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Letters to the Editor 8-4-2016

NOT OVER

Issues from differences between the 99 percent and the one percent could be reduced within a generation by limiting inheritance to the total amounts of wealth of a particular U.S. economic class, perhaps the middle-middle economic class, and granting inheritable amounts to be used for the most essential needs of the 99 percent.

An alternative could be taxing it all to bring it down to some level. Impossible? What if Bill Moyers was in the running? It’s not over.

Helen Woodford, Eugene

 

STING OF THE CELL TOWER

Eugene residents are organizing to oppose the siting of a Verizon cell tower in the Jefferson Westside neighborhood, within shouting distance of César E. Chávez Elementary School. 

The proposed site, the abandoned and decrepit New Apostolic Church, at 1345 W. 16th Avenue, fronts the bike path just west of Polk.  Property owners — church headquarters in Chicago — have failed to respond to inquiries from local residents. There are no known local contacts for the church. 

Although the Telecommunications Act of 1996 prohibits communities from blocking construction of cell towers on the basis of health concerns, there is strong scientific evidence of increased rates of heart and brain cancer in people living in close proximity to cell towers.   

Although the proposal calls for “stealth concealment” of the tower — a fake tree — a cell tower in no way enhances or preserves the integrity or character of this or any residential neighborhood. 

Please join us in protecting our families, our neighborhood and our community from the inappropriate placement of a cell phone tower in our backyard. Sign our petition and contact city councilors to call for strict enforcement of city code and support further restriction on cell towers in residential neighborhoods. 

Molly Guidette, Eugene

 

NEW ZONE’S LAST HURRAH

As you know, the New Zone Art Gallery will be closing its doors in late August. In light of this closure, the nonprofit art gallery will be the first stop on the First Friday ArtWalk at 5:30 pm Aug. 5, at 164 W. Broadway, where it has been located for the past 10 years. More than 70 artists, along with featured artist Tom Capri, will be displaying a multitude of their best work in the gallery and at the Jazz Station, just down the block, to celebrate the gallery’s contribution to the local art scene.

Not only is it the last ArtWalk at this space, it is an event dedicated to Oregon Contemporary Theatre for all its years of supporting arts in the Eugene area with its subsidizing the rental space of New Zone. 

The aura and appeal of the 164 W. Broadway site lies in the fact that originally it was the site of the initial farmers market in Eugene. And New Zone has kept a grounded, people-centered, active art and community center alive. Everyone is welcome at New Zone. In a day and age where lines are drawn and some factions of our culture would like to keep us separate, art belongs to each one of us, and New Zone provides that venue.

During this last hurrah, there will be great food and drink donated by New Zone’s continuously supportive restaurants and Ninkasi, excellent music by Fiddlin’ Sue Band and crowds of well-wishers, benefactors and supporters of the arts.

I personally invite you to the downtown First Friday ArtWalk to keep company with some of the nicest and best artists to be found anywhere. 

Hito, New Zone Gallery member, Eugene

 

A FURRY TALE

Once upon a time there was common decency and common sense amongst all. We live in dark times now, almost as though any good deed doesn’t go unpunished. We find ourselves in the kingdom of Springfield, wherein lies the province of Willamalane Park and Recreation District.

I am injured, and I find myself a spot to lick my wounds. I am found out a time or two with friendly reminders to be out of sight, out of mind during the twilight hours. Willamalane Adult Activity Center is a seeming safe haven for mid-lifers, as long as you don’t look or smell like a predator.

I am OK as long as I keep my hackles down. I am eventually found out, a she-wolf at that, tending amongst the sheeples. 

I let my guard down and next thing I know I am set upon by the minions of the Springfield Police Department (SPD). My backpack is said to be offensive litter. 

Jailed, arraigned, dismissed and trespassed from all of Willamalane’s holdings, parks, centers and bike paths. Not unlike a hydra, this “Willamalame.”

