GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
In the last year, the world has lost two powerful women in the struggle to end not just aerial spraying but the use of pesticides on all land. A year ago, Audrey Moore left us after making her mark with the first pesticide ban ordinance to get on the ballot in Oregon! And last week we lost Jan Wroncy, who so graciously took me under her wing after my first aerial spray exposure. She and others taught me the history of aerial spraying in Oregon, and it’s not a pretty one. There have been too many casualties on the way.
Both these woman have been inspirations within my own life and journey to end aerial spraying. How can one rest knowing their children are being poisoned in the places they live? Jan and Audrey both fought tooth, nail and body to shed light on what’s happening in our forests.
You all know Jan! Jan was instrumental in getting Lane County to adopt a no-spray policy along their county roads. And now they want to destroy that accomplishment! Jan compiled spray notifications and had them published in the Weekly so that people may be aware of what the timber corporations are doing around them. I too will fight! Tooth, nail and body if I must to end aerial spraying, not only in Lane County but in all Oregon, as well. These women’s fight will not be in vain!
Eron King, Triangle Lake
STANDING FOR JUSTICE
My name is Sue Sierralupe. I have lived in Ward 1 for more than 20 years. For the last four years, I have worked consistently on behalf of the Healthcare for All movement in Oregon. I believe that the only way to implement meaningful change is to take risks and lead by example.
Emily Semple shares this policy and has supported the nonprofit organization that I volunteer for since its inception in both word and deed. My organization is a little free clinic that sets up shop every Sunday in downtown Eugene. We feed between 200 to 250 hungry visitors and grant urgent-care-style healthcare to 40 to 50 patients weekly. Those numbers add up quickly. Help is desperately needed.
The needs of the underserved that we care for are staggering. Emily Semple has been an advocate for us because she knows how important this clinic is for those we serve. She has never hesitated to stand up for justice and compassion. She has our back.
Ward 1 needs a person like Emily Semple. She is smart, hard-working and resilient. She asks the tough questions. She doesn’t rest until she gets answers. I have seen her at work in the political process. It is impressive to behold. This is why I support Emily Semple for City Council.
Sue Sierralupe, Eugene
HEALTH FOR ALL
Encircle Films is showing the documentary Fix It — Health Care at the Tipping Point on May 5. It is aimed at business owners and describes how the for-profit American health care system attaches an enormous burden to a multitude of different financial enterprises.
One of the people interviewed is Dann Konkin, a Canadian member of the conservative party. He is baffled by what his fellow conservative American businessmen put up with. “We stand for removing waste, being more efficient and finding ways to grow.” His company would benefit by moving to the U.S., except for one problem: Only Canada has universal health coverage.
For years, the U.S. has had the most expensive yet least effective health care system in the world. On their tours, the “Mad as Hell Doctors” often ask the crowd if they like their “health care system.” The answer to this trick question is that America doesn’t really have a “health care system.”
Come see the movie 6 pm Thursday, May 5, at the Bijou on 13th.
Patricia Bitner, Eugene
SHORTSIGHTED AND WASTEFUL
The plan just unveiled by the BLM for “managing” 2.6 million acres of public lands in western Oregon would more than double current logging levels and be completely incompatible with bedrock environmental laws like the Endangered Species Act and Clean Water Act. The fact that Lane County commissioners are spending $84,000 of public money to sue for more is shortsighted and wasteful. It is time to see our public lands with fresh eyes, for the wildlife habitat, clean water, carbon storage and recreational opportunities they provide. Commissioners should be protecting, not clear-cutting, this valuable public resource.
Benton Elliott, Eugene
On May 17, those of us living in Ward 1 will have a choice. To us, there is no question. We will be voting for Joshua Skov for the Ward 1 City Council position. Endorsed by Mayor Piercy and current City Councilors Syrett, Zelenka and Evans, Joshua has by far demonstrated more extensive experience and a true understanding of the variety of issues facing our community than either of the other two candidates.
We have known Joshua Skov for more than 15 years. During this time, Joshua has demonstrated his civic and community engagement through his service on the Eugene Budget Committee, the Sustainability Commission, and the Eugene Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan Citizen Advisory Committee, among many others.
As parents of two children at Adams Elementary School, we are deeply invested in the health, safety and well-being of our community. Josh’s leadership in bringing Vision Zero to Eugene City Council, which council passed by resolution in December, has resulted in a commitment by the city of Eugene to work towards zero traffic fatalities and serious injuries. Josh’s knowledge and experience in working on transportation issues for all of Eugene, especially with families in mind, will help us work towards the goal of Vision Zero.
