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Letters to the Editor: 9-27-2012

WE NEED BETTY

The rarest things in politics are compassionate liberals who are tough and fearless. They are the ones the coal shippers and exploiters spend tons of money to defeat. You know where they stand and will not fizzle out when the going gets rough.

We have such a one on the Eugene City Council: Betty Taylor. I have been thrilled over the years of her service watching her work. I implore the voters of south Eugene: do not be sidetracked. Keep Betty Taylor on the council. We need her as never before.

Jim Weaver, Eugene

 

STOP THE COAL TRAINS

I am strongly against the moving of hundreds of thousands of tons of coal by train through Eugene! Ward 7 is already overburdened by diesel fumes from the rail yards and all of the different chemical companies spewing out contaminants here [see cover story last week]. 

There are many reasons to stop adding coal trains to the mix: the extra particulate coming from the coal dust itself; the diesel from the two or three locomotives pulling 1-1/2 mile long trains four times daily; the traffic snarls that will ensue as these trains slowly move through town; the dangers of a derailment in the city (which has happened all over the country of late); the very explosive nature of coal dust (which is why it can’t be covered); the idea that the city of Eugene will be condoning the export of more greenhouse gases and particulate pollution-causing coal to Asia, while we claim to be trying to cut them here; and that all of it will be blowing right back to Oregon after it’s burned.

Most of the cities between Wyoming/ Montana and Oregon/Washington are also working to stop this; and probably not one more job will be added to Eugene’s workforce! These projects are only about rich corporations making even more money at our expense, as usual!

Exporting of coal through Eugene will adversely affect Bethel/Danebo, Trainsong and neighborhoods north of 6th Avenue more than other parts of town! Please do not allow this travesty to further compromise the health of Eugene’s citizens. Councilor Alan Zelenka is right about the inappropriateness of this proposal. Stop the coal trains!

Robin Bloomgarden

Eugene

 

INAPPROPRIATE FASHION

Jeff Holiday [Letters, 9/20] undermines his position by telling someone to “shut up” before he even offers any arguments in favor of his perspective — a clear sign he’ll be arguing for an untenable point of view.

Worse, he uses his anger to shield his ignorance of not only racism but the history of genocide and appropriation of Native symbols, spirituality and culture.

The world has not “moved on.” Native people are still here despite the horrific genocide Europeans and Americans committed, despite being forcibly assimilated after their cultures were nearly destroyed, and despite the forced immiseration on the reservations. The reward for persevering? Continued marginalization and ill-treatment by people who think the Indians in old movies are accurate portrayals — and now mockery at fashion shows and childish screeds.

I suggest that Jeff check out nativeappropriations.blogspot.com for reasons why feather headdresses are not fashion accessories. Maybe he can take his own advice, remain silent and listen to others.

Ryan Foote, Eugene

 

SUCCAH CRAWL

BRING recently had its Home and Garden tour. The Whiteaker has its garden tour. Downtown has its art walks. The Jewish community is now adding to the this list of tours with its second annual Succah Crawl.

When most people think of the Jewish High Holy Days, they think of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Well, after the all day prayers of the Jewish New Year and Day of Atonement, we Jews have a week of fun living in succahs — temporary structures with leafy branches for a roof.

And seeing as so few people know of this part of the Holy Days, we decided to make a tour of them — a different Succah and a different event each day of the holy days of Succot. You can find them in the Weekly’s calendar (starting Sunday, Sept. 30), or by going to our website: JewishEventsWillamette-valley.org

Shmuel Cohen, Eugene

 

LIVELY IS BEST CANDIDATE 

I was pleased and excited when I learned that John Lively had chosen to be a candidate to represent the Springfield area as our state representative.

 Having worked with John on a variety of councils, committees and commissions, I know that John does everything possible to inform himself before taking any stands or making any decisions. Then, with his decisions based upon information rather than emotion, he very passionately works to accomplish what he feels best for his community. 