Now my hackles are up. I am up to it, though. A trial is set. They throw a public pretender at me. 

Day before trial, the lackey mouthpiece comes to me. “Willamalame” wants to show a show of mercy. I am released conditionally. I accept, signing their release of liability.

I am pensive. The SPD minions come more frequently. They are brazen with the primitives. Embellishments and false accusations abound, little by little eliminating the vermin. Again, the SPD minions arrive and set upon two primitives. I observe from a respectable distance. 

The deed is almost done: One in handcuffs, the other set free. This SPD minion now speaks to me to try to draw me off guard. The conversation has deteriorated, though no insults or aggressions took place. 

He hands me a trespass order for disorderly conduct. I had chuckled during the detaining, nothing more. Once again I have to jump through hoops and file an appeal and have my rights and liberties restricted.

This story is not over yet. I have yet to hear about my appeal. To be continued.

Phillip Rosenberg, Springfield

 

OPIATE COMPLAINTS

I will be 80 in November. I’ve had three back surgeries, but because I am active with ping-pong, pickle ball and weight training, I still suffer from moderate-to-severe back pain every day — worse after the named activities. I also suffer from atrial fibrillation, for which I take a blood thinner, so I cannot use NSAIDS (aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.), although they could help, and acetaminophen, which helps a little bit. 

So I use a prescription opiate pain reliever every day along with acetaminophen, and that works just fine for me contrary to a claim made in your article [Opiate Overdose, 7/21]. I have been doing this for several years and rarely experience anything remotely resembling a “high,” and I expect that I will probably continue this regimen throughout the remainder of my life — unless you get your way. 

If I lost access to this, I’d have to stop being active and would probably go through a few days of moderately uncomfortable withdrawal (which I’ve done before — no big deal). Is that what you really want?  

Your cleverly written article conflates me and all other similarly situated seniors and legitimately ill people with drug addicts and criminals. You really ought to be more professional.

Lee Morris, Eugene

 

KESEY SQUARE SHINDIG

Last Saturday night [July 30], Kesey Square was hopping. 

On the eve of Eugene’s Sunday Streets celebration, private citizens rented Kesey Square and hosted three bands for four hours of music and dancing to benefit White Bird Clinic and to help keep Kesey Square a vibrant and inclusive public space for all of Eugene. And Eugene came. 

More than 400 people hung out, danced, passed through, ate and drank across the street, and the line at Voodoo Doughnut — which baked a special White Bird donut (on sale all of August with a share of the money donated to White Bird) — was out the door all night! Children, old folks, rich and poor of all colors — and their doggies — all had a great time. This is just one reason why I love this town! 

Afterwards, I talked with “Bear,” a homeless man who was there all day. “People were really nice — talking to us, offering help. I was even offered a ride to someone’s home where I could shower and get a meal. And the music was great! Thank you for doing this.” Yet another reason to love Eugene!

Special thanks go to Steel Wool, Mhofela with Musekiwas Chingdoza, Gumbo Groove, Saturday Market, city of Eugene, White Bird, Gary Cornelius, Randy Hamme, Donny the sound man, Voodoo Doughnut, the Blues Sisters, Tifani Lauzon, the Tooth Fairy, the EPD and all our local papers for their work and support. Rock on, Eugene! 

Tim Mueller, Eugene

 

DON’T THROW IT TO TRUMP

It is incomprehensible to me that Sanders supporters would consider voting for Donald Trump. I’m sorry my fellow Bernie supporter Jim Showker is bitter, but I think Bernie did the right thing by ultimately endorsing Clinton. Let’s keep in mind that Trump has talked about easing environmental regulations and selling off federal lands. Do we want a Trump vacation mansion at Crater Lake? A Trump golf course in Yosemite? He agrees with Sanders on a couple of points — wars and trade deals — but his probable attorney general, Chris Christie, is unbendingly anti-marijuana, even for medical uses, so a Donald presidency would erase all of our progress in toning down the anti-pot hysteria. 

