Letters to the Editor: 8-28-2014


I often disagree with Bob Emmons’ editorial opinions; however, his Viewpoint in the Aug. 21 issue concerning Seavey Loop is right on the money. Based on my years as business development officer for Business Oregon as well as over a decade working on a variety of natural resource and land use issues, I believe Seavey Loop is no place to put industry. The Seavey Loop area is just fine the way it is and it should be left alone.

As a senior policy advisor to former governor Barbara Roberts, I had the good fortune to spend some time, on several occasions, chatting with Hector McPherson, the father of Senate Bill 100. We talked about the bill and his motivations for working so hard to get it passed, and why the bill was important. I have no doubt that Seavey Loop is just exactly the kind of place that SB100 was created to protect from urban sprawl.

I respect both Sen. Lee Beyer and Rep. Phil Barnhart. I know them both and know that they are hard-working legislators. I will continue to support them both. However, in this case, I find that I must respectfully disagree with their positions on the industrialization of Seavey Loop. 

Every once in awhile there comes a time and place where people just need to draw the line and say enough is enough. I believe the time is now and Seavey Loop is just such a place.

Bob Warren, Eugene


As the debate about GMOs heats up further in Oregon, there is a disproportionate amount of chatter on one side of the issue. Outside supermarkets, petitioners tell passing people lies about transgenic technology, using fear to get them to sign a proposition for labeling. They inundate social media and rallies with buzz terms and pictures of rats with tumors. All of this on a very basic principle: We have a right to know.

I’m not going to discuss the merits of that. But what I will do is point out the worst offender. OregonRightToKnow.org and the attached Facebook group have systematically been censoring any debate on the topic of food safety, even from informed plant geneticists and biology experts. A small farmer who teaches sustainability and embracing all forms of farming had his posts removed and banned despite him being very patient and courteous.

So my message is this: Be critical of sources. Look at the issue with a careful eye. Don’t buy into fear websites. Make the decision for yourself with all the information, not just what the anti-GMO zealots will let you see.

Jeff Holiday



My partner and I recently tried to attend the Steve Winwood/Tom Petty concert at Matthew Knight Arena. We were out front looking for inexpensive tickets, along with about six other people. I was asking politely and reminding all who entered to have a good show. The only people selling tickets were the scalpers, who as we all know are just a touch above child pornographers. Imagine my surprise when a security person (or an usher?) came out of the show, went right up to one of the scalpers and handed him free tickets! In front of us! So that’s how they run it: The people at the arena want to make more money, so they give free tickets to the scalpers and split the profits. What an ugly racket. 

Jared Wolfsen, Eugene


“Looking Forward to Breaking Ground in September” proclaims an advertisement for Oakleigh Meadow Cohousing. Breaking the ground, the meadow and the community are exactly what will happen if OMC continues.

 Natural spaces like Oakleigh Meadow are rare and protecting them is vital to the health of waterways, green space and living things. When the meadow was for sale, I was relieved when it was bought by folks who seemed to be thoughtful about smart growth and the importance of preserving green space. I was hopeful when a vision was put forth for thoughtful community housing that would enhance the greenway. But the land is now in the hands of people intent on a development that will destroy the meadow and the community. 

The neighborhood is seriously fractured and the meadow’s in jeopardy of being filled in. OMC’s development is not healthy for the community or the greenway. I urge the landowners to re-think their housing proposal and work with community members to preserve Oakleigh Meadow. Together, we could put the land into public ownership and find a sensible place for the housing project. I would give my time and money to make that happen and I know others would too. 

Let’s find a sound solution and preserve the meadow for generations to come.

Stacey Janssen, Eugene


Just wanted to drop you a quick line and let you know how much I enjoyed an article online from 2010. I came across it by chance on Flickr by a man who linked to it in a photo of a homeless person [“Nowhere to Be: Young & Homeless in Lane County,” http://wkly.ws/1sz].

