Opinion

Letters to the Editor

In response to ‘healthy meals’ article on Jan. 8
Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the article on Jan. 8 on the healthy meals at Creswell School District.
Giving credit where credit is due. We continually hear that the main goal of the district management and school board is “It’s all about the children.” Reading the details of the article is a bit infuriating and shows an unbelievable hypocrisy in the management of our school system. There are two main items mentioned that need clarified.
Moving lunch to after recess (Play Before you Eat) is a great idea, but as a concern for the children we should know the history of how this came about.
Previous administration scheduled as much as possible to have recess before lunch to avoid wasting of food, and trouble in the lunch room and classroom. This I confirmed by asking the previous principal.
The current principal changed that schedule a year after his arrival to make sure everyone had lunch in a timely matter and was out to recess as quickly as possible because they were eating too slowly; the concern was clearing the lunch room, not lunch.
I was made aware of multiple staff complaints to the principal and superintendent as well as my complaint to the superintendent in addition to theirs (about) low child participation and sometimes massive food waste as well as disruptive behavior during lunch.
My research found that many schools had done this (recess before lunch) across the country as well as many in Oregon such as Madras before ours started five-plus years ago now.
My complaints on this matter are in fact known to the entire school board, superintendent and principal; odd we would support by patting someone on the back for fixing a problem they created.
(Principal Ryan) Beck’s dream of bringing back the salad bar: Original salad bar was removed because they could not keep it clean and safe for others, kids coughing in and on it, handling food that others eat, etc. The salad bar was removed to protect the children, reinstated to satisfy a dream.
Putting the salad bar back in one of the worst flu seasons is a very big, big risk for the children, during an unusually bad flu season, this may prove to be a very unsafe choice.
So everyone’s happy and giving certificates to ourselves because we are now fixing what we broke and knew five-plus years ago.
We commend those who strive to improve our school; should we not also condemn those who worsen it?
Could the salad bar be a health risk in our current setting? What of the five-plus years our children were hurried through lunch because the priority of speed was more important that a healthy meal?
One of the best things we can provide the children is honesty, truthfulness and accountability, not giving awards for participation, simply doing our jobs or awarding those who fixed problems they themselves created.
Thank you,

Whyat S. Ocumpaugh
Creswel
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Renewable fuel mandate benefits environment
To the Editor,

Biofuels made here in the U.S. provide Americans with many benefits outside of the cost savings we enjoy at the pump. However, thanks to the spread of misinformation by petroleum companies, most of the general public is unaware of the positive impact biofuels have on rural economies, our health and the environment.
The prospect of continued success for biofuels relies on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), a government mandate which sets yearly volume requirements for biofuel production.
Since the birth of the RFS, biofuels like ethanol made from corn have replaced carcinogenic additives in our fuel that have been linked to smog. Thus, ethanol has made burning fuel a cleaner, healthier process by improving the quality of air we breathe.
Studies have also shown conventional ethanol blends can reduce carbon emissions by up to 43 percent. But what’s really encouraging is the potential in advanced and cellulosic biofuels. Experts indicate these more efficient biofuel products could double the carbon reductions we already see.
Something else to consider is the role ethanol plays in America’s rural communities. The RFS provides farmers some much-needed stability through incentives. Production facilities also provide thousands of quality jobs in rural communities and pump billions into local economies. All the while helping the United States become more innovative and independent when it comes to our energy sources.
Unfortunately for us, opponents of the RFS are stubborn and continuously attempt to weaken or repeal the mandate. Support in congress is needed to maintain this legislation; please contact your representative to let them know you stand for cleaner, more affordable biofuels.

Sincerely,

Jake Gibson
University of Oregon student