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Eugene Weekly : Letters : 9.25.08




TORREY’S SMEAR

As an attorney in this town, I was appalled at Jim Torrey’s ridiculous smear ad proclaiming that Mayor Piercy is disrespectful of police. If Mayor Piercy were to stoop to Torrey’s level, she would certainly be justified in proclaiming that Torrey is disrespectful of the citizens of this community. 

Lest we forget, it was on Torrey’s watch that the June 1st pepper spray incident occurred in 1997. The police tortured peaceful environmentalists on a Sunday morning while Torrey sat in his car and watched. When my environmentalist clients received their settlement checks as a result of their successful federal police misconduct lawsuits against the Eugene police regarding this incident, Torrey signed the checks.

I was also one of the attorneys who represented the victims of former EPD officers Roger Magaña and Juan Lara. The rampant abuses of police power that occurred over many years of Torrey’s “leadership” destroyed lives in this community. As a result of his myopic view of local law enforcement, many such abuses took place during his reign, and many taxpayer-subsidized settlements occurred because of the lack of accountability and oversight. Apparently, Torrey confuses lawful accountability of police conduct with “disrespect.” And let’s not forget the Hyundai debacle Torrey was responsible for, where huge tax breaks were given to a corporation that destroyed wetlands and then split for greener pastures in short order.

It is disrespectful of Torrey to pretend to be a Democrat just to get elected in Eugene; it was disrespectful of him to allow numerous blatant constitutional and civil rights violations to occur in our community without any action or apology by him; and it was disrespectful of him to put his interests and those of the wealthy special interests he panders to before the interests of all Eugeneans. 

It is disrespectful of Torrey to try and create division through false advertising now. Mayor Piercy’s record on police matters speaks for itself: fairness and equal treatment for all, including the citizens.

Torrey must not have much to say or offer to the voters of Eugene if he has to spend lots of money on advertising that is little more then pathetic insults of his opponent. Eugene deserves a fair and honest mayor like Kitty Piercy who knows the importance of working with everyone in the community.

Lauren C. Regan, Eugene



GREEN’S RECORD

Trying to decide which candidate for County Commission to vote for in the upcoming election? Check out Bobbywatch.com, a site providing information about the decisions made by north Lane County Commissioner Bobby Green. Green has been commissioner for the past 13 years, so there’s a clear record of his position on the issues. Again and again he’s voted to spend our tax dollars on projects benefiting developers, voted to give tax breaks to out-of-area businesses such as (now closed) Hynix and voted to give our forests and rivers to timber and gravel companies. After seeing his record, I understand why people won’t be re-electing him this November.

Allen Hancock, Eugene



HEALTHY MOVE

What a smart move by the city of Eugene’s risk services division! (R-G, 9/12) They took some of the savings from last year’s workers’ compensation budget and invested it into an ongoing fitness center for the 900 city employees who work downtown. Risk services will also use the facility to provide health screenings, flu shots, and health and nutrition classes for these same employees.

The idea here is to prevent claims against the city’s health insurance plan — currently totaling $15 million a year — by improving the general health and fitness of city employees. Many large private employers, including Sacred Heart locally, have embraced wellness programs in recent years because they find them effective in reducing health insurance costs.

Unfortunately, Jim Torrey is blind to the value of such innovation and investment. At the City Club debate Sept. 12, he attacked Mayor Kitty Piercy for allowing risk services to spend $270,000 on this project. He made the wellness program sound like a special benefit for city employees. He also decried the fact that these one-time savings were not shifted to public safety to fund additional, permanent police officer positions.

This is Torrey’s leadership style in a nutshell. He will attack people before fully investigating the situation. He’s ready to demonize city employees if he thinks it will benefit his interests. He is so focused on his own perspective that he can’t see the value in other approaches. We don’t need a return to this kind of “leadership” in Eugene.

