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Letters to the Editor: 3-27-2014

JUST PASSING THROUGH

Thank you, Kevin Sullivan, for writing the article (“Increase in Cougar Killing is Preventable,” 3/20) and for your compassion. Mountain lions who find their way into urban or residential areas such as Hendricks Park are typically just passing through. If left alone and given time, they will leave town on their own.

Many wildlife-human encounters are preventable — if food is not available, they will stay away! In addition to what was suggested in the article regarding livestock protection, residents should contain food/trash (use bungee cords on lids or store trash inside garages/sheds until pickup), keep cars free of food, install car covers if needed, feed companion animals indoors only and never feed wildlife. Install fences and use pepper-based repellents to keep wildlife out of unwanted areas. Animals can be evicted from dens using ammonia-soaked rags, and the area should be sealed once all animals have left. Officials should also implement and enforce an ordinance prohibiting wildlife feeding.

For more information about how to live in harmony with wildlife, please visit goo.gl/ti71uW.

Curtis Taylor, Eugene

 

COLD WAR REDUX

It seems that the Cold War has had a comeback. Some on the American political right wing, and a few on the left, actually favor more confrontation, not less, with Russia. I’m one of those who remember the duck ‛n’ cover drills, the fear-inducing air raid sirens, the B-52 bombers flying to their fail-safe points and what the acronym MAD actually means. 

Lest anyone forget, this is 2014 and not 1938. Putin isn’t Hitler, and Obama isn’t Churchill. War in this modern age is no more controllable than it ever was. As many generals have said, the first casuality of a battle plan is the plan. The people in charge on our side need to think rationally and calmly, even if those in charge elsewhere appear not to be doing so. I’m sure the Ukrainians, the Russians and all the Europeans have a belief in “fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the equal rights of men and women.” The divide that separates us may not be so large after all.

Gerry Merritt, Eugene

 

BEES GET SOME HELP

Kudos to the Eugene City Council for banning the use of neonicotinoid insecticides on city lands in Eugene last month. Give a hand to the European Union for placing a moratorium on use of neonicotinoids on crops attractive to bees in Europe. Thank Jerry’s Home Improvement for taking the neonicotinoids out of promotional displays, relegating them to a rear aisle and providing shelf information warning of the hazards. Way to go Netherlands for being the first country, just this week, to completely ban these insecticides. 

Others haven’t done as well. The Oregon Department of Agriculture’s response to last year’s bumblebee kills was to restrict application of the offending neonicotinoids only to linden trees!? All the EPA would do is relabel some neonicotinoids, now warning beekeepers to move bees before application, yet these toxins remain active in plants for years. 

Recently, Italian researchers presented damning evidence that neonicotinoids are a major contributor to colony collapse disorder (CCD). They showed that a common honeybee virus, which normally is controlled by the adult honeybee immune system, instead replicates dramatically when the bees are exposed to minute quantities of neonicotinoids, hundreds of times less than a lethal dose. Almost undetectable levels of these potent chemicals appear to have the ability to destroy the immune systems of our bees, making all manner of bee diseases lethal. Bees, sick with multiple viruses and pathogens, are the clearest indicator of colonies on the verge of imminent collapse. Now we know why. The bees won’t recover until these toxins are completely gone from the land.

Gary Rondeau, Eugene

 

TURNING TO THE RIGHT

I just canceled my subscription to The Register-Guard. I had submitted two letters to the editor: one about the extreme pollution generated by leaf blowers (fecal dust, noise, etc.) and another about purposely trying to distract drivers (high-definition, mega-pixeled, colorful, moving billboards and roadside advertisers like the Statue of Liberty guy on 7th, the guy across the street selling smokes, et al.). 

I’m guessing that my letters weren’t printed because they were deemed anti-business, which is why I canceled, plus I had noticed a definitive turn to the further right in the cartoons, letters and editorials recently. A few weeks ago there was a letter to the R-G about “finally, a few cartoons that are critical of Obama!” So I know the R-G has swung more toward the further right, Tea-Partyish even. I’m just saying I’m glad there is an alternative paper in Eugene, and it’s free. Thank you.

