Letters to the Editor 2017-12-28


 Bob Keefer’s excellent review (Celebrating Two Lives in Paint,” 12/14) brands Margaret Coe’s and Mark Clarke’s art practice with the DNA found in the regional art of the Northwest.

Mention “landscape” and “lyrical abstraction” in Eugene, and Northwest painters Margaret Coe and Mark Clarke come to mind. Their current retrospective survey, “Our Lives in Paint,” is on exhibit at the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art through April 1, 2018. Their paintings and drawings have a universal appeal freighted with an omnivorous synthesis of impressionism and expressionism.

For many years Coe and Clarke have worked masterfully with landscape imagery. Neither can deny an impressionist device, structured ethereal surfaces with loosely painted areas juxtaposed to architectural structures; but their intent often suggest time and place, but also mood — hence expressionism.

Don’t miss this important survey by two of Eugene’s most respected painters. 

Mike E. Walsh, Eugene


In Bob Keefer’s article a couple of weeks ago on printmaking (EW 11/30), the quote attributed to me about digital art having no soul was taken completely out of the original context and misrepresented my meaning. I would like to clear this up. 

Within the context of printmaking, I was referring to the digital copies of original hand-pulled prints (or other works of art) that are ubiquitous these days, as compared to the actual handmade prints themselves. I have in the past used digital representation and tools within my own work and found the experience very satisfying.

There are contemporary artists using digital media whose work I follow and admire. I also believe contemporary printmaking using digital imagery in combination with traditional mediums can push the boundaries and expand the medium in new and exciting ways. 

Karen Lee (Letter 12/7) is exactly right when she spoke of the unfair hierarchy of mediums within two-dimensional works of art. This is clearly an unfortunate consequence of both the traditions and the business of art.

I believe the true test of art is in how effective it is in encouraging us to feel, think, and dream — not what medium or techniques are used to create it. 

Tallmadge Doyle, Eugene


The Eugene city government prides itself with the rather dubious slogan, “World’s Greatest City of the Arts and Outdoors.”

For the Eugene Airport, an entryway into the city, to alter public artwork based upon the moralism of its managers is a sign of a growing cultural decadence in the community. 

For the city manager to announce that to err toward caution is the way to proceed with the shaming and judgment of Garrison Keillor is to promote a philistine environment where censorship of art begins. When the artists are silenced in such a moral climate of witch-hunting the community as a whole will suffer. But we can take solace that art is long and city governments are short.

Christopher Guilfoil, Eugene

Editor’s Note: The slogan became merely “a great city for art and outdoors” in 2010. 


Time is money. In the last issue, Give Guide (12/21), EW focused on where to expend your hard-earned dollars to do the most good locally, as well as listed some volunteer opportunities. I commend all of the organizations that are doing great work stretching dollars. As the New Year approaches, consider donating your time throughout the year. 

If your New Year’s Resolution is to do more good for the community (what a great resolution!) you could start strong in January by volunteering for the annual Point in Time Homeless Street Count. The count takes place January 31, 2018, and volunteers are needed to survey individuals experiencing homelessness. 

Results from the Point in Time (aka PIT) Count are utilized to leverage funding and bring more dollars into our community to help people stabilize their lives and move out of homelessness. Donating your time will help bring in money to many organizations that were on your Give Guide list and is an easy, safe way to learn about homelessness in our community. 

To volunteer go to lanecounty.org/homelesscount. 

Alex Dreher, Eugene 


Congressman Peter DeFazio greatly assisted me and solved the problem of high rent when my vet friend moved into the VA home at Lebanon a few months ago.

Yes, Congressman DeFazio is a great supporter of all veterans issues!

Please, Oregon voters, continue to support him — he could use your vote!

Stace Webb, Eugene



It is unfortunate and misleading for Jerry Ritter (Letters 12/21) to characterize Doug Jones as having a “far left agenda.” Jones received enough Republican support in his very conservative state to eke out a narrow victory in his recent Senate race in Alabama.

In fact, Jones is a moderate Democrat. Anyone who actually followed the race in Alabama knows this to be true. I don’t know if Ritter intends to color your thoughts with bogus rhetoric, or if it is that he has simply lost touch with reality.  In either case, it would serve your readers well to research the matter independently if they care to learn the truth, they certainly don’t get it by reading Mr. Ritter’s comments.

Doug Curry, Eugene


If Eugene voters are looking to eliminate waste in city government, they should start by slashing the bloated salary of the proposed city auditor. According to the ballot description, the “Auditor [would be] paid at least 70 percent of averaged salaries of Eugene and Salem City Managers and EWEB General Manger (approximately $153,000 in 2017), plus same benefit package as Eugene City Manager.”

He or she would be paid more the Lane County sheriff ($135,860), more than the mayor of Portland ($131,560) and definitely more than the governor of Oregon ($98,600). Most telling, the proposed Eugene city auditor would be paid more than Portland’s ($110,802), who manages a staff of 50 and a budget of $10 million.

I believe the city auditor would be the highest paid elected official in Oregon! I support cutting waste in city government and want to see more accountability and transparency. That is why I will be voting “no” on this half-baked proposal.

Ben Torres, Eugene


Love the idea of creating a more peaceful and just world by focusing on kindness and love (“All Lives Matter, Etc.,” Letters, 12/14). I believe in this and the action the Dalai Lama refers to: ”Compassion is not enough, you must take action.”

Of course, opportunities abound for us in our daily lives to act with kindness and compassion. In addition, at this time in the world, poverty and unnecessary deaths are being cut down with the chance of being ended. Bipartisan legislation called the Reach Every Mother and Child Act has been introduced to make our efforts in this work more efficient and effective.

You can help this legislation pass by thanking Sen. Ron Wyden for cosponsoring Senate Bill 1730 and asking Sen. Jeff Merkley to the same. On the House side, thank Oregon Representatives Bonamici, Blumenauer, DeFazio and Schrader for cosponsoring House Bill 4022, and ask Rep. Greg Walden to join them.

This action will help save the lives of millions of mothers and children who die of preventable causes every year. What a great way to honor this season of goodwill!

Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Wash.


We need Measure 101 because it protects Medicaid, which provides healthcare for Oregon’s most vulnerable and provides funding to ensure every child in Oregon has a doctor and receives the regular check-ups
they need to stay healthy.

Kimm Carter, Veneta


Black lives matter spiritually. When we love universally, we develop compassion for all the individual parts. Loving and healing all the part supports the whole. Spirituality is both inclusive and specific.

Our responsibility is to remove the obstacles that prevent love from being fully present. Love is, but we must remove the obstacles that prevent it from fully manifesting in our world. There are no obstacles in the realm of pure love.

But in our world, we have constructed obstacles. And where there is any suffering, we all suffer. 

It would not be loving to attend a cancer rally and insist that all diseases matter. Black lives matter not to the exclusion of all other lives, nor as more important. Black lives need our specific, loving attention because, tragically, we have historically acted as if they don’t matter.

Love universally, act specifically.

Christopher and Deb Michaels, Eugene