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Letters to the Editor 2017-02-23

POISONING THE WELL

Weyerhauser is planning to aerially spray a witches’ brew of toxic herbicides in an area that is uncomfortably close to the main intake for drinking water for Eugene and its associated canal. 

The details speak for themselves: Aerial spray of 24.3 acres near Deerhorn Road and the drinking water intake and canal for Eugene with atrazine, hexazinone, sulfometuron methyl, oxyfluorfen and penoxsulam, glyphosate, 2,4-D with ester, 2,4-D with acid, 2,4-D with amine, 2,4-D with choline, clopyralid, fluroxypyr, No Foam, Crosshair, Grounded, Epoleon N-100 and/or Epoleon N-7C. 

The last two chemicals are odor maskers, which raises some other serious questions. See ODF notification 2017-771-01491.

But fear not, good people of Eugene: The industry assures us that these chemicals are safe and that their distribution into the air from flying machines poses us no risk of harm to health or property.

In fact, I’ve seen a top industry spokesman show a slide that ranks caffeine as more toxic than atrazine. Or was it glyphosate? Either way, we have a coffee shop on every corner and we’re still OK.

So why not have atrazine in our water? With a splash of clopyralid for good measure.

Drink up, Eugeneans!

Rob Dickinson, Cottage Grove

 

FARM HARM

 I’ve always believed that maintaining the farmland around Eugene was a high priority. Lately, though, the hazy skies, unhealthy smoke and sickening odor from field burning make me think concrete, asphalt and houses aren’t quite so bad after all.

I can think of some things I’d like to do to those inconsiderate and lazy yahoos fouling all our air, and hugging them is not on the list.

Karl Stout, Eugene

 

NARCISSIST IN CHIEF

 Though the (Republican) U.S. Senate and Congress were, and still are, unable or unwilling to fully grasp the meaning of  “clinical diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder” (with a likelihood of sociopathic tendencies), they “knew he was a snake when they let him in.”

I did finally just hear Bernie say that out loud. Of course.

Marilyn Marcus, Eugene

 

DIRECT VS. INDIRECT ACTION

In regard to your article titled “Activism 101” from the Feb. 9 issue, I believe you have misled your readers as to the distinction between “direct” and “indirect.” Direct, in this context, means without intervening factors or intermediaries, whereas indirect means conducted through intermediaries.

Perhaps some examples would help illustrate the difference. A direct action that addresses homelessness would be to provide free medical services to the unhoused every Sunday in a park downtown. An indirect action that addresses homelessness would be to vote for a mayor who supports establishing more rest stops.

A direct action that addresses climate change would be to attempt to stop the construction of a new pipeline by using your own body as a blockade for the excavators, but an indirect action that addresses climate change would be to donate funds to groups that lobby in Washington for a carbon tax. 

There are many examples of actions being taken by concerned and noble citizens today, both direct and indirect, but “those rallies you’ve attended, phone calls to senators, and petitions you’ve signed” are all indirect ones.

I just thought your readers would want to know this before the next social event where they brag about all the “direct actions” they have taken indirectly.

Breckon Neat, Eugene

 

EMPOWER THE PEOPLE

 I am so grateful to have heard Arun Gandhi speak Feb. 16 at Lane Community College, sponsored by the Lane Peace Center. His message of non-violence could not have been more relevant as a reasoned foundation for a call to action, in response to current local, national and global realities. 

It is now more important than ever that we empower local dialogue and non-violent action, and authorize local lawmaking because not only can we not count on the federal government for help, but the new administration is making life in our communities increasingly more difficult and dangerous.

By invigorating corporations to engage in environmentally destructive practices, by fueling racial tensions and dividing families by deporting individual members, by attacking labor unions, etc., the feds are begging for a response from the People, at the local level, where we live. Our indignation is obvious and appropriate.

Community Rights Lane County will continue to challenge unjust laws that favor corporations by empowering local citizens to write and pass laws that protect our health, safety and welfare. This is non-violent democracy in action.

We empower ourselves and our communities as we strive for social, economic, racial and environmental justice, because there is no justice when our government and our laws embolden corporations to put profits over people and planet. Please join us! CommunityRightsLaneCounty.org.

Michelle Holman, Deadwood

 

ON THE BUS FOR JERRY

I first met Jerry Rosiek while I was completing my graduate teaching program at the University of Oregon’s College of Education, where he was a widely respected professor. It was clear that Rosiek was not just an incredibly bright guy, but also a funny, dynamic, empathetic and skilled educator who cared about his students and was deeply committed to his work.

Since then, I’ve gotten to know Rosiek as a parent and an education reformer. Our children attended the same elementary school, where I witnessed Rosiek engage with parents and staff members, working diligently to make our kids' school better.

