Eugene mayor Kitty Piercy is to be applauded for spearheading a serious local response to global climate change. All whose laudable intent was translated into creating what has become our change-of-the-month club should also be thanked for coming up with a strategy that is both meaningful and doable.
When we have 15 or 20 of these environmentally friendly changes under our belts, we'll be halfway home to the necessary goal of an 80 percent reduction in our carbon footprint. The hard part will be still to come: reining in the private sector's carcinogenic lust for consumption. For every destructive practice we ban or discourage, we can offer and encourage more sustainable practices.
In this information age, what we achieve can be exported everywhere immediately. If we move with all due speed, we increase the chance that our grandchildren will bless, not curse, us for our roles in this ultimate crisis.
Paul Prensky, Eugene
EGO WARS KILL ANIMALS
Camilla Mortensen did an excellent job of summarizing many of the issues ("No-Kill" cover story, 4/26) revolving around a fierce battle raging in Lane County involving an effort to protect the innocent lives of unwanted and abandoned animals in our community.
I have been heavily submerged in this battle to give recognition to the flawless merits of the "No-Kill Solutions" (www.nokillsolutions.com) presented by Nathan Winograd last July to a standing room only audience.
I have seen many things in my life that have repulsed me, but nothing as ugly as the ego wars that rage throughout this community, starting from the top — the commissioners — and trickling down to the most innocent-appearing of animal welfare supporters.
With these battles raging, the only victims are the animals themselves, and unless and until there is common ground for all to stand on and people can rise above their own personal issues and dig deeply into their souls to feel that the need of these animals is much more important than winning their personal ego wars, the animals will continue to die at a rate of 10 per day at our local animal control shelter.
The commissioners (with the strong exception of Bill Fleenor and Pete Sorenson) can't stop fighting among themselves long enough to look at what's happening around their own chairs, much less the community.
I believe this community has enough heart and resources to do away with the unnecessary killing of adoptable animals at our local shelter. It should be THAT simple.
Robin Loving, Eugene
HALL HAS IT ALL
Lane Community College is facing some critical decisions. State funding has dropped dramatically, forcing raises in tuition and reductions in staff and services. A strong, informed board is essential as LCC addresses these problems.
Dr. Roger Hall deserves your vote in the upcoming election. His 16 years of experience on the board, his understanding of the issues and his ability to work cooperatively with all parties involved make him the ideal candidate for Zone 6. Dr. Hall understands and supports the mission of the college. He is familiar with the programs and services the college provides. He has no personal agendas and always makes decisions based on what is best for the college. Because three of the present board members will be retiring, Dr. Hall's experience is even more important. As a former LCC board member, I have had the opportunity to work with Dr. Hall and see firsthand the vital role he fills on the board. Please cast your vote for Dr. Roger Hall for Zone 6.
Kathleen Shelley, Vida
The Lane County Income Tax Measure is an unfair tax. Many seniors will have to pay this tax on their IRA and company pensions, but county, state and federal retirees will not have to pay it. State and county retirees who make $2,000 to $8,000 per month will not have to pay a dime for this income tax since they have been exempted. But retirees who make less than $2,000 per month with IRAs will have to pay the tax. This is an outrage!
I was also shocked that the Lane County government used taxpayer money to put a huge insert in the April 30 The Register-Guard for this tax and the deceptive so-called cap of 2 percent. There is no cap if you read the fine print. It actually says that the county can pass any income tax without the vote of the people if it is less than 2 percent. We must find another way to raise revenue for Lane County. This income tax is regressive and unfair. And Hynix, along with some other large corporations, gets huge income tax breaks with this tax.
I am voting no on both of these tax measures because they will hurt small businesses and lower and middle income seniors and families and because they are unjust.
Carol Roberts, Eugene
HORNE FOR ESD
As a mother of a child in the Eugene 4J School District, I will feel more secure about my son's academic future with Carol Horne occupying a seat on the Lane ESD board. I believe Horne will make an exemplary addition to the Lane ESD board. As a writer and research assistant for the Oregon Center for Applied Science, Horne has helped to create award-winning educational, interactive computer programs for children and has worked with Lane ESD in getting those programs added to schools' curricula.
