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Eugene Weekly : Letters : 2.15.07

FIND ANOTHER HOSPITAL SITE

North Delta Neighbors (NDN) opposes commercial rezoning of the RiverRidge Golf Course "back nine" and the subsequent siting of a hospital and medical building on that property. Last April, Cal Young Neighborhood Association (CYNA) residents voted 194-8 to support our opposition.

Triad/McKenzie-Willamette (MW) says they are all about choice, competition, accessibility and convenience for doctors, but the fact is, the RiverRidge site will make those goals impossible to attain. In order to be sustainable, a hospital must be functional. In order to be functional, it must be accessible. Access is more than making sure that those in financial distress receive medical care.

MW submitted three traffic impact analyses (TIA) that were rejected by the involved jurisdictions. ODOT stated recently that documentation was "inconsistent and/or components are missing" and pointed out mistakes, such as using incorrect crash rates.

At the January CYNA meeting, EPD presented a table showing the correct top 25 traffic accident sites in Eugene — of the 448 crashes, 237 (52 percent) were in the Delta/Beltline area. On Feb. 7, MW submitted their fourth TIA. ODOT, Lane County and the city of Eugene have yet to weigh on this one.

North Delta Highway is, and will remain, a dead-end road and the only road accessing the site directly. The site is not located near the existing and growing population centers of our community. If MW is allowed to build on North Delta, a huge percentage of the population will have to cross the river to reach two hospitals because PeaceHealth soon will be operational at RiverBend.

A hospital is a magnet for medical buildings, restaurants, gift shops, and other related retail. It could be a good option for revitalizing our downtown core, and would meet the City Council's original mandate to have a hospital downtown. Other options also exist: 30th Avenue adjacent to LCC, West 11th Avenue, RiverFront Research Park, Glenwood, the Fairgrounds, 2nd Avenue and Chambers. The Urban Growth Boundary could be modified to include the portions of the first two properties outside the UGB, but the other parcels wouldn't require modification.

NDN would like to see MW and Triad do the right thing — find another site in the Eugene area that makes sense, one that doesn't go against the logic of common sense and one that is more easily accessible to everyone. Please join us in this request by signing our online petition (one name per line) at www.petitiononline.com/NDN2006/petition.html

Ann Simas, Eugene

Ann Simas is co-founder of North Delta Neighbors. To contact her, or to be added to the NDN email notification list, email northdeltaneighbors@comcast.net

 

'SAVAGE' BONDS

Portland's alternative paper the Portland Mercury has been running "Savage Love" for a while now. One morning, on a weekend that I had gone up to visit my sister who lives there, we were out at breakfast. My brother-in-law pulled out the paper and we sat around the table reading the article out loud to each other. Our hysterical laughter no doubt drew strange looks from the other patrons but when the people behind us heard what we were reading they piped up and joined the conversation. People who read these types of newspapers love it; it bonds us together in an — albeit slightly sick and twisted fashion — common appreciation of the humor. Before EW started running it, every week I looked forward to getting on the Mercury's website to read Dan Savage's latest verbal assault. Pure entertainment! Who needs cable?

Is it crude and over the top? Probably. Should you stop running it? Hell, no! The people who are complaining that it's inappropriate because their kids might see it had better be the ones who homeschool their children, don't let them watch any TV or movies rated above "G" and essentially ban them from any and all social activities with the outside world. Otherwise all their complaining and angry letters are really just kind of pointless.

Beth Olson, Eugene

 

WHAT ABOUT DEAR ABBY?

I am appalled that you would have a column ("Savage Love") in your free, easily available to all, including children, newspaper. This is pornographic literature! If this were an adult publication that was requested to be delivered to a home or bought in an adult store, by someone 18 or older — I would not have a problem with it. But I thought this was supposed to be a community newspaper about events, news and happenings around our area, including children's programs. Please — our children need us to help protect them from things they are not yet ready for or mature enough to handle.

Please consider ALL of your readers as you fill this space with a sex freak's advice. What about Dear Abby!

Sharon Benvie, Springfield

 

SPANKING TIME

What about the f*%#kin' kids?

Robert Young's (2/1) worry over what children will have access to is certainly troublesome. Thank goodness that children tend to have parents who are in charge of that whole thing. Otherwise, little ones might be reading "Savage Love" while smoking filterless cigarettes in the middle of the freeway.

