Eugene Weekly : Letters : 6.23.11


War against the poor: LTD creates a no-pass zone to the school yard. Imagine families living below the poverty line whose liquid assets do not meet the criteria needed to invest in transportation. How are they supposed to get their children to school on time? For any family on food stamps the pass should be free. Fund it from the top executives salaries so as not to be a burden on the taxing public.

Vince Loving, Eugene


Once again the city of Eugene is attempting to solve a simple problem with the most complicated and expensive proposal possible. All we small dog owners want is a safe place to allow our little buddies to run free.

Last year in one of the city dog parks a tiny dog on a leash was scooped up and shaken to death by a huge dog while the offenders owner looked on. The tiny one was killed in front of its child companion. The bereaved owner asked the city to provide a place where little dogs could visit without the threat of intimidation. I understand this fear. Last year my own leashed 15-pounder was picked up by a loose 60-pounder and shaken and bitten until I jumped onto the big dog to save her. We dare not go two blocks from my house to the dog park at Morse Ranch for fear that an inattentive owner of a monster will allow a repeat of this scene.

One would think that the city would fence off a small part of the large dog parks at Morse Ranch or Alton Baker Park to allow small dogs to be free of intimidation. But that solution would be too inexpensive and sensible. The city proposes to use the middle of an open field in Amazon Park for such a facility, but only if the funds to develop this can be raised privately. They propose to create yet another dog park, to destroy a vast green area and to assure failure by expecting private funding for this overly expensive project.

I wholeheartedly agree that the project should be privately funded. Ill put my money into it so I have a safe place for my little girls. But make it inexpensive and practical. Let us have a small portion of a couple of existing dog parks to use.

The city is approaching this problem the same way they approached the city school tax ã make it appear as though the city is sympathetic, but make the solution so complicated and expensive that the entire enterprise is sure to fail. Its the Eugene way.

Michael Miller, Eugene


I disagree with Rick Levins review (6/16) of the play at The Cottage Theater.We have been attending plays in Lane County for about 20 years.We have been season ticket holders at a wide variety of local theater companies.

I thought The Boys Next Door was one of the most entertaining and well acted plays we have seen in all that time. I agree that the play doesnt have much of a plot and isnt trying to solve the problems of the world. It doesnt pretend to.

It does allow us to see ourselves, our own problems and foibles, expanded a number of times over. It seems to me that if you cant see some aspect of yourself in this play, you arent looking. It allows us to laugh at ourselves and maybe even life itself.

I hope Levins view of the play wasnt influenced by the rude people behind him.

I highly recommend this play to anyone who would like to have an enjoyable evenings diversion from the daily grind, the evening news and the economy.

John Culver, Springfield


Im deeply offended and disappointed in the Weekly for giving space toRick Levins crude andpointlessremarks, in the guise of a review (6/16) ofThe Boys Next Door.While claiming to critique the stereotype of people with developmental disabilities as angelic and emotionally uncomplicated, Levin assumes his right to use the R-word to refer to them. But it isnt cool or hip touse languagethatnot only insults but hurts and deeply offends other people, except perhaps confessionally at a meeting of Neo-Nazis Anonymous. Doing so as part of a juvenileattempt to sound knowledgeable about the realitythat underlies a stereotype doesnt make it any less offensive or childish.

Theeditorial staff shares responsibility for this outrage. It isnt OK tocasually publishthe N-word, the R-word, or others that historically have been used to denigrate, insult and dehumanize people.

Andthis isnt about “correctness” of language; these wordsoffend not mere etiquette, but morality.

Robert Roth, Eugene


Thank you so much for publishing “The Value of Vets” by Alexandra Notman in the June 9 issue. It was a well-written article with a message that needs to be spread. This is still very much a mans world, and although things have changed a lot over the past couple hundred years, there are still many changes that need to be made for women and men to be considered truly equal. A woman deserves respect as much as a man does in any job she chooses to perform.

Kudos to Sonja Fry for working so hard to make this world a better place by focusing on the issue at hand. It would be wonderful to get better care for women vets and women soldiers. It would be even more incredible to get money to put towards prevention programs. I wish them the best of luck, give them my full support, and thank you for raising awareness.