She is a progressive who is committed to diversity, has always allowed for the inclusion of minority viewpoints and has spent her life dedicated to social justice, fairness and equity.
Having first-hand experience with the special education needs of her brother, Horne is passionate about and dedicated to ensuring a quality education for all children.
Horne has spent years devoting her time, energy and commitment to various projects in Eugene, including producing the Women in Theatre Festival, which was dedicated to showcasing performances centering around topics relating to women, identity and other fairness and justice issues.
Horne will bring much-needed gender balance to the Lane ESD board while adding her passionate understanding that all children deserve to have access to a quality education.
Please join me in marking your ballots for Carol Horne for Lane ESD board. She deserves your support.
Aria Seligmann, Eugene
For millions of years, wildfire has been a natural, beneficial and essential element of our western forests. Certain tree species, like the knobcone pine, depend on fire to burst seedcones. Wildfire fertilizes forests by returning vital nutrients to the soil through burnt and decomposing organic matter. Wildfire creates standing dead snags, crucial habitat for species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians as well as a home for insects, a primary food source for these creatures.
Snags provide shade for a new generation of seedlings sprouting up in profusion following a burn. When these snags fall, they continue to provide habitat and food, prevent erosion by stabilizing forest soils and retain moisture. As these snags decay, they enrich the soil and provide a bed for new tree growth, hence the term "nurse log."
Unfortunately, the barbaric logging industry, politicians in their pocket and lackey government agencies (BLM and Forest Service), have defied the laws of nature by decreeing that wildfire is a threat to our forests — instead of a vital and rejuvenative influence. These swindlers insist we must declare pre-emptive war on our forests with chainsaws to save the forest from itself.
As always, the simple truth dispels the myths of those who stand to profit from the continued plunder of our native forests. To learn to separate wildfire fact from fiction, please attend "Wildfire: A Century of Failed Forest Policy," a slideshow presentation by George Wuerthner, at 7 pm Tuesday, May 15, in 180 PLC on the UO campus.
Josh Schlossberg, Eugene
I am writing to express my grave concern and opposition to the National Nuclear Security Administration's plan to build new nuclear weapons. The Reliable Replacement Warhead program is dangerous, expensive and unnecessary.
The RRW will jeopardize U.S. national security by hindering international non-proliferation initiatives and crippling international nuclear disarmament efforts. Building new nuclear weapons will make it impossible to provide leadership in assisting North Korea in dismantling its nuclear weapons program, convincing Iran to halt uranium enrichment and discouraging new countries from developing nuclear weapons programs.
Maintaining the U.S. arsenal runs contrary to international law. The nuclear Non Proliferation Treaty, of which the U.S. is a signatory and one of the chief architects, has helped to prevent the worldwide proliferation of nuclear weapons. Under Article VI of the NPT, the United States is obligated to dismantle its nuclear stockpile. The NNSA should adopt a curatorship program in which nuclear weapons are maintained, not augmented, while the nuclear stockpile awaits dismantlement.
The RRW is expensive and unnecessary. The NNSA already spends billions of dollars every year making sure our nuclear arsenal is reliable and will last for decades. The Government Accounting Office has estimated that simply building Complex 2030 will cost an additional $150 billion.
According to a study conducted by the nuclear labs themselves, the nuclear weapons we have now could last as long as 100 years.
The Department of Energy has requested $89 million for RRW in the fiscal year '08 budget. Please oppose funding for the dangerous, expensive and unnecessary RRW program.
Guy Prouty, Eugene
HELP SAVE THE ANIMALS
We really appreciate the extensive coverage EW gave last week (4/26) to the local effort to create a no-kill community in Lane County, utilizing nationally proven strategies at no net cost to the taxpayers, with the goal of ending the killing of adoptable and medically/behaviorally treatable companion animals and feral cats in our Lane County animal shelters.
In order to accomplish this as quickly as possible, we need the support and volunteer efforts of every caring "can-do" resident in this community! These are your shelters! Help make them safe for the animals entering their doors!
