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Letters to the Editor 2017-06-22

MEATY COMMENTARY

It is clear that EW enjoys trolling “sensitive types” — it gets people talking about the newspaper. But I thought opening your article about a food truck with, “Butchering — cutting down an animal for food — is an art, a calling, a passion,” is creepy and demands comment.

Everyone knows that raising animals for meat is a huge calamity for the environment and leading to starvation because the land and water used could grow far more plant-based food. Most of the animals people eat come from factory farms, which are profoundly cruel.

Yet people continue to eat animals for three main reasons — conformity, laziness, or selfishness.  Conformity is unthinkingly continuing to do what others do. Laziness is continuing out of habit, no matter if it’s necessary or not. And selfishness is when you continue because you enjoy it though you are aware of deep ethical problems. Occasionally someone has a biological necessity to eat meat, but that’s an exception.

Do some real research — biologically, human beings are herbivores. The cultural practice of eating flesh has made heart disease the most common cause of death.  From start to finish, eating animals is an epic disaster. How can anyone continue in good conscience?

David A. Caruso, Eugene

 

HOPE FOR THE FUTURE

We are plaintiffs in Juliana v. United States. In 2015, 21 of us youth joined to sue the U.S. government for taking actions that cause and enhance the dangers of climate change.

We know it’s not obvious that the U.S. government causes climate change, so let us explain.

First, the government sets our national energy policy and what kind of fuels we use. When it sets standards for how inefficient the things that burn those fuels can be, like our cars, the government is taking actions. When it leases land to corporations to dig up coal or drill for oil or gas, the government is taking actions. When it offers tax breaks and subsidies to fossil fuel companies, the government is taking actions. When it permits the pollution that comes out of the energy system it controls, the government is taking actions.

When you add up all these actions, the U.S. government, more than anyone else, is responsible for the level of carbon dioxide pollution that will determine the climate in our lifetimes.

As young people, we’re not worried about Trump’s opinions on climate change, but the U.S. government’s actions. Because we know the actions it takes today to promote fossil fuels will cause emissions that will cause climate change.

And that climate change will mean impacts that we will have to live with throughout our lifetimes.

That’s why we take a comfort in knowing that Trump can withdraw from the Paris Agreement, but he can’t withdraw from our lawsuit.

Kelsey Juliana, 21, Eugene, Tia Hatton, 20, Bend, Kiran Oommen, 20, Eugene, Alex Loznak, 20, Roseburg, Miko Vergun, 16, Beaverton, Isaac Vergun, 15, Beaverton, Zealand Bell, 13, Eugene, Sahara Valentine, 12, Eugene, Hazel Van Ummersen, 12, Eugene, Avery McRae, 11, Eugene

 

ON THE RIGHT TRACK

Life lessons my grandson learned at the NCAA track and field meet:

Whether you win or lose, you acknowledge your competitors. You congratulate those who came in ahead of you and also remember those who came in behind you.

No matter how far behind you are, you always finish the race.

You listen to your coach. Even after doing something great on the field, you go straight to your coach to see how you can get better. Because you can always get better.

When you’re out of the running in a field event, you acknowledge the fans with grace — no matter how disappointed you are.

Track fans are supportive of their own team but also of everyone’s efforts, no matter what team. They appreciate effort and accomplishment no matter whose they are.

Focus and strive. Do this and you will accomplish things in life.

Judy Fleisig, Springfield

 

STAND UP TO BIG TIMBER

I just read a blog online from Oregon Wild that had information about Lincoln County voters deciding to ban aerial spray in their county [see also EW’s 6/15 article]. This is great, and it is really exciting to hear about, especially from the coast.

However, we don’t need more county initiatives that only protect a few Oregonians from aerial spray. We need statewide changes to logging and chemical laws. One of the things I learned from Oregon Wild is that we have the “weakest logging regulations in the West,” and I want to know how that is possible.

I live in western Lane County, and drive to the coast often and see the ridiculous clearcuts hurting our rivers and fish and people; the lone tractors clearcutting entire hillsides, providing no jobs; the piles of logs at export terminals creating no jobs. I see corporations laughing at us all the way to the bank, as they find token “family foresters” to put up as the face of the logging industry. 

The final thing I learned from that blog: Senator Arnie Roblan is the one blocking state reforms on these important matters, but his district was just the first in the nation to ban aerial spraying.

Will we start losing Democratic seats in Salem soon because the Democrats are too scared to stand up to the industry? I hope not.

Grow a backbone Salem Dems, you’re losing the environmental vote quickly! 

Phil Eugene Cragmussen, West Lane County

 

MAKE EUGENE INCLUSIVE

June 13 at Harris Hall, the community rose strong for an Inclusivity Ordinance for Lane County. After all that was expressed with words of compassion and insight by well-informed citizens, I was discouraged to hear the chairperson of the Equity and Access Advisory Board refer to a resolution instead of an ordinance. We the people insist on an ordinance.

Please visit the Lane County Commission website and view the Board Meeting Webcast for June 13 as your neighbors spoke before a standing-room-only crowd. View the sympathetic words of each of your commissioners.

Then hear the chairperson of the work group speak of “one sticking point of considerable size.”