The Weekly is not for toddlers. Neither is South Park, Grand Theft Auto, nor Tom Haggard's MySpace page. That doesn't mean that we should ban it or change it to suit those who refuse to look after their children. I have loved "Savage Love" ever since he said that the blood of Christian babies made the pink in pink lemonade. We need him in a town like this, where feeling offended or oppressed is more socially acceptable than enjoying who and what you are and being able to laugh about it.

I don't care how many EW advertisers know what's in "Savage Love." They're here to sell stuff, not place moral prohibitions on content. Shame on you, Robert. You need a spanking, and luckily there are several professionals in the back pages of the Weekly who can administer the necessary steps.

Johnny Davis, Eugene

 

GOURMET SEXUALITY

I have this image in my mind of the editors of the Weekly sitting back and laughing at all the controversy they have created around their back pages and at the old-fashioned sense of wholesomeness of the people whose ire they have triggered. In this issue, both sides are right.

Sexuality is a fundamental part of life and shouldn't necessarily be left out of public forums. But what quality of sexuality? Honestly, the back pages of EW are to sexuality what McDonald's is to gourmet food.

If you wish to discuss sexuality in a meaningful way, then by all means do so; but don't consider "Savage Love" as a serious attempt at this.

This column is nothing but entertainment — witty and crass, but on a psychological level narcissistic and crude. Reading it is like being at the carnival freak show. Is this what the editors of EW consider to be "discussing sexuality"? Let's be real.

The Weekly has deliberately positioned itself as a community newspaper, and yet it it seems aloof of taking responsibility for the quality of its own content in some areas. In reading "Savage Love," first I laugh a little bit at what appear to be made-up stories; and then I cry, realizing some impressionable (i.e. young) or naive people may be taking this as serious commentary on the topic of human sexuality.

David A. Caruso, Eugene

 

IRAQI LOSSES GLOSSED

The provocative and disturbing cover of your newspaper the week of Jan. 4 accentuates the America-centric attitude most citizens take regarding the country's latest foray into imperialistic hubris in Iraq, thanks to the moron-in-chief and his henchmen.

That 3,000-plus of America's finest have been sacrificed on the alter of "democracy" (read: capitalist, neo-corporate colonialist, profit-taking and market expansion) is, indeed, a tragedy, especially since evidence has proved this to be a war of discretion rather than one of necessity. But your cover, sans any explanatory article, I believe glosses over the stunning losses the Iraqis have been dealing with for the last 15 years, whether by U.N. sanctions, which conservatively killed 500,000 Iraqi children, or the latest civil war triggered by the U.S. invasion and occupation, which has killed somewhere between 400,000 and 650,000 Iraqis and displaced 3.5 million more.

America has destroyed a country, caused untold human misery, refused to take responsibility for it and then has the unmitigated gall to weep and wail over its sacrifices, which, let's face it, are usually someone else's, thank goodness. It really is all about us, isn't it?

Well, never fear. These losses, along with 22,000 wounded, are well within the cost-profit parameters laid out by the corporatocracy and the various war profiteers. After all, when you run a worldwide operation for profit and glory, you have to expect losses.

Timothy Crow, Eugene

 

UP TO US NOW

In Molly Ivins' last column she said, "We are the people who run this country. We are the deciders. And every single day, every single one of us needs to step outside and take some action to help stop this war."

Molly is dead. She can't hit the streets, but she implores us from the grave. Don't let them take your power, I hear her saying to us. This is our task. We must do the hard, messy work as responsible, patriotic citizens.

She also said to have fun doing it.

Michelle Holman, Deadwood

 

UNFAIR TAX

Thankfully Measure 20-114, the punitive, regressive Lane County income tax initiative, was defeated Nov. 7. But now, the same folks who tried to pass this income tax increase are at it again for the May ballot.

Only Lane County will be hit with this so-called public safety tax. This income tax is ill-conceived and will hurt ordinary Lane County citizens with lower- and middle-class incomes. Oregon's personal income tax itself is not only an extremely regressive tax, but is in fact abusive to lower- and middle-income families. Many people in Lane County have no health care and haven't enough to eat, even with full-time jobs.

I say, get rid of personal income tax altogether in Oregon, like in Washington. Institute a dedicated 1 percent sales tax to cover public health care and medicine. The state needs to fund recovery centers for addiction, instead of incarcerations in jails and prison. At the same time, institute a 4 percent sales tax on merchandise, not food, for the general fund, and raise the fees fairly on tourism and luxury items, and tax the out-of-state corporations on their profits here in Oregon. These are responsible and fair ways of raising taxes. Personal income tax is not fair and responsible way to raise revenue in the state.

