Letters to the Editor: May 5, 2017
This is not who we are
As a liberal Democratic Party activist, I was dismayed and embarrassed by the actions of my political allies in trying to exclude Republicans from participating in the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade last week, resulting in the cancellation of the parade.
As an academic, I was equally distressed at the University of California Berkeley’s failure to provide a secure platform for right-wing commentator Ann Coulter to speak on campus, again resulting in the cancellation of her appearance.
Aren’t freedom of speech and assembly essential Democratic values? We should remember the comment by one of our great intellectual ancestors, the 18th-century French philosopher François-Marie Arouet (known by his nom de plume Voltaire): “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
Framing the debate
Referring to Elizabeth Van Staaevern ‘sApril 28 letter about immigration, there are laws that should certainly be implemented or changed.
It is also true that the United Stations has a growing number of foreign-born residents. According to the Pew Center, this amounts to more than four times the number recorded in 1970.
The immigrant population is varied, including well-educated individuals. According to the Population Reference Bureau, while in 1994 there were 6.2 U.S.-born scientists and engineers for every foreign-born specialist, by 2006, this ratio had decreased to 3.1. This phenomenon may partially be a result of our country’s inability to produce the highly skilled workers.
A dose of prudence is helpful when advising people to improve their own countries rather than coming to a new one. Our own history does not follow this pattern. In addition, “overpopulation” is not about having too many of the kind of people you do not want. From most demographic perspectives, the United States is not overpopulated. According to the World Bank, our population density is roughly 91 inhabitants per square mile.
While this is more densely populated than Russia (with a figure of 23), it is significantly lower than the densities of Belgium (963) and the Netherlands (894).
With finite global quantities of land and water, we are competing with citizens around the world. Local degradation of the environment is often because our ecology is not as legally protected as it should be — regardless of the number of our brothers and sisters who participate in this particular ecosystem.
Question still unanswered
Sen. Brian Boquist,
Since February, I have been trying to get an answer from you. My question is: Why do you want to control (by imposing abortion restrictions) my body?
Your office initially told me it was “not an authentic question.” If you do not want to control my uterus, here is an opportunity for you to prove it. House Bill 3391 ensures access to safe, legal abortion care. The bill also includes language to prevent interference by public officials. Will you support HB 3391?
He’s savvy and prudent
Having worked with Tim Roberts for several years now, he has proven his value as a savvy, prudent McMinnville School Board member who can be relied upon for sensible opinions.
He has attended multiple conferences and has become deeply knowledgeable in the workings of the educational system. He knows education from the classroom to the Capitol building and has always worked to further the best interests of the students.
His institutional memory after many years on the board is invaluable. He knows what has worked well and what has not. We need his ongoing insights and service.
Why he serves
Carson Benner was appointed to fill a vacated school board seat. Voters can rightfully ask why he was appointed.
As a member of the McMinnville School Board budget committee for more than a decade and its long-range task force, I have served with Carson and can attest to his knowledge of the issues the district faces, the creativity and fiscal discipline he encourages and the leadership he provides.
Carson volunteers throughout the community and usually on matters that affect our children. From the McMinnville Education Foundation to Habitat for Humanity, Carson is involved. I also know that he is an advocate for responsible budgeting and has an eye out for the most effective use of our tax dollars. In short, Carson was appointed because he is involved, and all who work with him understand he is committed and qualified.
A record of service
Carson Benner for McMinnville School Board is a wise choice for students, parents, teachers and the community. Carson takes his role as a current school board member seriously and is passionate about our children and our schools.
He is the type of person who has put his energy, drive and enthusiasm into advocating diligently for each and every student in our school system. Carson seeks to understand through listening, research and asking great questions. He provides thoughtful insight from his experience as a parent of a McMinnville High School student, business owner and his extensive volunteer engagement through the school board budget committee, long-range facility task force and education foundation.
In addition, he has volunteered for six years on the Habitat for Humanity board and served tirelessly on the Citizens for Good Education political action committee. Carson appreciates the importance of working with a wide variety of people to represent us all.
Michael J. Hampton