Online Extra Election Letters

Ems/Multiuse Stadium 

BETTER LOCATIONS FOR EMS STADIUM

Certainly, there is a better location for the Ems stadium. The stated goals of having readily available lodging, food, entertainment, parking and easy transportation access are not met by putting it at the fairgrounds. Also, it impedes good rural and city relationships if us city folks never get to see livestock or witness FFA students sharing their talents. Perhaps even make money for their college funds.

A much better location would be at or near Valley River Center. The mall needs help and has movies, food, fun and shopping with all roads leading to the mall. Not to mention a better view. Imagine hitting a home run towards Skinners Butte! I believe the San Francisco Giants are a private corporation. Our tax dollars need to be used wisely.

Mark Whitson

Eugene

NO ON THE STADIUM

Allow me to state the obvious: The Lane County Fairgrounds site is already a multi-use facility. It already hosts events and concerts. It already acts as an emergency shelter for people and animals during local and regional crises. The voters of Eugene do not need to subsidize a baseball stadium to the tune of $100-plus million dollars for an out-of-state sports conglomerate to obtain these services.

Send a message to city officials to refocus their time — and our resources — on what matters most: public safety, parks, libraries, affordable housing and homeless services.

Vote NO on 20-358.

Holly Knight

Eugene

NO ON MEASURE 20-358 

Three weeks before the election, I’m weighing the numbers and claims made in the promotional mailer regarding Measure 20-358.

I recall another recent news story regarding an existing $15 million budget shortfall already facing the city. Even according to the promoters, the actual secured funding is less than half of the projected total needed.

That number is likely to be even higher given rising construction costs and assumes a $35 million infusion from money raised from taxes on tourism — a dubious diversion of that proposed income stream.

The mailer has pictures of ecstatic crowds with hands uplifted and an emergency relief camp set up in a sun-drenched stadium to justify this massive public expense, but the true purpose is to build a baseball field for a privately held entity.

The job creation is both transient and, ultimately, largely seasonal.

The existing Fairgrounds site and others are already suited to local events and emergency shelter sites.

We must do better allocating our public funds and prioritizing the needs of our community than to pass a measure that is unlikely to meet its stated objectives.

Vote no on Measure 20-358.

George Schaefer

Eugene 

WE WILL PAY FOR STADIUM

Many letters have been about the value of commercial baseball to the community, but little is said about the activities displaced if/when the Events Center is given to a team: County Fair, Egan shelters, home shows, swap meets, ice rink, health and wellness expo, gem shows, Holiday Market, etc. Unlike baseball, these are dispersed throughout the year. And the Events Center gets income from them. With a commercial team, we are expected to pay for it.

If the area around the stadium becomes a new entertainment district, what happens to downtown, already purged of retail by Valley River?

Karen Carlson

Eugene

EMS DON’T NEED PUBLIC MONEY

Did you know when David G. Elmore Sr. passed in June 2023, his son, D. G. Elmore Jr. (also David G.), took over ownership of Elmore Sports Group: Seven minor league baseball teams (including the Ems), one hockey team; facility, concessions and special management companies.  

D. G. Elmore Jr. is currently chairman and owner of several different companies, including Gant Travel Management, Decision Tree Resources, Adams and Westlake, Solution Tree, Velo Vacations and Cornerstone Information Systems. His Website is: ElmoreCompanies.com. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana. More information about Elmore Companies can be found at: Opencorporates.com.  

The other son, Doug Elmore, is managing director of Elmore Sports Group Ltd., president and owner of the Diamond Concessions companies and Vail Service Stations, LLC. Doug Elmore is also involved in real estate, having owned and developed hotels, industrial parks, condominiums and gas stations. Doug Elmore lives in Chicago.  

The Ems are a High-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, and they will operate and maintain the facility, but never own it.  One of the five owners of the San Francisco Giants is Charles B. Johnson, whose assets when he retired were worth $880 billion.  

It is obvious that the Elmore Sports Group, along with the owners of the San Francisco Giants, do not need any more money, not one penny from Eugene homeowners, from county residents or from Oregon state residents. Our money needs to go towards human needs in Oregon! And since Elmore Sports Group and the San Francisco Giants owners want a new stadium, then they are the ones who can easily come up with $100 million or more!

