Eugene Weekly : Letters : 10.16.08


Whether Eugene is the number one “sustainable” city in the U.S. or only number 10 is of little consequence when there isn’t a city or even a household in this country that is anywhere near being truly sustainable. Those cities on the cutting edge of pioneering sustainability are only making the most insignificant baby steps in that direction.

What politicians and bureaucrats commonly call “sustainability” is not at all truly sustainable. Genuine, meaningful sustainability is defined by a rigorous set of criteria including, but not limited to population growth and use of non-renewable resources — like petroleum and metals. Thus genuine, meaningful sustainability is a dauntingly complicated, remote, far-flung ideal.

The good news is that the human family will achieve sustainability — because to do anything less is unsustainable. The only question is whether we are going to achieve sustainability voluntarily with intelligence, dignity, elegance and discipline or whether we are going to “achieve” sustainability as it is rammed down our throats by a little something called reality. Watching our “leaders” nibble timidly at the edges of the concept of sustainability, I lament that it’s going to be the latter.

Robert Bolman, Eugene


I am writing in response to “Taking It Off for Tuition”(10/2). Upon seeing the cover, I was immediately triggered in many ways and then as I read the short cover article I felt the need to write in. As an educator, mother and woman (with student loan debts) I feel concerned about featuring an idea like this. The money earned dancing may be paying to raise children, but it does have consequences. 

As an educator, some of my students over the past couple of years have moms that “dance” for a living. Some of the children have displayed inappropriate behaviors with their bodies for their age group at school, even emulating pole dancing at recess as young as kindergarten age. The idea that women’s bodies have long been their best assets is arguably true, I guess, but have we not moved past this with women’s equality?

Using your body to give attention to men gives the impression that women are less than equal and are only worthy of objectifying. Often the men that frequent these sorts of establishments have porn addiction, which is on the rise with the ease of access through clubs and the Internet. Not only are strip clubs enabling addictive behavior, but they also may be fostering spending that could be taking away from the livelihood of families, children. Many men partake in strip clubs without their loved ones knowing about the visits. 

Come on ladies, there are other ways to pay off student loans, pay for college and pursue your dreams, if you seek them out. I feel proud of my body as well, but it doesn’t mean I am willing to flaunt it to make a buck at the expense of my self-respect and poor role modeling to my children.

Tana Shepard, Eugene


Millions of words have been written this election campaign. Doubtless the coming weeks will bring millions more, floating down rivers of ink up onto our doorsteps and into our mailboxes.

Come Nov. 4, however, there will matter only one word: Enough.

Enough wastage of human lives. Enough wreckage of our economy. Enough withering away of our moral authority. Enough.

Enough fiddling and enough burning. Enough lying and enough hiding. Enough spying and enough spinning. Enough.

Enough tax cuts for those who profit off job cuts. Enough inequality in the paycheck, and in the chapel. Enough of 50 million uninsured. Enough.

When the time comes for the curtain to be drawn, or the pen to meet the oval, forget those millions of words forests were felled to bring. At that moment, there’s just one word need be remembered: Enough.

Todd Huffman, Eugene


Excuse me, Bob Weiss (10/2), but you have indeed shown your ignorance to put Jim Torrey’s name in the same sentence with reference to whirling dervishes. The path of the whirling dervish is one of balance, surrender and service. We are not dizzy spinners. You can just go practice your prejudicial ignorance on some other minority group or belief system. 

However, I forgive you. Not many really have any direct experience or knowledge of whirling dervishes. Still, you could have said gnat or spinning top or twirly brained or hamster wheel or roulette wheel or dizzy-joe-bob. There are lots of possible spins to put on fault finding without picking on us poor dervishes! 

Your scurrilous attack on a very deep and personal path is sleazy. There are plenty of ways to point out faults and shortcomings without demeaning, invalidating attacks on faiths and practices not understood by predominant cultural programming. 

Other than that, I pretty much agree with you.

Gulistan Machacek, Eugene


As longtime residents and business owners, we voted for Bobby Green in the past and appreciate his service to Lane County. But times change, and so have the needs of our county.

