Web Letters – Election Edition


As the Eugene public knows, City Councilor Emily Semple has served with diligence and distinction during her first term. She is super hard-working, and she represents Ward 1 and the citizens of Eugene every week without exception. She is a neighborhood advocate, and she is unfailingly available to hear peoples’ concerns and seek solutions.

Re-electing Councilor Semple best-serves the interests of all of Eugene, but Ward 1 knows that she is our councilor.

Ron Bevirt



 At last we find out why the Republican Party has been so involved in voter suppression in our country. Their current spokesperson, President Donald Trump, made that very clear on Fox News when he commented on efforts by Democratic legislators to increase access for voters during the pandemic including voting by mail: “That doesn’t work out well for Republicans.” He also said, “You’d never have a Republican elected in this country again” if voter access was increased.

Voting is the hallmark of our democracy, and now it’s being controlled by conservative courts and legislatures. The Wisconsin conservative legislative majority and Supreme Court refused to honor the Democrat governor’s request to extend and allow more absentee voting by voters worried about going to the polls in its primary. They insisted voters show up at the polls in person in order to vote during the pandemic. With the Trump-loaded U.S. Supreme Court ready to vote on key issues that can facilitate or help destroy our democratic ideals on the horizon, I, like many freedom lovers who cherish our rights, am scared of what the future holds.

Hal Huestis



As I came of age, I turned to Lane Community College for high quality education. It gave me a low-cost way to get ahead, a place to develop skills that I use in my career today. LCC gave me a leg up, and now they’re asking for us to give them a leg up. I’m asking you to join my family in supporting the LCC bond this May, and here is why.

The LCC bond, if passed, will be the first bond in our county that contains a “Community Benefits Agreement.” It ensures that a much-needed on-campus health professions facility will have funds to be built in a way that helps our economy and creates opportunities for young people in the construction industry. It ensures that public dollars are invested locally, and that the folks who build the new buildings are paid fairly and have health insurance. 

LCC got me through the last economic crisis, and it is poised to do the same for many Oregonians. 

Vote “yes” for LCC to rebuild our economy and retrain our workforce. 

Kevin Cronin



Many Oakridge citizens such as myself have been extremely frustrated with increased crime in our community and the lack of prosecution. In talking to officers and reviewing public records I’ve seen a clear pattern: The majority of arrests go unpunished because the current Lane County District Attorney drops most charges, especially drug crimes, so they can’t get treatment either.

Criminals are well aware that the current D.A. doesn’t care about small communities with a minute voting base. This has opened the floodgates for drug users and thieves to flock to these “Wild West” towns.

While I’d hate to see my community lose a truly outstanding police officer, I know that in the bigger picture, electing James Cleavenger as district attorney would greatly benefit all of Lane County. He’s already known for being a whistleblower on corruption. His fight against a corrupt police department years ago nearly cost him everything, yet he kept fighting because it was the right thing to do.

Cleavenger is taking on another huge battle in running against the current D.A., whose “good ole boys” roots run deep. I’d encourage everyone in Lane County to vote Cleavenger for D.A. if we want to finally see some change in prosecution.

Brock Butterfield



I am hoping your weekly and readers will endorse as I do a fantastic candidate for Lane County District Attorney. This superior candidate is absolutely James Cleavenger. He is a man who will balance fairness and justice with his extensive experience in all facets of the criminal justice system. He has worked for the courts, is a keen attorney, has been on the front line as a police officer in several jurisdictions, and has even stood up to corruption as a plaintiff and won. An Oregon Peace Officers Association medal of honor recipient and current Oakridge police officer, James will include this vital experience as our next D.A. Cleavenger’s integrity and commitment to transparency and fairness are unsurpassed and resolute. 

Our county’s top attorney should not be a person who does an “OK” job while being hand-picked by her predecessor. This practice must stop. Do we really want to elect somebody unwilling to commit to an entire term? Would an employer hire an employee who says they may or may not stick around to do the job? 

Cleavenger is hungry and excited about serving our county and will bring vigor, transparency and the progressive management sorely missed in this important office. He will balance compassion and common sense with a toughness on crime, all while managing his staff brilliantly.

I encourage all Lane County residents to look at the facts and vote smartly for your next district attorney. Vote for the best candidate. Vote for James Cleavenger. 