Planet Glassberg

Eugene

THE EMS: ‘WE’RE BETTER THAN THIS’

Upon reading the “Field of Schemes” letter, I feel disappointed and saddened by the tone and continued falsehoods directed at myself, the team and the JWN association. Eugene, we’re better than this. Over the past several years, we’ve actively volunteered for community events like the JWN picnic and the Monroe Park Cleanup, and we have contributed a matching grant to fund the JWN Historic District task force, as we have with numerous other nonprofits. We’ve attended countless council and commissioner meetings to advocate for our cause. Without the broader community’s support, we wouldn’t have come this far; it’s the countless emails flooding elected officials’ inboxes with expressions of support that have kept this project alive.

This proposed $15 million bond is one of the city’s smallest, averaging just $22 annually for property owners. In return, we’ll have a beautiful new facility capable of hosting graduations, concerts, high school baseball games  and, of course, EmeraldsSportsball.com events.

I’m immensely proud to work for the Elmore family, who have entrusted me to run this team for the community’s benefit. Whether organizing Pride night, hosting Monarcas Beisbol events,or our annual Boys and Girls Club Field of Dreams Fundraiser, the Elmores always encourage us to do more. During the pandemic, while other sports teams closed doors, the Elmores funded us and urged us to assist those in need. Despite lucrative job offers over my 15 years leading this team, I’ve chosen to stay in Eugene because of this remarkable place and its committed ownership. 

Allane Benavides

General manager, Eugene Emeralds

FIREWORKS AND THE EMS

As if there aren’t already enough reasons to vote against the stadium bond measure, here’s another one: the July 4 fireworks.

According to their website, the Eugene Ems will have their annual fireworks promotion on the 4th this year. If these shows were to be allowed at a stadium located at the fairgrounds, imagine the booming, window rattling blasts right on top of the residential neighborhoods that surround the site in all directions. We all have to put up with neighbors who use illegal personal fireworks, but the big commercial shows are way beyond that. Many thousands of residents who live in the heart of Eugene would suffer. That’s a nasty thing to do to citizens.

Steve Hering

Eugene

RAIN AND THE STADIUM

News flash! It rains in Oregon — a lot!

That is why humans invented overheads, tarps, tents, …. roofs …. as in “A roof over our heads,” “Out of the rain” and “Shelter from the storm.”

The stadium has little-to-no-roof! It is not “all season.” “Game called because of rain.” and “rained out.” are common expressions in (wait for it!) “Open Air Sports.”

The agricultural buildings have roofs, so they are functional “year around” for most kinds of community events, both scheduled and as disaster shelters. The stadium would have mere tents for “shelters,” hardly worth FEMA funds..

Rebuilding the agricultural buildings is already needed, affordable and budgeted.

The stadium: Big money for minimal use and taking a big chunk of land — and the team may leave.

Did I mention that it rains a lot in Oregon?!

David Hoffman

Eugene

City Council 

FIRE THEM ALL

No city councilor deserves to be re-elected. Their voting records show that through MUPTEs (Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemptions), they favor developers over the city budget, taxpayers and the environment.

Environmentally, the council is forcing taxpayers to subsidize concrete production, the third largest greenhouse gas producer.

Financially, the council’s support for MUPTEs  provides 10 tax-free years for developers. The city budget has to make up for the shortfall-cutting the library budget and events like Sunday Streets.

The most heinous MUPTE is seven stories with 237 market rate apartments next to the river. Riverfront developer Atkins Dame’s presentations were mum about corporate welfare.

Did anyone check to see what the view of the river from Skinner Butte will be with this monstrosity?

In this hot real estate market, Atkin Dame had the gall to tell the council it “wouldn’t pencil out “ without the subsidy. Played like rubes, the council believed them. These were the same “magic words” uttered by Brian Obie and the 16th Avenue developers.

The counselors said we need housing. True, but we have empty buildings downtown that could be made into housing with little additional concrete poured.

Homeowners (including the council’s) property tax grows with compound interest at 3 percent a year. The landlords pass this on to renters.

Citizens are shocked by the city’s rapid development. No need to subsidize the cost and privatize the profit.

Don’t vote for these incumbents. The others should also be recalled, but unlike the council, I don’t believe in wasting taxpayers money.

Scott Fife

Eugene

WE NEED COOPMAN

Responding to the Guest Viewpoint “Field of Schemes,” I am both shocked and saddened to read negative allegations made against Ted Coopman by three Jefferson Westside residents. As a JWN neighbor myself, I have seen civic action strongly encouraged and promoted by Coopman during his tenure as chair of our neighborhood association. His leadership has promoted neighborhood engagement in the many challenges that have faced us — from middle housing solutions to the crisis in homelessness to the general health of our neighborhood parks.  It is Coopman’s style of courageous leadership that we need in the Eugene City Council. 

