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Letters to the Editor 11-3-2016

VOTE FOR FAHEY

If you live in House District 14, chances are Julie Fahey has knocked on your door. Why? Because by going door to door, she starts a dialogue with the people she will represent and gets to know your concerns and issues. This way she can better represent you when she gets to Salem. Fahey will take her obligation to serve her district seriously. 

She is no late arrival to District 14. She has lived in her district for eight years, with her home in the Churchill area. Information to the contrary is just plain wrong.

Fahey is supported by many organizations, from Oregon State Firefighters Council to Working Families. She values education, children and families. Vote for Julie Fahey and you will be sending a hardworking advocate who cares enough about District 14 to get to your door and she will represent you that same way in Salem.

Mary Lou Vignola, Eugene

 

SKOV CALLS FOR PROCESS

Brian Weaver is entitled to his own opinions but not his own facts. I’m writing to correct some of the egregious misrepresentations in his recent hit piece against me and my campaign (“Rezoning and the Ward 1 Election”), in particular, regarding South Willamette planning.

Contrary to Weaver’s undocumented claims, I have called repeatedly for “a process that truly engages residents,” including either a refinement plan or the equivalent. I support a process that upholds all “Seven Pillars of Envision Eugene,” including to “protect, repair and enhance neighborhood livability.” 

I urge a fact-based quantitative approach that will allow our community to decide how to plan for growth realistically. See my detailed comments from the Sept. 19 Mayor’s Forum: joshuaskov.com/public_comment_on_south_willamette_september_19_2016.

More broadly, Weaver or anyone else can see my positions on issues: joshuaskov.com/issues.

It is disappointing that so many individuals backing my opponent have chosen to put more energy into attacking me with misleading and untrue statements than into real discussion of the positions I have actually taken. 

I am proud to be running a positive campaign focused on the issues, and I ask for your vote.

Joshua Skov, Candidate for Eugene City Council Ward 1

 

SATURDAY MARKET

What about the downtown future for Eugene Saturday Market? The organization itself is a community of generations and is almost a tiny town that comes to life every Saturday like a magical Brigadoon. About half of its active membership depends on the market for primary income, while the other half depends on it for supplementary income. 

The market is a group of about 500 local artisan members who set up booths in two park blocks every Saturday from April through mid-November. Then, every weekend up to Dec. 24, the group sets up inside the county fairgrounds building for its Holiday Market.

There are professional local potters, jewelers, painters, weavers and photographers. There are skilled tailors, hand drum makers, glass blowers and metal sculptors. There is soap, make-up, doll clothes, felt hats, brooms, tie-died T-shirts and novelty items. There are licensed kitchen booths that cook hot international meals right on the spot, coffee that is always ready and many delicious delights. 

Plus, hundreds of well-run shows of pop, folk, rock, hip hop and all genres of competitive local musicians and dancers are featured on the small outdoor stage every year. All of the shows are offered free to the public as cultural gifts to the city from the Saturday Market.

So, what might help? It would help to remove the illegal, ominous yard sale that squats in the adjacent Free Speech Plaza on Saturdays and pretends to be part of the Saturday Market. This year their uninvited presence even blocks out the political booths that have always been there for national and state elections! 

Other than that, real bathrooms would be nice. But wherever the city’s buildings are finally built, please preserve the iconic Eugene Saturday Market downtown setting for another four and a half decades, at least.

Deb Huntley, Saturday Market member, Eugene

 

YES ON 98

As parent of two girls at South Eugene High School, I am passionate about Measure 98, because it targets money directly where it is most needed: programs to improve our abysmal high school graduation rate and better prepare all of our students for the 21st century workforce. 

Thirty-two percent of all Oregon high school students don’t graduate on time — that’s 10,000 students a year — and high school dropouts suffer double the rate of poverty of high school graduates.

While I fully expect my daughters to graduate, I also want all of their fellow students to graduate, too, so that their generation has the best chance of succeeding. We all know they will face many challenges!

So please join my family and vote yes on Measure 98 to improve Oregon high schools with vocational ed, more college-cred classes and support to keep freshman on track: These are evidence-based programs that work.

Katharine de Baun, Eugene

 

SHOCKING DONATION

Eugene’s Ward 1 is lucky to have two candidates for City Council that share progressive values.

In particular, I appreciate Emily Semple’s desire to see free public transit for all. Thus it came as a shock to see she had accepted a donation from Bob Macherione, the spokesman for the anti-transit group Our Money, Our Transit. Macherione has also contributed to the campaigns for Republicans like Mike Clark and Pat Farr and libertarian Kevin Prociw. 

Moreover, Brian Weaver, who frequently opposes transportation and housing options, recently published an untrue “hit piece” against her opponent. That Semple associates with such malevolent actors — and has allowed her campaign to go negative — causes me to question the fidelity of her ideals.

Ms. Semple is also short on specifics. Where would she find the $7 million per year needed for free bus service? In contrast, Joshua Skov has a proven track record in working to realize the ideals most of us in Eugene share, and detailed plans to make more progress. He is endorsed by numerous progressive organizations and individuals. Please join me in supporting Joshua Skov.

Marshall Wilde, Eugene

Editor’s Note: See our story in this week’s issue. And go online for all the election letters we couldn’t fit in print!

 

SKOV LETTERS

I find it odd that our local newspapers are being flooded with a barrage of letters supporting Josh Skov for City Council. What is even odder is that they all seem to be re-writings of the same letter. They all go on and on about how qualified he is because he has served on city commissions. 

I have nothing against city commissions — some of my friends have served on them. But when did this become a requirement for holding a City Council seat? And, more importantly, when did this become the sole requirement for holding a City Council seat?

Several re-writings of the Skov letter also criticize George Brown and Bonny Bettman McCornack, former Ward 1 councilors, for having endorsed Skov’s opponent, and for having voted “no” on various issues. One correspondent claimed that they did this because they had not served on city commissions, but had gone directly to City Council. 

