OCF ACT OF KINDNESS
As Oregon Country Fair traffic left Monday morning, there was an RV from Nevada on a road that parallels Suttle (one OCF entrance); they were going really slow and appeared to be lost; then they stopped. I pulled in behind them to help them get back to a correct road. There was a vehicle behind me, but instead of getting upset, they pulled alongside the RV; I heard that yes, they were indeed trying to get back to Country Fair, and this vehicle driver offered to help the RV driver by simply following them to get back to the grounds. What a lovely act of kindness, I thought.
Then I thought about the impact that OCF has in our community, and I know (having gone myself) that people leave Country Fair having experienced love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
Think about this coincidence, folks. This list is also known as the Fruit of the (Holy) Spirit. And thank you, other vehicle driver, for your act of kindness.
LET THE FOURTH MEAN FREEDOM FROM DIVISIONS AMONG US
Today, July 4th, I’m thinking of my dad’s family of nine Norwegians being welcomed to the USA by the Statue of Liberty in 1890. The celebrations of our nation’s beginnings should include both remembering the positive and injurious ways we have used our freedom. Today more than ever, I, as a 94 year old RN, feel sad and concerned as we live, not united, but divided according to what group we are a part of. I am looking for reasons to find hope, not despair, remembering some voices that speak for justice, health, happiness and peace for all.
Ten years ago. I was one of 11,000 folks at the Mathew Knight arena when the Dalai Lama said, “Greetings, Sisters and Brothers,” reminding us that we are related and must work together for good. Jesuit priest Gregory Boyle shared his stories at The Shedd recently of how compassion and caring can bridge divides. My local Methodist Church has open doors and open hearts and works with many local agencies to provide homes and hope for the homeless.
My neighbors support each other through crisis situations as well as celebrating the good times. I am also finding reason for hope, not despair, as a member of Health Care for all Oregon, knowing that Senate Bill 1089 passed our state Legislature. This means that with a positive vote in 2026, our state will provide medical care for all.
Happy after 4th of July as we live each day united in sharing kindness and hope.
REJECT THE HOLVEY RECALL
I was dismayed to learn that a union has launched an effort to recall state Rep. Paul Holvey. This effort is driven by false claims that Holvey has made “repeated attacks on the livelihoods” of Oregon workers and “shown allegiance to large corporations.”
Holvey’s exemplary 20-year record of fighting for workers, consumers and small businesses forcefully refutes these claims. Having worked with him on numerous occasions as a labor and political activist, I have direct knowledge of his many legislative achievements.
As a union carpenter with deep roots in the labor movement, Holvey worked diligently to create new standards, protections and opportunities that have improved the lives of working Oregonians. He led efforts to increase the state minimum wage, offer paid sick leave to Oregon workers, provide farm workers with overtime pay and expand apprenticeship programs. He has fought to curtail predatory loan practices that harm consumers and sponsored legislation that granted small businesses tax relief to help them during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. His career has been marked by a rare combination of persistence, passion and principle that have earned him the respect of his colleagues and his constituents.
In the words of a famous labor song, Holvey has always known “which side” he is on. Voters in District 8 should reject this ill-advised recall campaign and stand in solidarity with one of Oregon’s finest and most effective elected officials.
INVESTIGATE THE EMERALDS PROJECT
My! That was quite a sales piece for the Eugene Emeralds. A new stadium is proposed for the Fairgrounds, co-existing for years with a relatively quiet neighborhood, but no mention was made of that or the mega changes that would come. I had to laugh at the sentence that included “restaurants, hotels and retail establishments near the stadium will flourish.” There are none of those in this residential neighborhood. How many houses will have to go to create these places to flourish?
This proposal is highly controversial, and I urge Eugene Weekly to do an investigative piece looking at both sides. Jefferson Neighborhood Association can easily provide interviewees on both sides — and there are two sides. Commercial vs. residential. Let your readers hear more than the promotional piece.
Editor’s note: There are always more than two sides. And we run opinion pieces, just like this letter, on topics that matter to the community.
STOP SUPPORTING NW NATURAL
The Oregon Public Utilities Commission notified NW Natural fossil gas utility in June that its long term plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would not be sufficient in meeting the state climate goals. NW Natural’s integrated resource plan, which is required to be submitted every two years by all utilities, is an outline by the utility of a path to meet Oregon’s climate goals while still maintaining reasonable customer rates. The fossil gas utility has increased rates 25 percent over the last two years.
The Climate Protection Plan adopted by Gov. Kate Brown and the State Department of Environmental Quality requires all utilities to reduce GHG emissions 90 percent by 2050. Currently, electrical provider EWEB receives 90 percent of its energy from clean sources and hopes to be at 95 percent by 2030. NW Natural relies on renewable natural gas (RNG), a biomass made from decomposing organic matter such as landfills, wastewater treatment and animal feedlots as a source for reducing its carbon footprint. However, the Oregon Department of Energy stated that there is less than 17 percent of RNG available. NW Natural receives no RNG currently within the state and a minimal amount from out of state. This imported RNG requires carbon intensive transportation which negates the offset and costs five times as much as fossil gas.
In the next few years, as fossil gas costs increase, pressure to meet carbon reduction goals using RNG increase, and more fossil gas customers switch to more efficient electric heat pumps, remaining fossil gas customers can see their monthly costs increase as they prop up NW Natural.
RFK JR. SHAKY ON THE FACTS
I watched a tape of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Greta Van Susteren’s program on NewsMax. In this appearance, Kennedy said both China and the U.S. are developing bioweapons which will target people according to their race. He stated this as a fact.
One thing that calls this into question is that there is no agreement that it is even possible to develop such a weapon. Maybe something using DNA markers as a guide, but it is all theoretical. And there is a lot of genetic variation within a race of people, anyway. But Kennedy says this is a fact that this is going on. And so a man who wants to be president of the United States is saying that our intelligence agencies are trying to create a virus which will kill certain races of people — which seems to be a ridiculous and ignoble slur.
NO CLUSTER BOMBS
Everyone, deep in their heart, knows that state-supported violence, terror and murder have always been wrong. We should reject that war should be an exception to our moral norm. But even given the cruelty of war, countries have agreed via treaties that certain weapons and practices are so abhorrent that they are absolutely not acceptable, even within war. Cluster bombs are among these.
The U.S. would be taking the lowest possible moral route if it decides to donate its stockpile of cluster bombs, eschewed by most countries as irredeemable weapons due to their sheer nastiness: up to 60 percent of the deaths they cause are to children, even killing them years after a war is over.
Theoretically the U.S. supports Ukraine due to our values. Does this low dip in conscience reflect U.S. values? International allies do not support the use of cluster bombs. Do we love life? Or does the U.S. love its military industry?