Letters to the Editor 8-18-2016


Our right to decide which initiatives we can vote on is under attack by four out of five Lane County commissioners. Pete Sorenson, the only attorney on the commission, understands that the county cannot legally weigh in on initiatives until after the new laws are passed. That this is a constitutionally protected provision of the initiative process is the argument Sorenson made to his fellow commissioners.

If Sid Leiken, Jay Bozeivich, Faye Stewart and Pat Farr really want to save the taxpayers’ money, they won’t pass a law that, most certainly, will kick-off a lawsuit and land the county in court. Let’s keep the pressure on our elected officials by contacting them. Tell them: “Hands off the people’s business, executed through the initiative process!”

Michelle Holman, Deadwood 


It is very well known that Trump is an offensive piece of shit. So hatin’ on him is a consuming passion, and Clinton gets a pass. Even though Clinton represents the mainstream management that embodies the disaster all around us.

Global warming daily produces more severe weather crises, species extinctions, galloping air, water and soil pollution and dozens of other results. Technology is swallowing everything, turning people into zombies unable to interact, and the constant rampage shootings show that mass society has erased community and spawns always more pathologies.

Trump is the devil, just as Bush was for many. But he’s mainly a diversion from where we’re really at today. Billions are spent to maintain the humiliating spectacle of no real change, no turn from the developing catastrophe.

John Zerzan, Eugene


The Bureau of Lane Management (BLM) enacted a plan to increase logging 37 percent on our public forests in Western Oregon. They are not applying the best and most current forest biology and climate science.

In media coverage, there was little mention of global warming and the carbon these same forests sequester in very large amounts. There was also no conversation about the vast amounts of private forests that have been clearcut on the forests adjoining BLM lands, which fragments wildlife habitat in destructive and unsustainable ways.

The fact is, the vast majority of Oregonians wants our forests restored and preserved. The logging industry should be paying timber harvest taxes at levels similar to the states of Washington and California to supplement our county budgets. There are exciting alternatives for wood products such as Hempcrete, where you can build a home from hemp grown in four months on less than three acres of land.

Let’s invest in sustainable businesses such as permaculture farming and design, solar and wind energy and resource conservation projects — something we can be proud of.

There are no jobs on a dead planet, and that is where we are currently headed at full speed.

Pam Driscoll, Dexter


Enough is enough! The power of money and influence in collusion with corporate-controlled mainstream media is shaping what people think is true.

As a 70-year old grandmother, I am strong with purpose, caring about our children and grandchildren. Become informed about Measure 97 and share truth with voters. Oregon Center for Public Policy points out that corporations pay 6.7 percent of all Oregon income taxes today versus 18.5 percent paid 40 years ago, and are projected to pay 4.6 percent in 10 years, given the status quo.

About 3 percent of corporations will be affected by Measure 97, which means only .25 percent of one percent of businesses in the state will see their taxes go up. This will not result in higher costs for goods and services.

We have 2,000 fewer teachers than before the financial crises of 2008, even though enrollment has increased. Corporations were bailed out on the backs of our children, the most vulnerable in our society.

Carol Louise Scherer, Eugene


I hope you people are happy. The new Willamette Street is clearly a disaster!

Just as the visionary detractors warned, traffic has become horrendous. Sure, most of the time there is absolutely no delay, but sometimes I’ve been delayed up to 30 seconds, even a minute or two during rush hour. This is a terrible injustice nobody should have to endure!

And the naysayers were also correct when they predicted that drivers would avoid the congestion, severely hurting businesses on that stretch. Don’t let the parking lots full of vehicles fool you; those businesses are dying out there! And all of this in the name of safety, inclusiveness and livability?

If we allow this new design to stand, Eugene’s Cycling Industrial Complex will be empowered to redesign more outdated roadways, marginally slowing down traffic in other neighborhoods throughout this city.

I ask you citizens of Eugene: Is that the world that we want for our children?

