Web Letters


Eliza Kashinsky is a fantastic leader in our community, and I wholeheartedly endorse her for City Council.

I first met Kashinsky when she was newly appointed to the Eugene Budget Committee. She reached out to me, in my capacity as co-chair of my neighborhood association, and scheduled a meeting to learn about our neighborhood concerns. A year later when I stood before City Council interviewing for my own seat on the budget committee, I specifically cited Kashinsky’s proactive community engagement as something I aspired to.

I received that appointment and now have two years of experience working closely with Kashinsky on the city budget. I cannot overstate how appreciative I am of her integrity and conviction, her intelligence, her compassion and her attention to detail.

The city issues that matter most to me are addressing our housing affordability crisis, providing shelter to our unhoused community and living up to the ideals of our climate ordinance with tangible action.

Addressing these issues productively will require leaders who are willing to make bold proposals, are able to navigate the system to implement them, are eager to engage with constituents and who will do the hard work we’ve elected them to do. We need people like Kashinsky.

I can understand why Kashinsky’s opponents don’t want to let this race be about the issues, where she’s clearly the strongest candidate. But it’s sad to see the final weeks of the campaign instead marred by false accusations. Kashinsky deserves better, and Eugene deserves Kashinsky.

Tai Pruce-Zimmerman



This is a turbulent time. The coronavirus and recent wildfires have shone a spotlight on the disparities in our communities. I have worked with the Latinx community in Lane County for almost 30 years as a case manager, nonprofit founder and executive director, adjunct professor and activist. During this time, there has never been Latinx leadership on the Lane County Board of Commissioners; however, the Latinx population has increased greatly since 1990.

Joel Iboa understands these inequities on a personal level. I met Iboa when he was 13 years old during my tenure as executive director of Huerto de la Familia (The Family Garden). He comes from a hard working and inspiring immigrant family. I have watched Iboa grow as a professional through his work with Beyond Toxics, his participation in committees and through his work at Causa. He has dedicated the past 10 years to improving our lives as community members, focusing on environmental issues and advancing the rights and quality of life of Latinx immigrants and Latinx people born in Lane County. Iboa understands the importance of thinking about issues from multiple perspectives and working for the betterment of everyone in our community. The time is now to vote for strong, young leadership. Please join me in voting for Iboa for Lane County Commission District 3.

Sarah Cantril



I am writing in support of Oregon’s 11th District Rep. Marty Wilde.

My oldest child is just about to turn 6. Her curious mind has always been piqued by ways we can make the world more fair for everyone, and how we can treat the Earth with respect. One afternoon, early in 2020 before the pandemic, Wilde knocked on our door. He wanted to hear our opinions and discuss what we can do in the community to make it the place we all want it to be. My daughter was very excited to meet him and share her opinions. Children best understand what they can see, and being able to speak with someone who is working on issues we talk about thoroughly sparked her interest.

Before the pandemic Wilde was doing in-person community outreach, and he is still showing up in all the virtual ways possible. He has responded directly to help many navigate unemployment claims, and is holding virtual town-hall meetings.

He is working on issues close to my heart, such as investing in education, expanding healthcare coverage for all, and addressing climate change. Wilde has already accomplished so much! I would love to see him re-elected. When the pandemic is over and it is once again appropriate, I can bring my daughter to one of those town-hall meetings and we can meet Wilde face-to-face again!

Bethany Drohmann



A group calling itself “Friends of WOW Hall” presents a slate of board candidates in lockstep with ideologies that aren’t based in reality, such as relying heavily on volunteers who would do jobs experienced staff have done for years. The Community Center for the Performing Arts loves our volunteers and won’t expect them to supplant staff. Some people need to work for pay, including volunteers.

 The CCPA was awarded Payback Protection Program assistance, which FOWH is adamantly opposed to, claiming it may need to be repaid. While no longer a concern, they’re still holding it up as potential financial malfeasance. View their petition on FriendsOfWOWHall.org.

 FOWH, threatening legal action, is pushing for an online voting service, which in a test proved to be unreliable, risking a flawed election. The CCPA is using precious resources to legally defend themselves. These “Friends” aren’t helping, but presenting more obstacles during a pandemic. What is their goal?

Please consider becoming a member and voting on Sunday, Oct. 25. For more information, visit WOWHall.org.

Sherry Franzen

McKenzie Bridge


This letter goes out to all the people who don’t wear masks. If we would have all worn masks this ordeal would have been over. I’ve been staying in my home since March 13.

