Eugene Weekly : Letters : 12.23.10


I wish to comment on your Dec. 9 News Briefs regarding the presentation by Iman Khalid Alfallatah of Eugene’s Islamic Center to a local Episcopal Church Oct. 14. By saying so many things to marginalize and demonize homosexuality, Iman Alfallatah does not reveal himself to be a man of God; but instead, that he is merely a bigot. How on Earth can he possibly expect such a progressive community as Eugene to embrace such reactionary views about gays and lesbians? The citizens of Lane County will never align themselves with such loathsome thinking.

 His comment that all teachings of the Quran had to be accepted was reminiscent of the most conservative and backward Christian ministers, who demand that every single word of the Bible be interpreted literally.

 Finally, his arguments in favor of Sharia law and against secular law are all completely contrary to the very core values our nation was founded upon. In our Constitution, the Founding Fathers outlined a clear separation of church from state. Many American immigrants fled religious tyranny in Europe. They knew the dreadful evils that take place when religious leaders are put in charge of government. Americans do not define themselves by their religion. What religion you believe in, or even if you believe in any, does not make one an American.

If Muslims like Alfallatah wish to be accepted as being fellow countrymen, then they need to embrace the secular values that truly define what it is to be an American.

Lance Jacobs, Springfield


 In 2000, LCC’s then vice-president for instruction was charged by President Moskus with researching and developing a reorganization plan for a 2001 implementation. Although replete with less than industry standard practices, as evidenced by the seemingly endless reworking of the college’s management infrastructure and the mishandling by several executives, mid-level managers and at least two faculty members of the “What is Islam?” matter, the plan was dutifully implemented. First-person witnessed data inform this letter’s mini-case-study and its inescapable conclusion.

LCC’s Executive Team’s (ET) chartered Hiring Process Team’s (HPT) final report was submitted in October 2003. During the entire HPT report-vetting process the executive director for human resources (EDHR) proactively, consistently and accurately stated that the development of human resources policy is the EDHR’s prerogative. In February 2004 the ET assigned the then-EDHR to “communicate a direction for all of the HPT recommendations,” and the EDHR stated in writing that “this direction will be provided at a March 3, 2004 meeting.”

It appears that until either fully trained management staff are hired to work in LCC’s human resources department or perhaps more on point, the department’s discipline experts are allowed to do their jobs, the extraordinary events surrounding the “What is Islam?” debacle will be repeated with increasing frequency.

Jose Ortal, Blue River


When Phil Knight started turning the UO into an athletic association with an academic adjunct, I half-seriously began to call it “Knight University.” Per the Weekly’s Dec. 16 News Briefs (“UO Tuition Increase Planned?”) it would seem I may now remove my tongue fully from my cheek.

Bill Smee, Springfield


Our historic Civic Stadium is for sale. Eugene School District 4J is currently accepting proposals for Civic Stadium through Feb. 1, 2011. Proposals may include purchase, lease or trade. I believe that Civic Stadium should remain in public ownership, “available to the District and the community as a recreational facility” as intended by the voters of 1938, and promised when the city of Eugene sold the land to District 4J for $1.

Let’s make the 4J school district keep that promise. As reported in last week’s EW Activist Alert, I have formed a Facebook group, Keep Civic Civic, with the intent of convincing the current 4J Board to honor the promise made in 1938 and lease, not sell, Civic Stadium, unless they sell it to another public body, such as LCC, which agrees to honor the 1938 terms. 

If you want to see our historic Civic Stadium remain in public ownership and available to the community as promised in 1938, please check it out by either using the link provided in last week’s EW, or by going to Facebook and searching for Keep Civic Civic.

Lonnie McCulloch, Eugene


EW’s Slant Dec. 2 states Mayor Piercy enjoyed Alan Pittman’s biased hatchet job and interview with LTD’s John Evans’ “Green Dragon Bus,” and wants to engage in further discussion and evolve some workable solutions regarding West Eugene EmX. Sweet Kitty!

In order to develop solutions, we first need to identify the problems. Are there any real problems on West 11th right now that warrant this bad plan be moved forward? I agree we continue the discussion, and evolve the solutions until the next round of Federal Transit Admnistration (FTA) funding in two years.

Some say congestion is a problem. Traffic congestion is not that bad on West 11th. LTD’s flawed $100 million-plus plan will not eliminate any West 11th congestion. The Park and Ride near Seneca is never at 25 percent occupancy.

Some say there is no problem other than years ago the City Council felt something different was necessary, and they gave LTD a west Eugene project directive.

Some say the problem is the FTA funds. They are restrictive and do not allow the many positive aspects a truly quality progressive transportation plan would include. Real facts:

LTD balances its operating budget each year by cutting routes and services and by laying off drivers. LTD stated they must cut additional existing services by 20 to 25 percent over the next three to five years.

LTD stated their flawed West 11th plan will cost an additional $1 million to operate in the first year. LTD is now advertising in EW and on Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh’s radio shows. 

May your days be merry and bright!

Robert Rubin, Waldport


The FBI’s recent encouragement of a wannabe terrorist to pretend to blow up a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland could be a scene from Brazil, the movie by Terry Gilliam. Several reviews are at

If the accused was planning mass murder, the FBI should have arrested him once he “crossed the line” into making attack preparations. Allowing him to try to carry out the attack makes the FBI a co-conspirator, a risky decision if the attacker turns out to be competent enough to commit the crime.

