Eugene Weekly : Letters : 11.10.11


Thanks so much to EW and its readers for honoring me as one of the “Best of Eugene.” I am very appreciative. David and I were remembering our favorite was the more than a decade ago when we were named the “best power couple.”  I think that’s when he was deputy superintendent of Eugene Schools and I was a state representative.

Kitty Piercy, Eugene


Being at heart a civic-minded fellow I take up the task of calling your attention to the fatal flaw in our government. It’s all quite simple once you have the obvious pointed out.

The last place you want to put your government is in an imposing edifice. This never works. A glance at the ziggurats of Mesopotamia, the Acropolis of Athens, the Forbidden City of Beijing, tells you why. People start working in these places and say to themselves, “Hey, this is really cool. Look how important I am hanging out in this imposing edifice.” Before you know it they want a career seeking solutions to the problems of their people.

Of course they rapidly realize that if they did indeed actually solve a problem they would be out of work and have to go home and herd goats. So they fuss around sustaining problems in committee and exert considerable ingenuity creating more problems so they can hang out and feel important.

Occupiers have the right idea. Our government should occur not in imposing edifices but encampments of flimsy tents. Then the mood of government workers would be, “Hey, let’s get this problem solved. I, for one, am anxious to go home and herd goats!”

David H. Tyson, Eugene


Regarding Gabriel Yospin’s letter (“Defunct Anarchism,” 11/3), it is very telling when someone makes the leap between anarchy and violence. No doubt some anarchists were violent, including Emma Goldman and Luigi Galleani, whose followers perpetuated the 1920 Wall Street bombing, but I doubt anarchists have racked up a better body count than the violence carried out by mindlessly obedient slaves to the centralized State known as war. 

Anarchy does not mean violence; it comes from the Greek word anarchia, which means literally without a leader. It is a pejorative word that depends on — and tells the world — how much or how little you trust your fellow human beings. Many believe without a centralized state there will be constant violence and people will take each others’ stuff and eat each other; anarchists believe — correctly — that society would be better without the centralized state that is all too easy for the 1 percent to control. 

Anarchy does not mean chaos; it means replacing centralized government and bureaucracy that is easy to control with truly democratic decentralized organization that is impossible to control. Peter Kropotkin called this the folkmote system, which in archaic English means “gathering of ordinary people” and it is utilized in slums all over the world and by the Zapatistas in Mexico. 

Anarchy does not mean violence, it means thinking for yourself, and trusting your fellow human beings to work together cooperatively to the point where no government is necessary. 

Warren Weisman, Eugene


Thank you for Anita Johnson’s tribute (10/27) to both Derrick and Jewel Bell. Derrick Bell became dean of the UO School of law long after I graduated. Nonetheless, I was able to work with Bell and learn from him as we worked together on matters of mutual concern. His intelligence and elegance were remarkable. When UO law grads are asked about the school’s most influential deans, Wayne Morse and Orlando Hollis are appropriately listed. But to the list should be added Derrick Bell, Rennard Strickland, and Dave Frohnmayer. Deans Bell, Strickland, and Frohnmayer allowed the school to attract a much higher quality faculty, and therefore student body, because each of these later deans were nationally recognized legal educators.

David Jensen, Eugene


In response to David Kennedy’s letter Oct. 27 “On the New KLCC,” I think the public radio station deserves a few words in defense. I love KLCC and am a proud member. I appreciate the research and thought they put into their local stories, and I rely on them for national coverage as well. Of course their programming has changed over the years — so has the world.

I don’t love 100 percent of the programs, but that’s not really their goal. KLCC broadcasts something for everyone. (Personally, I prefer the talk programs over the music.) Urging people to withdraw support from their public radio station isn’t the way to improve anything, and is only likely to harm a valuable local resource. Don’t like the new KLCC? Turn off your radio. Or better yet, pledge your support to them, along with some suggestions for how to improve their programs. But don’t think that you speak for everyone. And don’t expect others to sit idly by while you attack a beloved public radio station because it doesn’t cater to your personal taste!

Elizabeth Figueroa, Eugene


I am disappointed in you, EW! In The Best Of Eugene category of Person of the Year you completely slapped a nominee in the face. Jacqui Willey, who placed third in the voting, is owner and president of the Glenwood Restaurants. I cannot believe you didn’t take the time to look her up before publishing something so rude and downright lazy as “whoever that is.”

