SORRY TO EW
Just wow! So sorry to hear of this. People who go into journalism tend to fetishize truth and justice, and forget to watch out for “The American Way.”
KEEP HEALTH CARE HERE
Our children were born there. If there was a serious problem, we went there. We knew Sacred Heart [University District] was there to provide for all in Eugene who needed medical care. When RiverBend opened, that was where we went next. Sacred Heart, Riverbend and PeaceHealth were the medical places Eugeneans went.
That has all changed. It seems Peace Health has been taken over by “venture capitalists” who are slowly bleeding it dry and reaping huge financial rewards. Recently remodeled and built facilities are abandoned on campus. The ER for south Eugene is closed. Nurses and others who recently signed a new PeaceHealth contract are laid off. Surgeries are canceled and delayed and hospital equipment is broken or in too much demand. PeaceHealth, possibly the richest “not for profit” hospital on the West Coast, is suddenly struggling while its CEO is given a several million dollar raise.
It is the classic scenario when a venture capitalist group moves in. Take all the assets and enrich themselves at the expense of workers and the public who depend on health services.
What will Eugene do? Perhaps Phil Knight and the University of Oregon will buy the abandoned Sacred Heart [University District] and turn it into a teaching hospital to expand nurse training, pre-med classes and other health care specialties, and provide ER services on the south side of the Willamette again.
Let’s work to keep health care in South Eugene and train more people to help us and not leave Eugene without adequate and honest health care.
NO PROTEST VOTE THIS TIME
A few days ago, an acquaintance — who presents as 40ish, straight, white, healthy and male — shared that he voted for Ralph Nader (twice), was a proud Bernie Bro, and has decided to cast his vote in 2024 for Cornell West. How brave.
To anyone considering a protest vote this cycle: A vote for anyone but President Joe Biden is a vote for Donald Trump. Period. No candidate will ever be your perfect match, more like a bus going in your direction. Is Donald Trump going in your direction? Perhaps you don’t care. Perhaps as a 40ish, straight, white, healthy male, you have nothing to lose if a dictator dismantles checks and balances, jails reporters and snatches away the rights of your wife, your mom and your friends. And let’s be honest: if Cornell West had a hope in hell of winning, his Christian non-Marxist socialism and multi-racial egalitarianism would not be super comfy for you. (Also, he’s 70, and Bernie Sanders was 75 when you voted for him.)
I get it; you’re making a point. This two-party crap has to go, right? Oligarchs and warmongers on all sides. But we were not facing full-on Christo-fascist dictatorship before. Not really. Not actual, literal fascism. These folks have told you exactly who they are, and they are dead serious. They are not fucking around with protest votes, I assure you. Biden may die in office. Pretend you’re voting for Kamala Harris. See how brave you are?
RIGHTS OF NATURE
In response to Kai Huschke and Michelle Holman’s Guest Viewpoint, “Making Democracy Illegal: The Increasing Attacks On Citizen Initiative Power,” (I11/30): We’re back!
Community Rights Lane County’s and Freedom from Aerial Herbicide Alliance’s rights to the initiative system were denied. For years, Lane County citizens were hammered by special interests, backed by government. The initiative to ban aerial herbicide sprays onto Lane County forests never appeared before the voters.
But until we can ensure safe water sources, our work isn’t finished and we won’t stop. Protect Lane County Watersheds, an affiliate of CRLC, is proud to be on the streets gathering signatures for the Lane County Watersheds Bill of Rights initiative. While weak environmental laws exist to protect our waters, it’s clear to a vast majority of residents that existing laws aren’t sufficient — that government isn’t doing an adequate job. Our initiative will raise environmental standards and accord rights of Nature to our most precious resource: water. We are responsible to future generations.
So when you are asked by a water protector if you’d like to help protect Lane County’s waters, say “yes!” and please sign the petition. Consider becoming a signature gatherer, yourself.ProtectLaneCountyWatersheds.org.