Michael J. Kello



When I heard that Randy Groves was running for City Council, I remembered two incidents that strongly recommended him for public service. The first was a Eugene City Club program that happened several years ago. Groves, then the fire chief of Eugene, and the fire chief from Springfield gave a compelling explanation of why the two fire departments should merge. I was impressed that two people who led important independent agencies were willing to forego the rewards of controlling their own departments in the interests of greater efficiency and public safety. They were right, and we have one department now. I liked the way Groves thought.

The second incident happened later. The small charter school where I was principal was meeting in a downtown building that needed some work. Groves’ agency inspected the building and determined that for our use, the building was sadly inadequate in fire prevention and suppression systems. We could not continue offering classes at that site until the essential upgrades had been made. We arranged for the fixes to happen, but were obliged to move entirely out of the space for the few weeks it would take. Groves offered us a meeting room at the firehouse at 13th and Willamette. He showed both firmness about the requirements of safety and compassion about the needs of students.

The qualities of character shown in these incidents, coupled with a long and distinguished record of public service, have earned my vote for Groves.

Mary Leighton



Please vote for Johanis Tadeo for Springfield City Council. I have worked with him for several years as part of SAFER (Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect).

Tadeo is energetic and extremely committed to Springfield. He grew up here and is a product of our Springfield public schools. He gets along well with everyone, from elderly white people to young Latinx people. He spearheaded the successful campaign to end the ICE contract with the Springfield Jail.

Through his work at building bridges among communities, he helped convince the city council to unanimously support ending the contract. We need his skills at uniting people, his vision for uplifting the Latinx community and his youthful, positive energy on the Springfield City Council.

Jennifer Potter



Eugene needs another term from Ward 1 City Councilor Emily Semple.

Councilor Semple has walked the fine line of being a strong advocate and voice for the unhoused while also responding to the concerns and voices of businesses and residents.

Councilor Semple fully understands the need for affordable housing and works well with neighborhoods to help bridge the liveability of each of our unique neighborhoods with the need for more affordable housing.

We need Councilor Semple’s experience, we need her advocacy for all of Eugene and we need her ideas and her work to solve the big problems in Eugene..

Please vote for Semple, Ward 1.

Margie James



I endorse Ryan Moore’s candidacy for the Ward 8 seat of the Eugene City Council without reservation. Moore brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table. In addition to Moore’s extensive governmental experience in the Oregon State Legislature, the city of Eugene’s Budget Committee, as a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention and his work with the Lane County Drug Treatment Court, Moore has a strong background in community activism. He has advocated for enhanced mental health services, stronger tenants’ rights and decisive action to combat climate change.

He will bring a fresh perspective to the City Council and will continue to work tirelessly on the issues that matter most to Eugenians. 

In addition to his professional expertise, Moore embodies sincerity and compassion. He consistently displays kindness and empathy in his everyday actions. His integrity is boundless, he gives selflessly and he is universally admired and loved by those who know him well. 

Do not hesitate to vote for Moore in Oregon’s primary election. Moore is simply the best candidate to represent Ward 8 on the Eugene City Council. 

Emily S. Hill



Like many of you, I’m worried about the future and how our city will recover from the global pandemic. As a local small business owner and elected school board member, I know what it will take for the public and private sectors to work together and rebuild our local economy. Having qualified and thoughtful leadership at the city council level is more important now than ever.

I am supporting Randy Groves because he has the experience and proven leadership to tackle our community’s challenges. He was Eugene’s fire chief and an emergency service consultant for cities around the country. He has the experience we are going to need as we move into recovery from this national disaster that is COVID-19. Groves knows how to position our city to support our recovery and he’s already proven that he can work effectively to bring people together for the good of all.

Groves will get to work on day one. As our community begins to come out of this lockdown phase and look to find solutions for problems we can’t imagine yet, I want someone like Groves looking out for all of our residents.

I urge you to join me in supporting Groves for Eugene City Council

Anne Marie Levis

Chair, Eugene School District 4J Board


On March 3, I attended the Southeast Neighbors Candidate Forum, where the two candidates for City Council Ward 2, Kate Davidson and Matt Keating, made presentations about their respective candidacies. I was much impressed by Davidson’s command of facts and statistics, her knowledge of the ward and her ability to answer questions in an informed and direct manner. I came away from that meeting with a strong feeling that Davidson was the better candidate.

