From the Coast to Housing, and of course the Ems, in Letters


I  am deeply concerned that once again Eugene and “Lane County” treats the coast as a step child and all too often fails to deliver needed services and outreach to the coast. I stopped at all the Eugene Weekly drops and found nothing. I was able to ask at the Silver Lining Boutique. What is happening with the Weekly’s disappearance? She told me that the Weekly board was deciding if Florence will be included in distribution. During Covid I donated to the Weekly because I wanted to support the paper. I did so because of its mission statement and giving a voice to core values and beliefs that I hold. I want to voice my opinion that we on the coast should not be treated as less than equal, and if the decision to  stop bringing the Weekly to the coast has been made already, it is my opinion that Eugene Weekly fails to support its own mission statement in dismissing the coast as part of the whole Lane community!

Nancy Smith 


Editor’s note: In the wake of the recent financial crisis at EW, we have been trying to figure out how to supply news boxes and stands in Florence and other areas. Have thoughts on where and how you like pick to up the paper?


What a great blast of citizen voices in today’s print edition (3/21) — clear, pointed and pertinent to our shared dilemmas in the here and now. Thank you. 

Billie Best’s saga of  “rigged competition” in local housing markets hits especially close to the bone for me. I’m ready to downsize but not institutionalize. Can I do it in place and in community? Perhaps the transitional housing models pioneered locally by SquareOne Villages might be applied to middle housing needs as well? 

Just a question I’m asking in this tough rigged market.

Marlene Nesary



Was so happy to see EW’s review of Love Lies Bleeding. I loved it! So excited that Kristen Stewart will be directing the upcoming adaptation of UO Alum Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir The Chronology of Water. More queer stories to come!

Ali Holznecht



I strongly encourage all Eugene voters to vote ‘yes’ on the local option levy this May to support our Eugene 4J Schools. This ballot measure simply renews our current 4J option levy, and thus will not result in a tax increase for citizens. Unlike construction bonds, which can only be used to construct new buildings and physical infrastructure, the local option levy will provide funding for staff — teachers, teaching assistants, counselors, librarians, nurses — positions that are needed to provide a rich learning environment for our children. I worked as a teacher and administrator in 4J for 32 years and am dedicated to public school education. I know that children are better supported when they can count on multiple adults to help them along their K-12 journey, and this levy provides just that — more adults in buildings. I am also delighted with our new cohesive school board and interim superintendent leadership, and am confident once again in 4J’s ability to give our children a premium educational experience.

Laurie Moses

Retired 4J administrator 



Is Eugene becoming the template of what not to do when attracting and keeping business? What city can say they lost not one hospital but two?

I have learned the reasoning behind the tax breaks, but over the years, the return on investments have not been good. The only thing I will say about the homelessness is that the city and county should learn from Everyone Village.

Affordable housing units. What is considered affordable? The Riverfront Project attached to a 2018 Parks and Recreation Bond costs the taxpayers $50-plus a year, but has only 13 percent affordable housing units. Since I brought up the $50-plus a year for the Riverfront Project, we have people complaining about the multi-use stadium the county will build on the fairgrounds. The city is being asked by the county to help out with $15 million. The bond up for vote in May will cost the taxpayer $22 a year. You’re aware of this, but I wonder how aware you were of the Riverfront Project.

Eugene is offering less and less for people to live here. The trouble is our elected officials do not see this. One hundred seventy thousand people, and the fact we have no hospital speaks volumes.

Steven E. Hunnicutt



I’m a trucker. Have been for over 40 years and I’ve started to notice something disturbing in all things mechanical. 

If you take your car or semi into the shop, you seem these days to get the same response, and it’s all down to the lack of fully trained personnel. We have ‘fitters,’ not ‘mechanics’.   

Imagine if you will that it was the same as the medical industry.   

Me: I have pain when I touch my shoulder. I have pain when I touch my hip. I  have pain when I touch my knee.  

Fitter: We will replace your shoulder, your hip and your knee !

Mechanic: Don’t be silly, you have a broken finger.

This is today’s reality and it does not bode well for the future. It has to change. But how?