If the point of sitting on these commissions is to train people to rubber stamp everything that city staff proposes, then I think I will refrain from voting for people who have served on them. Wayne Morse has provided us with a sterling example of what having the courage to vote “no” can do. So have George Brown and Bonny Bettman McCornack. And so will Emily Semple.

Lee DeVeau, Eugene

 

OUTSTANDING SERVICE

Rick Brissenden is my choice for Lane County Justice of the Peace, a position that provides important access to justice for community members. 

I have known Judge Brissenden for many years and have been impressed not only by his knowledge of the law, but also the clarity of the reasoning behind his decisions. He has been a judge in Lane County for many years, and currently serves as the municipal court judge in Florence. 

Judge Brissenden has already served several months as Justice of the Peace in Florence, as he was appointed by the governor to replace the retiring justice. His service there so far has been outstanding. Your vote for him is a vote for the continuation of the experienced service Lane County residents deserve.  

Michael Carrigan, Community Alliance of Lane County, Eugene

 

SEMPLE FOR THE PEOPLE

Emily Semple has faith in the people who live and run businesses in the established neighborhoods of Ward 1. Her core value is empowering residents to take the leading role in deciding how their neighborhood will evolve in the future. That is why she quickly stood with the residents of the South Willamette area in their opposition to the city’s radical rezoning plan.

Emily believes the council should terminate MUPTE and explore “inclusionary zoning” as a more equitable and effective way to provide affordable housing. Emily will stand up for our most vulnerable citizens to provide decent and safe shelter.

With her business experience and strong scientific background, Emily is well prepared to cut through complex documents; she will follow the money trail to determine who will pay, who will benefit and who might lose out.

The council will make many important decisions in the next four years, and we must elect someone who will represent our interests. Our new councilor must insist on openness and transparency from City Hall and be our watchdog to ensure our tax dollars are used wisely. 

That is why I voted for Emily.

George Brown, City Councilor Ward 1, Eugene

 

EFFECTIVE ALLY

In order to create positive change in our community and in our world we need good activists and good policy makers. Ideally we need them to work in consort to bring about change based on common values. In Ward 1 we have an important decision to make — choosing between two candidates who seemingly share many core principles and ideals. 

But it takes more than strong values to be a successful elected official. These two candidates clearly differ in their readiness to serve as a city councilor. 

Josh Skov has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to preparing for the office. Over many years he’s built collaborative relationships with community members, advocates, city staff and respected elected officials. He’s dedicated countless volunteer hours participating in work groups and serving on committees, and continually works to understand and improve upon the structure of our local government, all in service to ensuring the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors are met, our environment is protected, and resources are allocated wisely. 

I’ve been impressed with the respectful professionalism and discipline with which he’s run his campaign. I trust Josh Skov will be an effective elected ally to activists and advocates of all kinds.

Laurie Trieger, Eugene

 

MENTAL HEALTH BILL

In Eugene Weekly, Rep. Pete DeFazio (D-OR) and I have been debating a bill he is co-sponsoring, H.R. 2646. This complex proposal, more than 100 pages, is misnamed “Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act of 2016.” It should be called “The Mental Health Consumer Dis-empowerment Act.” 

The worst part: It gives federal money to support Involuntary Outpatient Commitment (IOC). The euphemism for IOC is Assisted Outpatient Commitment (AOC). The heart of IOC, which I’ve fought in many states for decades, is mainly to require Americans living at home in the community to take powerful psychiatric drugs against their will.

Incredibly, Rep. DeFazio falsely reassures us that his bill would not emphasize forced drugs. He points out that state IOC law does not “include forced medication.” Of course not. Judges pride themselves in saying, “I’m not a doctor; I don’t prescribe.” Judges provide the coercion. Doctors prescribe. 

The drug-based approach has undue influence in mental health. We don’t have space here to explore the pros and cons of psychiatric drugs. It can be common sense to choose a non-drug alternative, but Rep. DeFazio’s bill would make this decision more difficult, or impossible, for many Americans living at home. 

David Oaks, Eugene

 

PARK BLOCKS FAMILY

Police in Eugene need to understand that people who are homeless often gather in the Park Blocks as “families.” Folks who are unrelated meet, gather and often move around together as what sociologists call “fictive kin.” They come together as families to provide one another with mutual protection and both emotional and material support. The “families” collectively also defend against attacks on or abuse of a family member.

When the EPD sought to question and then arrest two young men in the Park Blocks recently, this sense of family kicked in and others in the park then also joined in their highly vocal condemnation of police actions. Past negative experiences with police by people who are homeless, some of whom were gathered in the Park Blocks that day, have led most who are homeless to see police as anything but “friends.”  

Police are more often than not feared and seen as the “enemy” by Eugene’s homeless population due to the treatment they have experienced. It is unfortunate all around, since many officers do not like the role into which they have been placed vis a vis people who are homeless, seeing this as not what they were trained to do and often sympathizing with those who are unhoused.

Ken Neubeck, Eugene

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER

The purpose of this letter is to address Black Lives Matter. I am not in fact a part of the black community, but a part of the Hispanic community, although I do support it and believe more people should be aware of it.

Protests that relate to Black Lives Matter have been portrayed as violent outbreaks in the U.S.; consequently, these people that want to make a difference are wrongly depicted as those who want to create more problems. 

With the increase in police shootings and blacks being more likely to become victims of these shootings after the murder of Michael Brown, Americans believe the flag does not represent freedom anymore but represents the complete opposite. Therefore, more people have been sitting down or taking a knee during the national anthem.

Lives are being lost and injustices keep occurring. Does the African-American population have to decrease in greater amounts for the country to realize that we have a problem?

With the amount of Americans that respect African-Americans, there should be more who want to do the same. Not that they should disregard the national anthem but they should join the fight in aspiring to become a part of the change. As Gandhi once said, “You must be the change you wish to see in this world.”

Yes, all lives do matter; but Black Lives Matter, too.

