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Letters to the Editor: 3-20-2014

DEFORESTATION LOOMS

As I sit here, thunderous crashes accompanied by chainsaws dominate the acoustics in my home. Trees that provide clean water, air, habitat for  healthy, diverse forest eco-systems and sequester carbon are being clearcut in front of my eyes. Deforestation is the second-biggest cause of climate change, and habitat destruction is the major reason for species extinctions. The BLM had an information and public comment forum in Springfield recently, planning to dismantle the Northwest Forest Plan in case [Sen. Ron] Wyden’s O&C bill fails to do so. Wyden’s bill would clearcut 1.6 million acres of our healthy public forests as logging on private land has destroyed the forests, leaving tree plantations.

The public forests in the Pacific Northwest are one of 10 of the most carbondense forests in the world. From Northern California to Alaska, these temperate rainforests are essential to help mitigate climate change and protect the biodiversity of species. The forum the BLM hosted in Portland only had about 13 attendees; clearly, this issue is critical and the public deserves more transparency and accessibility. 

Public comment deadline is March 31. See BLM plans for “Resource Management for Western Oregon” at http://wkly.ws/1pb.

Don Alexander, Dexter

 

DELAYED FLIGHTS

We had an experience on another recent date of a midflight cancellation [see Biz Beat last week]. We left Portland late, which is not uncommon for the last flight of the day. After leaving PDX on Horizon at 12:30 am Feb. 9, our initial in-flight announcement stated conditions were OK and that we would be landing in a half hour, but as we approached Eugene, we were told that the weather or wind recorded announcements had ceased and there was no one there to restart the announcements or provide necessary weather information.

We ended up turning around and going back to Portland, arriving there at about 1:30 am, spending the night and flying out the next day.

This may happen more than is publicly acknowledged.

Alan Cohn, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: We asked Cathryn Stephens, deputy airport director, about this and she tells us the FAA’s Automated Surface Observing System was “working intermittently” for several days, but has been fixed. “Overall, this does not happen often,” she says.

 

REGULAR BUS IS NO PICNIC

The other day, a matter of personal business occasioned me west on 11th Avenue. Although I would have arrived earlier and closer to my final destination had I availed LTD’s #76/Oakpatch, it was while aboard the #43/West 11th I came to recognize the true victims in the battle over LTD expansion are the very ones I was riding with, and the countless others who do business along this stretch and rely upon LTD to get them there and back. 

Whatever those obnoxious “No Build” signs would lead one to believe, the fact is riding #43/West 11th is a less-than-pleasurable experience on a good day. A roomier, more frequent EMX would not relieve all problems, but it would be quite an improvement from what’s currently available. I would encourage those who oppose LTD expansion to ride this route with those very customers who patronize your very establishments (and thus, put food on your tables) and to appreciate those who suffer the indignity and indignation of the ride, only to suffer the indignity and indignation of your prices. But don’t forget to proudly display your “No Build” pin.

Adam Dale Howard, Eugene

 

THE PARASITIC RICH

In response to a criticism [letter by Todd Anderson] March 6 of my Feb. 20 letter:

Human society cannot survive if it is being sucked dry by a parasitic class. The rich in our present-day society, worldwide as well as in the U.S., are sucking dry the people who, by their labor, make things and make things work. They are sucking dry the ecosystems on which we all depend. They are sucking the oil, gas and coal out of the ground and from under the sea, and spewing it in Earth’s air, water and soil, destroying the ability of the planet to sustain life. They are destroying the rainforests of the Amazon, Indonesia and Africa. They are sucking the life out of the oceans and poisoning the air, water and soil with biocidal chemicals.

The parasite class acts as if they are unaware of their own dependency on Earth’s ecosystems for support of their own lives. Perhaps they believe they are going to be raptured into heaven as reward for their rape of a planet that supports lives that number more than all the dollars stolen by all the rich men alive, or who have lived or ever will live. If they believe this, they are insane. If they don’t believe this, they are insane. As the ability of our planet to support life continues to deteriorate because of ecological collapse and heating of the atmosphere and oceans, they will be helpless. 

Most of the 99.9 percent understand our interdependence, and that is why we may survive. The rich, in presuming to be better, smarter, stronger and more deserving, are condemning themselves. 

The poor will always be with us. The rich, maybe not. 

Ann Tattersall, Eugene 

 

LET’S BE FAIR 

The new county administrator is getting a pay raise before he even gets started. The board justified it by comparing his salary to what it would be in Nevada to compensate for the state income tax he has to pay here. Nevada doesn’t have a state income tax but does have a sales tax that he would be subject to. The commissioners should audit his yearly Oregon purchases and tax him accordingly.

