Eugene Weekly : Letters : 7.8.10


Erwin Roberts’ letter (6/24) is disheartening and infuriating. He labels Josh Laughlin’s message that “Oregonians want to hear the howl of a wolf after a 60 year absence, not the sound of gunfire killing these majestic animals” as “majestic crap.” His barroom critique of Josh, one of our community’s most respected and dedicated individuals and a figurehead in the organization Cascadia Wildlands, is entirely out of line. 

But most alarming is Roberts’ statement that “more and more Oregonians are seeing that there was a good reason that wolves were hunted out of Oregon 60 years ago.” Sixty years (or less) ago, our culture also believed that smoking cigarettes was sexy, DDT crop dusting was not harmful, a woman’s place was in the home, African-Americans were inferior to Caucasians, and fossil fuel was the ultimate and unlimited energy source. 

Thankfully, we have learned a lot in 60 years, including the interconnectedness of all living creatures, the necessity of biodiversity, the importance of top predators to the ecosystem as a whole, and that we need to be better caretakers of Earth and all of its inhabitants, including flora and fauna. 

Permanently removing top predators is an irreversible act which creates dangerous imbalances of entire ecosystems. Wolves, those “majestic animals” as Josh refers to them, were in Oregon long before our ancestors. It is time to let them back in, and for us to learn the skills we need to know to successfully co-exist with them. 

 Please, read award-winning local author Barry Lopez’s Of Wolves and Men. It may just change your life.

Kathleen Mercer, Eugene


In response to “Majestic Crap” (6/24): Here’s a message to the un-idealistic voters of the east side of the I-5 corridor:

There never was a good reason to hunt wolves out of Oregon 60 years ago, just selfish ones. Western “civilization” in its urge to get rid of inconvenient obstacles saw the wolves as a natural continuation of the infamous Manifest Destiny, but this time with much easier opponents since wolves don’t fight back.

Fear and greed have made humans do awful things over the course of history. It is those two combined who made Hitler — a small mad man with a huge chip on his shoulder — convince a hungry Germany of the danger Jews represented to the German wealth, it is fear again that spawns racism — one of the hardest thing for humans to lick. I could go on and on with other examples.

Humans who want to eradicate blindly a population because of fear and greed are nothing more than self-righteous bullies. If you can’t hack the presence of less than a fraction of the normal population of the Oregon wolves, maybe you don’t belong in Oregon! Move in L.A. or Vegas. That’ll give you plenty of opportunities to shoot at something. 

There are plenty of hunters and ranchers who welcome the wolf back because they feel that the animal is part of the beautiful state they live in. Also, Erwin, the majority of Oregonians are in the I-5 corridor, so I seriously doubt the veracity of your theory. That’s OK. You are probably just scared of wolves and try to convince everyone that they’re the bad guys. Good luck!

Alby Thoumsin, Springfield



As a vegan, I was very excited to hear that Voodoo Donuts was coming to Eugene. I had been planning to take my business there after a PETA demonstration downtown protesting against meat. I had quickly changed my mind when I saw workers come two feet in front of us and eat bacon on top of their donuts. I can see why a meat eater would think it was funny, but the workers there have now changed my mind because of their rude behavior. Voodoo Donuts provides for vegans, and non-vegans, so as you can imagine, I was quite surprised that these workers would be acting this way out in public.

Sierra Gabrielson, Eugene


In response to Spud Smith’s letter in the June 24 issue “No More People,” I find it odd that a person from a town with less than 300 people (Westfir) would claim to witness the country bursting at its seams. But that is just me, from Portland, where there are so many people we allegedly dictate the laws of the entire state. We still have empty houses, some space on the I-5 bridge, and not even in sight of the seams. 

Christopher George Hughes, Portland


Last year I wrote a pretty nasty letter regarding the Oregon Country Fair that generated a lot of criticism. I guess I was put in my place. It turned me into such a social pariah that my husband suffered a loss of work as a result. I am sorry.

I’m glad to hear that people who attend the fair don’t engage in inappropriate sexual activity. It warms my heart, as someone who has close friends in recovery, that people at the fair don’t smoke pot, drop acid, or roll on ecstasy. I am aware that it’s an alcohol-free festival, and I think that’s awesome, considering alcohol is one of the most destructive drugs in which one can indulge. People I know always bragged about keggers at their campsites, but since I’ve been told that doesn’t happen, at least not any more. I think that’s great. 

Finally, as one who tries to minimize her own carbon footprint, I’m stoked that it’s a zero waste event. Friends who volunteer there have told me it takes about two to four weeks to clean up the mess; I’m glad they’re just grandiose liars. I guess it really is just about people hanging out wearing dumb outfits and listening to music I can’t stand. That’s fine. I probably wear lame clothes and listen to irritating music as well. 