Alyssa Jacinto, Eugene

 

RECORD PROFITS

The anti-97 ads are deceptive. The Koch brothers, Monsanto and Big Pharma are pouring cash into Oregon just to protect their record profits. Fortune magazine shows Pfizer alone has stashed $74 billion offshore.

Their deceptions include half-truths, lies and innuendo.

One ad claims “doctors across Oregon say.” Only a few do: Actually, more than 48,000 nurses and physicians support Measure 97 because our health care system is so underfunded.

Other ads outright lie by calling this a sales tax. Measure 97 taxes corporate sales above $25 million. It’s not a consumer sales tax. They misinform when they say The Portland Mercury is in opposition, because the newspaper is actually in support.

Then there’s the tricky graph claiming Oregon’s corporate sales tax isn’t last in the nation. On closer inspection, the light gray print shows the graph isn’t about corporate taxes, but about pre-profit supplies.

The state has a vested interest in keeping businesses healthy and able to produce revenue. That’s why after a law is passed, they create exemptions.

Nazia Swartz, Eugene

WEB LETTERS

ORIGINAL THINKING

The Weekly's endorsement of Ward 1 Eugene City Council candidate Emily Semple is courageous and informed. The council's leading progressive members, George Brown and Betty Taylor, along with South Eugene's Commissioner Pete Sorenson, have all endorsed Semple's election. Former Ward 1 Councilors Bonny Bettman McCornack and Paul Nicholson along with crusading progressive former Congressman Jim Weaver, also back Semple.

Eugeneans have seen the danger of current council group-think with the City Hall demolition scandal and fiasco. I listened as Brown, Taylor along with Eugene's greatest architects pleaded the case to affordably retrofit and remodel the former City Hall. But staff, contractors and the good-old boy council majority prevailed — and we now stare at an empty barricaded gravel lot. A square block legacy of failed vision and disregard for dissenting, creative opinions.

With Semple's election, the council will still only have a 5-3 male-female ratio, instead of the current 6-2 imbalance. Both Josh Skov and Emily Semple are highly talented, but it seems to me that Semple offers the greatest chance for independent, original thinking and firm oversight of rogue city staff.

City government has been boxed in by stale thinking. Semple thinks outside the box.

"If everyone's thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking!" — George C. Patton

Scott Bartlett

Eugene

 

GREENWASHING

Former city employee Matt McRae’s editorial about cities and climate change (10/20) promoted the Climate Recovery Ordinance he helped enact into law. The CRO sounds nice but lacks substance, since it only requires the city to buy “carbon credits” to supposedly offset fossil carbon emissions. This will greenwash the planned widening of Beltline highway by giving public funds to companies that broker these “credits.”

From 1999 to 2007, I was the “road scholar” for the successful effort to prevent the West Eugene Porkway bypass, and have been concerned about the unnecessary supersizing of Beltline highway. During McRae’s tenure at the city, he expressed gratitude the WEP was not built and concern about the Beltline proposal, conceding (in private) that buying credits could not mitigate planned pollution.

McRae’s op-ed touts Joshua Skov for City Council. Skov’s former consultancy, “Good Company,” promoted carbon credits to corporate polluters.

An endorsement from the local Sierra Club and Oregon League of Conservation Voters does not guarantee authenticity. A few years ago Many Rivers Sierra expelled its environmentalist leader — who pointed out Oregon Democratic politicians promote clearcuts — and replaced him with a realtor who doesn’t mention that. Oregon League of Conservation Voters, according to one of its first board members, has become “an arm of the Democratic party,” so it’s not a surprise they would endorse a professional greenwasher.

In Eugene, greenwashing, the false claim of environmentalism by polluters, is a bigger problem than climate denial. Details at sustaineugene.org.

Mark Robinowitz

Eugene

REPUBLICANS WIN

This election will be known as one of the defining phenomena of the 21st century. This time last year, I was focused on entering my cat Mr. Fluffykins as a candidate in the Eugene mayor's race: facebook.com/maister.fluffykins. Unfortunately, our political system shuts cool cats out of the nomination process. I was forced to enter myself on the ballot to champion Mr. Fluffykins’ agenda. After getting more than 1,000 votes in the primary election, together we can say, “The System Works!”

We strongly favor low taxes. Mr. Fluffykins has never paid federal, state or local taxes and probably never will. That's why we're voting no on 97, a hidden sales tax aimed at lifelong tax avoiders such as Mr. Fluffykins. Oregon's a great state, and Eugene's a great city, and we need to “Make Eugene Great Again” by promoting diversity. Together, we can make Eugene a safe place for all good people who need a place to express themselves creatively: votestrek.com. Vote for whomever you want — for every office — just make it your vote. For us, we're voting Republican, for every office, because Republicans stick together and that's why Republicans win.

Stefan Strek

Eugene

BUSINESS AS USUAL

 

Some people have said that Joshua Skov's experience on various citizen involvement panels makes him a good candidate for the Ward 1 City Council position. They claim that this experience makes him better able to work with the council, staff and community leaders.

I have come to the conclusion that these various citizen committees might give people practice in discussing issues, but rarely does the city use their work in forming city policies. For example, the Eugene Human Rights Commission has been trying for years to get the city to decriminalize homelessness, but that recommendation has been consistently been ignored by city officials.

In the 11 years since voters approved a civilian police review board, only one case has been declared to be a community impact case. That case involved excessive force against peaceful protesters, and it was recorded on video. It seems that the review board is limited to accepting the police internal investigations in cases without video evidence. It has been little more than a rubber stamp in these cases.

These instances make me doubt the usefulness of being involved in citizen panels, even though they might give insight into how our city government works.

If you think that City Hall is functioning well and going in the right direction, you might be tempted to vote for business as usual. If you think there is room for improvement, you should choose someone who might be able to make a difference, Emily Semple.