We urge you to consider making your vote for Skov.
Shareen and Chris Vogel, Eugene
At the Eugene City Club Mayoral Forum on April 8, Republican City Councilor Mike Clark said as mayor he would provide “a subtle shift” in direction for our city. As we look at his voting record, it would seem his shift may not be so subtle.
Reviewing a few of his past votes: Clark opposed the Bascom Village Affordable Housing Development, opposed the rest stop program, opposed the Climate Recovery Ordinance and opposed the Paid Sick Leave Ordinance.
It doesn’t seem like there would be anything “subtle” about a Mayor Clark. His conservative record speaks for itself.
Democrat Lucy Vinis is a progressive mayoral candidate who supports all of those projects that Mike Clark did not. Her long career as development director for ShelterCare honed many skills essential for finding ways to deliver these services to people in need in our community.
Lucy hopes to build greater trust between city staff, council and residents via a monthly online “dashboard” giving Eugeneans updates on current city projects and issues of interest.
We will be voting for Lucy Vinis because she is willing to engage personally with constituents on issues core to Eugene residents. Her focus on appropriate density in neighborhoods, developing green business jobs and protecting agricultural lands supports “a city that works for all of us.”
Cary D. Thompson and Joan Kleban, Eugene
SEMPLE IS HONEST
I have known Emily Semple for more than 30 years. I have always admired her intelligence, her honesty and her courage. Intelligence, honesty, courage — these are important qualities for an elected official.
I am sorry to lose George Brown as a colleague on the City Council, but I welcome Emily’s volunteering to be his successor.
Betty Taylor, Ward 2 Councilor, Eugene
THE PREPARED CANDIDATE
Election season is here, yard signs are sprouting up, and while most of the action is at the presidential level, we have our very own primary for state representative here in west Eugene.
Last Tuesday, the League of Women Voters hosted a candidate forum. Julie Fahey showed up prepared, well-researched and ready to discuss the pressing issues of state government. Whether it was the Elliott State Forest, school funding, a comprehensive transportation package or the use of the “emergency clause” in legislation, Julie had thoughtful and detailed responses.
James Manning showed up at the forum unprepared for class. He couldn’t articulate transportation priorities, stumbled over the Elliott State Forest question and didn’t have a basic understanding of the legislative process when it came to emergency clauses.
West Eugene needs someone willing to do his or her homework. Vote for Julie Fahey this May.
Andrew Nonnenmacher, Eugene
BAD CIG ADS
I find it very interesting that the Weekly condemns the use of herbicides and seems to strive for healthy, natural choices and yet will be willing to run full-page ads for cigarettes. You are aware that cigarettes cause cancer and a host of other maladies that have been plaguing society for decades, right? I am sure that full-page ad is not cheap, so it is clear that your need for the almighty dollar gets in the way of your basic sense of right and wrong. Make the right choice and get rid of the cancer. It is the right thing to do.
John Carlson, Eugene
NULLIFY O&C ACT
The BLM “Resource Management Plan” would increase logging on our public federal forests in western Oregon by 37 percent. I witness private forests being destroyed and turned into tree farms daily. They are devoid of biodiversity and sprayed with poisons. The Pacific Northwest has some of the best forests on Earth for carbon sequestration, an important function as the global warming crisis threatens all life.
This plan would cut stream buffers in half and is exactly the opposite direction of where we should be going. The vast majority of Oregonians want our forests protected. Lane County commissioners voted to take over $80,000 of our tax money to sue the state of Oregon to increase logging on our federal forests here in Oregon.
They are meeting with Gov. Kate Brown and are basing the suit on the O&C Act from 1937. Our forests have been severely depleted since then, forest biology has advanced significantly and we know deforestation contributes to the global warming crisis.
The O&C Act needs to be nullified and the best science applied to increase forest health, not an increase to logging industry wealth.
Pam Driscoll, Dexter
People in Eugene care deeply about sustainability, and Josh Skov has the proven track record to carry this important work forward as the councilor for Ward 1. As the former sustainability manager for the city, I worked with Josh while he chaired the Sustainability Commission. He understands that true sustainability means building a healthy and prosperous future for everyone in the community.
