WHEN IS A ‘TRAIL’ A TRAIL?
While we loved seeing Wild Iris Ridge featured in your paper (“Wild Iris Ridge” by Bill Sullivan, Nov. 2), we felt it was important to correct some inaccurate information in which it was stated that the city of Eugene has built only one mile of trail over the past 20 years.
The city is a proud member of the Rivers to Ridges Partnership, which has been building and connecting trails and safeguarding habitat over the past 20 years. In total, the partnership has created over 41 miles of trails in the region, and in Eugene alone the city of Eugene Parks and Open Space Division has added over 10 miles of trails. These include new segments of the Ridgeline Trail, a new trail that encircles Skinner’s Butte, and trails at Delta Ponds, Osprey Hollow, Hawkins Heights Park, Golden Gardens and Wild Iris Ridge.
Parks has also maintained existing trails by undertaking significant reconstruction and maintenance projects totaling nearly 17 miles, including the summit trail at Spencer Butte, Amazon Park South and North running trails, and much of the 12-mile Ridgeline Trail System.
Parks is lucky to have strong public/private partnerships that have included the Oregon Track Club rebuilding the entirety of Pre’s Trail and the Friends of Hendricks Park helping create the Ribbon Trail. Up next, we look forward to working closely with the Eugene Parks Foundation on new trail projects at Suzanne Arlie Park and South Eugene Meadows and remain committed to creating new opportunities for people to get out and experience the natural beauty of our community.
Community Engagement Manager
Eugene Parks and Open Space Division
Bill Sullivan responds: “I applaud the city of Eugene for its many new sidewalks, paved bike paths and bark dust jogging trails. I admire the work accomplished by the city’s many partners. But I believe it is true that the city of Eugene, on its own, in the past 20 years, has built only one mile of the kind of unpaved hiking trails I write about.”
DON’T JUDGE CORPORATE COFFEE
I felt sad after reading Maggie Morello’s letter (Nov. 9) disparaging a new location for Black Rock Coffee on 7th and her suggestion to boycott them. Although I understand her angst about possible competition with the locally owned Stay Woke, allow me to say a few words about Black Rock.
I’ve been a customer at River Road Black Rock since the beginning. Prior to their within-walking-distance location, I’d sip a brew maybe two times a month at another store. Regularly now, I’m at the drive up or seated inside on one of their comfy chairs. I know the names of each barista and a bit of their story. They know a bit of my story, too.
These kids — I call them all kids cuz I’m old enough to be their grandma — are a lifeline for me. The place is like the old TV sitcom Cheers. Just this week I received a sweet gift from one of the girls and a cry-worthy card from one of the boys. I feel welcomed and dare I say even loved and cherished? How many places in life can one find that?
My point is please don’t judge before you try it out. I plan to do that very thing this week when I check out the coffee at Stay Woke.
Jakki Staat McDonald
Online Extra Letters
AA OFFERS ‘TREATMENT’ — AT A COST
Mark Harris (“Heal and Reduce Harm,” EW Nov. 16), like many addiction professionals, is a strong advocate for treatment, rather than incarceration. Nearly always this treatment means advancement of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA).
If we examine the lengthiest versions of AA’s official triennial membership surveys, we see the 12-step method of addiction recovery of AA is a miserable failure. About 3 percent of people achieve one year of abstinence, less for five years.
Three rulings the U.S. Supreme Court let stand, including Griffin v. Coughlin, found that AA and NA were “unequivocally religious” and that the groups try to win converts. Major drug traffickers want — and get — the least effective drug treatment. Addiction counseling includes conspiracy to defraud insurers, especially government insurers. Treatment includes an organized criminal enterprise.
Mark Harris replies: This anti-12-step rant is not what my Measure 110 work is about, or promoting. 12-step programs have practiced racist health disparities against people of color for most of my career here.
SOLVE HOMELESSNESS BEFORE HELPING THE EMS PLAY BASEBALL
Instead of focusing on a new field for the Emeralds, pickleball and parks and bond issues that will raise the property owner’s taxes again, perhaps the mayor and the Eugene City Council need to focus on our 3,000-plus homeless in Lane County. How about taking city owned land and building a property similar to the Eugene Mission that has an 18-month program that helps people with alcohol, mental and drug problems restart their lives, and gets them off the streets and back into the mainstream? Now that would be a real accomplishment!
SAVE FIRST CHRISTIAN CHURCH
It was distressing to read that the First Christian Church downtown is unsure what to do with its building (EW Oct 12). The interior of the church proper must surely be one of the loveliest indoor spaces in Eugene, perfectly suited for many variants of spiritual activity.
It was perplexing to have the report state merely that the congregation had declined to place it on the National Register of Historic Places in spite of the many benefits that might have helped preserve the building. And perplexing and frustrating to have your reporter not ask why this decision was made. A conspiracy-theory minded cynic might wonder how many realtors or developers were on the committee that made this decision.