Peter Tildesley



In a letter to the editor in the EW March 21 edition, Joe Blakely wrote a syrupy bromide about baseball bringing us all together. Actually, baseball is dividing our community and has done so in the past.

Before the Eugene Civic Alliance acquired Civic Stadium in 2015, the city of Eugene proposed using park funds to buy it. Instead of unity on that issue, there was plenty of strong opposition. And the Civic Alliance did its own fundraising for soccer and a Kidsports field house, not baseball.

Now baseball has us deep in controversy again, with city and county tax funds possibly being used for a stadium. The city’s bond issue is pitting neighbors against neighbors. It has led to stress and agony for residents and elected officials, and is making voters choose sides on an issue that has nothing to do with essential services. 

Blakely loves the movie Field Of Dreams. Like most movies, it’s an escape from reality. In the real world, with the city and county facing budget deficits, feel-good issues can’t take precedence over the best use of our tax money. Libraries, schools, roads, parks and police/firefighters are worthy of our tax money — not an outdoor stadium that makes money for a private enterprise, ruins a residential neighborhood and sits empty for half the year or more.

Steve Hering



Ah, the sweet appeal of baseball; the pleasure and relaxation of watching a leisurely game on a beautiful spring or summer day or evening. But one huge element seems to be missing from the discussion of a new stadium in Eugene; the stunning cost of Emeralds games. No one mentions that currently the cheapest seats (general admission) are usually $39 each, not including the $11 service fee (per seat!). So, counting very minimal food and drinks, we are looking at least $75 a head for three hours at the park. In other words $300 for a family of four. What percentage of young families (or old couples!) in Lane County can afford that luxury very often?

Meanwhile, across town, there is a beautiful facility that Oregon taxpayers already helped pay for. The Ducks play around 30 home games a year against truly legendary college programs like Oregon State, USC or Stanford; even the weaker Big Ten conference the Ducks are moving to play some quality baseball. Duck tickets start at $19. 

The corporate owners of professional baseball have decided that PK Park is no longer adequate for a minor league baseball team. Is it a responsible use of taxpayer money to build a second major baseball facility in this town? Every city that has been lured into major financial support of huge stadium projects has been very disappointed by the results. We should learn from their mistakes.  

Dave Hollingsworth


Editor’s Note: Ems General Manager Allan Benavides says: Our tickets start at $12 for premium dates and online ticket fees are $2 (collected by the ticketing software). Standing room tickets are only $6. Thirsty Thursday seats are only $7. Fans can bypass ticket fees by going to the box office.

We pride ourselves on affordability. In 2023, our average ticket price for the season was $10.22.


I’m voting for Ted Coopman for the Ward 1 Eugene City Council because he gets things done. Coopman has years of experience addressing serious problems. As chair of the Jefferson-Westside Neighborhood Association, Coopman has kept the board members focused and motivated to help solve issues, such as affordable housing. He worked with Homes for Good on public process and a good neighborhood agreement at The Keystone permanent supportive apartments. You can see the neat and well-designed buildings at the northwest corner of Tyler and 13th Avenue. As board chair Coopman also advocated for the fenced and supervised Safe Spot on 18th just east of Chambers — part of Community Supported Shelter’s effort to help houseless people get off the streets and into a dry bed. Another project in the works is the conversion of the old naval reserve site near 13th and Chambers. It’s called Ollie Court and will have 81 affordable units in two buildings with an early learning center for children.

These are examples of Coopman’s street-level advocacy. He didn’t sit idly by and let things take their course or play NIMBY. Rather, he led the board and got neighbor buy-in. That’s what real leadership looks like, not a long list of meetings you attended with other nice people.  

 Coopman has earned my vote and I’m proud of his leadership.

Chris O’Neill



I live within a block of the Lane Events Center, the proposed site for a stadium housing the Eugene Ems baseball team. Unlike many of my neighbors, I’m not categorically opposed to said stadium. I’m also not a homeowner, so would not be one of the people ponying up should the city’s proposed bond measure funding the stadium by levying a tax on Eugene’s property owners get passed by Eugene voters.

