Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Support justice reform

One who commits a crime must be accountable. The method of accountability should leave the guilty party less likely to commit another crime. Measure 11 passed in 1994 left many juveniles incarcerated in adult prison and more likely (by 34%) to commit a crime.

I strongly believe Senate Bill 1008 is the most productive and least expensive way to make juveniles account for their crimes. Oregon already has a higher youth confinement rate than most other states.

I recently had a conversation with a young man who was sent to prison for life at age 15. Through extraordinary means, his case was reviewed and he has been released from prison, but he is monitored. He now has a job helping others and is a valuable citizen.

It is time show that we understand that youth means not having a fully developed brain. Encourage your state House member to vote for SB 1008.

Judith Buffo


Medical aid in dying

Language surrounding serious illness is important, and I was disappointed to see The Bulletin use the term “assisted suicide” in your front-page story about Oregon’s Death with Dignity Act on April 28. In the medical field, the terms “medical aid in dying” or “patient requested physician aid in dying” are preferred.

Suicide is a tragic event, most often resulting from mental illness. Patients who are eligible to hasten their deaths under Oregon’s law are dying from a terminal medical disease, most commonly cancer or ALS, and are excluded should mental illness impair their judgment.

I heard an analogy that clarified the situation for me: in the 9/11 terrorist attack, some people chose to jump to their deaths from the burning World Trade Center towers. Nobody would say these people were committing suicide, but rather they were choosing to control the circumstances of their death. The same is true for Oregonians dying from a terminal illness who avail themselves of our Death with Dignity Act.

Jennifer Blechman


Prevent child abuse

After reading the front-page story in the May 3 issue (“Man accused of abuse faces new charges”) regarding a severe case of child abuse, I was unable to remove the horrible visions of the abuse this child suffered, and though I agree with the idea of the stiffest penalties for such offenders, I feel even more strongly that child abuse prevention should be more focused on than punishment.

By coming together as a community we can do far more to make a difference in this problem. The first thing I did after reading this article was look up the Central Oregon Relief nursery services available, and to my surprise I saw the substantial limitations to the services they are able to provide.

I don’t know what type of fundraising this organization is doing or how they are funded to provide needed services for Central Oregon; however, I know more can be done.

We live in a community with so much profit made from excess, and this gives us a vast opportunity to support programs offering help with this issue. I ask everyone to consider what they can do to help. Passing laws to give harsher sentences to offenders only gives punishment to situations that simply shouldn’t be happening, while focusing on child abuse prevention helps to eliminate such horrors and save children from experiencing abuse or becoming causalities of it.

Angela Beckemeier


Do the math

On April 24, I watched a very good presentation by an Arizona senator concerning environmental pollution on the U.S. House of Representatives channel. He said, “90% of our oceans plastic comes from 10 rivers … eight in Asia and two from Africa.” He continued by saying that quite often U.S. citizens employ emotions instead of math … do the math, he said.

Another example of this emotional response was published in an issue of National Geographic in 2015 (I kept the graphic). It deals with carbon dioxide emissions.

One large source of carbon dioxide emissions comes from concrete production. “China’s cement production has spiked 3,000% since 1980. Since 2012, China has made more cement than the U.S. has since 1900.” We could learn a lot by keeping environmental pollution in perspective … do the math.

Pete Mellinger