Dear mayor to damn Trump in letters to the editor 


Dear Mayor Kaarin Knudson,

I do not expect that this letter will get to you. Mayoral responsibilities are vast, but I hope that anyone who reads it will benefit in some way or another.

I am a Eugene born and raised youth and incoming UO student. I spent the last academic year in Portland with a program called Tivnu: Building Justice, where I spent a lot of time at homeless villages working pro-bono as a carpenter. While I do not have a degree, I have a unique perspective I hope is still helpful.

Housing is expensive. That’s inarguable. Most of the people I worked for were middle aged or older, many have given up permanent housing because of how difficult it is to get off the street and refocused on their quality of life. They are not lazy, they are full time carpenters, custodians, cooks and laborers that can’t afford a modest apartment, and many of them are my friends.

I’m not a communist, I’m just scared because of what could happen to my friends. Many people died this winter in the ice storm and those deaths were avoidable. Please do whatever is in your power to create the cheapest modest housing you can, free ideally. A bed in a closet with a shared bathroom is an improvement.

Thank you for your service to our city. I look forward to working with you, doing my small part.

Zohar Whacks



Hooray for the Trump haters! He’s guilty! If you think the government is oppressive and your taxes and gas are too high now — just stick around. It’s gonna get better.

Brian Palmer



On May 30 the University of Oregon held an investiture ceremony for its new president John Karl Scholz. Predictably, and commendably, the ceremony was interrupted by the chants of peaceful protesters calling for more meaningful action in response to the carnage in Palestine. 

I read several articles about the interruption in local publications (including EW), but there was a critical omission. When Scholz returned to his podium after retreating to a secret location to continue the ceremony remotely, he made the following statement: “The interruption actually came at a pretty good time because I think Steve Holwerda was about to hand me a mace. And the mace is pretty heavy. And I can get kinda fired up about things.” 

UO made its recording of the event private immediately after its conclusion, but several videos surfaced online for those who would like to hear it for themselves. Although he may have caught his PR team by surprise, Scholz himself had plenty of time to consider the meaning of his words. Just months after the bloody attack against students at UCLA, this remark was extremely distasteful.

 I hope the polite chuckles in that private room didn’t fool him. He may have the support of UO’s donors and board members for now. But his inflammatory comment has only stoked the fire. As students across the globe have shown us over and over again, no manner of violence — threatened or otherwise — can stop this movement for peace.

Alison Helzer


Editor’s Note: We could not confirm the mace comment for our May 31 online story, but it is noted in our story in print this week.  


Loved your Movin’ & Groovin’ issue about Eugene in the ’70s, an amazingly creative and dynamic place. When I arrived in 1971, Eugene was rocking in a cultural Renaissance with newly-arriving young people bringing an awakening consciousness for healthier living, protection of our environment, spiritual fulfillment and a desire to develop community outside of the “establishment.” Intentional communities formed on farmlands throughout the region, living by their own rules and trying more peaceful and fulfilling ways to exist.

Idealistic young people discovered previously ignored or neglected community issues that needed correcting and they got to work. We then saw the origination of organizations like White Bird Clinic, BRING Recycling, Grower’s Market, Looking Glass, Relief Nursery, Sponsors, Sexual Assault Support Services, FOOD for Lane County, Saturday Market, Oregon Country Fair and many others. Young people created work coops that democratized decision-making and sharing of profits, like Hoedads tree planting collective and Starflower food wholesalers, a woman-owned coop.

Young people wanted to change the world and that they did. For more information and stories about 1970s Eugene, see:

Lee Boutell



Eugene Voters (or should I say non-voters?),

I am dumbfounded and disappointed finding that only 27 percent of registered voters in Lane County cast their ballots in our recent election.  Twenty-seven percent!  This miserable turnout shocked me because I think of our citizenship as well educated, thoughtful and concerned about our elected leaders.  I guess I am wrong about that.

There was also only a 47 percent turnout for our 2020 presidential primary – also a pretty lousy number which may portend a dark future.

Why such low numbers? Too many folks seem complacent and apathetic. Many are feeling a sense of powerlessness and ask “What’s the use? My vote won’t make a difference.” Or, they are not happy about their voting choices. Or, they just don’t give a shit. There are lots of reasons why people don’t vote.

Your vote does count! We cannot be complacent in November. I believe our democracy is at risk of being destroyed. I am concerned for the future of America and its citizens (you and me, by the way!) in so many ways — loss of freedom, choices, respect and safety for all was well as a devastated planet.

Please listen to the rhetoric of the now convicted felon, Donald Trump. America, with us at his mercy, will be demolished. Do his values resemble yours? Not mine, for sure.

Perhaps you’re not motivated to get involved? If not for yourself, think of today’s youth. What would you like to see them inherit?

Please, oh please, vote in November.

Bev Hollander



While everyone is offering an opinion on what the new mayor should do they forgot that her role is largely ceremonial. The real power is with the city manager, you know — the one who actually gets paid and is hired behind closed doors by the mayor and city council.

Will the mayor continue to support the status quo who are profiting from the current housing crunch contributing to the homeless situation? Or will she provide  motivation to local developers and find a solution to everyone’s benefit?

The mayor, with her architecture background, could encourage new designs and the City Czar to update the zoning code that others have noted allows for the cheapest, ugliest buildings to blight our cityscape.