But Rosiek isn’t just working to improve his child’s school; he’s interested in making every school better. He’s a fierce advocate for children and a champion of education. Rosiek has been on the front lines pushing our policy makers to reform a woefully underfunded school system, trying to break the stranglehold of standardized testing.

While Rosiek has been fighting for school reform for many years, he’s an outsider in regards to the status-quo education establishment. He’s not afraid to take on the powerful interests that have oftentimes obstructed reform and he’s also the kind of guy that can engage people and bring them together.

Jerry Rosiek is a man of integrity who will use his knowledge, skills and abilities to leverage the power the school board has to deliver the best education we can to our children. I’m with Jerry!

Joshua Welch, Eugene

 

ERROR IN SLANT PIECE

Your lead story on the Feb. 2 Slant column asserted that Steve Bannon was a “Breitbart News co-founder and an avowed white nationalist.”

Andrew Breitbart was the sole founder and Bannon came around later. Can you please cite your sources that Bannon is “an avowed white nationalist”? I can’t seem to find any credible ones. I enjoy your publication, but please lift up your journalism chops.

 By the way, I monitor Breitbart on a regular basis and have never seen an article publishing any “white nationalist” or “alt-right” articles or agendas.

Mark Fiser, Eugene

 

PROTESTING AND LOBBYING

I was encouraged by the massive demonstrations in Eugene and around the world on Jan. 21, since such political action influences elected officials.

Those of us who are unhappy with U.S. politics should be prepared to say both what we oppose and also what we advocate as an alternative.

In the case of global warming, the world cannot afford to wait until another U.S. election before seeing action by the federal government and also internationally.

Climate scientist James Hansen’s latest research indicates the dire consequences of inaction at the national level, but also that timely government policies could reverse the harm to the planet by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pulling carbon out of the atmosphere through better agriculture and forestry.

Dr. Hansen supports the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) carbon fee and dividend proposal (a kind of carbon tax) through which the tax money would go to households equally.

People can both protest and lobby. When delegations meet with congressional offices, what grassroots activists say can be important. CCL points out that our proposal would create jobs by transferring money to lower-income people (they tend to have the smaller carbon footprints).

Milton Takei, Eugene

 

NO GOING BACK IN TIME

Mr. Tyndall (“SJW Whiners,” Feb. 2): Aside from your seeming obsession with “social justice warriors,” I’d like to explain why killing the Trans Pacific Partnership was not a pivotal event, but a distraction from the real problem.

While it’s true that TPP has all the problems of its predecessors like NAFTA and GATT, its contribution to permanent job loss is small in comparison to what automation has done, and is going to do. Trump’s bluster about bringing jobs back to America is mostly marketing hype from a marketing mogul.

Remember, Trump said in his book that the art of the deal is telling people what they want to hear. Don’t be so gullible as to think adding a few thousand jobs here and a few hundred there is going to solve the decades-long decline in work or wages.

I worked in the manufacturing sector for 35 years. In the ’80s and ’90s a popular topic at conferences and in trade publications was “the end or work.” This was the observation and prediction that automation would eliminate half the jobs in this country. It was also a warning to political leaders that they need to address the problem of a post-employment society. No president or legislator as yet to tackle this enormous and perplexing problem. (Although, see President Nixon’s attempt at a guaranteed basic income back in the ’70’s.)

There is no going back to a better place and time, Mr. Tyndall. Your “evidence and logic” would be better spent on preparing for the realities of the future.

James Stauffer, Eugene

 

PISS TEST

Golden showers

are not good for flowers

and probably not fit to drink.

We don’t know for certain

if someone is squirtin’

to satisfy Donald Trump’s kink.

Spud Smith, Oakridge

 

ELLIOTT IS HEAVEN

Where is heaven? Heaven is on Earth. An objective description of it is the Elliott State Forest. Every conifer needle, every patch of moss and every drop of dew are the jewels in this kingdom. 

Neither the rich nor the poor will survive into future generations if we turn this, and other examples of God's grace into clearcut, mono cropped, poison sprayed abominations.

No race or species deserve the blessings it bestows more than any other. For every living organism forests produce oxygen, sequester carbon, regulate climate, purify water and provide a habitat for those of us who choose to enter and behold divinity. Many of our brother and sister animals find this paradise home, and the Earth as a living breathing whole cannot survive if its most vulnerable members are trampled upon and robbed.

The administration of the Elliott falls upon Gov. Kate Brown, Treasurer Tobias Read and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson. They, as a group, have so far been impotent to prevent the Elliott's commercialization either by Indian tribes or logging companies. At this point there is the posturing and huffing by those who seek to turn this refuge into millions of dollars for those who already have enough dough.

To hell with them all! It doesn't matter if men from Mars come and protect this treasure, as long as it it is allowed to exist, persist, regenerate and evolve naturally; unaffected. No portion of humanity can lay claim to the source of life for all.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene