Letters to the Editor: 10-17-2013


“Is there a heaven? I’d like to think so.” — Bryan Ferry.               

And if there is, I’d like to think that the world’s largest album collection (including 45s) is also up there — hooked up to the world’s finest stereo components from the 1970s. 

And if there is, I’d like to think that Mr. Bill Finneran is at the controls, having a heaven of a good time playing the best of everything he so loved.                   

And if there is a heaven as such, I’d like to think that I’ll also be up there in the end, picking out the next selection.          

Goodbye Mr. Finneran — you will always be remembered.               

Chaz Kirsch, Harrisburg 


Support Local Food Rights maintains that the people’s right to vote trumps substantive objections to our initiative, the Local Food System Ordinance of Lane County. What is the point of the initiative process if the people’s voices are silenced before we even get to speak? We are not deterred by the passage of SB 863 (formerly SB 633) and are not encouraged by a proposed statewide answer. The state’s assertion that it can achieve better results than the local communities is patronizing. We remain committed to the initiative process that respects the community’s right to the ballot box and local decision-making.

Michelle Holman, Deadwood


Regarding all of the brouhaha over the disrespectful name Washington Redskins: Team names are obdurate; they don’t easily embrace change. However, out of respect for Native American cultures and to more honestly reflect the city that they represent, I do believe that it is high time for the Washington Redskins to change their name. I even have a suggestion: the Washington Foreskins, in honor of all the peckerheads representing us in our nation’s Capitol.

David Perham, Eugene


Things are definitely worth celebrating after reading Sally Sheklow’s “State of Celebration” column Oct. 3. Especially when finding out about the Oregon United for Marriage petition, which is collecting signatures so that a marriage equality measure will be put on the ballot next year in November. Currently, the website reports 91,034 signatures gathered.

This state is nearing a tremendous moment in its history for all people, not just members of the LGBTQ community but allies as well. With this petition, Oregon is getting closer to a state of marriage equality for same-sex couples. This state, which I have called home all my life, could finally become a state that allows same-sex marriage, and I hope that many others will gather to make Oregon be its own state of celebration for straight, gay and lesbian couples alike.

To all those out there reading this, here are some ways to help. You can sign the petition here in Eugene at the corner of Broadway & Olive as well as at NE 24th and NE Irving in Portland, or you can even become a petition circulator yourself by calling the petition hotline at (866) 493-6792 and requesting a petition circulation packet of your own.

Rai-Lynn Trotter, Eugene


Sally Sheklow is an absolute gem. Whenever I see her Living Out column I smile. I look at her photo and see integrity, honesty, playfulness and joy. And I smile again. 

There are many gifts in my world and Sally is one. Thank you Sally and EW.

Neil Van Steenbergen, Eugene


“OMC is what smart growth looks like,” says Will Dixon in his Oct. 3 Viewpoint. He is supposed to be an educated, experienced person that others would likely look to for good judgment not only in his field of architecture but in land development. What the Oakleigh Meadow Community (OMC) is to him and the other people who had their rose-colored glasses on when they bought into this deal was a seemingly beautiful setting for like-minded people to live in complete Nirvanaland. What OMC really is is yet another very bad, even dangerous place in which to site any kind of residential houses. Why? I’ll give you two reasons: Dexter and Lookout Point dams. Putting houses or businesses in a flood plain is just plain stupid.

We see this happen again and again all over our country. People insist on building along rivers, levees, coastal spits, etc., and when (not if) natural disasters occur, those foolish people want to have our tax dollars bail them out! The people who have owned this property over the years have been selling it to others with the knowledge that they dodged a bullet. The OMC now has the “old maid” card and the naïve people that will take the chance that those very old dams up river won’t crack or that there won’t be an earthquake (yes, we in western Oregon do live in an active subduction zone) have their collective heads in the sand.

There is nothing wrong with cohousing. I’m all for it, but for heaven’s sake, do your research and don’t be duped by a nice walk by the river or educated people who should know better.

Annie Kayner, Eugene


Hmmmm, we’re a new restaurant downtown — and we’re “hip-ish” (we hang art, not TVs on walls, work with local farms, employ tattooed moms) — and we’ve been fortunate enough to get votes from Weekly readers in the past. Might we be one of the snooty “classist” award-winning restaurants alluded to in David Wilson’s letter to the editor Oct. 3? Maybe. Perhaps. I am not sure. Vague bit of nastiness there. 

