DEHUMANIZING OF LIFE
I don't know what I find more offensive, the death of 32 people at Virginia Tech or our president's comments regarding it. He calls the massacre of these innocent civilians "horrific and indescribable." While I absolutely and wholeheartedly agree with his opinion on the matter, I find it astounding that this comes from a man whose actions have resulted in a death toll thousands of times larger than 32. How dare he sit and espouse his opinion on the matter after filling our airwaves with nothing but death and destruction for the last five years?
We are hearing and will continue to hear the stories of these students whose lives were cut short, but we won't hear the stories of Iraqi and Afghan children whose bodies were mutilated by land mines, shrapnel and bullets. We are hearing about the effect the faculty had on these young people and the families left behind, but we don't hear the stories of fallen American soldiers who no longer will parent their children because their lives have been lost to a war based on lies. We will rejoice as we hear the stories of those fortunate enough to survive and begin the process of recovery, but we don't hear about the tens of thousands of soldiers coming home with physical and mental injuries that will change their lives forever.
What I find horrific and indescribable is that this administration does not see that the violence of their war and the resulting barrage of violent images in news, print, and television have resulted in the dehumanization of life. Their actions are partly to blame for this tragedy
Tim Broadbent, Eugene
I loved working with Paul Neevel when he interviewed me for his "Happening People" piece last week (4/12). I've gotten wonderful feedback and many people wanting to know more about the organization I run, Doulas Supporting Teens. Everyone can get more information by checking us out at www.doulassupportingteens.orgAlso, I'd like to clearify a small detail. Paul wrote, "A midwife works with the physical side of birth while a doula provides emotional and educational support." It would be more accurate to say that midwives work with the physical side of birth as well as providing emotional and educational support. Eugene's community of midwives are amazing and I didn't want them to be sold short!
Thanks, EW, for being a paper that keeps this town "happening"!
Iris Bicksler, Executive Director Doulas Supporting Teens
IT'S NOT OK
Our family donates what we feel is a fair share of our income to causes and issues, so we also receive a number of mail solicitations. The next one I receive from the Democratic Party (to whom we have donated previously), I'll send back with no check but instead include a note instead saying "It is not OK to have the Democratic National Convention in a nonunion hall owned by one of the Wal-Mart oligarchs."
Also, check out Oregon State Bill 20, intended to create a protective "buffer zone" around schools to reduce toxic pesticide exposure to children's developing brains. (Even though we know the drift goes 10+ miles, it's a start). In light of Oregon's growing rates of autism, allergies and asthma, this bill make good sense! Contact Oregon Toxics Alliance for more information.
We're in this together. Come on people: Call, write, put the pressure on!
Deb McGee, Eugene
A SHOUT OUT
I've been booking for the Downtown Lounge for about a year and a half. I'd like to give a shout out to some local bands and promoters who have really stepped it up this year and made a huge difference in the Eugene music scene.
First, Cindy Ingram is the promoter of the year, booking at almost every venue and working extra hard to exhibit her Grrlz Rock, Kidz Rock and Eugene Rocks concert series.
As far as hardworking and ambitious bands go, The Dead Americans are Eugene's fastest and tightest rock band, The Ginger Hustlers promote extraordinaires and create a different brand of rock, Attack Ships on Fire bridges the rock/metal gap while still being fun and super tight and The Athiarchists are the most ambitious and supportive metal heads in town.
Basin and Range has proven itself to be one of the most skilled, technically amazing and most crowd pleasing bands in town. Cheers to electronic acts like Uncle Nancy, DoublePlusGood and Anne for pushing the envelope and combing elements of punk, rap, rock and singer-songwriter into the electronic realm.
And the official leaders of the underground indie scene are The Tiffany Lamps, The Mood and Ron Randall for bizarre and experimental pop songwriting that is only remotely related to Frog Eyes or The Fall.
In the limited "cowpunk" genre, Sid and Fancy has grown into their own with their wall of bluegrass/punk sound, putting on an amazing show every time. The punk scene, with only a few remaining acts in town, has Rapid Demize organizing the hardcore scene and Easy Does It at the prog/emo/pop punk scene. The metal scene is splitting into a death metal scene and a Floater/Primus-like scene that each has its own following.
