OFRI is vital
The Oregon Legislature should reject a slew of proposed bills that eliminate or de-fund the Oregon Forest Resources Institute. OFRI is the commodity commission for the Oregon forest products sector, one of Oregon’s largest industries, and is virtually identical to more than 20 other grower-supported commodity commissions in Oregon, including the Oregon Blueberry Commission, the Oregon Wine Board and the Oregon Beef Council.
I have seen the benefit of OFRI’s work personally and can say with certainty that without its programming, Oregonian students would be worse off.
I’m a retired business owner and volunteer my time with the local community and Forest Today & Forever. One of OFRI’s three primary program areas is K-12 education, focusing on professional development for teachers, in-class educational programs for students, field-trip transportation reimbursement and grade-level publications for teachers and students that meet or exceed state science standards.
Don’t eliminate OFRI – its funding doesn’t even come from the general public; it comes from forestland owners who pay a tax on timber when it’s harvested in the same way the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council is funded by dairy farmers. Do not be misled – OFRI is a vital resource for Oregonians.
Walter Woliver, Eugene
Bring back the severance tax
Thanks for Tuesday’s front page story regarding Wall Street Real Estate Investment Trusts making mincemeat of our forests and climate. They have done well the last 10 years. Revenue growth in September 2020 was 26.3% and December was 33.3%. So yes, Weyerhauser is making money and it appears to be off the backs of rural counties.
Thank you, Paul Holvey for HB 2379, which would reinstate the 5% severance tax. It’s also appropriate that reparations be made to the rural counties of approximately $3 billion. That extraordinary amount of money that could have funded public services the last 20 years. As for job loss: It takes a couple people to run a feller buncher. Timber companies have been eliminating jobs for years.
Merrie Kelly, Eugene
Be gone with climate condescension
Councilor Alan Zelenka likes to tout his climate bona fides, infamously reading his resume at a city council meeting and then chastising youth climate activists for not using the proper tone when discussing the existential threat of the climate crisis. Yet, when the councilor continuously spends more time criticizing his constituents than he does advocating for material solutions to get the city of Eugene off of fossil fuels, we have to ask: Which side is he on?
Zelenka represents what is arguably the most progressive ward in Eugene — a ward made up of primarily young professionals, professors and college students like myself — yet he continues to demonstrate a cold indifference to the dire calls for reform from the progressive left whether it’s regarding climate, housing or policing issues. If you were to ask me, I’d say it’s time that council did more than criticize politically engaged young people — who are inheriting climate chaos — and actually started pushing for the solutions that we so desperately need. If you were to ask me, I’d say it’s time for someone in our ward to primary Zelenka in ’22 before he has a chance to become the next ineffectual mayor of Eugene.
Stuart Steidle, Eugene
Out of the frying pan
An anti-natural gas stance is not the right direction for Eugene. As a restaurant owner and operator, I see the benefits of natural gas every day. Like so many other restaurants, we rely on natural gas cooking to produce food quickly and affordably. Also, there’s a limit to cooking professionally with induction and or electricity.
Proposals to raise costs or even restrict access to natural gas will have immediate and long-term effects on restaurants and our customers.
Please consider all voices in this conversation. Please consider all innovations that are possible with renewables for the gas system. Let’s take a step back and understand what is possible before we restrict our options for the future.
The past year has been hard enough for restaurants. So, to the city council: Please don’t make it worse.
Claire Yang, Eugene
Be gone with natural gas
The people of Oregon and future generations achieved a tremendous victory when the state of Oregon denied key permits for the Jordan Cove Liquified Natural Gas pipeline. After the federal government upheld these denials, the Pimbina Corporation said it does not know if the pipeline can move forward.
Let’s assure them that it can’t.
Yet the struggle to slow climate change is just beginning. A recent study of ice melt indicates that we are in line with the worst-case scenario set out by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. A big reason why is the methane escaping from natural gas production. According to the EPA, atmospheric methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat.
Because methane leaves the atmosphere more quickly than carbon dioxide, the fastest way to address global warming is to eliminate natural gas use. Let your government officials and Pembina Corporation know that the Jordan Cove Project must be terminated once and for all, so our Earth can live.
Chuck Areford, Eugene
Vaccinate the Ducks
Now that it looks like vaccines will be available to all who want them after July, and given the history of high rates of COVID-19 infection among University of Oregon students, I believe it should be possible and prudent to demand that all students receive their COVID-19 vaccines as a condition of their admission to school and campus.
Vaccinations will curtail further infections and help Eugene and Lane County meet requirements to allow continuation of the current designation as a moderate area that allows businesses and residents to operate with greater vitality and safety.
Shannon Roseta, Eugene
Now that’s what I call progress
Marlene Pearson’s letter to the editor (Letters, March 10) and a similar one earlier by Steve Molnar reflect what a great job our city leadership is doing when it comes to our local and ever-expanding homelessness. Besides “keeping an eye on the problem,” maybe they will leapfrog forward and have yet another meeting about the issue. Now that would be progress. And to think they get paid for their incompetence. Nice work if you can get it, but appreciated by none.
Barry C. Smith, Eugene
Want to submit a letter to the editor? Email 200 words or fewer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, mailing address and phone number for purposes of verification. If accepted, only your name and city will be published. Letters are edited for style, clarity and are fact checked. Please provide any relevant links to your research. Letters should be exclusive to the R-G. Each writer may only publish one letter per 30 days.
Want to submit a guest view? Email email@example.com your draft of either 525 words or 725 words, not in between. Include any relevant links to resources and research. Also, be sure to include a short biography explaining who you are, what you do and where you live. Writers may publish one guest view per 90 days.
Credit: Source link