Yes, I’ll admit, I’ve not always agreed with John’s positions; however, I’ve never found him to be self-serving or taking a stance that he didn’t believe was best for those whom he serves — and darn it — he was, most frequently, right. He cares for his constituents, whether they voted for him or not.

 When I learned who John’s opposing candidate was, I first thought that since Joe Pishioneri has done a fair job as a Springfield city councilor, he’d not be a bad second choice. Then the campaigning began. Now there’s no doubt we have to vote for Lively!

 In the 40-plus years I’ve known John, he’s been serving our community in such a tremendous variety of ways, without ever feeling the need to belittle, criticize or defame those who disagree with him. John’s much more interested in saying and doing what’s best for those whose lives might be affected by his positions and decisions, while his opponent continues to criticize and find fault.

Gawsh, I wonder which attitude might accomplish the most during debate in committees and on the House floor up in Salem.

That’s why I encourage you to check John’s records, ignore his opponent’s advertising and join me in electing him as our next state representative.

Kenny Eilers, Springfield

 

HOW THINGS WORK

Here is how democracy works: Hundreds of people write letters and send emails to the relevant officials against oh, I don’t know, let’s say a new gravel quarry. Dozens and dozens of folks and their neighbors go to public meetings to voice opposition to that same gravel quarry. The public officials, hearing the will of their constituents, deny the gravel company a permit.

 Here is how capitalism works: Hundreds of people write letters and send emails to the relevant officials against oh, I don’t know, let’s say a new gravel quarry. Dozens and dozens of folks and their neighbors go to public meetings to voice opposition to that same gravel quarry. The public officials, hearing the will of their donors, grant the gravel company a permit.

 See any difference? If not, just go ahead and vote Republican. Remember, only corporations are people, my friend.

Jamie Selko, Eugene

 

 

R.I.P. MISTER

I’m responding to Randi Golub’s letter of Sept. 13. It is ironic that someone who makes her living caring for hospice animals does not think that shelter animals have that right. Ms. Golub, in her discussion of “facts,” conveniently omitted that the dog Oakly, while at Greenhill’s First Avenue pound, was left to suffer with painful ailments, medically untreated for almost two weeks. Oakly does have some senior issues. He has a right to life. Oakly is now safe, living comfortably, enjoying peace, sunshine and love.

Medically qualified eyewitnesses have testified the cat Mister did not have any eye condition. He was eating and drinking and purring, outgoing and asking for attention. This is not the behavior of a suffering cat. Greenhill’s vet put Mister to death, even though he was not suffering and had a hospice home waiting for him.

I trust the eyewitness testimonies about Mister and Oakly. I do not trust Greenhill’s veterinary “assessments.” Putting to death any animal that is not suffering and has a home available is morally and ethically wrong. It is not in keeping with the Save Adoptable & Treatable Animals mandate, nor does it reflect Greenhill’s own guidelines for euthanasia: “No animal is euthanized at Greenhill without an extensive review process, and then only if there’s no viable alternative.”

Oakly got his alternative only because of the persistence of the rescue community. Unfortunately, we learned about Mister too late. R.I.P. Mister.

Tamara Barnes, No Kill Lane County, Eugene

 

SQUANDERED SUBSIDIES

Federal subsidies and mass transportation need a table where knowledge and power meet, which is Congress. The House needs to represent the needs of “we the people” in proportion to population growth. To do that, Public Law 62-5 must be repealed. It limits the number of congressional districts to the number of representatives each state was entitled to on Aug. 8 of 1911. That’s why “we the people” only have 435 representatives. 

Subsidy payments feed multiple layers of redundant government with no consent from the governed. Instead of public agencies wallowing around in a quagmire of which one of them gets how much, and vociferous 501(c)(3)s preaching in the street, local/state/national government needs to heed the organic intent of apportionment: taxation = representation + public service. 