Kurt Willcox, Eugene



KITTY LITTERED

I attended the Eugene Celebration Parade as a participant and then later as a spectator. It was a great parade and everyone seemed to be having a great time. However, one event seemed to really sour my experience. In the official rules of the Eugene Celebration Parade handbook, it stated in boldface print that nothing is to be thrown or given out during the parade. When the Kitty Piercy for Mayor parade entry went by, a woman whom I recognized as Ruth Duemler, a campaign volunteer, was walking with Piercy and distributed to me and others in the crowd a fundraiser flyer for Piercy. This is blatantly against the rules!

I called the Eugene Celebration office just in case Piercy had special permission to distribute her campaign material and was told she absolutely did not get permission and was in no way entitled to distribute her campaign literature. What part of “no” does Piercy not understand when it comes to rules and policies? How ethical is it to solicit a captive audience for political advantage? Isn’t a mayor supposed to be an upstanding citizen who helps establish rules, follows them and leads the community to do the same? A mayor and her campaign should take the high road when following any set of rules. Sadly, this was not the case. How can the people trust a candidate to lead the city who is unwilling to follow rules and regulations for “all of Eugene”?

Melissa Zimmer, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: We checked with the Piercy campaign and they plead guilty. Not everyone joining the large parade entry got the word.



WOPR IS ALIVE

Presidential campaigns and hurricanes have pushed this Oregonian issue to the back burner, and the discussion has lapsed. However, despite the lack of coverage, the BLM’s Western Oregon Plan Revision (WOPR) is still with us.

Soon, the WOPR will be on Gov. Kulongoski’s desk for a 60-day review. My concern is the governor will allow the WOPR to go unchallenged. In this time where Americans are telling their elected officials to work on environmental and climate issues and move away from corporate welfare, our governor isn’t listening.

Kulongoski has stated that the logging of public forests is a solution to some of Oregon’s financial woes. Continuing to tie the welfare of Oregon’s counties to an industry, which exports our jobs as well as our forests, is irresponsible and shortsighted. Our schools should not be paid for at the expense of our old-growth; both are too valuable to be risked. Nor should the governor stand by and allow the timber industry not to pay their fair share of Oregon’s taxes.

With regard to the WOPR, it is time for the governor to listen to nontimber industry environmental and forestry experts and to the voices of Oregon’s citizens. Tell him to work on finding better solutions for our children and our state. Encourage Kulongoski to take a stand for true change and stop the WOPR. Remind him he has a responsibility to defend Oregon’s public forests, which provide essential and irreplaceable services, buffer us against climate change and are entrusted to us by future generations.

Cristina Hubbard, Forest Web, Cottage Grove



NO RESPECT

It was great to be able to meet Jim Torrey at his booth during the Eugene Celebration and ask him some questions. All politicians need to provide some similar open time to the public for the sake of democracy.

I felt I only had time for one question. I asked him about his accusations that Kitty Piercy treats Eugene police officers with “little or no respect.” I asked for an example of Piercy’s disrespect. I made sure I presented my question in a friendly, nonconfrontational, open-minded manner. I just want the truth. It’s no secret that our city government (like most) has its fair share of squabbles, and it’s fully understandable that incidences have occurred (even friends have their times).

Torrey’s only answer was that he supports his advertisement, and we can agree to disagree. “But, Jim, I haven’t stated an opinion yet,” I said. “I just want an incident, an example to clarify your position.” I’m sad to say our conversation continued in circles without substance. Patronizing smiles were the most I received.

The question is still open. 

Greg Norman, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: Torrey attempted to explain his “no respect” comment in an R-G story Sept. 18, saying much of it has to do with what Piercy has not done, such as urge embattled Police Chief Bob Lehner to stay.



GOALS ARE IN THERE

Yesterday (9/15) I was listening to KLCC when they broadcast last week’s mayoral debate between Kitty Piercy and Jim Torrey. During Torrey’s closing statement, something he said caught my attention:

“I urge you to go to the city website and read the mayor’s four state of the city addresses. There is not one goal in there about jobs. There is not one goal in there about public safety, and there is not one goal in there about fixing our roads. Not one! You go look, check it out.”