That’s a tall order, and Josh has experience finding solutions that advance not only environmental health but social equity and economic prosperity as well. He built his career as a sustainability professional working with Eugene and other cities to get on-the-ground results in confronting climate change, protecting vital ecosystems and building renewal energy solutions. Through his participation with Envision Eugene and as a member of the city’s Budget Committee, he’s brought the sustainability lens to a broad set of community issues such as land use, transportation, downtown development and other important local services. Josh knows how to work with staff and executive leaders to navigate budget constraints, balance diverse goals and meet the ongoing day-to-day challenges cities face.
No other candidate for Ward 1 has the experience wrestling with these issues and can be as effective in finding long-term, comprehensive solutions. I’m eager to cast my vote for Josh Skov and urge others to do the same.
Babe O’Sullivan, Eugene
Recently, Bernie Sanders claimed that Hillary Clinton is not qualified to be president. While I am not a supporter of the Clintons (none of the above is my choice), I think Hillary is qualified to be the spokesperson for the National Insecurity State. She has decades of experience promoting wars, global domination and corporate corruption.
David Brower, one of the greatest environmentalists of the 20th century, said that Clinton and Gore did more damage to environmentalism than Reagan and Bush, because environmentalists let Democrats wreck regulations instead of taking a nonpartisan approach to public health.
Regarding the Ward 1 race, the establishment is promoting Josh Skov for his alleged environmental credentials. Skov was with the consulting firm “Good Company,” which was hired by EWEB to claim that the Seneca Sawmill incinerator is clean and green. Good Company’s website states they’ve helped other timber companies, ODOT’s highway expansion program and other polluters supposedly go “green” through rhetoric, baby steps and carbon credits. My favorite analysis of “carbon credits” is at cheatneutral.com.
Skov would be a great fit for the city of Eugene’s strategy to go “carbon neutral” by buying carbon credits to supposedly offset the planned widening of Beltline highways and the overdevelopment boondoggles the planning department is pushing on reluctant neighborhoods.
Admitting that climate change is real while promoting pollution is sustain-a-bullshit.
Sincere environmental efforts would recognize we have passed the limits to growth on a round, finite planet.
Mark Robinowitz, Eugene
Ward 1 residents have the opportunity to elect one of the most competent, community-minded and progressive people in town to Eugene City Council: Joshua Skov.
Like many of his neighbors in Ward 1, Josh raises chickens, has rooftop solar panels and bikes his two daughters to school. But Josh also knows that individual commitments to sustainability have to be matched by community-wide efforts. He co-founded a company that helps businesses and public agencies meet their sustainability goals, and he was a founding member of Eugene’s Sustainability Commission. He works to make Eugene better for people, the economy and the planet.
Josh has a special interest in transportation and land use. He knows that when people live close to where they shop, work or play, and when they can walk, bike or take the bus to get around, it saves them money and improves their health while also reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions. Josh has spent countless hours working on Envision Eugene, Better Eugene-Springfield Transit and LTD’s EmX Steering Committee to improve housing and transportation options for Eugene residents.
Josh recognizes that these issues can be controversial. While his own viewpoint is always insightful and sometimes brilliant, he strives to hear opposing views. Josh’s quick wit and friendly manner help him talk amiably with people he disagrees with. He knows that the best policies are those that acknowledge and respect different perspectives.
Discover Skov at joshuaskov.com — and then elect him to City Council!
Sue Wolling, Eugene
Roosevelt Middle School is being demolished by 4J after school is out in June to start on the new Roosevelt parking lot construction.
4J should have a public auction to sell and recycle usable materials from Roosevelt instead of turning it into wasteful garbage. Think of the huge maple gym floor, rollout wood bleachers, metal lockers, doors, desks, chairs, cafeteria tables, kitchen supplies, etc.
School funds are needed to enrich our educational system.
4J, please support a public auction for BRING Recycling and Habitat for Humanity, which will help relieve our landfill.
Having a piece of the old Roosevelt Middle School would be a great way for students, parents, faculty and the community to say goodbye.
Janet Bevirt, Eugene
WIG FIGHTS FOR ALL
I’m voting Chris Wig for City Council, Ward 1.
Wig fights for everyone, from small business owners to Eugene’s homeless. He’s built a local Democratic party that listens and acts boldly to help people. Because of his focus on collaboration and youth empowerment, our young people are engaging with local issues vital to the future of our city, state and planet.
Politics for Wig is not “out there.” It’s here. It lives and breathes through us.
Wig isn’t just committed to curbing homelessness, he lives it. He hardly knew me when I’d hit hard times, but he opened his home to me, saying, “We’re nothing if we don’t take care of each other.”