Lane County is part of the congressional district that receives taxes from around 700,000 people. This money needs to be used to upgrade and extend existing rails tracking across the county to provide county-to-county mass transportation. 

Public agencies, such as LTD, competing for federal subsidies will result in local over-development, or more than likely, a squandering away of subsidy payments within multiple layers of government. 

Jon Meadow, Eugene

 

VOTERS BEWARE

American voting in the presidential election need to know who Mitt Romney is and what his “business success” is really all about. A brief historical view of Romney’s business dealings with Bain Capital expose a highly predatory and corrupt model of business. 

Basically it is the leveraged buyout tactic wherein large amounts of money are borrowed to buy controlling interest in a firm, after which the firm becomes liable for the loans used for its takeover. This would then drive the companies into bankruptcy destroying thousands of jobs and pensions while Bain and Romney made off with hundreds of millions of dollars.

Here’s a partial list as compiled in the recent expose in Rolling Stone magazine, “Greed and Debt: The True Story of Mitt Romney and Bain Capital.”

• Ampad — Bain borrowed $60 million to purchase the company after only investing $5 million of its own money. The company went bankrupt throwing hundreds out of work. Bain and Romney made $100 million on a $5 million investment. 

• KB Toys — Bain borrowed $300 million gaining control of the company [and] driving the company into bankruptcy. Jobless employees got no severance pay. Bain made off with $120 million.

• Stage Stores — same model as above. Bain got “a $175 million return on its initial investment of $10 million.” Employees and firm left in ruins.

So voters beware. This is Romney’s predatory economic model and it would surely leave this country’s 99 percent in economic ruins. 

Gerry Rempel, National Delegate to DNC, Eugene

 

WEB LETTERS

A CONCERTED VIEW

Thanks Mari, WOW hall 9/22, I didn't know women could sing the blues I always thought you made them just for us. Thank you again for your heart, soul and magic muse.

Vince Loving, Eugene

 

ROCK THE VOTE

You know, I have nothing but disdain for that robotic man, formerly of Bain. But I'm not unlike the rabid right, with their pit bull tactics, their sense of fight, full of venom. So where do we go from here? If politics is the art of the possible, what does one do with the frozen battle state of gridlock? Do we make every effort to rock the vote, in the face of gerrymandering and much litigation, carrying all the way to the Supreme Court?

I suspect that rocking the vote is our only hope in this republic that is but a pale shadow of what earlier great statesmen envisioned. I'm referring to Jefferson, Hamilton and also to that Republican president, Abe Lincoln. FDR, as well, with the advantage of a terrible world war, but who developed a safety net as well (one that rock-ribb'd Repubs would not deny). Whatever did happen to the land of those newly arrived, convinced of possibility, of the home of the free? Tho' our current leader is less than we envisioned, let us please (twenty somethings and you millenials), let us please rock the vote, let us, indeed, rock the vote! I'm a boomer, for sure, in my 60s, but I still say, let us rock the vote.

Terrapin Tim Volem, Eugene

 

NO JOBS ON A DEAD PLANET

Don't get fooled by mainstream media and wealthy resource extraction industries. If energy and resource independence are the goals, there wouldn't be the push to export coal, liquid natural gas and raw timber out of the country.

There are calls to downsize the federal government, but don't touch the military, even though our military is more powerful than all the others combined. The truth is, it's all about raking in profits for multi-billion dollar corporations at the expense of local jobs, education, health, clean air and water, habitat for wildlife and a sustainable future for generations to come. What we need is a global carbon tax and a system of natural capitalism where all the costs of destroying and/or polluting natural resources are included in the products produced.

There is movement to give carbon credits to get paid for NOT clearcutting forests, especially native and older forests that sequester more carbon than single species, same age tree farms, among many other eco-system services natural forests provide. And for the two presidential candidates, puppets for the corporations, especially "Drill, baby drill, Romney, there are no jobs on a dead planet.

