Letters to the Editor: 1-24-2013


Sweet Pea has died. Many of you might know him as the kid who sold his artwork out in front of Circle K and the Pita Pit.

He was homeless. A few weeks ago, he was violently attacked simply for being homeless. They beat him so badly that they caused severe nerve damage. So badly in fact that he literally could not move without horrible pain shooting through his body. He was homeless and had nowhere to go after they kicked him out of the hospital.

He was not getting better. On Wednesday, he checked into the hospital. He had a brain hemorrhage and died Friday.

You may think you beat up some random nobody, but you did more than that. You killed someone. He died and to add insult to it all, you sentenced him to suffer with traumatic pain during these freezing nights before he died.

To the parents in Eugene: One of your children caused someone to die a slow painful death. Was it your neighbors kid who killed him? Was it your kid who killed Sweet Pea? Someone in town is the parent of a violent murderer. Sweet Pea said they were well dressed.

Mayo Finch, Eugene


Mayor Kitty Piercy’s State of the City Address envisioned the development of a Lane County and Eugene Museum of History. She located this museum in the beautiful downtown U.S. Post Office building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

For those of us at the Lane County Historical Museum this is, indeed, great news. We have been investigating the possibilities presented by the post office building as a new museum facility for two years. Preliminary architectural plans have been drawn up and demonstrate the building’s functionality as a historical museum. Why our interest in relocation? The Historical Museum building at the fairgrounds has long been recognized as inadequate.

Acquisition of the U.S. Post Office building for continued use as a community asset offers a tantalizing opportunity for city and county cooperation. A jointly operated first-class city and county history museum in the post office could kick-start the long-discussed downtown cultural district. And if that conversion then facilitates acquisition of the privately owned remainder of the post office facility (down 5th and wrapping around Olive), most of the city block next to the Hult Center could become a culture and heritage center (perhaps housing resident nonprofits much as the Hult Center houses resident companies). Such a cultural complex would generate the workday and after-hours use for the restaurants and entertainment venues necessary for a vibrant downtown cultural district. 

Is this the right time for such visioning? County and city budgets are stressed. The library took 10-plus years to arrive. With such lead times apparently necessary to garner public support, if not now, when might be the appropriate time to do such visioning? If planning begins now, then the downtown cultural district will become a legacy project, marveled at and deeply appreciated by Lane County residents far into the future.

Robert L. Hart, executive director Lane County Historical Society and Museum


Communication is key to contribute to a world and its progress. To do so we rely on language. We live in a world with over 6,000 languages and according to studies 90 percent of these languages are spoken by only 100,000 people and dwindling. Why are we hell-bent on reducing our cultural capital?

In a Jan. 17 column by Anne Bridgman, “Foreign Language Squeeze,” a need for more language courses was underlined, along with smaller classrooms to ensure that proficiency was obtained.

In both local and global economy we should be able to communicate effectively not just with rudimentary skills, like cavemen/women. Is your message important? Why would you not want to convey the exact idea you are trying to communicate? Apart from this ideal, is there no language requirement to fulfill at colleges and universities nowadays?

So I ask, ¿En que está pasando? Do we care in recognizing the diverse cultural makeup of our own country and the languages that go along with it?

Are we willing to leave a bankrupt English-only view of the world to our children? I won’t! Thank you, Anne, for not “Shortchanging Our Schools.”

Phil Carrasco, Eugene


I am glad to see that our country is one step closer to having true equality for all. I am writing in response to Shannon Finnell’s article Jan. 10 that talked about marriage equality and the headaches that could possible come with it. It’s refreshing to see an article about marriage equality that also brings to light the legal struggles that newlywed couples are faced with. 

The article was mainly focused on the couple and their wedding plans, but it did a good job emphasizing how difficult the process actually is. Like how the Oregonian couple had to travel to New York to get married, and the little-known fact that if you get married in a certain state you also have to get divorced in that state. Not to mention the lack of federal recognition and all the work that must be done to ensure that you have your rights nationally as a couple. 

Like many Oregonians I am glad to see a few states take this step and hope to see Oregon take this step someday soon as well, but I would like to see more people informed about the difficulties behind same sex marriages and everything that those couples need to go through even when they are allowed to get married.

Jennifer Borrero, Eugene


Reading the letters of complaint lately [1/3] regarding the use of “isolation rooms” in 4J schools has me wondering. What exactly do these people propose for a solution to replace them? You have a limited staff due to budget cuts, and overcrowded classrooms where the learning process is already impaired, and now we need to have what a dedicated staff in each school to administer/ control out-of-control children? Pray tell where are the funds to come from? 

Unless parents are prepared to respond on extremely short notice to pick their children up when they have a meltdown, there really is no other solution if the other children in the classroom aren’t to suffer from the interruptions to their learning environment. Maybe parents could volunteer to form an “emergency response” team that would be trained to deal with children with behavioral issues. Short of that the state will need to be forthcoming in more funds; good luck with that.