Paul Bodin

Eugene

IN SUPPORT OF KEATING

I am writing to support Matt Keating as he runs for reelection for Ward 2. I have found him over the years to be responsive to our community’s needs, an advocate for smart growth of Eugene and an advocate for continuing to support Eugene as a living, vibrant community.

During the pandemic, when pedestrian safety fell across the country, including in our community, Keating came out and walked with me to see firsthand what was going on with the lack of enforcement and under-built pedestrian infrastructure near the UO campus. I feel that his advocacy helped to improve the infrastructure that has been built over the last few years. I hope to see his re-election help to fund a city wide sidewalk improvement plan and also more bike-ways in Eugene, among other issues. He is the type of local politician Oregonians want — someone who is your neighbor, shows up to listen, and knows the issues to get efficient policy done.

Patrick Hudson

Eugene

Canning v. Fragala

A POLITICAL HEADACHE

It’s May 1, the Oregon primary election is still three weeks away, and I have already received my first political attack ad in the mail. It appears that somebody doesn’t like Doyle Canning, and the issue at hand is her “combative” approach.” Apparently,  she’s “not nice” or something. Did she somehow manage to get crosswise with the south Eugene bourgeoisie? 

Ah, yes, the politics of identity so famously promoted and effectively used by the Clintons in the 1980s. Political positions on substantive issues? We don’t need no stinkin’ issues; just the smiley face grin and the smarmy warmth of the vacuous mediocrities currently holding far too many offices in the Oregon Legislature.

And who or what really is “Oregonians Are Ready,” the outfit that paid for the glossy flier dissing Canning? A recent OPB news article indicates it is an Oregon PAC that is ready to spend up to “six figures” to defeat Canning in order to settle a score on behalf of Peter DeFazio for Canning’s absolute brazen temerity to actually run against Saint Peter in his last campaign prior to retirement.

Three weeks until the election and I already have a headache.

Steve Johnston

Creswell

FRAGALA WILL SERVE US WELL

Lisa Fragala is the right choice to represent our community as state representative for House District 8. Having known Fragala for over 15 years, she clearly has the experience, dedication, passion and integrity to serve us well. 

First, she is a strong proponent of public education. As a lifelong educator myself, I value her experience and support of K-12 schools and higher education. In addition to her impressive service on the Lane Community College Board, she has decades of experience as a primary grades teacher. She understands what students need, including what teachers and staff need to help students thrive. Fragala worked for over a year with the Oregon Education Association, and a large coalition of partners statewide, to help pass the Student Success Act, which resulted in significant investments in schools.

Fragala cares deeply for working class families and individuals. She has firsthand experience with the issue of homelessness and will work to reduce the cost of housing. In recent years, as she battled with breast cancer, she had to navigate the complex health care system. Now as a cancer survivor, she will take the fight to the public arena in order to make health care more affordable. 

In all pursuits, she lives the values that she taught her primary grade students all those years: do your best, care for others and for the environment, and make the world a more just place for all.

Randy Bernstein

Eugene

FRAGALA: DEDICATION TO COMMUNITY

I am excited to be on a long list of folks endorsing and supporting Lisa Fragala for Oregon House District 8. As an educator in our community for 25 years, Fragala has made a real difference in the lives of countless students, families and school staff. With caring and commitment, she has worked hard to ensure our schools are accessible for all and that no one is left behind or excluded. 

Over the years, I have seen Fragala’s dedication and commitment to the community in action. Wherever she is, Fragala advocates that all voices be at the table and heard. It is for this reason — and because she shows up and does the grassroots work — that so many people trust and respect her.

Fragala is from a working family. She makes connections with other working families to learn firsthand what issues are impacting their lives. She has proven that she will advocate for affordable housing, the environment, health care, and workers’ rights. She has proven that she recognizes and honors differences and diversity, and that she is guided by a vision of community where folks feel supported, heard, and included.

Having Fragala as our state representative would mean having a strong advocate who will stand up and fight for a better future for us all. I encourage you to vote for Fragala for Oregon House District 8. I can’t think of a better individual to represent us!

Guadalupe Quinn

Eugene

FRAGALA HAS THE EXPERIENCE

When I first met Lisa Fragala over 25 years ago, it was apparent even then that she was motivated by deeply held core values of compassion, honesty and action. 