Steve Hiatt

Eugene

 

 

M97 LIES 

So many lies have been told about Measure 97 because of $25 million in advertising paid for by large out-of-state corporations like Monsanto, Shell Oil and Walmart. But let's set the record straight:

1. This is a tax on corporations that make over $25 million in Oregon sales — not small businesses or consumers. If M97 passes, prices will not increase. Economists agree that companies have national pricing strategies. Why would companies invest millions if they could pass the cost on to consumers? 

2. The revenue is dedicated to schools, health care and seniors. Currently 80 percent of our state budget goes to these  areas anyway. Legislators won't be able to ignore that we have one of the lowest graduation rates in the country and many seniors are retiring into poverty. 

3. M97 will not hurt small businesses. They pay a 1.8 percent tax and C corporations pay a 0.4 percent tax. Less than 1 percent of businesses operating in Oregon will be affected by M97.

In 2013, C corporations that paid $0 in Oregon taxes due to tax credits shorted Oregon $8.77 million.

Why should corporations make huge profits at the expense of Oregon citizens? Vote yes on Measure 97.

Emily Fox

Eugene

 

STRONG LEADERS?

Why do so many Americans believe a seemingly “strong” leader will save them or improve their situation? Is it monotheistic religion, superhero comics, movies, video games, glorified histories of past presidents, instilling a belief that one person can swoop in and save our asses? All I have witnessed from “strong” leaders is unpleasant dysfunctional workplaces, organizations, states or countries where I would rather not live or work unless one is in the leader’s inner circle.

America’s working class was best off when workers collaborated with each other through, unions, neighborhood organizations, churches, and fraternal organizations to make life safer and secure for all. If workers controlled workplaces they would control the economy and thus politics, offering the chance for a government that served everyone not just the employing class.

Why do so few see the opportunities through collaborative bottom up control? Is it easier to have faith in a super patriarch while we chafe and complain?

Ed Gunderson

Creswell

 

SEXIST LETTERS

Am I the only one who found more than a whiff of sexism in Shawn Boles’ and Alan Hancock’s letters supporting Joshua Skov? According to them, Semple is just an uninformed woman who has a “cavalier” lack of understanding of city politics. And she is backed by “disrespectful” and “divisive” councilors and former councilors who’ve presumed to criticize such things as the Capstone project and the current City Hall debacle.

Insisting on accountability from our elected officials and city staff doesn’t have to be confrontational, but when they persist in ignoring valid concerns, it is the responsibility of voters to elect someone they can trust to really hear them. A vote for Skov simply locks in a majority on council that will stifle dissenting viewpoints.

Emily’s opponent changed his positions on MUPTE, the Willamette rezoning and many other issues to reflect her positions. If Skov is mimicking Semple’s positions, it would seem that Semple has a superior knowledge of city politics.

Her experience lies in bringing every voice to the table and making sure all possibilities are considered. Emily will make sure due diligence is top of the list for city government to regain the trust and participation of all residents of Eugene. And if due diligence is considered disrespectful … well, you know what they say about “women behaving badly.”

Kristen Brandt

Eugene

 

MORONS FOR TRUMP

Please join Morons for Trump in supporting Donald Trump for Prezident!

Why?

Donald J. is the initials for DJ so we'll have some great dance grooves.

Trump will create a much more interesting and exciting United States — no more boring domestic or foreign policy discussions.

We will get a nice wall for rock climbing!

Prez. Trump will improve your foreign language skills because you will learn Russian.

Grab some Rump with the Chump and Vote Trump!

Ralph Wombat

Eugene

 

SUNG TO THE TUNE OF THE GRINCH

You’re a mean one, Mr. Trump

You really are a heel

You’re as cuddly as a cactus, and OH! The way you steal, Mr. Trump

You’re like a stinky banana … with a greasy black peel!

 

You’re a disaster, Mr. Trump

You were born without a soul

Your brain is full of garbage, your heart an empty hole, Mr. Trump

I wouldn’t vote for you if every single person of every single state of every single country … said so in a poll!

 

You’re full of it, Mr. Trump

You have evil in your smile

You have no intellect or honor and a terrible sense of style, Mr. Trump

Given the choice to vote for you or Hillary for President

Well, there isn’t a choice, it’s Hillary by a million miles.

 

You’re a loser, Mr. Trump

You’re the king of sinful slots

Your ego overwhelms you and your jowls must stink a lot, Mr. Trump

Your lifestyle is an appalling dump heap overflowing with the most

Disgraceful assortment of gold filled rubbish imaginable

Stuffed inside ugly buildings meant for parking lots.

 

You’re a foul one, Mr. Trump

You’re one huge nasty wasty skunk

Your hair is full of fleas and ticks, your clothes are fancy junk, Mr. Trump

The three words that best describe you are as follows, and a quote: 

“You stink and you stank and most of all, you stunk!”

Susi Thelen

Eugene

 

TOUGH DECISIONS

If you live in Ward 1, I urge you to join me in voting for Joshua Skov for Eugene City Council.

Having worked closely with Joshua on a number of city boards and commissions over the past decade, I trust Joshua to be an excellent steward of our tax dollars and to make our community better.

We served together on the founding Sustainability Commission starting in 2007. During that time we successfully pushed forward a number of key initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste produced by the city.

More recently Joshua and I served together as citizen appointees to the Eugene Budget Committee. During budget meetings he routinely asked tough questions of staff, brought up details demonstrating his command of city finances, and provided useful recommendations. He is a strong voice for greater transparency and accountability from city government.

Given the tough financial decisions coming up regarding City Hall, Kesey Square, EWEB Waterfront, South Willamette Zoning and so many more, we need Joshua's attention to detail, passion and commitment to keep Eugene a great place for all of us.

Will Shaver

Eugene

 

TIME TO RETIRE

I attended a sentencing hearing on Sept. 29, concerning a young lady that was savagely attacked by a man high on drugs. The crime was gruesome with lasting damage. The attacker bit this young lady’s face, eye, nose, etc. 