And when I hear there are still people who don’t care about others, who don’t wear masks to make some sort of statement: You are selfish and don’t care about people like me who have multiple sclerosis, who have a compromised immune system. This COVID could kill me, and you are reckless and endangering me.

 I want to come out of my house and have a life, but people like you don’t give a damn. This gets personal, I know you are out there going places, doing things, but I am stuck in my house. Why don’t you care about people like me? Why don’t you care about spreading the virus? You could test positive for the virus but not feel sick.

If you want to infect your family, kids, grandparents, parents, then you have every right to. But you don’t have the right to kill me.

Wear the friggin masks, people. It could save my life.

Diane DeVillers



Ummm, a 150 percent tax increase on tobacco? Enough already with government agencies relying on cigarette taxes as a go-to funding source. The proponents of Measure 108 are presenting this as if the sole intention is for smoking prevention and cessation, but if you look at the details, only 10 percent of the funding would go towards such programs. The rest goes to “support the Oregon Health Plan.” What does that mean?

Oregon already received almost $340 million in FY 2020 from cigarette taxes but only used $9 million of that towards smoking prevention/cessations programs. So where did the rest of that money go? Why do they need more? My hunch is that there’s a gap in the OHP budget and apparently the wealthy corporations (such as Providence Health System) don’t want to pay higher taxes to contribute to filling that gap. This is despite the fact that their revenue has substantially increased in the past several years, and they already pay no business income taxes or property taxes.

Why not just spend more of the already existing cigarette revenue to address youth smoking (which has already decreased significantly since the smoking age went from 18 to 21) and stop trying to enact more regressive taxes that disproportionately affect the poor? The current federal and state tax of $2.34 per pack already pays for the “sins” of smokers. Taxes should not be selective and punitive, especially if they hurt the poorest among us the hardest.

Rachael Morrison



For anyone who has ever experienced the unparalleled clarity of Waldo Lake, the ruggedness of the Kalmiopsis, the French Pete arm of Three Sisters and so many other iconic places, we must give deep gratitude to the late Jim Weaver, who represented Oregon’s 4th Congressional District in the ’70s and ’80s and helped usher in much needed, permanent protection for these areas. Against difficult odds, he advanced wilderness, not just for this generation but for those to come, and it is comforting to know that these unique landscapes will be forever safeguarded from the jaws of industrialization.

May his legacy inspire more wilderness and wild and scenic advocacy and future congressional action to permanently protect the outstanding, yet unprotected, wildlands and waterways of our incredible state.

Josh Laughlin

Executive Director, Cascadia Wildlands


FREEMAN ROWE (9/28/1930 – 10/7/2020)

I moved to the Eugene area in late 1982, a refugee from the urban-blight madness of Southern California. I quickly became enthralled with the natural beauty and bounty of the Pacific Northwest and within a few years had taken Freeman Rowe’s classes on mushrooms (twice) and field botany at Lane Community College.

Oh sure, lots of us have. The kicker for me was that, long story short, Freeman was directly responsible for changing the course of my life.

Besides fueling my enthusiasm for the natural world with his own infectious enthusiasm as well as a well-honed ability for making just about anything he taught interesting and easy to understand, at the end of the field botany class in ’87, Freeman steered me into what became a seasonal volunteer position on a northern spotted owl monitoring crew.

As a professional mechanic who was taking these classes solely for personal enrichment, I didn’t think there was any way I would even be considered for, let alone accepted into, the program. I gave it a shot, and I was. I expected to be tasked with cleaning the office or some such while the real crew were out doing actual field work. But on my very first day on the job, I held a spotted owl in my hands.

My life hasn’t been the same since. A transition from turning wrenches to wandering in the woods looking at, and for, plants and animals, I completed a degree in wildlife science and am a wildlife field biologist, bringing along a rather well-honed knack for repairing or improving just about any equipment we use.

Thank you, Freeman.

Richard Leach



OK, neighbors, cast your distracted minds in this direction for five seconds.

Health care. Untether Oregon from the national debacle and save money. Millions of dollars for the state and for us.

How? The plan exists. Take the original Oregon Health Plan, developed by two doctors in the Oregon legislature in the early 1990s. The original Oregon Health Plan was unconventional and effective — thoroughly Oregonian, like the Oregon bottle bill and public beach access of the Tom McCall era.

 Now give it an update to make it financially sustainable using incentives based on respect for human nature and individual responsibility.

