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Letters to the Editor: 11-7-2013

PULLING PLUG ON ESD

It is so shockingly disheartening that 4J has turned its back on Lane County’s children by withdrawing from the Education Service District. The philosophy that makes ESD functional, by supplying important educational services, is based on all players playing. When the biggest district pulls the plug on essential services that benefit all of Lane County’s students, the system suffers irreparable damage. Due to its size, 4J doesn’t think they need the ESD, but many of our smaller school districts rely on crucial ESD services that they can’t afford on their own. 

Kudos to Springfield and Bethel for being team players. Only advocating for your own, 4J, will ultimately bring us all down. 

Michelle Holman, Deadwood 

 

EVERYONE’S CONCERN

We often hear that “hungry people are not the government’s concern.” But as FOOD for Lane County executive director Beverlee Hughes has explained, these are our neighbors, our classmates, our coworkers, and the average food stamp allocation is just $130 per person per month. The recent cut in food stamps will lower the monthly food assistance to more than 811,000 Oregonians, including 181,334 school-age students. 

Yes, the number requesting food stamps is growing! Yes, food is becoming more expensive! For the world’s richest country to now take the food out of the mouths of our low-income neighbors is unthinkable but it has really happened. Tell our representatives in Congress we want cuts restored. Remember, too, that FOOD for Lane County needs our support more than ever! 

 Ruth Duemler, Eugene

 

WE ARE ALL NATIVES

While I agreed with most of the points made in Kayla Godowa Tufti’s column [10/31] on the UO, I felt that she missed a good opportunity to educate others due to her incorrect approach. She wrote, “Let’s not be naïve and convince ourselves that the same sexist, racist, oppressive, colonist institution that is responsible for the mockery and marginalization of our disenfranchised communities gives a damn about us.” This statement makes a generalization about the UO community that is overly pessimistic and leads to a closure of communication between the two parties. The statement creates an enemy where there need not be one. Has there been a history of racism, sexism and colonialism in Oregon? Yes, obviously. But to make things better you have to reach out to others and educate them in a way that doesn’t first throw mud in their faces. 

There is a unity underlying all human beings that can be tapped into and used wisely. We are all natives of somewhere. We have all been disenfranchised in some way. I don’t say this to lessen your individual story; I tell you this so that you can use it to unify people, so that the work of healing can begin. When you see yourself as others, and others see themselves as you, then we can make some progress as a human race.

F. Scott Zarnegar, Saginaw

 

RESPONSE FROM UO

We write to address and apologize for our failure to acknowledge the source of the Halloween letter Kayla Godowa Tufti mentions in her “She Who Watches” column Oct. 31, “Fake Apologies, False Hope.”

As supervisors of University of Oregon’s Bias Response Team, we work with numerous students, one of whom recommended that a letter be sent out to UO students like the “respectful Halloween” letter that had been sent out at the University of Minnesota.

We did not know the letter had been taken verbatim by our student from the Minnesota letter. We recognize that we should have inquired more directly of the student before adding the names of Vice President Robin Holmes and Yvette Alex-Assensoh to what was presented as a draft letter for them to sign if they liked it.

We take plagiarism very seriously at the UO and acknowledge our failure to prevent it in this situation. We have reached out to the original writers of the letter and apologized for our failure to source their work.

We will use this as an opportunity to support our students in their learning process and will emphasize the importance of upholding the highest academic and administrative standards in our work.

 Chicora Martin, UO Assistant Dean of Students and Maure Smith-Benanti, UO Assistant Director of LGBTESSP

 

MORE FEMALE BOOKERS

The cover article last week [10/31] cites Mac Goodwin of Oak Street Speakeasy as the lone female booker in Eugene. No disrespect to Mac and the impressive amount of work she does, but I call bullshit. I have been booking shows in Eugene for almost two years now under the title of Behavior Castle. Katie Stavasano has been setting up shows with Small Howl for several years, hosting heaps of rad ladies, women and girls of every genre almost weekly. I’m sure there are other ladies booking, too.

I grew up in Eugene and in the past few years, I was frustrated at the lack of bands I wanted to see playing here. I also grew up attending Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls in Portland, and after that, hosting The Girls Room radio show on KWVA for five years. More than anyone, I wanted to see actual up close and personal, live and in the flesh girls playing music. I also wanted loud rock ’n’ roll, not the singer-songwriter stuff that I enjoy quietly at home alone.

Instead of complaining, I started to set up my own shows with the help of my boyfriend, Sammy. Lots of bands want to play in Eugene, and our little operation has been growing with every event. The author claims there are few female bands playing in Eugene. In the past year, we’ve hosted three rad bands containing all-female members. Almost every one of our shows has had at least one girl in one of the bands. Just because a show isn’t billed as a “girl band” doesn’t mean there aren’t ladies rocking it. 

You may not see these shows listed in the R-G, so how do you find out about them? Check your neighborhood phone pole, House of Records or even the bulletin board at your friendly downtown grocery store, and you’ll find a flier. Follow the blogs of people you like in town, the artists, photographers, musicians; they’re sure to post about a fun show coming up. Skip one fancy coffee drink or pack of smokes and spend that $5 attending a concert of a band you’ve never heard of. Leave your house instead of hiding behind your laptop, and see what’s happening. In November, we’re hosting five amazing bands with female members: White Mystery, Soothesayers, Big Eyes, Martian Manhunter and La Luz. 

Eugene’s music scene is exploding and I feel sorry for anyone who isn’t participating or hasn’t noticed. Anyone is welcome to come party at our shows, no matter what age, gender or genre.

Find out about Behavior Castle shows on Facebook.

Amelia Hart, Eugene

 

 

 

DESIGNED TO FAIL

Five percent of the world’s population, the U.S. consumes a third of the world’s resources and makes nearly half the waste. America, the hub of capitalism, rewards products that are made fallible, that will end up in a landfill or the oceans unable to be repaired. It’s planned that way so that consumers will have to buy that product anew.

It is not a matter of technical knowledge or lack of resilient materials that’s the problem. The problem is that our present economy rewards shareholders more if they sell two (or more) items than if they produce for consumers one durable one. The externalities or costs not accounted for are extra material, transport energy, labor and poor quality. 

A pair of sneakers, a car or any other manufactured good that is intentionally designed to break down before its full potential is achieved may make a profit to a minority of CEOs and will add to the economy in the form of taxes, but I argue that looking at this from a wider perspective, the rest of the world ends up losing. Aside from filling landfills with garbage, we produce many times more the toxins that end up in water, air and soil.

To end this problem we have nothing less than to look at capitalism, which rewards profit and ignores consequences for the rest of life on Earth.

Humanity has in its history come up with minds capable of creating goods efficiently. The greedy, money-only-oriented people should give way to them.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene