The Native American Market, local caffeine and the Israel-Hamas war in letters to the editor


Sunday evening on the PBS Newshour, in honor of Native American Heritage Month, I watched a great story about “How Susan La Flesche Picotte became the first Native American medical doctor.” I would love to see such Native American Heritage exposés written by the Weekly about our own Native American history makers here in the Willamette Valley. 

Beyond acknowledging we are on Kalapuya Land, please also find local Indigenous community members who have and are giving to their community to interview or write about. We colonials really do need to learn about our real American history and heritage. Thank you for your article on the Native American Arts and Crafts Market (Nov. 2). They have a wonderful display about our Willamette Valley Kalapuya history. It’s a good start to the month.

Victoria Koch



As you drive down West 7th Avenue, you see two giant new buildings. One is 7-Eleven. We aren’t surprised by this, since those stores have been popping up new versions of their old stores all around town, but the second one puzzled me. After a few weeks, I learned it’s a Black Rock Coffee Bar. 

In the Oct. 19 Eugene Weekly, we had the best of the baristas listed. No. 3 was at Stay Woke. 

What do these two things have in common? 

They now will share the same block. What was Black Rock Coffee thinking? Their competition is Dutch Bros. They shouldn’t be allowed to open a shop next to one of our beloved local coffee kiosks. 

How did the city approve this? We always go on about supporting locals, but what the hell is this? Very uncool, Black Rock Coffee. And the city of Eugene? What the hell. 

I encourage everyone to keep visiting Stay Woke and boycott Black Rock! 

Maggie Morello 



Normally, I’d be sleeping at this time, but normally I’d be in Eugene relieved that the neighbors’ dogs weren’t keeping me awake with their barking. Instead, I’m in Bethlehem listening to the sound of Israeli jets overhead likely on their way to drop more bombs on Gaza. When I contacted the KEZI reporter who’d written about Sen. Ron Wyden’s stop in Eugene and his comments on the Middle East crisis, an interview followed. Unfortunately, the resulting news story left out the part about the cause of this crisis, the Israeli occupation and America’s role in it. 

Forty-five miles away in Gaza a massacre is underway, executed by the Israeli forces and funded by the American taxpayer, among other unknowing investors, such as PERS members. Yes, the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund (OPERF) has numerous equities supporting the Israeli occupation. Check out Elbit Systems for starters. I learned of OPERF investments in May 2022 and have been trying to get out of them ever since. I can’t live with or on a pension derived from investments linked to harms to people and places. Not only am I linked to the slaughter of Gazans, but also the daily indignities Palestinians are subjected to in their own land, not to mention the ongoing theft of that land. My taxes and retirement benefits are no less a part of this occupation than Netanyahu, the Ministry of “Defense” and the forces doing the dirty work. 

 There’s hope, though, or at least I’m hoping in hope. In the 1980s, PERS divested from apartheid South Africa. Now if only I can help the Oregon Investment Council, the appointed fiduciaries deciding OPERF investments, to understand that the Israeli occupation is apartheid against Palestinians. A review of Amnesty International’s comprehensive report on the matter can elucidate this fact. Or I’m happy to be the OIC’s eyes and ears on the ground here in occupied Palestine. It doesn’t look or sound pretty, certainly not like something anyone would want to perpetuate with their pension fund.

I guess I have KEZI to thank for this letter, as it took the news agency some real effort to report on what began here on the morning of Oct. 7 without addressing the why. Because KEZI couldn’t or wouldn’t, I’ve turned to the one local news source that will. Thank you, Eugene Weekly.

Molly Sirois



The Army deployed 65 infantry divisions for World War II. Each was a small town with equivalent community services plus eight categories of combat arms. Though artillery, engineering and heavy weapons engaged the enemy directly, the foot soldier endured the greatest hazard with the least chance of reward. Except for the Purple Heart and the coveted Combat Infantryman’s Badge, recognition often eluded them, because few remained to testify to the valor of the many. 

Nearly a third of these divisions suffered 100 percent or more combat casualties. However, regimental staff often saw their frontline units obliterated three to six times over. A typical 14,000-man division contained 81 rifle platoons fielding the 3,240 soldiers who first assaulted enemy positions. Here the division suffered 70 percent to over 80 percent of their casualties. Added to these were half again as many non-battle human wrecks debilitated by trench foot, frostbite, pneumonia, hernia etc. 

Ernie Pyle said of them, “The worst experience of all is just the accumulated blur, and the hurting vagueness of being too long in the lines, the everlasting alertness, the noise and fear, the cell-by-cell exhaustion, the thinning of the surrounding ranks as day follows nameless day. And the constant march into the eternity of one’s own small quota of chances for survival. Those are the things that hurt and destroy. But they went back to them because they were good soldiers, and they had a duty they could not define.”

Nolan Nelson


Online Extra Letters 


Some have written complaining about the high number of Palestinian casualties in the Israeli assault on Gaza. They ask, why not sit down at the table and negotiate and at least have a cease fire. What they are forgetting is the unrelenting nature of Hamas. Their leaders have stated time and again their goal is the destruction of Israel and the genocidal murder of all Jews worldwide. The Oct. 7 massacre of 1,400 Israelis, caught unaware of what was happening before it was too late, made it too clear what Hamas is up to.

 The only comparison I can think of is the Nazis. The troops that liberated the concentration camps were shocked at the unfathomable number killed, which went right on until the day the camps were liberated by allied troops. Explanations for a level of cruelty never seen before have been offered, but the only way to stop it was and remains military force.

The world knows what Hamas can do. In comparison, Israel has long-term peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan and other Arab countries. There is no alternative in the case of Hamas, however, but to destroy it. As far as a ceasefire goes, Hamas would only take advantage of it. Israel has asked those civilians in the path of harm in Gaza City to move south. Hamas, however, told them to stay put, and so they died. 

Michael E. Sturman 



The shuttering of Eugene’s PeaceHealth University District hospital is a proverbial canary in a coal mine. It joins the exodus of long-established enterprises from Democrat-controlled cities, to be backfilled with filth, drugs and crime.

After blocking the construction of a shiny new 5-star PeaceHealth regional hospital in Eugene just a few years ago, those same NIMBY liberals now protest the loss of our remaining hospital. Cry me a Whilamut River. This is what the Democratic Party brings to the picnic. I will conclude, Joe Biden style, with two words: “Liberalism is unsustainable.” 

Don Richey



Within weeks the city of Eugene will no longer have a hospital emergency room. Our leaders claim they were not informed?

Within the last budget cycle, the city claimed a shortfall of $20 million and targeted big cuts to the library, animal shelter and fire department. However, public requests for expenditure information were met with the response that the city’s information systems cannot provide such data. Within the last few years, the city has poured out huge subsidies to feed the insatiable appetites of developers.

Yet our leaders give disgracefully small handouts to help our unhoused and hungry citizens.

It is time for all of us to get involved and to inform ourselves through local, non-corporate news sources. To this end, I highly recommend Whole Community News — a new source of fact-based, quality reporting on topics of high importance to Eugene-Springfield citizens. At the website, you can read clearly written, respectful articles presented in a well organized, keyword searchable format, with links to relevant underlying data. Whole Community News was among the winners of a 2022 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for outstanding digital journalism. Please join me in signing up for an email subscription to this excellent free source of local news.

Paul Nicholson

Former Eugene city councilor