EW Readers Weigh  in on Tropical Fish, Gaza and Rivers


Thank you, Eugene Weekly, for the interesting ideas in your Gift Guide (Nov. 22). One suggestion was a pet fish. While this may seem like a unique gift, fish in small tanks do not get the same quality of life that other companion animals receive, and taking tropical fish from the ocean has a dark side.

The informative documentary The Dark Hobby (TheDarkHobby.com) exposes the devastation to species and coral reefs from the pet fish trade. Many traders use dynamite and cyanide and other harmful techniques around sensitive coral reefs to capture the desired colorful Betta fish and other species. I ask everyone to please consider the impact to the oceans and the psychologically monotonous life a fish endures taken from their colorful, vast and interesting home before buying pet fish.  

Hope Bohanec



As one who loves the Oregon outdoors, I enjoy the pristine rivers and streams flowing through our national forests and BLM lands as often as I can. I recognize how important these streams are to the quality of the water that I drink and the wildlife that they support. Rivers protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act since 1968 include some of Oregon’s best known — the Rogue, Metolius, John Day and McKenzie. But many of our free-flowing streams would benefit from this same designation.

In 2021 Sen. Ron Wyden introduced the River Democracy Act to protect thousands of additional miles of deserving waterways. For Eugene’s drinking water, protections for tributaries to the McKenzie River would ensure clean water and limit threats to our public lands. My hometown of Corvallis needs protections for our Rock Creek watershed.

In the face of climate change, we need to protect our precious natural resources. The River Democracy Act can help safeguard Oregon’s water for our own use, our communities, and for future generations.  I urge Sen. Wyden to reintroduce and work to pass this bill as soon as possible.

Laura Duncan



In a society quick to regulate cigarettes and vapes, the irony of overlooking the unregulated use of harmful drugs is evident. While restrictions on tobacco and vaping proliferate, drug-related incidents like smoking meth in public restrooms persist unchecked.

I’ve always been an advocate for a comprehensive, health-focused approach to drug regulation. Designating specific areas for drug use and emphasizing treatment over punishment aligns with our commitment to public well being. It’s time to extend the same scrutiny applied to tobacco to more dangerous substances.

Illicit drug use poses severe threats to public health, demanding a shift from punitive measures to evidence-based solutions. By investing in rehabilitation programs and providing safe spaces for drug consumption, we can address the root causes of addiction.

Eugene should lead in redefining our approach to substance regulation. We need to break free from the paradox of over-regulating relatively less harmful substances while neglecting the urgent issues posed by illicit drugs. A compassionate and effective strategy is long overdue. It’s time to prioritize public health over outdated norms.

Devon Lawson-McCourt



Sen. Jeff Merkley finally came around to supporting a ceasefire and temporary peace agreement between Israel and Palestine. What took him so long?

Was he comparing the support and power of AIPAC and his Jewish constituents versus his morality, and crimes against humanity? Is it possible that Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Val Hoyle will also support a ceasefire and refrain from supporting Israel’s “right to defend itself”?

Ruth Roberts


Online Extra Letters 


Unfortunately, I believe that many who shout the cease fire cause are ignorant of the very nuanced and complicated history of that area and/or are thinly veiled anti-Semites. Where were the marches for cease fire when Russia marched into Ukraine? And I remember the marchers in Charlottesville shouting, “Jews will not replace us.” And the war crimes (babies killed and taken hostage) of Oct. 7 are long forgotten.

Do places like Turkey and Iran really have such overwhelming sympathy for Palestinians that they march for their cause? Can most of them even locate these areas on a world map? The same can be said for our U.S. pro-Palestinian protesters. How many of them have knowledge of the complicated history of the area? The terms genocide, colonization, apartheid, open air prison and occupation are bandied about, and most people can’t describe what they mean by them.

It is disinformation spread on social media. A Washington Post column offered the idea that an alliance of authoritarian governments is succeeding in fomenting illiberal and anti-democratic sentiment against the U.S. and Israel. Putin loves chaos in the West and Hamas is financed to promote this.

The U.S. considers Hamas to be a terrorist organization. Hamas is funded by Iran, and Hamas leaders live in palatial style in Qatar. Hamas does not recognize the right of Israel to exist. Tell me, what choices does Israel have? Why don’t you ask Hamas to release all the hostages and to cease fire?

Zenia Liebman

Junction City


I hold these things firm:
Love your neighbor as yourself. 
Be willing to suffer as Christ did. 
Be prepared to share the Gospel. 
Food and clothing is enough. 
Heaven awaits us.

Bill Northrup


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