When Green was first voted into office 13 years ago, ideas like protecting our environmental resources and recycling sounded radical. Now it’s just good business sense. Green’s voting record shows that he has not adapted to current conditions.

In contrast, Rob Handy is a breath of fresh air: He embraces new ideas; he’s in touch with the people; and he’s got the energy to solve the many economic challenges that lie ahead. Rob Handy is a small business owner who finds time to give back to his community. We have worked together for years on neighborhood issues through the River Road Community Organization. 

Sperry Tree Care works with other local businesses to create a diverse, vibrant and sustainable Lane County. We are confident that all businesses whose success relies on current ideas, creativity, and innovation will benefit from Rob Handy’s leadership. Join us in voting for Handy for Lane County commissioner!

Nathaniel Sperry & Teresa Damron, Eugene


As election day moves closer, it’s important to remember that there is another race on the ballot that will affect the quality of change as we move past the disasters of the Bush administration. When Barack Obama makes history, his success in creating change will depend on the balance in Congress. Oregon has the closest Senate race in the nation, and Democrat Jeff Merkley is the right person to take that seat.

Gordon Smith has been running ads in Eugene and Portland claiming progressive views, including his support of the LGBT community. Although Smith was the first to call for Federal Hate Crimes legislation in the aftermath of the murder of Matthew Sheppard, his votes on every other LGBT issue have been a slap in our faces. Smith voted for a national constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Gordon Smith actively led the charge in the campaign for Measure 36, which made LGBT Oregonians second-class citizens.

After the heartbreaking passage of Measure 36, Jeff Merkley took up our battle in the Oregon Legislature. As the Speaker of the House, he led the fight to ensure that LGBT Oregonians would finally have protection in employment, housing and public accommodations, and that same-sex couples could have the basic rights and responsibilities of heterosexual couples. 

Electing Merkley to the Senate would send an ally we can really count on.

Carol Horne Dennis, Eugene


In these uncertain economic times, I’m glad to see that some leaders in Lane County are taking the recession seriously and investigating solutions. I attended “The Future of Lane County: Jobs and Economic Development” Oct. 7 and was impressed to see a collaborative discussion on sustainability issues by Ed Whitelaw and Rob Handy, among others. 

I also learned that three of our County Commissioners, including Bobby Green, did not support the recommendations by the City of Eugene task force on sustainable practices. The task force represented a wide diversity of business owner, including Rusty Rexius of Rexius Forest Products and Mike Miksis of Arlie & Co. and Jack Roberts of the Lane Metro Partnership. 

It is clear to me that our future depends on a diverse economy that is as self-sufficient as possible, and I believe that Rob Handy will work hard toward that goal. Handy is supported by local businesses, which are the backbone of a resilient and robust Lane County economy. I’m looking forward to casting my vote for Handy in a few weeks.

Matthew K. Sprecher, Eugene


Republican Gordon Smith has stooped to an unprecedented low. His ads are beyond misleading; they are outright lies. Jeff Merkley’s record in the Oregon Legislature reveals the real story: As Speaker of the House, Merkley repeatedly voted to double the statute of limitations for sex offenses, and he supported mandatory life imprisonment for repeat sex predators. Merkley also fought to keep sex offenders away from our kids, making it illegal for predators to lure children over the

Why is Smith set on distorting the truth about his Democratic opponent? Could it be because Smith’s own record comes up short when it comes to protecting children and families from violence? Perhaps he wants to detract attention from the fact that he voted with George Bush again and again to slash funding for key public safety programs.

Oregonians deserve better. We deserve a senator who is truly committed to the safety and well-being of our kids and families. Merkley not only has a proven record of leadership on these issues; he also has a comprehensive plan for protecting Oregon’s children and families once he gets to Washington, D.C. I hope you’ll join me in sending Democrat Jeff Merkley to the U.S. Senate this November.

Dave Swanston, Eugene


The consequences for this particular upcoming presidential election are grave indeed, perhaps the gravest in our history. We have an environment that absolutely cannot bear any further industrial assaults, an economy sinking faster than the great Titanic, and a government with an alarming disregard for its constitutional underpinnings. We now live with an uneasy recognition that the actions we take in the next decade will quite possibly determine the future of human life on Earth. This November, the stakes cannot be higher. We want to be hopeful. We want to believe that yes, we can change this monstrous course. 