Maybe then we will be voting for a real mayor and not a cardboard figurehead who rubber stamps the rule of the tasteless rich.

Alisa McLaughlin



Pro-Palestinian demonstrators occupied the University of Oregon campus beginning in April for about a month. They claimed Israel is committing “genocide,” and shouted such slogans as, “From the River to the Sea, the whole of Palestine will be freed.”

The latter has been condemned by a large majority of the U.S. House of Representative as antisemitic, and President Joe Biden has denied Israel is committing genocide. The demonstrators also want the university to divest from companies doing business in Israel. This policy, known as BDS (Boycott, Divest, Sanction), is regarded as antisemitic and is illegal in 37 states.    

Demonstrators defaced university property, broadcast slogans through megaphones at those passing by, marched through buildings during classes shouting slogans, and destroyed the grass in where their tents were located.

In an agreement ending demonstration, the university called for a ceasefire in Gaza, a return of hostages and refugee aid. It also agreed to expand their Middle East studies program and give students from Gaza scholarships. Despite the Oct. 7 massacre, however, Israeli students are not being offered scholarships.    

Other universities had police remove demonstrators and offered them far less, if anything. I don’t understand why the University of Oregon is doing otherwise. I find it hard to sympathize with terrorists whose goal is the murder of all Jews in Israel. Nonetheless, others strongly disagree. Demonstrators have been complemented by the Hamas terror group, and the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, who welcomed them to the “resistance.”

Michael Sturman



Regarding an EW Slant item from May 30 (“Shame on The Washington Post), I’ve read every word of this Slant piece four times (so far) with the same emotions every time: fury at the shameful “knew or should have known” assertion described, admiration for the fine writing contained in the five sentences detailing the event, and sorrow over where we’ll be when journalism like this continues to erode from our democracy. Thank you so much for still being here.

Jain Elliot



In November, we have to choose between one candidate who wants to work for us and another candidate who wants us to work for him.

Republican legislators want to tell us what to do. Candidate Donald Trump wants to tell everyone what to do. In our democracy, that’s a problem for all of us.

Bruce Barney



Do you believe that power corrupts, and ultimate power corrupts ultimately? Do you believe that the love of money is the root of all evil? Can there be redemption without repentance? 

We see the results of a spoiled pathological liar pursuing nothing but power and money all of his life. He has become a narcissistic sociopath without empathy or compassion. He has bragged of sexually assaulting women, been convicted of rape, bank fraud and now 34 felony counts of voter fraud. There are another 54 crimes charged that have been postponed because of political bias.

He would not have been elected were it not for this crime, the help of the Russians, and the policy breaches of the FBI which disclosed Hilary Clinton’s investigation (which led to nothing) while withholding his own investigation.

While the president, his main policies were tax cuts for the 1 percent, elimination of President Obama’s programs, and accelerating climate change. He eliminated all of the preparations to prevent and react to a pandemic, and when it came, after providing big pharma money to develop the vaccine, he did everything he could to spread the virus, with super-spreader events and discouraging masks and vaccinations. As a result, he is directly responsible for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary lives lost to COVID.

The 2020 election was verified by Donald Trump’s experts, as the fairest, with the least fraud, yet he claimed it was stolen and led an insurrection to prevent certification. Next time he’ll eliminate democracy.

Jerry Brule



Twice a month I get a pay stub listing eight different taxes that are confiscated from my earnings before I can even buy a loaf of bread for my family. Yep, 27 percent of every dollar I work for goes to others who think they know how to spend my family’s money better than me. How about the $23 million per year Eugene Safety Tax that was rammed through without a vote of the people? How was “public safety” funded before this new tax and where is that ‘old’ money going now?  PERS?

 My boss is required to pay Lane Transit District tax on my earnings. According to the LTD website, for every fare dollar paid by LTD riders, taxpayers pay about $23 just to cover the cost of each ride. It’s asinine. I won’t even mention the millions in damage inflicted on our streets by LTD buses that pay nothing for road repairs.

Nor will I mention my property tax bill listing 18 different taxes I pay under threat of confiscation of my home. Taxes increase every year without fail. Enough! I don’t expect to pay zero taxes, but there needs to be a limit.

Now is the time to send a message.  Be fair, equitable and inclusive about it.  Vote no on all tax increases and tax extensions.

Don Richey



On May 25, Karl Scholz, president of the UO, signed an agreement with the pro-Palestine encampment. There are 23,000-plus students at the UO, and the lesson I read is that if a few hundred stomp their feet and yell, then the president will cave in to their “demands.” It is an indictment on our higher education that these students are not addressing even more severe humanitarian crises occurring in Yemen, Sudan, Syria and Ukraine. It’s just easier to react emotionally to the news and to target hate against Israel and Jews. After all, the history is very complicated, and where is Yemen anyway?

The scary part is that this capitulation plays precisely into the overall strategy of radical Islamic extremism. George Washington University has a research program called Center on Extremism which offers insight into the goals of Hamas and other like-minded groups. It also clearly explains the difference between Islam as a religion and far-right radical Islamism i.e. Hamas, a defined terrorist organization.

The strategy is definitely an in-your-face one — insist that a University (or any entity) demand a cease-fire even though this is not under the jurisdiction of the organization, insist on displays of flags and other paraphernalia even when it’s inappropriate, dictate the hummus menu and rename Johnson Hall to Alareer Hall, rest of UO be damned.

Zenia Liebman 

Junction City