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Letters to the Editor 2017-10-05

YOU CAN CUT IT WITH A STICK

Thursday’s Eugene Weekly (Sept. 21) brought a much-needed update on Scobert Park.

We learned that a lot of bad shit goes down there, it’s been going on for a long time, nobody’s had any idea what to do about it in the past and there are no good ideas now — but it doesn’t matter, because the city can’t afford to do anything anyway.

However, they’re going to start talking about it more soon, but nobody knows when. Despite the nebulous state of the situation, there is a plan. According to a Parks and Rec landscape architect, “the idea is to engage the neighborhood at a very deep level around why we need to do this, how we need to do it and what creates the best outcome.”

I’m not sure what “this” is, but as long as there’s a plan I’m sure it will work out great.

Despite the dearth of information on the ostensible main topic, we did learn a lot about a fellow named Jeremy Owen. Jeremy lives in west Eugene and sold drugs in the park growing up. He got good grades but that didn’t keep him out of jail. He did get released early for good behavior, though, and now he has a job in a mill drying wood. He likes it.

That’s a nice story. I’m happy for Jeremy.

Bill Shaw, Eugene


ELECT THE ASSHOLE

In response to Jerry Ritter’s letter (Sept. 14) explaining Hillary’s defeat and other letters in response, I’d like to offer my assessment of “what happened”:

Looking forward to having cushy jobs in a Hillary Clinton administration, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and others inside the DNC insisted on giving the nomination to an extremely unpopular, distrusted, corporate aligned, militarist candidate — even though they were being handed a hugely popular, Trump-destroying machine named Bernie Sanders.

Millions of middle American voters who are not explicitly racist, sexist “deplorables” were essentially told, “You’d better vote for this awful candidate who doesn’t represent you, because otherwise, the racist, sexist, narcissistic buffoon will get elected and we can’t let THAT happen.”

Looking at the manipulative, good cop/bad cop ploy being used on them, many fine American voters said, “Fuck this shit! I’m voting for the asshole.” And THAT is what happened.

Defeating Trump should have been a slam-dunk. Russian meddling and fake news not withstanding, a worthy candidate should have been able to mop the floor with Trump’s silly hair. If we’re going to confine Trump to a one-term presidency, the DNC needs to do some serious soul searching and nominate candidates who can credibly claim to represent the people and not the big corporations and increased militarism that have traditionally been championed by the Republicans.

Robert Bolman, Eugene


A GREAT NOTION

It is a political and moral affront to the majority of citizens who have expressed over and over again a preference to change the name of Broadway Plaza to Kesey Square to deny their will over and over again. Not only Mr. Kesey but the Kesey Family itself has positively contributed and continue to positively contribute mightily to our community.

Clearly, the net worth of those seeking the name change is inferior to those who oppose the name change. And the eastern brothers and sisters who were paid a fee from our taxes by the council to make various recommendations for our benefit, and who wholeheartedly recommended changing the name to Kesey Square?

Well, what do they know? 

Christopher and Deb Michaels, Eugene


ENOUGH IS ENOUGH

On Sunday in Las Vegas, America suffered the deadliest mass shooting in our nation’s history. My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and to all Americans who have had enough of gun violence in this country.

Americans need to be safe in public places, whether at country music concerts, dance clubs, schools, churches or baseball fields.

We are done debating. We need comprehensive gun safety laws in order to protect our citizens from these random acts of violence that threaten our everyday lives. Congress needs to act now to ensure the safety of all Americans.

Curtis Taylor, Eugene


FIGHTING ALZHEIMER’S

Every 66 seconds a family member, neighbor, friend or coworker receives a devastating diagnosis: Alzheimer’s disease. All of us are at risk — because Alzheimer’s can happen to anyone with a brain. But you can take action to help assure a better future for everyone.

We invite you to participate in the Walk to End Alzheimer’s at 2 pm Sunday, Oct. 8, at Eugene’s Alton Baker Park. Registration is at noon.

Join an existing team or form your own. You can walk all or part of the two-mile course. You can even be a virtual walker by contributing to the cause, perhaps in honor or memory of someone affected by this devastating disease that can’t be slowed and has no cure — yet.

My wife and I will be virtual walkers on Oct. 8 in memory of her father, who died in 2002 after a 10-year battle with the disease that progressively stole his loving presence from his family, including his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren.

Every dollar raised directly benefits individuals locally through free educational programs, support groups, care consultations, art classes, the 24/7 Helpline, website and more. Your dollars also help drive critical research toward treatment, prevention and, ultimately, a cure.

To start or join a team today, visit the Walk to End Alzheimer’s website at tinyurl.com/17EugeneWalk. For information about Alzheimer’s, visit alz.org or call 1-800-272-3900.

Together, we can end Alzheimer’s. Please join us on Oct. 8.

John R. Crosiar, Alzheimer's Assoc. Oregon Chapter, Springfield 



THE CIVILIZATION CURSE

Puerto Rico needs diesel. After the storms, the islanders don’t cotton much to a life of savagery. They need help getting hooked back up to civilization.

