IN MY OPINION, THESE TWO AREN’T NEWSPAPERS
I live in Florence and read the local paper, The Register-Guard and Eugene Weekly for my print paper fix. Today, I read in the RG the corporate heads have decided that the existing comics are not what their readers want. The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back.
The RG and the Siuslaw News have committed both the opinion and the letters sections to the graveyard. Two items that in my opinion are a must have to be a legitimate newspaper.
Thank you, EW, for your format allowing the letters and various other items of interest that constitute a newspaper.
I am done with the other two.
WHO WILL ENFORCE AN E-SPEED LIMIT?
I noted a letter to the editor (“Why Ban E-bikes on Bike Paths?” Sept. 21) that was disappointed and frustrated that the city was banning e-bikes on the North Bank. They believed that speed limits would be sufficient to provide safety for walkers and other bicyclists.
What I have noticed in using the path is that many e-bikers ignore those signs and put others at great risk in doing so. I’ve also noticed that a number of e-bikers appear to be using the paths not for recreation but for quickly getting from one part of town to another and treat the mixed use paths as a transportation artery. Many are not respectful of others on the trail and do not warn others when they are approaching from behind.
With the speed they are traveling it is certain that eventually someone will be killed or severely injured, if it hasn’t happened already. Safety first, folks. I applaud the city’s action and hope that it will be enforced, which is a whole other issue.
THE CONSTITUTION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER
I have enjoyed reading Eugene Weekly for years. As the last independent community news source, I depend on it to follow certain issues. I especially like reading the theater reviews. The play What the Constitution Means to Me (reviewed Sept. 21) is especially relevant now, because we need to understand it to prevent another attempt at fascism. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment prohibits Trump from ever holding any public office again.
I would, however, like to correct the statement in the review about “the rights provided to the People.” Our rights were retained by us, not provided to us by the government. We formed our government to serve us by giving it the power to perform only four functions: “insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of Liberty.”
The 10th Amendment makes it clear to the federal government that the only powers it has are those delegated to it by the people and the Constitution. All other powers are reserved for the states and the people.
While it’s true that the Constitution was written by white men who owned property, it was also written to be able to change with the will of the people. It’s important to remember that the Constitution protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority. The Constitution is the only protection that liberals, progressives and socialists have. Please consider taking the oath to “defend the Constitution from enemies, both foreign and domestic.”
LANE COUNTY MENTAL HEALTH COULD STEP IN
Like many others, I am sorry to see the mental health crisis program at PeaceHealth University District branch at risk. Despite protests by Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis and others, PeaceHealth is losing so much money on the University District branch that it may be forced to close it anyhow. It has asked the Oregon Health Authority for a waiver to keep its mental health crisis program operating until the new Stabilization Center is opened in 2024, but it’s not certain this can be done.
Since money is the key issue, why not transfer the mental health crisis function back to Lane County Mental Health where it once was? Instead of PeaceHealth maintaining an expensive mental health crisis staff of its own, Lane County Mental Health could provide the service at no extra charge. They simply rotate their staff through day and night shifts of crisis duty without extra pay by giving them compensatory time off. I am retired with over 30 years of experience in providing mental health services. I have worked for several programs who followed this plan successfully. Why make this more difficult than it needs to be?
Michael E. Sturman
EUGENE NEEDS A NEW HOSPITAL
The closing of the University District PeaceHealth hospital leaves a city of more than 171,000 residents without an emergency department. There could be significant outcomes to one’s long-term health when the difference in time of travel to obtain emergency care extends from a trip of 10 minutes or less to one necessitating greater than 20 minutes. There are many wonderful reasons for living in the city of Eugene; however, the realization that the city does not have its own hospital could also pose a challenge to bringing in new citizens.
Instead of looking to build a new stadium for our entertainment, perhaps Eugene needs a stronger governmental voice to support bringing in a new hospital organization that will work to meet the needs of the community. I would certainly support a new mayor who immediately focuses on this monumentally important and somewhat urgent concern.
THE MAYOR IS NOT THE PROBLEM
Regarding the Sept. 21 letter “Eugene needs a new mayor,” I’d suggest instead that we need a more effective City Council. According to the city website, “The mayor serves as the city’s political head and chairperson of the council. She presides over City Council meetings but has no vote except in the case of a tie.” Conversely, “The City Council, Eugene’s legislative body, has eight members and is responsible for passing laws, setting community goals, adopting policy and deciding which services the city will provide.”
So, yes, no city hall for over 10 years, during which taxpayers paid millions to lease space all over the city, increasing homelessness, allowing ugly, expensive, monster apartment buildings built right up to the street, no room for trees or humans. One recent plus was to introduce the elimination of city development fees to create incentives to build low-income housing, hopefully in place of 10-year tax-exemptions. While I realize all of this isn’t the City Council’s responsibility alone, we need more positive action to keep our city livable. Thanks, City Council, for doing what you can to make that happen.
