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Illinois Valley News welcomes letters to the editor.
Please e-mail them to
dan@theivnews.com

POLICY ON LETTERS:
‘Illinois Valley News’ encourages letters to the editor provided they are legible and not libelous or scurrilous. All letters must be signed, including name, address and telephone number. The latter need not be published, but will be used to verify authenticity. The “News” reserves the right to edit letters. Letters are used at the discretion of the publisher.


(Editor’s Note: Views and commentary, including statements made as fact are strictly those of the letter writers.)

Readers shares some history
Some residents don’t know about the history of their city, the city they love to live in. Back in 1965 they set up the Fort Vannoy Job Corps which brought in people of color, the city was furious with them and forced them out of Oregon after they found out. Grants Pass was a sundown town along with Medford. All of Oregon was under the sundown town law at one point in time. A sundown town law is a law over a county that makes it to where nobody of color can spend the night in that county. Some residents proudly proclaim that Grants Pass was the last town to maintain that law. Some say their parents were klan members. There are a lot of nice people in Grants Pass but some still have those same beliefs as they did back in the day.
This is why I’m trying to make more people aware of what happened back then. Also what still happens today. Not just in Grants Pass and Medford but here in Cave Junction too. When I started this topic and showed a couple of my peers they were in shock because they had no idea that any of that happened in Grants Pass. So my call to action is we should stop racism around us. We shouldn’t make fun of our peers or be mad at them because of the color of their skin just as the people shouldn’t have in 1965.
Julian Villanueva
O’Brien

How would you feel if you saw that adorable sea otters have gone extinct?
If we don’t clean up our oceans, sea life will die out. According to the Smithsonian, “in the oceans there are 150 endangered sea animals. One of the many reasons is humans.” According to National Geographic data, “There are 5.25 trillion pieces of trash in the ocean.” Animals eat the trash because of overfishing. They can’t find fish.
Oil spills from oil rigs damage the insulation on the fur- bearing mammals. They die because of hypothermia. Imagine what it is like to die that way.
Cleaning up the ocean could save endangered animals, keeping them alive for years to come. You might say that pollution can’t harm marine life, but we have witnessed the opposite. Some species of marine have died because of pollution. If you want to help save them, I have some ways that can help. Use metal straws instead of plastic. You can reuse them unlike the plastic ones. If you get a pack of drinks that have plastic, you can cut that so animals can’t get their head stuck in there.
Callie Burdette
O’Brien

Reader addresses homeless issue
Did you know that Oregon ranks 4th in the nation for homelessness? Homelessness affects areas like Cave Junction, not just cities like Portland.
Homelessness affects adults, kids and pets too. Homeless people have to make sure that their pets have what they need like food, water and warmth. There are kids who go to our schools and don’t have a home. Those kids might stay with friends while their parents try to find a house.
In 2021 there were 636,000 homeless people in the nation, including 67,500 veterans, of which 89% received honorable discharge. 67% served for 3 or more years. 47% are veterans of the Vietnam War and 5.5% are from Afghanistan and Iraq. 76% have mental illness or substance abuse according to the University of Southern California.
Some people will say that the unhoused deserve it because they became homeless due to drugs or bad choices. But I think homeless people still need care. If they don’t get care, then the problem will only get worse.
If you would like to support homeless people, consider donating clothes, dog food, or funds to shelters. Volunteering with aid groups, or researching other ways to help make a difference.
Sincerely,
Braedan Lapora
Cave Junction

Music programs deserve kuddos too
It hurts me to see a program that has great people in it, great musicians, and a great director not represented well in this school. Band is usually seen as an unusual thing, with eccentric people. That’s okay, diversity is great, plus, band class has some great physiological benefits among the developing brains of teenagers. As we have found, band helps with confidence, teamwork, social emotional development and more. The band is currently looking for any and all opportunities to perform, recruit, or to help the community
We have interviewed 28 people around the school for these statistics and 21.4% never showed up for a sports event this year while 78.6% have. Also out of the 28 people interviewed, only 6 of them showed up to musical events, in small numbers, sure thats 21.4% but that’s still too small to show significantly. It sucks because it shows that students show up for sports more than music events
We can change that. Just show up. You don’t have to be there the whole time. Just show up for like 10 minutes or more just to appreciate what the band class does for not just the students, but the community
Bryce Merritt
Cave Junction

Tired of litter bugs
Litter damages our environment and wildlife. Litter kills or makes animals sick, like turtles, deer, bears and other smaller animals. Burning litter can hurt the atmosphere and pollute the air plus it stinks.
I see litter everywhere. I was walking down the road and found 4 condom wrappers, needle caps and needles themselves. I also found a pee bag that you get from the doctors. If someone stepped on a needle and it went into their foot they would most likely get a disease. People walk down the road everyday, including kids like my sister and I.
To clean up litter costs taxpayers 11.5 Billion dollars per year.
Why do people litter? Some people litter because they don’t have a trash can nearby, or they just leave their trash on the ground because they’re too lazy to find a trash can and they don’t have a trash bag in their vehicle. However, people still need to pick up their trash and throw it away.
People should put their trash in the garbage and even pick up litter that’s not theirs.
Sincerely,
Aiden Davenport
Cave Junction