Letters to the Editor | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Fear-Based legislation, HB3063 doesn't uphold Oregon values!

As it stands, Oregon will be losing over 900 teachers statewide (15 in Bend) and three school days in the current 2019-20 biennial state budget. HB3063 will impact roughly 31,000 students. That could mean an additional loss to school budgets of over $403,000,000.

Letters to the Editor
Beautiful shot at Broken Top Mountain by @iamaerica4! Tag @sourceweekly on Instagram to get your photo in Lightmeter.

Under HB3063, our public charter, magnet, and Head Start schools will suffer as they encompass a higher population of non/under vaccinated students. In Bend, these schools stand to lose over $10,000,000.

HB3063 will negatively impact countless businesses that run student activities outside of schools: afterschool programs, meal programs, churches, parks and recreation, libraries and non-profit organizations.

HB3063 also adversely affects independent schools and small business in the childcare sector the most. Independent/parochial schools and day care centers receive ZERO program funding from the state or federal government. With 10- 48 percent of student populations in the non/under vaccinated category, these businesses will experience corresponding income loss threatening their continued ability to operate. In Bend, this means HB3063 threatens the viability of 85 businesses.

Independent schools and childcare are income generating to the state. "In 2016, Oregon's private-sector child care businesses numbered 1,187 and employed 11,421 workers. Half of the businesses had four or fewer employees. Educational services in private elementary schools employ over 10,500." Child care/Day care facilities are also owned predominately by women.

Denying children the right to attend school and participate in afterschool activities are not Oregon values. Oregonians deserve much better solutions than HB3063.

—Erin Hansen

President Trump

When I think of the recent tweets from the President, I think in terms of textiles. There was a thin fabric that covered our lives and served as a boundary between absolute evil and Mayhem and societal decency that has been removed. "You. Are. Nuts." was George Conway's counter tweet. I tend to agree. He quoted the mental health bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for the description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. This is the public airing of more textiles—dirty laundry.

The kind of behavior we are seeing from someone who is deigned to represent the best and brightest among us has application in many aspects of our lives. He unravels the silk thread of our moral compass: bullying, homophobia, racism, sexism, intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, lying, cheating, stealing, debauchery, greed, lack of intellectual curiosity, jealousy... virtually the devils grab bag of sin. Yet he boasts, and I mean BOASTS, a 90 percent approval rating among people we call neighbor, co-worker, and occasionally spouse, as in the Conway marriage. We scratch our heads and make a sideways glance in an effort to see the external defect that would be a clue. What has caused this fabric of decency to disintegrate? It's not funny anymore if it ever was—people are dying. Children are caged, and planes are crashing because safeguards weren't put in place during the toddler-driven government shutdown. Environmental protections are being removed so fossil fuel can flourish. Nothing is too heinous and nothing is off limits when the chance to make a buck or build a hotel or golf course is weighed. "Clean the swamp" is replaced by feed the swamp monsters. And yet his "fans" (because let's face it, this is a reality show not a government), staunchly support the President while he garbles word salad and rants incoherently illustrating George Conway's diagnosis. He is smitten by dictators and tweets like a 14-year-old girl, "Do you think he likes me?" Meanwhile the world laughs but also lives in fear like we do. The infection spreads to places like New Zealand where the white cotton hood fabric that previously covered the heads of hateful supremacists is uncovered. They are empowered by this president for violence. Recently he overtly threatened that his strongmen (military and police) were tough and ready.

Coming from a family of Holocaust victims and survivors this rhetoric and the tone is familiar. Ramp 'em up, get them juiced...this fabric is a bit of torn striped uniform worn by family members at concentration camps.

"I wasn't a fan," the President remarks, in reference to war hero and patriot, John McCain. Is nothing too low? I'm afraid the answer is a whisper: "no."

When we are finally rid of the disease that is Trump, how will we look at our neighbors, coworkers, and spouses? Can we knit together a defense mechanism giving ourselves permission to forgive?

—Jan Falk

On Racism

The article on racism in the Source had one major omission. Where was the discussion about the most oppressed and ignored group in the U.S., the lower-middle class white? It is this group that has the highest suicide/death rate among all demographic groups. Both political parties have long ignored the social and economic needs of this forgotten class. When jobs continued to go overseas, did anyone ever hear President Obama express concern? I believe President Trump was elected largely because he tapped into this group's frustration. For them, there is an absolute need to "Make America Great Again." Some in the article express concern about "MAGA" hats. Would they object to an African American wearing a "Black Pride" hat?

Of course, with the Democrats' emphasis on "identity politics," you are stereotyped a racist if you express concern about thousands of immigrants crossing the border illegally resulting in more competition for jobs and lower wages. You are also a racist if you believe that many of those here illegally have access to public and private funds not available to citizens. Five years ago the Bulletin printed a special insert which, among other articles, explained how a local, unemployed illegal Hispanic immigrant had been cured of leukemia with the aid of public and private funds. My son died from the same disease and his wife was left with over $100,000 in bills. We could find no public assistance for him in spite of the fact his income was modest. I am glad the individual recovered and was able to get help, but I wonder about a society that cares more for the non-citizen than for those who are here legally.

Some of our young people express their family's resentment in immature ways and we need to work to understand why they feel the way they do. Other young people will say insensitive things and need to be corrected. And finally, in this politically correct obsessed environment, many people will find that almost anything they say is offensive to someone. Hopefully, those people with "rabbit ears" will learn to chill out.

I should stress that I believe all citizens should be treated with respect and given equal opportunity. Due to higher birth rates and illegal immigration, it won't be long before people of color dominate our political, educational and business worlds. Will this new world be free of sexism and racism???

—J. Lewis

J. Lewis—While your letter offers much to respond to, there's not enough room on this page, so I'll just point out another "omission." It's true middle-age white men have the highest rate of suicide, but according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, it's women, not men, who have higher rates of depression, and attempt suicide at higher rates. But since more men attempt suicide with firearms, they're more often "successful."

Across genders, whites attempted suicide at rates just roughly 2 percent higher than American Indians and Alaska Natives, at 15.85 percent for whites and 13.42 for Natives in 2017. Among youth, it's Black students with the highest attempt rate, at 9.8 percent, with white students at 6.1 percent. If we're going to consider how "ignored and oppressed" might equate to suicide rates, let's not cherry-pick facts. Come on in for your gift card to Palate.

—Nicole Vulcan

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