I decided to accept Torrey’s urging to go look. Here are some of the goals I found:

2005: Explore ways to connect wage and benefit standards to economic incentives. Within our legal capacity, our city should use the tools available such as enterprise zones and urban renewal districts to encourage jobs that provide wages and benefits that enable workers to feed, clothe and house their families and provide them with health care.

2006: Eugene will have a full-service hospital under way. Through the implement-ation of community strategies, we will measure successful steps addressing racial issues and homelessness. We will commit to making Eugene a welcoming, inclusive community across race, ethnicity, gender, age, class (and even the river). 

2007: Our road infrastructure is important. As promised, work is under way with local, regional and national partners to address west Eugene transportation needs in a way that will improve the livability of that area of our community.

2008: Eugene addresses its neighborhood pothole backlog. 

So it would seem that Mayor Piercy has indeed spoken of goals concerning jobs, public safety and roads during her state of the city addresses. I’d like to thank Jim Torrey for being humble enough to encourage people to correct his errors.

Greggory Basore, Eugene

 

BRACELET BARRICADE

During the Eugene Celebration I had a traumatic encounter with its current security policy.

While marching in the parade, my 7-year-old son started crying. I tried to get out of the parade to discuss the issue but couldn’t because the sidewalks were completely packed. Due to the noise of the crowd and the fact that I was also carrying a 4-year-old, I decided to leave the parade and head to my car. I didn’t realize that security was already checking for bracelets, so I took the direct and passable route: Broadway.

When the guards stopped me, I explained we were having a family crisis and needed to get to our car. Despite my pleas they refused. Frustrated, I turned around — and my son had disappeared! My frustration transformed to fear and panic as I searched the crowds for his face. Only one thought made sense: I must find my husband and see if our son had rejoined the parade.

At the next block, I saw a shortcut to catch up with the parade, but there was another security barrier. I told them desperately I was looking for a lost child, but despite my predicament, they would not let me pass. One of them even yelled a cruel remark after me.

For 20 minutes I ran after the parade, trying to catch up, not knowing if my son was lost — but fully aware that if he was, it was not important to the current security policy of the Celebration.

Kara Steffensen, Eugene

 

GREEN IS ABSENT 

On July 27 the League of Women Voters (LOWV) held a candidates’ forum. The invitees were mayoral candidates Kitty Piercy and Jim Torrey and County Commissioner candidates Rob Handy and Bobby Green.

The two mayoral candidates clearly put considerable time and effort into preparing for the event. Each had the opportunity to ask questions of, and answer questions posed by the other, and to respond to questions from the audience.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said about the commissioner debate. A few hours before the event, Green notified the LOWV that he couldn’t attend, citing family issues as his excuse. This came just two days after confirming he would participate.

If this were the first time Green pulled this maneuver of a last-minute cancellation, we could understand his dilemma. But that is not the case. Throughout the campaign, Green has consistently relied on these and similar tactics to silence his opponent, Rob Handy.

Green’s track record for attendance at these events leaves a lot to be desired. He also fares poorly in the “show up on time” and the “stay for the duration of the event” categories. The intended impact of Green’s bad behavior, whose slogan proclaims, “Green is Good,” is to limit debate opportunities for Rob Handy.

Unfortunately, the LOWV accommo-dated Green’s ploy. In so doing, they marginalized Handy by refusing him the opportunity to speak. Rob Handy committed to the event and came prepared for the debate.

Green the no-show and the LOWV should be ashamed of themselves.

Lauri Segel, Eugene



BELIEF IN EUGENE

I want a mayor for Eugene who believes in Eugene and can turn disagreements into cooperation. In the City Club debate, Jim Torrey could only talk about what’s wrong with Eugene — and try to blame Kitty Piercy for it all. The truth is that Piercy inherited $100 million worth of road backlogs from Torrey, but look around — work is being done all over the place. Piercy is still working hard to bring a hospital to Eugene after PeaceHealth moved during Torrey’s tenure as mayor. Piercy inherited the downtown pits from Torrey, but under her leadership, there is a plan now to fill them with progress.