Last night while talking about how we might be of service to various campaigns, we identified that some of the most thoughtful people we know either no longer participate in elections at all or vote for third-party candidates. While we understand and have sympathy towards these positions, the outcome of this election is so critical that it warrants a specific appeal to these disenfranchised voters. It simply cannot be argued that the difference between Obama and McCain is insignificant. We beg you: Please exercise your constitutional right to vote this November! 

Ellen Epstein and Rachel Turner, Eugene


Here’s an ad that I predict we’ll see posted nationally Nov. 5: “FOR SALE: 72 Maverick. Driven hard by second wife, has unquenchable thirst for oil, alignment pulls to right consistently, hard to get out of gear, tires bald and studless, not firing on all cylinders, goes into reverse randomly, does not negotiate road with foreign cars, sputters, cold air, 8-track player.”

If the Republicans lose, this ad will be placed in USA Today by Karl Rove in an act of resignation. If the Republicans win, this ad will be placed on eBay by Sarah Palin in an act of overzealous impatience.

Glenn Leonard , Eugene


After making the decision to vote for change and support Barack Obama for president, I realized we must set Obama up for success by voting for Jeff Merkley for U.S. Senate. 

I went to and found that I would be joining more than 300,000 nurses, firefighters, teachers, steelworks, electricians, truck drivers and working families who have endorsed Jeff Merkley. Barack Obama and Ron Wyden both endorsed Merkley. Merkley’s 100 percent voting record to protect a woman’s right to choose gained him the Planned Parenthood of Oregon and NARAL Pro-Choice endorsements.

I took the next step, which was to contact the Merkley campaign at 1178 High St. in Eugene to volunteer. All you have to do is pick up your phone and call 686-3504 and ask them how you can help to promote change and send Merkley to D.C. I did and it turned out to be a very pleasurable experience. Merkley’s campaign staff is helpful, appreciative and really need our help. Vice- presidential candidate Joe Biden said, “This is the most important election of our lives,” and I believe it. 

Shirley Gauthier, Springfield


I am 61, very disabled, and I support Rob Handy for county commissioner. I did a little work for his campaign, as I was able to, as he is far superior to his opponent Bobby Green. Handy will be much more able to tackle the problems of our county, and he does not want extra taxes to hurt the many senior citizens who live here. I urge all senior citizens and other disabled persons like myself to vote for Rob Handy in November. Thank you.

D. H. Bucher, Eugene


Thank you to Congressman Peter DeFazio for standing up twice against the rush to hand over nearly $1 trillion to former Wall Street executive Henry Paulson. Some in Congress were gullible enough to fall for Bush’s Blank Check solution for our economy, but we are thrilled that our own congressman has been on the national media stage as a critic of the Wall Street bailout.

The bailout plan did nothing to address the causes of this economic crisis. Instead, it approached our economic problems with a Band-Aid, salvaging the CEOs who created this mess. Average Americans are losing their jobs and struggling to make ends meet, and the Bush-Paulson bailout bill asks us to foot the bill for Wall Street’s mistakes.

DeFazio has been a vocal critic of the plan since negotiations began, and he has informed us with facts. We will not be fooled. We are proud to be represented by a real leader in Congress.

Pat and Carleen Reilly, Eugene


It is important to examine a person’s character traits before selecting them as your leader. As a toddler, presidential candidate John Sidney McCain III, would throw temper tantrums, holding his breath until he passed out. As the crown prince of a third generation dynasty, just like George Walker Bush, he used his “fortunate son” bloodline to get into a privileged military position.

 McCain spent his four years at Annapolis, a self proclaimed “four year course of insubordination,” getting drunk, screwing off and graduating 894th out of 899. As a pilot, McCain once again had to use his bloodline to keep his wings after a “daredevil clowning” stunt in Spain that endangered citizens and destroyed power lines.