Vince Loving, Eugene

 

CROWD CONTROL PRICKS

Tool was great! The sound guy sucked in my opinion. I was sitting directly behind the soundboard and could barely hear Maynard. His vocals were blown out by the music. Turn up the mic! The crowd control people were out of control, the biggest pricks ever. The Tacoma Dome was awesome, the Rose Garden was, too; the security at those venues were practically invisible, left you alone if you weren’t causing trouble. 

The security at Matt Arena made it their business to get into your business every chance they got. They really ruined my experience there; they constantly got in my face if I wasn’t in my seat. It was like I was in high school detention. 

Just above my seat was a landing, balcony kind of area. I stood up there for a little while after I came back from the restroom because I could not get to my seat. A security guy asked me to go sit down and I told him I could not get to my seat at the moment. He had a shitty attitude and said, “What do you mean you can’t get to your seat.” I said, “My problem is you guys, why are you harassing everybody?” He yelled in my face, “Well, if you are going to be a dick about it!” I said, “You guys are the dicks!” 

I showed him my ticket and said, “I want my money back!” He grabbed my ticket, tore it up and started walking off, “Follow me! Now!” I turned and walked the other way into the crowd and back to my seat. 

The Matt Knight Arena sucks as a venue. It will have to be a very compelling show to get me to go there again, if at all.

Nate Beyerlin, Eugene

 

A LIGHT GOES OUT

Back in September of 2009 a dear friend of mine was featured in the “Happening People” feature written by Paul Neevel. Vikki Perpinan has lived a life where she has given back to her community, and now it's time for us to give back to her. Her son Matt Perpinan passed away Feb. 21 in Springfield. He was one of the lights of her life, as she has always been a very supportive mother. 

Along with Jaime, her husband, she weathered the trials of raising a disabled child, who turned out to be a pretty amazing person. He loved video games, especially Mario Kart. He was a wonderful person and he will be missed. A fund has been set up to pay for the costs of his passing. Please help if you can. See http://wkly.ws/1pa.

Crystal Richter, Eugene

 

 

MINOR GENIUSES ARE KEY 

Malcolm Gladwell begins his book What the Dog Saw by stating, “You don’t start at the top if you want to find the story. You start in the middle, because it’s the people in the middle who do the actual work in the world.” Bob Warren [Viewpoint, 2/27], are you listening?

It is a myth that our local economies can’t survive without large corporate companies. It is the “minor geniuses” Gladwell was speaking of that create the small businesses and employ the largest number of employees that generates the largest income for this country. It is easy to toss around large numbers of what large companies do in size of employees and money, yet they absolutely do not equal what the minor geniuses of the world create. 

But, in usual fashion, companies like Hynix and Sony are hailed by people like Warren as having been “the largest property taxpayer in Lane County.” False! The people of Lane County are the largest taxpayers. But are huge tax exemptions and subsidies offered to the people who make this country run, the people? No, yet it is the “middle” who finance the large investments of infrastructure for the corporate leeches through subsidies, tax exemptions and taxes, being told that if we don’t, they will either not come or will leave if not given further holier-than-thou status. 

And companies that put our towns, cities and environments at risk have made sure that laws are written to not hold them accountable for the clean-up costs and potential messes left behind. 

This past year, 1,700 of the world’s billionaires saw their wealth skyrocket an extra trillion dollars! Could it be off the backs of the world’s populace, not from product, but from corporate welfare?

Sean S. Doyle, Corvallis

 

OUR STUNNING HYPOCRISY

President George H. W. Bush assured Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev that after the Warsaw Pact was dismantled, the West would not bring members into NATO. President Bill Clinton promptly broke that promise. 

The U.S. reaction to Soviet missiles in Cuba almost brought us to nuclear war. Yet the U.S. seeks to place missiles in Poland, clearly enhancing its ability to launch a nuclear first strike on Russia, and now wants to control Ukraine. 

Neo-con Victoria Nuland, senior adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney and now with the State Department, plotted to overthrow Ukraine’s corrupt, but elected, government. The Neo-Nazi Svoboda Party and Right Factor militias seized weapons from armories, fired on police and protesters and took power by force. See wkly.ws/1pe.

President Obama accuses Russia of “aggression” for sending troops to Crimea to prevent a similar coup, which would further threaten both Russian security and the predominantly Russian-speaking population, and protests the supposed violation of international law. 

This stunning hypocrisy — given the U.S. destruction of Iraq — risks World War III for the sake of U.S. hegemony. 

Putin’s March 4 press conference, transcribed at wkly.ws/1pd, and Noam Chomsky’s Hegemony or Survival are two among many useful sources of further information. 

Robert Roth, Eugene

 

IMMINENT COLLAPSE

The use of toxic, potent industrial pesticides in the past year has not only set bee die-offs at record levels, but has also begun to have an impact on the foundation of this country’s agriculture industry, threatening the entire U.S. with the loss of its ability to successfully grow its own food. This ecosystem decline, economic decline and potential human suffering as a result should be very concerning to you.

