Eugene Weekly : Letters : 7.22.10


I picked up a copy of EW on my way home from the Oregon Country Fair and was once again reminded of what a great paper it is. I love the letters to the editor section and find the voices of your town have a spiritual bent that seems missing in Portland. There’s a heart in your town, a caring and a spirit that is beautiful and truly revolutionary. Your writers also carry this theme in a very attractive way — enough so that I’m going to see about getting a subscription.

The Fair this year was my best ever. For me, it’s a yearly chance to reunite with my closest friends, share stories, heal what’s ailing me, luxuriate in the Ritz (saunas/showers) and share my music, massage and coaching skills with those I meet. I posted a description of my experience with pictures at

I want to thank all of the volunteers and staff who put hours and hours and their sweat and muscle to make the Fair the magical place it is. I only wish it were longer — I could live at the Fair for a week and imagine that our Fair community would learn more, get more inspired and figure a lot more out if we had more time together. Burning Man and Rainbow Gatherings bring people together for 10 days, and it seems to help on a lot of levels. Longer events also benefit the local economies greatly. Example: Gerlach, Nev.

Now back in Portland, I exhale and smile at all that I learned and shared at this year’s Fair. As I reserve books that were recommended at the library, share photos with friends and wear my new clothes and hang up new art, I feel heaps of gratitude that I have such a magical event in my life and look forward to next year. 

Thanks Eugene, you have something special going on, and I am glad to get to partake. Viva Eugene!

Albert Kaufman, Portland


Flabbergasted? So our elected officials are flabbergasted that the EPA is finally setting emission fines for biomass wood burning plants. The American Lung Association and our Lane County Health Advisory Board warned about unhealthy air from biomass plants, and it isn’t just 200,000 tons of CO2. We will breathe fine particulates, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, volatile organic compounds, sulfur dioxide, arsenic, benzene, lead, dioxin, formaldehyde, mercury, styrene, chromium, etc. Our Seneca 18-megawatt plant just north of Eugene will bring us more than 500 tons of pollution burning 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I would much rather have field burning than continuous pollution to breathe every hour of the year.

Our elected officials should be sued by all of us having difficult days breathing in our valley, for allowing Seneca and all the other proposed biomass plants for Oregon. And to think that our taxes are paying a good part of their construction, and future utility bills will guarantee a financial reward. Please don’t add to my angry objections by saying this is only wood waste that would be burned anyway or stupid statements such as we won’t be burning trees or that it is carbon neutral. After 20 years of involvement in air pollution legislation with scientists such as Dr. Arie Haagen-Smit of Caltech and the California Air Resources Board, I have to say this is a huge mistake! If only Haagen-Smit were alive today, this would never have happened.

Ruth Duemler, Eugene


Oh my. Regarding Mr. Zeppa’s letter July 8, one cannot arbitrarily decide one’s opinions are facts and have it accepted with no debate. Mr. Zeppa, you most certainly have the right to express your opinion; you may even redefine the definition of “fact” if it suits your purposes. That does not make your allegations factual. Would you care to substantiate your claims? You have proof Republicans at the national level are selling their sexual favors for money? 

President Obama has never said one positive thing about the U.S.? “And what keeps me going — what keeps me fighting — is that despite all these setbacks, that spirit of determination and optimism — that fundamental decency that has always been at the core of the American people — lives on.” From Obama’s State of the Union address Jan. 27. 

How about an easy one — Obama is not qualified to occupy the office of president on what basis? How do you prove “economic hope” or lack thereof? 

Really sir, spout whatever opinions you like — that does not make them true and/or factual. I look forward to your rebuttal.

Iris Silver, Eugene 


I’m glad Joshua Welch discussed meat from locally raised animals as well as from those suffering in factory farms. Cows, pigs, lambs, goats and chickens do not want to die even if they are “local.” Being raised for meat, they certainly are slaughtered in the prime of their youth while their flesh is still tender — three to eight months in the case of lambs.

