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Letters to the Editor 2017-12-014


It was with mixed feelings that I read Sally Sheklow’s annual Thanksgiving column (EW, 11/22). Her contributions to the Eugene Weekly have always been, for me, the highlight of your publication. Her writing covered local, global, personal, political and societal matters. And this was her last column for the Weekly.

The quality of Sheklow’s pieces, plus their timeliness, has contributed excellence to the Weekly’s material.  

I’ll also miss the boldness she brought to her writing, which she so skillfully combined with kindness and a big dose of humor.

Lynne Schwartz, Eugene


In response to John Kiely’s letter to the editor (Letters 11/9), I agree, Congress has been woefully inactive in passing sensible solutions to our nation’s gun violence problems. However, he was in error; I have been a sponsor of the ban on bump stocks since the bill was introduced on Oct. 4.

After the horrific events in Las Vegas, I stood with former representative and gun violence survivor Gabby Giffords and Representative John Lewis on the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building and called on Republican Leadership to take immediate action to curb gun violence. That same day I went to the House floor and called directly on Speaker Ryan to name a Select Committee to investigate the causes of and lessen the potential for gun violence and to bring to the floor a vote on comprehensive background check legislation that includes closing the gun show loophole and the individual internet sale loophole.

In addition, I firmly believe bump stocks and other devices that convert a semiautomatic weapon into something that is virtually a fully automatic weapon should be banned.  That’s why I joined as an original co-sponsor of the Automatic Gun Fire Prevention Act, which would ban such devices.

I’ve pushed for sensible, commonsense solutions to our nation’s gun problems for years. The unfortunate reality is that Republicans will not allow a House vote on any gun control legislation — no matter how sensible it is.  I will continue to push for better legislation to curb our nation’s gun violence problem, but frankly until the majority changes, we will be stuck with the status quo.

Congressman Peter DeFazio, Springfield


In the last Eugene Weekly (11/20, pg. 3), I see a big ad from the city of Eugene with a photo of bundled-up folks getting warm by a fire. The ad says there will be tents, fire pits and outdoor heaters in the Park Blocks.

Wow, is the city finally doing something for the homeless people? But no, this is EUGfun! Fun for the people who already have shelter and heat at home. For them, it is not only legal for them to have tents and fires in the park, but funded by the city! Wow.

The Egan Warming Center (run by St. Vinnie, not the city) only operates when the temperature is below 30, and they served more than 1,600 homeless people last winter. FYI: 32 degrees is freezing.

The Egan Warming Center needs more volunteers. I just signed up on their website at eganwarmingcenter.com. You can too.

Also, a question for the folks running EUGfun!: How do these outdoor heaters fit into the city climate recovery plan?

Sharon Blick, Eugene


I’m sorry, Kate Lemley (Letters, 11/30), that you had your lawn sign stolen. Yes, black lives matter; so do brown, white and any other color.

If you could move past your color-blind attitudes, you would see a world that will only find peace and justice when we focus on kindness and love — no distinction by race, religion, etc.

Suggested reading for you is the Dalai Lama, Dr. King and Sri Chinmoy (“Be universal in your Love. You will see the universe to be a picture of your own being”). 

Don French, Eugene


In reference to Karen Lee’s comments regarding digital art and its absence of a soul as stated by printmaker Tallmadge Doyle (Letters, 12/7): I agree wholeheartedly with Doyle and strongly disagree with Lee.

As a working full-time artist, I know that true art comes from within a person, a consciousness or a voice — all things with a soul. Digital art requires none of such things because all you need to create digital art is a computer, a software program and, of course, fingers to work the mouse and keyboard. None of which has a soul to speak of.

Real art comes from within, way down inside a human being. Digital art may be amusing and/or interesting to look at but, in essence, it is dead art with no soul. An electronic manipulation any non-artist can play with and call herself an “artist.”

Van Gogh, Klimt and Dali are rolling in their graves!

Yoshi Moro, Eugene


Seneca Timber claims environmentalists don’t care about loggers and their families, strutting out the tired canard of jobs vs. the environment. Aside from the fact that, if logging corporations cared they wouldn’t keep automating their logging and milling operations, we now find out the logging crew cutting the controversial Goose Creek Sale are from Idaho (Register-Guard, 10/23).

I side with the opinion of Cascadia Forest Defenders that, in facing disastrous climate chaos, most trees over a certain size and age should be left intact, and not just old growth. Right behind the CDF in protest of Seneca should be local loggers — there are plenty of qualified loggers in Lane County, no need bring Idaho gyppo loggers unless it’s to pay a cheaper wage.

One thing Oregon could learn from Idaho is regulations on logging corporations, which are better in Republican-controlled Idaho than in Democratic Oregon — among them, stream setback and aerial spraying. The logging barons aren’t even in the top 20 of the state’s wealth producers, yet the Forest Service and state politicians, including Democrats, are ready to serve their interests. Almost all Forest Service logging operations work as a loss to U.S. taxpayers. 

The reason that the Northwest’s vast forests are so important to the world’s ecological health is evergreen conifers produce oxygen and take in carbon dioxide throughout the seasons, unlike deciduous trees.

Big Timber has been creating ugly, landslide-prone clearcuts, and they’ve been on the dole far too long. It’s Oregonians’ responsibility to stand and say no to those who threaten our beautiful forested commons.

Scott Fife, Eugene