According to the USDA, we do not have enough live bees left to pollinate one-third of the crops we grow in this country. Those crops include more than 95 varieties of fruits and vegetable across all 50 states. We have lost the ability to grow the food we need by natural methods and as we continue to allow the use of heavy commercial pesticides, such as systemic neonicotinoid insecticides, to kill more bees, we are only hurrying the imminent collapse of this country’s $125-billion-a-year pollination services.

One way to get rid of these pesticides is to support a new federal bill, the Saving America’s Pollinators Act (HR 2692), which would suspend the use of systemic neonicotinoid insecticides and would direct the EPA to perform more thorough investigations and studies into these pesticides and their uses. I wholeheartedly support this bill and have already contacted my district representative to urge him to do the same.

I urge you to call your representative and ask that they protect bees from harm, and ultimately protect our agricultural way of life from harm. The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (NCAP) is very much involved with propelling this bill into legislative fruition, and you can visit their website (pesticide.com) to learn more.

Adam DiPaola, UO student

 

 

WHAT ABOUT RESPECT?

I’m living in Eugene as a new Oregonian, and I’m so curious about the culture of this town. I’m confused and frustrated by what seems to be a constant, overbearing push for rights and respect for the homeless.

You want compassion and respect. I get that. But what about respect for the everyday citizen?

I’m tired of walking to get groceries only to be screamed at by a drunk guy with a shopping cart who thinks I have his shoes. I’m sick of going downtown at night for fun, only to accidentally step into a big, fresh puddle of bum urine. I’m frustrated that I have to pull up to every stoplight at such a certain distance just to avoid a staring contest with someone who wants me to give them my hard-earned cash. I’m annoyed that to play a round of disc golf, I must endure the banter of at least one group of homeless that has camped out under the big shade tree to smoke weed and drink beer all day. 

Is this really how you want to welcome new taxpayers?

Are you so afraid of offending the few, that you’ll instead let them offend everyone else?

Elizabeth Anderson Eugene 

 

COLLECTIVE SUICIDE

Politicians’ favorite line is “Grow the economy and create jobs.” Has anyone in high places figured out that to grow the economy in a finite planet, with finite space and finite resources is collective suicide? And jobs; I’m all for doing what needs to be done, but to go out of our way to find activities that in the most part are detrimental to our life support systems doesn’t strike me as “God’s work.” It seems that the powers that be want us occupied and indebted so that we are weakened and can’t fight against prevalent injustice, i.e by thinking. 

With the technology used in logging, for example, where a machine grabs a tree, cuts it at the base, then strips it and finally deposits the log ready to be transported on a truck is providing for two jobs max. Is this pillaging of the forest what the foresters believe will provide family wage jobs for whole communities? Besides, the milling is often done offshore in floating rigs where the foreign workers get paid pennies and no taxes come to the U.S.

I would be happy if the top half-percent earners, the richest corporations and banks paid up to 91 percent in taxes like in the 1940s and ‘50s, what’s called the Golden Age of Capitalism by economists. This would be what I envisioned as a kid when my friends and I talked about the future: Because of technology, life would be a lot easier.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene

 

RAPID BEE DECLINE

As you may already know, bees provide an invaluable service to food production and the overall health of our ecosystems through pollination. Their services to the food industry are valued at around $15 billion to $20 billion per year. If we don’t act now, agribusinesses will struggle globally due to the loss of these helpful pollinators. It’s hard to be sure but experts are estimating that the decline is more than 50 percent amongst the bee populations.

The cause of this rapid decline is anything but natural. After many scientific studies, the cause has been pinned to a type of pesticide called neonictinoids. Dinotefuran, the destructive chemical within neonictinoids, is suspected to have contributed to the largest bee die-off in the U.S. which killed around 50, 000 bees in Wilsonville, Ore. 

To prevent mass bee wipeouts like this I urge you to support the Saving Americas Pollinators act (HR 2692). I am personally very opposed to the use of neonicinoids being used for the health of the bees and for our environment. If this bill passes these dangerous pesticides will be outlawed. I urge you to contact your representative regarding this very important matter.

Kathryn Schubert, Eugene

 

NO DIFFERENCE

Longtime consumer advocate and progressive champion Ralph Nader needs to send President Obama a thank-you note.

The Obama administration’s record has vindicated Ralph Nader’s 2000 campaign assertion, that at least on the presidential level, there is no difference between the Republican and the Democratic Parties — one corporate body with two heads.

Oh wait, Hillary will save the day with her $400,000 speaking fees for two recent Goldman Sachs events.

Scott Fife, Eugene