Fragala’s personal growth, professional development and public activism over the years have truly inspired me. As we individually and collectively navigated our lives in our tumultuous world, Fragala held steadfast to the mast of civil society. Over a quarter-century as a teacher, she honed her listening and observation skills, guided and elevated countless children and families, and expanded her leadership roles.

With unwavering focus on social justice, Fragala directed her civic activism into spaces where she could positively impact the lives of others, including the Eugene Middle East Peace Group, the Eugene Planning Commission, Better Eugene-Springfield Transportation/BEST, the Friendly Area Neighbors Equity Action Team and the LCC Board.

Raised in a working-class family, Fragala understands first-hand the foundational elements of equity and inclusion.  Whether addressing housing, education, jobs or health care, Fragala has a no-nonsense approach: She meets challenges head-on, focuses on the essentials and gets things done. 

I am grateful for all the policies that Fragala has helped shape including increased housing accessibility, enhanced workforce development, heightened community attention on equity, and improved climate resiliency. Knowing that we face many social, economic, and environmental challenges in the years ahead, I choose Fragala as my representative in the Oregon House. I encourage you to do the same. Vote Fragala for HD8! 

Nir Pearlson

Eugene

SIERRA CLUB FOR CANNING

As a Eugenan, environmental advocate and union leader, I am writing to express my support for Doyle Canning in the primary election for House District 8. 

In the years that I have worked with her, Canning has demonstrated that she is committed to building a better future, and that she has the political acumen to build coalitions and pass the policy that will bring that future into being. She has spent two decades in the trenches for our climate, and the last two years working in the Oregon legislature helping to pass bold climate policy: divesting the state from coal power, investing millions in urban forestry for cooler cities, protecting our oceans and much more.

We need leaders that bridge divides and get things done. Canning has shown she can do this with her labor-climate-community coalition and long track-record of accomplishments. That’s why I’m voting for Canning this May.

There is no Republican running to represent us, meaning that the winner of the primary wins outright. That’s why a shady PAC — funded by one Salem lobbyist who wants to stop “progressives” — is spending big to try and buy this election with smears to stop Canning.

The Sierra Club is supporting Canning because she is one of our own. Rooted in Eugene with a deep understanding of the issues facing our community, and a genuine commitment to making positive change, Canning is our climate champion.

Join the Sierra Club of Oregon and vote Canning for Oregon House District 8.

Dylan Plummer

Eugene

SUPPORT DOYLE CANNING

I am president of our local SEIU retirees, and I live in the Friendly neighborhood. I have been involved in Eugene politics for over 30 years. Last time I checked, I am real. Our union also represents several thousand more real people in Eugene. 

I am supporting Doyle Canning because she is our neighbor and she is the real progressive in this race. That’s why one corporate developer from out of town is sending us all a bunch of smear lies in the mail — basically accusing Canning of “tricks” and using an image of a weird looking duck (?). It’s like that old Monty Python sketch (“She’s a witch! Burn her!”), but this isn’t a joke.

This man has already spent at least $80 thousand attacking Canning, more than most people in our town make in a year. He’s actually put a million dollars of his own money into a campaign to elect “more business friendly Democrats” this year, in districts he doesn’t even live in.

Why target us to stop Canning? Because he knows very well that she’s effective in Salem: Canning has stood up to him before, and she will do it again. 

When a shady Republican super PAC was sending trashy mail about Val Hoyle, Canning was first to speak out, and campaigned for her alongside Bernie Sanders. Canning will link arms for the betterment of our community, rather than wage weird vendetta campaigns. (Notably, Canning’s opponent has refused to condemn this hateful garbage, and has actually amplified mean spirited attacks printed in letters to this paper). 

Canning has shown us her character, courage, and class. Please join me in supporting Canning for House District 8.

Twila Jacobsen 

Eugene

BREAK UP DEMOCRAT PARTY

Voters in House District 8 have been receiving a barrage of expensive, sleazy mailings depicting Doyle Canning as an overly ambitious, non-working pretender soft on dangerous drugs, and the Weekly has run letters from such as Tony Corcoran and Bob Warren that stoop to personal slurs, insult and deceitful innuendo in opposing her candidacy. Made me wonder why this woman has them so exercised.