Were I Puerto Rican, I would be ambivalent about this massive rescue operation — getting all the pumps and tubes and transistors operational like some kind of basket case in a critical care unit feeding the inmates the miracles of modern civilization. Flush toilets, high-speed internet, jet travel and the whole nine yards.

Air conditioning, dear lord. Land-lording the terrain with surveyed plots. Global trade so I might sit around in underwear manufactured by abused children in Bangladesh. Surrounded by objects fabricated by strangers whose company I would not enjoy in the least. Great Gawd a’mighty ... diesel needs to get here quick.

Or it might feel more like being frog marched back into the penitentiary.

David Hugh Tyson, Eugene


TAKE A KNEE

Colin Kaepernick has clearly stated the resolution: Unarmed people of color are disproportionately being killed by police.

Many folks have tried to distract us from Kaepernick’s message by instead focusing on the form of his protest. They’ll say that kneeling during the national anthem is disrespectful to the flag or to veterans or to elected officials. Nonviolent protesters have always had those detractors. Every time. Don’t let them distract you from the resolution.

Unarmed people of color are disproportionately being killed by police.

Privileged white people will try to change the conversation to something about patriotism or the role politics in sports; those are easier conversations to have. Let’s not get distracted from the resolution.

Unarmed people of color are disproportionately being killed by police.

Racial injustice is staring at us in the face. Let’s not allow this moment to pass by getting distracted from the resolution.

Unarmed people of color are disproportionately being killed by police.

Brett Moser, Eugene


AXE THE TIMBER BARONS

The regional timber industry spin machine has kicked it into high gear lately, and has been spewing it’s own kind of noxious fumes at the Pacific Northwest, attempting to gin up a blind momentum to promote their specific interests.

“Forest management” in the timber industry context is defined by industry shareholder interests, while management for other, more diverse and scientifically based objectives, have totally different praxis, and cannot be conflated with the profit motives of the timber interests.

Despite the sweet sounding propaganda dripping off the honeyed, forked tongues of zombie lobbyists, the profit driven management of private timberlands, and the plantation mentality, create the worst of tinderbox conditions, and so never again can we let private timber barons monopolize public forestland policies to their own ends.

They are the ones to blame for ignoring decades of reality to chase their insatiable greed, causing onward-rippling disruption to ecological forces that they never understood or seemed to care about. It will take many decades hence to undo the slow-motion disaster they have inflicted.

They don’t get to muscle endless selfish bailouts from their self-induced crises; they don’t get to boldface lie through their teeth in hopes of swindling the taxpayers for ever-more sweetheart subsidies.

Public lands are now being better managed than private Wall Street profiteer lands, and there will be no going backwards.

Mike McFadden, Eugene


LIGHTS OUT, TRUMP

Donald Trump’s slip-shod words harm humanity. Trump’s critique of NFL athletes taking a knee in protest of bigotry and then calling it unpatriotic, especially when Trump took a knee evading his patriotic duty during Vietnam with bogus draft deferments is …

My senior year, in 1970, the high school football coach called me a “son-of-a-bitch.” My mother had died the year before; she was 42 years young. When I demanded an apology, push came to shove and we ended up inside the principal’s office.

After admonishments, I was dismissed and waited until coach reappeared to hear his apology; whereupon push came to shove and I was expelled from school for three days. 

I made all-state football, but chose to play college basketball on a full-ride athletic scholarship. The last military draft via lottery according to birthdate was in 1971. My number was three, and since I was a freshman ineligible for a deferment, I postponed a college education and a sports career, including the prospect to play in the ABA for the Denver Rockets. I joined the air force and honorably served four years. 

Trump calling a person a “son-of-a-bitch” is pathetic and stupid. What is he implying about his mother, wife and daughter, or women in general? If someone called me that name — face to face? — I’d knock their lights out.

Michael Thessen, Eugene


TRUMP DON’T CARE

I take a knee to the flag of the Divided States of America and to the Republicans for which it stands, a divided Nation, under a cloud of bigotry and racism, with liberty and justice for rich white people and not many others.

If you are angry about Trump, guess what: He doesn’t care. Be as angry as you want. He will continue to do and say as he pleases.

You will eventually come to realize that his only purpose is to make himself, the Trump brand, his family and his “friends” (in that order) better off than they were before a lot of naive people voted for him.

Hillary Clinton may have been all about the status quo, but that is 1,000-percent better than what we have now. Private emails? What is going on in the Trump administration is far worse than private emails.

And it’s not like he didn’t foreshadow his agenda before the election. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if something is a lie if it’s what you want to hear. But you have to learn to discriminate, to not just read between the lines but also to listen between the sound bites.

Let’s do better in 2020.

Chuck West, Eugene 


PRESIDENTIAL REMINDER

Dear Donald, here are a few things to remember:

You cannot fire Kim Jong Un or North Korea. You cannot fire the New York Times or CNN. You cannot fire congressional investigation panels. You cannot fire the IRS or the Supreme Court. You cannot fire the NFL or Black Lives Matter. You cannot fire the popular vote.

And, above all, you cannot repeal, replace or pardon your conscience — if you even have one.

Sorry to deliver such bad news. 

W.C. Crutchfield, Eugene