Done, thanks to Sean Scorvo, a retired physician running for Oregon House District 23. Scorvo would make a terrific representative in Salem. Smart, creative, articulate, open-minded.

If you want even more to fill your distracted minds, head to SeanScorvo.com.

Evelyn Lee



I am running for the Community Center for the Performing Arts Board (CCPA, aka WOW Hall) with others on the Friends of WOW Hall slate who want to save this valuable community owned facility for all. In 2019, monthly budget deficits as high as 400 percent occurred routinely due to risky booking and insufficient board oversight. Yet some current WOW Hall board and staff falsely claim Friends of WOW Hall are enemies who want to end its music shows. In fact FOWH wants to continue music shows but without taking on major financial risks as has been the tendency in recent years trying to compete with commercial venues.

As recommended by the University of Oregon’s 2014 SWOT report, (see FriendsofWowHall.org), FOWH wants the focus to be more on carrying out CCPA’s 501c3 non-profit mission on “providing cultural arts and educational opportunities for all ages and income levels.” More diverse programming will serve and bring back the greater community. During the pandemic we have to be creative, finding new uses for the space with live stream concerts and COVID safe classes.

As is the case nationally, substantial participation is needed for the 6pm, Sunday, Oct. 25 online board election. Overwhelming support for competent FOWH board candidates can overcome the recent imprudent board decision against using a fair, independent online election process. Only members vote by donating at least $15 at WOWHall.org/donate/become-wow-hall-member.

See FOWH candidate statements and Zoom log-in information for the 10/25 election at FriendsofWowHall.org.

David Zupan



 Some months ago I declared as a candidate for the Board of Directors for the Community Center for the Performing Arts (the WOW Hall). I’m well qualified, having served on the boards of AFM Local 689, Eugene Peace Works and the CCPA itself. Most of my professional life has been in music and education, two core activities of the CCPA.

 Like other candidates endorsed by the Friends of WOW Hall , a members group, I support the following: The hall should serve and include all ages, children, youth, adults and elders. The hall should be available to local artists and organizations. The hall should conduct its business modestly with the intent of being able to give back to the community. The hall should serve as a meeting space for groups within our community, especially those concerned with justice and equality. The hall should remain free of debt and encumbrance.

 For my own part, I’d like to see the offices cleaned up and have Occupy Medical do health checks for children. I’d like to stop isolating ourselves from other nonprofits and arts organizations, instead working together with them in our common interests.

 I haven’t been able to discuss these or other issues with the current board because they will not speak to me or answer emails. The last I heard from them was an email, copied to the full board, asking me to withdraw my candidacy.

Chico Schwall



I am writing about the new Lane Council of Government’s bus. The COVID situation occurred in March, right after it had been announced that there would be flag stops on this bus along West Highway126. That would’ve been perfect.

There are stores open now. So we tried this bus. No flag stops, he wasn’t friendly. We were charged $5 each to go from Eugene to Veneta. This is the same price as to Florence from Eugene. The LCOG bus is said to cost $1 to go from Mapleton to Florence. The LTD buses to Veneta were free at this time. This bus has four stops: Eugene,Veneta, Mapleton and Florence. No flag stops, yet.

This is falling way short of the full spectrum of plans that should be implemented to truly take advantage of a bus system in such a rural area.

Many can’t drive, many more wouldn’t if they didn’t have to. The right thing to do should be to make it easier for everybody to take the bus. If a school bus can stop there, then this little bus can, too.

How are we gonna save our planet without bus stops, come on! We need your help to organize an honorable transportation system. Write to Rep. Peter DeFazio and also ADRCLane@lcog.org to show your interest in a more user-friendly bus system. Come on people, let’s not lose our momentum.

Everlynn Gladiola



I’ve been thinking a lot about how successfully we’re waging the battle against global warming. Most of us are trying to consume less and re-use more, but the Amazons and Wayfairs make it so easy to shop from our recliners.

We know we should walk, bike or take the bus, but it’s so easy to just hop in the car whenever we want. Maybe next time.

And it’s so easy to unconsciously idle our vehicles in the drive-thru lanes instead of turning off the engine when waiting to move forward. That’s millions of cars spewing fumes across the nation at all hours. This is my pet peeve du jour. Be honest: Will you join me and commit to idle no longer than 15 seconds at a time in drive-thru lines?

I was watching and marveling today as a spider spun an amazing web outside the kitchen window. S/he knew how and where to anchor the ends of the frame and then started going around and around with that one strand maybe a hundred circles affixing it to each starburst filament. Methodical. Inspiring.