Pam DriscollDexter

 

VALLE’S BROAD BASE

Recently local media have mistakenly characterized supporters of Juan Carlos Valle, candidate for City Council Ward 2, as basically realtors and conservatives, big business, and anti-environmental timber advocates. I am none of the above, but I am a supporter and donor for Juan Carlos Valle's campaign. None of the several other Valle supporters I know fit those categories either. His campaign manager David Kelly is one of the most progressively liberal activists this community has ever seen. Maybe that should tell you something.

What Eugene voters need to understand is that Valle support is broad based, and crosses political lines. I have worked with both Betty Taylor and Juan Carlos Valle and have seen them in action. Juan Carlos works conscientiously to solicit input from all sides of an issue, and to build consensus. On the other hand, I have seen Betty fall asleep in meetings, and she once told me she had no interest in serving her rotation as the designated councilor on a City Commission. As one Betty Taylor supporter admits, she can often be an annoying fly in the ointment. But what he calls her "annoying wisdom," I would characterize as a closed mind, disinterest in hearing varying points of view. It's time for a change.

Marilyn Nelson, Eugene

 

SIUSLAW COUNTY

Lane County should provide the following to our coastal communities:

1) Safety: Lane should provide resident deputies, a judge, jail space, courthouse, health and human services — local programs. The current resident deputy is federally provided to patrol the federal sand dunes and forests until July 2013.

2) Local: Lane should provide local offices, facilities and workers. The local workers would be sensitive to their coastal community and these jobs paid by our taxes would benefit our local economy.

3) Equitable: Lane should assure fairness in providing county services. Highway 126 tunnel represents a cultural divide that separates us from Eugene and our fair share of public safety resources and other public services.

4) Affordable: Lane is burdened with 160 years of Eugene-centric decisions. The current fees, taxes and federal/state revenue sharing generated by the coast should remain here and not be used to bail out Eugene’s troubles.

5) Representative: Lane should not use politics to determine the distribution of services. Just because the coast is only 5 percent of the voters is no excuse for strip-mining our wealth and then leaving us devoid of county services.

Unfortunately, Lane County will continue to do what it has done and our coast will continue to get zip. To survive, endure and return to health we must become a separate county taking with us all we currently send to Lane County. Only as Siuslaw County do I feel we will enjoy a county that is safe, local, equitable, affordable and representative.

Keith StantonFlorence

 

STRANGLEHOLD

The presidential race is being played as the party of “me power” vs. the party of “we power.” In reality it is a race between us and them — us being the majority struggling middle class being played once again as fools by the corporations and bankers who have a stranglehold on our republic. A recent headline announced that Wall Street executives are unlikely to face criminal charges because they are too big to fail. The prophetic words of Abraham Lincoln have become reality: “The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their method or throw light upon their crimes. … As a result of war corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”

Michael T. HinojosaDrain

THE SHOCKING TRUTH

With the 50th anniversary of the book One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, many who read and later watched the movie depiction, were horrified at the scenes of the electroshock of Jack Nicholson. These treatments go on today. It is common practice these days of electro-convulsive treatments to be given to thousands upon thousands of people a year. It happens to your friends and family members at institutions such as Kaiser Permanente HMO facilities and OHSU. Patients are coerced into consenting and lied to about the probable permanent loss of long-term memory, cognitive problems, and loss of talents. It is a medically induced frontal lobotomy from electrical currents strong enough to induce grand mal seizures. This “treatment” is also inflicted on children as young as 12. It is big business for insurance companies and billions of dollars in research grants to participating facilities. It is a treatment of convenience. It is not the wonder cure people are led to believe. Patients are starting to take a stand against this dehumanizing treatment and believe there are always other alternatives.

Debra SchwartzkopffNewberg

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, keep submissions to once a month, and include your address and phone number for our files. Email to letters@eugeneweekly.com or fax to 484-4044, or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.