Carol Roberts, Eugene

 

WE WON'T EVEN NOTICE

One would judge, based on the headline and hysterical tone of Alan "Chicken Little" Pittman's article (1/25 cover story) about Measure 37, "Looming Sprawl: Will Measure 37 get fixed before it devours Oregon?" that the world is coming to an end or that the entire state of Oregon is going to be paved over. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Perhaps a little perspective is in order. Pittman states that "half a million acres of scenic Oregon" could become "urban sprawl" because of M37. Let's forget for the moment that many of the claims are by individuals who merely want the right to build one or two houses on their property. Even if we assume the entire 500,000 acres will be developed, that represents less than 1 percent of the land area of Oregon, .81 percent to be exact. And in Lane County, the 34,000 acres Pittman sites represents just over 1 percent. Horrors!

Does any rational person honestly believe that this will "devour" Oregon? A report issued by the county government states that Lane County is 88 percent forest land. Will it be destroyed if it's "only" 87 percent forest land? Nonsense! Even with Measure 37, Oregon still has the most restrictive land use laws in the county. Nearly 80 percent of the land in the state cannot be built on. But according to Pittman, those evil developers are going to "devour" the state. God forbid someone should build houses for people to live in and perhaps make a profit doing so.

Harry B. Storr, Eugene

 

SILENCE OF THE LIMBS

Driving down Jefferson and 18th Avenue, again I saw more grand, beautiful trees marked for death at the hand of the city of Eugene.

The city is intent on systematically killing more and more of these pioneer century trees. Obviously the process will not stop until all these trees die at the hand of the chainsaw.

The livability of the city is maintained partly due to these disappearing urban trees. Where once these trees reigned supreme and majestic, now they fall one after another, removing with them homes for critters, cooling-off shade and life-sustaining oxygen. Shame on you, city of Eugene.

Shen Steiner, Eugene

 

VEGETABLES DON'T FART

Last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with hundreds of scientists from 113 countries, determined conclusively that man-made greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming. They predicted devastating droughts and hurricanes and extensive flooding of coastal areas, displacing millions.

A report released by the U.N. in November blamed animal agriculture for 18 percent of these emissions — more than automobiles. Carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by combustion of fossil fuels to operate farm machinery, trucks, refrigeration equipment, factory farms and slaughterhouses. The much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from the digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

We don't have to wait for Earth Day to help save our planet. We can start with the next trip to the supermarket. Meanwhile, we can check out the details at www.veggiesforecology.orgElijah Hennison, Eugene

 

ARE YOU A GENIUS, TOO?

Here is a puzzle that was on a Mensa test I took recently. See if you can calculate the correct answer like I did.

Natural wetlands alone emit roughly 160 million tons of methane gas annually into our atmosphere. Methane gas in Earth's atmosphere traps 20 times more heat than does CO2. Motor vehicles, including SUVs, but not including transit buses, emit a total of roughly one billion tons of CO2 annually into our atmosphere.

Which one of the following contributes roughly three times more to global warming than all the others combined? A) wetlands, B) automobiles, C) SUVs, D) transit buses.

Don Richey, Eugene

   

GARDEN OF EVIL

Biblical scholars agree on two points: Site references locate the Garden of Eden in Iraq. When Adam and Eve were expelled, the Serpent never left.

Lori Kasprzak, Eugene

 

ENOUGH, ALREADY

VISTA will stumble out of the Gates and pull itself up, but really it will prove to have the Microsoft drawbacks of "overmanaging" the user and placing constraints convenient for Microsoft on the experience. That won't change.

And, because Microsoft is 93 percent of the OS market, it will remain the chief target of every budding teenaged and Mafia hacker and remain virus- and Trojan horse-ridden. That won't change.

And it still leads in the chief sin of operating systems (one that the Mac OS, which I use and love, also shares to a great degree), and that is playing the milk the market game of constantly selling us new hardware which needs us to buy new software to run new applications which demand new hardware, on and on ad-infinitum.

In other words, text-processing and image-manipulation and business applications, which comprise 80 percent of the need for a computer and which were just fine 10 years ago, are dragged along by ever more fabulous games and "online," "real time" multimedia activities which can entertain us more photorealistically yet not really add to design and content. That won't change.

Our needs are not enough for their greed. They tell us what to want and then teach us to consider our wants are needs. That won't change.

And we will follow until the petroleum bubble is burst and we have to turn back to each other for both our wants and our needs. In reality we need only each other, and that won't change.

Leo Rivers , Eugene