Letters to the Editor 2017-10-12


I enjoyed David Turner’s Along the Long Tom River: Observations from the Past and Present, and Blake Andrews’ interview with David Turner (“Stories from the Long Tom,” Oct. 5).

As a child, each summer in the late 1940s and into the 1950s, I spent several weeks staying with my grandparents in Monroe and played and fished along the Long Tom River, which is only two blocks from my grandparents’ home. My granddad, Fay Porter’s great-grandfather William Grayson Porter, crossed the Oregon Trail in 1848 and settled a land claim not far from the Long Tom.

If it weren’t for my dad’s work in a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) revetment project on the Long Tom River in the 1930s, he would never have met my mom, Jean (Porter) Walsh, who sold him stamps at the Monroe post office.

My father, Jack, and mother were married on April 16, 1939, and ironically I came along in 1943, all because of the Long Tom River.

Mike E. Walsh, Eugene


Brown (grizzly) bears in Wyoming don’t “kill 14 people a year” (“The Great Outdoors,” Corinne Boyer, Oct. 5).

Since Yellowstone became a park in 1872, eight people have died from brown bears, one to two a year on average are injured.

Since 1950, 63 have died in North America, a third in the contiguous states.

Having camped extensively in Alaska, I have encountered many brown bears. I am not cavalier about the risks. Keeping a scrupulously clean camp, making your presence known, not looking for trouble (getting too close to take that all-important picture) and knowing what to do if attacked, make the risks of death far less than my dying at the hands of one of my countrymen.  

Michael S. Smith, Eugene


I’m a dude, so football is the center of my cognitive universe. Not.

Let’s examine the notion of patriotism.

The word and concept “patriotism” refer to the male side of a country’s origin and story … just like the word “his”tory.

The term “fatherland” (one of Hitler’s favorites) has recently gained lots of traction here. Gladiator sports take precedence over our president’s threat to incinerate 25 million people in Asia. Hugh Hefner is currently being lionized. Male priorities are a bit whacko.

Many years ago I tried to start a linguistic campaign to adopt usage of “matriotism” and being “matriotic.” Be a matriot: honor the Motherland. 

Big Oil and all the other extraction industries would rather retain popular permission to continue raping her.

In this era of seeing the obvious damage done by our clueless species (climate change, plastics pileups, etc.), why are we bickering about a word and concept which has helped lead to imminent destruction for all?

Food for thought. Not forgetting that the first food comes from the generosity of maternal bosoms, and all the food afterward from the deep generosity of Mother Earth.

Vip B. Short, Eugene


Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcasting conglomerate now dictates at least some content on all local Eugene newscasts except KEZI, destroying the credibility of much of our local TV news.

Most noteworthy are comments by Sinclair’s “chief political analyst” Boris Epshteyn. This Russian-born international investment banker was a “senior political advisor” to the Trump campaign and then worked in the Trump White House communication office during the “biggest inauguration crowd ever” era. His feverishly pro-Trump propaganda can be called fascist fantasies for the feeble-minded because he often misrepresents or makes up “facts” while advocating absurd, far-right policies.   

He is not an Oregonian, as illustrated by his opinion pieces advocating taking money away from Oregon for health care, increasing the relative federal tax burden of Oregonians to help states that vote Republican (i.e., have poor economic development) or defending the white supremacist, neo-Nazi mob in Charlottesville.

His opinions frequently echo Russian cyber attacks designed to disrupt and divide America. Although all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies concur that Russia meddled in the U.S. 2016 election, Epshteyn would not answer Bill Maher’s direct questions on that issue. Epshteyn was called to testify before the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian meddling in the US 2016 election. 

Ironically, his opinion pieces usually air on KVAL just prior to the Late Show, which sometimes starts with a cold open that mocks Epshteyn-type propagandists.

Let’s hope local viewers and advertisers will boycott Sinclair’s efforts to ruin local news. KEZI at least usually tries to present accurate information.

Lynn Kahle, Eugene


Robert Bolman’s scurrilous letter about why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump (Oct. 5) is based on weak premises.

One is that Bernie Sanders would have won against Trump. Sanders needed many Clinton voters plus a substantial number of Republican voters, or his presidential win in the Electoral College was not likely.

A second premise is that Clinton was extremely unpopular, distrusted, etc. Hillary Clinton was a very popular, trusted Secretary of State. She reported to a male president, as too many people believe a woman office-holder should. She lost the votes of many white, middle- and upper-class women and men who may never be ready for a female president.

Many Sanders voters and white voters who didn’t want a woman president probably did not vote at all or voted for one of the minor party candidates, rather than Trump. Young people who knew Hillary Clinton only as a caricature of a candidate, invented by Republicans, may not have voted, either.

This damaged Clinton in states where it has become harder to vote at all because of voter suppression measures such as voter-ID laws, the end of early voting and fewer polling places. Trump won the election in the Electoral College by a slim margin of votes in three states — Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan — where voter suppression played a major role.

Instead of calling names, join groups formed to fight the current administration’s programs. Knock on doors, sign petitions! Fight back!

Dina Wills, Eugene


Pushing back against ideas proposed by the current administration that don’t make sense is our civic duty (“Pushing Back Against Trump,” Oct. 5). This is why the health care bills failed. It is how the cuts to SNAP, Medicaid and Medicare in the current budget can be stopped.

But we have to speak up to our representatives and senators about these schemes that hurt the majority of Americans. Make a call, write a letter — it makes a difference!

Willie Dickersonm, Snohomish, Washington


I have worked for Lane County for 28 years at Developmental Disabilities, and over that time my union co-workers and I agreed to small or no raises many times in exchange for a good health care package. If we agree to what the county is offering now, many county workers will not really get a raise, since their take-home pay will stay about the same or go down.   

The county commissioners and the county administrator gave themselves and all the managers a big raise of about 19 percent, using a study comparing the wages of managers similar to Lane County; yet, when we did the same sort of study for the workers of Lane County, they didn’t accept it, but did another study, on county time, comparing us to counties that are smaller and therefore do not pay as well. 

The Lane County administrator and commissioners say that equity is important to them. I hope they show us such, by becoming a model employer and giving workers a pay increase, and continuing to offer us a good and affordable benefit package. 

Sue Barnhart, Eugene 


I am not an undocumented immigrant. I am an American citizen.

As a result, I have never had to make the choice to sacrifice the lives of my family in the attempt to save them. I have never experienced radical violence due to my religion, ancestry or political views. I have never experienced the terror of being sent back to a country I have never known. I have never witnessed a lost generation of children due to years and years of war.

I cannot pretend that I can even partially know or truly understand the depths of despair that accompanies the lives of so many who are simply trying to survive.

Although I freely admit that I do not have the answers, I do know that erupting in hate is not one of them. If we are to remain a great nation, we must find it within ourselves to muster up the humanity that I know exists.

I understand that we cannot shelter the world, but we can cease to hate those that need shelter.

Melissa Quinn, Dexter