At the sentencing hearing, the victim had the courage to give a victim’s impact statement. When it came time to give her statement, the judge didn’t bother to acknowledge this woman nor even assist her with where she should stand while reading her statement.

After the victim read each page of excruciating detail concerning the attack, the nature of her injuries, the plastic surgeries, etc., the court was more eager to get on to the business of sentencing than to spend a minute acknowledging the great pain this woman suffered, the amazing strength she showed by confronting the attacker or the amazing compassion she demonstrated to the attacker and his family. The judge didn’t even so much as admonish the attacker for causing such immense grief and lasting pain, nor did he implore the attacker to get his life right. No, the judge simply went to the sentencing — 70 months here, credit there, 36 months of post-prison supervision, etc.

When one cannot demonstrate basic human compassion for a victim of such a vicious attack involving permanent and lasting damage, one should consider retiring and leaving the business of making decisions impacting lives of others to those that actually care about the people coming before him or her.

Steve McIntire

Eugene

 

SYSTEM OF HIERARCHY

In this election, as in past elections, I’ll write in, “No One” for president and next to it I’ll squeeze in, “should be given that much power.” It’s my way of saying that we can’t fix our governing/political system with the mindset that created this monster. The mindset that tells us the only way to govern society is with the system of hierarchy in place. Imagine that for few days a couple of million folks paused for a couple of minutes a day to think about the system of command and obedience. 

Imagine our society was governed in a way where all people had meaningful work to do on a daily basis, had daily bread, shelter to rest and belonged to intentional communities. What’s stopping you and me from living in a better society is having hierarchical mindset. We can’t eliminate homelessness, hunger and global warming by using the tools of hierarchy. 

Make America Native Again and no one will be deported, and peaceful tribal living (one to five or more blocks/buildings each) where many languages are spoken, communication is fluid and trade between tribes — local and inter-continental — is at its glory.

Roz Omid

Eugene

 

UNFAIR MEASURE

Proposition 97 [Measure 97] is poorly written, vague, unfair and will punish working families, seniors and fixed-income Oregonians, not to mention Oregon-based companies, farms and growing businesses. Who wrote this? Obviously people who think they can fool Oregonians into thinking that corporations will pay for this massive sales tax. The truth is we the people of Oregon will pay the tax, because companies will pass this tax onto us with higher costs for groceries, electricity, telephones, gas and everything else! And there is no guarantee that students and seniors will benefit. My guess is that PERS is the main beneficiary of this proposition. Please vote no on this proposition. The only sane and fair way of taxing business is on a percentage of profits, not on sales. Bernie Sanders would vote no on this unfair and poorly thought out proposition. Shame on Kate Brown for supporting this ill-conceived and unfair sales tax.

Carole Roberts

Eugene

Editor’s Note: Bernie Sanders endorsed Measure 97 on Oct. 19. See our blog at eugeneweekly.com.

 

ATTACKED

I read Laura Hanson’s letter about her rape (and the consequent settlement, which is not to be discussed) with some dismay. I do not criticize her action; it may be the best justice she can get, but I do wish to voice my concern.

In many ways, there are ways in which a rape is a more severe crime than murder, if we are talking about the subjective action. Murder is often committed in a drunken or drug-induced rage, in which both parties participate, or in an unintentional traffic accident. Rape is by definition intentional and often planned.

While I do not condone (obviously) either one, I personally find rape more objectionable. It is a crime of which the statistics indicate will be repeated.

I have no intention of forgiving the more than one people who have raped me as well as the people who appear to find this inconsequential and perhaps humorous. While a couple may have been confused about my availability and I take some responsibility for this, the rest definitely has no doubt as to my intention to either be unavailable to them or did not even have the decency to attempt a reasonable approach.

Truthfully, I want them dead, even though I have deep objections to the death penalty. That will not change. I cannot invoke it by my desire, and I accept that. But that is the way I feel, and most people attacked feel the same unless it is further complicated by incest.

It is a form of very overt terrorism, the roots of which are complex; however, once done it cannot be taken back and, as evidenced by Donald Trump’s conversation with William Bush, there isn’t even much regret, since what Trump is describing is like soft porn, soft rape, and the results will be the same in the life of the person attacked.

The person attacked is being told quite clearly: “You do not have the right to personal integrity,” if they are young enough (and have ever had personal integrity), this manifests itself as intense rage often turned inward in self-destructive behavior. And the U.S. is the only country in the world where rape is perpetrated against men more than women because of the huge prison populations.

That there is even any discussion going on about this is an extreme indictment of a culture in which everything is a commodity including one’s personal body, and blame the victim is a national sport.

In addition, contrary to popular opinion, it has not always been the norm among humans. It would be absurd to believe this. We need know nothing more than that the female’s feelings for their children, if they are produced in any way that denies the male’s participation, responsibility and respect for the other, are complex, difficult and do not predict a positive outcome. Hence, it cannot be pro-survival. 

Cindy Wilmore

Porltand

Editor’s Note: Details on Laura Hanson’s case and settlement can be read in our May 28, 2015 story “Dragged Through the Mud.”

 

TRUMP CHILDHOOD

As we watch Donald Trump, we are learning the effects of growing up in a home where parents are not able to know their child. Understanding, accepting and supporting a child will be accomplished by adults who have achieved their own security with their authentic self. Recently, in the Frontline episode “Choices,” Clinton and Trump’s backgrounds were explored, from childhood on. It was clear that Donald’s father was rigidly bound to his wish that his son’s life develop in his vision, hence “The Donald” was born — an object to impress his father, fueled by the unresolved trauma of this rejection.

In the dark and cold, never-ending experience of himself as a reject, the rejected Trump will attempt to eliminate mountains, desperate for his search for his father’s love. Sins, lies and self sacrifice will be committed to achieve this most basic human need. 

The Donald is a desperate outlaw, pistols in hand, ready to shoot.

