Letters to the Editor 2017-04-20


Love seeing the last issue about immigrants (EW, 4/6). It’s always important to hear the stories of the newbies. It connects us to our past. As the spouse of a recent immigrant I understand the struggles of newcomers. It is not always easy to fit into our American culture.

Dan Russell, Eugene


Thank You Eugene Police Department. I appreciate that you placed no-parking signs along the route of the Women’s March in Eugene. This made the area easy for everyone to move through and kept cars out of the picture.

I’ve been in other cities that do not make these carless corridors for the marchers and the flow is hampered. I appreciate your planning for this event.

Rouanna Garden, Springfield


I’m writing about sudden and dire circumstances that have recently dealt a blow to one of our most loveable community members.

Jerry and Sandy Collver have owned and operated Morning Glory Farm for the past 27 years. The farm is where they’ve raised high quality fruits, vegetables and three remarkable children. Growing and nurturing plants while conserving the soil and water and scenery is their practice. Their customers are important to them, so the Collvers follow nature’s pathway to harvest only the tastiest, organic foods.

They’ve loved living in the beautiful place where they work, and working around friends and neighbors where they live.

Earlier this year, Jerry was diagnosed with cancer in his lower esophagus, and local doctors held out little hope for him. The couple searched until they located a clinic in Phoenix that offered a promising course of in-patient treatments. The Collvers immediately packed up their car and drove to Arizona, not knowing where they’d stay or what insurance would cover.

It’s been a few weeks now, and Jerry is feeling optimistic about his care, but increasingly concerned about finances. Insurance is paying a share of the medical costs, but the expense of living in another state has drained their savings. Friends set up a GoFundMe account for Jerry Collver of Walton so he can afford to complete his therapy.

People have said they want a way to try to repay him for his many kindnesses and generosity. If anyone isn’t comfortable putting personal info online, donations can be mailed to: Jerry Collver, 19540 Hwy 126, Walton OR, 97490.

Ethel Bassett, Walton


The Portland City Council just passed a resolution stating that city will be 100-percent powered by renewable energy decades from now. No mention that this will happen anyway due to depletion of finite fossil fuels or that this would disrupt the economy of supposedly “green” Portland.

Before then, there will be intense need to mitigate social impacts of gasoline rationing as the Alaska Pipeline reaches low-flow shutdown and fracking for unconventional oil and gas shifts from boom to bust.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was previously Oregon state treasurer and therefore on the State Lands Board. I asked him, then, at an event in Eugene, if he would promise not to give our Elliott State Forest to timber barons. He declined.

Meanwhile, the Legislature is considering a requirement to consider climate impacts for fossil fuel projects, but they ignore state permits for corporate clearcuts and the planned $18 billion in new and expanded highways.

So far, our society’s main response to peak everything is homeland insecurity and wars to control Middle East oil fields and pipeline routes.

Most of the food we eat in Ore-is-gone is transported by fossil fueled trucks from other states (and even some from other countries).

Solar power is great (I’ve used it since 1990) but it cannot run transcontinental shipping networks. Relocalizing food production is probably the most important preparation for the start of climate chaos and the end of cheap oil.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene


Integrity can sometimes be hard to spot in our current world of fake news and alternative facts. What to do with a 4J School Board race that has multiple quality candidates galore on the same ballot?

Join me in voting for the real deal. Mary Leighton for 4J School Board.

Rob Handy, Eugene


4J School Board candidate Judy Newman is about social justice. With her experience in early childhood, she can leverage development to successful school outcomes for all students. Her knowledge of development includes the full range of social-emotional as well as academic skills.

Newman’s vision is about equal opportunity for all children regardless of income, race, gender, language or ability. She is knowledgeable about teaching and learning in the classroom, as well as having experience in the oversight of large organizations such as EC Cares. She has worked with parents, teachers, administrators and state department of education personnel.

We are confident that, as a member of the 4J school board, Newman can work with others to provide guidance on development and enhancement of programs, staffing and resources in 4J schools.

Gerald and Linda Tindal, Eugene


Our schools are facing enormous challenges on every front, and Jerry Rosiek is the right person to be at the table when decisions are being made.

