Letters to the Editor: 5-15-2014


Is PAC money from out of state being fused into Lane County politics? How much of it is from the Koch Bros? What does your gut tell you?

This money is filling the political coffers of commissioners Jay Bozievich, Sid Leiken and Faye Stewart and has bought their loyalty at the expense of Lane County citizens. These commissioners have already cost taxpayers millions of dollars; add to that: scandals, corporate welfare, gerrymandering, lack of government transparency and lawsuits.

Weyerhaeuser in Cottage Grove received a property tax break worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Think how that would have helped small business owners in Lane County.

Stewart has been helping the McDougal Bros/Greg Demers, who mined Parvin Butte, as far back as February 2012 with the Connect Oregon Grant [R-G, 2/20/2012]. He is still helping them today with the brownfield site in Goshen (they own property in Goshen and supply water to Goshen). Taxpayers build the infrastructure while they make a nice profit. Good deal for whom?

Bozievich has no regrets for hiring former county administrator Liane Richardson (Inkster) even though she created a county scandal. Marc Kardell, the former Lane County attorney, is suing Lane County because he was fired for questioning the actions of Inkster and District Attorney Alex Gardner (case pending).

Leiken rubber-stamps the polarizing politics of his fellow conservatives, hoping to use his current position for future political ambitions.

Let’s not go down this road again. Dawn Lesley, Kevin Matthews and Sheri Moore will bring new blood, transparency and trust back to Lane County politics.

It’s time to kick the bums out!

Arlen Markus, Dexter


Where I live they have a place for the Oregon Athletic Department and their so-called “student-athletes.” Here we call the place for these types San Quentin or Pelican Bay. 

The criminal aspect of the University of Oregon Athletic Department has been going on for years and closely parallels your “big buck” athletic donors. 

Congratulations on your “noted” educational enterprise.

 Charles Desler, architect, Placerville, Calif.


I’m writing a letter supporting Jay Bozievich to be re-elected as West Lane County Commissioner. Jay has always given me his ear and help when problems or issues affect me.

I live in the Blachly area on Hwy. 36 with my wife and over the last few years drainage on Hwy. 36 and our side roads have been flooding my property as well as my neighbors during the mild to heavy rains. Jay listened carefully to our problems and helped devise a plan for my drainage issue. State and county lands were involved and Jay had a conversation with the appropriate people to address it. Jay helped navigate the conversation so that both jurisdictions could get results.

I was impressed with how well Jay listened to me and found a quality solution. Jay deserves a second term as our West Lane County commissioner and I will be supporting him.

 Dwight Coon, Former mayor of Junction City


East Lane voters have the unique opportunity to directly reduce deforestation, ocean acidification and climate change, and to think globally and vote locally — for Kevin Matthews. 

Faye Stewart, the incumbent, is a capable gentleman admired for his calm listening skills. But first and foremost Stewart represents the privileged corporations dominating Oregon: the deforestation, chemical and mining industries. He supports deforestation across the nation, authoring papers and sitting on state and national advisory boards. His agenda means privatizing public land, cutting public timber, polluting as usual and paying very little in taxes. It’s a family tradition.

Every community in Oregon is or was a mill town, dominated by mill owners united by their greed, political power and dangerous delusions. Oregon’s deforestation industries write their own license to pollute, the Forest Practices Acts, which promote landscape-wide erosion, pollution and poisoning of native plants. Millions of acres of toxic monoculture plantations are planted upstream of everybody. Clean air and water, fisheries, wildlife, hunting, foraging and recreation are lost, along with the soil and microbiomes that supported them and all their soil-stored carbon. 

We need government that serves us, not the polluters and poisoners. Fight deforestation, biodiversity loss and ocean acidification. Support Kevin Matthews.

John Sundquist, Coburg


It may not turn out to be a “crime” due to the girl’s initial drunken acquiescence, but it was a crime morally, ethically and societally. To take advantage of a person when they are drunk and not thinking clearly is narcissistic, disgusting and abhorrent. 

And, even if at the start the victim went along, the undisputed fact that until well after she sobered up and began quietly weeping the “student” athlete heroes continued their sick and degrading assault is nothing less than monstrous and an affront to all decent people everywhere. Add to this the fact that Coach Dana Altman still has his job, and we have business as usual regarding criminal behavior perpetrated by student athletes at Division I NCAA in general and the UO in particular.