Robin Grace

Psychotherapist

 

PROGRESSIVE AGENDA

The two candidates running for Eugene Ward 1 both promise to work on issues important to me: homelessness, accountability in government, climate change and transportation. However, now that I’ve attended meet-the-candidate events and reviewed their campaign materials, I’m struck by their stark differences. Joshua Skov is experienced, knowledgeable about the issues and the local political landscape, and his policy ideas are well-conceived. In contrast, Emily Semple’s proposals seem thin and reveal a real lack of understanding of the political landscape. A homeless camp on the City Hall site? Free rides on LTD? These are problematic Band-Aid approaches that will neither address the underlying issues nor advance the progressive agenda effectively.

According to Eugene Weekly, Ms. Semple was “hand selected” by current councilor George Brown and has also aligned herself with former councilor Bonny Bettman McCornack. For more than a decade Bettman and Brown have been pulling at the levers of government and “more of the same” is not a very compelling argument. We need to send in a new representative who is passionate, deeply informed and experienced. Skov has new ideas, demonstrated skills and a collaborative approach to problem solving.  He is the candidate who will most effectively advance our progressive agenda.

Kevin Finney

Eugene

 

 

SUPPORT SKOV

Ward 1 will elect a new city councilor this November, so some voters may be wondering which candidate they should vote for. If this describes you, I suggest you check the endorsements on their web pages and consider what they say about the two candidates.

You’ll find that Joshua Skov wins the comparison hands down. Josh is endorsed by five sitting City Council members, environmental groups, unions, the Lane County Democratic Party and the Oregon Working Families Party. His exclusive endorsements also include Basic Rights Oregon’s Equality PAC, and Mother PAC, which champions family-friendly policies. 

His opponent is endorsed by just two organizations and two sitting councilors.

Why such a stark difference? Because these endorsers ultimately look beyond elections to future policy accomplishments. Their overwhelming support for Skov sends a clear message: He is the progressive who will get things done for our city.

Their websites back this up. Skov lays out a series of reforms for government accountability, ideas on affordable housing and more. Semple's website is mainly sound bites and one-liners.

Check out their websites at joshuaskov.com and emilysemple.org. You will see that the choice is indeed simple. Vote for Joshua Skov for City Council!

Jon Belcher

Eugene

 

SKOV FOR WARD 1

From where I sit in the River Road neighborhood, recuperating from knee replacement surgery, the greatest need in the city of Eugene is to break up stalemated governance now preventing anything from getting done. Because of Eugene’s deadlocked governance, our neighborhood is unable to move forward with improvements because we must wait for South Willamette planning and Envision Eugene projects.

Mayor Piercy has improved civil discourse during her terms with a cooperative City Council that sought to improve the conversations. But the deadlocks persist.

Electing Joshua Skov to Council Ward 1 seat would bring immediate knowledge and capabilities to challenges dogging the community. Skov’s deep knowledge of the city budget, funding mechanisms and environmental, land use and transportation options will allow him to dive right in to end gridlock on problems like Broadway Plaza, EmX, Envision Eugene, multi-family housing and Housing First allocations and dispersal, and City Hall.

Skov understands solutions must work across the whole community, not just for one neighborhood. Transit plans must serve as a system across the metro area. Housing must meet the full spectrum of needs for unhoused, students, millennials, seniors, working families and disabled.

Skov’s current knowledge base, willingness to study issues and ability to develop policy will go a long way toward implementing solutions, putting us on track to get things done.

Vote for Joshua Skov for City Council Ward 1 to break the stalemate and complete projects the entire community can take pride in.

Carleen Reilly

Eugene

 

TWO PARTY SYSTEM

Maybe we should be thankful that Trump is running for president. For the past half-century the Democrats have tried to counter, diminish and weaken the Republican party without a lot of success. Now Trump comes along and has done more to dismantle and diminish them than everything the Democrats could come up with during that time period. If it is true that our country needs a strong two party system to function best, then this is the time for the true conservative Republicans who believe in limited government, less taxes, etc. to step forward and renounce the “Alt-Right” and purge them from their party. 

Anything less shows complicity in the politics of hate, division and tyranny. Maybe then we could have a more rational, fair and balanced discussion of the issues that American faces now and in her future and actually pass legislation that would move America forward. The politics of “no” has gotten us nowhere for the last six years. Can any Republicans, or their party, imagine a better time to move in this direction than now? The question is, do you have the courage to put America above party?

Jay Schwartz

Eugene

 

MILLENNIALS VOTE

Dear Millennials — we need you in this election! That’s what everyone’s been saying, and it’s true ... to a degree. This bizarre and pivotal election has serious consequences for the long-term future. Not just the presidential race, but the partisan races and even ballot measures (e.g. 97 & 98) will have a major impact on society. “In a democracy, decisions are made by those who vote.” Are you willing to let others decide for you?

Are you disappointed and disillusioned by this election? You should be. And what are you going to do about it? Will your disappointment turn to anger and disillusionment to resolve? I hope so because that is how change happens.

But, how and what to change? There are few “silver bullets,” where solving one problem causes systemic change. But in politics, there are two electoral silver bullets that will revolutionize government and bring a higher level of functionality to political leadership: 1) Replace the two-party system with multi-party elections using proportional representation voting, and; 2) Get large-donation private money out of elections and replace it with small-donation limits and public financing.

These are huge changes that take decades to accomplish. Are you up to the challenge? I hope so because the Republicrats will fight you every step of the way to keep their two-party, money-driven status quo.

Jim Stauffer

Eugene

 

SKOV FOR THE CITY 

I strongly support Josh Skov for the Eugene City Council Ward 1 seat. Josh is a smart, committed and compassionate leader, and he wants to make Eugene as great for his two young daughters and future generations as it has been for people like me.

I served with Josh on Eugene’s Sustainability Commission. As chair, Josh used his insight, sense of humor, and leadership skills to translate the community’s broad concern about climate change into specific actions and policies that are helping businesses, the City and individual citizens become more sustainable.