After his jet blew up the deck of the USS Forrestal, McCain ran below into the safety of his “ready room” while his fellow pilots gallantly fought the fire above. As the ship with its dead and injured limped into port, McCain flew off for R&R. 

Soon after being taken prisoner by the North Vietnamese, McCain told his captors, “I’ll give you military information if you will take me to the hospital.” Once the Vietnamese realized they had captured the man they called the “crown prince,” they had every motivation to keep him alive. “Thanks to my prisoner-of war-experience,” McCain writes in his book, Faith of my Fathers,
“I had, as they say in politics, a good story to sell.”

Buyers beware. We need a leader that will put his country before his own selfish Napoleonic desires to be greater than his father.

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain


How Americans vote in the upcoming election will probably determine whether global warming can be addressed quickly enough to avoid catastrophic change.

The choice in the senatorial race is clear: Jeff Merkley is the candidate to support. He has a solid record in the state Legislature of getting legislation passed that addresses climate change by improving fuel standards, expanding tax credits for renewable energy investments, improving efficiency standards for construction and renovation, and supporting energy standards that favor electrical power from renewable sources. 

Gordon Smith, on the other hand, has voted 90 percent of the time with the Bush administration. Smith has opposed fuel-efficiency standards for vehicles, opposed windfall profits taxes on oil companies, and voted for tax breaks for the oil and gas industries. He has voted twice in favor of drilling for oil in ANWAR, and once in opposition. His opposing vote was recent, and probably reflects election year politics more than conviction. 

Merkley deserves our votes.

Climate Crisis Working Group members Linda Kelley, William D. Merris, George Gessert, Bryna Livingston,  Mary Addams, Jacque Travis 


This summer Mayor Kitty Piercy and the Eugene City Council worked successfully to preserve the beautiful Amazon headwaters forest in southeast Eugene. The 40-acre forest is now open to the public for education and recreation and will become part of the Ridgeline Trail system enjoyed by tens of thousands of families each year. 

Kitty Piercy was instrumental in the campaign to save this special area. Recognizing the ecological significance, the importance of the watershed and the recreational value of the forest, Piercy supported Eugene’s Southeast neighbors in their hard-won victory to purchase the property for an affordable price of $1.6 million. Piercy helped snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, turning around the decision of previous Mayor Jim Torrey in his refusal to support acquisition for the property when the former owner of the property expressed a willingness to sell the 40-acre parcel for only $325,000.

Piercy’s willingness to work with concerned citizens to seal the deal once again showed her responsiveness to community issues and her deep concern about environmental protection. Way to go, Kitty Piercy!

Gary Kutcher, Eugene


Jim Torrey does not believe that the EPD’s job is to “protect and serve” all the citizens of Eugene. His lack of oversight of EPD during his two terms as mayor is evidence. The police union supports him because he does not hold the police department accountable for its behavior. The proof is their $20,000 campaign donation.

First and foremost, the police union does not believe they need to honor the voters’ decision to have an independent police auditor and civilian review board. The union supported the police chief in defying the auditor law when he refused to give information to the police auditor as required by law.

During Jim Torrey’s two terms as mayor, many questionable police actions took place that demonstrated disregard for the principle of equal protection under the law. For example, officers bragged about the “Southtown Beat Down,” when two Saudi foreign exchange students were severely beaten by police after an altercation with two Latino suspects at the Southtown Bowling Alley. The Saudis thought the police had come to their rescue. As far as the public knows there were no disciplinary actions taken against any officers involved in severely beating the Saudi students.

There were many other complaints regarding questionable police behavior concerning their treatment of minorities, often taking the form of being guilty of driving while black or brown. There were also the many questionable uses of force by police officers during political demonstrations. Of course, the worst case was the six years the police department allowed uniformed officers to sexually assault women, despite many complaints against the officers. As far as the public knows, not one officer has been called to account for ignoring all those complaints for six years. More important, Torrey is not curious as to how that happened. Apparently, Torrey does not think any officers need to be held accountable for those six years of negligence. 

Torrey seems willing to accept this behavior from the EPD as well as their money. Clearly, Torrey values property rights more than human rights and civil rights, considering his concern over potholes. 