His ideas about non-white, non-Christian people are by now well known, and I suspect his views on human rights in general, as well as animal rights, are less than enlightened. The primaries were the time to loudly and energetically support the candidate of your choice, but now that the majority has decided Hillary is the one, do we really want to risk having a mean, dishonest, belligerent, intolerant, egotistical, uninformed maniac representing our country to the world? 

Disaffected Sanders supporters — shut up and do the right thing. Hillary is not as good as Bernie, but she is vastly superior to the alternative.

Spud Smith, Oakridge

 

A MINOR QUIBBLE

It seems the orange-tinted bulbs on the riverfront path around Skinner Butte have been changed out for white-tinted bulbs. At night it looks so ugly. Will this continue? There’s no need to ruin the riverfront path at evening. The orange-tinted bulbs do nicely.

Ben Butler, Eugene

 

THE RUSSIAN CONSPIRACY

Numerous media outlets have reported on the involvement of Russia in the leaks of Democratic Party emails. And there are plenty of connections between Donald Trump, Russian President Putin and Russian oligarchs. In light of this, a public inspection of Trump’s taxes could be a matter of national security. Failure to release them should give all voters reasons to reject Mr. Trump. 

Without knowing his taxes, how can any American be sure that Trump will place America first on his very crowded plate? The business records we know about already show a high disregard for many of the types of people he claims to support, small business owners especially.

 David Peden, Florence

 

CANINE DETRITUS

As I was walking my dog along the river path near the Owosso Bridge, carrying a slightly odoriferous full plastic pouch, I looked in vain for a receptacle in which to make a deposit. Alas, it was necessary to walk another 45 minutes in the Eugene park, accompanied by my unfunded mandate, before I came to the first receptacle. Happily, as I continued south, there were bins aplenty. They seem to have drifted upriver and congregated in the high-rent district. Every so often, when I am feeling flexible, I pick up after other canines whose walkers felt no need to bend, scoop and carry interminably. 

I’d do more of this gratuitous cleanup, including picking up bottles, cans and various and sundry detritus, if I didn’t have to carry it all home to dispose of it. There are enough beverage containers along the river to tilt the recycling percentages. No place to deposit them, though.

 Elena Rae, Eugene

 

HEALTH CARE FOR ALL

My partner told me of our friend who has had Crohn’s Disease for more than 50 years. Every three months she is terrorized by the health care system.

She receives Medicaid and SSID ($700/month). Several times a year, a change in the extremely bureaucratic system turns her world upside-down: new lab tests, recurring “addictive” meds review, rent adjustments, which alter the ratio of other services she can receive. Sometimes unable to pay the drug or office visit co-pays, she slips out of the system. Without the Crohn’s drug, our friend is in constant pain and virtually homebound, very often resulting in an emergency room visit or hospital stay.

Totally unnecessary suffering, and every one of us knows someone like this.

Why are we the only industrialized country in any world that does not provide universal publicly funded health care to its citizens? It’s a rigged system.

To quote Wendell Potter, a respected industry whistleblower: “If you are among those who believe that the U.S. has the best healthcare system in the world — despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary — it’s because my fellow spin-meisters and I succeeded brilliantly at what we were paid very well to do with your premium dollars.”

It’s election season. The lawmakers work for us. Hold your representatives accountable! Join Health Care for All Oregon, which meets the first Monday at First United Methodist Church at 13th & Olive at 7 pm, or donate at hcao.org. The people can and must demand change.

Patricia Hine, Eugene

 

MARIJUANA MESSENGER

The issue is not marijuana. Marijuana is the messenger, not the message. The issue is whether you live in freedom or under tyranny. The most basic of all human rights is the right to own your own body. Total acceptance of marijuana — legal is not enough — is what is needed. Billary or Trump won’t encourage that. Gary Johnson, Libertarian for president, will. Google Gary Johnson and find that you are a Libertarian: You just didn’t know it.

