We love EW, we don’t love fishing, in letters

WITH LOVE TO EW

Sending you this letter of not only commendation but of praise from my heart for all of the EW issues that I have been reading since 2006. I’m 95 years old as of May 7, and this letter is my need to express the joy that your quality and informative issues give to me — and I have never missed a Thursday issue.

You are the best!

Nicholas Lopedota

Eugene

REPRESENT THE PEOPLE

The city of Springfield is strongly considering annexing an empty 2.3 acre skinny lot, formerly part of the Southern Pacific Railroad passthrough, behind homes on Pheasant and Raleighwood. 

The owner of the lot, Gansen Construction, is intending to build as many as 27 units that would tower over and crowd 42 homes existing since 1952. Currently, this area is quiet, peaceful and safe, but that would drastically change if the annexation is approved. This development has a multitude of challenges, such as development of an unsafe one-way small road; no sidewalks for children, wheelchairs or walkers; no room for emergency vehicles, school buses, delivery trucks; fosters traffic accidents; loss of property value due to saturation of housing; lack of current privacy and quiet. 

Additionally, because the lot was part of the old railway, it left contaminated soil behind from the late 1800s to early 1900s. No studies have been done to determine what chemicals are buried in the soil, and what the consequences are of digging. Our neighborhood is not opposed to development, but we want smart and safe development that truly supports affordable housing, and this does nothing of the sort. 

As the Springfield City Council president states on his profile: “Thank you for allowing me the privilege to represent the citizens…” Yes, please do represent us. That is the role of City Council members, especially when over 75 neighborhood citizens attended the Springfield City Council meeting last week vocalizing our concerns and opposition. 

On June 17, the Springfield City Council will hear final plans from the developer. 

Bea James

Springfield

IT IS GENOCIDE

In their recent letters, Michael Sturman and Zenia Liebman attack University of Oregon students for being compelled to speak out about the genocide in Gaza. We should be grateful that this generation of students does not tolerate injustice regardless of the perpetrators.

Both writers take pains to associate the protesting students with “Hamas terrorists.” Neither provides any context. Neither mentions that the Palestinians in Gaza are refugees from the Nakba of 1948 when they were driven from their native lands by Zionist settlers. Neither mentions that Gaza has been a virtual open-air prison under total Israeli control for 17 years with its residents unable to travel back to their homes. 

The attack on Oct. 7 and the ensuing battle resulted in the death of scores of people, but that cannot justify the months of indiscriminate bombing of civilians in Gaza. This is not a war between Israel and Hamas, it is an attempt to remove all Palestinians from Gaza — in other words, genocide.

I find it hard to sympathize with people who are so blind to the propaganda of the Israeli regime that, even though they identify as religious, are loudly praising the murder of thousands of children by an overtly fascist government.

All of us should have learned from history that attempting to establish a state for a single ethnic group by removing or confining those who don’t belong to that group is racist and requires the use of violence. It should never happen again, regardless of who is doing it.

Charles Dunaway

Portland

YES, EW IS BACK 

Wow! What a terrific issue last week. Thirty-two pages. Lots of advertisers (we love them). One and a half pages of letters. And an illustration by Chelsea Lovejoy. What a joy to see the paper bouncing back. I’m going to contribute. And if you’re reading this, be thankful and contribute.

Lou Caton

Eugene

Editor’s Note: Thank you! We LOVE a big paper and it’s folks like you, together with our advertisers, that make it happen!

DON’T BLOT OUT THE NIGHT SKY

For those of us who live along the Fern Ridge bike trail between City View and Oak Patch, we are preparing for the city to install new lights. I say preparing because I have opposed these lights. These lights will only add to the lights which shine from the back side of businesses along West 11th Avenue. 

As the work crews prepare the site for the new lamp posts, they have used yellow ribbons and orange plastic posts to encircle each post site. In many cases, part of the path is obstructed. 

Now, obviously, this is new and temporary, but my thing is this: If they can see these markers (which aren’t lighted), they can see well enough to navigate the path without additional lighting. Thus, these new lights are truly not needed and a waste of taxpayer money, and they are a blot to the night time sky and surrounding area.

End this project now!

Lawrence Roper

Eugene

THINK OF THE FISH

I’ll start by saying that I love you, EW. Going to pick up my EW at Sundance on Thursdays is one of the joys of life.

But it saddened me to see the fish on the cover of your Summer Guide issue (6/6), not to highlight the beauty of the animal, but to encourage causing them harm and death with fishing. My lament is not directed at you. I’m disheartened by the normalization of violence to certain species of animals in our society. 

Would you put an image on the cover of a dog or cat being tortured, suffocated and killed? Of course not. But that is exactly what is happening to a fish in recreational and commercial fishing. There is overwhelming scientific evidence that fish feel pain, fish suffer (both physically and psychologically) and fish experience emotions like joy and loss. We are moving toward a future with a better animal/human relationship where barbaric practices like fishing will be a thing of a shameful past. 