E-BIKES ARE FOR THE LAZY — AND WRECK THE ENVIRONMENT
With regards to “electric” letters (Sept. 21) by Charlie Loeb and Angi Gass:
Loeb: Given the dire news related to droughts, increasing in severity faster than experts anticipated, how will the extra surplus of hydropower magically appear to power this fad? The Mississippi River dropped so low that the ocean’s salinity encroached upstream, forcing the Army to supply 40 million gallons of bottled water to those in need. This same river was actually given serious consideration to re-route to the west in order to save us from ourselves. WTF?
Quoting Gass: “E-bike sales are growing faster than any other bike sales … [they] are good for the environment, good [for] out-of-shape people.”
The e-bike is another marketing ploy to mine the earth on behalf of yet another human product. It’s far from being an environmental and physical health improvement from the — now obsolete? — century-old, 100 percent sustainably human- (not lithium-) powered bike. Laziness is inherently built into an e-bike, as is our selfish lack of compassion towards the rest of the earth’s living systems. This human-induced, normalized, consumerist mentality is why the planet is on Gass’s “huge mistake” to ruin!
Be careful what you shop for: Three lithium mines are planned for the eastern Oregon/Great Basin desert. Their round-the-clock operations will not only destroy pristine habitat diversity, including threatened water sources and their dependent fish species, they will compromise the very last vestige of “dark sky” in the country! Globally, it, too, is literally considered a threatened resource.
SAFER NUCLEAR POWER IS POSSIBLE
I agree with the ad from 350 Eugene (Sept. 21) that we should say “no” to current plans for investing in nuclear power — but for a different reason. Nuclear power can be a viable gap filler while we transition from fossil fuels to carbon free energy production, but the proposed systems have unacceptable consequences, primarily the potential for melt-downs and the inability to store the radioactive waste that is dangerous for tens of thousands of years.
For a far safer nuclear power system, see Wikipedia’s entry on thorium-based nuclear power. China and India are far ahead of us in this regard.
BAN ALL E-BIKES AND SCOOTERS
As a person who bikes to work daily (traditional cyclist) via the various bike routes in Lane County, I felt compelled to respond to the pro e-bike letter in the Sept. 21 issue of EW. In-spite of the supposed law banning e-bikes and scooters on the North Bank Path, I see both on the path every day multiple times a day. These electrified vehicles pose a serious threat to the life and safety of innocent everyday cyclists and pedestrians. Said motorists are zipping along at high speeds, flagrantly disregarding the well-being of those around them and never wearing helmets or other protective materials.
On multiple occasions I have been swarmed by drunken e-scooter riding hoodlums. I say ban all e-bikes, e-scooters and other so-called “micro-mobility” devices.
A CIVICS LESSON ABOUT THE MAYOR
Responding to Marlene Pearson’s letter of Sept. 21: Most residents of Eugene share your frustration with long-standing issues that only seem to worsen. However, your beef is not with the mayor, past, present or future.
Eugene city government is a council-manager form of government, common in many cities across the country. All governmental authority rests with the city council, which is responsible for passing laws, setting community goals, establishing policy and determining services provided to citizens.
The city manager implements the council’s policies, handles the day-to-day operation of the city and advises the city council. But the city manager, too, is hired by and serves the city council, not the mayor.
The mayor in this form of city government is largely a figurehead, while still performing important functions such as chairperson and political head of the city council. The mayoral position is not capable of single-handedly impacting any of the issues mentioned.
It is the elected city council that is responsible for addressing the issues raised.
THE HOLVEY RECALL REFLECTS POORLY ON ALL UNIONS
I am so upset over the efforts of UFCW Local 555 leadership to recall Rep. Paul Holvey. The amount of money spent on the recall effort is unbelievable. Add to this is that the chief complaint behind the recall, House Bill 3183, is without merit. The bill would have required that any applicant for a cannabis-related license or license renewal to submit attestation that the applicant will refrain from interfering with labor organizing effort.
Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 ensures that employees have “the right to unionize, to join together to advance their interest as employees, as well as to refrain from such activity.” Section 8(a)(1) of the Act declares that “to interfere with, restrain, or coerce employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed in Section 7” of the Act is an unfair labor practice.
As one of the founders of the faculty union United Academics of the University of Oregon, I am a strong supporter of unions. However, the efforts of UFCW do not reflect well on unions. The National Labor Relations Act clearly protects workers and their right to unionize or choose not to unionize. HB 3183 is superseded by federal law. If the UFCW’s beef with Holvey isn’t about his lack of support for this bill, what is it really about? I’m beginning to fear that the organizers of the recall effort have a personal vendetta against Holvey.