Charles Dalton, Eugene


Hereabouts, “nonpartisan” races exist so Republicans can get elected. Jim Torrey is a Republican, supported Bush and the war(s) and ran for state senate as a Republican four years ago. I know and like him personally, but the idea that this mayor’s race is “nonpartisan” is no more than a pleasant fiction.

And I remember both Torrey terms clearly: Since the mayor only votes to break ties, you’d think that Torrey would have been a mere figurehead. Instead he proved a highly effective manipulator and Machiavellian back-room politician.

Case in point: I voted for a new library twice while Torrey was mayor. And twice, the issue failed at the ballot box, the last time by 12 votes. Almost immediately, Torrey and his allies announced that they had “urban renewal” funds and built the library anyway. This is “democracy”? When they hired Vicki Elmer as city manager, then decided to fire her, they hired a Portland Ph.D. “facilitator” because they didn’t have the guts to fire her directly; instead they blew $18,000 of my tax dollars to do it. 

The Hyundai (now Hynix) tax giveaway engendered the biggest protests I’ve seen in Eugene (outside the war). Torrey’s side listened politely and then went ahead anyway. Ditto the hospital fight (still going on), tree riot, etc.

Torrey got his way more often than not. Unfortunately, more often than not, the highway to his way was a food fight, and the results were disastrous. No, I’m not voting for the Republican for mayor. 

Hart Williams, Eugene


We need Kitty Piercy as mayor because she’s a wise woman, a grandmother and a true leader. 

I’ve known Kitty Piercy for 20 years. Like a recipe you want to share with everyone, her ingredients to continue serving us are not a secret: She listens (to everyone). She uses a balance of opinion to solve problems. She involves all citizens — from students to seniors — not just an inner circle. She participates in an endless number of community meetings, as well as setting the city council agenda. She rises above power struggles and criticism to create the best possible policies for the city.

My issues, such as wanting superior schools for my grandchildren, are her issues. She is sensitive to the needs of all students, whether they are new to the area or their family has been here for generations.

Please join me in re-electing Mayor Kitty Piercy.

Betsy Steffensen, Eugene


This city is undergoing a crisis of confidence equal to the national economic crisis of confidence, locally and nationally brought about by Republican dirty-tricksters for whom an October surprise is standard operating procedure. All they can come up with locally is some lame, immature provocative nonsense that flies in the face of reason.

We live in a city that is blessed by nature and blessed with an active civic culture, where the people care a lot about their amenities. In perspective, all that is required for these troubles to fade away is the sound defeat of Jim Torrey. Then all these apparitions will crumble like a cookie in the rain. And then we residents can continue to enjoy each other’s company as it is meant to be.

The opponents of change want fear and intimidation to dominate this election because they are desperate for votes. They’re doing all this, including the Exclusion Zone “crisis” and the EPD Taser policy “crisis,” to sway undecided voters; in other words, as a political campaign strategy.

The question is, are we going to let them get away with it? My answer is a resounding NO! Vote for Kitty Piercy for mayor. 

Paul Prensky, Eugene


I may be the only contributor to these letters who likes Jim Torrey. I think he is a sincere advocate for children. However, I am voting for Kitty Piercy because she is the type of leader we need.

In an age of hyper-partisanship, partisanship that paralyzes government, she reaches out to all sides.

Kitty Piercy has brought business interests, neighborhood leaders, experts and environmentalists together on issues including environmental protection, workable alternatives to transportation problems, downtown renewal, locating a hospital  and bringing good jobs to Eugene. In other words, she is tackling head-on the complex issues facing our city .

She has been unfairly criticized and obstructed in much of her efforts, but she never stops reaching out, plugging away and making progress despite the obstacles thrown in her path.  She has shown that we can rise above power struggles and address problems.

She is a leader of utmost integrity, and we are lucky to have her as our mayor.

Joy Marshall, Eugene


 Anyone considering voting for Jim Torrey doesn’t need to speculate about what a Torrey administration would do — because we’ve already had one! Torrey is spinning fanciful webs in his current campaign, but I know better because I was there.