I am a school counselor and teacher in 4J and have known Jerry for years as a social justice teacher trainer, professor and community leader. As a former high-school science teacher, he knows how underfunding and over-testing impact children and erode virtually every aspect of schools.

As an education professor, Jerry understands and defends against “one size fits all” policies modeled after corporations that do not work with children. As a parent like me with a child in 4J, he knows what it is like to entrust the most precious thing in the world to our schools and can relate to my hopes and my concerns.

With our classrooms unacceptably crowded, and our ability to adequately care for and prepare our children at more risk than ever, this is no time for business as usual. It is absolutely critical that we have an outspoken defender for schools and families on the board.

That is why so many parents and teachers like me are voting for Jerry Rosiek.

Casey Tiemann, Eugene


I plan to vote for Mary Leighton for the 4J School Board, and I encourage others to do the same.

I have worked with her for many years at the Eugene City Club, and in particular on the program committee. She was creative in finding solutions to many problems.

She also has an excellent reputation for her work on the Network Charter School. She has demonstrated her ability to work with groups and boards.

She will be an asset to the school board.

Bob Cassidy, Eugene


Do you want to save the trees but still need wood products? The answer is easy: hemp.

The only semi-valid argument against the hemp industry in Oregon was that hemp could pollinate smoking marijuana. Now that we’ve successfully legalized medicinal and recreational pot, if this is a problem we could import it from Southeast Asia or grow it with air filters indoors.

Some hemp strains reach tree sizes of 20 feet in height; the plant has a continuous set of unbroken fibers going from top to bottom. Wood’s fibers are shorter. For paper processing wood requires sulfuric acid and bleach; four-to-seven times the amount of harmful chemicals. The real gift of using pot instead of cutting our precious forests (i.e. the Elliott) is that in equivalent plots of land, hemp will out-produce mass in the form of pulp and fiber 4.1-times faster than trees.

Hemp uses no pesticides, whereas cotton uses half of all those used worldwide.

Its seeds are edible and most nutritious. They contain essential fatty acids that are antioxidants and prevent free-radical damage.

Growing this weed is so simple a solution that it can be overlooked.

So why haven’t we already made the smart leap to this agricultural miracle? It could be because of political and economic interests interfering with this environmental, financial and health gift-bestower.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene


As thousands across the U.S. get ready to protest environmental budget cuts, each of us can also help with our driving, our recycling and our diet.

Yes, our diet. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 70 percent of global freshwater use, 38 percent of land use and 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by fossil fuel combustion to operate farm machinery, trucks, factory farms and slaughterhouses. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

Moreover, meat and dairy production dumps more animal waste, crop debris, fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It is the driving force in wildlife habitat destruction.

In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar, and other pollution-free energy sources.

On this Earth Day, and every day, let’s cherish our environment with eco-friendly plant-based eating. Our next trip to the supermarket is a great starting point.

Elijah Hennison, Eugene


What was once only white noise is now a roaring, radical red. In a valiant and self-serving effort to reduce the dissonance between my ears, I have recently employed a new strategy. Rather than continuing to sift through “alternative facts” and pore over “fake news,” I have tried to believe as truth the tweets and explanations emanating from the White House.

This attempt to acquire perspective only worsened the cacophony, creating in me a level of disbelief and cynicism I did not wish to embrace.

An American oligarch is now president, representing a minority of voters. Along with the new Prince of Darkness, the unelected Steve Bannon, the current administration has created their own new swamp and they are gleefully wallowing in the mud of our own ignorance.

Signing petitions and carrying signs are nice actions but hardly effective in evoking positive changes in how billionaires think and act.

History will someday tell us the Second American Revolution occurred in 2016 right under our noses. The Third American Revolution must begin now with the rebirth of a “Power to the People” movement reminiscent of the 1960s.

We must believe that we still have this power! We must fill the streets, squares and plazas and stay there. The ultimate power of the purse resides within ourselves through general strikes, sit-ins and refusing to pay taxes.

To paraphrase the late Peter Finch as Howard Beale in the iconic movie Network, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!”

Let’s get going people. There is no time to waste.

Kenneth Roe, Cottage Grove

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