Letters to the Editor 2017-07-13


Excuse me, but I was just wondering …

Would it be at all possible to some way check the empty University of Oregon student housing apartments, dwellings, etc., for any “pets” abandoned this graduation season?

Please let “us” not let it happen again.

S. Parnelle, Fall Creek


I want to give Kudos to Eugene Weekly for endorsing, in your Slant column (July 6), Oregon’s own U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley to run for president.

I’ve listened to Merkley speak a number of times, and he is by far one of the most intelligent and pragmatic leaders that we currently have in government. More importantly, he is focused on the key issues of today that affect everyone. He is truly a man of the people, who would fight to do what is right instead of bowing to special interests, as so many politicians today do.

Merkley stood alone among senators in supporting presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. He recognized the many faults Hillary Clinton had, and how she could not inspire the nation the way Obama did. The WikiLeaks revelations of how the Democratic Party’s National Committee did all it could to secretly support Clinton and also sabotage the Sanders campaign is a disgrace that the party still needs to further address.

This can only be done with new leadership at the very top, and I am confident that Jeff Merkley would be the best person for that job.

Vote Merkley 2020!

Lance Jacobs, Springfield


The Weekly article “Forest for the Trees” (June 22) missed many important facts I supplied during our interview.

The quote “It makes no ecological or economic sense” attributed to me failed to mention that attached to this statement is the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) data showing less than 2 percent of Oregon‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is derived from the wood products industry.

In fact, if one looks deeper at timber harvest statistics for Oregon in 2014, less than 12.5 percent of all timber volume is derived from federal public lands. That means of that roughly 2 percent of GDP less than 0.1 percent of Oregon’s GDP is from logging on federal public lands.

Our statements that Oregon’s old growth forests can store up to 1,000 tons of carbon per acre, thus a great mitigation strategy to address the climate crisis, did not attain mention.

The article did not mention that the McKenzie River is the sole source for Eugene’s municipal water, according to the McKenzie Watershed Council, and that two large springs with a flow of about 30 gallons per minute each will be impacted by a planned logging road.

Finally, the article does not mention our long-term goal is designating all public forestlands as biological and carbon reserves for human survival.

Shannon Wilson, Eugene


Some Eugene folks want to re-build Civic Stadium, but no one has mentioned parking. Where are all the patrons going to park? Still hopping the curb to park on a grassy lot that isn’t meant for parking? Or filling the neighboring streets?

You backers of Civic, have you thought about parking at all? It hasn’t been mentioned, that I’ve seen.

Jan Gardner, Eugene


Hats off to Eugene Weekly writer Camilla Mortensen for one of the best pieces of political reporting in recent memory, about Republican U.S. Rep. Greg Walden (“Not Mr. Nice Guy,” May 25).

Not many Oregonians know that Walden was the author and chief advocate of TrumpCare, perhaps better known as WaldenCare, that will throw 23 million Americans off health insurance rolls before 2020.

It is sad that one of Trump’s biggest boosters and enablers is ensconced in Oregon’s Second Congressional District. Like Trump, he is truly an embarrassment to the values most Oregonians hold dear.

I am hopeful that Second Congressional District voters will rise up to Walden and his shenanigans and insist on accountability. His effort to hide from his constituents — by playing cat-and-mouse games — is pathetic. His duplicity of saying one thing to his constituents while promoting an alt-right agenda in Congress is appalling.

Opponents in the Second District smell blood. I was pleased to see that several possible worthy opponents are checking out the possibility of sending Walden back to Hood River for good, where he can’t do any more harm.

Kim R. Smith, Eugene


Of the many inconsistent observations made in “Taming of the Shrewd” (June 29) —  none of which were well-supported or well-researched — I gleaned that the author is a self-hating, white, affluent intellectual arguing that the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s support of diversity is deceitful because they alert theatergoers to the nearby homeless population and don’t provide $1 tickets to transient populations. I’m surprised EW printed this.

Talk to any actor in America. OSF offers the best regional theater contracts you can find: 6 to 9 months of paid work in a world where you are lucky to have a month of paid rehearsal and performance while auditioning to find your next gig. Talk to any actor of color, going out for a third of the auditions per week that are available for white actors, and you will understand what OSF, whose company has a majority of POC actors, is doing for diversity.

For that matter, talk to Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park — stars of Hawaii Five-0, who just left the show because they were being paid 10 to 15 percent less than their white colleagues — about what OSF is doing to even the scales.

OSF features and commissions authors of color every season, providing even more opportunities for POC actors, writers and directors to tell their stories.

Rick, tell the 10-year old South Asian girl, who saw (through her public school at a reduced price) a production of King Lear with the titular character’s three daughters all played by actors of different ethnicities, and realized then and there that she could be brown and still be chosen to play some of the most interesting and complex characters ever written, that OSF’s diversity initiatives are fraudulent. She doesn’t buy it.

Arun Storrs, Los Angeles (formerly South Eugene)


Regarding your article on prescribed fire (“Rx: Fire,” June 22), particularly the quote from the Forest Service about “opening forest canopies a little bit and removing the understory,” federal agencies and the Nature Conservancy prescribe forests be taken down to 30 to 40 percent — hardly a little bit.

Removing the understory would devastate plants and animals living there. Most prescribed burning is done in spring, when emerging vegetation and animal life is vulnerable to damage by fire and, because it’s so moist, amounts to spreading around poorly ignited diesel fuel.

Ecological management should be targeted: prairies and oak savannas in the Willamette Valley or ponderosa pine woodlands east of the Cascades, not all forests in Oregon. Judicious fuels management should be done around homes and communities as the first priority of fire safety. Anything less is a distraction.

Fires often initiate brushy and dense conditions that were historically common. Dense forests are not inherently unhealthy.

Contrary to what this article suggests, most forests are perfectly healthy save those heavily impacted by industrial logging. The forest is not in need of saving from itself but rather from misguided management.

Please research these issues better to avoid becoming a mouthpiece for federal agency and Nature Conservancy propaganda.

Dominic DiPaolo, Selma


The critical letters about Mayor Vinis won’t be the last in regards to her positions and performance. In the rush to defeat Mike Clark, Eugene picked a mayor that will at best deliver the status quo, and whose incompetence and lack of experience will do more harm that good.

Don French, Eugene

LETTERS POLICY: We welcome letters on all topics and will print as many as space allows, with priority given to timely local issues. Please limit length to 200 words and include your address and phone number for our files. Email to letters@eugeneweekly.com, fax to 484-4044 or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.