Your Views Sunday, June 18

Can’t have it both ways

Regarding “For the green religion faithful, U.S. a heretic for Paris move” (Washington Examiner Opinion, June 9): Referring to environmentalists’ and scientific data’s concerns regarding climate change as “cant,” “jargon” and “empty invocations” and putting those concerns under an umbrella of the “rites of a religious faith” further illustrates the blurring of lines between political and ideological views that, in the end, can never come to a mutual agreement. Elementary phrases such as “Liberal environmentalists” and “European corridors of power” only underscore the need to break away from such school playground name-calling. The “rites of a religious faith” which the editorial uses as a detriment to critical thinking in this context, is, at the same time, used here in Oklahoma as a means for political thinking in other contexts. You cannot have it both ways.

Dirk Crockett, Yukon

Mow, mow, mow

Our state highway department is going full steam ahead and damn the terrible budget crisis. It’s mow, mow, mow the state right-of-ways from fence to fence no matter what. Never mind that Oklahoma’s gorgeous wildflowers are in full bloom and trying to make seeds for next year. And don’t worry about our native wildlife trying to nest in the grasses along our highways — they can make do with our overgrazed and overplowed farm land. It’s every plant and animal for themselves, just as long as the right-of-ways are shaved within an inch of exposing bare soil. Money’s plentiful for our highway department’s plundering of Oklahoma’s God-given natural beauty.

Jerry Hoyt, Caddo

Consolidation and tax hikes

Regarding “OKC sales tax proposal unsettled after public hearing” (News, June 14): City council members seemed stumped that calls for education funding draw more support than the street proposal the council plans to put before voters. Reluctant to address the pay crisis in Oklahoma City schools, the council invited proposals for solutions. The school board’s announcement that raises had been achieved for teachers sadly amounted to $6 per week for new teachers, not an incentive to attract the best teaching candidates. Oklahoma City’s 620 square miles contain 24 independent school districts, an obscene waste and duplication of services that must be consolidated with savings going to teacher salaries. District consolidation along with property tax increases can solve the problem if we commit to making it work.

Jon Womastek Oklahoma City

Against budget cut

The proposed budget of the U.S. Department of Energy closes the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL). Closure of SSRL will hurt Oklahoma because 12 research labs at OU, OU Health Sciences Center, and OSU do critical experiments at SSRL. These labs have brought more than $20 million in research funds into Oklahoma. They have employed and trained more than 100 scientists.

SSRL generates X-rays 1,000-times more intense than the X-rays generated in Oklahoma labs. The more intense X-rays give clearer pictures of the atomic structure of matter. These are important in biology, medicine, drug development, geology, industrial chemistry, nanotechnology and semiconductors.

Twelve labs in Oklahoma use SSRL because SSRL best meets their research needs. Without SSRL, the Oklahoma labs will become less competitive and have more trouble winning new funds. These new funds are needed to pay the salaries of their employees.

Blaine Mooers, Edmond

Mooers is chairman of the SSRL Users Executive Committee.