Nevertheless, I have reservations regarding this project. Noise, traffic and light pollution are real issues that so far haven’t been addressed apart from assurances that they will be. And, apart from the city’s proposed bond measure, financing for the stadium seems mighty vague for an undertaking of this size. The county owns the land the stadium would be built on but doesn’t appear to be ready to commit funds. Elmore Sports Group, the out-of-state, for-profit owner of the Ems, hasn’t committed funds outside the eventual rent. Funding from the Lane County Transient Lodging Tax (TLT) is constantly being evoked as a possible source, without any specifics.

I moved back to Eugene six years ago after a 16-year absence, and I haven’t been impressed with the functioning of Eugene’s city government. My concern is that, rather than being a component of a well thought-through plan, the bond measure floated by the city is just something thrown out there to see if it will stick. My present inclination is to vote “no” on this bond measure.

Nina Chordas



Florence, Oregon, city codes designed-intended to legally remove abandoned vehicles from city streets are being used to stalk, harass, intimidate and fine citizens who’ve lost their traditional home and live in a vehicle.

This is called malfeasance and is shameful behavior.

H. Jeff Iak



A baseball stadium located at the Lane County Fairgrounds will adversely affect the lives of neighbors for a great distance. Proponents for the proposed location state that neighbors chose to live nearby. This statement is true, but those neighbors did not choose to live near a baseball stadium. County fairgrounds are intended for fair activities, including the Fair, Logger’s Convention, youth activities, Home Show, Holiday Markets and so on. Those activities are entirely different from baseball stadium activities. Neighbors and their children require adequate rest and sleep to successfully maintain their lives. A Major League baseball schedule requires games six days a week at least every other week for months.

The idea that the anticipated amount of funding from the 2 percent lodging and transportation tax increase can be reliably depended upon annually is highly questionable because that amount will be spread and spent among needed projects throughout Lane County, including Florence and Springfield.

The Elmore Sports Group is a worldwide conglomerate that purchased the rights to the Ems minor league team years ago when it played at the Civic Stadium. This conglomerate is worth millions of dollars and can well afford to fund a stadium on private property without the assistance of local county or city tax dollars.

Kim Morrison




Northwest Natural, Avista and Cascade Natural Gas are three methane gas companies serving over 75,000 customers in Oregon that the Oregon Public Utilities Commission could not “acknowledge” as meeting the state’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. The fossil gas companies claim that “renewable or synthetic natural gas” blending will reduce their future emissions is, basically, full of methane gas.

Methane captured from animal waste or by blending hydrogen with carbon dioxide is insufficient in reducing emissions and is a greenwashing tactic by the American Gas Association. Methane emissions from burning gas are 80 percent greater than carbon dioxide, and nearly 40 percent of Oregon’s carbon dioxide emissions come from burning “natural” gas.

Consequently, these fossil gas companies will seek more customer rate increases to offset their costs to meet state greenhouse gas emission targets of 90 percent reduction by 2050 set by the Oregon Climate Protection Program.

It may be time to get off your gas.

Jim Neu



In response to Trisha Driscoll’s letter “Enabling Genocide” in EW dated March 21, 2024:

The recent tragedy in Gaza is undeniable, but to call it a genocide is a misuse of a grave term. Genocide, as defined by the U.N., is the “intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” Israel seeks security, not annihilation of the Palestinian people.

The true horror lies with Hamas’ actions. Their October attack aimed for maximum civilian casualties. Imagine the U.S. response to a similar attack — especially if the attacker declared it the “beginning.”

While civilians in Gaza suffer, some demonstrably support Hamas’ genocidal goals. Israel, facing an enemy hiding behind civilians, has a difficult but legitimate right to defend itself. 

Furthermore, calling Israel an apartheid state is demonstrably false. Apartheid denies basic rights based solely on race. Israeli Arabs hold full citizenship and representation in parliament.

Israel’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties cannot be ignored. Opening humanitarian corridors, warnings before bombings, and providing water even to those wishing them harm all point to a complex reality far removed from genocide. Let’s not trivialize true genocide by applying the term loosely. The situation in Gaza is a tragedy, but the blame lies with Hamas, not Israel.

Katharina Jones


Comments are closed.