Missing EW and thoughts on Gaza in letters


It’s exciting and heartwarming to see businesses and individuals step up to assist Eugene Weekly in putting the pieces back together after the unexpected and unwanted “Embezzlement Bomb” blew. 

And isn’t that a great example of what can be done when a significant number of humans decide to jump in to rescue a sinking ship?

EW, like other small locally owned newspapers, may not be known worldwide (although word of EW’s robbery made it as far as The New York Times!), but it widens the world in Eugene. That’s what matters.

We need it for the news, the perspectives, the entertainment. It provides a different mix than a typical large city publication. That’s why I like it. 

I look forward to when EW is up and running as it was before. I was already missing its distribution where I work due to a delivery route change. It’s been a part of the sit-in-my-car-and-read-Eugene Weekly-after-work routine for several years. I miss it.

Jakki Staat McDonald



What is Thursday without Eugene Weekly

I go to coffee most mornings. On Thursday I look forward to finding a stack of Eugene Weekly to read with my coffee. No stack of EW leaves a hole in my morning, just as it has left a hole in our community. 

EW gave voice to people without a voice otherwise. EW published political viewpoints I would not get otherwise. And EW offered me a soapbox. EW published my opinions and stories. It was a joy to have that outlet for my thoughts. Now it’s gone. The person or persons who allegedly embezzled funds from the Weekly not only stole from EW, they stole from the entire community.

Bob Warren



Question: Could the conditions of Palestinian refugees in the great tent camps of Gaza, with the extreme attenuation of water, food and medicine (if diseases like typhus break out), go downhill as far as those of Bergen-Belsen in 1945? (Bergen-Belsen was NOT a death-camp. It was a transit-camp where conditions got out of hand.)

Leo Rivers 

Cottage Grove


Last night (Dec. 28), I walked by four different empty red boxes looking for your paper, and this morning I wrote the following immediately before reading about the embezzlement catastrophe EW is now trying to survive. I’m so sorry you all are going through this. 

I received your EW Extra (email newsletter) for the first time this week and, though I was seeking news, I was surprised to learn your Christmas meal was at Denny’s in Glenwood. Your intimate version of “I’ll just drop this here” worked on me: I followed your link to the apparently famous movie scene filmed at Denny’s, and then watched and puzzled about the movie for the next couple days. 

Here’s your free movie review. Five Easy Pieces is a 1970s American character-study and road-trip film. Its West Coast scenes include the bowling alley, trailer park, oil rigs, I-5 traffic, piano recording studio, car ferries, tall trees and a gas station logging truck at the end (I bet that represents Oregon). 

The theme I didn’t figure out right away — how hard it is for Bobby (Jack Nichols) to break up with his girlfriend — is more about him than about her determination to “Stand by your man” as Dolly Parton sings in the opening scene. Most of the important actors are women, though, who together make for a complex and flawed womanhood. The five (not so) easy “pieces” (a vulgar term for female sex partners) could be: 1) his girlfriend, 2) a two-night stand we hardly meet who knows how to flatter a man destined for baldness, 3&4) the stranded women he only literally picks up — er gives a ride to, and 5) a former lover living with a bunch of classical musicians at the old family home (perhaps near Puget Sound). 

Bobby also has a touching relationship with his sister who, unlike him, is capable of showing sadness. In the end Jack tearfully says goodbye to his dad (“I’m sorry things didn’t work out”) but doesn’t accomplish such grace with his girlfriend. I have to admit that, given how rarely I watch movies, it’s easy for them to awe me. 

Anyhow, thank you for bringing me into the fold over the holidays — and for making it feel serendipitous. The New York Times newsletter (which just introduced me to Taylor Swift via its runner-up word of the year) also invites me into more knowing/belonging in our society. I notice in neon these days that belonging is tantamount to resilience. So thank you for the gift of sharing about your alternative holiday meal. Getting your EW Extra is an auspicious beginning to the new year.

Erica Benedict-Barta


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