Zane Bloom, Bend


When I think that things cant get worse, they do! The jubilant crowd that celebrated the failure of the Strong Schools tax initiative and the prospect of losing Civic Stadium to commercial interests were hard to take. Even harder is the imminent closing of the First Place Kids Center, which offers three meals, stability and solace to the children of the homeless.

Perhaps budgets are not written in stone. Wouldnt it be wonderful to make the decision to forego those beautiful flower baskets and landscaping in parks in favor of keeping this wonderful facility in place? My own neighborhood will soon celebrate the opening of a wading pool ã the children at First Place dont have the greenery or the fun of water play; even now the little that they have may soon be lost.

Most of the compassionate folk in this area would agree, or offer other suggestions which hopefully will level the playing field.

Phyllis Kesner, Eugene


Two inconvenient truths about the EW cover story “Carbon Nation: CO2 injection hits the Northwest” (6/16).

Your story interviewed OSU professor Mark Harmon but did not mention his extensive research on forest sequestration of carbon. He has documented how old forests store far more carbon than tree farms.

In January 2008, Harmon and his colleague Olga Krankina spoke at the “Clearcutting the Climate” conference (which I co-organized). The videos of their presentations are available at In summary, if the environmentalists really want to see carbon levels decrease we would need to have the tree farms grow back into old forests, but that would require challenging the Democrats in Salem who give carte blanche to the timber barons to level Oregons forests. The so-called industrial forestlands are where most of the logging (and all of the herbiciding) happens are given permission to do so by Dr. Kitzhaber and his appointees.

Second, fossil fuel reduction is happening due to resource depletion and economic contraction, not environmental concerns. We cannot burn fuel that does not exist, and now that we are past peak oil, increased consumption of oil is not physically possible. Peak natural gas in the U.S. was 1973, and peak coal is probably in the next decade (although opinions on the precise timing vary).

We have passed the limits to endless growth on a round, finite planet, but neither the industrialists nor the foundation funded environmental groups are willing to discuss the obvious implications.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene

EDITORS NOTE: The article cites Mark Harmon as a researcher of CO2 in forests. See more on Mark Harmons work in the field of forest carbon in our “Biomess” cover story,


I am writing to echo Erin Tiels letter (6/2, “Alternative Sports”) regarding an alternative sports section in the Weekly. Though I love rugby and regularly play kickball, this letter is specifically about roller derby.

Roller derby is the fastest growing sport in the world. Ten years ago, roller derby was dead. Now there are over 900 leagues across six continents. Seattles team regularly hosts 6,000 fans. Still, there has been very little coverage by the mainstream media aside from the occasional patronizing fluff piece: “Look at what these wacky women are doing!” Those wacky women devote 15-plus hours a week to a serious competitive sport.

Mens roller derby doesnt even get the fluff pieces. The Lane County Concussion, founded in 2009, has competed all over the West Coast, yet there has been ZERO media coverage. Why is that? Is it because we dont end up in jail every other weekend like the members of a certain college football team?

As the leading alternative newspaper in the leading alternative town, a progressive town known for being at the forefront of positive cultural movements, I would like to see Eugene Weekly break the unwritten law against the earnest coverage of roller derby. Do what The Register-Guard refuses to.

The first mens roller derby bout in Lane County history is July 9 at Willamalane Sports Center. Will the alternative media be there?

James C. Warmels Jr. (aka Master Brains), Eugene


Kevin OBrien (“Non-voters,” 6/2) is undoubtedly right that 27,000 assholes are responsible for the defeat of the city income tax. And, although I do not attend Ducks games, I suspect that he is also correct in his assertion that at least 27,000 assholes defile Autzen Stadium for every game. Nonetheless, I fear there is a flaw in his logic.

What if the 27,000 ã or more ã assholes in Autzen Stadium are in fact the apathetic citizens that OBrien so decries, and do not vote? That would mean there are at least 27,000 other, more civic-minded assholes in Eugene, for a grand total of 54,000 card-carrying assholes. The implications are obvious. What if the 27,000 apathetic Autzen assholes suddenly become energized, and start showing up at the polls? That would make 54,000 activist assholes, enough to carry any election. Is that what OBrien wants? I dont think so.

The solution: Keep assholes from controlling the elections by canceling the elections indefinitely. Not only would that frustrate assholes everywhere, but more to the point, the money saved thereby could be used to ã what else? ã fund the schools.

Mike Kopf, Eugene


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