 The first six of my eight years on the City Council were during the previous Torrey administration, and Torrey was the opposite of a consensus builder.

 Funny that Torrey is bringing up street repairs, downtown revitalization and the police department as campaign issues now. Those issues were hot during his time as mayor, and he didn’t have a significant impact on any of them. Sorry, Jim, you had your shot at it. 

David Kelly, Eugene


I fear the following: Jim Torrey for his first week in office as mayor would grant: Delta Sand and Gravel permission to ruin some of our best farmland by increasing their dig by the river and Seneca Lumber permission to construct a huge air-polluting slash burning plant in the middle of Eugene. The city budget would be devoted to hiring more police, eliminating health and human services; ugly billboards would line the streets like Coburg Boulevard; developers would build 10-story buildings to obscure views of green hills; we would see crowded cement freeways and sprawl everywhere. 

Does this scare you? 

Ruth Duemler, Eugene


A lot of us in the progressive community wish that Kitty Piercy would relentlessly push forward progressive causes — no kissing up to developers. But I have to keep reminding myself that Piercy ran her first campaign as “The Mayor for ALL Eugene.” 

I vividly remember Jim Torrey and his gavel at the City Council meeting on Nov. 25, 2002, when Eugene became the 16th community to pass a human rights resolution opposing the PATRIOT Act. Torrey said he would not sign the
resolution. The council unanimously passed it anyway (Pat Farr was absent). I was tickled when the city attorney told Torrey that a mayor doesn’t sign resolutions. So he could not stop the will of the 300 people who jammed city council chambers. In February 2005, the council nearly unanimously passed an anti-torture resolution (Jennifer Solomon voted no). Piercy had become mayor just a month or so earlier. 

How wonderful to see Piercy presiding over the meeting rather than the obstructionist Jim Torrey. Those are my thoughts as I plan to cast my vote for Kitty Piercy.

Hope Marston, Eugene


I moved to Eugene in 1972, and except for my five years in Washington, D.C., I’ve lived in Eugene all of that time. Kitty Piercy is the best mayor I’ve had while I’ve lived in Eugene. She has worked hard as a Peace Corps volunteer, as a public school teacher, as a state representative and as mayor of Eugene. She is totally selfless and works very hard for the public interest. I’ve worked with Piercy in a variety of roles since 1993.

What I enjoyed most about Kitty Piercy’s leadership over the past four years is her passion for economic development. Piercy started the Sustainable Business Initiative and that led to a citywide effort for the “triple bottom line” of sustainability. I appreciate how she’s taken the community from zero level to one of the most sustainable communities in the country. She did this by constantly stressing that a good economy means a good environment.

There are many things that Piercy has done as mayor, but I would name sustainability and protecting the police review process as two of the greatest accomplishments of her first term. 

Eugene can be proud that Kitty Piercy is our mayor. Let’s keep it that way. Join me in voting for Piercy for mayor.

Pete Sorenson, Lane County Commissioner


Under Kitty Piercy’s leadership, Eugene flourishes as the wonderful place that it is. Residents have a voice and residents are heard, which truly sometimes is a messy process. But what is the alternative? Decisions by insider process. Sure some people don’t get everything they want. What we get is our, all of our, community, messy and all, but oursHer priorities are what is best of the people of Eugene: jobs, social services, smooth streets, green development, concern about the welfare of those who are not members of the mainstream and safety all in balance.

Carol Van Houten, Eugene


Let’s elect Kitty Piercy! Instead of campaigns of fear — fear of “the other,” fear of terrorism at the national level, or fear of potholes locally, let’s focus on what is good for Eugene — collaborative work to solve city challenges inviting many voices and experiences and positive belief in our collective strength. Let’s elect a mayor who is busy all over City Hall, and just as busy supporting and witnessing organizations, schools and businesses present the fruits of their labor to make our city inclusive and livable.

Kitty Piercy wholeheartedly, energetically is the “Mayor for All Eugene.” Four more years!