The No Kill Community Coalition (NKCC) meets on the second Monday of each month at 6:30 pm at Harris Hall in the Lane County Administration/County Court House building, located at the corner of 8th Avenue & Oak Street in Eugene. All people interested in helping Lane County become a no-kill community are urged to attend! The next meeting will be Monday, May 14. For more information, check out www.nokillcommunity.org
Diana Robertson, Co-Chair, NKCC Steering Committee, Eugene
NO-KILL NO WAY TO GO
As a shelter volunteer, I hate the idea of euthanizing animals, yet I can't support "no-kill" shelters (4/26).
Warehousing animals indefinitely, as many no-kill shelters do, is nothing short of cruelty. I think of Rusty, a formerly friendly golden retriever mix, and the many other dogs like him who turn into snarling, lunging maniacs who literally ricochet off the walls after just a few weeks in a cage.
What's more, storing animals away does nothing to prevent more from being born only to end up homeless. Even if we could house the 6 million to 8 million animals who will enter U.S. shelters this year, what would we do with the 6 to 8 million next year, and the year after that? It's impossible for most no-kills to keep up with the number of unwanted animals, so most turn animals away when they fill up, leaving animals at the mercy of people who don't want them, on the streets or in another shelter that does euthanize.
Reducing euthanasia rates is a goal toward which we should all strive, but we must do it by spaying and neutering to prevent more animals from being born — not by warehousing cats and dogs just to make ourselves feel better.
To learn more, visit www.helpinganimals.comLindsay Pollard-Post, PETA staff writer, Norfolk, Va.
SHAPE UP, LCARA
Camilla Mortensen and EW are to be congratulated for bringing the tragic plight of Lane County's shelter animals into a much clearer focus (4/26). Our overall community and our public shelter have shamefully failed what were once wonderful cats and dogs on a massive scale, and those public officials who are responsible show few signs that they intend to change course. Tens of thousands of animals have been killed by LCARA in the past dozen years. LCARA kills 70 to 74 percent of all cats received. How can anyone of conscience defend this horrific reality?
Far more people need to make it clear to Lane County government and to LCARA that they will no longer tolerate our public shelter being run without humane and progressive written guidelines and programs. LCARA needs to hear the message loudly and clearly that it is repugnant for them to be killing adoptable animals and that the agency must establish a sound, online record system for every single animal that enters its doors. There should be some sort of third-party or independent oversight of this policy to ensure that it is faithfully followed by shelter personnel.
If you care about dogs and cats, please make it clear to the Lane County Board of Commissioners that you find it highly objectionable that the animals at LCARA have been relegated to the very lowest position of importance on Lane County's list of department concerns.
Susan McDonald, Eugene
SET THE DATE
The president's continuation of a failed policy — to simply increase his efforts to succeed when the facts indicate that terrorist attacks are on the rise — is similar to the behavior of an alcoholic who believes that just one more drink will cure his hangover. There is no polite, rational way to convince him otherwise. The president must be allowed to experience the full anguish of his failure to win the war, to win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people and to win the support of the American people.
The U.S. may not be able to stop the violence in Iraq, but the president has an obligation to listen to the American people's demand for a change in course. Diplomacy, political processes and international cooperation might help end the violence and establish a process that could end the civil war. Without these steps the U.S. will remain part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.
Setting a date for withdrawal publicly will create the best chance of bringing all parties to the violent conflict in Iraq to the bargaining table. Many of the groups fighting the government are genuine nationalists who would be willing to lay down their arms and enter the political process when it includes Syria and Iran in planning and implementing a successful U.S. withdrawal and the stabilization and reconstruction of Iraq with the supervision of an international agency.
David Hazen, Eugene
IMPEACH BUSH NOW
George W. Bush and Lyndon Johnson proved that the U.S. is guilty of massive bipartisan criminal warfare. We need to set a fresh course for peace and decency by impeaching the Bush administration and ending the Iraq war soon. If the rest of the world does not gain respect for the U.S. through truth-telling, then the U.S. is doomed to mediocrity and decay.
Bob Saxton, Eugene
In response to Randy Kolb's (4/5) letter: First, I happen to be a woman. The solution is not to move out of Eugene but to work with our community, city council, city planners, developers, small business owners and residents to determine what alternatives and options are viable. One of the essential questions to ask is whether a "critical mass" approach will preserve ecological integreties and downtown's historic character while enlivening cultural diversity in our community.
