altered sensations and perceptions; but in terms of its toxicity—the main drawback with intoxicants—it is strictly minor league compared to either tobacco or alcohol. Marijuana causes neither hangovers nor cancer.
A few days ago I hiked briskly uphill for two hours in the mountains. I never take alcohol on a hike because it would tire me and make the trip home much more difficult, and if I used tobacco I would be incapable of hiking uphill for two hours at any pace. But toking a pinner is a time-honored way of celebrating one's arrival at the point of highest elevation on a mountain hike. After doing that with an unusually potent variety of upper weed, I was surprised to discover no additional effect upon the "high" than my high-elevation hike had already provided! Potent, upper weed and hiking briskly in mountain air provide the same light-headed euphoria! Exercisers love the endorphin effect of an aerobic workout, so it is no wonder weed is so popular with the hiking, jogging, and biking crowd: instead of making you clumsy, tired, and sick as alcohol can or instead of making you a reeking, diseased addict as tobacco does, marijuana can make you feel like you have just taken a rigorous and inspiring hike in the mountains! Now that's a benign intoxicant!
I encourage voters to legalize recreational marijuana not just because it will bring in tax revenue, create jobs, and allow the justice system to focus its resources on real crime, but mainly because marijuana is so much less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. One long-range result of legalization may be fewer vehicle accidents because pot does not induce reckless behavior as does booze. Vote YES on Measure 91 and let's end the senseless, wasteful, unfair, and nearly century-long prohibition on this beneficial plant.
Letter of the week: Does coffee count as an intoxicant? Well, if so, count us peddlers! Eddie, how about after sending in your ballot with a Yes vote on Measure 91, hiking on over to our offices and picking up your Letter of the Week prize: A $5 gift certificate to Palate!