Letters to the Editor 2017-03-23


The Lane County Board of Commissioners has approved the land use change on a 4-1 vote, allowing for the destruction of a Native historical landmark, TV Butte, near Oakridge. This, against the protests of locals who live nearby and of our fellow Americans who are native to this land.

Shame on them, I say!

“I can’t find a reason to say no,” [County Commissioner Faye] Stewart said. “I wish I could.” Where did he look? Not in his heart. Not in his conscience, that’s for sure. So, congratulations to Ed King and his investors. The county government won’t stand in their way.

Somehow, one Commissioner DID find a reason to say no. I say: Good for Pete Sorenson!

I certainly hope this matter will go further, to the state Land Use Board of Appeals. No matter how well-connected some citizens may be, they should not be permitted to profit from degrading and destroying our environment.

Here, or anywhere!

Bazil Freedman, Eugene 


Climate warming is the issue of our times. What will we tell the coming generations of Oregonians if we fail to address this pending crisis? With Senate Bill 557, the Clean Energy and Jobs Bill, we have an opportunity to do something about climate warming in a just and equitable way. We have an opportunity to transition from a polluting economy to a clean energy economy.

Low snowpack, ocean acidity and forest fires are increasing threats to Oregon’s food stability on land and in the ocean, stream and wildlife health, and the very air we breathe. The most vulnerable citizens of our state suffer inordinately from economic and health issues brought on by climate warming.

The Clean Energy and Jobs Bill caps greenhouse gas emissions and puts a price on pollution. It invests in solutions; the proceeds go into local, clean energy economies, focusing on economically distressed communities.

Oregon lawmakers need to lead in the solution to climate warming. Passing the Clean Energy and Jobs Bill is their chance to do just that.

Dana Furgerson, Eugene


A cruel hoax! Of course the White House rejects the Congressional Budget Office analysis of its health care plan. Over 24 million will lose their health care insurance by 2026. Costs will go up too high for the average American.

My daughter and her partner, both in their 50s, expect it will cause them a $14,000 annual increase for insurance under the plan. How many families can afford it? Older Americans can pay five times more under this GOP proposal.

Our Sen. Ron Wyden explained his sad conclusion that many will have to face health problems alone. If only we had Medicare for all like every other industrial country where this is never a financial worry and they live longer!

Ruth Duemler, Eugene


On Sunday I attended a reenactment featuring the city’s first lady, Mrs. Eugene Skinner, from 1855 at the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House. She reminded the audience about the embarrassment she felt of Eugene being called “Skinner’s Mud Hole.” Despite improvements in urban engineering, the mud is still a source of embarrassment for the town.

While Eugene is hailed as “Track Town USA” the reality is that many of the tracks are unusable for 8 months of the year due to poor maintenance during the rainy season. I invite those who are willing to risk their shoes and run on the unpaved East Amazon trail. Watch out for cars as you move to the street to avoid the ankle-deep soup. The signs nearby state that the repair of the trails will not be until Summer 2017.

Have we really not progressed to a point where we can build paths that can withstand spring rain? Is this a funding/donation issue? Regardless of the reason, I believe that as a community can do better, and I urge others to call the department of Parks and Open Space and let them know we take pride in our trails and don’t want to live in “Mud Hole” any longer.

Laura Marshall, Eugene


Social Justice Warriors (SJW) hate The Red Pill documentary (now on DVD). Cassie Jaye set out to make a film about rape culture. During her research, she discovered the Men’s Rights Movement, interviewed them, shattered her beliefs and no longer identifies as a feminist.

SJWs have a choice. You can see the film and maybe learn something. Or you can continue trying to stop others from viewing it. Regrettably, SJW name-calling, shout-downs, unfriendings, purges, protests, violence, blocking roads and so on, to enforce political correctness, is why Trump is President and his popularity is growing.

After months calling on SJWs to debate, a response letter appeared in The Weekly. Let’s agree on a topic, time and rules and then record our exchange for broadcast on Community Television. To debate or to attend a screening and discussion of The Red Pill, email at sjwdebate@gmail.com.

Finally, to observe how regular folks see SJWs, visit YouTube. Search for “Chaos and Order at McMaster.” This shows Jordan Peterson maintaining his cool as SJW cry-bullies disrupt his lecture.

Americans value free speech. SJWs don’t. Sadly, this is why SJWs are losing and are destroying the Left. This is not good.

Joe Tyndall, Eugene


Corporate and governmental climate denial is not rooted in failure to understand science, but recognition that our endless growth economy requires endless increase of resource use. As fossil fuels deplete, solar panels might keep society together but at a much lower consumption level. Solar panels and wind farms don’t power airplanes and long distance truck networks. Relocalizing food production is more important than hoping for a techno-fix.

In the 1990s, Trump’s advisor Steve Bannon was director of the Biosphere 2 project, an oil money funded effort to see if domed cities could shelter the super-rich while the rest of us succumb to eco-collapse. This is like the first class passengers on the Titanic getting in the lifeboats first, except we are all in the same boat of “Spaceship Earth” and there’s no escape for anyone.

When energy rationing finally starts, due to geologic depletion, “stop drilling” groups may be popular scapegoats. Most people do not understand physical limits and may believe efforts to blame shortages on environmentalism. Protests do not substitute for the logistics of food distribution.

Instead of gimmicks for the billionaires or war preparations to grab remaining resources, we could implement large scale permaculture projects to improvise as many “lifeboats” as possible with the goal of rescuing everyone.  Protesting systems that keep us fed and warm, without making practical efforts to create sufficient substitutes, seems counterproductive. Relocalizing through local and global cooperation might work better than protesting the navigator of our sinking ship of state.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene


Three competent professionals are running for the same seat on the Eugene 4J School Board in the May election. Two of these professionals are university professors and one is an educator with direct experience in public school teaching, school administration, teacher development programs and policy analysis of the effects of school reform programs.

