Letters to the Editor for Jan. 19, 2011

By Jayson Jacoby / The Baker City Herald

Oregon lawmakers stand together after shooting

To the editor:

On Jan. 8, one of our colleagues was viciously attacked in Tucson, Ariz.She was left grievously wounded, a number of others were also injured, and six innocent people lost their lives.Among the victims were three congressional staff members in the act of assisting their constituents and serving the public.

This is a tragedy for our nation and our congressional family.

As a delegation, we stand together in denouncing this violence and any

act that threatens our ability to hear directly from Oregonians.And we

also call on all Oregonians to let this assault on our democracy serve

as a reminder of the values that unite us.

The seven of us do not always agree on policy.But we have all worked

together at various times on issues affecting Oregon and when we

disagree, we do so respectfully.

It is this respect that we need more of in our public

conversations.The heart of our democracy is the idea that we will work

through our problems with debate and dialogue, not arms.We are all

members of the same community and we must all remember that while we

may differ on priorities or approaches, we all share a common love for

our country.

Oregonians have a long tradition of civil dialogue.We all should

rededicate ourselves to strengthening that tradition in the aftermath

of the attack on Representative Giffords.

Sen. Ron Wyden

Sen. Jeff Merkley

Rep. Peter DeFazio

Rep. Earl Blumenauer

Rep. Greg Walden

Rep. David Wu

Rep. Kurt Schrader

Parents reading to kids cures many ills

To the editor:

We all know what a panacea is, and that there are very few in life. I

have become increasingly aware of one, though andndash; that could in fact help

with all of the following: reduce spending for education while

building strong students and individuals; promote communication between

parents and children; strengthen the use of public libraries; enliven

an interest in lifelong learning, in entrepreneurship, even in

participant democracy.

Wow! What could this be?

It is the commitment of a parent to read to their child, for at least 10 minutes a day.

It is a great deal more than a book and your voice.

Linda Bergeron

Halfway

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