Letters in the Editor's Mailbag
Byline: The Register-Guard
Occupy Eugene gets special rules
Way to go, city of Eugene and our tolerant Eugene City Council. You've created a special set of rules for certain people. What happened to diversity, fairness and equality for all?
Illegal camping in a public park? Occupy Eugene can do it. Camping in a campground off-season or without paying a fee? I would get a ticket and face arrest.
Operating a kitchen that feeds hundreds of people daily without permits, food handler cards or health inspections? Occupy Eugene can do it. Operating a food cart without a permit, food handler's card or health inspection? I would get shut down, fined and face arrest.
Erecting structures on public land without permits or fire marshal inspection? Occupy Eugene can do it. Adding an addition to my house without permits, fees or inspections? I'd face huge fines and be required to remove said structure.
Erecting political signs without a permit? Occupy Eugene can do it. Erecting anti-EmX signs at locally owned businesses on private property? Those businesses have gotten tickets.
What really burns my bacon is that Eugene taxpayers are paying for this. Now the Occupy Eugene folks want the city to supply them with electricity. I'll remember this discrimination and special treatment every time any tax comes up for a vote in the city of Eugene. I don't care if it's a tax to save endangered pink unicorns and three-legged kittens, I'm voting no.
Oh, yeah - and down with those corporations and stuff, man.
Current gun laws are sufficient
The National Rifle Association has never endorsed giving gun ownership rights back to convicted felons. State legislatures are tasked with enacting laws to keep that from happening.
If single-item bills were allowed, no convicted felon would ever have gun rights again. However, in this complicated world of legislative uncertainty, numerous amendments are added, ad nauseam (state Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, comes to mind).
The NRA uses what influence it has to prevent the erosion of basic ownership rights that such amendments would cause. Unfortunately, that means some excellent gun regulations are quashed.
There are more than 22,000 state and federal gun laws on the books in this country. It is illegal in all 50 states to use a firearm to commit robbery, larceny, burglary or harassment.
We need to enforce the firearms laws we have, not create more legislative madness.
Education statistics can mislead
I realized in my graduate statistics class that anything can be proven with facts.
In his guest viewpoint ("Use facts in debate over education," Register-Guard, Nov. 16), Loren Later presents solid data but skews it beyond recognition. Later says Oregon's student-teacher ratio is 19.4 to 1, which implies that all classes have about 19 children. That is not true.
The National Center for Education Statistics (2009-10) noted that Oregon has the fourth-largest classes in the nation.
There are elementary classes of 30 students, middle school classes may have 40 or more, and some high school classes may have 50. Why?
One example is special education. Students at a Regional Learning Center should be in a class of 15 or fewer students.
They have one full-time teacher plus two or three aides. They also require services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychological treatment, etc. Every one of those services is expensive and is counted in the student-teacher ratio. …