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Eugene Weekly : Letters : 04.28.05

WE OWN THE ROAD

Uh oh, the thinking people seem to be getting bugged by the "Support Our Troops" stickers on vehicles. Jared Wolfsen (4/7) asks the sticker users several questions. As a person who proudly displays a sticker I would like to answer them.

How should we support our troops? By keeping them in our thoughts and prayers and being thankful that we have these brave men and women to protect our freedom and to help others be free as well.

What does that support look like? It looks like citizens demanding that their elected officials give our troops the tools they need along with good pay and benefits. It looks like funding modern technology to reduce the exposure of our troops to harm. It looks like many things to show our care and appreciation. Would supporting them mean bringing them home? Yes, when their job is done.

Why can you only have them (stickers) on an SUV? You may place the sticker on any vehicle. I see them on all types of vehicles. We have one on our SUV and one on our 1988 Volvo.

What is it about putting the sticker on your SUV that automatically makes you drive poorly? It is just a coincidence. We SUV drivers think that we own the road and our driving reflects that. It has nothing to do with the stickers.

Randy Kolb, Eugene

 

LRAPA APPS

Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority is seeking a new director and last week went over the qualifications needed by applicants. I would like to extend some suggestions just in case the new director wants to keep his job.

First, realize that you must not defend the citizens who complain of asthma, brown skies, problems breathing, polluted water from air emissions or dangerous toxins. Listen carefully to instructions from polluting industry and make sure permits are few and never challenged by LRAPA. Ignore all those rules and regulations produced in the state south of us. They would never pass here. Allow pollution to increase in our valley, approve every new industry or polluter who wants to build here and then assure the public that everything is safe and under control.

Job security is always part of the picture.

Ruth Duemler, Eugene

 

THE PEPSI FACTOR

The Eugene 4J School District has contracts with Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola bottlers that allow them to place six soda machines apiece in each of the four high schools.

The district keeps a 25 percent commission on all sales, but the dollars gained by the district for plying our children with high-sugar drinks are not worth it when weighed against the negative, long-term health consequences to our children when they consume soft drinks on a regular basis in our schools.

A study recently released by the nonprofit Community Health Partnership urges parents and school officials to take another look at the value of soft drink contracts. The Eugene 4J School Board should heed this advice and buy out the soft drink contracts, which run for several more years.

School board member Eric Forrest, who works for Pepsi-Cola, enthusiastically supports keeping Coke and Pepsi vending machines in the schools. Aria Seligmann, who's running against Mr. Forrest in the upcoming school board election, is calling for the removal of the soda machines.

Seligmann has an 8-year-old son in the public school system. Aria feels strongly that our schools must provide her son and other children appropriate nutrition and that unhealthy beverages and snacks do not belong in schools.

The ballots for the Eugene 4J School Board election will be mailed out on April 29. Please remember to vote and mark your ballot for Aria Seligmann. She'll serve us well.

Michael Carrigan, Eugene

 

IGNORING EVIDENCE

Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.

Dan Carol's latest faux-populist, pseudo-gonzo rant ("Gluing the Pieces: A memo to the millionaires," 4/14) is Exhibit A on why the D's became the minority party.

The 2000 and 2004 presidential elections were hacked with voting machines and racist disenfranchisements of voters. The Democrats' narrow focus on how they can "win" next time while ignoring vote fraud guarantees their permanent minority status.

For the next election, the groups that Carol works for will crank up their fund-raising and send out armies of idealistic students to register voters so that maybe this time the forces of good will succeed.

Carol cites a "great group" called "Wellstone Action," named after the liberal Senator who stood up to the Bush regime. Wellstone's plane went down Oct. 25, 2002, just before he would have been re-elected. A remarkable book was published last fall called American Assassination: The Strange Death of Senator Paul Wellstone by Four Arrows and Jim Fetzer — its sober evidence was ignored by those working to ensure the "opposition" to the status quo avoids core issues.

If the Democrats ever decide to have a truth commission to expose the stolen 2000 and 2004 elections, the "plane crashes" of Wellstone and Gov. Carnahan (who ran against then Sen. Ashcroft in 2000), the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr., Cheney's complicity in 9/11, the anthrax attacks on the Democrats and the media — then would there be a possibility of reversing our slide into fascism.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene

 

CALL IT RAPE

The 4/7 "Slant" column featured "congrats" to Willamette Week's Nigel Jaquiss for his Pulitzer Prize-winning expose of former Democratic Gov. Neil Goldschmidt's pedophilic assaults on a 14-year-old girl.