Jacqui was nominated by her employees because of her dedication to them and this community. If you had done just the slightest bit of journalism you would have found out that she donates money to organizations all over this town (including to your own publication) and also sends donations across the world. Did you know that on her 32nd anniversary of owning The Glenwood she bought a family in Haiti a home in the restaurant’s name? No? That’s right, you didn’t bother to find out who she is!

Next time do some research before you sound ignorant. 

Nicole Golf, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: We love the Glenwood, but she was Jacqui Monninger when she advertised with us some years ago, and she didn’t appear in Google searches as Jacqui Wiley. She appears now as Jacqui Willey in new web postings. Sorry, Jacqui.


There seem to be so many letters complaining about everything going on in our world. Not many solutions, but lots of complaints. Here is a letter about a woman who rather than complain is part of the solution for so many young girls and women in our community. 

Matrisha Armitage is a local business owner, musician and a huge advocate for female artists in our area. She heads up GRRRLZ Rock. Our daughter is a young musician and thanks to Matrisha and Cindy Ingram, the originator of GRRRLZ Rock, she has many opportunities to perform in and around Lane County. Matrisha and her husband, Austin, both very talented musicians in their own right, put their heart and souls into GRRRLZ Rock. 

Please check out the GRRRLZ Rock website and head over to an art show or musical performance this month. You will be amazed at the talent, and your heart will be warm knowing we have women like Matrisha living in our midst. She truly makes our world better; and artists like our daughter will never be able to thank her enough.

Greta and Randy Sangder, Eugene


George Beres has been bashing the UO Athletic Department about every other month for the last many years. Why does he get published here? Having had the privilege of closely observing many of the teams at the university for the past year, I have a different story. The athletes I encounter are gracious, kind and completely sober. I have met football players, volleyball players, track stars, scholarship players and walk-ons, head coaches and assistants, along with support staff. They are responsive to both their fans and their community with credentials and honors to prove it. I consider them to be stellar people and fine role models.

EW shoots itself in the foot every time it prints anti-athletic diatribes like this, thinking you just poked Phil Knight in the eye. George is well known in this community for stirring it up. Are you again going to put the Ducks football team on your cover come January if we win?

Burton Johnson, Eugene


Dear UO students, welcome to Eugene! It is good to see you riding your bikes around town. I know you are young, strong and have quick reflexes, but you are not immortal! 

Please, please, please — if you are riding at night — wear light-colored (fluorescent is best) clothing and have a headlight and a blinking taillight. Spoke reflectors are nice too. Take it from a baby-boomer: Our night vision drops off a lot with age. At night, especially if it is raining or drizzling (hard to believe here in sunny Eugene), you are invisible to an older driver. We can’t see you at all.

 I often encounter a biker clad in dark clothing zooming across my path without any lights. I usually don’t notice them until they are exiting the area. This is not a good situation, if they expect me to swerve or brake to avoid running them over.

Don’t become a statistic. Become a visible biker.

 Duncan Rhodes, Eugene



About the Herman Cain/Newt Gingrich “debate”/love fest (televised 11/5): What a pair of douchebags. Women who would vote for them might consider voting for Ted Bundy or O.J. Simpson. Poor people who would vote for them might find common cause with the royalists in the French revolution. And minorities … Well, we know that Herman doesn’t like Mexicans, and I can’t wait to see Newt start doing “black things” to show his new friend how enlightened he is.

Brook Adams, Eugene


As early as next week, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on dangerous gun lobby legislation, H.R. 822, which would force Oregon to allow dangerous and violent individuals from out-of-state to carry loaded guns in our community. 

If the Washington, D.C., gun lobby and their allies in Congress get their way, our state will no longer be able to make its own decisions about who can carry a hidden, loaded gun.

Domestic abusers, drug addicts, stalkers, people with violent arrest records, or people with absolutely no training, could be granted a concealed gun permit in another state, and Oregon would have to honor it — no matter what.

It’s time to tell our representative in Congress that we don’t want potentially dangerous outsiders to carry loaded guns all around our homes and communities. Email Rep. Peter DeFazio today and tell him not to appease the gun lobby at our expense:”

Curtis Taylor, Eugene