From the Ems debate to local elections in letters


I visit the Eugene Public Library on a weekly basis. On my last visit, there was a young girl walking from the library with her family, carrying a stack of books taller than her. I asked why she alone was carrying all the books, and she proudly exclaimed with a bright smile, “Because they are all for me!” Joy of books, what could be better?

However, currently our public library is under siege by the Eugene City Council, which has cut the library budget considerably. It has had to curtail new purchases and has cut staff. The library serves so many purposes, providing not only books but movies, audio books, meeting spaces, a teen center, children’s programs, various equipment, wifi “hot spots,” art, internet access, creative events and online services, etc. It provides equal opportunities with no charge for all of our city’s diverse citizens.

So why are we losing library services while the City Council asks us to vote for a bond measure for a baseball stadium which will charge us just to enter it? I will not ever consider voting yes on a stadium bond measure until the city provides adequate funding for our public library. The library provides an educated citizenry which is sorely needed.

Tricia Hedin



Matt Keating is running for re-election in Ward 2, my home for 40 years. I have sent letters and emails with concerns and questions on Ward 2 and general city related issues. I have never received any reply. This is a departure from past councilors, especially Betty Taylor. Lisa Warnes is running for this position and has an endorsement from Taylor. I hope others in Ward 2 will join me in supporting Warnes. We need someone like Taylor  again.

Don French 



I watched the March 15 City Club meeting for the Eugene mayor candidates. As usual, I was disappointed with the softball questions and vague responses.

The only specific question that was asked was about the proposed baseball stadium bond issue that the City Council has put on the May ballot. None of the three candidates gave a clear answer. Shanaé Joyce-Stringer and Stefan Strek were skeptical but didn’t take a clear firm stand. Kaarin Knudson simply didn’t answer the question, even when asked again in a follow-up question.

I wish the question had been, “If you were mayor and had to break a tie vote when the City Council decided to put the baseball stadium on the May ballot, how would you have voted, yes or no?”

What I’ve learned from my few chances to ask questions of our leaders or candidates is that you have to be short and very specific in your question, and even then you may not get an answer. Candidates often avoid specifics and see a question as an opportunity to make a speech, instead of ANSWERING THE DAMN QUESTION.

I don’t see Strek as a mayor. I would vote for either Knudson or Joyce-Stringer, but I could not tell you what either will do as mayor. And that’s usually the case when people run for local government offices. Once elected they do as they please, and we’re stuck with them for four years.

Lynn Porter



We (as in the royal “we”) appreciate the Weekly being a watchdog over all the public entities over the years. But we do wonder what the heck happened to all that money disappearing from your own bank accounts and who is responsible for it.

Understandably, we know you can’t talk about an investigation in process, but a mention every week would go a long way to ensuring our trust in the paper.

Thank you for reporting on this. We hope the person(s) who seemingly stole several hundred thousands of dollars from the paper is justly tried and reported on.

Merrie M (Kim) Kelly


Editor’s Note: Indeed, it’s hard to report on an open investigation — and hard on us as a paper to not report on an important topic that doesn’t get enough attention, like embezzlement. We will be publishing an update in an upcoming issue.


My favorite movie of all time is Field of Dreams. I’m not even a baseball fanatic! At the end of the movie all the improbabilities materialize. Kevin Costner gets to interact with his father, the ghosts get a field, Costner’s field and the players are finally visible to his brother-in-law, Costner’s farm is saved, the writer finds a topic, Costner’s daughter is saved from choking to death. People by the thousands are coming to the field. It’s a wonderful conclusion.  

I’ll always be amazed and awestruck at the way a grassroots campaign saved Civic Stadium against overwhelming odds. The improbability of saving the stadium was in doubt for seven years. It was a wonderful outcome. Maybe it’s the fact that baseball brings people together whether Republican, Democrat, Independent, Mormon, Catholic, Protestant, Jew, Caucasian, Colored, Latino, Asian, Boy-scouts, Girl Scouts, cheerleaders, athletes, handicapped and all the others, no matter what their lifestyle. The Emeralds, folks, do more than just play baseball. 