Jeff Innis, Eugene


Being a college student, it’s hard to find a fast alternative when it comes down to eating a balanced diet. Considering students at University of Oregon probably have little time to eat, and food options seem scarce, where do we go for a fast-healthy hunger fix? A vegan/vegetarian food source, dubbed the “Holy Cow” is provided within the cafeteria section, found within the EMU building. Fast? Yes. Healthier? Yes, but what about selection, a variety for non-vegan and/or non- vegetarians? A Subway is an option, but if you look at the menu, a lot of their meat provided comes from pre-packed and processed conventional sources. Let’s have organic and chemical free meat served fast!

A little drive-through restaurant at 3802 West 11th called Go Healthy Café provides a fast and healthy scene for everyone — meaning for us meat eaters out there. The service is a genuine plus, but do note price ranges are averaging out to be $10 for the priciest meal. From Yelp and Urbanspoon, (online sources for public reviews) there were many complaints about the serving sizes being too small. Yes, this is true, but this is also a healthy benefit for people to not over consume when they eat. Perhaps if 13th Avenue or other main streets on campus were to adopt this company, it’s possible we will see a fast-positive change in eating habits for the carnivores.

A meat lover,

Alissa Altman, Eugene


I am a college student and am concerned with the lack of acknowledgment to pesticide concerns. There seems to be no acknowledgment to health concerns of the local people of Eugene. I understand that some cities are to big to control but Eugene is a pretty manageable city.

In the triangle lake letter (10/3/12) it seems like government officials aren’t paying attention to pesticides because they don’t think it’s a concern. Individually no, but when they compound each other it can be infectious to the youth of our community in long term affects. Pesticides aren’t meant to be in our body so we should prevent them in being so if we have the power.

Taking on pesticide problems is one thing but when it’s because of Monsanto plantations that contain millions and millions of dollars and take away individual gain in the farming industry; it is another shortcut for the ultimate goal of profit.

There are too many problems in the world to take a look at every single one but I do think we can control the local problems. Problems such as health issues so we can look out for the community. Eugene has been about local businesses and we need to keep the locals in control.

Bennett Chiongbian, Eugene


I am writing this letter in response to Camilla Mortensen’s article (10/3/12) “Area Schools Test Positive for Pesticides.” I would have to strongly agree with her points. I find it highly unlikely anyone would allow a substance to enter their body without knowing the defects it could have, but yet the USDA actions say otherwise: “they then used it to not only confirm our Triangle Lake result but to test the other schools.” That statement made me ponder about the awareness level these types of corporations have when it comes to their responsibility in terms of public safety. It’s actions like this that spark my curiosity about the testing results on how these chemicals tested and what the side effects could be. 

The Oregon Health Authority issued this statement in response to the contaminated wells, “None of the pesticides or their breakdown products were found at levels of concern for public health (based on the comparison of health screening levels for individual pesticide concentrations)”. Also the World Health Organization (WHO) stated DDT is one of 12 pesticides recommended by the WHO for indoor residual spray programs. With that being said, how is it possible that someone acknowledges that this pesticide should be sprayed indoors only, but yet the concern for these kids couldn’t be any worse?

Hakeim Pearson, Eugene


Detroit, Michigan may be slightly safer than Eugene if you are a woman. According to www.city-data.com and www.areavibes.com, Eugene had almost twice the amount of rapes committed per capita as Detroit in 2010 (Eugene had 80 per 100,000, Detroit had 45 per 100,000). For five years straight (2006 to 2011), Eugene had more rapes per capita than Detroit (2012 stats were not available). Eugene has a worse record protecting our women than the “murder capital.” That’s absolutely unacceptable. Hey boys — be a man. Protect our women, don’t prey on them. 

Terry C. Dunham, Eugene


This letter is in response to the Jan. 3 article in EW written by Camilla Mortensen and photos by John Bauguess. “Losing the High Places,” just brought to mind that it’s not just the digging in the buttes that destroy our sacred lands or take away from our environment.

Consequently, it is sad to say that for our communities to survive and be prosperous in the future, we must think about the lesser of two evils. Do the digging and fix our roads and highways or allow the destructions to create more dangerous hazards.

You mentioned several people in your article, indicating they are controversial; well, think about how many people are employed by them and how these families depend on those contractors to survive. Beauty and heritage is not in the picture when you are trying to support your family.

You know the saying, “A picture is worth 1,000 words.” Compare your pictures to ones of forest lands that have been logged. What do you see? Progress, without progress, this country would be in deep doo doo.

We the people created these monsters, we the people can change it. We tend to close our eyes to the surroundings when we are trying to survive in today’s economy. At least we still have the pictures to go with the stories from long ago.

Joseph Marcum, Springfield

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