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Letters to the Editor 2017-11-22

NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD

Sorry, Joe Tyndall (Letters, Nov. 16). Can’t do it. Men are human. Human beings, like other animals, are innately neither good nor bad. I have known many “good” men, most of whom have at one time or another done a bad thing.

It makes little sense to either blame or aggrandize anyone by category. Neither does it make sense to ignore privilege and harmful behavior.

Evelyn Hess, Eugene

 

CONTACT PETER DEFAZIO

Nice interview with Congressman Peter DeFazio with his selection as “best local politician” (Nov. 2). He truly seems like a person who cares and will listen. So give him a call or write a note, asking him to cosponsor House Resolution 466 supporting the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

The GPE will help countries provide education for the millions of children and youth out of school. By supporting the GPE’s efforts, America can join other countries and individual donors to create a more peaceful world.

In addition to reducing conflict, educated populations have lower birth rates, better health and higher earnings. This is a perfect step for the man selected as a “World-Changer.”

Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Wash.

 

PROTECT OWYHEE

These are troubled times. Threats abound to our way of life, perhaps to life itself. It all feels overwhelming. What does a poor boy or girl do?  Pick a threat, write a letter, then feel better.

One threat deserving our attention is to public lands. Near and dear is a spectacular example: Oregon’s Owyhee Canyonlands. These public lands are an irreplaceable treasure and the largest unprotected area left in the lower 48 states.

Carved by rivers winding toward the Pacific, the Owyhee Canyonlands — with their red-rock canyons, blue-ribbon trout streams and gently rolling hills — make up a diverse, wild place nearly the size of Yellowstone, home to a rich array of wildlife. There is no place else like it.

Remoteness alone will no longer protect the Owyhee Canyonlands. Development pressure and impacts are coming. Damage from irresponsible ATV use is already here. Mining could be next. Permanently protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands would safeguard the nation’s largest herd of bighorn sheep, as well as native trout, raptors and the imperiled greater sage-grouse.

Protecting the Owyhee Canyonlands would benefit people, too, by helping the local economy, providing certainty for ranchers, boosting recreation and tourism, and guaranteeing access for those who hike, camp, hunt, fish and explore.

Now is the time to take action — before it is too late. Please add your voice by contacting senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, and Congressman Peter DeFazio. Ask them to push for permanent protection of the Owyhee Canyonlands.

Benton Elliott, Eugene

 

LOVES TRUMP, HATES FREE PRESS

I just read your Nov. 9 front page and article on President Trump and Vice-President Pence. I agree that everyone is entitled to his opinion and I happen to be a very conservative Republican who believes in our president and vice-president!

I can’t believe you would publish something like this, calling for impeachment of President Trump … I found all of the copies I could, here at the Eugene Hotel, and threw them in the trash.

I will continue to read your publication, because I am interested in what is going on in Eugene, but PLEASE don’t publish “stuff” like that in the future.

Thank you for your consideration,

Burl V. Stonum, Eugene

Editor’s Note: EW states in the fine print on our masthead that individuals are limited to five free papers. That includes individuals who want to burn them or throw them out. If you want more copies for less nefarious reasons, please stop by 1251 Lincoln Street and we will provide them. 

 

 A SHADOW ON THE UO

Newspeak for university riverfront development is “North Campus conditional use permit.” The meeting at EMU on Nov. 8 was sparsely attended because one notice was posted only one week before. That one notice was removed Nov. 16.

It turns out this is an application to allow four-story (45 feet) buildings next to the river: two or three buildings where Oregon Research Institute would have been, before that was rejected several years ago, and two or three buildings right next to Autzen footbridge, plus three floodlit athletic fields.

The existing Riverfront field is well drained, attractive and consistent with its location. However, AstroTurf with floodlighting has no place in the sensitive and beautiful environment near the river. Also, there are plans to build six-story (75 feet) buildings just south of the railroad tracks.

All these buildings would cast shadow in the winter on the bike path and block views.

A great university needs to preserve this special land, which is needed for recreation for all its members and the growing Oregon public. The university planning committee meets Nov. 28. The university should not destroy this unique resource. The riverfront should not be turned into an antiseptic corporate environment.

George W. Evans, Eugene

 

WHAT UP, SENECA?

Since it’s hard to avoid your ads claiming Seneca timber practices are sustainable, do tell us just exactly what was sustainable about the logging on your Doane Road tree farm? What were you sustaining other than your company’s profits?

I assume you noticed that the Douglas fir there was stressed and dying, just like it is on our forest next
to you and all over the valley. Is that why you harvested such young and small diameter trees, or did you need more wood to burn to boil water to run your turbines to produce electricity and air pollution?

What do you intend to do now with your property out here? Do you think you can still get another fir crop, or is it dawning on you that climate change droughts and your soil-killing forest practices make that a risky proposition?

Jan Nelson, Eugene

 

A FOOT IN THE STREET

Pedestrians have the right of way at intersections not controlled by traffic signals. 

If you stand on the curb or sidewalk, you are not a pedestrian and cars are not required to stop.

To cross the street, put a foot in the street. Cars are required to stop when you do this. Oregon drivers should be ticketed often for not observing this law.

That covers it.

S. Lea Jones, Eugene

 

CITY NEEDS ACCOUNTABILITY

CityAccountability.org gathered 5,000 extra signatures within the 100 days allowed to put an elected independent auditor measure on the May 2018 ballot.

