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Letters to the Editor

June 18, 2015

A RIVERFRONT VISION

Following the UO Foundation’s disappointing renege on its winning bid to be the project manager for the Willamette riverfront EWEB development, I am encouraged by new voices promoting again the notion of a last chance for the city of Eugene to “take control of a project that will affect us forever” and buy that property from EWEB. 

June 11, 2015

DE-GREENING EUGENE

I haven’t read anything about the trees downtown that are slated to go down this summer. The one by the Eugene Public Library on Charnelton is doomed, but there are 10 trees on 11th and Olive, across from The Kiva, that will go when the bulldozers come to demolish Musgrove Mortuary. One of them has already been dug up and moved.

June 4, 2015

ONLY ONE OF MANY

I am writing to applaud Camilla Mortensen’s as always thorough, informed and situated story May 28 about sexual assault survivors and the UO. The article demonstrates how sadly typical it is for something truly terrible to happen before anything is done that could prevent future tragedies. The UO, caught between worries about perceptions of prospective students, their parents and, above everyone else, donors, hoped this would just go away. It did not. 

May 28, 2015

REMEMBERING THE RIV

This is about “The Hammered Lamb” cover story May 14. It may or may not be true that it is the first-ever gay/gay-owned bar. In the 1970s, there was a gay bar/disco here — the Riviera Room — on 10th between Willamette and Olive, just down from what was then Seymour’s Cafe (where the Cabaret Theatre is now). This was a seriously gay bar, but I have no idea if the owner was gay or not; the employees certainly were.

May 21, 2015

DRAW OF THE CASCADES

There’s a trickle on the back side of Belknap, up there in the wild Cascades. Up where it wanders west towards Clear Lake. Up where it joins the slick parade of the marching McKenzie River. Up where time and trout are one. Where you can hook and land eternity in one prismatic flash of sun. Up where a school of fish becomes a mess of fish. Up where living takes up all your time. Up where the Doug firs set their skirts a-swish.

May 14, 2015

A LITTLE NOW, OR MORE LATER

Please join me in voting “yes” on Lane County’s vehicle registration fee. It is needed, fair and Lane County’s only practical option.

May 7, 2015

UNDERMINING RIGHTS

As the administration raises pressure on Congress to pass Trade Promotion Authority to seal the deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, I wanted to bring your attention to a letter written to Congress by President Obama’s mentor at Harvard, Laurence Tribe, and a group of senior legal experts. In the letter, they raise very serious and real concerns about the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) system under TPP.  

April 30, 2015

A BETTER MUPTE

The Eugene City Council will soon meet to discuss reviewing and revising the Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE), which enabled the construction of multi-unit housing in the downtown area including the controversial Capstone project, 13th & Olive. I hope the council will either allow MUPTE to sunset or redefine its parameters for mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, commercial developments. 

April 23, 2015

EWEB LISTENS

Being a public utility means listening to your customers. The Eugene Water & Electric Board did that last October when its elected commissioners adopted the first smart meter “opt-in” program in the nation. Customers who want to take advantage of new services (enhanced energy monitoring, new billing options, remote start and stop of service, better outage and leak detection, etc.) can choose to have a new meter installed to enable enhanced services.

April 16, 2015

STOP THE PIPELINE

Holy crap, a pipeline in Oregon! At last, a climate hero boldly speaking up to protect Oregonians' air, water, land rights and economy! Thank you, Rep. Peter Buckley from Ashland! Telling the truth and boldly facing reality is so very unpopular in the political world. So far, no other Oregonian elected has joined citizens opposing the fracked gas export projects two Canadian companies are trying to force into Oregon. 

April 9, 2015

MORE TO THE STORY

The EW ”Meaty Controversy” article March 19 about the Bartels Farms slaughterhouse was highly disturbing in its exposure of continuing environmental and animal abuses. Unfortunately, there is more. 