And in hip hop, here's to The Juice to Make it Happen for best vocal interplay and harmonies, The Reward System for their running suits and attitude, Lafa Taylor for his intelligent rhymes and Animal Farm for kicking ass in Portland.
And let's not forget all the people that do karaoke, the only REAL form of expression.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This letter was written in response to perceived omissions in our Locals Only package April 12. We actually wrote about a number of the bands he mentions but ran out of space. The leftover stories will run in future issues.
Your recent cover story ("Downtown Decision," 4/12) contained a map illustrating the downtown development proposal by KWG Development Partners of Portland. You might think that such a simple drawing would be easy to understand, but I found it confusing and not too helpful, and for the simplest of reasons: The drawing did not use the usual and conventional map orientation, with north at the top, south at the bottom, east to the right and west to the left. Instead it was rotated more than 90 degrees from that perspective and displayed without a compass rose to assist a reader's understanding. Please! Give us better graphics!
David Gilmartin, Eugene
As a member of the Eugene Japanese American Art Memorial Committee I was sorry to miss the Feb. 19 ceremony on the Day of Remembrance. Sixty-five years after the order to move 120,000 innocent men, women and children from the Pacific states and intern them in camps for the duration of WW II, our community has a site for remembrance.
I recently returned to Eugene and found the memorial, next to the Hult Center and Hilton Hotel, to be extremely powerful. I was touched to see the pavers from diverse sectors of the community, and especially from school children. The memorial will be a continuing source of education as well as a spot of beauty. Take time to walk in it, read the words and appreciate what it is all about.
You or your organization may still be added to the memorial. You may contribute financially and/or have your message permanently placed as part of it. This may be done until June 2007. Contact Alice Aikens 343-2874 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Steven Deutsch, Eugene
I would like to take you and WAND to task for the totally false graph you posted in the April 12 EW. The manipulation of the actual data is a testament to what pathetic lengths you will go to push your agenda.
Your idiotic graph of federal spending omits entitlements (Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare), which collectively account for 45 percent of federal spending for FY07. Military spending accounts for 17 percent of the FY07 budget, not much higher than the 13 percent dedicated to unemployment and welfare, by the way.
If you want to campaign for less military spending, go for it, that's the beauty of this country. Just don't be such obvious manipulators of data. This is why you're no better than the neo-cons.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The pie chart includes off-budget spending on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Detailed information on how the chart was created is available at www.wand.org Click on the George Washington image.
I urge you to vote for Chuck Forster for the Lane Education Service District's Position 7 board seat. I've had the distinct privilege of working with Chuck for the past nine years. He serves as the employment training advisor as it relates to students for the Lane ESD board on which I serve. Since 1992, Chuck has been the executive director of the Lane Workforce Partnership, an organization dedicated to creating opportunities for those seeking employment and for employers to recruit workers in Lane County.
Chuck is a bright-minded, caring and dedicated innovator who is indispensable in our county with regard to workforce issues. By virtue of his background, he is the best candidate to assume the responsibility associated with a board position for the ESD. Our educational community can only benefit by electing Chuck Forster to the Lane ESD board.
Michelle Holman, Director, Lane ESD Director, Mapleton School District, Deadwood
A TREE TALE
This is a warning to all the tree-loving people of Eugene! Recently, I noticed an big, old, healthy tree on the southeast corner of 5th and Lincoln which had two pink signs on it, purportedly from the city, declaring it was to be cut down. The area around the tree was cordoned off by orange cones. Strangely, the date of the notice was only two days before the scheduled removal date, which fell on a Sunday. The sign said the tree was a threat to public safety, but after a cursory examination of it, I could find nothing wrong with the tree.
Following up on this, I went down to the Eugene Public Works office and eventually made contact with John Luther (682-4817), who is with the city tree removal crew. He expressed concern about the situation and said they never had any plans to cut down a tree in that area. Oddly enough, I had already been to the site again and noticed that all the signage had been removed and there was no indication the tree was to be cut down. The tree remains to this day.
Please, if you see a removal notice on any tree around town, contact the Eugene Public Works office at 682-4800 to make an inquiry and confirm the status of the tree. If the notice is legitimate, then you can also ask to see the evaluation report that determined the tree is a "danger" and needs to be removed.
David A. Caruso, Eugene