If you live in Ward 1, Josh has probably stopped by your house, hoping to meet you and hear your thoughts. In knocking on the doors of thousands of households, he’s heard residents’ concerns about the cost of housing, about traffic, about how they don’t trust the City to spend money wisely. And by serving on the Eugene’s Budget Committee, the Envision Eugene Technical Resource Group, and other advisory bodies, he’s learned how the City works. On the City Council, he’ll know how to not just talk about problems, but actually get something done about them.

For a progressive and effective City Councilor, elect Josh Skov for Ward 1.

Sue Wolling

Eugene

 

PROGRESSIVE VISION 

I am in strong support for Josh Skov for city councilor in Ward 1. Josh is a passionate fighter for creating a livable, sustainable, thriving, just community. What I additionally appreciate is that he has taken the time to volunteer on various city commissions and committees so that he could learn how local government actually works from the inside out. It is not enough to just proclaim broad goals as a city councilor; to be effective, it is equally important to understand how decisions get put into practice and his many volunteer hours give him insight that will prove invaluable.

Josh will bring his broad, progressive vision, his extraordinary knowledge of policy detail and his long record of fighting passionately for environmental sustainability to a council in desperate need for such a coherent, strong, effective and progressive voice. It is a rare moment to be able to elect someone with such depth of knowledge, experience, vision and passion to fight for a livable and sustainable community for us and for our children and I strongly urge a vote for Josh Skov for City Council.

Marc Schlossberg

Eugene

 

SKOV’S EXPERIENCE 

I am writing to share with you my enthusiastic endorsement of Joshua Skov for City Council Ward 1.

Skov has specific proposals to address topics important to Eugeneans (see joshuaskov.com/issues). But most important to me is that he is serious and knowledgeable about climate change and reducing our impact. Skov has worked on these issues for years and helped get Eugene to adopt its Climate Recovery Ordinance. Now we need Josh on council to implement these policies, as he understands what it takes and can help Eugene be a national and international leader.

From Skov’s experience on the Sustainability Commission, working with Lane Transit District and EWEB, and other citizen advisory committees, he has shown breadth and depth in climate change, sustainability and transportation issues. Having him on City Council will keep a voice that has consistently advocated for reducing greenhouse gases front and center in our community. This is also why he has been endorsed by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, among many other groups and individuals.

Seth Sadofsky

Eugene

 

SANCTITY OF LIFE

I want to encourage all voters to consider the sanctity of life in deciding how to vote this year. Abortion and doctor-assisted suicide deny the unique dignity of human life. It seems especially dangerous for governments to be invested in such evils.

Most people want and trust doctors to heal and provide comfort. Women’s health care does not include helping them kill their own babies. People forget that the baby is, actually, another person — not the woman’s body. That’s science. Let’s support both mother and baby.

A good government protects people’s lives and allows them to thrive. I urge you all to vote pro-life all the way up and down the ballot, starting with the presidency. Mother Teresa is not running, so we need to vote for Trump.

Kathleen Rackleff 

Cottage Grove

 

CLINTON PERSEVERES

It is time to stand up to the character assassination attempts at Hillary Clinton. No person in public office or politics is pure and to expect them to have no flaws is unrealistic.

Hillary has been strongly speaking out for those with limited voices (impoverished, people of color, women, etc.) ever since her college days. She has been excoriated by the “machine” of public opinion for so many petty reasons, and there have been several attempts to “catch” her at any potentially illegal act. Despite this, she has prevailed and continued to speak out for those less fortunate.

She has been criticized mainly for being a strong woman, which is so distasteful to those who feel that a woman has her “place,” and the decades of Republican attacks have taken their toll on her reputation, but still she perseveres. It began when she kept her maiden name when she married, and years of disparagement about her appearance, not baking cookies, trying to bring health care to the masses, essentially being too strong.

The recent announcement about her emails may yet be another attempt by Republicans to thwart her success.

Regardless of any flaws that she has, it would be such a travesty to see our nation wake up on Nov. 9 to discover that voters have elected a demagogic narcissist as our president. Anyone out there who doesn’t want to feel “Brexit” regret needs to think over their vote very carefully, because everyone’s vote bears great weight during this election.

Rita Babauta Kiley

Eugene

 

BROOKDALE COERCION

With more than 30 long-term care facilities in Oregon, Brookdale Senior Living Solutions distributed to its residents a letter concerning Measure 97. It maintained in its letter that the affordability of its services would be threatened if Measure 97 passes. It gives the usual examples that opponents to Measure 97 espouse: Measure 97 is a hidden sales tax, goods and services we all buy like medical supplies, prescriptions and insurance will be taxed, businesses will pass on this tax in the form of higher prices. These and more arguments against Measure 97 were included in this letter to its residents.

Brookdale didn’t stop there. It had the audacity to include a sample letter that it suggested its residents could use to send to editors of their local newspapers. The letter urges voters to think twice before voting for Measure 97. All the letter needed was the resident’s signature.

Brookdale is interfering with the voting rights of its residents. Voting is one of our most fundamental rights. The residents of Brookdale’s long-term care facilities deserve to be free of coercion and undue influence. Threatening residents with increasing costs of their care unless they vote to defeat Measure 97 is a scare tactic and intimidation. Brookdale is way out of bounds in telling its residents how to vote. It needs to admit to the mistake of interfering with its residents’ right to vote. And it needs to do it now, since ballots have already been mailed.

David Marks

Leaburg

 

BAD LAMBERG AD 

Republican Kathy Lamberg’s campaign ad “Chicago politics comes to Oregon,” which depicts Democrat Julie Fahey as an out-of-state candidate with big-city values, is nothing more than a misleading and deceitful smear. The TV ad and mailer I received depicted a dark, sinister Chicago alley and implied that Julie only recently moved to Oregon. That’s just patently false.

I met Julie when she and her husband moved to Eugene almost a decade ago. She grew up in a small town in Illinois, and then lived in Chicago after college. Like many people, she wasn’t born here, but fell in love with Eugene and chose to make it her home.