Dr. Mary S. Leighton (Ph.D. in education from the University of Oregon) is the candidate with the most direct experience, training and involvement with the delivery and improvement of instruction in public schools. She has taught in public elementary and secondary schools in Illinois, California, Maryland and Oregon. She taught college teacher education courses in Maryland and Oregon; she currently leads a teacher education initiative with the Work Force Partnership and the Eugene Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Leighton was the principal of the Network Charter School, which serves students in need of an alternative approach to education. She also has years of experience in education policy analysis, studying the effects of school reform programs funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

The Eugene 4j School Board is facing many practical instruction and administrative challenges that call for the kind of direct public school experience that Dr. Leighton can uniquely bring to deliberations.

In short, the Eugene community will be best served by electing a person with a deep and successful career in actual public school instruction, administration and assessment.

Elect Dr. Mary S. Leighton to the Eugene 4J School Board on Mary 16.

F.T. Sobol, Eugene



I am deeply disturbed by the latest immigration policy by the Trump Administration. The Mexican people are a gentle people. I lived in California for years and appreciated their culture. Many of them are peasants and are just trying to give their children a better life.

We’ve all come from somewhere else; Oregonians didn’t spring up like mushrooms. Many came from the east and, before that, from Europe, and before that, who knows?

The human story is the story of migration. We migrated for better hunting, for water, for jobs, for opportunities that could not be found where we came from. Some of us were criminals, too, just like some of the Mexican people are criminals, and they need to be dealt with — sent back to Mexico but not for a misdemeanor.

Let’s target the gang members and other violent criminals. We need to decide how much time, effort and money we are willing to spend to enforce this mean-spirited policy that will only degrade us a people, as Americans.

The Trump Administration is dangerous because it is not thoughtful and does not see that all actions have consequences.

K. James, Eugene


It’s a real plane in the ass.

In December when Donnie was told the cost of a new Air Force One would be five times that of a stripped-down 747. He expressed rage at Boeing, screech tweeting “costs are out of control, more than $4 billion. Cancel order.” Our apprentice soon-to-be-leader assured us he was watching out for American taxpayers.

Yeah, right. Before you could say “take a seat in coach,” he creates a new presidential tradition ending his work week in faux-billionaire style as the Eagle sets down in Palm Beach, Florida, leaving taxpayers with a bill of roughly $3 million for each fun-filled weekend, not including any greens fees.

Outrageous? Sure is. Especially considering big talking 45 doesn’t bother paying taxes himself. Talk about a free ride. It’s those of us who voted for this freeloader and those of us who did not who are being taken for a ride.

Just weeks ago he accused Boeing of “doing a little bit of a number.” Now newly settled in office, it’s clear DT is doing more than a little bit of a number himself. Using babbling rhetoric chockfull of alternative facts, he promises millions of new jobs, national security, amazing health care and secure futures for our children. As the hot air settles we see it just isn’t so.

Clearly we’ve not only been delivered a plane in the ass. America now finds itself with an ass in the plane.

Michael DeLuise, Eugene


Democrats say: We want to control your money, but you can control your actions.

Republicans say: We want to control your actions, but you can control your money.

Libertarians say: We trust you to make your own decisions. We want you to control your money and your actions.

Libertarians promote individual freedom and protect civil liberties. Yet Libertarians are dismissed as the crazy ones. Go figure. Probably because Libertarians want to take over the world and leave you alone.

Donny: Here’s an idea for you to ignore. Instead of building a wall, we could solve the illegal immigration issue by removing the welfare magnet that attracts millions of people to cross the border illegally. We could also stop destabilizing the Middle East with endless wars and end the stupid, silly, pathetic drug war that rewards smugglers who cross the border.

Joe Canfield, Springfield


To the DA and judge in the MacKay prostitution case: Nice job on the conviction though of course [Daniel] MacKay probably did more for this girl then they ever will. Let’s see … they disrupted her business and coerced her into testifying by threatening her with imprisonment. She’s 18 now so probably kicked out of whatever program she got press ganged into. To all non-functioning adults living on the street: remember to just say no to drugs and prostitution. Still, nice job on the conviction.

Jordan Butler, Eugene


Pat Robertson, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Baker and Oral Roberts — a pantheon of evangelical greatness.

These men achieved wealth and power, yet there I was at TDI in Gulfport, Mississippi, considering truck driving school with what was left of my bankroll after the ’90s dustbowl.

Becoming a TV evangelist was lucrative business down south. “Tax exempt glory” meant throwing away that moral compass and scientific reasoning for a carpetbag and swindling.

Temptation became a feverish choice — lie to the gullible or drive 34 cents a mile.

Speaking in tongues, mixing bourbon with cod-liver snake-oil, stage crafting circus tent miracles and being “sincerely” insincere had to be easier than driving 55 mph in California or grinding gears.

Get caught? Do wrong? Beg forgiveness. Need tears? Pull a few nose hairs out with pliers. Swagger taught the masters class.

Would Jesus wear a Rolex? Darn tootin’.

Mega-church dreams and political aspirations don’t come cheap. Like my grill? Remember, sell the sizzle, keep the steak.

“Promise moondust but deliver only fire and brimstone” — a tip from storefront preacher “Diamond Jim.”

Keep that change, tadpole! Diamond sure could talk.

If it was frozen he could walk on water.

Selling faith and pixie dust was for soft hands, not pallet splinters or chain binders.

Based on retreads and mud-flap salvation — I’ve been holding steering wheels for 20 years, praise Jesus.

Glenn Jones, Eugene