Joshua Welch, Eugene


Today’s 10 highest grossing box office releases are about animals, including Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Zootopia, The Secret Life of Pets and Kung Fu Panda. Nearly half of our households include a dog and nearly 40 percent have a cat. Two-thirds of us view them as family members and cherish them accordingly. We love our animals to death.

Literally …

For every cat, dog or other animal we love and cherish, we put 500 through months of caging, crowding, deprivation, mutilation and starvation before we take their very lives, cut their dead bodies into little pieces and shove those into our mouths. And that doesn’t even include Dory and billions of her little friends, because we haven’t figured out how to count individual aquatic animals that we grind up for human or animal feed.

The good news is that we have a choice every time we visit a restaurant or grocery store. We can choose live foods — yellow and green vegetables, legumes, fruits, nuts and grains as well as a rich variety of grain and nut-based meats and dairy products.

Or we can choose dead animals, their body parts and other products of their abuse.

What will it be?

Edward Newland, Eugene


Bernie Sanders supporters: If you have not listened to Bernie’s speech at the Democratic National Convention, please do so. You can find the full speech online.

Bernie hasn’t given up on the revolution; he hasn’t sold out. He is continuing to push for our goals in the most effective way he currently has at his disposal — by influencing Hillary Clinton.

There is historical precedent for this move. Obama didn’t care about healthcare reform, but Hillary kept pushing for it during her primary campaign in 2008. She lost that primary, but she won on healthcare, because when Obama became president he picked up the torch and passed Hillary’s plan as the Affordable Care Act.

Bernie is smart. If he can’t get into the presidency through the front door, he will get his policies in through the side door. He has Hillary’s ear because so many of us showed that we support him. If we want to continue our momentum, we can tell Bernie to keep fighting for us, to keep pushing Hillary in the right direction.

There is only one presidential candidate who listens to Bernie Sanders and moves her platform closer to his goals: Hillary Clinton. Like it or not, she is our best shot.

Kara Huntermoon, Eugene


The initiative process is a tool that the people can use when the government-corporate alliance gets too cozy: A solid argument in favor of not allowing the Lane County Commissioners to hamper our rights to vote on the initiatives put forward by fellow citizens.

Tchanan Ross, Deadwood


Downtown Eugene¹s central square is known by just about everyone as Kesey Square. Even much of the city of Eugene¹s own published literature refers to the location as Kesey Square. Almost no one today refers to it by its official, dull and uninspiring name, Broadway Plaza (ugh!).

There are other Broadway Plazas around the country, but only one Kesey Square here in Eugene. Peter Helzer’s wonderful sculpture of Ken Kesey reading to his grandchildren has become a unique destination and central way-finding marker in our downtown.

We are asking that you write and tell your city councilor and our mayor that you would like them to change the name officially from Broadway Plaza (boring!) to Kesey Square.

Changing the name now would only be an acknowledgement of what has already occurred naturally, and it would be an appropriate recognition of an unique figure in Northwest art and culture.

Cary Thompson & Jerry Diethelm, Friends of Kesey Square


If grassroots activism causes local or state governments to take action fighting global warming, elected officials at all levels of government can take note of voters’ concern about the problem.

But Congress must take effective measures to fight global warming, since President Obama’s regulations are inadequate (see The Economist magazine, June 7, 2014). The Paris agreement of December 2015 was weak, because the U.S. offer was based on the regulations.

Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) headquarters is optimistic about Congress passing global warming legislation in 2017. In February 2016, two South Florida representatives, Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) and Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), founded the bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus, which contains an equal number of Republican and Democratic congressional representatives. The caucus will serve to advance the discussion in Congress.

CCL likes to call its revenue-neutral carbon tax proposal “carbon fee and dividend,” since it would not be a tax in the conventional sense; all the money would go back to households equally, except a small amount for administration.

Please tell friends and family about CCL. Because of the need to win over Republicans, people living in conservative areas of the U.S. are particularly important.

Milton Takei, Eugene

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