Housing equity is huge for me. I like Wig’s plan to muzzle MUPTE, so we don’t see any more Capstones, with “clawbacks” to ensure any company caught lying will lose its tax break. Let’s take back this exemption so it does what it should: provides benefits in-line with our values, to include green requirements that combat climate change, encourage cooperatives and micro-housing models that house the homeless and grow density in ways that actually fit the form and scale of Eugene’s beautiful neighborhoods.
Communication is key. Wig listens to the people impacted by any decision before making his own. Wig knows that talking and working together is the only way to grow a city that works for all of us.
Steve Coatsworth, Eugene
WHO TO BLAME
Big banks are the super-predators.
Chris Pender, Eugene
OPEN LETTER TO IRS
I am not paying all the taxes I owe. I would love to pay taxes if most of it was going towards education, housing, food, cleaning up the environment and stopping global warming. We have so many children who are going to school hungry in this country. We have many who are not graduating from high school, often because they must get a job so that they won’t be homeless. We have a looming environmental crisis that may destroy the human race. Many nonviolent folks who need rehabilitation are spending their lives incarcerated, which are causing heartbreaking issues to them and their families. Unfortunately over 50 percent of our tax money is going towards creating war and causing U.S. citizens to be hated around the world instead of going towards solving the myriad problems we are facing.
When all of my taxes go towards affirming life I will pay the whole bill I owe. Until then I will direct some of my taxes each year to causes that have a positive influence. We are lucky to have so many organizations that are working hard to make the world a better place. This year I am giving money to Community Alliance of Lane County, Sponsors, Occupy Medical, Planned Parenthood, National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, 350.org, NAACP and Stand for Children.
If we didn’t have so much money going to war there could be adequate healthcare, education, homes and rehabilitation for all, as well as many jobs cleaning up the environment and making alternative energy easily available.
Sue Barnhart, Eugene
LAY DOWN JUDGMENTS
I am responding to the opinion piece in the Weekly a few weeks ago. The author claimed that there is no nightlife in Springfield and proceeded to insult my town in a variety of ways. There is a very good reason why Springfield’s nightlife isn’t what Eugene’s is. Eugene is a college town and Springfield is working class. Working class people stay at home with their families. They don’t go to nightclubs. They prefer hanging out at home and drinking good beer for half the price.
If it weren’t for the college, Eugene might not have much going on after hours either. I’ve lived in Eugene, and now I live in Springfield. I have for 10 years. I like Springfield, and I’m proud to live here. I enjoy our downtown and think it has much to offer. I enjoy the manners and friendly attitudes in Springfield that Eugene lacks.
Stay out of Springfield if you don’t like it. If you want to believe all the outdated judgments about your sister city, then you don’t belong on this side of the river. You don’t deserve our friendly service, our less expensive rent, gorgeous parks, new hiking trails or our lovely downtown. I hope some Springfield businesses tell you to put your paper elsewhere, because it’s crappy to down on your sister town.
We are happy here without you, but if you want to experience some friendly working-class charm and are ready to lay down your judgments, come on over. We accept everyone.
Ula Landry, Springfield
BERNIE ON GUNS
As a strong advocate for sensible gun control measures, I support Bernie Sanders for president because he is most likely to achieve the needed regulations supported by the majority of the electorate.
First, Sanders believes in a middle-ground solution. He voted for background checks to prevent firearms from getting into the hands of felons and the mentally ill, for a federal ban on assault weapons and closing loopholes that allow private sellers, at gun shows and on the internet, to sell to individuals without background checks. He believes magazines holding more than 10 bullets should be banned nationwide.
Second, with new voters who are energized Sanders’ supporters, communities throughout the nation might elect leaders who are less obliged to powerful monied interests. In Lane County, it could result in enforcement of sensible gun control measures.
Last year I met for an hour with one of the four Lane County Commissioners who signed Order and Resolution 15-06-02-05, which sends the message that our officials would not work to enforce Oregon SB 941, closing the gun sale background check loophole.
The commissioner assured me he would respond but I’ve yet to receive a response from him, even after I sent him an email reminder.
Sanders is the best candidate to lead the effort for sensible gun control measures at the national and local levels because of his middle-of-the road position and because of his supporting electorate.
Carol Louise Scherer, Eugene
GILLIGAN’S REPUBLICAN ISLAND
Main stream media doesn’t seem particularly interested in asking about Trump’s tax history or reassuring the voting public he has never been fishing with the organized crime syndicate.