Joe Canfield, Eugene

 

CRY FOR JUSTICE

In response to Jerry Ritter [Letters, 7/21]: First off, thank you for being a shining example of the racism that still exists in our country. Saying “All Lives Matter” in the face of Black Lives Matter is pretty much the same as saying “All Cancers Matter!” at a breast cancer fundraiser.

Second, there is a simple reason to explain why Black Lives Matter activists haven’t shown “outrage” in ways that are palatable to you: Those black people who kill other black people are put in prison.

Black Lives Matter was started in protest to the near certain acquittal of police officers who kill black people. Those officers are not put in prison. They aren’t fired, they aren’t punished and they usually keep their pensions. In other words, they don’t face justice.

Black Lives Matter is focused on bringing light to the reality of racist murderous police officers who are not brought to justice. They picked this one issue out of countless that affect impoverished black communities, just like breast cancer fundraisers focus on one type of cancer that affects people. I spent two minutes on their website to confirm this. Before you cry foul, do your homework. 

Jasmyn Hinton, Eugene

 

POWER AND MONEY

When questioned about considering a proposed ordinance that will allow the Lane County commissioners to block local ballot initiatives, one of the commissioner’s common responses is, “Do you think it is wrong for us to consider a citizen’s suggestion?”

Does that imply the commissioners would be willing to jump on an average citizen’s proposal?

The citizen that introduced the ordinance is Dennis Morgan — the former treasurer of the state Republican Party and executive committee member of the Lane County Republican Party.

He is also the leader of the Community Action Network PAC. Three major funders of that PAC are from the timber industry. That PAC funded the two commissioners that most vocally support the ordinance: Bozievich and Stewart. 

Commissioner Bozievich has cited three initiatives the ordinance should block. The timber industry wants to stop those initiatives.

The fact that power and money are what influences “our representatives” is nothing new. But do we really want to trust those that do it so blatantly as to be able to shut down citizen ballot initiatives? The ballot initiative process exists because we need the power to act in our own best interest when elected officials won’t — and that happens all too often. 

John Herberg, Eugene

 

VOTE STEIN

Americans have long experienced the poor conditions of our roads, bridges, electrical grids and drinking water systems. It seems our federal government simply doesn’t care to invest in these essential but very expensive projects. Why do the feds continue to ignore these necessities?

Logically, it makes no sense to spend trillions of dollars fixing and updating our infrastructure when much of it could be destroyed in the near future.

Under Obama, possibly before November, and certainly sometime during Hillary’s first term, WWIII will become active.

“I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran,” declared Hillary Clinton on July 3, 2015.

Under a Clinton/Kaine administration, hate and racism won’t be a topic of discussion with a search for real solutions. It won’t matter if a person is LGBTQ, black, brown, yellow or red, Republican or Democrat, white collar or blue collar, pro-choice or pro-life.

When WWIII erupts — under any number of possible excuses — Russia, China, Iran and others will align together against the U.S., Britain, Israel and others. The warmongering “liberal” neocons in Washington, D.C., will be the aggressors and nuclear weapons will inevitably come into “play.”

From EW’s Slant column: “We’re proud to be a part of the political revolution …” What political revolution? Are you referring to Bernie’s political distraction?

Don’t keep throwing away your conscience by casting your ballots for Tweedledum-ers and Tweedledee-ers.

Vote for Jill Stein and the Green Party in November. 

Robert Simms, Philomath

 

COLLIES AND PIT BULLS

Rita Castillo [Letters, 7/14], in a rambling screed, would like us to equate collies with pit bulls in terms of being a threat to humans and other pets. All I can say is: Rita, you are one clueless lady.

Doris Fetterling, Springfield

 

LETTERS POLICY: We welcome letters on all topics and will print as many as space allows, with priority given to timely local issues. Please limit length to 200 words and include your address and phone number for our files. Email to letters@eugeneweekly.com, fax to 484-4044 or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.