I will shamefully admit that my first reaction was that some sort of payback towards the student athletes, coaches and Athletic Department would be a good thing, but it is certainly not the fault of the sisters and daughters of the perps and enablers, but the cycle must be stopped, not perpetuated. Instead I fervently hope that, finally, college presidents wake up to this heinous and endlessly repeated act and start firing coaches who recruit players where behavior of this sort is not only likely to happen, but is to be expected to happen.

 Jamie Selko, Eugene


Sally Sheklow can crow in her “Living Out” column March 17. I only hope she can look forward to her fate when she dies and is cast into the Lake of Fire in hell, along with all of her like-minded pervert associates who practice a sick, degenerate lifestyle. How does she think she will feel, burning for eternity?

I will say a prayer for Ms. Sheklow and all her associates. I only hope they will see the light and accept the teachings of the Lord and the Holy Bible and renounce their perversions. But I think it’s too late.

God bless them, for they know not what they do.

Lon Miller, Rural Drain


There was a meeting last week billed as the city’s MUPTE (Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption) “Discussion with Neighborhoods.” Denny Braud of the Eugene Planning Department chaired this meeting where the city laid out its vision for the revised MUPTE criteria, which the city proposes to implement when the existing moratorium on MUPTE expires on July 31.

This was the first meeting in which the city’s neighborhood associations were involved. This revision has been under way for a few months. Staff has already met with several stakeholder groups: the Housing Policy Board committee; three developers, an appraiser and a banker; the construction industry including general contractors, specialized trades and union representatives; the Human Rights Commission subcommittee; and the Envision Eugene Technical Resource Group. 

And now, at last, the neighborhood associations are invited to participate. The neighborhood associations were asked to give their recommendations on how these criteria should be modified. This request is rather unrealistic since these criteria had never before been submitted to the neighborhood associations so that they could hold meetings with their members to reach a consensus.

It seems quite strange that the city can hold multiple public hearings on repaving our roads and yet these proposed MUPTE criteria hold no provision for public input on these projects, which will create buildings which will exist in our neighborhoods for at least as long as any road project will affect us.

We demand extensive public input on any MUPTE project before it is approved.

Duncan Rhodes, Whiteaker


Families For Safe Meters served the EWEB board May 6 with a legal notice and demand letter and a CD containing 91 files of documenting research, tests and other evidence proving the serious potential risks to the health, safety, security and privacy of everyone living or working in EWEB’s service area. 

This notice and demand requires EWEB to stop any plans that they may have, now and in the future, to replace their analog electric and water meters with radio frequency, microwave-generating, wireless digital meters (“smart meters”). Due to the widespread proliferation of smart meters, EWEB’s opt-in program would not keep anyone safe. The board was also notified that it would be violating its own environmental policy and by-laws by installing these so-called smart meters, thus becoming vulnerable to the criminal charge of “official misconduct.”

Anything that the board does that could potentially cause harm to the people and environment in their service area is a breach of their moral and fiduciary responsibility as trustees of our public utility. As public servants the board members are required to always act in the best interest of EWEB’s owners, and all the people and environment in its service area. They were not voted into office to run a risky business.

Abraham Likwornik, Eugene


I don’t believe that the Whole Foods Corporation of Texas is wrong in its belief that organic food is best for us. I do believe, however, that their corporate policy of foisting itself upon far-away communities is wrong. To use its position of financial strength to invade and harm long established businesses in the guise of “improving the community” is pure baloney. We are already blessed with an ample number of fine organic food outlets — plus one of the best farmers markets in the country. To say that this intrusion will create more jobs is false. Every new job would cost the loss of an existing job. The total number of shoppers will remain the same. 

To top it off, we can ill afford to have even more of our money flowing to yet another out-of-state corporation. 

Robert England, Eugene 


Slab City [Travel feature, 5/8] sounds like it would be a great permanent residence for many of the people passing through Eugene. Why fight to live in a rain-soaked Whoville when you can peacefully live in sunny California? Maybe instead of investing thousands to test out an unproven new camp proposal in Eugene we should invest hundreds in bus tickets to give people homes at a proven space.

Nick Reed, Eugene


No one wants Americans to go unsheltered. We used to be a proud nation, with a dream that all can succeed. Now we have abandoned our working class and our disabled citizens, driven them into no-income poverty and homelessness.

Eugene’s recent conference to provide “tangible” help for Eugene’s homeless failed completely. Not one shelter or campsite came of it. The burden falls again on overfilled religious and nonprofit supports.

Whoville homeless campers are forced to move every 12 hours since the meeting. What a waste, police chasing the poor from one place to sleep to another.

People need a place to be, shelter, sleep, food, water, toilets, garbage removal. Eugene spends public money on harassing by police and building fences. The county is not helping.

