Letters to the Editor 7-21-2016


Lon, [Letters 6/30] when I was reading your response to the editor in the Weekly I opened up the Bible and opened it to Ezekiel Chapter 16. “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

The Christian god did not mention a thing about the lovely butt sex that must have been going on in Sodom when accounting for the sins of Sodom. Arrogant people who turn away the poor and needy are the sinners of Sodom! As a decent person, people being shot at and killed certainly qualify as the needy in my book.

Bonnie Doran, Eugene


We were excited as anyone else at the news of the release of Pokémon Go, and we have enjoyed playing along with our friends. As we walked downtown, we took another look to see it from a different angle. We saw groups of people filling the area, with players congregating in doorways and jaywalking across streets to “catch ’em all.”

Pokémon Go players are privileged to be able to block entire sidewalks and block entrances and exits of downtown businesses, many times stopping unexpectedly in mid-stride in our excitement to catch that rare Pokémon. Members of the unhoused community are criminalized daily for doing any of these things. PokGo players get “excuse me,” while the unhoused get verbally assaulted. We get to break the law just for fun, while the unhoused are ticketed, arrested and prosecuted for just trying to survive. We use the streets of downtown as our “playground” without consequence because we are holding a smartphone. Not all of our community’s citizens can afford this luxury.

We are as guilty as anyone else. We want to recognize that privilege and call it for what it is.

Crystal and Vickie Webb, Eugene


There has been outrage expressed nationwide over the killing of young black men by police. But Alex Kaye’s “Selective Outrage” letter [July 14] misses the elephant in the room.

There have been nearly 3,500 murders in Chicago alone during the past nine years and countless injuries from gun violence. Both the perpetrators and victims have been overwhelmingly black. This in a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Detroit isn’t far behind in the grim statistics.

So I have to ask, “where are the Black Lives Matter protesters? Where are Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton? Where is President Obama? Where are EW and other left-leaning media?”

The inconvenient truth is that a young black man is far, far more likely to be killed by another young black man than by police. But you don’t hear that from the left. Nor much commentary about 75 percent of black children being born out of wedlock and how that is an underlying cause of the violence in our inner cities.

As Taylor Swift sang, “I’ve never heard silence quite this loud.” It seems that “black lives matter” only when a white person, especially a white cop, kills a black person, whether justifiably or not. Talk about “selective outrage.”

All lives matter!

Jerry Ritter, Springfield


Regarding Darrell Olson’s July 14 response to my June 30 letter titled “Worthy Sheep,” I am encouraged that your eyes have been opened to the exploitation and many cruelties involved in the wool industry (and all animal agriculture, for that matter). I truly wish you were correct in portraying the Black Sheep Gathering as having “nothing to do with ‘actual’ sheep” and being nothing more than “a gathering of people and includes music and food.” However, if you check its website, you’ll see that sheep, goats and alpacas are, in fact, trucked to the venue and put on display for several days. It’s just one more bewildering, stressful experience that the animals are forced to involuntarily endure in unfamiliar surroundings.

The “gathering” lists a potluck dinner, which includes lamb and goat flesh. The website encourages participants to donate their slaughtered animals for this dinner as “an opportunity to promote your farm and support the Gathering.”

“Promote” is the key word. As is the case with pretty much any event that involves farmed animals, or, as industry labels them, “livestock” — a calculated term used deliberately to desensitize humans into regarding farmed animals as nothing more than useful objects — it’s ultimately about commerce. It’s about the buying and selling of thinking, feeling individuals, either for their “by-products” or their actual bodies.

Barb Lomow, Eugene


William Kennedy’s “attack” of James Taylor [“The Good, the Bad and the Noodly,” July 14] is nothing short of a pebble sneering at the ocean.

Michael Billings, Eugene


I’m so pleased to publicly thank Officer L. Barnes of the Eugene Police Department for returning our dog to us and doing all she could to prevent our best friend from having to spend the night in the shelter. We’re so over-the-top grateful for your service and sincerely wish there was more we could do to thank you. Another thank you to the owners of the store of which she was found in front. She can be a feisty lady, and we thank you for doing what you could to return her to us. Thank you a million times.

Jennifer Nobles, Eugene


Dear Eugene police, sheriffs and law enforcement: In light of what has happened in Dallas, Texas, and the pitiful state of the world, I have never thought I could speak for most of us (all of us that are law abiding). I am going to try now.

Thank you! And we love you! Even with all of your human foibles, we love you and thank you!

Mike Miller, Springfield


Well, I’ve got to tell you that I really appreciate the restriping of South Willamette Street!

In the past, I would avoid using Willamette Street due to the craziness of people switching lanes all the time. I always took Amazon Parkway or Jefferson Street to get to and from the Willamette and 29th Street area.

