Capital Press needs to get with it

Capital Press seems to have found a cartoonist whose mission is to belittle people who think outside the box, including (Michael) Pollan and (President Barack) Obama. Sometimes these cartoons are not even close to amusing. And while Capital Press has a few articles about alternative sorts of agriculture, most articles are geared to the large producers. (We like them, too.)

Perhaps Capital Press has not been aware of a trend of late, toward more and more small producers as shown in the graph from an article in the most recent Oregon Agricultural Quarterly. Some 92.9 percent of the farms in Oregon had incomes of less than $250,000 with 83.2 percent having incomes under $50,000. This was in 2007 and there is little doubt since then there has been an increase in small farms, CSAs and grower-direct farming.

Time for Capital Press to get on board with more supportive articles (and cartoons) about "the other side" of Oregon agriculture. Remember when Capital Press was so snide about "Greenies" -- 5 years later, meaning now, greenness and a positive attitude towards it is everywhere. Capital Press needs to wake up and get with it instead of lagging five to 10 years behind the times, especially with its cartoons!

Jolly Hibbits

Bandon, Ore.

Fish aren't better than farms

Your May 14 editorial on worry about water studies across the nation is right on. Your same-issue articles on environmental groups suing to stop cougar-reduction efforts in Oregon, two articles on wolves killing livestock and threatening a family dog, and (one about) fining a California grape grower $115,000 for diverting creek water to spray grapes during a spring frost also illustrate current preferences for fish and wildlife over people.

The picture of the bison herd alongside the Gardner River on public land in Wyoming was equally illustrative of government's lack of concern about streamside trampling by wildlife as opposed to government's fence-those-cattle-away-from-streams concerns about livestock trampling.

As to water, I was prompted by an American Land Rights Association newsletter to obtain a copy of proposed House Bill 5088, "America's Commitment to Clean Water Act." The Senate number is S787, where it is called "The Clean Water Restoration Act."

By changing and enlarging upon definitions, HR5088 would amend the 1972 Clean Water Act from federal jurisdiction over "navigable waters" to federal jurisdiction over all waters of the United States, including intermittent streams, wetlands and wet meadows, the use of which would affect, among other things, "the obligations of the United States under a treaty."

A different page of the bill states that "protecting the waters of the United States from ... degradation ... is a necessary and proper means of implementing treaties to which the United States is a party, including treaties protecting fish, birds and wildlife."

Farmers aren't just imagining that government and environmentalists are keen on protecting fish and wildlife at the expense of agriculture. It's important for farmers and their relatives and friends to let their elected representatives know that agriculture should be protected and that the environmentalists' sacred icon fish are not more important than farms.

Maxine Keesling

Woodinville, Wash.

Family history teaches a lesson

Joe Beach's analysis of the immigration debate in the May 7 edition is a masterpiece. Joe uses his family's history to illustrate classic and contemporary American perspectives on immigration. Joe's family history is a parable; follow his lead and you will find the lesson.

On life's road we are all immigrants sooner or later.

Felice Pace

Klamath, Calif.

Chips threaten safety, freedom

Do you care about your safety and freedom? Are you an animal to be chipped and tracked? Not only is the national identification raising its head and an electronic medical card called for in the health care bill, but an experiment is planned for the enhanced driver's license, which many have signed up for but is voluntary for now. It will contain a chip whose frequency extends 30 miles.

The Bible points to much wisdom and knowledge. Hosea 4:6 says, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Heed this saying and research the information, which can be found on "News and Views" on the Internet. Access the archives of the March 30 program featuring Catherine Albrecht, professor of philosophy, who has researched and written a book on this subject.

Elections are coming. Remember all the legislators who voted for health care, bail-outs and the Patriot Act, even though you emphatically said "No," and vote them out of office. This is the rule of law to control them. The website has more information.

M.A. Novak

Yamhill, Ore.

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