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Letters to the Editor: 6-13-2013

PEOPLE WANT STADIUM

Since 2008 I have been involved with Civic Stadium. I have been actively selling my book Eugene’s Civic Stadium at Eugene’s prestigious Saturday Market, the Holiday market, the Lane County Fair, Art and the Vineyard, the State Fair author’s table and at other crafts and artist’s fairs around our state. I have also made presentations at Eugene’s Public Library, Lane County’s Museum and other museums. In other words I have been out meeting the public face-to-face, eye-to-eye. The overwhelming response that I have personally witnessed is that the majority of people in this community and state want to save Civic Stadium.

Yet the wishes of the people are continually ignored. Sure the school district needs money, the Y needs a new home, but not at the expense of demolishing a valuable building that is on the National Register of Historic Places. Cannot someone please come up with a legitimate offer that saves our stadium and utilizes the field, as it was originally intended — “recreational purposes?” This is what the majority of people in this community want.

 Joe R. Blakely, Eugene

 

ONE TIME MONEY?

The Eugene budget committee is struggling with how to close the $6 million budget gap for the next year. They know they have about $7 million or $8 million set aside for the construction of the new and improved City Hall. They know that this money was set aside in the past because it was surplus earnings — the amount received over what they had spent. They did not raise taxes to be able to set that money aside.

But now they label that fund as “one time money.” And some of them seemed to think it couldn’t be used for anything but a City Hall. To start the building process they plan to allocate $15 million. They haven’t decided yet where this money will come from. The $7 million or $8 million will not be sufficient.

And some on the committee feel that spending that “one time money” on needed services for the community is just not proper. No matter who gets laid off of their job or how bad the results of the projected cuts are to various programs, they do not want to spend those “one time monies” that were previously set aside for a new City Hall.

We should all tell them that we would support paying for a new City Hall with bond money to be paid back over the next 30 years, but only if they use the present “one time money” to cover the emergency needs of the present time.

The following year it is projected that we will have a budget gap again of about the same amount. Now is the time to start planning for that. I, for one, would have some excellent suggestions on how they could deal with that. I’ll bet you would have also.

Bob Cassidy, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter came in too late to run last week. The Budget Committee did use reserves and anticipated PERS savings to avoid the threatened service cuts for FY 2014. 

 

BITTER ABOUT BUST

On May 24 the R-G published an article about the Oregon State Police/Lane Narcotics Team shutdown of the 16th and Oak St. The Greener Side, an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program-approved dispenser. Its workers were arrested. As an OMMP card holder I’m angered by this bust; the close-in Green Side was my dispenser. I’d expected to see the EW’s take on this May 30, but nada.

I’m bitter about the bust and others like it in Eugene and other parts of Oregon. I’m bitter that the cops haven’t the courage to take on the cartels and gangs who deal actual narcotics.

Bitter on a personal level: I maintain that the state, by so empowering its police, is engaging in a breech of contract with me. I paid an OMMP-approved referral agency with its physician a hefty fee before completing the application for the card. I also paid a fee to the state — and that’s the point here. I’m paying the state for my right to get medical pot and they’re funding cops who are denying me my right. They’re ripe for a lawsuit. Any other cardholders out there who feel the same? Let’s start the wheel rolling.

John Hickam, Eugene

 

BUY EAR PLUGS

Regarding Lynn Porter and his “Taking Shelter” letter June 6: I will take a stab at his complaints (third party) about the homeless shelter at the Eugene Mission.

• The Mission is too noisy — purchase some inexpensive ear plugs; these work wonders.

• Mattresses on the floor — good for back support, no worse than a box spring. 

• Food has gotten worse — look elsewhere for food, options abound in Eugene. How bad is the food, really? 

• No more donuts — better for one’s health to avoid these, certainly not a good way to gain weight. 

• Mission requiring lodgers put in 1.5 hours of work for stay — work is good for the soul. 

• Conflict with hours of existing job — negotiate with management on hours, hard to believe the Mission wouldn’t show flexibility. 

• No privacy taking showers — open bay is no different from how it’s done in the military. 

There, solutions to his stated issues, and certainly no need to build sleeping camps (his idea) across Eugene. 