Appropriately, the Slant editor chides The Oregonian for failing to investigate the godfather of the Oregon Democratic Party earlier. After hearing his only public mea culpa confession to the serial rapes, the sympathetic liberal Oregonian editors refer to this child abuse as a "sexual relationship."

Married middle-aged men don't have "sexual relationships" with children. In Oregon statutes this is called rape. Too often we have been treated to extensive studies detailing the life-long physical and psychological damage done to the innocent young victims of these sexual predators.

Lo these many years, EW editors have viciously denounced the brutal sexual assaults on women and children by men of stature who abuse the weak. Most recently, they have loudly castigated ex-Eugene police officers Lara and Magana for using their position to forcefully extract sex from their victims.

Yet the EW editor's verbal outrage turns to mush when discussing the perversion of beloved liberal icon, Goldschmidt. Hesitant to negatively portray Goldschmidt, they adopt the apologist verbiage of the offending Oregonian and refer to his deviance as a "sexual relationship" themselves.

Paraphrasing President Abraham Lincoln, "A man's actions speak louder than his words." A heads up to female readers: Rape, by the powerful and well-connected, is no big thing to EW editors unless it involves a Eugene cop.

Gery Vander Meer, Springfield

 

THE REAL DEAL

Thanks for the great interview with County Commissioner Pete Sorenson (4/14). It's great to see a leader who isn't afraid to take on the fat cats, and who stands up for the rest of us regular folks! As anyone knows who has followed Sorenson's career as an environmental lawyer, a member of the LCC Board, a state senator, and now a county commissioner for the last eight years, Sorenson has the record to back up the rhetoric.

Ted Kulongoski has sat back on his heals while this state needed leadership on education funding, ballot measures which robbed much needed programs, and health care, while naming Republicans and wealthy business cronies to state leadership posts. Sorenson will take on the special interests who've been running this state into the ground, and provide the leadership needed to get things done. It'll be nice to have a real Democrat as the Democratic nominee in 2006! Teddy K should step aside. Maybe he could set up a lobbying firm with Neil Goldschmidt?

Karen Kennedy, Eugene

 

HEART-SUNG MUSIC

I was saddened to read of Kimberly Howard's bad feelings (4/14) from the recent Joules Graves show. I'd like to ask her to consider this in the hopes she may be able to reconsider her reaction.

Joules very nearly didn't make it to Eugene due to an upsurge of symptoms from multiple sclerosis, a malady she's lived with for nine years. She arrived tired and sore, but willing to give her all (really all) to us. She dealt with waiting on stage for nearly 10 minutes for sound problems to be corrected. And even then the sound onstage was barely adequate.

To then have her performance ignored by so many must have been very frustrating. Her initial request to the crowd to shut up was cheered by many of us there who could barely hear her over the din. Only after it was ignored by the noise makers did she say more.

I was personally very grateful that she made it to Eugene and found the strength to do the show for us. I was personally very annoyed that she was so hard to hear. And I was personally very glad I stayed for her full performance.

I have heard plenty of performers over the years (Jackson Bowne and Bonnie Rait among them) admonish the crowd for being rude or noisy. Performance of heart-sung music is a give and take between musician and audience. It just doesn't work otherwise. Joules did the right thing.

The rest of the night was great, too. The Community Village did a great job.

I'm sorry you didn't stay, Kimberly. You talked yourself out of a rockin' night.

Tim Mueller, Eugene

 

OFFSHORE MEDICINE

A new burgeoning industry in which Oregon could lead the way and from which Oregon could also profit immensely is the creation of organized junkets to offshore medical institutions. Imagine a medical junket airport with its own fleet of medical transport aircraft busily accommodating thousands of patients per week? In a day where citizens must adjust to the outsourcing of every kind of job except medicine, why not turn the tables on them and rebel with our own outsourcing program? To achieve such a massive organized effort only one obstacle stands in the way: "Will insurance cover this?"

One would think that health coverage would jump at the chance to save up to 80 percent on major and minor operation payouts, but not so fast. The reason why we are in the "out of control" health care mess that has us ready to strike at work belongs to a lock-step system created by members of Congress who have succumbed to lobbyist bribery. Not only do we have laws that protect prescription drug monopoly we also have PPO and HMO compliance rules that force us to spend our insurance on the behemoth system within our borders to support this fleecing.

Many of us are now looking at ways to beat this nutty system. It is now smart to have dentistry done in Mexico and heart surgery done in India. Buy your prescriptions from Canada and fly to Taiwan for that transplant. The ultimate leverage though would be to organize a medical transportation hub. Then maybe the money grabbers would finally fall on their faces and rethink their obscene business model.

Woody Woodmark, Eugene