Rapidly accelerating climate change, which is caused by greenhouse gas, is now fueling dangerous environmental events. Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration illustrate that builders are responsible for almost half (48 percent) of annual emissions. Immediate action in the building sector is essential (U.N. News Centre, 3/29 and World Changing, 4/3).
It's absurd to build additional parking garages when the Broadway Place has 729 spaces which are 80 percent empty and downtown has a total of 15,254 parking spaces (EW, 3/2). We need a mass transit system that provides free bus/shuttle service within the downtown area, more frequent service, service to outlying areas and extended late night service, especially from Thursday through Saturday evenings.
Ecological cities rely on renewable energy sources that are independent. They are compact, built for pedestrians and bicycles and zoned for a diverse number of uses in a small area so that residents can walk or take public transit. Ecological cities can also leave space for gardens where residents can grow some of their own food.
Elected officials in our community have an ethical responsibility to all citizens and to future generations. This must come first. Let's move forward with improving our existing transportation needs and work together for quality of life in Eugene.
Planet Glassberg , Eugene
PEACEFUL DOESN'T WORK
The argument that peaceful protest is the only way to effect change proves to be false, just as the assertion that property damage is the only tactic bound to elicit violent reactions by the increasingly militarized police. Any resistance perceived as potentially effective, including large gatherings in some cities, is met with brute force, sending the clear message that if you attempt to alter the status quo, you'll be teargassed, shot with rubber bullets or live ammunition, imprisoned, perhaps killed.
It's fashionable to attend protest rallies, wave signs in front of government buildings, pass out leaflets encouraging people to contact their elected representatives demanding legislation, march in the streets with a police escort — after procuring a legal permit to stage the march, of course.
Mostly, these activities don't threaten anyone and leave participants feeling satisfied they accomplished something; they got the word out.
Law enforcement, aka "public safety," exists to protect property. While people feel safe because their possessions are secure, they ignore injustices permeating their existence, thus fooling themselves. Eventually the pressure will become too much, and their values will change. When Americans realize that their special place in the world is nothing more than an ephemeral sedative while the elite and powerful achieve their dreams of world dominance, they may choose to revolt. But for now, they speak out when it's convenient, choosing methodologies that achieve nothing.
As for voting, the definition of insanity comes to mind: Repeating the same action and each time expecting different results.
Bess Seta, Eugene
While visiting your fair city last week, I concluded that the people here are very kind and friendly. Much like where I am from. While here visiting our first grandchild for the first time and reading through the local publications such as yours, I noticed you had some very good articles like the $100 laptop project led by a couple of OSU students. I noticed an ad on page 19 of your March 29 issue listing a group called Holy F_ _ _ [sic] that will be performing for an audience of all ages. WHAT?
Are you aware of how damaging this word you feel free to print has become to society? I realize that this sounds old fashioned, and you must think that I am an uncultured hillbilly, so be it. The fact remains that the use of the F word is evil, always has been, always will be. As nice as your city is, it saddens me to think that my grandson could end up growing up in a place that tolerates your bad judgment. I hope and pray that you will be more sensitive to the good people of this city by keeping this kind of negativity out of print.
Bill Sprafke, Bismarck, Ark.
WHITEAKER BUTT PICKERS
My name is Buddy L. Thomas, a local to Eugene. Recently, some friends and I came together at Scobert Park to give thanks for Earth Day. We celebrated by spending much of the morning and afternoon cleaning up garbage in the park and surrounding areas of Whiteaker. Wow, what a noticeable difference this made. I want to thank all the kind people who took part in the cleaning up of the Whiteaker area this Earth Day. It is much appreciated. This effort was only the first step in cleaning up Eugene.
Also, special thanks to the core crew of individuals who have helped to make this idea of peace into a living and learning experience.
Buddy L. Thomas, Eugene
In regard to our profoundly dim-witted president, is the phrase "The honorable, trustworthy, fair and just George W. Bush," an oxymoron, oxyimbecile, oxyidiot, or all of the above?
Terry Heintz, Eugene