Karl Hodge, Eugene

 

BE SURE TO THANK ‘EM

The R-G’s lack of coverage of the recent Monsanto protest should not especially surprise anybody, hardly more than ongoing testimony to the purchasability in general of that rag — but that’s another matter.

Now Oregonians really have something to protest about. Monsanto’s GMO-spreading Johnny Appleseeds just cost Oregon’s economy $200-odd million in canceled grain shipments to Japan. Regardless of what the American public is willing to slop up, the Japanese won’t have that crap in their food supply and they’re quite willing to cancel their wheat imports from Oregon (like they did last week) to keep it out.

Mind you, half of Oregon’s multi-billion dollar wheat crop goes to Japan and South Korea. My guess is you can kiss this year’s crop good-bye in those regards. That’s a lot of money, jobs, non-GMO bread on the table, etc. that Monsanto and their outrageously self-serving friends at Oregonians for Food and Shelter just chucked out the window on your behalf. Be sure to thank them in kind (even our toe-the-line papers might well cover such an act of gratitude).

Kevin Tatro, Eugene

 

ENTHUSIASM FOR GARDENS

I’d like to second your recognition of Lorri Nelson for all of her incredible work with the Courthouse Garden and now the Edison Elementary School Farm (EW, May 30). Lorri has also been an invaluable supporter of the School Garden Project nearly since our inception in 2001.

I do feel it’s important to point out that the School Garden Project of Lane County, a local community nonprofit organization that works with schools in many school districts in Lane County, was founded by Emily Dietzman and Colby Eiermann in 2001. School Garden Project began as a seminar in the Landscape Architecture Department at UO, but it quickly became clear that the interest and enthusiasm for educational school gardens in Lane County was bigger than a seminar could handle! The School Garden Project became a recognized nonprofit in early 2002. Since then, with essential financial and volunteer help from throughout our community, we have served thousands of children in more than 70 schools in seven Lane County school districts.

School Garden Project helps Lane County schools create, sustain and use onsite gardens by providing resources, professional consultation and educational programming. We are committed to a future in which school garden education helps children become healthy adults who eat their fruits and vegetables, know the basics of growing food and contribute to a thriving community. We offer both in-school and after-school garden-based educational programs, as well as a variety of support services to schools with on-site gardens.

Please visit schoolgardenproject.org for more information and to learn how you can support school garden education in Lane County. And thank you again, to Lorri and all of our supporters.

 John Moriarty, executive director, School Garden Project

 

ON GLOBAL WARMING

Elected officials have performed poorly in addressing the global warming crisis, for example favoring the private automobile instead of improving public transit. But we can’t wait for the voters to kick them out of office.

The 2011 Durban Conference called on countries to negotiate a new global warming treaty by December 2015, less than three years away. The world’s poor countries must see a new accord as being fair enough for them to sign.

Global warming negotiations are not going to be able to bypass the U.S. Congress. On May 4, U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse made some remarks on the Citizens Climate Lobby monthly educational conference call. He said that Republicans might be attracted to a carbon tax measure under which all the money would go back to households because such legislation would not involve the government picking winners and losers, and would not increase the size of the federal budget.

He also said that wobbly Democrats representing states that mine coal or use coal for energy would need to see a hand reaching out to them to help with the transition.

Milton Takei, Eugene

 

AMERICAN FASCISM

“Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.” — Benito Mussolini

Corporatism revealed itself this week in a small tuft of wheat that would not die. What did die was Oregon’s $500 million wheat export business. Farmers can not bring lawsuits against Monsanto because of a law, the “Monsanto Protection Act,” just recently signed by President Obama that protects Monsanto from lawsuits over any health risks related to their GMO seeds. Michael Taylor, appointed by Obama to be the Deputy Commissioner for Foods, was a VP at Monsanto. 

The FDA assures us that GMOs are safe. The FDA does not test GMOs for safety but just rubber-stamps non-peer reviewed studies from Monsanto as evidence. Monsanto’s aggressive tactics have allowed them to control over 70 percent of the world’s food supply. Monsanto is controlling any research that would expose their company to the death of honey bees by buying Beelogics, the major research firm devoted to studying the effects of chemicals on bee colony collapse. The only thing we have left to fight back against this corporatism is hope that a consumer grassroots revolution will flourish. After Pandora opened the box of evils the only thing left in the box was hope.

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain