Letters to the Editor: 2-20-2014


On Oct. 16, 2013, over two dozen residents of Cedar Valley noticed two helicopters flying over our homes. We at first did not give it any thought but soon came to realize that they were releasing some of their herbicidal product upon us. Many of us have become ill immediately and still suffer from the effects of this spray. We have property damage, including animals, some of which are dying or already dead. We went to our local Health Department immediately and were informed we had to seek help from the State Agriculture Department, which we did. It has been over three months and we still do not have answers; our own doctors cannot seem to get any information. We have been passed from department to department with no resolution; however, we have had contact with the U.S. Center for Disease Control and sent a petition for the federal government to step in.

Beyond Toxics has been instrumental in helping us navigate this maze of bureaucracy that we now face. We are requesting the help of our state legislators, our health professionals and even our federal agencies. Oregon has such weak laws for forestry and pesticides that many rural residents are harmed and our property is being damaged. The forestry laws only apply to protecting fish and habitat streams. What about human health? What about our drinking water? We need help and we need stronger and protective regulations. I hope our governor will stand up for protecting our health.

Kathyrn Rickard, Gold Beach


Saba Malik, Deep Green Resistance functionary, deems Shannon Finnell’s “Transphobia at the PIELC” full of lies. And the DGR cult has pumped out several near-identical letters from its clones, who follow orders and evidently swallow anything.

But the fact is that Lierre Keith, the subject of Finnell’s article, has made a career of publicly hating transgender folks. This is simply a matter of record and Keith has always seemed proud of it.

 There are no lies in the EW piece. The lie is in claiming that trans people do not deserve respect and acceptance, and in cloaking this bigotry as somehow feminist.

John Zerzan, Eugene


Thanks for getting out the word about my fall and broken neck. I have good news. Friends of David Oaks (FODO) has succeeded in raising enough money for a 2013 accessible van for me.

I would like to thank my brother Tony, who came to my side from Texas within hours of my accident and spent most of the year with me.

My amazing wife, artist Debra Nuñez, has helped so much. The spouse of someone who has a major disability deserves a lot of support. Debra is such a delight for my heart. I am in love and at home, what a wonderful Valentine! 

As some of your readers know, I have continued to be an activist. I have focused on how our progressive community needs to be more active about the climate crisis.

I am sorry that the Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce has still not put out a statement about the climate crisis and the problem of the U.S. Chamber, which is one of the main obstacles in the U.S. to address greenhouse gases. The way we people have treated Earth has placed us all in a position of disability. Let us support one another during this crisis. 

FODO plans to do a living estate sale Feb. 21-23. FODO is on the web and in Facebook; just search for the phrase “Support David Oaks.” People may also find my personal blog on the web and my page on Facebook by searching for David W. Oaks.

Thanks to everyone who has offered support. What a great community. 

David W. Oaks, Eugene


Rain is so welcome! I’m so glad to see it pour! I have wondered if we would be faced with a drought as serious as California is experiencing. It reminds me of how precious every source of water is and how the three streams of the Amazon Headwaters must be protected. If you haven’t walked the paths by the headwaters I hope you will before the city decides its future! Let them know how this area must be saved. What would our children and theirs want? 

Ruth Duemler, Eugene


I was sadly reminded of the sexual assault and rape problem in colleges everywhere, including Eugene, after reading Carolina Reid’s Jan. 30 article, “Professors To Speak On Anti-Rape Movement On College Campuses.” It is nice to see some awareness of the epidemic; however, there needs to be more education provided about the scary date rape drug Rohypnol, better known as “roofies.”

Most commonly girls unknowingly ingest the drug, leading to the inability to remember the following 8-24 hours, then falling prey to sexual predators without being able to remember who assaulted them.

The UO has an online alcohol education program, described by students as “silly” and “stupid,” intended to inform students about sexual assault. Never once in this program are “roofies” talked about, which is absolutely absurd. Many freshmen have never heard of the drug, typically used at parties, making them easy targets for sexual predators.

“Date rape” is still happening and is scary for both college men and women, but very little is being done to prevent one of the scariest, and certainly real, epidemics in today’s colleges. The UO and colleges everywhere need to educate students about “roofies” to help innocent students from falling prey to the terrible, life-ruining drug.

DJ Morris, Eugene


Eugene’s south hills beckons to the expansionist magnates of Fred Meyer. Their developer is raring to knock down Civic Stadium and commercialize land that belongs to the public, aka the 4J School District. The city of Eugene and the YMCA wish to keep this site part of the community. Is it too naïve to encourage them to develop a plan to retain the stadium for soccer and erect a modern Y facility for recreation? 