I want a mayor who believes in Eugene like Kitty Piercy does. She believes in the kind of community I want to live in and that I want my children and grandchildren to enjoy.

Nancy Blashaw, Eugene



WHY HANDY?

As a longtime resident of Lane county and the owner of a small business, I’m looking forward to voting for Rob Handy, a candidate for county commissioner who will make decisions that support a strong local economy and a healthy environment. Bobby Green has spent the past 13 years supporting businesses that lobby against clean air and water and receive big tax breaks, then leave thousands unemployed. 

I’m ready to vote for a change — someone who will represent the interests of the majority of Lane County residents who work 40 hours a week and try to pay their bills on time. While most of Bobby Green’s contributors are big business, Rob Handy has more than 750 contributors with an average donation of $100. On Nov. 4, please consider joining me in electing Rob to the Lane County Commission.

David Simone, Eugene

 

 

 

PROTEST THE BAILOUT

The bailout of the big investment banks proposed by the Bush administration would be throwing good money after bad —rewarding the very people and institutions that have gotten us into this mess. What we need is a new New Deal: regulation of financial markets and massive funding of programs that put regular people to work (in jobs that need to be done) and help them get health care and pay their mortgages.

Support Rep. Peter DeFazio, who is on board with this. Call our senators and come out to protest the Bush bailout at 5 pm Thursday, Sept. 25,  at 7th and Pearl in downtown Eugene.

Maggie Springer, Eugene



POWER GRAB

The biggest financial scam in the history of the world is being followed by a power grab of comparable magnitude. The bailout U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson proposed would put him in charge of all U.S. financial institutions and prohibit review of his edicts by any court or administrative agency. 

It would incidentally create a crisis of confidence in the dollar and the federal debt markets. It will not stop the bubble economy from imploding, but would cause interest rates to go through the roof just when we most need them to come down. And the federal government will be too broke to help those who really need and deserve it — those of us who live on Main Street rather than Wall Street.

I’m afraid we’re in for hard times regardless, but this bailout will only make it worse for most everyone except the banksters who created the mess. One industry trade group started lobbying late last week to have us taxpayers buy their toxic sludgepaper at prices set by their own books — prices no one else will pay. 

Please call U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio, U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Gordon Smith, and campaign offices of Senate candidate Jeff Merkley and ask them to Just Say No to the Bush-Paulson bailout and any other measure that doesn’t help those hurt by the crisis, and hold responsible those who caused it. More information and details are in recent articles by Michael Hudson, Pamela Martens, Mike Whitney and others at www.counterpunch.org

 Robert Roth, Eugene



KYLIE KUDOS

Kudos for your smart and savvy inclusion of "Ask the Dogcatcher" by Kylie Belachaikovsky (8/28).

Excellent column. Said many things that need saying! I'm certain that companion-animal caretakers, even veteran ones, learned a lot.

Could it be made a regular feature? It would be the first place I'd look in your excellent weekly.

Rita Castillo

Springfield



NO NEED FOR NASTY

My family and I stopped in Corvallis recently to get a quick bite to eat on our way to the beach. We were in Nearly Normal's for less than 10 minutes when a police officer came in and informed us that someone had called because our dog was left in the car on a warm day. While I appreciate the concern for our dog, I do not appreciate the nasty note left on our windshield. I can handle being called an asshole, even when I haven't earned it, but the thought process behind the note is what's dangerous. Being positive to such an extreme becomes negative. 

We are peaceful, animal-loving folks who adopted our dog from the humane society. We love him very much and would never leave him in a harmful situation. We took care to park the car so that at least half of it was in the shade, all the windows were down a good 3 inches (and his even more) and there was a bowl of water on the floor. Whenever we have to stop for a meal and leave our dog in the car, one of us always goes back out to the car to check on him, let him out, make sure he has enough water, etc. This time, the officer let us know that our dog appeared to be doing all right. The officer noticed that he had water and that the windows were open. He asked how much longer we'd be in the cafe (10 minutes) and was on his way. 