The state ended General Assistance in 2003, abandoning over 3,000 disabled people into homelessness. A no-shelter policy has greatly harmed the poor and disabled ever since. Homelessness has multiplied.

Congress is making cuts to needed services rather than providing any kind of a very needed safety net to poor Americans. Our democracy has lost its purpose, serving only the rich, and not serving the rest of us.

Jerry Smith, MSW, Eugene


I have enjoyed using solar electricity for more than two decades. Living on our solar budget would power a much smaller, steady-state economy not based on exponential growth on a round, finite planet.

Eugene City Council is considering an ordinance to make city operations “carbon neutral” by 2020 and to reduce energy in half by 2030. Meanwhile, they are expanding EUG airport and are planning to expand Beltline highway (one option calls for a 11-lane bridge). War is peace, ignorance is strength, widening highways is carbon neutrality.

Oregon’s petroleum mostly comes from the Alaska Pipeline, which peaked in 1988 and has dropped three-fourths since. In 2030, we will be lucky to be able to use half our current energy consumption, due to depletion.

The “350” campaign to divest from fossil fuel companies is well intentioned but innumerate. Fossil fuels are concentrated, that is why we use them. Growth-based economies (whether capitalist or socialist or any other “ist”) require constant increases of extraction so the loans of today can be paid by the growth of tomorrow. 

350.org could set an example by divesting from more grants from the Rockefeller foundation. 

Building You Owe’s new sports stadiums used large amounts of fossil fuels and mineral ores, without protests from Eugene’s climate groups. Divesting from Nike and timber companies could have more local impact than selling oil company stocks.

Our society is interested in math if it involves sports scores, but not limits to growth.

Mark Robinowitz, PeakChoice.org, Eugene


There have been many complaints and now a grassroots effort for a “quiet zone” in Eugene. Have any of these complainers ever looked up the history of railroad crossings, especially at night, and learned why trains blow their horns? The answer is simple. In the dark, people, cars, vehicles, etc., have often been stupid or confused, and stood in or ran into oncoming trains at crossings. A large enough percentage of accidents happened to cause the whistle-blowing practice.

I have to live right next to River Road because our intelligent leaders widened all of River Road, a very long residential street, so that now none of us can sleep at night. They did this against our wishes. It was supposed to be “for the public good,” and now a lot of us can’t sleep or even live next to it. What do we do? Earplugs, noise-resistant window glass. Soundproofing. If you do get a “quiet zone” in Eugene, you will be the exception. And it will be you guys who will be responsible for the inevitable folk who get squashed by trains in the dark.

Dorothy H. Bucher, Eugene


The weather is beautiful and there are a lot more pedestrians out, including me. Lately when I cross a street or driveway, I’ve noticed drivers accelerating quickly before there is much room between us. This is something that rarely happened to me until the last several months when my chronic illness worsened, making walking very difficult for me, forcing me to significantly pace myself. It is frightening when drivers are impatient and I feel pressured to speed up even though it could cause me to collapse, as I do on occasion.

Drivers, please be aware that disabled people exist, whether you can tell we’re disabled or not. We deserve to feel safe no matter how slow we walk or otherwise get around. 

Casie Clausen, Eugene


Is there any limit to the false and fictitious claims some incumbents make in order to keep their jobs?

West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich has been bragging that he brought “500 new jobs” to the Junction City area by landing the new hospital. Such a boast is like the rooster claiming credit for the dawn. Citing and funding that hospital was a state of Oregon administrative and legislative decision. Rep. Val Hoyle did play a role in persisting in the final funding but Bozievich had virtually no authorship of this.

 What Bozievich CAN claim credit for, however, is personally orchestrating the disastrous and costly hiring of former administrator Liane Richardson and for single handedly crafting an outrageous and highly partisan redistricting “gerrymandering” scheme which would make Chicago city power brokers proud. As a co-founder of the Lane County Tea Party, Bozievich also saw to it to get his fellow Commissioners Faye Stewart and Sid Leiken to dismantle Lane County’s nationally respected Animal Services department and to eliminate both the county’s Human Rights Advisory Committee and its Roads Advisory Committee which had been trying to protect rural residents from potentially cancer and birth defects-causing chemical spraying.

Some “experience” is not worth repeating.

Kirk Bissell, Eugene


The devil made me do it. It says in Revelations that the anti-Christ will take over the Christian religion. Now the Supreme Court has ruled that we have to be subjected to the chants invoking the God of evil if we wish to attend our local City Council meetings. The First Amendment should also include “freedom from religion.”

Vince Loving, Eugene