Less than half of the people living in our state today are lucky enough to be native Oregonians. Many of our most popular elected officials were not born in Oregon. Congressman Peter DeFazio is originally from Massachusetts. Senator Wyden was born in Kansas. Our governor was born in Spain. Heck, even Wayne Morse and Tom McCall were not native Oregonians.

Eugene is an incredible place to live, with welcoming, open people who want a better future for their families. I’m glad Julie decided to make my neighborhood her home, and I’m thrilled that we have such a talented, capable woman who wants to serve our community. I just simply don’t understand how having once lived in another city should disqualify someone from running for office in Oregon. 

Karen Beasley

Eugene

 

ADVOCATE FOR HOMELESS 

Going through Ward 1 with Emily Semple to meet our neighbors we spoke with many of them and listened to their concerns. The biggest issues people talked about were those that Emily as a city councilor will address best, thanks to her experience as an advocate for the homeless:

Many of our citizens want help for the homeless. The requests of many of this city's residents are for services and protections for those who end up unhoused. There is a great deal of solidarity in the hearts of the folks we talked with. Many expressed that they are favorably inclined towards redirecting some of Eugene's resources to treat this problem. Thanks to White Bird and CAHOOTS, people with mental health disabilities and or addictions get treated more humanely than when the same folks run into police.

To address this, it is worthwhile to mention that Emily gained some notoriety a few years ago as a member of Occupy with many other activists. With the council of the Civil Liberties Defense Center, arrestees challenged a curfew law against our right to assemble and protest past 11 pm on the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza. Our attorney Lauren Regan had our charges dismissed and much was gained for the underprivileged.

Next to humans, came the plea of Eugene's residents for our friends, the animals. The minimal money needed for spaying/neutering as well as medical care deserves a significant place in our city's planning. Emily Semple will address both human and animal needs.

David Ivan Piccioni

Eugene

 

YOU SHOULD MEET JOSH!

At the end of 2011, after Occupy Movement was shut down, it became obvious that many in our country and community were in desperate economic and political circumstances. Many of us began to educate and organize ourselves in response, finding worsening systemic problems like homelessness, income and wealth inequality, corruption and of course the climate crisis. We went to work. If you were a church person, you organized at your church, if you were a worker, you talked and got people involved at your job, if you were a neighbor, friend, or relative, you brought up questions, like "how did this happen" and worked on solutions. 

One of the people I met right away was Josh Skov, a friend and neighbor of a co-worker. "You should meet Josh! He's working on what you're working on!" A sustainable business professor at the UO and volunteer for city and community projects, I did want to meet Josh. What I found when I sat face to face with Josh was that he was a serious, dedicated, hardworking problem-solver, not afraid of the complicated problems and the pitfalls of hide-bound bureaucracies that often accompany them. I thought he was very upbeat for a critical thinker and would-be-politician. He was ready to put all his energy into working to solve problems in our community as a city councilor in Ward 1, so my partner and I decided we wanted to help him get elected. We need someone with the skills to tackle the challenges ahead. Josh has the experience, energy and the commitment to activate our Eugene city government to do what needs to be done. 

Patricia Hine

Eugene

 

SUPPORT SKOV

Experience counts. It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and say what should or shouldn’t be done. It requires commitment and knowledge to get into the game and actually bring change. Josh Skov has chosen “to get into the game.” He has been engaged in our community for 15 years. He knows what it takes to work for change and how much details matter.

Working together to strengthen civic trust in government is the central objective of Skov’s government accountability platform. The key components of this platform — government accountability, budget transparency, police-citizen relationships and digital modernization — derive from Skov’s years of experience as an active and engaged citizen and more than 2,000 door-to-door calls on Ward 1 citizens.

It’s clear from the many civic organizations who have endorsed Skov for Ward 1 councilor that they recognize the value of his contributions to make our city a better place. Vote for experiences. Join me in supporting Josh Skov for Eugene City Council Ward 1.

John Hannah

Eugene

 

SUCCESSFUL SKOV 

As a small business owner, when I need a CPA, lawyer, photographer or videographer, I look for someone with experience and recommended by people I trust. Although someone just starting out could be great, I simply can’t take a chance on inexperience.

Similarly as a voter, when I need someone to represent me, I look for someone with a track record of success.

For Eugene City Council Ward 1, Emily Semple might be fine. But the voters’ pamphlet indicates that she has no government experience and few people I trust endorse her.

This Election Day, I will be voting for Joshua Skov. As a citizen volunteer on multiple boards and commissions, he has already demonstrated his commitment to my community, his understanding of how city government works, and a track record of getting things done. He is endorsed by numerous elected officials, environmental and labor groups, and community leaders. He has already proven himself advocating for sustainability as co-chair of the city’s commission, pushing for the Climate Recovery Ordinance, and getting the city to adopt Vision Zero to make streets safer for me and my family.

Join me in voting for Joshua Skov for Eugene City Council.

Jen Bell

Bell + Funk

Eugene

 

OBVIOUS CHOICE

A strange argument has been going around Eugene between people for and against growth. Some people say the issue of growth is “simple.” They appear to believe we could have a Eugene border police or that we could build a wall around Eugene to prevent any newcomers from moving to our city. Growth will happen whether we like it or not. We need to be proactive and effectively provide for a growing population.

Without a good plan, growth can result in any number of negative effects: increases in traffic, depletion of rural and natural lands, housing prices rising out of the reach of working families and construction of apartments and multi-family housing that is unsightly or located in the wrong areas.

Eugene Ward 1 has two candidates for City Council. Joshua Skov is the obvious choice. He is the only candidate who will confront the issue of growth management head on, listening to different points of view and finding ways to advance our community’s multiple goals. Years of volunteer service on city committees related to sustainability, land use and transportation have given him unique insights and expertise to make Eugene sustainable, livable and affordable.

Please join me in voting for Joshua Skov for Eugene City Council Ward 1.

Anita Van Asperdt

Eugene