I fervently hope that at least the principal space can be preserved. The adjacent offices and other functional spaces, while without the uniquely uplifting feel of this inner space, could easily lend themselves to any number of community-supporting uses. Perhaps the domed space could become a meditation center?
PLENTY OF EVIL ON BOTH SIDES IN GAZA
On Oct. 7, Hamas militants attacked a music festival of young Israelis, indiscriminately firing on anyone trying to escape. Those seeking refuge within were methodically murdered. At another location, a father’s eye was gouged out, the mother’s breast cut off, their 8-year-old daughter’s foot amputated, and their 6-year-old son’s fingers severed before they were executed. Elsewhere, other young people were burned alive. There isn’t space here to list all of the atrocities. The only accurate description of such depravity is unmitigated evil.
It is astounding to me that people like Trisha Driscoll (Letters, Nov. 16) can so blindly minimize and implicitly justify such atrocities by trying to distract us with the question of the Israeli government’s appalling treatment of the Palestinian people, as if Hamas’ evil is a legitimate liberation movement.
Hamas then furthers its depravity by using its own innocent people as shields in the inevitable military battles with the Israeli army, not just from cowardice, but as a calculated public relations ploy to cast Israel as the perpetrator of Hamas’ own evil when the photos and stories are taken out of context. And it works, seducing gullible people like Driscoll.
Then there’s the additional heartbreak that, in the end, Hamas will have set the Palestinian’s cause back at least half a century.
THE U.S. IS AIDING ISRAEL’S WAR MONGERING
On Nov. 18, the Israeli Air Force bombed the the United Nations Al Fakhoura School in northern Gaza, where hundreds of Palestinian civilians had taken refuge from the actions of the Israeli military in Gaza. This bombing, which reportedly killed 200 people, many of whom were children, was a war crime committed by Israel as per the Geneva Convention of 1949 to which Israel is a signatory.
The recent incursion of Israeli infantry into the Al Shifa Hospital in Gaza, disrupting medical procedures there, was also a war crime as per the Geneva Convention. The forced relocation by Israel of Palestinian civilians from northern to southern Gaza is a war crime. The withholding by Israel of the necessities of life such as food, water and medical services from the captive Palestinians is a war crime. Insults directed at Palestinians in Gaza by Israeli military personnel are a war crime. The indiscriminate bombing of Palestinian civilian homes in Gaza by Israel is a war crime.
What should be of concern to U.S. citizens is the fact that the war crimes committed by the Israeli military in Gaza have been facilitated by their use of aircraft supplied by the United States with munitions supplied by the United States while being operationally funded by the United States. Further, these military actions by Israel are sanctioned by the U.S. Government and supported by many U.S. politicians including Oregon Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley.
The Oregon Civics Project
CEASEFIRE NOW IN GAZA
Ever since mid-October, I have been absolutely appalled and angered by the assault on Gaza by Israel. It is the textbook definition of genocide. The Israeli government is committing the war crime of collective punishment, killing more than 11,000 Palestinians and threatening to indefinitely occupy the Gaza strip, claiming Hamas is everywhere to be able to kill as many civilians as possible.
It is inhuman, what is being perpetrated on Gaza by Israel. I cannot turn my eyes away from this horrific episode of history, and so I have been at almost every demonstration, vigil, educational and meeting on this issue. I’ve been screaming at the top of my lungs for our representatives to support a ceasefire in the afternoon, just to go to the city council to plead with them to endorse the same thing in the evening.
We need our elected officials, namely Rep. Val Hoyle, Sen. Ron Wyden and Sen. Jeff Merkley, to support the Ceasefire Now Resolution by U.S. Rep. Cori Bush, not “humanitarian pauses.” There is nothing humanitarian about pausing a genocide, it is only humanitarian to stop it. If you’re reading this, call them today and demand they endorse a ceasefire. Our other elected officials, from the Eugene City Council all the way to our state representatives and Gov. Tina Kotek, can endorse a ceasefire and call for Oregon’s representatives in Congress and the Senate to endorse the ceasefire. Palestinians need all of our voices and they need it now, not later. Ceasefire now!
THE LUXURY OF MAR-A-JALOPY
The snake has bitten its tail and soon may swallow it, so I have questions. If Donald Trump ends up living in a ’63 Jeep Wagoneer on a side street of Miami, can he request his residence be changed from an “estate” to a “private club”? Can the Mar-a-Jalopy name be incorporated? Can he claim a deduction from flat tires or stolen hubcaps? What about the ketchup? If the Mar-a-Jalopy is stolen, who determines its value? Can Trump drive? If he drives, can he pay himself as a chauffeur? Is his payment to himself then deductible? Can he deduct himself? Would he then disappear? If wish granted, would the Republicans have the Mar-a-Jalopy bolted to Mt. Rushmore as a memorial? Would they charge admission? Can I deduct such charges? If you’ve seen Mount Rushmore, BTW, you will know it as one of the dumbest things ever created by man, and the Mar-a-Jalopy would only burnish its image further.
I’m hoping for some help here, folks. I want my deductions.