Eugene Weekly : Letters : 7.9.09


The Eugene Emeralds played the first game of what they are saying is their last season at Eugene’s historic Civic Stadium on Saturday evening, June 20. More than 5,400 fans cheered loudly when the Ems’ pitcher delivered the first pitch for a strike. We cheered even louder when the first Emeralds batter of the season hit a home run. At the seventh-inning stretch, we arose and sang in unison, with the old-growth timbers of historic Civic Stadium serving as a chorus riser.

Whom will those 5,000 fans cheer for next year? The new PK Park will only hold about half of them. But I doubt if the reduced seating capacity will be a problem. I have yet to talk to an Ems fan who plans to attend a game at ‘ParKing lot’ Park. It seems our loyalty is more to the venue than the team. The owners of the Ems need to understand this. 

The Ems say they hope to open at PK Park next year, but they have yet to sign a lease with the Ducks. So now is the time to let them know you want them to stay at Civic Stadium. Let them know you want them to honor their lease with the 4J school district and stay one more year. Tell them that you think the Save Civic Stadium organization should be given the opportunity to succeed. 

So now is the time to call, write or email the Eugene Emeralds and urge them to stay at Civic Stadium. Do it today; do it now. Because, like Yogi Berra said, it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. 

Lonnie L McCulloch, Eugene


Now it’s time for saving our forests from very wasteful U.S. building codes that require use of wood products from the clear-cutting of our wilderness habitats.

I am inspired to act, and I am researching building from “deep forest” analysis of building codes. These codes require overbuilding structures, costing too much while wasting vast human, technological resources and forest habitats and creating wood products for approved structures under permits dominated by construction industry standards of safety. These standards, which deal with fire, wind, water, weather, wear and load bearing functions, are all designed to make more money for contractors, builders and suppliers of all (wasted) resources imported from nature and factories. It is similar to the farming industry.

Plus, the banks and lenders profit from loans to construct overbuilt structures for housing, people and more wasteful technology. It is technology that is planned to be obsolete and irreparable and that must be replaced by materials from distant factories. This process prevents owners from taking part in the building and fixing and allows only certified people to take part in these actions.

  Micheal Sunanda, Eugene



The city is making a bid to move the police headquarters from the City Hall to a building out on Country Club Road. The argument is that the current office is too small and structurally unsound. The new building is up-to-code and reasonably priced — the city already saved up the money — but the opponents say it would move the police from downtown, making it more inaccessible and so on. Fair enough.

While watching this issue play out in local newspapers, editorials and news broadcasts I found myself shaking my head because the solution seems obvious to me. I even posed my solution to a friend to make sure it sounded reasonable and he agreed.

Why not move the main office to the nice, safe building and have a precinct office remain downtown in one of the many empty office buildings, like Center Court? Big cities do it. This way the police will remain a presence in town (for good or bad, depending on your experience with EPD), and they get the bigger place they have been saving up for. Great idea, my friend said, except for one thing. Historically, police like to have everything in one place, all of their services, offices etc.

Well, that’s true, but perhaps in order to make everyone happy and get what they want the police, city and citizens of Eugene will need to compromise and change things in order to — oh, wait. There is no such thing as compromise and change among Eugeneans. Never mind.

Alisa McLaughlin, Eugene


Glad to see the hilarious Live Matinee performances get a well-deserved mention in your recent issue. The wonderful WYMPROV! is represented in the Weekly by the always insightful Sally Sheklow. But come on, Eugene Weekly, where’s the love for Potpie Theater? I refuse to believe that your staff doesn’t “get” their style of humor. Perhaps you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to watch these two talented actors at work? With all due respect to the aforementioned groups, Potpie Theater is the comedy show local television producers (and newspapers, and everyone) should sit up and take notice of.

Deanna Hardin, Eugene


The good Gov. giveth and taketh. The Oregon Senate just passed SB 676, giving Oregon farmers permission to grow and posses industrial hemp, which is used for building material, cloth, cordage, fiber, food, floor coverings, fuel, industrial chemicals, paint, particle board, plastics, seed meal, seed oil and yarn. The growing of hemp requires no herbicides, pesticides or burning. The Oregon Senate just passed SB 528, taking  the Oregon grass seed farmer’s permit to burn their fields down to 20,000 acres. Grass seed is used for lawns, golf courses and pastures and requires herbicides, pesticides and burning to sanitize the fields. The only thing blocking Oregon and fifteen other states who have passed similar hemp legislation is the “reefer madness” of the federal  government. It is time to stop this madness and allow American farmers the right to grow the crop our nation was founded on.  

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain


I enjoyed the two civilized letters about Eugene police defects written by Steven Morris and Mechelle Coburn. I do not visit downtown Eugene and will continue to boycott it until Eugene police are trained to be decent human beings instead of being trained to be torturous thugs equipped with mind-crippling tasers and with minds warped with medieval training and a medieval disgrace of a weird union instead of a good union.

Bob Saxton, Eugene


Congratulations to the Toxic Alliance and the medical community who supported the ban on field burning. Thanks also to those Democratic legislators, especially Rep. Paul Holvey who created the legislation, for voting to end this serious air polluting problem.

Field burning was a health hazard to many in our air polluted valley. However, have you noticed how the sky has taken on a grayish brown tone, no longer the beautiful blue when the rain cleans our air. I’m afraid we don’t do enough in our valley to reduce the pollution we have here in Eugene/Springfield, and we are now facing the additional hundreds of tons of pollution with biomass burners. Our wood burning wigwams are gone. Our utilities no longer burn hog fuel. The newest threat to our breathing is biomass wood burners, wigwams with some controls.

The Oregon American Lung Association has just issued its 2009 report and gave Lane County a D for ozone (smog) and an F for particulates that enter the lungs producing cancer, asthma and other breathing problems. The report stated that the following were groups at risk: Asthma 32,733, Chronic Bronchitis 9,465, Emphysema 4,780, Cardiovascular Disease 101,414, Diabetes 21,907 out of our population of 343,591. I hope our community demands air pollution reduction, not new sources of pollution!

Ruth Duemler, Eugene