Obviously, people from all political persuasions think this is an idea whose time has come. There were numerous city rules and codes to meet in achieving this goal. If not met, the petition would automatically have been thrown out. City Accountability did meet those challenges, but the city itself did not. 

According to city code 2.980, they had 20 days to “present” the completed petition to the council after it was certified by the city recorder. On day 22, the city attorney included something(?) about it in a memo in a packet to councilors — not exactly a presentation or in time to meet the city’s own code requirements.

I asked councilors at the Nov. 13 meeting where the accountability for this breach of code rules lies, and what are the penalties associated with it? I received no answers from the mayor, the city manager or the city attorney. Do they even care? It doesn’t appear that they do.

Short of suing the city, what can citizens do about it? To me, this illustrates again just how much we need some changes at city hall.

Here is one more reason to pass the city charter changes in May, allowing us to elect an independent auditor in December 2018, bringing some transparency and accountability to how Eugene city government functions.

Robin Bloomgarden, Eugene

 

ATTACK ON OREGON HEALTH CARE

Oregon Legislators passed a law this year (predominantly by Democrats) asking for a 1.5 percent assessment on insurance companies and hospital providers to obtain revenue which would be matched by the federal government to provide health care coverage for Medicaid patients in Oregon. Without this revenue, about 350,000 Oregonians could lose coverage.

The legislation was passed with the input of all concerned parties. and it’s important to note that every health care delivery organization supports this legislation, including the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems.

Who then would want to overturn this legislation? Well, Republican state reps. Julie Parrish, Cedric Hayden and Sal Esquival would, joined by Rep. Knute Bueller. They have gathered signatures to place this on the ballet Jan. 23, 2018. In essence, it’s a smaller version of what the Republicans in Congress are doing — repeal of health care coverage.

Their claim is that this assessment would only be passed on down; we’ve heard that old tune before. That claim reeks strongly of the anti-tax, anti-government, Tea Party forces.

Get ready for tons of slick and glossy mailers funded by the Koch Bros FreedomWorks, Tea Party backers and millionaires who don’t like health care for anyone but themselves.

Zenia Liebman, Junction City 

 

DIVERSE HOW?

Re: “diversity” in Eugene (Nov. 2 Best of Eugene reader’s poll): Who knew that there are so many kinds of vegetarians! Wow.

AJ Moses, Eugene

 

WEB EXTRA LETTERS

 

FORGETTING LAS VEGAS

Another day, another deadly Muslim terrorist attack (New York, Oct. 31). These are near-daily occurrences around the globe — so common that most are now relegated to a few lines of print buried in the middle of newspapers.

As right and left ideologues clash in America’s streets, they’ve all lost sight of who the real enemy is.

Jerry Ritter, Springfield

 

THE VIETNAM QUAGMIRE

Describing President Polk, Lincoln once observed that he “attempted to prove, by telling the truth, what he could not prove by telling the whole truth.” This also describes Ken Burns’ documentary on Vietnam.

Burns consumed 10 years and $30 million to conclude that the war was simply a terrible, costly mistake. His central deception rendering the film useless as a national self-awareness tool was confinement of the war within an isolated frame concealing its place in our larger history. Historian Jeremy Kuzmarov described it as a “sophisticated exercise in empire denial.”

Since WWII, the U.S. has ruthlessly destroyed states developing potentially successful economic models challenging predatory Western capitalism. Eisenhower’s Secretary of State and CIA chief, brothers John Foster and Allen Dulles, targeted five such models for regime change. Four succeeded: Iran (1953), Guatemala (1954), Congo (1961) and Indonesia (1967). Only Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh survived. 

Burns overlooked massive CIA Golden Triangle opium trade funding, inherited from the French, extended to Afghanistan and later supplemented with South American cocaine.

He omitted Edward Lansdale’s “Operation Passage to Freedom” psy-ops stampeding nearly a million Vietnamese southward to inflate support for Diem in his illegitimate election.  

He devoted just two minutes within 18 hours to Ted Shackley’s CIA “Phoenix Program” of infiltration, torture and assassination. 

These covert and proxy warfare methods have been replicated throughout South and Central America, the Middle East, Asia and Africa ever since, continuing today worldwide. In Vietnam, the imperial state did learn its lesson: how to avoid public disturbance.

Jack Dresser, co-director 

Al-Nakba Awareness Project

Springfield, Eugene

 

WEB EXTRA TRUMP POEMS

 

A WHITE HOUSE MENU

Beverages:

Harvey “Build a Wall” Bangers

Adios Mothers

Nonalcoholic Fake “Brews”

CNN Punch

Appetizers:

Really Small Finger Foods

“Putin” on the Ritz Crackers

“Lox” Her Up

Downsized “Comey” Island Hot Dogs

Salads:

Iceberg “Wedgies” with Cracked “Wheee” Buns

“Stay” South of the Border Taco Salad

Egg “on Your Face”  Salad

Soup:

“Leak” Soup with Upper Crust “Powerdough” Bread

“Squash” the Rumors Soup

Creamed “Chickpleas” Soup

Entrée:

Turmoil Broil with “Re-peeled” Potatoes

“Tweet” and Sour Pork

Roast “Beef” of the Day

Here Today, Gone “Tamale”

Dessert:

Ripe for “Impeachment” Pie

Staff Turnovers

Fudge the Truth-sicles

Breakfast:

Leggo My “Ego”

Waffle of the Day, subject to change

No extra fiber needed as the bowels of the White House are running smoothly.

Laurel Smith, Eugene