Misa Joo, Eugene


I have had the privilege of working with all of our mayors in some capacity since I came to Eugene in 1991. I have had nothing but good experience with each of them. I support Kitty Piercy not because of any dissatisfaction with Jim Torrey, but because her leadership on sustainability has been outstanding. We are developing a great image as a “green” city. Few issues we face are as important or urgent. Her vision for our city is precisely what we need in this age of climate change. She deserves another term to see that vision through.

Dan Bryant, Eugene


Jim Torrey was quoted in the March 13 EW as saying, “We need a marriage of business and government in order to pay the bills.” I read this statement with alarm, because it was so similar to the following quote by Benito Mussolini: “Fascism should be called Corporatism, as it is the merger of corporate and government power.”

Mussolini’s “corporations” were not like our modern corporations. Rather, they were “civic assemblies” representing various social and business interests. Industrial and financial cartels would be “corporations” under this definition. I don’t want anything close to fascism, so I’m voting for Kitty Piercy

Carol McBrian, Eugene


The Gap sucks. I know it. We all know it. This information is shoved down our throats every single day. Right along with SUVs and Wal-Mart and eco-terrorism. Not to say that these issues aren’t important, but damn, can we at least give it a rest during an entertainment review?

When I began to read about Common in the (9/18) entertainment section, I was expecting information on his music and live show. What I received instead was a feeble attempt at “exposing” Common as a sell-out corporate whore because of his brief modeling stint for The Gap two years ago. As if that weren’t enough, the author then explains (in detail) how badly this whole Common/Gap thing has hurt her feelings. I mean, how could he? He’s a vegan, for Christ’s sake!

And this was just the first paragraph. Is this a music review or a chance to eagerly push a pet agenda? I’d guess the latter.

One suggestion: The entertainment section of the Weekly is our shelter from the political shitstorm. Please, help us keep it that way by, like, actually reviewing stuff.

Katie Matthews, Eugene


I applaud Rep. Peter DeFazio’s vote against the bailout. With the $110 billion in sweeteners added to the original $700 billion, this is now an $810 billion bill, all of which will increase the budget deficit and the national debt. Our borrow-and-spend government is bankrupting the country.

However, I must point out that DeFazio has not been so frugal when it comes to war. Recently I tracked 11 votes on bills, from December 2005 to June 2008, that included money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. DeFazio’s yes-no score is 6-5.

All of the money appropriated for these wars is being added to the national debt, borrowed from countries like Saudi Arabia and China, because the voters would not allow their taxes to be raised to pay for the wars. It turns out that killing people is very expensive. Who knew?

The war funding votes of the Oregon congressional delegation and the two presidential candidates are compiled into a table at

I’ll be voting for Mike Beilstein, Corvallis City Council member and Pacific Green Party candidate for the U.S. House. Beilstein is opposed to any funding for the two wars. DeFazio has no Republican opponent this time.

Lynn Porter, Eugene


Lorraine Montalvo claims, “I practice Vodou — in my own quiet way.” Fernando Sonoro is disgusted with the animal sacrifices of some Vodou practitioners, but validates those Latin American and Middle Eastern practitioners who really have “the power to call spirits and do something worthwhile with their supernatural presence.” 

Meanwhile, in Gladstone Ore., Mr. and Mrs. Beagley’s son Neil dies from a treatable disease because the Beagleys, members of the Followers of Christ church, believed that faith healing would cure him. 

Call it religion or call it spiritual practice, but in the end, it’s all woo-woo. Some woo-woo is apparently more dangerous than other woo-woo, but all woo-woo can be understood as the infinite amount of nonsense one can know about nothing. “Nothing” is, for example, a “supernatural presence.” All these folks should be equally embarrassed, but of course they’re probably not. I’m typically a pretty happy guy, but frankly, I’m sick of woo. I wish America would wake from its spell and stop the woo! “Coexist” is a cutesy slogan not even worth the price of its bumper sticker. The concept of diversity need not include diverse delusional fantasies. I’m sure that offends tons of people. They’ll insist that their particular devil is speaking through me or perhaps that their particular god will punish me. If Palin comes into office, I’m thinking we deserve whatever Pentecostal brand of woo-inspired BS that comes our way. Sweden’s starting to sound pretty good.

Aaron Rosenberg, Eugene