Letters: Push Fish and Wildlife to respect wolves
Gov. Kate Brown is delinquent in her obligation to ensure wildlife in our state gets the protection it needs.
The long overdue update to Oregon's Wolf Management Plan once again represents only the wishes of livestock operators and hunters, and is set to be approved by an agency whose allegiances to those special interests is painfully obvious and wholly inappropriate.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife again has failed to facilitate a meaningful negotiation process that would result in a plan that is backed by science and that the majority of citizens in our state support, despite this mandate coming directly from the governor herself.
Instead, the latest wolf plan revision includes provisions for more killing of wolves by livestock and wildlife managers and even opens the door to a private hunting season.
Scientific data clearly states none of these are tactics that are useful in managing the conflict between wolves and livestock, and yet Chair Michael Finley and fellow commissioners seem unable to use logic and reason to make decisions. That approach doesn't fly for most people in their jobs, and it shouldn't for them either.
It's up to Brown to get control of this rogue agency, which is starting to feel just as corrupt as the Trump Cabinet. A governor who considers herself an ally in conservation and a voice for her constituents should do nothing less.
An indigenous voice against the wall
I am writing to Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden this evening from a packed TriMet MAX regarding the wall issue (President Trump's southern border strategy).
As a Native American, my word here in this letter carries a lot of weight. I am against building the wall.
Others may think, why would an indigenous human be against this action? Our land already has been invaded, so one would think we would want to stop that. If they were truly knowledgeable about indigenous people, they wouldn't be questioning that. They will understand. The No. 1 thing our culture cares about, besides the land, is community.
Putting up the wall will destroy many communities, and further negatively impact the already awful immigration system. These are humans we are talking about. Humans with families living in a country that is failing to provide them with what they need to thrive.
America was founded with the principle of making a home for those who have no home. Yes, it caused lots of genocide among my people, but I believe the best way to respect my ancestors is by continuing to show others respect, and most importantly, community. I know we already struggle with providing for our current residents, but that fault lies in our government, not in immigration.
There is a way to balance this. I believe in my senators to do what is right.
Use bond cash to upgrade unreinforced buildings
Regarding seismic upgrades of unreinforced masonry buildings and signage, it would appear that the present controversy has a ready and realistic solution.
First, for the sake of perspective, recognize that all new buildings and all significant upgrades of present buildings (including unreinforced masonry buildings, or URMs) are required by present code to be seismically safe.
Second, in the interests of previously agreed-to fairness, allow the URM committee to finish its work and make recommendations.
Third, among the recommendations, allow for the redirection of currently available bond money for safe and affordable housing toward incentives for URM retrofitting.
In this way, currently unsafe and affordable housing could be converted into safe and affordable housing. Current tenants of such URMs would then not be forced into the streets or out of town by much higher costs.
This approach also would meet many of the concerns of the NAACP.
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