I just wanted you to know the power of the written word can change minds and concepts about issues like this, and in fact I live thousands of miles away from you in Canada and it reached me and made me appreciate the fact that many homeless individuals are such by no choice of their own.

Please pass on my appreciation to the writers and photographer for the very heartfelt article with pictures.

Mary Akis, Thunder Bay, Ontario


Thousands of children from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are sitting in limbo at border facilities, many fleeing narco-governments. Aside from the fact that the U.S. for decades has treated Latin America countries as banana republics for the benefit of U.S. corporations, sponsoring coups, torture and overthrown democracies, many of the drug cartel members were held and learned new tricks in U.S. prisons. They were then released and deported to their home countries, where many have been terrorizing and extorting indigenous communities.

Guarda Bosques or Forest Keepers is a film that shows how one community in Michoacan, Mexico, rose up against the drug cartels and won. Initially using only sticks, rocks and bottle rockets, they have taken the authorities’ offices, weapons and pickup trucks, ousted all political parties and all local and state police, and have re-established a pre-Columbian form of self-governance that includes its own council of elders, a community police ronda and its own forest defense team.

The Lane branch of the Industrial Workers of the World will be sponsoring a free screening of Guarda Bosques at 7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 3, at the McNail-Riley House, 601 W. 13th Ave. Discussion to follow.

Scott Fife, Eugene


Thank you, Ray McMillin! [Letters, “The Real Villain” regarding fonts, 8/14].

 Sara van Dyck, Eugene


I share the concern of many about the circumstances under which a dog was shot and injured by a Springfield police officer Aug. 12.

These tragedies happen more often than one would imagine. It’s one of the countless dangers faced by animals outside and unsupervised. It is imperative that guardians supervise animals’ time outdoors and ensure the safety of the animal companions they care for.

Officers appropriately resort to deadly force when they believe that their lives, or the lives of others, are in danger. But sometimes officials draw their guns unnecessarily or too quickly. Regardless, surprise encounters with animals are inevitable for any law enforcement official. It is vital that officers be trained in basic animal control procedures, including the proper and humane handling of animals in the field and accurate risk assessment. This is crucial for the safety of field officers, the community and animals alike. Humane methods must be exhausted before guns are drawn.

Officers who shoot dogs that pose no real threat should be charged with cruelty to animals, just like anyone else would be. Additionally, they should be subject to internal reviews and, if appropriate, dismissal from their positions.

Curtis Taylor, Eugene


In support of the police officer who shot an attacking dog in self-defense: After multiple complaints about the menacing vicious animal, the officer responded appropriately, protecting the public. No one should be subject to an unleashed, unwarranted intrusion from an uncontrolled, aggressive “pet.” I’m glad the wound was non-fatal so that the dog can be legally euthanized for being unfit for human society.

Vince Loving, Eugene


In past experiences, Cuthbert Amphitheatre staff have been friendly and professional. This was not the case at the Eugene Celebration concert Aug. 23. As we were entering, an employee was rude to my daughter while claiming her chair was disallowed. My chair was identical, and both were checked and allowed at the ZZ Top concert (26-inch back height). We politely offered to take the chair back to the car, at which point the employee stated that we wouldn’t be allowed back in because our tickets had already been torn. Fortunately, another employee stepped in and allowed us to take the chair to our car. Disconcerted, I wrote it off to either a nepotism hire or poorly trained personnel.

After we sat, our view of the stage was blocked by some inebriates dancing on the wall, near the “No Chairs, Sitting Only” sign — ironic? We dealt with a second rude employee who refused requests to have the inebriates sit, and who then proceeded to get mouthy, until other members of security intervened. The highlight of the night? The drunk woman fell off the wall. Excellent!

Crosby Stills & Nash Sept. 17 will be my last Cuthbert concert. No hard feelings, but no hard cash either. I’ll spend my money elsewhere.

Christina Laureys, Eugene

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