I am bothered by the fact that all the “big players” have endorsed Keating, who only recently moved into Ward 2. (See Eugene Weekly, “Looking for Just the Right Ward,” 10/17/2019.) It made me wonder, is Keating using this race as a stepping stone to higher office? I have no such doubts about Davidson, who has lived in Ward 2 for 18 years and has raised her children here. She has chaired crucial civic committees, including the Human Services Commission Budget and Planning Committee, and the City of Eugene Community Development Block Grant Committee. Most important, she served as Chair of the Southeast Neighborhood Association, contributing to her in-depth knowledge of Ward 2 issues. Davidson is one of our own, and we deserve to be represented by someone with a longstanding and sincere commitment to Ward 2.

Ronald T. Shaheen



I am putting my support for Ward 1 behind Emily Semple. She worked passionately on trying to protect South Willamette from extremist groups such as WeCan that want to overbuild and ruin property owner protections.

Semple has always fought to help the unhoused in finding livable and safe shelter. She has also worked to provide protections for private property through trespassing enforcement. I believe Semple will continue supporting stronger enforcement regarding property crimes and citizen safety.

Semple is one of the strongest advocates for finding resolutions for affordable housing. Zoning issues need to be protected while seeking a responsible solution. “Building up” is a nice goal while protecting the Urban Growth Boundary. However, this needs to be in rational locations in the city, such as downtown, near the heart of the city, not in neighborhoods with established single family homes. 

Vic Hariton



It was a great pleasure to see Emily Semple’s picture featured in the article about her neighborhood’s hand sanitizer project. Whether in a time of crisis or not, Semple has always taken on causes that really resonate with both the people in her ward and throughout the city, including pressing matters such as homelessness, housing affordability, and a range of environmental issues. Her strong advocacy on behalf of neighborhood livability and viability continues to be critical for Eugene’s residents.

Beyond her interest and advocacy for some of the most urgent problems of the day, Semple has consistently shown herself to be an extremely dedicated and hard working city councilor. She meets frequently with her constituents, representatives of special interest groups, city staff members and countless others. Most importantly, one realizes that Semple is a great listener. She is open minded and asks great questions as I have experienced numerous times sitting across the table from her discussing a wide range of issues. I admire her greatly for critiquing what she hears and forming her own independent view.

This kind of genuine and compassionate commitment to all Eugeneans in combination with her years of council experience make Semple a most desirable type of candidate. Re-electing her is the right move.

Carolyn Jacobs



Eugene urgently needs new City Council members who can bring fresh, creative and bold ideas to the table. That is why I am supporting Eliza Kashinsky for Eugene City Council Ward 1. Kashinsky and I worked together on the Active Transportation Committee. She is an energetic activist, who has worked tirelessly on community issues such as affordable housing and active transportation, since she came to Eugene 10 years ago. Kashinsky is intelligent, discerning and deliberative; she has excellent collaborative, organizational and interpersonal skills.

Kashinsky wants to address climate change, create more affordable housing, address the safety of our unhoused population and root causes of homelessness, and improve accountability of City leadership. She exhibits the commitment and dedication needed to get things done and enthusiastically tackles complex and difficult issues. I am continually impressed by Kashinsky’s compassion, drive and creativity to find workable solutions. She will make an excellent City Councilor. Please vote for Kashinsky, Ward 1.

Judi Horstmann



This may be the most critical time for the community to support its community college. Businesses are going through a trauma never before experienced. Unemployment has reached astronomical heights. Life is in a state of change. These are the conditions that make people look to their community college for help. Lane Community College has been offering that help since its founding in 1964. 

Our communities are also facing a pandemic, making us better appreciate our healthcare workers. Many of the nurses, EMTs, therapists and the like trained by our community colleges. Be thankful for the service provided by LCC. 

Founding President Dale Parnell, who spent years soliciting the support and funds to create Lane Community College, understood the value of LCC to the community. His mantra was simple, clear and relevant today.

Imagine yourself in a big accident, he would say. The first responder, maybe a police officer or an EMT, comes on the scene to provide emergency care. Probably trained at a community college. Then they help get you to the hospital where you are greeted by nurses. Probably trained at a community college. After your initial treatments by your doctors, your nurses and therapists help bring you back to health. Again, community college graduates.

How critical is your support for LCC? Your life may depend on it.

Pat Albright



Washington, D.C. is an absolute cesspool of corruption. Listen up, Democrats, it ain’t just the Republicans. The Democratic Party is nose deep in corruption, and 4th District Congressman Peter Defazio has become part of the machine. That’s why I’ll be voting for Doyle Canning.