It’s really sad that the time I went to the fair all I saw were people being lewd and wasted on drugs. I’m really happy that the event is no longer perverted by those types. I don’t know who runs it, but I’d like to thank that person for kicking out all the stoners, druggies, and pervs! Maybe I’ll make it over this year after all.

Eve Cienfuegos, Eugene


This spring a Kulongoski appointee at the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) denied us more than $1,500 in Oregon Business Energy tax credits for the installation of super efficient ductless heat pumps at a rental house. We decided to install heat pumps because it was the right thing to do for our renters and the planet. 

In December 2009 Harry Esteve with The Oregonian published an expose about how ODOE had given tens of millions of dollars of business energy tax credits to companies like Walmart and Weyerhaeuser.

In the case of Weyerhaeuser $3.3 million was given for a biomass incinerator in Albany which was shutdown and provides no electricity.

I wrote my state representatives about my concerns that we might not receive a tax credit after hearing of this scandal because we hadn’t received a confirmation of the energy tax credit we applied for almost 10 months earlier. My reward for voicing such concerns was vindictive punishment denying us our tax credit by an ODOE bureaucrat while simultaneously letting corporations and their CEO crooks get away with swindling millions of dollars of Oregon taxpayer funds. Thanks ODOE and Gov. Kulongoski.

Shannon Wilson, Eugene


The incendiary policy pronouncements made by House Republican Leader John Boehner in an interview with the Pittsburg Tribune-Review could make some of us believe that Boehner is a Democratic Party plant designed to torpedo the Republicans’ chances in the November elections. 

For those of you still lucky enough to be working, you might need to work longer to qualify for Social Security benefits under Boehner’s plan to raise the retirement age to 70. In addition, Boehner stated in the interview that if you have “substantial” income in addition to Social Security, he does not see why you should receive the Social Security benefits. So, if you were careful enough to save some money for retirement, Boehner wants to penalize you for daring to take a “double-dip,” even if it’s your own money.

For those of us damaged by the Great Recession, Boehner thinks that reforming the conditions that lead to this disaster for millions of American family is “killing an ant with a nuclear weapon.” As President Obama stated, Boehner is “out of touch with the struggles facing the American people.” The Republican policy is that the unemployed are best served by terminating their employment benefits and casting them into the non-existent job market.

Boehner’s statements defy reason. Leader Boehner’s beliefs are proof that the Republicans have learned nothing from their past brush with economic disaster. Why would anyone vote for them?

Gerry Merritt, Eugene


The U.S. government told the Afghan president to end corruption. I’ll bet that President Karzai laughed so hard he sprayed goat’s milk out his nose. I know I did.

Spencer Hicks, Eugene


I think most of us who want illegal immigration stopped (and that is most Americans) can agree with Jennifer Corona’s well-written letter (“A Better Life,” 6/17).

If I were faced with Mexico’s corrupt government, economic devastation caused by NAFTA and out-of-control drug gangs, I’d want a better life too.

But this is no longer the last century in the U.S. We no longer have the surplus resources to continue to absorb the world’s disenfranchised millions. California ­ ground zero for illegal immigration ­ is technically bankrupt. It is now the least educated state. Its current economic disparity is worse than Mississippi’s in the ’70s. Other Western states are headed down the same road.

In Oregon there are major drug arrests of Mexican nationals nearly every week, but you don’t read about these in our two local papers. Arizona’s government felt compelled to take action because the feds never will. Poll after poll shows widespread support ­ even in California ­ for Arizona’s SB 1070.

I commend Corona and her family for taking the right and legal approach to U.S. citizenship. But the American public is not likely to put up much longer with the invasion across our southern border — or with politicians who are supporting it.

Jerry Ritter, Springfield



Let’s talk facts:

1. Nothing Barack Obama has done since taking office has improved the American economy, quality of life, environment, or relations with foreign nations (allies or enemies alike). Fact.

2. Obama has never said one positive thing about the U.S. as a senator, candidate for president, or president of the U.S. Fact.

3. Obama has done nothing to expedite efforts to assist the mitigation of the current environmental crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. If anything, his administration has magnified the tragedy by its collective bureaucratic stasis. Fact.

4. Obama, despite bringing this country to the brink of bankruptcy with outlandish government spending, hasn’t created one iota of true economic growth, economic hope, or any kind of stable employment. Fact.

5. Obama is not qualified to be president of the U.S. Fact.

6. The richest members of Congress and the political class in general are Democrats. Fact.

7. Don’t get me wrong, Republicans at the national level are whores, too. Fact.

8. Obama is George Soros’ mouthpiece. Fact? 

Scott Zeppa, Springfield

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