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Letters to the Editor 2017-04-13

BEACH BEER!

If anybody enjoys drinking a beer or a glass of wine on the beach like free Oregonians have always been able to do, you’d better contact the following state legislators and tell them where they can stuff House Bill 3441. This ill thought out bill alleges to curb litter on the beaches by banning alcohol while ignoring the Cheeto bags, soda cans, fast food wrappers and other detritus that actually account for the bulk of the waste. Additionally, the ban ignores the fact that littering is already illegal.

Make no mistake about it — this bill is nothing but anti-drinker intolerance from the morally superior.

The following representatives and one senator have signed on to support the bill. Tell them what you think. I also recommend calling your local representative: Rep. Janeen Sollman 503-986-1430 (Sponsor; Hillsboro), Rep. Phil Barnhart 503-986-1411 (Eugene), Rep. John Lively 503-986-1412 (Springfield), Rep. Mitch Greenlick 503-986-1433 (Portland), Rep. Sherry Malstrom 503-986-1427 (Beaverton), Rep. Susan McLain 503-986-1429 (Hillsboro) and Sen. Mark Hass 503-986-1714 (Beaverton).

P.S. I called Rep. Lively and his aid told me that he would not pass on my message because Lively had already made up his mind. What a democratic move!

Matt Watkins , Eugene

 

BAN AERIAL SPRAYING

While I don’t live in Lincoln County, I have signed an almost identical petition in Lane County to ban the dangerous practice of aerial herbicide spraying in our county forests. We in Lane County, inspired by the local people of Lincoln, are working to get our own aerial spray ban initiative on the May 2018 ballot.

Lincoln County residents are willing and dedicated to stand up to corporate power and privilege that threatens our health, safety and welfare. Motivated by profits, big corporate heads, who live far away, do not have to live with the harms created by their activities right here in our neighborhoods, where we the people live.

We have a responsibility to future generations and an inalienable right to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink and the soil we tend.

Lincoln County residents, stand with your neighbors and tell outside influences that you will protect yourselves from corporate greed in general, and aerial herbicide spraying in particular, by voting Yes on 21-177.

Jennifer Caughlin, Springfield

 

‘CORRUPTION’ IS A LOADED WORD

I appreciate the Eugene Weekly honoring David Monk for his lifetime accomplishments and commitment to
making this community a better place (3/23), especially as it immediately followed the Beyond Toxics celebration honoring all his work fighting for clean air and water for residents throughout the state of Oregon.

But I was shocked that the writer of “Happening People” used the loaded word “corruption” in his piece, implying that Monk used it. I have worked with Monk for at least two decades and knew instantly that he had not actually uttered the word “corruption.” 

I have never heard Monk use that term to describe opponents to the change he seeks. He sees activism in terms of making thing better and would not characterize peoples’ motivations in such a way.

I, on the other hand, have frequently said: “You can’t call it corruption anymore because they’ve made it legal.”

Bonny Bettman McCornack, Eugene

 

MORE PARADES FOREVER

I, and many others, sorely miss the good old Eugene Celebration Parade. 

In these trying times we need more community focus, creative expression and levity. It seems that maintaining the Eugene Celebration was too hard, so let’s at least have periodic parades. I want to experience regular and all-inclusive expressions of our amazing Eugene-Springfield spirit.

Anybody want to organize an open-ended parade? I hope so!

Richard Grimaldi, Eugene

 

CURBING POLLUTERS

The Oregon Legislature has a chance to tackle two serious problems with the passage of one bill: the Clean Energy Jobs Bill (SB 557), which is currently working its way through the legislature is the product of three years’ worth of work. 

This bill would put a cap and price on carbon dioxide emissions from the biggest polluters in the state and invest that money in clean-energy solutions such as installing solar panels and weatherizing buildings. 

Studies have shown that the clean energy industry creates twice as many jobs as the fossil fuel industry.  This bill is designed with a special focus on disadvantaged communities and rural areas where good, family wage jobs are hardest to find.

In addition, this bill would help implement Oregon’s emission reduction goals by giving the biggest emitters of carbon dioxide a financial incentive to cut back on their use of fossil fuels. To return our climate to stability we need to rapidly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the current 404ppm to 350ppm or below.

We need good jobs and we need a stable climate. Please urge your elected representatives in Salem to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Bill in this legislative session.  

