Hippies, pickleball and international politics


Imagine my surprise reading your story on tree planters (“Rooted in Eugene,” EW Nov. 2) and looking at the photo. The guy in yellow in the middle is my brother Steve. I knew when he lived in Oregon he planted trees for a while. When he moved back to Colorado, I moved to Oregon. Planting trees was one of the only jobs long-haired hippies could get in 1979. He got a kick out of the picture, as did I. Thanks for the memories.

Mike King

Cottage Grove


All you pickleballers out there, now is your chance to make something really big happen. Perhaps you’ve heard of the campaign to build a pickleball complex at Lane Community College, if only enough money can be raised.

What if you had a partner with more clout than you ever dreamed? There is a baseball field next to the space where you want to pickleball. There is a minor league baseball team looking for a new home in the Eugene-Springfield area. There is a community college administration asking for entrepreneurial ideas.

The Eugene Ems have been pushing for a space at the Lane County Fairgrounds, but the dollars don’t seem to be adding up. What if you all joined together and built a picklebaseball complex at LCC? If you like this idea, contact these groups: LCC Board, Lane County Commission, Eugene City Council, Springfield City Council, Eugene Ems baseball team. 

Steve McQuiddy



Recently, I received letters from Sen. Jeff Merkley, Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Val Hoyle, all expressing their support for Israel’s “right to defend itself” — a right they don’t understand.

First, an occupier never has a right to self-defense against the occupied, and Israel is an occupying power over the Palestinian people.

That said, no state ever has the right to defend itself via genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, all of which the apartheid state of Israel is perpetrating on a daily basis against the Palestinian people, and has been since 1948, with full U.S. backing.

Missing from the three letters were any calls to halt the ongoing depravity of Israel’s attacks by calling for a ceasefire now. Per international law, these three representatives are now also complicit in Israel’s barbaric crimes, a fact of which I remind them daily.

Trisha Driscoll


Online Extra Letters 


To the male on the bicycle that pulled out in front of me on West 13th, west of Chambers, Wednesday, Nov. 1, I nearly hit you, but was able to avoid you. I’m glad I didn’t hit you, as you likely would have been injured. As a cyclist I wouldn’t think you’d just pull out in front of a car like that. Sharing the road works both ways. People on bicycles need to follow the same rules, and laws, as those driving cars.

I often see cyclists going through stop signs or red lights, which they are allowed to do. The law that allows you to do so also states you need to treat those traffic control devices as yield signs if traffic, cars or bikes, are coming on the street you are crossing.

I’ve heard “bicycles have the right of way.” I’m sorry, but physics has the right of way, and cars are heavy. We all need to be more aware; people driving cars, as well as those riding bikes.

Bob Kennedy 



I attended the Wayne Morse Center Roundtable “The 2024 Election, One Year Out”  Nov. 7. I very much enjoyed listening to some very smart people explain some very complex issues. However, I was dismayed to learn that the tired trope “The Dems have no ground game; the Dems need to get serious,” is still alive and well.

This flies in the face of the documented grassroots fervor over the last several elections in Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, Virginia, Ohio and here in Eugene — even before the recent blowout election results  — which would not have been possible without a robust ground game. Look, I’m no political scientist, but I think the problem has a lot more to do with media training their microphones on the blatherings of a fat fascist fuck who hasn’t accomplished anything rather than a pragmatic policy maker who has.

Rebecca McCroskey



President Joe Biden asked Congress to approve a $106 billion spending package for helping Ukraine and Israel defend themselves, for Mexican border security, for Palestinian humanitarian aid and more. New House Speaker Republican Mike Johnson instead insisted on a standalone bill to aid only Israel that’s paid for by an IRS funding cut purportedly to reduce the national deficit, though the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office analyzed these cuts and said they would increase America’s debt by $26 billion — with no aid for Ukraine. Good for billionaire donors, not for deficit reduction.

Five-decade Harvard Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe proposes an elegant solution for bypassing the MAGA House chaos caucus to strengthen strategically essential Ukraine aid.

President G.W. Bush froze Iraq’s sovereign assets under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act when it invaded Kuwait, then seized them and transferred them to the (Kuwaiti) victims. Perfectly legal under American and international law, Tribe’s team studied “why the law today allows  Biden, with the stroke of a pen, to freeze, seize and then transfer billions of dollars ($35 billion) of those assets with no added burden on our taxpayers” directly to Ukraine’s defense and rebuilding. It might even encourage our allies to do the same, for potentially $300-plus billion more to Ukraine.

Sens. Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, Oregon federal representatives, and citizens all, please urge Biden to make Vladimir Putin put Russia’s money where America’s mouth is.

David Atman



Vehicle lights are not being managed safely. Many local drivers are putting LED aftermarket bulbs in their stock reflector housing lights, which throws light much higher and wider than designed or is safe, or adding many light bars, and illegally running them on the road. GMC noticed the 2010-2017 Terrain headlights violated Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and did a voluntary recall, for which the fix was cleaning the headlight, and applying a sticker. Very cheap and simple. Unfortunately, other car makers and local governments have not followed suit, and are standing idly by while this dangerous problem grows.

I think an education campaign and random spot checks by law enforcement for illegal lighting would go a long way to make our community safer. I’m on a tight budget, but I’d be willing to donate my upcoming Oregon tax kicker to the cause if someone will take on this project. Not much, I know, but “put up or shut up,” as they say.

Tesla models Y and 3 automatically turn on high beam brights in the city, and there is no way to disable this auto-on mode. The lights do not dim for oncoming traffic. It is hard to see pedestrians at intersections when oncoming traffic has very bright and/or misaimed lights. I check my headlight aim and leveling every year on my motorcycle and car, and I’m happy to teach others how to do it, but it seems most people are either totally ignorant or willfully putting other road users in danger.

Daniel Pearson



Victoria Koch (“Hope in a World of Despair,” Eugene Weekly, Nov. 2) is right that each of us can make a difference. Her examples show us the way. Even a smile makes a difference. Sometimes taking a breath, smiling and savoring the moment is all it takes to reset our attitude. Then taking action to make a difference.

Call your members of Congress (202-224-3121) and thank them for their hard work. Ask them to work for ceasefires in conflicts in the world, to renew the READ Act to help educate children in the world and to end poverty in the world’s wealthiest country, starting by renewing the expanded Child Tax Credit that cut child poverty nearly in half. It only takes a few minutes to make a call, take an action, and be a part of the solution to the despair.

Willie Dickerson



There is a pandemic brewing in our souls. It’s festered there ever since our brains surpassed the monkey’s desire for subsistence. It’s a cancer of thought that, if not restrained, will root its way toward mankind’s total annihilation. Among all the great ideas thought up for our survival, one idea lingers as the most destructive and viral of them all. 

No face mask will help. Blindfolds will not save us. Earplugs won’t keep out its message. There is no known vaccine that can cure it. It is so powerful that the human race sits back knowing of its existence and power, yet unable, seemingly helpless, to stop its spread.

When this virus has been momentarily snuffed out great advancements in mankind’s existence have happened. The problem is that the embers of this destructive idea have continued to fester and, if left unchecked, will explode into a pandemic of thought worse than any plague, cancer, polio or infectious disease ever faced by mankind. If our brilliant minds of the day are not able to discover an antidote, quite simply, the idea will destroy mankind. 

That idea is the virus of hate.

Joe R. Blakely