Since the restriping, driving down Willamette Street is a much more pleasurable experience. I don’t notice any delays whatsoever, except during peak traffic times at rush hour, and then only 30 seconds or so.

I occasionally ride my bicycle, and now I take Willamette Street when I have business along that route. Prior to the restriping, I generally had to ride on the sidewalk to avoid the traffic.

As far as I am concerned, I wholeheartedly approve of the current restriping scheme on South Willamette Street!

Duncan Rhodes, Eugene


If thinning is snake oil, so too is George Wuerthner’s representation as an ecologist, but you already know that [Viewpoint, July 7]. A cursory look at Wuerthner’s biography reveals he acquired a masters degree in wildlife communication and dropped out of a Ph.D. program at the University of Oregon department of geography.

Wuerthner has no credentials in forest, fire or any ecology. Most of his 38 books you cite are mostly coffee table picture books of forests, fires and cowboys, etc. His letter deserves no more recognition than anyone else’s commenting on a topic for which they have no formal credentials.

It’s fine for anyone to comment on issues of their concern, just as long as they represent themselves truthfully. This misrepresentation affects the credibility of not only the individual, but of an article that could use or reference it in the current research. Otherwise, they are merely assertions with neither support, nor credentials on the part of the author. Shame on you, Eugene Weekly. This is worthy of the National Enquirer or the Star.

Marc LaPine, Cottage Grove


As a Western Lane County (Dunes City) property owner and taxpayer, I am appalled at the blatant attempt by the four Lane County commissioners to subvert the initiative process. This is a transparent move to derail citizens’ rights in favor of timber and extraction industries. Serious health concerns with aerial spraying and clear cutting of private lands that impact riparian as well as creating a monoculture forest are swept under the carpet.

Now the commissioners and timber industries want to insure that they can continue their destructive and unhealthy practices unimpeded by being able to eliminate any initiative that might run counter to their vested interests. On the coast we see major evidence of the damage that is being done by the clear cutting and the negative health aspects of spraying. The timber industry is an embarrassment to Oregon with clear cutting rather than selective harvesting and its refusal to end aerial spraying and replace it with land-based application with less toxic herbicides. Now they want to sue the state to be able to clear cut more of Oregon’s forests with the same archaic harvesting methods. Who are they serving? Not you, unless you’re in the timber industry.

We are poorly represented on the coast (not having a commissioner from west side of the Coast Range) and the one we do have seems to be firmly in the timber industry’s pocket. We need a board of commissioners that represents every Lane County taxpayer and a board that protects forests and humans, not a board of commissioners that wants to take away the initiative process in the event it doesn’t agree with the timber industry. I am against clear cutting and aerial spraying and I am definitely against a board of commissioners that is turning a blind eye to the health of Oregon’s forests and citizens! We need a change. Vote the commissioners out that are supporting this subversion of the initiative process!

Jon Tipple, Dunes City


My insane heart screams at the ripping out of yet more of the trees of our lungs in order to pave the way for even more Happy Hilton Hotel suites for yet even more happy Duck enthusiasts. Such developments perpetuate the ongoing rape of our nature within and without to foster the foisting of voluntary wage-enslavement (i.e., jobs) on yet more status-hungry families of poor middle-class slobs, so that they too can wallow in the material enjoyments of strip-bar-fast-food-furious American culture to their overfed undernourished but saddened hearts’ delight. All set in motion by the money waves rippling from the “Corporate Sports Merchandising Emporium” masquerading as a university, which is basically a trough to ethically launder the sweat shop fortunes of another corporate sport merchandise outlet.

We live in a political and economic system centered on selling a bill of goods of inflated dreams of equality and opportunity that has never been delivered over centuries of blatant lies that people continue to believe and blather; a bill of goods that people continue to buy and invest in with their lives and their hopes, and the lives and hopes of their children, as the generations are variously conditioned to perpetuate the values of this collective cancer dependent on perpetual growth fatally feeding on the host of all life.

In 1811 it was observed, “In a democracy people get the government they deserve.” The American populace (and its programmed filth being broadcast as dumbocracy to the rest of the world through the sewage of its public media and upheld by its military industrial complex) is more interested and invested in personal entertainment than in being involved in the responsibilities of self-government.

The only relevant question is: What can you/we do about it?

If there is hope for this experiment in evolution called “humanity,” it is in dissolving the current social structures and mechanisms in favor of reassembling new ones that have more sense of life and the living of it.

I suppose it depends on who you ask — and maybe where they are when you ask them: Which would you rather have in downtown Eugene, another Duck-happy Hilton Hotel or a grove of trees?

Steve Steele, Eugene


I listened to you for years on Thom Hartman’s program. I sent you money almost every week during the primary season. I really thought you could make a difference. But now that you have lost because the system is rigged with superdelegates and vote fixing, you throw in the towel and endorse Hillary? It’s almost unbelievable to me.