What if we endeavored to pay attention to our higher calling with the determination of that little spider? That’s what it will take to gather people around us and save our vibrant planetary community.

Graham Hoyt Lewis



How could one not be convinced that we are in the midst of a coup unfolding in slow motion? It started in colonial times and has been formed over time out of fake news. No stone of deceit or delusion has been left unturned. The right to vote in a free and fair election is being manipulated out of the hands of well-meaning people. Now the new, soon to be seated supreme court justice refused to utter a simple “yes” to assure a peaceful transition of power. The moving Sharpie writes and, having writ moves on, until consent becomes the goal and responsibility of the governed. No “respond-ability”? Sorry, no democracy.

Richard Gross



If a Supreme Court leads by example, what’s with Amy Coney Barrett’s husband “speaking in tongues”? What does that brand of Christianity lead to?

 Recently pardoned by Trump, Roger Stone hired Proud Boys as his private army of fascist bodyguards, just another tip of Trump’s criminal landfill, right?

 How do Republicans explain Trump’s sons — Jr. and Eric — wanting to hold a campaign rally at a gun store in Michigan that employed one of the white terrorists who planned to kidnap and execute the governor?

Using actual science, China has the ravages of COVID-19 under control. Life apparently isn’t as backwards for Communist central planning as here in the capitalist jungles of America.

Trump’s America means he doesn’t pay taxes while telling poor folks it’s “Every man for himself.” We continue to die by the thousands, and our leaders speak in forked tongues.

Glenn Jones



If Oregon had its own healthcare plan like we did in the 1990s, we wouldn’t need to watch with dread the national churn over the Supreme Court ruling in November that threatens to upend millions of lives.

Today a candidate for Oregon House District 23, Sean Scorvo, offered his take on a healthcare plan for Oregon. Scorvo is a retired physician and native Oregonian who admires common sense, non-partisan approaches.

Scorvo’s plan starts with the original Oregon Health Plan developed by two doctors in the Oregon legislature in the 1990’s. The plan was innovative, effective and full of common sense.

To bring that plan back to life now with financial sustainability, Scorvo added provisions based on everyday knowledge of human nature and the concept of personal responsibility, the same ideas that shape laws pertaining to drunk driving, for example.

If Scorvo is elected to the Oregon House from District 23, we would have a courageous, pragmatic representative who works tirelessly for his constituents and all of Oregon.

Rann Millar



I support Joel Iboa for District 3 County Commissioner.

While not a resident of District 3, I recognize the importance of Iboa’s leadership for all of us through his understanding of the intersections of racial, social and environmental problems, and his responsiveness to those problems through coalition building.

As a native of Eugene and son of immigrants, Iboa offers leadership grounded in personal awareness of community challenges and informed by his wide-ranging experiences, including as Chair of the Governor’s Environmental Task Force and Chair of Eugene’s Human Rights Commission.

Iboa has led successful campaigns for fairness, specifically concerning the protection of Oregon’s sanctuary status and making driver’s licenses accessible for all who fulfill reasonable requirements, regardless of citizenship documents.

During my own involvement in these campaigns, I witnessed Joel’s disciplined strategy and his commitment to legislation that protects the rights of all, no matter where they were born, prioritizing what connects us as families and community members.

I have learned through Iboa’s leadership how defending immigrant rights is defending the common good.

Iboa is a leader of and for the people, and he needs to be at the table as a Commissioner of Lane County.

Carter McKenzie



“We live in a time where rising temperatures, drought and wildfires are the new norm. In the face of the biggest threat to our future, our federal and state government is stuck in a state of inaction. Lane County needs an emergency climate action plan grounded in justice and equity.” These are the words of Joel Iboa, who is running for District 3 County Commissioner in the local November election.

Iboa has an impressive track record of accomplishment in our community and the vision and action plan we so deeply need. His platform is about climate justice, healthy affordable homes and safe streets. He understands the importance and advocates for our often underrepresented community members- which is essential in moving forward into a more sustainable future.

If you are not already familiar with Iboa please check out his website at JoelIboa.com

His campaign is grass roots, people powered. I got involved volunteering for his campaign because I have seen and met Iboa out in the community at rallies and events advocating for social and environmental justice and bringing a much needed voice to people and issues that way too often fall through the cracks.

Iboa is the right candidate for this important government seat in our community.