Though, I am sure that from day one, five years ago, I and the awesome people who have worked at Belly have aspired and perspired to add a lot of love to Eugene. I am also certain that moving downtown to a larger site (turning up the love volume) was a challenge that sometimes left us dazed, daffy and at times deplorably cranky. I also know — and this amazingly enough without a shadow of a doubt — that this large love train is only rocking better and better, and more so now than ever, dropping good food, good drinks, good times and respect to anyone who comes in. Our good neighbors downtown are doing the same damn thing. Downtown is wonderful — once you get past the haters. 

Mr. Wilson, maybe in time we will fold — go belly up and this will cause you joy — but Belly would go down swinging — gooey love bombs and cheesy bread puffs — on all and every. 

And EW, WTF?! Bored? Can’t refer folks to Yelp? Giving Craiglist’s rants and raves a run for the money? Or just there to offer folks a platform to drop slander on neighbors? 

Brendan Mahaney, Owner/chef Belly restaurant


Had to chuckle at Megan Kemple’s Oct. 10 Viewpoint where she touts the local school districts purchasing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of locally grown foods. Hate to break it to Ms. Kemple, but it’s likely that most of that nice produce winds up in the garbage/compost as the kids, raised on fast food and other non-nutritious fare, turn their noses up at the healthier choices. 

Karl Stout, Eugene


One reason the Eugene Police Commission was formed was to guide policy with sufficient input from the public. There has been a long-term trend toward avoiding detailed conversations with the public, and now the commission has abandoned downtown meetings. Police commission meetings are now held far from downtown at the new police station. The media refuses to cover the problem of the police commission avoiding the public. There are many ways the public safety system could be improved. Instead of chasing ambulances the media could serve the public interest. 

Improper policing and evasive or ineffective oversight endangers both the public and all law-abiding officers. I have requested that the Eugene Police Commission be ordered to relocate the meetings downtown to Pete Kerns, the Human Rights Commission, the Eugene police auditor and even the Budget Committee. They all have no comment.

Once the meetings are relocated downtown they should also be televised like all the other city meetings. Citizens should not be subjected to things that the SWAT team subjected me to.

 Zachary Vishanoff, Eugene


An unpopular yet realistic fact with the homeless situation is that many of these folks have come about their circumstances through poor financial management and lifestyle choices. Many, not all.

Our compassion and empathy and budgets are at meltdown levels. We have reached our capacity for being able to help any more. There is no more room or money here for homeless people. We have given all we can give. 

We have given and given: free sleeping bags/tents, and many places to sleep, rest, shower, do laundry, etc. We have Opportunity Village, Eugene Mission, Egan Warming Center, First Place for Families, St. Vinnie’s camping program, White Bird, Occupy Medical, Bridge Insurance, feeding homeless pets and free veterinary care, CAHOOTS, Buckley detox center, help for veterans, the Highway 99 Service Center. 

But what do they offer in return? Road crew? Community service? Giving up panhandling? How about some work camps like they did way back when? Something to offer back to the community? Do they bring anything at all to the table? 

On virtually every street corner we have someone with their hand out begging us for tax-free income. Homeless folks trashed the sensitive wetlands to the point that it had to be cleaned out by the tons. In the public restrooms they are shooting illegal drugs, performing acts of prostitution, vomiting, bleeding, bathing and leaving monstrous messes behind for others to clean up. The highest demand for police and other services which they pay nothing to support with taxes. Public defecation and urination, garbage everywhere, needles everywhere. We cannot use our parks or public spaces or public restrooms. The highest rate of bike theft in the county. Shoplifting is a sport.

They are demanding respect while showing none for the citizens. 

My neighbor said that paying rent is cutting into his lifestyle choices (he’s a pothead and drunk). He said, “I am going to go get one of those homeless huts and fuck any kind of responsibility.” He was serious.

This is the attitude that is creating a burden on all of us.

Jessica Hannah, Eugene


When I read Mark Robinowitz’s letter to the editor [9/26], I was instantly drawn in by its shocking title: “Powell is a War Criminal.” I consider myself a fairly informed citizen, and I admit I had no recollection of Colin Powell’s conviction for war crimes. I dutifully researched Colin Powell’s history but was unable to find records of his status of “war criminal.” Similarly, it seemed there was no record that any of the accusations made against Powell were legitimate (see letter for said accusations). 

I was forced to conclude that the accusations made against Powell were false and despite any faults he may have, he is not a war criminal. I have grown tired of people using the Weekly as a method to distribute their conspiracy theories. I may be alone here, but when I read the paper I am not looking to read up on the latest conspiracy theories; I am interested in real news and concerns that affect me. I hope in the future the Weekly might be more selective with its letters to the editor, weeding out those without facts to back up their agenda.

Christian Wagner, Blachly

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