I know many young people through my business. You started a political revolution with them, and it’s the first time I’ve even seen them care about politics. You changed things. If you would have just held your position, you would have an incredible legacy and would be remembered as a hero. But instead, you’ve betrayed a whole generation. You’ve shown them that there is no integrity, and the game is just rigged politics, and the guy they believed in didn’t really care about what he was saying.

People learned about the Clintons and the whole elite, top-down power game because of you. Hillary is against everything you stand for. You’d have been better off endorsing The Donald. At least he is against the trade deals, and the wars.

You shouldn’t have endorsed anyone, though. Just stood high on your ethical beliefs. You would have been a politician of high moral standing in the history books. Now you won’t even be mentioned. Just another politician. I have even heard on the internet that you have given as much as $2.8 million of your campaign funds to Hillary. That’s despicable.

Jim Showker, Eugene


In his July 14 Viewpoint, Michael Rooke-Ley bemoans his (and his liberal upper-class chums) being out of touch with the lower ranks of society and calls for a need to “reconnect to reality.” He complains that despite their best efforts at delivering “moderation and justice” he/they have been “co-opted” (read: forced) into their current lifestyle. Oh, my. His ultimate (and only) solution? Bring “Section 8” type housing into the ritzy, uppercrust neighborhoods. For what purpose?

To assuage the guilt that Rooke-Ley says out-of-touch liberals should not have? Does he seriously believe the classes will magically mix because they’re suddenly brought into some sort of closer proximity? Does he seriously believe the NIMBY giant won’t rear its head and quash any such notion flatter than a pancake?

Here’s an idea for Rooke-Ley. How about creating affordable housing developments that don’t require government aid to be able to obtain? But no, it’s more of the same tossing of crumbs (compassionately done, of course) that liberals love to accuse conservatives of doing. Just keep them on the dole and they’ll be happy and vote Democratic when needed. That’s where liberals are out of touch, and one reason why the disaster called Trump has better than a dog’s chance of prevailing in November.

Karl Stout, Eugene


I confess to being enamored of Bernie Sanders, having “felt the Bern” since last year. At first, I was attracted by his Brooklyn accent: I hail from the same neighborhood, having been born and reared where “the tree grows.”

But then, over time, my attention became riveted by his policies, and I felt a surge of optimism, dreaming of a different and more fair United States. His sense of decency and his incorruptible personal and political history cemented my belief in him. I changed my long coveted “independent” voting status to “Democrat” so that I could cast my primary vote for him.

Now that Bernie is no longer in the running, the choice between voting for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump has left me depressed and in a dilemma. Endless criticism has been written about the deficits of these two remaining contenders; I don’t have to replay them. Suffice it to say that I cannot in good conscience cast my ballot for either Secretary Clinton or Mr. Trump. Even as Bernie endorses Hillary Clinton, I cannot do it.

So here I am: I have never not voted. I cherish my right to vote. When I suggested to a friend that I just couldn’t do it this time, he said, “Do you love your country?” That’s precisely the problem. I do love my country.

Joyce Curtis, Eugene


Many of your readers live in the county, beyond the city limits, in the various Lane fire districts. It seems many friends and neighbors are not familiar with the fire restriction and rules. The rules, evaluated annually, are developed by the Oregon Department of Forestry and apply in most rural areas.

There are thousands of stands of forests in Lane County, public and private. Right now, Lane County is on alert for “moderate” fire danger. It is dry “out here” beyond the city line, in spite of a little summer rain.

This year there are many changes to the usual list of regulations and restrictions. For instance, now any gas-powered machine (ATVs, mowers, tractors, etc.) cannot be used from 10 am to 8 pm because of lack of moisture or the dew-point available during the summer days. Users must have shovel and water available.

And an one-hour minimum “fire watch” is the new normal. Hand tools are making a comeback in our neighborhood. The “industrial forestry” activities are regulated and have stricter standards, including fire-fighting equipment on board such as large tanks of water and hose, and much longer fire watches after logging, loading or debarking, etc. Of course, this also means no off-roading, open fires, fireworks, smoking, etc.

With the amount of drought-stressed and dead trees increasing, low creek flows, we need to conserve the ground water, including shared aquifers of our wells and springs during yet another droughty summer. We need to stretch the ground water as wisely as possible for household uses, orchards, gardens, and potentially fire-fighting.

Let’s not drain our aquifers as we look to the lovely, sunny days of summer to come. Help preserve our countryside, fields and meadows and forests by careful and informed use. Together we can make a difference. Check out the Oregon Department of Forestry’s website for more details.

Maureen and Harrick Hudson, Spencer Creek Valley

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