We need look no further than businessman Brian Clem, a former state representative who’s bankrolling the mailings in part because, as a legislative aide, Canning helped defeat the Jordan Cove pipeline project Clem was pushing. For their part, former State Senator Corcoran and Warren, former officer for Oregon Business Development Department, are representatives of an insular network of status quo moderates incensed that Canning challenged their hero, DeFazio, and apparently threatened by the strength of her environmental credentials. To date, Lisa Fragala has appeared to welcome her supporters’ scurrilous and baseless tactics.

This is familiar ground, and it’s why we consistently end up with a lesser-of in office. Never mind that Canning is a business owner herself with years of experience working in the state legislature, and has received the endorsement of at least a dozen Democratic legislators, Oregon’s Labor Commissioner and, closer to home, Betty Taylor and Jerry Rust. She understands that a strong economy and a healthy environment can and must function symbiotically as an antidote to our environmental ills.

Help break up the grand old Democrat party. Vote Canning for House District 8.

Robert Emmons

Fall Creek

County Commission

EXPERIENCE NEEDED

We need an experienced veteran board member on the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

Pat Farr brings the leadership experience. He has served his community in many capacities as a public servant, listening to the people of Lane County and bringing results that benefit all. His effective leadership, and collaboration with the people he serves in this county are what we want and look for in our community leaders.

In decision making, I believe Farr asks himself, “Is it fair and will it be beneficial to all concerned?”

Farr brings integrity, effective collaboration and community centered leadership.

Linda Hamilton

Eugene

STAR Voting

EVEN SCHOOL CHILDREN KNOW STAR VOTING

I strongly support STAR Voting for Eugene. I want to refute two comments opposing it that I have seen. “STAR Voting is too confusing and complicated,” and people won’t know how to vote. Even grade school children know how to give more stars for something they like more. Giving a maximum five stars for the candidate a voter most prefers, and zero stars for the one they most don’t want, is not really confusing or complicated. They can even score only one candidate, if they want. There is no convincing evidence that trying to vote strategically is beneficial in STAR Voting. 

“Our current system is easy and has worked well for centuries; why change?” Our current system is simple and straightforward, but it is not good. It results in polarized candidates who won’t compromise, big money influencing who likely wins the primary, and more than half the voters (independents and third parties) having no real influence on who is a candidate in the general election. With STAR Voting, primaries for mayor and city council would no longer be necessary. That would save everyone a lot of trouble, and save the candidates and the city lots of money. And each voter would be able to score their level of approval for each candidate. That has the effect of selecting two finalists for each position that have the broadest level of approval, then determining the winner in the automatic runoff, all from voters who only vote once. No new voting equipment is needed to handle this.

Bruce Tinker

Eugene

National and International Concerns

DO YOUR JOB, FOURTH ESTATE

I am deeply dismayed by the fourth estate over the negligent framing of the current trial of former President Donald Trump. Headline after headline, lead and subsequent references in almost every news story miss the point: Hush money? Really? Is that what this is about? Let’s take it step-by-step:

The purported infidelity occurred almost a decade prior to the 2016 election. The payment of the hush money occurred just months before the election. Why? Why make a payoff almost a decade later and just prior to the 2016 election? The answer and suspected motive are obvious.

The crime of import is not the mere payment of hush money to, for instance, keep Melania Trump from finding out. The crime was the payment of hush money to keep the voting public from finding out, just weeks before the election. This was not another tawdry quasi-celebrity scandal, but a serious crime regarding federal election integrity. The first is, appropriately, little more than tabloid fodder; the second, a consequential breach of a core tenant of American democracy. The first, of little consequence and dubious interest to a puerile few; the second of great consequence and interest to every American citizen of voting age and younger.

It’s time for the fourth estate to do its job and report this story with the proper gravity.

We will never know, of course, but the alleged deceit now on trial may have determined who served as our 45th president. And far from the weakest of four cases, was this arguably an electoral deceit of greater consequence than an infamous 52 year old break-in at the Watergate Hotel.

David Hausam

Eugene

ARE COLLEGE STUDENTS READING NOW?

The way some of the main media portray these campus protests would make one think that a lot of college students all of a sudden at the same time came across The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and/or Mein Kampf, and are up in arms about a cabal of Jewish financiers plotting to run the world, and that they harbor an image of Jews as usurious Shylocks, the murderers of Christ, and so on. Come on! In fact, if there is real antisemitism going on at all, it is incidental, though this is always a convenient club to bash people with. What motivates these kids is that mass murder is taking place and we are paying for it.

Daniel Atheran

Eugene