How far into deep water is the Republican Party going without checking on Trump’s captain’s license or even seeing if his crew packed tackle or ice.
Google search “Is Trump mafia?”
See what CNN Politics says, read up on Trump’s recent political advisor — Felix Sater.
Casinos, gambling and an Atlantic City construction contract attract a strange kettle of fish.
Did Trump know “Little Nicky” Scarfo? Dine with “Fat Tony” Salerno? Chum with “Chicken Man” Testa?
Heaven forbid we ever see pictures of Trump spilling beans with “Crazy Phil” Leonetti or acting as apprentice for the head of the Gambino Family — Paul Castellano.
Ted Cruz made some references to Trump’s ex-fishing buddies, but apparently nobody else wants to sailor out on a three hour cruise with “the Don.”
This foghorn blowhard called the S.S. Trumptanic is heading straight for reefs of a convention in Cleveland. We should be calling it “Gilligan’s Republican island.” Will there be any survivors?
Will Skipper Trump go down with the ship?
What would Ginger or the professor do?
Glenn Jones, Eugene
The most portentous failure of the 20th century was the lack of clarity and understanding from the Europeans and the Americans about the pending crisis in Germany. During the so-called peaceful years, in the mid 1920s, employment was high in Germany, exports were strong and loaned money flowed into the country from the U.S. and elsewhere. The Nazi party was small, unable to get a foothold in German society because the people there were enjoying life.
The Crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression ended the German experiment with democracy and ushered in Hitler, the worst despot in modern history. Sixty million humans died as a result of World War II. A war precipitated by a so-called nationalist. The political leaders of the Western democracies were powerless to stop Hitler. They lacked comprehension about what was happening and the will to resist.
Compared to the speculators of the 1920s who used borrowed money to run up stock prices, today’s Wall Street traders, hedge fund bettors and money manipulators aren’t that much different in their mutual primary motive: the love of money.
When the Depression arrived those that lent money to pre-war German companies had no problem calling those loans, plunging the Germany economy into chaos, resulting in a social upheaval so calamitous that the people gave up on democracy and chose a dictator. Today’s 1 percent are equally unimpressed by the deleterious effects of the federal hourly minimum wage ($7.25) on families, children or anyone else who gets in the way of their profits.
In 1930, Hitler won an election by selling the German people the spurious idea that he would make Germany strong again. Today, Donald Trump is selling the same kind of political poison to the voters in the U.S. by promising that he will make America great again. In pre-Nazi Germany, Hitler gave voice to those who were convinced that if only some groups of humans were banned, shunned and sent away, all would be well, that political polarization and, if need be, violence, was the best way to conduct politics in a democracy, and that one strong man could save the nation. This was the road to ruin and madness in Germany and lead directly to monstrous forms of human behavior that continue to shock the conscious.
Let us not be next. Wherever the usurper of true democratic principles appears, it is the responsibility of free people to say no, not here and not in our county, to the abuser, the racist and the war monger.
Gerry Merritt, Eugene
The EW Mission Statement proclaims that “Eugene Weekly exists to boldly question prevailing wisdom and authority,” etc., etc., ad nauseam. As the self-important editors of a giveaway paper, how bold is it to use a wannabe writer from Michigan-via-Portland-via-Corvallis to paste together old “wisdom” and then with “authority” declare Springfield Eugene’s ugly stepsister (All Quiet on the Eastern Front, March 10).
To quote the EW critic Ben Ricker in his own words: “Puppets taught me to count. Fred Rogers built up my self-esteem. From MTV, I learned that there are those who prefer chaos to order” (The E, Oct. 31, 2013). Quite a resume from a reporter for the little give-away paper in Eugene.
Again from the EW Mission Statement: “As informed citizens, we carry a responsibility for community leadership.” Our definition of community leadership obviously differs. Publishing cheap one-liners and hackneyed biases hardly constitutes leadership. The title “editor” encompasses responsibilities. Obviously self-reflection is not part of your job description. I suggest you look up “smarmy” and “self indulgent,” then go buy a mirror.
