Inform yourself on Measure 15-119
As you decide how to vote on Measure 15-119 (GMO ban), base your vote on factual information rather than on advertising hype and emotion.
The time and effort required to critically analyze the issues of 15-119 is necessary for us to make an informed decision whether this measure strikes an appropriate balance of societal interests versus individual liberties.
Read the full text of the ballot measure. Is it clearly written, in sufficient detail to avoid legal gray areas, and do you understand what it says? Look at the Oregon Secretary of State campaign finance report, and see who contributed how much money to each side, as well as what those contributions were spent on. View County Administrator Danny Jordan's report to the county commissioners on potential impacts to county government. Educate yourself on the relative safety or risks of GMO organisms, using science-based information.
The least reliable information, and for too many voters the only source, comes from campaign ads. Whether for or against 15-119, any valid information in ads is usually hidden among partial truths or misinformation.
This May, use your democratic rights. Read, think, discuss and vote. It's vital if we hope to keep ourselves empowered.
Loud applause for AIFF 2014
Cheers, loud huzzahs, bravos and bravas to the staff and volunteers of the AIFF for yet another magnificent festival of films.
I especially thank Joanne Feinberg for her skillful programming/groupings of short films. For me, this five-day marathon — I call it "Five Days Around The World (at the Varsity Theatre)" — is the most valuable comprehensive community event of my year: educational, social, cultural, artistic, provocative, emotional, stimulating and fun.
The first documentary film I saw, "Watchers of the Sky," cracked my heart open and reminded me why I so look forward each year to this opportunity to let myself feel deeply into the pain, sorrow, courage, struggle, bafflement, joy and sheer wonder of being human.
Protect the real rights of farmers
GMO crop proponents are telling us the pending ballot measure will "violate property rights." With 97 percent of their $800,000 war chest coming from other areas, you have to wonder if they have property here.
The fact is that Measure 15-119 protects property rights by averting GMO contamination of local fields carefully cultivated by local farmers. It's their basic property rights (as well as their livelihoods), not those of multinational corporations, that concern me.
The opponents' ads keep saying that 15-119 will unleash an expensive gaggle of government bureaucrats harassing farmers. That could only happen if these multinationals sell illegal seed in Jackson County — and who's going to sign those contracts? The three counties with similar bans have had zero enforcement costs. Please join me in voting yes on 15-119.