Where does this leave Kroger? Well, recent news reports stated that corporate Albertson’s plans to sell off some of its stores across the nation. Well, a sweetened-pot offer to Albertson’s headquarters might garner the 30th Avenue and Hilyard Street site for Fred Meyer’s anchor to reach to the affluent households of the south hills. And, as a gesture of community goodwill, Fred Meyer/Kroger, whose tag line reads “It’s all about people,” can donate a tile or paver to the new Y facility or the entrance to the refurbished stadium, or both!

Vincenza Scarpaci, Eugene


Now they discover income inequality? Now, when some of the billionaires have been, for a decade, making more than $50 million a year, which is more than 2,500 times what I made in 2013? That wasn’t income inequality, but now that their income is increasing, it’s becoming unequal?

What about wealth inequality? They may acquire, each year, 2,500 times as much as I do, but they stash most of it, so their accumulated wealth is more like, oh, a million times what I have been able to accumulate (including inherited wealth).

Accumulated wealth is the real story here. Let’s hear any politician dare to say anything about that — and invent a plan to remove that wealth.

It will take a revolution.

Ann Tattersall, Eugene


When I first learned of Oregon United For Marriage, the campaign to win the freedom to marry for all Oregon couples, I was ecstatic. Having seen the excitement of the 2012 ballot victories in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington, I couldn’t wait to get involved with Oregon’s own effort to win the freedom to marry. 

When people ask me why the freedom to marry matters to me, I think about my own parents, who’ve been married for 27 years and created for my brother and I a stable, loving home. Someday I want to have that kind of a family. Next I think about what kind of community I want to live in. I want to live in a place where all families are accepted and honored as equal members of the community. Lastly, I think about my own life and experience as a gay man. I think about my own goals and hopes for the future, and I realize they aren’t that different from those of my friends. This November, Oregon voters have an opportunity to say yes to fairness, and to honoring the love and commitment that we all share. It is an opportunity we should fully embrace.

Kenneth Sergienko, Eugene


Stopping the Keystone XL pipeline won’t stop global warming. It probably won’t even stop diluted tar from Alberta from reaching Gulf Coast refineries or foreign markets. But it will be a big first step in starting a serious conversation in this country about the dire consequences of continued greenhouse gas emissions and how we can prevent or mitigate them.

I urge all of you who “get” global warming to take advantage of the 30-day public comment period, which ends on March 7, to let the State Department know how bad the pipeline could be. The online address is regulations.gov. The mail address is: U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Energy Resources, Attn: Keystone Public Comments, 2201 C St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20520.

Many of the Cabinet Departments and the EPA get 90 days to comment. Write them too. And don’t forget to write to Secretary of State Kerry and President Obama. 

Jere C. Rosemeyer, Eugene


So do you get submissions to “I Saw You” from people actually looking to find somebody or is it all just inside jokes and stoned babblings? Just wondering.

Kris Bluth, Eugene


I am bringing to your attention an issue of utmost importance in our nation regarding our pollinators. There are certain pesticides, containing neonicotinoids, readily available and used in the public, that are having a drastic impact on our natural pollinators, especially bees. Bees account for a large majority of pollination of our crops. They are able to travel great distances with pollen from one plant, and deposit it on another, creating much-needed genetic diversity to maintain a healthy plant population. Without this key pollinator present, the abundance and health of the crops that are produced out of our region will suffer. 

Many European countries have already banned these pesticides because they understand how these chemicals affect the natural balance of our ecosystems. HR 2692, the Saving America’s Pollinators Act, is a current federal bill that would remove these specific pesticides from common use and create better monitoring of the pollinator’s populations. I urge you to support this federal bill by contacting your local representative and encourage them to cosponsor the bill. We as humans rely on our planet and our co-inhabitants to provide us the sustenance to thrive so it only makes sense to take care of it in return.

Hannah Swim, Eugene


The huge homeless population created by all of us through greed, ignorance, stupidity and addiction needs a larger answer. The cities and states do not have the money, nor the capability, to solve the problem.

 I believe one possible answer to the problem could be to turn it over to our military — that’s right, our military.

 With an annual budget of more than $900 billion, we do not need to police the world. What we do need is home security, protecting this country with our military, and to turn over rebuilding our infrastructure at home to a community branch of our military, like the WPA from the 1930s. 

Anybody who is homeless and single (without dependent children) would have no choice except being offered the opportunity to serve four years in the military or six years in the community. The homeless would receive no pay but would be given food, shelter, health care and the opportunity to learn an occupation, serving their community. They would receive no pay for the six years they served, but would receive full payment for college, room and board, and health care for four years after the six years served.

The homeless that joined the military (if accepted) would receive pay while serving, as well as full college tuition, board and room, and health care for four years after serving.

Any of the homeless that need medical care or have physical, mental or addiction problems could be handled by the only branch of our government capable of handling the problem: our military, with the budget to do so. This would also include helping families with dependent children, who then would have to work for the military in some way. 

Gene Okins, Eugene