This may seem extreme in our current society, but couldn’t we use some extreme compassion and kindness right about now? Please consider this for the future when selecting images and articles. And thank you for all you do to educate and enlighten our community! 

Hope Behonic

Eugene

EUGENE AND THE ’70s

I really enjoyed the article about the Kiva’s history in downtown Eugene (EW, 5/30). I remember the original Kiva well and its garage door entrance on West 11th. Eugene’s downtown was so different then in the late 60s and early 70s. There were department stores like the Bon Marche, Penney’s and Montgomery Ward. The greatest hardware /houseware store ever, Quackenbush, was on Broadway. There were three movie theaters within five blocks of each other and a fourth, the Bijou, when the Atrium opened. 

The Crystal Ship provided all your record needs, and the Odyssey Coffee House was a mecca for young people. Across from the MacDonald Theater, upstairs above the 88 Cent Store, a bowling alley was converted into a rock music club called The Attic where local and Portland bands played. There were restaurants as well like Original Joe’s, Cafe de Frisco, Seymours and others, and plenty of small shops, many in the old Art Deco buildings no longer in existence.

Downtown was the shopping destination for students, and residents. You could even park for free. 

Hal Huestis

Eugene

ONLINE LETTERS

GOVERNMENT FOR THE PEOPLE?

How often does the government ever take its own people into consideration if it thinks that it doesn’t have to?

When does the suffering of people elsewhere become visible in our own sphere of life and begin to matter to us as if their lives were as valuable in our eyes as lives of our neighbors and our own family?

If my world has the radius 20 miles, and my friends and neighbors and co-workers numbered less than two hundred people, and if the world represented by the planet Earth is 7,926 miles in diameter, housing 8,052,931,1131, (you read that right) — a little over 8 billion men women and children — and if you divided 8 billion by 200 you find out that there are 80 million corpuscles of humanity on Earth, each is big as your intimate world around your home and all the people you deal with in it.

How can we possibly open our hearts to all of the overwhelming social crises and suffering families out there in the world and be expected to rationally modify our own behavior to somehow include the benefit we have created into the benefit all of those people out there in the world could possibly feel?

Leo Rivers

Cottage Grove

DRUG USE AT HIGH SCHOOLS

I am a student at Churchill High School. My IHS Civics and Engagement class is currently completing a research project on issues in our community. My group decided to focus on the issue of youth drug abuse, specifically among high schoolers. 

Currently at our school, many of us don’t feel comfortable using the restrooms because of other students vaping, smoking, etc., and the numbers of students skipping class to smoke nearby is startling. Drug use is something so normalized within public high schools, and that needs to change. It’s destroying the education of so many young students and is setting them up for failure for their future.

Our proposed solution would be an increase in the support provided for those struggling with addiction. As shown in the attempt to repeal Measure 110, an increase in the punishments but limiting access to help is not an effective solution. Even with the increase in punishment, when the charges cost less or close to the cost of rehab then there isn’t going to be a desire to get help. 

There needs to be more community support in order to fix this issue. We need to get funds for organizations that are able to step in and give youth the appropriate help that they need.

Olivia DeVore

Eugene

MORE FROM CIVICS AND ENGAGEMENT

I am a student at Churchill High School. I am working with some of my classmates on women’s safety in my Civics and Engagement class. We decided on this topic because we found that Oregon is one of the most dangerous states for women, that perpetrators have sexually assaulted over 1 million women and girls in Oregon, which is more than half of the state’s female population. 

We also found through the Womens Foundation of Oregon that thousands of Oregon’s women and girls experience verbal, physical and sexual violence every day. This information prompted us to come up with a legislative solution. Currently, the law does not allow you to buy self defense tools until the age of 18. Our policy idea is to lower the age to get self-defense tools to 16, and if you are 14 or 15, your parents can sign off, allowing you to purchase a self-defense tool. I hope you advocate for this policy. As a citizen, I appreciate your consideration. 

Jada DeLuca

Eugene

TURN YOUR BACK ON BIBI

The Prime Minister of Israel, Bibi Netanyahu, plans to visit Washington, D.C., and address Congress on July 24. I fervently hope that Congresswoman Val Hoyle and the rest of Oregon’s representatives do not show up to listen to this man. In fact, it would be nice if they could all tell him to eat a bag of shit.

Some readers may find it interesting to learn that according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, over 100 journalists and media workers have been killed since Oct. 7. Of those, 103 were Palestinian, and most were murdered while reporting in Gaza. To put that in contrast, it’s been estimated that a total of 150 journalists were killed worldwide in the entirety of World War II.

Recently, UNICEF has said that nine out of 10 children in Gaza are experiencing extreme food poverty, which is a polite way of saying they are being starved to death. In fact, Israel’s terror against humanity — and children in particular — are so bad that it’s being reported that the U.N. has just placed it on the “list of shame” for abuses committed against children in armed conflict.

Is it asking too much to wish for our representatives to take a stand against bombing and starving children to death? We should all demand that congress turn their backs on Netanyahu and that our government stop providing lethal aid to Israel.

Matthew Louie

Eugene

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