Stephen Cole, Eugene

 

GOING TO THE SOURCE

Does anyone wonder how the medical marijuana dispensaries were able to stock their shelves immediately after the regulations were enacted?

Vince Loving, Eugene

 

VOTES, NOT MONEY

Ever since the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, there has been much wailing and gnashing of teeth (e.g., “Public Citizen on Citizens United” story March 20).

The anger and concern are misdirected. The powers that be (those evil rich) can spend all the money they want to get their way in an election. But if their guy, gal or issue doesn’t get the necessary votes, it’s money down the hole.

It’s the votes that matter, not the money. If voters are too lazy to take the time to research the candidates and issues, too apathetic to see through the big-buck smoke screens — or even to vote, they have themselves, not the court, to blame. In this information age there’s no excuse for not being informed.

The current approval rating for Congress is close to single digits. Yet the voters return incumbents to office time after time. In a few cases (e.g., Pete DeFazio) that may be a good thing. But Jeff Merkley, who’s been blowing his own horn so much he should join the symphony, all the while voting to give American jobs to foreigners (SB 744), is a different story.

You want change? Do the research. Wade through the smokescreens — and vote!

 Jerry Ritter, Springfield

 

CHOICE VS. LIFESTYLE

We are going backwards here, people. When did alcoholism and drug addiction become a “lifestyle”? When did being unwilling/unable to go to the Eugene Mission because you drink too much become a “choice”?

I thought we worked all this out quite a while ago. Or perhaps, if you are a “homeless” person it is a choice, but if your husband, or your brother or your daughter, gets loaded too much, then it’s a disease.

These people we pile together as “the homeless,” all these different human lives, men, women, teens, children, infants — why do we fear them, avoid them and hate them so much? What is wrong with us?

Walker T Ryan, Eugene 

 

FLY BY WIRE

Everyone loves a good mystery, and the missing 777 airliner has created a lot of amateur and professional experts. I did a little digging and found out that Boeing had reported months ago to the FAA concerns about a loop hole in their on-board computer system. A passenger could hack into the system using a cell phone or USB stick via the entertainment ports. The 777 is “fly by wire” controlled, just like a remote controlled plane or drone. Last week a Russian-owned arms dealer company, Rostel, claimed to have remotely captured and landed a U.S. military drone flying over Crimea. 

Detectives always use Occam’s Razor (the simplest answer is usually the right one) when trying to solve mysteries. If this is what really happened, a cyber hijacking, the truth would be quickly buried because of the panic and ensuing grounding of all modern aircraft. That is why we may never find out.

Michael T. Hinojosa

Drain

 

BEARS REPEATING

At 1:30 am March 19, I needed to visit the emergency room at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Eugene. My index finder on my right hand became infected through the cuticle. After a couple of days it got so bad my finger was about twice its normal size. My finger felt like it was going to explode, no exaggeration. I felt kinda bad coming to the emergency room for an infected finger, but it was so damn painful I couldn't even sleep.

Medically, a infected finger certainly isn't the most dire of things to happen to someone; however, I want people in Eugene to know about the kind of medical staff and front desk people they have (and I'm sure many already know) waiting for them in case they need them: from the front desk people to the RNs to the paramedic and to the doctor who was working that morning at Sacred Heart when I came in.

My finger had to be lanced for obvious reasons. The relief was almost immediate! But this really isn't about me or my finger its about the people who work at Sacred Heart (indeed all medical and front desk staff in every city in this nation) who took care of me, who were professional, kind and who didn't bat an eye when I told them I didn't have insurance. Of course I will pay every dime of that bill, although it may take me a couple of months. That emergency room visit probably cost between $300 and $400. I'm not complaining though, as a matter of fact, it would be worth every single penny if it cost a $1,000! 

I know, most of us have heard it before, but it bears repeating. If you aren't healthy (or  are in pain) nothing else matters!

So, thank all of you at Sacred Heart who took care of me on that very early morning in March. It won't be forgotten!

Brad McDougal

Eugene