I don’t understand the mystique, but it’s there. Good things just happen. All I know is that the baseball field will be built. I hope I’m the one who gets to throw out the first pitch at our new field. 

Joe R. Blakely



Like many in the community, I can recall a time when it seemed like there were leaders we could go to and trust.

Three people stand out. The first was Margaret Nichols, a 4J superintendent whose tenure was cut short during the middle of her life due to cancer. It was such a loss, and I wonder what her thoughts would be on the state of education these days had she survived. 

The second person who stood out for me was Fern Ridge’s school superintendent, Pat Burke, who led a difficult transition after Measure 5 — the approval of a 1990 property tax limitation instrument that attempted to keep the increasing costs associated with the state’s growing economy and rising population in alignment. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the answer but slowed the effects. 

The third person who has stood out as a top figurehead in the environmental community is former Lane County’s South Eugene commissioner, Jerry Rust, who was the longest serving commissioner of 20 years, until his successor, Pete Sorenson, surpassed that record. 

Should any reader who wasn’t around during Eugene’s golden era be interested in knowing more about these important influencers who made a difference, Google their names (although, Burke generally wasn’t noticed by the local media and harder to find. The West Lane News provided coverage up until its closure in the early 2000s.) 

Still, all three are noteworthy and merit being on a future Lane County-Eugene Hall of Fame.

David Wilde



There was recent talk in Eugene Weekly of the percentage of homeless people being on drugs, and another letter supporting the legalization of drugs to help people here with their PTSD.

What PTSD, I wonder. Try living in Ukraine, then you can talk about having PTSD. Is there a war going on here I haven’t heard about?

I know the war that is going on here. It’s the war Karl Marx was talking about, the war of the rich against the poor.

Let’s face it, USA, more brain damage is not going to solve that war, only socialism will.

Of course, here we have the famous blue-shirts that came in and stole the country by means of gunpowder (there was no PTSD among the Native Americans), erecting their brutal dictatorship of capital and jails. Yes, that causes a lot of PTSD. Unless the United States falls in step with the rest of the world regarding increased equalization of income, I see no solution.

Lioba Multer



Director Jonathan Glazer, in his acceptance speech as he won an Oscar for The Zone of Interest — a film about the family of Auschwitz’s Nazi commandant who live peacefully inside a walled garden, cut off from the horrors just the other side — said that the film’s point is not simply to say, “‘Look what they did then.’ Rather, ‘Look what we do now.’”

For while the Nazis had the good manners to be deeply ashamed of the horrific acts they were perpetrating, and strove mightily to conceal them, the political and military leadership of the apartheid state of Israel have publicly declared — and are daily conducting for all the world to see — genocide against the Palestinians.

So we in the U.S. are now living in a Zone of Interest. To the degree that as individuals we are aware of, but fail to actively resist the ongoing genocide, we are in fact enabling it.

Trisha Driscoll

Veterans For Peace



Democrats continue to expand the woke lexicon.

According to their latest addition, if you’re in the country illegally, been deported and have returned multiple times, have been arrested and released multiple times and have brutally murdered a young woman or raped a 12 year-old girl, you’re not an “illegal alien” or “illegal immigrant.”

As President Joe Biden discovered, you can no longer use such terms for these monsters, even though they’re accurate, without the left going ballistic.

Now, according to the woke wordbook, you’re a “newcomer.”

The Democrats in the Oregon Legislature were quick to adopt the change and incorporated it in Senate Bill 4159, which included their latest attempt to support illegal immigration (oops! “newcomers”). SB 4159 would have provided housing and rent subsidies for “newcomers” regardless of citizenship status. Thankfully the bill didn’t make it through the 2024 session, but given its high priority among Democrats, it will almost certainly be back in 2025.

“Newcomers” is right up there with “birthing people” (formerly “mothers”), “bropropriate,” “cultural appropriation,” “microaggression,” “non-binary” and a host of other terms to know if you want to remain in good graces among the woke.  Pretty soon we’ll need to rewrite the dictionary!

Jerry Ritter


Editor’s note: Merriam-Webster says, “microaggression, noun, mi·​cro·​ag·​gres·​sion: a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority).” Seems like a pretty good word to know!