Letters to the editor

September 3, 2008

By Staff

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Here’s to the new style and character of the City Council
I‘ve watched the Newcastle City Council for five years. In the past, it often appeared that council members came to the meeting with their minds made up. The public comments and council discussion seemed to have minimal impact on their decision.

The recent 4-3 decision regarding the May Creek entrance parcel was more than a close vote. It could be a new style and character for the council. Congratulations to Newcastle Trails and especially to Garry Kampen and Peggy Price for their ongoing efforts. And thank you to citizens who took the time to speak and to the council for doing their job.

It’s encouraging to see the willingness of some council members to adjust to changing conditions. That will be important as the city faces other challenges ahead.
John Jensen
Newcastle

Initiative 1000 ensures that life ends with ‘purpose and decency’
Ms. Tosch’s letter (“Death with Dignity initiative devalues life” in the August edition of Newcastle News) in opposition to Initiative 1000 displays some common misunderstandings about the measure.

First, rather than “devaluing life,” my right to die without unnecessary pain only underscores my belief that my life should end as I have lived it – with purpose and decency. The measure in no way infringes anyone else’s right to die in any manner that accords with their beliefs.

Second, rather than adding to the government’s power, I-1000 would redress the present situation in which the law makes me a criminal for deciding that, since I am dying anyway, I will abbreviate my suffering.

Again, I-1000 imposes no duty on those who wish to experience every last second of torment on their way to the grave.

Third, Oregon’s 10 years of experience with a virtually identical law has shown that it does not “open the door for abuse.”

By requiring the consent of two doctors to let the dying person self-administer the lethal drugs, I-1000 ensures that only the sufferer can choose if and when to perform the final act. Far from requiring others to “give our blessing” to anyone’s decision, I-1000 removes the power of others to control my decision on how much suffering I deserve.

Lastly, I-1000 is a solution for those who believe in a loving God. Surely, he who made this wonderful world and gave us life to enjoy it cannot want our exit from it to be a prolonged misery that tortures both patients and the loved ones who care for them.

As the many clergy who support I-1000 realize, this measure is necessary to ensure that those in need can use their God-given free will to choose the peaceful end we all would wish for.
Sue Beverly
Newcastle

Chamber of Commerce behind the success of Newcastle Days
I am so proud to see that Newcastle Days has become such a successful community event. Hard-working volunteers, primarily from the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, planted the seeds for this event in 1994.

We shared the vision of creating a sense of community in our newly formed city, and worked hard to make it happen. Each year, the event grew larger, and live entertainment was always a key element.

Eventually, Newcastle Days grew too large for volunteers to manage and the city took over planning by 1998. It keeps getting better year after year, and has grown into its present-day format. Amazing!
Ron Todd
Former Newcastle mayor, now living in Shalimar, Fla.

Concerns about lighting at Renton Academy
My wife and daughter are concerned with the overall appearance of the old Hazelwood School and why all the exterior/security lights are off at night. Do you think that Hazelwood is just so far out in the hinterlands that the buildings are forgotten by downtown?
Glen Young
Newcastle

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