Alex York



Every student deserves to feel safe in their own school. Whether they are online or in-person, no one should have to fear going to class because of bullying.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for my son at our brick-and-mortar schools. He has dyslexia and his needs weren’t met in his special education program. On top of that, he was bullied following a hip surgery that temporarily put him in a wheelchair.

As a teacher at Oregon Virtual Academy I knew he needed a new solution. I enrolled him at my school, and the change he’s seen is amazing. Now, he’s making lasting relationships with a few of his teachers who are kind and supportive.

Every student deserves a school that works for them. With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, let’s come together and put an end to bullying so every student has a safe learning environment.

Heather Colbert



Alek Skarlatos has been anointed by the Republican establishment to run against 4th District Congressman Peter DeFazio. Candidate Skarlatos represents the Republicans’ usual lowest common denominator standards of celebrity notoriety and having held no elective office. How this equips him with the legislative experience and knowledge DeFazio already has is beyond me.

Case in point: DeFazio recently secured an emergency declaration to provide immediate emergency assistance for Oregonians devastated by forest fires. In addition, he obtained a major disaster declaration that provides more long-term assistance to Oregon and impacted families. No freshman representative could hope to have that level of influence to get these aid packages implemented so quickly. Given the ravages of the pandemic and the devastation to our communities, it is imperative that Oregon 4th District voters retain Congressman Defazio.

Pat Reilly



Rep. Peter DeFazio’s opponent, Alek Skarlatos, continues to try to distance himself from his previous statements about President Donald Trump in order to appeal to moderate voters in our district. Do not be fooled. In December 2019, Skarlatos fundraised for Trump and donated the profits to Trump’s campaign. He joined Team Trump in the 2016 primaries and has continued to toe the Trump line, while knowing Trump’s racist stereotypes and his push to move America away from democratic self-governance.

DeFazio’s opponent, like Trump, wants to take away our healthcare. He has stated on his campaign website that he wants to privatize our veterans’ healthcare with vouchers and move Americans’ healthcare to the marketplace, leaving it open to price gouging. His opponent also wants to overturn Roe v. Wade and defund Planned Parenthood, an organization that provides needed healthcare to 1.5 million Americans. In contrast, DeFazio has been working for decades to protect and improve Oregonian’s healthcare.

I am voting for DeFazio because he is the only candidate in the race who has a consistent record of fighting for Oregonians and standing up to the Trump Administration. Please join me in voting for our congressman by November 3.

Don Corson



Re-elect Emily Semple! She has done an outstanding job as a city councilor. She is a hard worker, experienced and an advocate to meet the challenges facing Eugene. I have worked with Semple through a citizen group, CRUP (Citizens for Responsible Use of Plastic) and through the Eugene Sustainability Commission, to implement and promote climate action and zero waste practices in Eugene. She understands issues, impacts and what it takes to get things done.

Semple has been a staunch advocate for sustainability of people, planet and prosperity. Semple serves as liaison to the City Council, from the Sustainability Commission and interacts directly with stakeholders including citizen groups, to put forward proactive environmental legislation. Semple championed Eugene’s Climate Action plan, recent polystyrene ban (enacted 2020) and condiments/utensils/straws upon request (enacted 2019). She continues to demonstrate her commitment to environmental issues and the overall sustainability for Eugene.

Semple is dedicated to enacting the city’s Climate Action plan and to furthering climate action and zero waste initiatives that will save businesses money and reduce environmental impacts of plastics. Semple has also been a staunch advocate for homeless people and challenges facing people of color. We are at a critical time, and Semple’s leadership and demonstrated experience has shown her commitment to Eugene, to her ward and to the future of a sustainable Eugene. Vote for Semple.

Karyn Kaplan



I recently acted outside my comfort zone and volunteered to make campaign calls for state Rep. Marty Wilde, one of 60 state representatives. His office assisted me personally with an unemployment issue, and I wanted to pay it forward. I discovered that many people don’t know who he is, and that people generally do not like campaign calls.

Maybe individual experience is a defining factor of whether or not we care about who represents us; whether we feel personally impacted by the government officials that we vote for. There are many things that this current political climate has taught me. One is that We The People would benefit from being more familiar and engaged with those we elect to serve.

Rep. Wilde has spent his life in service to America, from 26 years in the military to his current work as a legislator and so much more. His re-election ensures he can continue this service. One thing you should believe is that Wilde genuinely cares. Take a few minutes to meet Wilde at WildeForOregon.com. See his smile and read his story. He works hard for you, for Oregon. I am voting for Wilde.

Michelle Souder