Eron King, Kunu Bearchum, Michelle Holman
Chief petitioners, Lane County Watersheds Bill of Rights
In response to Hope Bohanec’s letter several weeks ago discussing the dark side of the pet fish trade, I urge Eugene area residents to visit Pisces Aquaria to see for themselves the sustainable side of the aquarium hobby. Store owners Andrew and Ashly are incredibly supportive, informative, and focused on running an eco-friendly store. None of their fish are from coral reefs (they only have freshwater stock), and many are bred and raised locally. The betta fish and other animals are treated infinitely better than at any chain pet store, which shows brilliantly in their healthy coloration and behavior. Fish owners know a great store when we see one.
Keeping aquariums is a wonderful, immersive hobby to bring an underwater world right into your home or office. Aquarists pride themselves on maintaining beautiful tanks with thriving fish communities. The staff at Pisces Aquaria can inform folks on the proper tank size, fish, plants and more for their dream aquarium — go visit them and be wowed by a local hobby gem!
SELLING A NEWS SOUL
Eugene lost its heart when it followed the country-wide love affair with retail malls and constructed Valley River Center. But that is a discussion for another time. Eugene lost its soul when the Baker family sold the Eugene Register-Guard.
The Guard was uniquely “Eugene.” Its award-winning staff helped put Eugene on the map and, whether you agreed with the Guard’s editorial staff, or not, reading the Guard kept you informed. Present publication excluded, we have been left in a news desert that is little more than an AP clipping service. I get more news about Eugene happenings by reading The Oregonian. What is not unique to Eugene is that, across the country, Big Brother continues to buy up and convert local media resources into their brand of news and information. Way too Orwellian for my taste. In my opinion, Eugene, in concert with the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication, has a chance to become a national leader again by stepping forward to protect the independent voice of local media.
The information stream provided by local newspapers is as important as the streets and buildings that define the town. We spend tons of money and effort to protect our rivers, lakes, forests and other environmental treasures. Why not keep local newspapers local by giving them some sort of protected status like a community trust or other form? Fully fund it and involve the community in its future. One great example is the Green Bay Packers. The Packers have been a publicly owned, nonprofit since 1923, not subject to the ownership whims of other NFL teams. I am ready to buy shares in a new business model for local newspapers. Food for thought.
Meanwhile, the only upside to the Gannett version of the Guard is it is biodegradable.
THANK YOU TO THE ASSISTANCE LEAGUE
I wish to thank the volunteers of the Assistance League. Their efforts and kindness have greatly added to my life.
Assistance League benefits underserved children in Lane County by raising funds from donated items. The dedicated staff ensure that each item is clean, in good repair and priced reasonably. In my opinion, they exceed expectations, with an attitude of service, good humor and great customer service.
For myself, I have been able to afford clothes and household items I would otherwise have had to go without. My tiny HUD apartment has gone from bare essentials to pleasantly decorated and conveniently comfortable entirely because of these special volunteers.
Community service by putting others above ourselves is the clear path to an all inclusive, other-centered, properly functioning society. These people exemplify these ideals and set an example for the rest of us to join this path in our own ways.
Many thanks to each one.
Debra J. Tanner
LOVE AND PEACE, PLEASE
lesson in hopelessness
trying to make the wrong “awake”
feeling shame for the human race and our treatment of each other
looking for brotherhood in a dehumanized place
are we not more alike than we can realize
trying to make the wrong “awake”
living beyond doomsday
how many ways can you say help, help,
sympathy o sympathy
where is kindness, compassion, and dignity?
Love and peace, please.
EUGENE EMS A GOOD INVESTMENT
Steve Hering wants to “get it straight” about paying for a new Ems’ stadium. Let me help: Steve uses the salaries of MLB superstars to inform how he will vote. Voting no won’t do anything to address this issue. The Ems are not owned by MLB. MLB does help subsidize the cost of running a local team by paying the salaries of all Ems’ players, their employees. The rest of the cost is up to the owners and local community. Minor league baseball is run on a paper thin profit margin all around the country. Voting no will simply cost Eugene a baseball team and deny thousands of fans an inexpensive joy of summer. As far as the location in an established neighborhood, baseball is one of the quietest major sports around.