As someone who drives to California and Nevada a few times a year, and purchases large quantities of alcohol for personal use, I can call BS on the OLCC's claim of its prices being cheaper ["Booze Wars," WW, Jan. 11, 2012]. Deregulation in those states forces sellers to compete on price, allowing customers to pay much less for alcohol than in Oregon.
There's a good reason you see billboards on I-5 advertising stores just across the state line in California. Medford residents know where to go for alcohol. Portland residents will soon cross the river into Vancouver for cheaper alcohol. The OLCC will start losing money June 1 if they don't do something about it.
Here's a nickel's worth of free advice: deregulate and tax the hell out of alcohol. It's a vice—people will pay for it regardless—but allow sellers to compete on price and pass those savings to consumers (while still making money).
TAKING OUR MEDICINE
I am shocked that you are willing to put out such misinformation based on a single biased source (Oxford Handbook of Alternative Medicine) ["Heretical Healing," WW, Jan. 11, 2012]. The article is ignorant, grossly inaccurate and a complete insult to the alternative health practitioners supporting WW with ads on the page opposite the article.
Alternative medicine is not studied by Western science often or well. This is because pharmaceutical companies and universities do not stand to make money from alternative medicine, and it takes money to fund a study. The limited
studies on herbs are usually done with the sole purpose of isolating a chemical compound so a company may reproduce it and standardize or synthesize it. There is simply no profit in proving a "weed" that grows in your yard, when properly administered, can have superior healing effects to a drug that costs $15 per pill.
In the case of Eastern medicine, there are more than 5,000 years of trial and error and case study behind what is practiced today. I don't think the author's cursory reading of his single source is sufficient to sum up or advise readers in their choices of alternative medicines.
DOWN ON THE FARM
[Farmers] in Oregon all receive a generous subsidy ["Green for Acres," WW, Jan. 11, 2012]. Their property tax is not based on the value of their farms, but on some arcane calculation that allows them to pay much lower property taxes than the rest of us.
Great, they want my tax dollars to subsidize rich people's finicky eating habits.
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