Raymond Broderick, Springfield
I can’t help but wonder if someone as unscrupulous as Mr. Tom Larsen — who both didn’t renew his engineering license for multiple years but also apparently forged the date on his engineer’s stamp — is part of the reason Capstone was allowed to mutilate Willamette Street between 11th and 13th and install its own personal below street-grade crosswalk. Then there’s the even more special mid-block private light-signaled crosswalk for the 12-story Hub On Campus, which stops all traffic on Franklin Boulevard on the whim of its high-priced MUPTE tenants who, unlike chickens, are too important to walk to the end of the block to cross the road. According to news, reports the city — that’d be we taxpayers again — kicked in over $100,000 toward that light system. But wait, there’s more: It looks like yet another tower of coops may land where Louie’s Restaurant was. Wanna bet it gets a private crossing signal, too? And, just for the record, I agree with Mr. Mike Morrison and his letter in the R-G of last Dec.17, in which he questions the new spendy bumpouts at 39th and Donald.
Palmer Parker, Eugene
ODE TO TRANSPORT
When Hillary took the subway
On which her limo could not take her
She ran the risk of looking like a faker
With deception now the lingua franca
She’d wield her token like a banker
Make it look habitual
(Psst! Hillary! They don’t use tokens anymore!)
“What, then, is the ritual?”
You swipe a card
The way you do at Goldman Sachs
You’ll be surrounded by photographers and hacks
The rest, as they say, is herstory
Her praise for public transportation
Was met with widespread irritation
But “it’s so convenient!” was met
With thoughts of Marie Antoinette
Did Donald do it?
If so, he showed Governor Close-Two-Lanes
That there’s no need to go to such pains
One paid friend in the subway is all it took
And Donald himself is not on the hook
Tony Waters, Eugene
ISRAEL CAN LEARN FROM GERMANY
In Michael Moore’s new film, Where to Invade Next, he describes how houses in Germany that were taken away from their Jewish citizens have plates on their front sidewalk with the names of the family who lived there. Also Germany has paid reparations to Israel and to individuals for the damage they caused to life and property.
Part of the anger Palestinians bear against the state of Israel is that when the state of Israel was formed, many were forced from their homes, either to flee the fighting or tossed out because they lived in areas deemed vital to the new state. They remain crowded in some “Palestinian cities” or in refugee camps, without the option to ever return to their land. Their homes are now occupied by Israelis. Displaced Palestinians remember their homes and wish to return. While that is impracticable at this point in time, there’s no reason why Israel should not offer these families, languishing in refugee camps, reparations for the property they’ve lost.
Perhaps reparations would allow these uprooted people an opportunity to relocate as full citizens in Israel, or one of the Arab nations or elsewhere.
Fairness knows no nationality, color, creed or race.
Perhaps this act of reconciliation might inspire our own government to apologize to the Native Americans we displaced, compensating them fully for the mineral rights they have leased to corporations for years, and guaranteeing them fair access to social services.
Vincenza Scarpaci, Eugene
Beware of treaties that are secret. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement needs to be stopped.
Unless of course you like opposition to minimum wage, censorship of the Internet (along with fines and punishments if you violate some rule), no right to know where food comes from, fewer environmental protections, and the list goes on.
Bernie Sanders has always opposed this gift to multi-national corporations, and now Hillary Clinton has come out against it too. But unless thousands of people contact congress about their opposition, it has a good chance of sneaking through.
Now WikiLeaks has released the full text. Read it and be afraid. Rules written by corporations, not Congress. We lose if this agreement passes.
Everyone needs to oppose this now.
Michael Lee, Eugene
CLEAN AIR AND WATER
After the Sept. 11 attacks, the National Security Agency stated that the biggest threat to our security was the potential poisoning of our water supply by foreign terrorists.
What has happened instead is that equivalent domestic crimes have been happening in our indispensable American environment.
The request in Flint, Michigan, for the resignation of Gov. Rick Snyder is insufficient to address the lead poisoning of that city’s water supply. At the very least, all private and governmental parties responsible should receive fines and hefty prison sentences.
In Oregon, we have our own type of poisoning. I refer of course to the harmful and unnecessary aerial spraying of biocides on clear-cut parcels in our forests.
The problem extends from the chemical manufacturers of herbicides (Monsanto, Dow-DuPont) to the forest pillaging companies (Weyerhaeuser, Roseburg, Seneca Jones) to appointed and elected public officials (Gov. Kate Brown, state Sen. Chris Edwards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Environmental Quality, the state Department of Forestry).
What should one call agencies and businesses that deem it permissible for helicopters to drop an Agent Orange ingredient (2,4-D) on areas that include drinking water sources, crops, cattle and schools, as well as wildlife?
And how should we categorize that act?
Should it be a legitimate forestry practice, the “cost of doing business,” chemical trespass, or a violent attack on innocent humans and their habitat?
Clean air and water are most important for the preservation of life. We should make that our top priority.
David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene