Letters to the Editor - June 16, 2012

Letters from Tony Hartford, Gillian Hensley, Jim Dossett, Sally L. Godard, Shadley Wiegman

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Don Dix


Some of the troubling issues (anti-union) you assign to 'others' are important to many. But including right-to-work laws? Really?

Oregon's financial woes have serious roots in the 'closed shop' attitude of the Oregon's employee unions. Teachers, who on camera will testify they only want the best for the kids, will fall in line and strike if the union decides raises aren't enough. So, in the end, money wins and kids lose.

Longshoremen at the Port of Portland are accused (by the NLRB) of a 'slowdown' since June 1. Truck traffic backs up a mile at times, costing everyone. The union is upset that two (2) jobs are currently being performed by another union, IBEW (the 'jobs' are to plug and unplug refrigerated containers, and monitor the temps). What wonderful union public benefit can be accredited to this action?

As of 2011, right-to-work states had lower unemployment and a lower cost of living than those without. Which is more attractive?

Oregon government is, in reality, controlled by public employee unions. Governor Ted's staff was made up of many former union chiefs. Legislators who lean union are showered with campaign cash. It was plan, and it worked (for the unions) -- just not for those who pay the bills -- the taxpayers.


Toney, private sector unions were needed when they were formed many decades ago. Over the years what unions used to provide for their members is now provided by Federal and State laws This is a reason why the number of members in private sector union jobs has been so low. Unions then turned to public sector employees such as teachers, fire fighters, etc. to gain membership dues. With private sector jobs, unions can actually bargain themselves out of employment. The employer just closes the door if they cannot make a profit. On the other hand, in the public sector we cannot do without police, fire fighters, teachers, etc. Now the dilemma is how much is too much. Wisconsin and two major cities in California decided last week what was too much. Oregon is just around the corner to also say enough is enough. Here is a quote from the article. http://hotair.com/archives/2012/06/06/two-california-cities-vote-overwhelmingly-for-public-pension-reform/ �Voters in two major California cities overwhelmingly approved cuts to retirement benefits for city workers in what supporters said was a mandate that may lead to similar ballot initiatives in other states and cities that are struggling with mounting pension obligations. Supporters had a simple message to voters in San Diego and San Jose: Pensions for city workers are unaffordable and more generous than many private companies offer, forcing libraries to slash hours and potholes to go unfilled. In San Diego, 66 percent voted in favor of Proposition B, while 34 percent were opposed. Nearly 97 percent of precincts were tallied by early Wednesday. The landslide was even bigger in San Jose, the nation�s 10th-largest city. With all precincts counted, 70 percent were in favor of Measure B and 30 percent were opposed.�

Please don�t confuse what was a necessary organization in our early workers rights struggle to now be some sort of obligation on today�s taxpayer.


Toney, it should also be noted within six months after Wisconsin State Employees were given the choice of maintaining their dues paying
membership within their union........77% dropped out. I would imagine similar numbers would appear in Oregon if state employees were given the same option.


In response to Ms. Hensley's letter, my wife and I have been cat owners for 15 years, and we couldn't agree more. We have two, and they are kept indoors at all times.

Any animal welfare organization will tell you that urban cats should not be allowed to roam outside. The biggest problem we have in our garden are also domestic cats, for the very reasons Ms. Hensley explains. Our yard is not fenced, but it would cost over $2,000 to do so and since we're on a corner lot, city ordinance won't let us build a fence higher that 3 feet. That wouldn't keep a cat out anyway.

In truth, there is no rational reason why cats shouldn't be regulated in cities like any other domesticated animal. They not only use gardens as litter boxes, but they are also the number one killer of songbirds, which are an enormous benefit to the environment.

Plus, such cats are subject to threats from cars, dogs, coyotes, and angry citizens who have a right to protect their property from unwanted intrusion and don't want to clean up after other people's pets. We would never hurt one of the local feline annoyances because ultimately it's not the cat's fault; it is the responsibility of the pet owner. However, others may not be as restrained.

In summary, keeping urban cats indoors is not only best for the neighborhood, but it is safer for the cat as well. Fortunately, there are some good neighbors out there who when informed and asked respectfully will do the right thing. One of ours did. We encourage Ms. Hensley to give it another try, as we hope other cat owners in town reading this will do the right thing as well.

Jeff and Julia Sargent

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