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LETTERS: Aug 20th Issue

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Re: The Bear Creek Greenway

Sounds like the path is all but worthless to commuters.

-Will Shapiro


Re: Six Bike Laws Drivers Need to Know

I will follow the traffic laws concerning bikers, when bikers follow the traffic laws for being on the street.

-Nikkoli David


If they would only stay INSIDE the bike lane….

-John Stephen Keiser


I’m still waiting for licensing and registration to operate bicycles on public roads. Tired of the “Hey, I’m a car. No, wait, now I’m a pedestrian.” antics. Also the leaning on people’s hoods at a stop. I like cycling, but I honestly believe that we have accommodated too much and asked for too little. Bikers deserve better, and the only way to get that is by paying into a system that can provide the infrastructure. Get tabs, get licensed. That way, when I see a violation, I can report them just as easily as a car. Otherwise, get off the road.

-Tobias McRobie

You’re right, Tobias. Just owning a bicycle is clearly a scheme to get out of paying income, property, sales, business, federal and other miscellaneous taxes. It even prevents road and gas taxes from being paid when the 90 percent of cyclists that also drive (according to a
recent study from the Invero Institute) fill up their cars. And why should those freeloading six-year-olds with their training wheels get out of registering with the DMV when the rest of us have to? And don’t even get us started on rollerbladers… -RVM



Re: Rental Scarcity and Bikes

The story on rental scarcity in Ashland coupled with news of more bikes available was amusing. If people have been forced out to Talent and Phoenix they certainly are not using bicycles to commute. The bike-friendly Highway 99 is virtually bike-free and I travel that route twice a week. The do-gooders should visit Google Earth and study the differences between Amsterdam and the Medford metroplex.

-Hubert Smith

Perhaps you don’t see any bikes on Hwy. 99 because the Bear Creek Greenway runs parallel to it, which unlike the highway, isn’t populated by high-speed battering rams. Which, coincidentally, is how cycling is done in Amsterdam as well; segregated bikeways that run parallel to roads.



Re: Climate Change

Recently I came across this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.” At 73 I’m still feeling very much alive and concerned about the legacy my generation is passing on to future generations. Despite the “I’m no scientist”, climate change deniers in Congress, the scientific community is warning us the window of opportunity for limiting the catastrophic affects of global warming is closing.

I sometimes feel powerless in the wake of all the ‘bad news’; but locally I am able to do something. I’m voicing my opposition to the proposed 232 mile LNG pipeline crossing Oregon from Malin to Coos Bay. If you also are worried we are gambling with the future of our children’s and grandchildren’s future, don’t be silent. Write letters to your representatives, attend rallies, support the many non-profits opposing the pipeline.

If you want a more comprehensive perspective on global warming, read Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.

-Barry Peckham, Ashland


Graphed climate trends displaying patterns over the last century are based on data:  regional temperatures have increased some 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the mid-1900s; snowfall has decreased 20 percent; and soil moisture has dropped 2 percent.   We can see the patterns with our eyes.  

Projections from climate scientists for 2100 are based on known physical properties of gases released from burning fossil fuels.  These include the ‘Business as Usual’ scenario where we continue to burn fossil fuels at an accelerating rate: the annual temperature will rise some 9 degrees F, with July and August up 12 – 13 degrees; snowfall will drop to 10 percent or less with soil moisture down 20 percent. The impact on forests, grasslands, and wetlands will be dramatic, with some species unable to exist.  Should ‘business as usual’ climate projections occur, this beautiful region will be a totally different place than it is now.  Both data and projections are non-partisan.

We have enjoyed our run with fossil fuels.  Realization of the costs of this fossil fuel era requires we eliminate fossil fuels through reduced energy consumption and conversion to renewable energy.  It can be done without tanking our economy; all we require is the will.  

Alan Journet, Co-facilitator, Southern Oregon Climate Action Now


It’s time to connect the dots.

It’s hot again; there’s an extreme heat advisory; we have forest fires with smoke-laden air pollution.

Air pollution includes fine airborne particles coming from automobiles and forest fires. Long-term exposure causes chronic cardiovascular and respiratory diseases (including COPD).

Extended, extreme high temperatures cause heat exhaustion and/or heat stroke and even death especially for infants, children, and adults 65+.

Our region seems to be changing from what it once was.

Are we really going to experience: increased temperatures, reduced snowpack by 90 percent, increased wildfires, reduced water availability and increased drought throughout the Rogue Basin? Will these conditions be accompanied by diminished forest and expanded grassland and scrubland with more soil erosion and increased bacterial and water-borne disease?

Can we no longer rely on past patterns? Do we need to understand and respond to the trends and projections?

-Louise Shawkat


Send your thoughts and SnapShot submissions to: editorial@roguevalleymessenger.com. Letters must be received by noon Friday before next print date for inclusion in the following week’s paper. Please limit letters to 250 words. Submission does not guarantee publication.

1 Comment

  1. August 29, 2015 at 4:19 pm — Reply

    […] Graphed climate trends displaying patterns over the last century are based on data:  regional temperatures have increased some 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit since the mid-1900s; snowfall has decreased 20 percent; and soil moisture has dropped 2 percent.   We can see the patterns with our eyes. More […]

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