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Protect, dont destroy, old-growth forests

Thank you for your article about the Solo timber sale (A new fight for old growth, July 1). I am a native of Portland. My grandfather brought our family out, and he worked harvesting timber in the Beaverton area. I graduated from Portland State and now study forest science in graduate school at the University of Montana.

I have visited the Solo timber sale and firmly believe that old-growth forests like it should be permanently protected. Your article gave an unbiased presentation of the sides, and I think you gave a voice and story to many people like me who have roots deep in Oregon, just like the old growth.

Thank you for your truth in reporting and for covering stories that are pertinent to the Portland community and its future generations.

David Mildrexler

Missoula, Mont.

Portland Seven story

was a great read

My compliments to Janine Robben on her article about the journey of the accused Portland Seven (The Odyssey, July 4). There are so few journalists who paint pictures with words without injecting their opinions and biases. This was an excellently written, informative piece.Ê

Rob Abramovitz

Southeast Portland

Beer tax hike would

be more than pennies

After reading Rep. Jackie Dingfelder and Sen. Bill Morrisette's commentary (Small beer tax would result in big benefits, Readers' Letters, July 1), I am left with several questions:

1) Since when is a 1,300 percent increase Ñ from $2.60 per barrel to $35.67 per barrel Ñ a 'small' increase?

2) Why is it a good thing that House Bill 2804 raises only the beer tax and not the wine tax? Is it because the vast majority of Oregon wineries pay no state excise tax, while every Oregon brewery already pays its full share of state and federal excise taxes?

3) What happened to the basic laws of economics? If you raise the price of producing any product, that higher price will be multiplied by the wholesalers' and retailers' set margins. The result will be a consumer price that is much more than 'a few pennies' higher. HB 2804 would result in $9 six-packs of Oregon-brewed craft beer. At that price, sales would drop and Oregonians would lose jobs.

4) Which states are they trying to keep up with in terms of massive beer tax increases? In the past two years, only four states have increased their beer taxes. Tennessee's tax raised a whopping 7 percent Ñ from $4.03 to $4.34. Nebraska's rose 35 percent, from $7.13 to $9.61. Utah's increased 17 percent, from $10.85 to $12.71. Each of those increases would be dwarfed by the rate our legislators are proposing, and none of those states boasts a craft-brewing industry that accounts for 10 percent of all beer consumed within the state and more than 2,600 jobs.

The largest increase in the past two years, Alaska's 100 percent jump from $16.43 to $33.17, follows the federal excise tax model and exempts the first 60,000 barrels produced from the higher rate.

Since the federal excise tax doubled in 1991, only 12 states have increased their beer tax. New York has dropped its beer tax each year since 2001. There is no national trend toward raising beer taxes.

It is time for our legislators to stop trying to sell their excessive tax increases with half-truths and outright lies. A 1,300-percent tax increase aimed at one industry is unfair and will result in much higher prices and lost jobs in an industry that already pays its fair share of taxes.

Jim Parker

Oregon Brewers Guild

Gresham