April 2, 2015

INDUSTRIAL SEAVEY LOOP

March 26, 2015

RADAR MEN JIGGLE, TOO

March 19, 2015

PRICE ON POLLUTION

In response to the article on 3-5 “A Case for the Climate: PIELC panels ask whether corporations pay for climate change,” I agree with the PIELC panelists who said no they don’t and yes they should! It’s time for corporations to pay for or otherwise reduce their carbon pollution! Currently, the prices of gasoline, electricity and fuels in general include none of the long-term costs associated with climate change or even the near-term health costs. But they could include these costs. 

March 12, 2015

THOSE NAKED BONES 

As I stand grieving, again, before the ever-so-sad spectacle of the naked bones of the City Hall building, I have to agree with Otto Poticha’s memorializing statement in his March 5 Viewpoint, “Standing Naked,” urging “everyone to go and view the City Hall frame, give it a second look and imagine what we could or still can achieve. Please join me in seeking management and decision makers with a deeper and more profound vision the next time we go to the polls.”

March 5, 2015

RAPE IS A DISTRACTION?

I continue to be troubled by the way the UO is handling the rape of an 18-year-old freshman by three basketball players. The university keeps telling us they have done nothing wrong. It seems to me that the UO has done everything wrong!

February 26, 2015

OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE

I taught and counseled delinquent adolescents for 28 years. Some grew up to be politicians. Most of the others were successfully rehabilitated. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not condemning all politicians; some of them are very decent, dedicated public servants — working to promote the wellbeing of us all. It’s just that the 99 percent give the other 1 percent a bad name. 

February 19, 2015

WHAT UBER DOES

The Eugene City Council recently voted to have Uber abide by taxi regulations, jeopardizing Uber’s future in Eugene. On the surface this may appear as if the city is acting in the residents’ best interest. Its argument is that taxi licensing ensures that drivers are vetted and accounted for. Yet Uber does state and federal criminal background checks and a 10-year driver history check. What Uber does that taxi companies don’t do is put its driver information on the internet, as well as precisely document every ride online. 

February 12, 2015

HARMFUL TESTING

Recently I wrote a letter to the 4J School District concerning my decision to opt my children out of the Smarter Balanced state tests. My reasons are that I think the potential harm that taking tests in which over 60 percent of students are likely to fail surpasses any possible benefit that my children will derive from participating. I reserve my right as a parent to make the decision to withhold my children from participating in these tests.

February 5, 2015

HEADS IN THE SAND

January 29, 2015

KEEPING IT UNIQUE

Like many of my high school friends in 1980s Eugene, I couldn’t wait to explore the world. So I did. I’ve lived everywhere from Israel to Guatemala to New York City.

Recently, my dad moved back to town, so I visited for the first time in ages. We flew into Portland. On the drive down I felt the hills closing in, that familiar feeling of being trapped. Then we started coming down 30th into South Eugene.

January 22, 2015

MARCUS AND WE

Just when you think you’ve seen it all at Reality Kitchen, we recently had a special visit from a very special friend, UO Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota! 

January 15, 2015

HUMOR AS THE ENEMY

The Charlie Hebdo shooting is another example of lunatics with guns and bombs who think that killing or maiming people will solve the world’s problems. The perpetrators in this case are Islamic fundamentalists in Europe, but we see this same kind of violence all over the world from both state and non-state actors. In the U.S., we’ve had people like Timothy McVeigh and the Tsarnaev brothers or, arguably, George W. Bush when he launched the war in Iraq.

January 8, 2015

FROM THE OLD QUEEN

Happy New Year, y’all. Talk about a happy new year — our win over Florida State could not have started the year off better. Being part of the exuberant Duck fans was thrilling. I do declare, I’ve never seen so many outstanding plays and touchdowns! Wish I could go to Texas to witness us as the champions. Oh fiddle de dee, I’ll get to watch it with my mom back in Nashville, Tenn. She turns 90 the day after the game. She, too, loves the Ducks. I’m giving thanks for her endurance — and of course, our mighty Ducks.