Letters to the Editor 8-25-2016



John Zerzan is pointing out that voting for Clinton is a vote for “no change.” Yup, we’ve got a world of problems that won’t be addressed. “When you find yourself in a hole, the first thing you do is stop digging.”   Trump will bring change, no doubt, like setting off dynamite in that hole you dug while fixing your leach field.

Gregg Ferry, Corvallis 


In an interesting Aug. 11 “History Happenings” column discussing Wiley Griffon, his home — first one owned by an African-American in Eugene — was described as being “in the vicinity of 3rd and High.” In fact it was down the hill at 4th and Mill next to the Millrace, in the area now occupied by the EWEB employee parking lot.

The 3rd and High location may have been in reference to the Mims House, the next home to be owned by a black family some 40 years later. Beside this first ownership, Griffon was also the first African-American employee at the University of Oregon.

Thanks for publishing this column on one of the most remarkable persons in Eugene history.

Doug Card, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: Card declined to have a discussion with the Lane County Historical Society about the difference in address information, but column author Heather Kliever of LCHS points to a newspaper notice placed by Griffon’s estate administrators after his death describing the house as in the “vicinity” of  3rd and High. The debate and conflicting information in historical documents highlight how this area has failed to do justice to telling the story of the African-American community, something columns like “History Happenings” hope to help rectify.


In the United States, mostly in southern states, there have been eight “500-year” precipitation events in the past 15 months!

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirms this — that since May of last year, eight events in the United States had the amount of rainfall in an area in a specified window of time exceed NOAA predictions for an amount of precipitation that will occur once every 500 years. The tragedy in the area around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the latest in a series.

Climate change is destroying the lives of people right here in our country. Along with what havoc is being wreaked on the wild environment and its web of life, I am also concerned about the effect of people having to deal with such tragedies.

We need to do what we can in our personal lives to absolutely minimize our own negative impacts on the problem and also make stopping climate change the priority in our voting and political organizing.

Stephen Amy, Eugene


The Perseid meteor showers were great this year, but if anyone was stargazing last Saturday the 13th, they unfortunately would not have seen any due to hazy skies from aerial spraying. We had some strange weather this past Saturday, with the help of some jet liners. What started in the morning and lasted throughout the day and well on into the evening, seemed to be strange jet contrails (chemtrails?), lamentably lining the skies of lovely Lane County.

These chemtrails, I mean contrails, did not dissipate from the back to front and eventually disappear like normal. Rather, they slowly and ominously expanded laterally, subsequently blanketing the skies. I was visiting with family and we’ve enjoyed the great weather we’ve had for the past three weeks, especially the clear blue skies, but we were amazed and disappointed to see the constant aerial spraying last Saturday.

Did anyone else notice? Does anyone else care to know? There may be chemtrail conspiracy theories (regarding government geoengineering projects, or heavy metals or the testing of biological weapons) but no one can deny the fact that these chemtrails/contrails, whatever they may in fact be, now exist and were sprayed rampantly over Lane County’s citizens.

Lane County commissioners, administrators, Health and Human Services and Oregon government: What was aerially sprayed on Saturday the 13th of August, 2016? We have the right to know what is in the air we are breathing and what is eventually falling on the food we eat.

We look forward to hearing your reply.

Nicholas S. Anderson, Eugene


As a professional driver in Eugene, I see a lot of crazy things on the streets. Today (8/11), I watched a man walking his dog along 12th Street between Pearl and High streets walk right into oncoming traffic on both streets and then have the audacity to hurl vociferous obscenities at the drivers and cyclists who had to brake suddenly or swerve to avoid hitting him or his dog. At one point, he stood in the lane of traffic and slammed his hand on the hood of a car repeatedly while yelling at the driver.

Sir, I don’t know you or what your problem is, but you don’t deserve that beautiful animal whose life you put in danger. While you have the right to cross at any legal intersection, there is an understanding that you are acting safely and sanely when you start to cross a street. You should walk defensively and not take unnecessary risks.

Furthermore, having the right of way does not give you the right to verbally abuse or physically intimidate your fellow street-users. Your obligation is to cross the street expeditiously and be on your way. Attempting to impose your will on others does nothing but make you appear to be a lunatic.

Eddie Alfaro, Eugene


Are you concerned about Donald Trump’s Kremlin connections? His recent treasonous remarks urging Russian Intelligence to hack and release U.S. government emails are just the tip of the iceberg.

He has denied having any financial relations in Russia. This directly contradicts Donald Trump, Jr., who’s quoted as saying several years ago: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets … We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” It’s “pouring in” from “oligarchs” with close ties to the Kremlin. Financial experts say Trump needs this foreign money because most U.S. banks have blackballed him due to his serial defaults.

Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manaport, and a top adviser, Carter Page, have been employed in Kremlin-affiliated organizations. His foreign policy adviser, Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, is a frequent guest on Russian propaganda TV.

Putin-wannabe Trump has espoused an isolationist foreign policy, which would directly encourage the expansionist plans of Russia (and China). He has specifically threatened to weaken ties with U.S. allies.

All of this should, at the very least, become a major focus of media investigation. Follow the money. Trump should be hounded by all concerned citizens to reveal all his sources of income. Trump should be grilled about this during the debates. In fact, Congress should be investigating Kremlin manipulation of this election.

Let’s make it happen.

Jere C. Rosemeyer, Eugene


“Disaffected Sanders supporters — shut up and do the right thing. Hillary is … vastly superior to the alternative.” Does Spud Smith find this language persuasive? He wrote two long paragraphs of Trump-mongering without a positive word about Clinton except that she’s better than Trump — an opinion, not a fact.

Clinton’s record of foreign affairs failures, national security negligence, policy vacillations and donor IOUs alarms me as much as the prospect of President Trump. Both nominees pander shamelessly and lie repeatedly.