While the Democratic Party is better than the Republican Party, that’s like saying that your dinner tasted better than dog poop. Both parties are owned and operated by the donor class. The health insurance corporations, the pharmaceutical corporations, Wall Street, Big Tech etc. spend hundreds of millions of dollars “contributing to,” i.e., buying, politicians. 

This pandemic has further exposed the grotesque for-profit healthcare system. Through industry lobbying groups, blood-sucking health insurance corporations are donating heavily to preserve their profits, including to DeFazio. If DeFazio wants voters’ support, he must stop taking money from corporate lobbying groups that work against the interest of ordinary people and loudly call out the corruption of his own party.

Canning has vowed not to take money from big corporate interests. She is an independent bold progressive who will fight to get money out of politics and give us a government that represents people instead of the rich and powerful.

Joshua Welch



Vice President Joe Biden, please take my advice, one old white guy to another: announce that you are going to run for only one four year term; and, if you can get her to agree, announce that Sen. Elizabeth Warren is your ticket’s Vice President nominee.

A Biden four-year-only presidential nomination with Warren as the VP nominee brings the Democratic Party together, helps down-ticket, allays Biden at 81 years old re-election bid fears, sets up Warren for eight more years of Democratic control, gains votes and energy from righteous pent-up ‘no woman president rage’ and is the best ticket to beat President Donald Trump! 

Thus, you’ll both be world-saving victorious and first-woman vice president glorious!

David Atman



Our community believes in prioritizing education, because education is the best investment in an individual. Lane Community College needs to repair and modernize their facilities, and that’s why we need to vote yes for the LCC bond this May.

First, the bond will help fix more than $90 million in maintenance needs. That is just smart and necessary — don’t let the buildings fall apart. 

The most exciting part is that the bond will improve LCC career and technical education facilities. This helps students find their path, in an interesting job that pays a family wage. 

With the bond, LCC will modernize 30-year-old science labs and build a manufacturing and technology center. We also have to modernize health-occupations training.

LCC needs the bond to update the nursing program and the dental hygiene, paramedic and medical assistant programs; they will expand the physical therapy assistant program and start classes to address local labor shortages in other health professions.

We can get students set for good jobs and a decent future. Everyone deserves opportunity.

Vote “Yes” for the LCC bond this May.

Joy Marshall





I support Lane Community College’s proposed bond. With the state Legislature not adequately funding education, local school districts and community colleges need to put bonds on the ballot. For a home of $300K, this is only an increase of $3 a month in taxes.

Some equate this to the cost of a cup of coffee or some other food comparison. While I understand that a lot of people don’t have these luxuries to give up, this is a cost I’m willing to pay. The college needs these funds to ensure we have educational programs that lead to good jobs and facilities that aren’t crumbling down around LCC students.

It’s been more than 10 years since LCC’s last bond, which shows they don’t take lightly the decision to ask us for more money. I appreciate that the college actually listened to feedback and decided to cut the amount of the bond from the original $145 million to a more reasonable $121.5 million.

It also matters to me that the college is prioritizing keeping the bond funds local and working to ensure that any people working on the awarded contracts receive a livable wage with benefits.

Tibor Bessko




After serving on the Eugene Symphony Board of Directors for the past 17 years, I was deeply aware of the pride, support and advocacy our community offered for the arts. Now, as I sit on the LCC Foundation Board, I again feel that same strength of support and pride for Lane Community College and all it offers our community. 

Please join the entire LCC Foundation Board along with the LCC Board of Education as they refer to a measure on the May 2020 ballot for a $121.5-million bond. This bond will enable LCC to address over $90 million in deferred maintenance and fund technology enhancements and upgrades to classrooms, labs and equipment. 

Did you know that LCC offers robust academic and vocational training for the following: RNs, LPNs, dental hygienists and assistants, paramedics and emergency responders, physical therapy assistants, medical coder and billers, massage therapist and phlebotomists.

LCC trains pilots, aviation maintenance techs, electricians, plumbers and carpenters, welders, diesel mechanics, chefs and hospitality managers. And LCC is now providing skilled workers in emerging fields in drone piloting and cyber security.

The big news? Ninety-five percent of the students that graduate and/or move through these certificate programs stay in Lane County. They seek employment at your businesses or serve you as you utilize local business. 

Mary Ann Hanson












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