Carolyn Partridge, Eugene

 

NO TAXES FOR WAR

Taxes are due very soon. I love paying taxes for life-affirming things and would be happy to pay even more to ensure free good public education from early intervention through college, free good health care and a social system that ensured everyone had a home and enough to eat.

I would also love paying taxes toward cleaning up our environment, finding solutions to climate change and improving our beautiful national forests and parks.

What I don’t like is how much of our tax dollars go to war and the support of wars and the killing of civilians, including innocent children. I don’t want my money to support a system that increases the number of people across the world that hate U.S. citizens. 

Those of you who are working toward peace and justice please consider resisting part of your war taxes. More than 50 percent of our taxes support war, the military-industrial complex and the interest on our debt from past wars.

If all of us working for peace and justice resisted even a small amount of money, perhaps $5, and gave it to a good cause that is facing cuts, it would send a strong message to Washington that we want our country’s priorities to change. This would be a low risk action. Lets make the USA kind. 

To learn more about becoming a war-tax resistor look at nwtrcc.org and come to the Tax Justice rally and march at 1pm Saturday, April 15, at Alton Baker Park.

Sue Barnhart, Eugene

 

SCHOOL BOARD NEEDS ROSIEK

Jerry Rosiek’s leadership in the UOTeach program at the University of Oregon helped prepare me to advocate for the educational rights of my most vulnerable students, those who are often marginalized by a school’s culture and curricula. My high school language arts students deserve an education that affirms their diverse experiences and perspectives. 

As teachers face increasing pressure from administrators to deliver results from high-stakes testing, we need leaders who advocate for the creation of social justice curricula that is not usually reflected in textbooks or standardized tests.

Jerry Rosiek is committed to improving our community through progressive educational policies that create equity and greater opportunity for our students. The Eugene 4J School Board needs him

Jordan Jacobo, Albany

 

RUSSIAN DISTRACTION

Russia was notified before our own Congress — Trump declares his own personal war on Syria.

This smells like another cheap distraction for Fox News simple minds … don’t follow my money, Trump’s no Russian gopher, big tough guy makes America great again!

One missile through Assad’s palace window would have been a more effective message than 57 sent to dustbowl nowhere.

We really showed ’em!

Glenn Jones, Eugene

 

SAVE THE ELEPHANT

We hope you will consider this petition asking the Oregon Zoo to release Chendra, the zoo’s only Borneo elephant, to an accredited wildlife sanctuary. The petition link is at thepetitionsite.com.

Chendra was taken from the wilds in Borneo as a baby and shipped to the Oregon zoo. She is blind in one eye and has been rejected by the zoo’s Asian elephant herd. She spends most of her time isolated and alone. 

Elephants are highly intelligent, sentient creatures that are not suitable for zoo captivity. Please help us urge the Oregon Zoo to consider letting Chendra live out the rest of her life in a peaceful, natural habitat in a climate that is conducive to her good health. 

As you will see, this petition has nearly 200,000 signatures; roughly 4,000 of those are Oregonians. We need 10,000 Oregon signatures.

We hope you will sign and share this petition.

 Jennifer Reed, Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants, Portland

 

TWO-PARTY STRANGLEHOLD

I believe it was my letter that Joe Tyndall referenced in his latest screed against Social Justice Warriors (Letters, 3/23). However, I’m not interested in the debate Joe offers. Debates are entertainment where two
polemics slug it out for the amusement of their respective fans. I have never seen a debate resolve an issue or solve a problem — and that’s what I’m interested in.

Segments of both Trump and Bernie supporters complain of economic inequality and dismal futures. Polling on specific issues, when devoid of partisanship, shows surprisingly high agreement among the general population. Why are we not working on issues of agreement and having resolution-oriented discussions on
points of disagreement?

The big issues must be addressed. Shortsighted political arguments serve the longevity of the two-party system, but the resulting stagnation and lack of leadership is killing us; multi-party democracy with proportional
representation could redeem our politics.

Leadership must keep pace with changes in society; automation will continue to displace workers but a guaranteed-income scheme would alleviate poverty, negate the need for social services and allow people to live on the part-time, low-paying jobs that will dominate the future.

Earth’s resources are finite and its ecological balance is delicate; society must learn to restrain itself within Earth’s life supporting limits.

These are issues I would like to hear discussed by the solution-minded people and leadership of this country.

James Stauffer, Eugene

 

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.