Eugene Weekly : Letters : 4.29.10


I would like to recommend that you vote for Pat Riggs-Henson for Lane County commissioner when the ballots arrive in your mailbox shortly.

I have known Pat for quite some years, during which I have had the pleasure of working with her as a member of LCC’s Budget Committee while Pat was LCC’s chair of their board. I was impressed that she made sure that everyone got a chance to express their views while maintaining a sense of comity and civility during the discussions.

The discussions that occur during the meetings of the present Lane County Board of Commissioners are often marked by the lack of comity and reduce the efficiency with which they conduct the county’s business. I believe that Pat Riggs-Henson, if elected, would restore some of this missing comity and improve the way in which the board conducts the business of citizens of Lane County.

For those of you who have not had the pleasure of working with Pat, I would suggest that you read the R-G Oct. 25, 2009 edition, which contains a profile of Pat when she was selected as the United Way of Lane County’s Volunteer of the Month in the category of education. Pat was also profiled in the July 31, 2009 edition of the Springfield Times.

Dennis Shine, Springfield


Dear Ward 5 liberals/ progressives/ left-wingers/ Democrats, etc:

Please run for City Council! I know the pay is poor and the job is no walk in the park, but your city desperately needs you. 

In 2006, Republican political campaign consultant Mike Clark ran unopposed in your ward and has been obstructing progress ever since. Clark is a typical George Bush Republican corporatist, and he’s also up for reelection this year. In a ward that voted in favor of Kerry and Obama, there’s a real opportunity to elect a much better representative. With only a few solid progressives on the council, adding one more could mean a fundamental shift to the left. 

Ward 5 deserves a better representative than Mike Clark, someone who truly believes in government and will actually work for the common good. I hope that someone will step forward soon.

Joshua Welch, Eugene


A few years ago I wanted to kill the grass in my yard to create a large rose garden without using chemicals or digging up sod. I called the Master Gardener hotline at Lane County Extension, was told how to do it, and got outstanding results.

Once when I was making pickles that needed to remain uncooked in brine for a week, the weather turned hot and muggy. I worried about poisoning my family with spoiled pickles. I called the Master Food Preservers’ hotline at Lane County Extension to ask whether I should continue or discard what looked like a mess. Based on what I learned, my pickles turned out crisply delicious.

Extension services are supported with federal, state and local funding. The Lane County portion of that funding ends in June, and the loss of local funding will cost the county the matching federal and state funding.

I probably won’t plant more rose gardens or make pickles again, but other people will. I hope that the Master Gardener and Master Food Preserver programs will be there to help them, and that 4H programs will continue too.

I’m voting for Ballot Measure 20-158 and urge others to do so also.

 Annetta Forrer, Eugene


I have a deep interest in the issue of constructing bike lanes on major roadways that share the roads with perilous automobiles.

Nowadays, nobody cares to turn on a directional signal, and recently I have been hearing more and more reports on reckless driving citations in the Lane County area. (I would have to be in this category, not for being intoxicated, but for not paying attention.) Of course, there are good outcomes that the EW reports on: The construction of bike lanes could perhaps remove cars from the roads and could potentially save $800 million a year of gas in Lane County. But let’s look not only at the outcomes, but at the consequences.

The consequences are far greater than the outcomes. Placing bike lanes near major roadways could cause accidents, hit-and-runs and, sad to say, deaths. I believe a small barricade that divides the cars and bicyclists will not serve enough protection from fast cars on major streets; the faster someone drives, the more vulnerable a bicyclist and the harder the hit.

Rather than wasting money on this reckless idea, we should invest on better road conditions such repairing those pot holes!

Angel Vergara, Eugene


The key to UO sports program: It started last year when Bellotti stepped down and Chip Kelly became the coach. Bellotti became the athletic director. Nobody said a thing about extra compensation for Bellotti taking a lesser paying job or for a future buyout. Who made that decision?

Then, Bellotti fired Ernie Kent, the winningest basketball coach in Oregon history. Who made that decision?

Then, there is the most recent mess of Bellotti going on to ESPN with a $2.3 million buyout. Who is going to cover the cost? The answer is in the April 7 R-G: “The source would be a mixture of new money donated specifically for the payment and previous donations.” Imagine if you got a call from the UO asking if you would like to donate $$ towards the $2.3 million that is owed Bellotti.

To me, it is reasonable to figure that it is Pat Kilkenny and Phil Knight who may have donated new money specifically for the payment including previous donations. Kilkenny is doing the lead search for a basketball coach. Knight checks in with him daily, he said.

I don’t know about you, but it doesn’t seem right to me that couple of private billionaires are making decisions about whom the UO hires as coaches and athletic directors. Is that how the game is supposed to be played now?

Lou Sinniger, Elmira


My, my, sure is hard to figure out these Tea Party folks. They hate the government while getting all the federal government goodies they want: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment, veterans’ health care, veterans’ pension, financial aid for their kids in college and on and on.

 So, who are they? Well, according to the latest poll, they are white (very), well-off, well-educated, financially secure and older than 45. In other words, they’ve got it made in the shade. The government’s on their side.

So why do they have such anger management problems with government? Well, Barack Obama got elected. He’s not one of them. OMG! The world is ending! Maybe some other people might have a chance to have it made in the shade, like the Tea Party folks do!

As for the deficit, the TPs haven’t been opposed to trillions of dollars for endless wars and billions in massive military contracting corruption. They haven’t been opposed to decades of business subsidies for this and that. They haven’t been opposed to the massive tax cuts for billionaires. Nope, no outrage there.

Listen, the Tea Party is old stuff: the stuff of Nixon’s racist-based “Southern Strategy”; of Reagan’s “welfare queens” demagoguery (while he emptied the Treasury for his friends); of Bush’s immoral, unbridled global militarism. They are the stuff of the unfortunate American tradition of those who have it made in the shade and then oppose poor people and people of color having a chance to attain the American Dream also.

 Roscoe Caron, Eugene


I would like to comment on the letter from Rebecca Taylor (4/8). Her letter opened with this extremely blatant falsehood: “Reading about UO football students committing sexual assaults.” This allegation could not be more fraudulent in nature. It constitutes libel against the two Duck football players who recently received so much press after being convicted of misdemeanor crimes against women.

Now I don’t mean to defend the actions of either Duck running back LaMichael James or place-kicker Rob Beard. The conduct of both men was completely inexcusable in nature and cannot under any circumstances be condoned. I have certainly been highly critical of both men. At least LaMichael James was man enough to issue a public apology and take full responsibility in his statement. But the simple truth is that neither man was ever accused, much less charged, of anything even remotely constituting a sexual assault. Neither have any media reports indicated any such allegations. For her to mention these Duck football players in the very same sentence together with the rape of children by Catholic priests is absolutely preposterous. It is outlandish in the extreme.

So while James and Beard both deserve criticism for their behavior, Taylor also deserves to be condemned for spreading such outright fiction within our community. How she could allege that these UO football players committed sex crimes is quite incomprehensible. Making such a fantastical assertion certainly greatly impugns her credibility in general.

Lance Jacobs, Springfield


I just got an invitation for EWEB’s fourth open house regarding the redesign of their site. Their last event at the Eugene Hilton attracted nearly 300 people. Even if you don’t like everything they are proposing, with that many people involved, we’re bound to get a better plan with greater buy-in than if EWEB’s consultants just rolled out a plan.

What a contrast to the UO. They plan on constructing an office building and giant parking lot for ORI on the land they own next door to EWEB, but the university hasn’t held a single public meeting about the project. So much for public participation and democracy!

Isaac McCoy-Sulentic, Eugene