It’s so easy not to eat animals with all the incredible choices of great vegan food around, from falafels to tempeh bento (two of my favorites). When I gave up meat at age 17 (I’m now 53), I thought having no hamburgers would be tough, but soon I discovered what I really liked about burgers was the condiments, so I occasionally have a vegan griller smothered in fried onions and ketchup.

I would also like to know where the forests would grow and where wild animals would live if everyone ate animals raised on pasture? Just think about all the fuss cattle ranchers are making about 14 wolves in Eastern Oregon! The fact that a vegetarian diet is good for my health (I still do all the physical labor except logging on my 130 acres of forestland) is just frosting on the cake (vegan, of course). 

Mary Jane Hildreth, Sweet Home


Joshua Welch (Viewpoint, 7/8) references a report issued by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) International Panel of Sustainable Resource Management. The report does not advocate a switch to a vegan diet as Welch states. In fact, the word “vegan” does not even appear in the report. If you read Welch’s editorial carefully, you will come to understand that his primary motivation in advocating veganism does not stem from a concern for the environment so much as his concern for animals as sentient beings.

Homo sapiens have been consuming meat for thousands of years without detrimental impact to the environment until the last few hundred years. People are not going to quit eating meat. The solution to eliminating “factory farms” is to advocate for responsible, environmentally friendly methods of raising these animals. There are vast areas of land that are not fertile enough, without unsustainable chemical or irrigation inputs, for raising crops. This land is best suited to raising animals. When properly managed, the land can actually be improved for wildlife at the same time it is being used for grazing livestock.

Aaron Lieberman, Cottage Grove


Thank you for making my point for me in your article “The Dispossessed” (7/1). Yes, there are resources available for the homeless; whether or not they elect to access them is up to their discretion. That said, I have very little sympathy for homeless people. Young children who have to live out of vans and motels, yes, that is awful. Perhaps worthless people ought to not breed if they cannot care for their offspring. Seriously, you can’t get a job at a fast food joint or a call center and rent some lame apartment? It really is that easy. Are you that big of a douche that no one will let you stay at their house until you get back on your feet? 

Homelessness is a very unfortunate condition, and I do feel sad for those who are temporarily out of a place to live. Chronic homelessness is a choice, unless you are a child. Those people are not willing to help themselves. For whatever reason, our city seems to think that it’s OK to be homeless, to be a train-hopper, to be a panhandler. Well, it’s not. I was raised to believe it is cool to have a nice place to live, even if it means having to work a crappy job. So the next time someone spare changes you, direct them towards White Bird, Looking Glass or the Employment Department.

Eve Cienfuegos, Eugene


Check out your minds, baby boomers; you all aren’t as sharp as you used to be. Accept it, you voted in the Bush dynasty. Crosswalks are for pedestrians, slow down, read the menu, read the clear print on the sign, look at what other lucid people are doing and figure out how not to look like a daft old goat or harridan, whichever the case may be. What would your grandparents have done? Whatever it was, they would have done it with grace and class unknown to this day and locale? 

Embrace the grace of your upbringing and think before you ask a question that makes everyone a little astonished at your generation’s autumn coming on so fast. 

My generation has a stack of troubles and faults, and it isn’t getting easier cleaning up your collective spittle — and your trend toward conservative voting. You were once cool and young; now look to models of cool old folks and be it, calm down, slow down, take your time. As Hopeton Lewis said, have faith in our generation, and don’t hit us with your cars, dotards!

Donovan Worland, Eugene



We are witnessing a deep division between reason and belief. For thousands of years, this separation of reason from belief has created mistrust. It is vastly important, in my view, to put the two back together under one name, and that name is trust. When we choose to trust, then all personal truths can be shared — as they should be. To me, truths are the “seeds” that each of us carries away from the powerful events of our lives. We imbed them in our stories and hold them as sacred. 

One of the most powerful events of my life came during a mid-day walk on a hot July day just after witnessing the birth of my lovely daughter Mia! I felt the surging power of life and love that day, and I will never forget it. In honor of my daughter’s 25th birthday, I have this one last thought to share: Your truths are different from mine, but, when they are shared in an atmosphere of trust, all truths grow corn. Let’s feed the children well.

Wade Guthrie, D.C., Eugene

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