In 1993, the FBI had an informant in the group that bombed the World Trade Center. The New York Times later reported that his handlers told him not to interfere; they could have stopped it if they wanted.

In 2001, FBI field agents investigating flight schools that the 9/11 hijackers were training at were thwarted by FBI headquarters in D.C. from stopping the attacks. In Minnesota, the FBI arrested Moussaoui, one of the plotters, after the flight school he was training at turned him in because they feared he wanted to fly a plane into the WTC. FBI field agents wrote an affidavit to get a judicial warrant to search his computer, but it was gutted by headquarters, so they did not get a warrant because probable cause was removed. After 9/11, the FBI searched his computer and found incriminating evidence.

Endless war is needed by police state agencies that manipulate terrorism for Orwellian purposes.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene


I am very glad that the Environmental Quality Commission (EQC) ruled recently to shut down the Boardman coal-fired plant no later than 2020. Unfortunately, 2020 is not soon enough. The ruling does not preclude PGE from closing the Boardman plant earlier. Coal burning is responsible for a huge amount of climate-disrupting carbon pollution that is the cause of hotter temperatures, devastating droughts and more severe weather events around the globe. Hopefully, Oregon will help lead the way to a no-coal future. Such a future is completely realistic, and healthier. This is a good first step, but closing the plant earlier is still a very important goal to pursue.

Jane Cramer, Eugene


Someone smart once said, “We get exactly the government we deserve.” I find this at once totally empowering and completely depressing. Reading your interview with Rep. Peter DeFazio (“DeFazio Blasts Tax Deal for Wealthy,” 12/16) reminded me that Americans get what we deserve. We put these people in power and most of us sit by (me included) while they do things that are not in our national interest, but more importantly, are in the interests of the people who fund their campaigns. 

This tax cut debacle is just another case of the haves bending over the rest of us as has happened all over the world for eons. The only odd thing is this: In most countries the haves keep the have-nots at bay with death squads and disappearings. Here we do it to ourselves with Big Macs and Dancing with the Stars. 

 Kevin O’Brien, Eugene



It’s not you, it’s me. When we first met, I was ending my eight-year relationship with You-Know-Who. What a Homer that guy was! Anyway, I was vulnerable and you were available: Mister Tall-Dark-Handsome. I loved the way you spoke. I wasn’t used to that! Frankly, you had me at hope and change. I thought you were the one.

I hoped you would be different. I wanted you to help me change. I hated the fat girl I’d become. But you ignored my needs and made it all about you. I needed you to put me before points on the board. I needed you to fight for me. Whatever!

You say that words matter. But I think actions do too. And you’ve been acting a lot like that last guy. It’s been almost two years, and things haven’t changed. All your whispered sweet nothings have just made me fatter.

Maybe I should quit looking for a white knight. Or even a black one, huh? Maybe I should try to change my self. I think I have some personal work to do.

Anyway, like I said, it’s not you, it’s me. So don’t feel bad. I’ll always love your story — the idea of you — even if every word hasn’t turned out true.

You say that all relationships involve compromise. But I think not all involve so much. You may say that I’m a dreamer. But like John Lennon said, I’m not the only one. Imagine!

What I say is: You really aren’t the one, Barry. And I’m just not that into you anymore.

 Benton Elliott, Eugene


I read Lance Sparks’ notes (Wine, 11/18) on the Kandarian Sauvignon Blanc and found them to be enticing enough to want to purchase some. However, no shops were mentioned. The good news is that many of the advertisers to EW carry this great find. It can be found at Kiva, Sundance, Provisions, Peruginos, Bailey Hill Market, Cork n Stein, Cork and Bottle Shoppe, in the local area. It can also be found in Florence at Bridgeport Market and Natures Corner, and Lincoln City at Nels Scott Wine Shop (C&J Boutique), or even Salem at West Side Wine Shop and Albany at Garland Nursery.

In fact, this wine can be ordered from anyone’s favorite wine shop by just asking the store manager to call In Vitis for Wine, a distributor of Oregon wine from four regions. This wine, then, is offered wherever fine wines are sold.

Michael Bailey, Marcola


I strongly agree with the sentiments expressed by Jane Hedden regarding the cougar population (“Taming Wilderness,” 12/2).

Hedden wrote about the necessity of sustaining ecological balance. It seems to me that the majority of our leaders, political advocates, governing puppets, or whatever you want to call them, have lost touch with this vision. If cougars — who were here long before we were — are causing problems for us, then perhaps we ought to reassess what it is that we are doing wrong. Did it ever occur to anyone that it is the human encroaching upon and inconveniencing the cougar, not the other way around? How can we achieve, or strive toward, balance?

Maybe there are too many of us. Maybe we don’t need another strip mall. Maybe if we lived simpler lives we wouldn’t need large farms to grow our meat. Maybe the cougars hang out at Spencer Butte because there’s nowhere else to go; we have eliminated their normal roaming ground. 

You wanted malls and roads and stores and all those big city fixings? Go hang out there instead. And eat at Burger King — because I guarantee you their meat isn’t threatened by our cougar population.

It absolutely breaks my heart to think that one would go out and get a tag to kill such a beautiful creature, especially since I have never met anyone who eats felines.

Eve Cienfuegos, Eugene


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. E-mail to fax to 484-4044, or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401. 



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