I miss you folks. I hope you can survive this mess. The people’s opinions are hushed; I miss local viewpoints. Wish I had a million to help you folks out. Sadly, I don’t. Anyway I love you!
Joe R. Blakely
LETTER TO PEACEHEALTH
An open letter to Peace Health management and our public officials:
With temperatures dipping below freezing for the first prolonged period this winter, Eugene is having its first test of what it is like not having a hospital emergency room that is easily accessible from our city. Whether we know it or not, due to poor decisions by PeaceHealth and our elected officials, tens of thousands of people now live on a “hospital desert island.” There are exactly zero ways to get to either RiverBend or McKenzie-Willamette hospitals from west of the Willamette River that doesn’t involve going over potentially frozen, icy and unsafe bridges or overpasses.
In a situation where every minute matters, having to slow down or take a longer alternate route could mean the difference between life and death. Our paramedics and EMTs have hard enough jobs as it is without having to worry about the freezing conditions on our area’s overpasses and bridges. I want those in power to know that we as a community are watching the results of this test and when the stakes are this high, failure is completely unacceptable.
I’m dismayed by calls for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas War, South Africa’s insistence that Israel is engaged in “genocide” in Gaza and the wide-spread pro-Palestinian protests in this country, which have become violent in some instances. It is all too easy to forget the maliciousness of radical Islamic groups in recent times.
The best known such group is Al-Qaeda, which killed over 3,000 Americans in the bombing of the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001. It was followed by the Islamic State, which also carried out deadly missions here. Now we have Hamas in Gaza, which has never denied its intention of killing Jews, Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.
The U.S. and the U.K. are currently bombing the Houthis, and in the past have taken military action against Al-Qaeda and the Islamic state. None, however, have raised as much controversy as Israel’s current military operation against Hamas.
Yet, it is well known that to wage war in Gaza would be extremely difficult. It has the densest population in the world, and Hamas operates out of hospitals and other civilian infrastructure. It would be impossible to conduct a war in Gaza without considerable collateral damage. How much is too much is hard to say. The crucial information is kept secret by Israel as would be the case with the U.S. military during its active engagement.
The current uproar against Israel is uncalled for!
Michael E. Sturman
We don’t have to worry about our HVAC going offline, because it was stolen six weeks ago and we are just getting around to finally having one put in, except the ice storm put a big kibosh on that. So, we do have power for a few space heaters, and the cats really like being by them. We have a gas fireplace, so the house makes it up to about 67 by night, only to fall to about 58 in the morning. Hey, we aren’t frozen, but the driveway is, and there is a large cedar on the neighbor’s roof that dropped some stuff into our yard.
Me? I am out on snowshoes. They are perfect for this stuff. I take my three-mile walk through Alton Baker Park and can walk where I want, including on frozen small ponds, and worry about the killdeers, which are all over the place. I do volunteer trail work, so the last two days I’ve cleaned a lane of one road, trimmed a lot of branches blocking walkers, and taken out a few logs. The bigger ones I have to leave alone, because I don’t have the 6 foot two person crosscut that we use in the wilderness. But with my Corona and 500 mm KatanaBoy, I can cut out some medium size stuff. I also wear a hard hat. I’ve seen several trees come down and more will follow. I’m 75 and really should stay inside, but it’s good to be out and somebody has to start cleanup.