If Clinton can’t beat Trump despite every advantage of name, power, money and media, she’s a weak candidate. And if those who now harangue Sanders voters to support her wanted to stop Trump, they’d have heeded polls that consistently showed Sanders winning handily against the R bogeyman.

After 40-plus years as a Democrat, I’ve left the party. Dr. Jill Stein (Green Party) now has my vote. Smith will do his “right thing” and I’ll do mine. And I’ll have a lot of company.

A final point: In the absence of fraud and electoral “irregularities,” when a candidate loses, the voters are not to blame. The blame lies with the losing candidate for failing to convince enough voters to vote for him — or her.

Barbara Shapiro



We live near the entrance to the Owen Rose Garden. I-105 is across the street. Someone has cut the fence and pitched a tent on highway property. The tent is partially obscured by rose bushes. There are bicycle parts and trash strewn on the embankment. A worker at the rose garden has complained to me about time spent cleaning up feces.

There is also a steady flow of people walking through the bushes and the hole in the fence. The other day two police officers who patrol the area on bicycles were coming down the street and I stopped them to complain. They said they were aware. I said I thought drugs were being sold and that the bicycle parts were questionable.

One of the officers acknowledged that there is drug activity but said it was on highway department property. He said he has asked his sergeant to contact the Oregon Department of Transportation about the problem. I expressed shock that this blatant activity takes place with no consequences.

This is not the first time. This has happened repeatedly over the years until a few neighbors and I complain loudly enough. Then a hazmat team comes to clean up the mess at taxpayer expense, and we can breathe easy for a few months. I assume the problem gets pushed to another neighborhood. I have complained to the mayor, the city manager, the chief of police and my city councilor. I have sent pictures.

We like living here and pay $3,800 a year in property taxes for the privilege. We shouldn’t have to put up with this. If the city is going to wink at heroin sales, then they should set up a clinic and provide it themselves.

Robert W. James, Eugene


No one has questioned the mindset of Donald Trump. He is one of the most wealthy Americans and has an unusual mind that allows him to say the most bizarre and outlandish remarks about all types of people.

Trump’s bid for the presidency is only one public arena! His vast real estate empire and large money-making schemes are another arena. His outlandish decrees seem to bolster his appeal!

What has he got to lose?

Stace Webb, Eugene


I can actually help Frank Skipton [Letters, 8/11] adjust to the alleged new age science he feels lost to because of being born in 1939.

Most of that stuff isn’t being used to anywhere near its potential, nor what it was made for. There are still areas here in Oregon where the new young are growing up just as he did or, to put it in practical terms, they are of no use so they are left alone — pre-labeled as military fodder.

Most of the people around here don’t even know that their “new” com gear is wired with brand-new fabricated gold. The stuff they just bought is already “old” stuff someone thought they could safely let them use as long as limiting subprograms are in place and the tattletale functions are running.

The real new stuff is “magic” and easy to use, just as all those light switches that he has taken for granted all the years he has been alive, but still is limited by the basic rule he has always used in his life: What are you going to use it for?

You use the light switch to get light.

The rest of y’all know that “transgender” is old stuff now, right? It’s becoming trans-species for the new age of now. It’s what cosplay is all about.

Ever pretend to be a horse?

The book Headcrash by Bruce Bethke: Read it, view it, be told it, access it. It’s where “cyber punk” comes from.

Aloha, dudes.

Dan Moore, Springfield


The war on drugs has not failed to affect my personal experience as a drug user in America [response to EW 7/21, “Opiate Overdose”]. It is a common but erroneous claim that drugs like opiates and cocaine are all too readily obtainable in any city in the United States.

My experience proves different. When 16 years ago I did my first shot of heroin, not too much after my first shot of coke, I found a class of compounds that would help me in my emotional rollercoaster and trauma-filled life.

Heroin, which was the first opiate I encountered, and cocaine, a stimulant, eased my pain and discomfort from an illness diagnosed as schizo-affective disorder, a type of bipolar schizophrenia. The delusional thinking that prevailed in my everyday thought process was ameliorated with these drugs into insignificance. I was still a manic-depressive psychotic, but the ups and downs and all-arounds failed to bother me in any meaningful way. This was the blessing of illegal narcotics (opiates) as well as stimulants like cocaine.

The danger drugs pose to users will be diminished upon their legalization. Standardized doses will be available. Also, the antidote to opiate overdose, which is now only available to first emergency responders, will be on a necklace on every junky who values his/her own life.

In this way “hard drugs” will play the role nature intended. Not everybody will benefit from them, but as adults we should be given the choice of didactic use rather than retributive justice by police.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene


“I am going to bring the best of minds together and there will be a decent jobs bill.”

We heard Hillary tell that to a crowd I suppose that was in Michigan, and the crowd cheers. Well, Mrs. Clinton, the president you want to replace has done that several times. Where are all the jobs? Now Clinton wants to do the same. Was it not Barack Obama who told us in 2008 “to keep doing the same thing expecting a different outcome is insanity”?

Here is a clue from history. A reduction in taxes will bring untold wealth to the treasury. A higher tax reduces the wealth to the treasury. The facts are out there. Compare them. All you have to do is research. I would like to know how she is looking out for the middle class when she wants to raise taxes on the middle class. How does “I got your back” work? How about increasing your income tax sound? Oh yes, she wants more of your income. She wants it, and should she get it, she will take 28 percent of your itemized deductions. A hike in corporate tax, a hike in inheritance tax, and she wants to institute a tax on stock trade. That is a tax on the trading of stock, and the increase of capital gains tax. Sounds to me like “I got your back” is the same way the slave masters had the backs of their slaves. Trump wants to reduce them.

Jim Selby, Florence