The city of Eugene has a Protection of Individuals and Groups Ordinance, contrary to the information shared by the Equity Board Chairperson. As Eugene has, Lane County can and must protect individuals and groups with an ordinance.

As hero Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche lay dying after supporting and defending strangers on the Portland Max train, he spoke words of love. Just a few hours later after her son died, Asha Deliverance released this statement:

“We lost him in a senseless act that brought close to home the insidious rift of prejudice and intolerance that is too familiar, too common. We ask that in honor of his memory. We use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change. We choose love.”

We raise our children to love. Let us lead by example.

Please attend future Lane County Commission meetings when public testimony is heard and use your voice for love.

Carol Louise Scherer, Eugene

 

COOKED TO DEATH

Since we first walked this earth we have desired to have more and more convenience. We harnessed fire and invented the wheel and indoor plumbing. Until now, the advantages of our conveniences have far outweighed their disadvantages.

Today, however, the disadvantages of wireless technology far outweigh its advantages. These invisible wireless signals are carried through the air via microwaves — yes, the same microwave radiation that cooks your food.

We are slowly being cooked, especially the most vulnerable, like our children and the elderly. We are being exposed and harmed by this microwave radiation 24/7 through Bluetooth, wi-fi, cell towers, cell phones, cordless phones, speakers, headphones, baby monitors and all our other convenient wireless gadgets.

Now here come the EWEB commissioners with their long term plan (already being implemented) to install unnecessary digital wireless pulsed microwave radiating AMI meters (aka “smart meters”) on every home and business in Eugene to meter water and electricity use.

EWEB commissioners are required, as trustees, to implement the “precautionary principal” whenever there is even a chance of causing harm to people or the environment by their actions. They are well aware of these dangers, and yet negligently refuse to stop or warn the people of Eugene. Don’t opt-in.

Abraham Likwornik, Eugene

 

BROWN IS NOT GREEN

People tell me that Gov. Kate Brown is an environmentalist, but I don’t see it. Seems like when it comes to timber and other extractive interests, she just rolls over. 

While Brown touts she’s “committed” to the Paris Agreement goals, she can’t say “No!” to the Pacific Connector fracked-gas pipeline in southern Oregon, or the Jordan Cove LNG terminal in Coos Bay!

We almost lost the Elliott State Forest because of her dithering last year. Then, new Secretary of State Dennis Richardson joined the State Land Board, almost putting the kibosh on the whole thing, with new Treasurer Tobias Read also in favor of selling! Thankfully, better heads prevailed.

Kate has shown no interest in pushing for a strong cap & reinvest bill to limit the big air polluters in Oregon. Her much ballyhooed “Coal to Clean” bill won’t do much until 2030! 

The toxic aerial spraying of pesticides across our timberlands and citizens, doesn’t bother her, either.

I read the papers daily. I never see anything directly from Kate to her Oregon constituents. What exactly does she stand for? When will Oregonians find out? Will Oregon ever begin comprehensive climate change work? Will she step up to make it happen?

Robin Bloomgarden, Eugene

 

IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?

If you talk to medical people in Lane County and Eugene, they will tell you this: Doctors, specialists of all kinds and most psychiatrists are all leaving Oregon and moving to other states or even moving out of the USA completely.

Where are they going? To states and nations that have plenty of money to pay doctors — and no types of government medical insurance, especially not the ACA, Medicaid or even little Medicare (since that plan has become cut to the bone.)

What will happen to Oregon? It will have so few doctors, psychiatrists and specialists that patients will need to travel to Seattle or other states just to find a doctor or specialist. This has happened already.

A place cannot exist forever without any doctors.

D.H. Bucher, Eugene

 

 

WEB LETTERS

 

YOU BEEN TRUMPED

President Trump claimed to know more than the generals. He claimed to have a secret plan to defeat ISIS. He recently abdicated his role as commander-in-chief by handing over decisions on troop levels to military commanders. Yet another lie told by Trump the candidate.

Recently ISIS retook Tora Bora in Afghanistan. We have spent an estimated 6 trillion dollars on the Bush wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Six-trillion dollars would pay for free college tuition for U.S. citizens for 50 years. It would pay for 50 years of universal pre-kindergarten, or seven years of free healthcare for 100 million Americans.

Instead we wasted the money on needless wars. Now Trump and his GOP buddies want to spend even more on the military and cut education funding and take away healthcare. They are instead giving tax breaks to their wealthy donors. Their wealthy supporters will gain more money from defense contracts so they can line their pockets.  

Enough! We have the resources to guarantee college tuition and healthcare to Americans. We must stand up to the GOP and their corruption, greed and lying.

Irene Henjum

Springfield

 

REMEMBER THE HEROES

Recently in Portland, several citizens bravely stepped forward, like many other stories of “ordinary people” risking their lives and safety to help someone, anyone, threatened with harassment and possible death.

Two lost their lives, and one was severely injured. Although they have received timely support and acclaim, in the long run this like that of many other news stories of our time; it will probably be lost, like tears in the rain, as society moves on to the next new issue of the moment.

We would be better served if acts such as these were preserved as a lasting inspiration for others, rather than being forgotten. Oregon could best do this by establishing one day a year for recognizing selfless acts as these.

This event need not be limited to just Oregon or Oregonians, but Oregon is a good place to start.

William W. Trevarrow