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Letters to the Editor

February 13, 2014 12:00 AM


The teachers are on strike in Medford, and to fight the strike and stonewall negotiations the Medford School District is reaching out to substitute teachers in District 4J, and probably other districts, looking for what, in my day, we called scabs — hiring teachers to cross the picket line and weaken the strike.

February 6, 2014 12:00 AM


I first noticed it several years ago at a community forum on health care. “It” came in the form of a union representative arguing against an inclusive single-payer health care model that would benefit us all. I wondered why unions would not support such progressive policy. Others in attendance educated me: Health insurance is a bargaining issue. Unions include it in contracts and appreciative members pay their union dues.

January 30, 2014 12:00 AM


I appreciate the valuable services the YMCA contributes to the community. However, they should not be entrusted with development of valuable public lands like Civic Stadium.

January 23, 2014 12:00 AM


The most world-respected literary personage from our area is Ken Kesey. He is principally known for his novel One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962). It develops a common theme where individual and group clash, both losing. In this case, we like to give the edge to the skill of the first-person artist who renders us the depiction.

January 16, 2014 12:00 AM


“Does that burger taste funny to you?” Recently I learned that fracking chemicals might be in the meat and produce being distributed to a grocery store near me and near you.

“On a North Dakota farm, five cows died after fracking began in 32 wells within three miles from the farm,” according to Food and Water Watch. In New Mexico, petroleum residues were found in 54 out of 56 animals tested. Some cows lost their tails!

January 9, 2014 12:00 AM


Time to ring in a brand new year! It finds me still tryin’ to make friends with fear. Learning to let go, let life steer. Life is not for the weak of heart, my dear. The Whit seems to be the place for a beer. And our downtown is definitely threatening to reappear. Let’s come together and kick this thing into a higher gear. 

January 2, 2014 12:00 AM


I thank Catherine Burke-Maher for her thoughtful reply [12/19] to my letter [12/12] on the “Cuckoo’s Nest Option” for cleaning up downtown Eugene. While I do not feel wise, I am old enough to be the father of any reader here up to 70 years of age.

December 26, 2013 12:00 AM


I am a teacher and a conversation I had in line at the bank steered towards bilingual education. The person I was speaking with expressed dismay at monolinguals who spoke only Spanish. 

“They are in America now, and in America we speak English.”

December 19, 2013 12:00 AM


Last week, we experienced the lowest temperatures in 40 years. We also used more electricity than anytime during the last decade. At one point, Eugene was consuming 557 megawatts to stay warm. Overall energy consumption was 30 percent to 50 percent above a typical December day as many residents hunkered down at home and kept the heat turned up.

December 12, 2013 12:00 AM


Eugene is a fine city. Many volunteer organizations take care of the homeless population in fair and foul weather. But too few citizens have direct contact. In spite of best intentions, I read that many volunteers cannot work with mentally disturbed people, especially when police presence is inadequate. If a substantial fraction of homeless people are mentally disturbed, this makes it difficult to accommodate all homeless in the same program.

December 5, 2013 12:00 AM


Chop. Chop. Tim-ber! Whether you hear it or not, that’s the sound of a tree being felled in the forest. And if Rep. Peter DeFazio’s and Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposed O&C timber lands legislation becomes law, you will definitely hear it loud and clear as 1.6 million acres of public forests are turned over to private industry for chopping. How bad is this legislation? After DeFazio’s bill passed in the majority Republican House, Democrat President Barack Obama vowed to veto it as bad environmental policy.

November 27, 2013 12:00 AM


I talk to many people in Eugene about air quality and their health. This fall, Beyond Toxics completed our second large door-to-door survey in west Eugene. Among the trends we found, this one is troubling: 37 percent of the parents we interviewed said that they judge the quality of the air before they allow their children to go outside to play. 

November 21, 2013 12:00 AM


In his Viewpoint [11/7] “The Civic Solution,” Eben Fodor proposes that the city purchase Civic Stadium with Parks and Open Space Bond funds because south Eugene has a relative deficiency of park facilities. City purchase is also supported by Donna Taggert’s Viewpoint [11/14].

November 14, 2013 12:00 AM


I want to set the record straight on Congressman Peter DeFazio’s efforts with regards to wildlife management. DeFazio has been a staunch supporter for sane wildlife policies for decades. In the early 1990s he fought against aerial gunning of wolves in Alaska. 

Just this September DeFazio sent a letter to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell opposing the delisting of wolves — for all the right reasons as well.

November 7, 2013 12:00 AM


October 31, 2013 12:00 AM


Regarding “No More To Give” [Letters, 10/17]: Jessica Hannah, what’s wrong? Your facts are as accurate as they are cold. The way you only point out what is wrong invites me to look between the lines for something constructive. How very clever. When your way becomes the law, then the only problem left will be one of enforcement. The work camps will be far from your sight. Instead of bums on every corner there will be a camera. 

October 24, 2013 12:00 AM


In an earthquake Eugene’s Civic Stadium will be the last building standing. It is built on a solid foundation held up with huge, clear-grained old-growth timbers.

Our education system is slipping away: higher dropout rates, larger classroom sizes and underpaid teachers. Momentary cash infusions have not solved the problem.

October 17, 2013 12:00 AM


“Is there a heaven? I’d like to think so.” — Bryan Ferry.               

And if there is, I’d like to think that the world’s largest album collection (including 45s) is also up there — hooked up to the world’s finest stereo components from the 1970s. 

October 10, 2013 12:00 AM


Friends and supporters of The Oregon Vagabond street paper should be aware that there is no October issue scheduled for publication. According to Ron, the longtime vendor and artist who is generally to be found stationed at the Kiva parking lot entrance on Olive Street, the editor of The Vagabond and friend of the homeless David Gerber has informed him that the funding has dried up. There is a possibility that funding will be restored in the future, but for now, the vendors will be without this important asset. 

October 2, 2013 08:13 PM


Like the “wild” sweet pea and fennel, I am a transplant to this area. While I am not a true old-timer, I have been a resident of Oakleigh and McClure Lanes for the last 24 years. Everyday my 80-year-old mother-in-law and I walk my young daughter along Oakleigh Lane to and from our neighborhood school.

September 26, 2013 12:00 AM


I am speaking up to support Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing (OMC). The proposed cohousing should be supported as a project for ecologically and socially sustainable dense cooperative housing, which, as a Ph.D. in urban studies, I can say is a model being adopted widely around the world as an alternative to sprawling growth. 

September 19, 2013 12:00 AM


September 12, 2013 12:00 AM


Our wetlands are an incredible community asset. They’re a wildlife resource, home to thousands of waterfowl and other birds, rare and endangered wildflowers, reptiles and amphibians. 

• They’re a clean water resource, filtering out pollutants that flow into waterways from roads, parking lots and rooftops. 

September 5, 2013 12:00 AM


Bringing a world-class event like the Kaleidoscope Music Festival to Lane County has been a labor of love for OneEleven Music. We’re local people committed to our local community. 

The first year for any music festival, especially in a new venue, is bound to have bumps. We expected that and worked to accommodate concerns in advance and will continue to improve.