So, thanks for looking out for our dog, but go easy on the assumptions. The call to the cops was sufficient.

Sheree Walters, Eugene



REPUBLICAN HACK

I strongly disagree with City Councilor George A. Poling’s opinion of Rick Dancer (R-G letters, 9/15). Poling says he thinks Dancer is “fair and accurate” and “ has a hunger to learn all sides of an issue.”

I have not found Rick Dancer to be this way. I have found Rick Dancer to be an extremely biased journalist. And would expect him to be an extremely biased secretary of state.

Dancer was the lead news anchor in the TV special: “Media United Against Drugs.”

The title of this TV special always made me laugh because in the title, journalists like Dancer are declaring that on the subject of drugs they are not fair and accurate.

Specifically, I remember Dancer interviewing a substance abuse expert and three times Dancer asked the expert “Marijuana permanently affects the brain, right?”

And three times the expert said “No, there is no scientific evidence of that.” Three times.

So, I believe this illustrates that Dancer was not a fair and accurate journalist, but a journalist with a political agenda.

And I can only assume that if elected secretary of state, Rick Dancer will be a Republican hack.

Chris Pender, Eugene



NO WAFFLES

I want to thank all the right-wing trolls, media lapdogs and other McCain surrogates. For awhile, I couldn't make up my mind: Vote for Nader, because his views more closely mesh with mine; or McKinney, because I'm a registered Green; not vote at all; or bite the bullet and vote for the Big-eared Kid, despite numerous misgivings about his too-cozy ties to corporatism. But thanks to all the blatantly racist crap coming out of the GOP camp — the latest being "Obama Waffles" — I am, without question, now officially throwing my support behind the Democratic candidate for president.

Good work, guys! You really stepped on it this time.

Bill Smee, Springfield



I’D BREAK FOR YOU

My boyfriend and I, two experienced, cautious, and responsible cyclists, excited like many other vacationers looking to get away for the long weekend, hopped on our bikes looking to enjoy Oregon’s roads.

Yes, we, as two adults, made the conscious choice to legally ride our bikes on Hwy. 126, with the knowledge that the painted white line that separates us from 2-4+ ton vehicles hauling trailers, boats, and other recreational devices offers little room and protection from error in judgment or reckless behavior. Yet, we, maybe naïvely, believe that the roads are rightfully for all.

While pedaling along, we were consistently met with drivers who obviously could care less that there were two living, breathing bodies with families, jobs and lives of their own just to the right of that line. To be generous, I would guess that maybe 25 percent of those 2-4+ ton vehicles made an effort to either slow or veer ever so slightly toward that center yellow line that provides us with an extra 12 inches of comfort that we don’t take for granted. Then there were the glorious few who indulged in vigorous honking and/or decided to abruptly accelerate as they passed us, only to intentionally leave us in a cloud of blinding and chocking exhaust. 

There seems to be a frightening disconnect between some drivers and the reality behind the consequences of their poor and selfish choices. Have people become so preoccupied and consumed by their own lives that the need for speed out weighs the value of another life?

Despite having experienced and witnessed such irrational, irresponsible and violent behavior, and left feeling a bit baffled, I know that if our positions were somehow interchanged — regardless of how my political or lifestyle choices may differ from yours — I would still brake for you.

Rebecca Rose, Eugene



PHARMA DANGERS

Once upon time our government protected us from deadly drugs recommended by pharmaceutical corporations by requiring government testing of these drugs before the drugs were offered to the American public.

Drug testing required too much time, according to the pharmaceutical lobbies in Washington which, along with millions of dollars from their lobbyists, persuaded our government to turn the testing over to the corporations, which is like telling a fox he can come into our chicken house.

Corporate foxes now, and have been, killing us chickens, according to our disgraceful Food and Drug Administration. Two out of six Americans were killed just a few weeks ago with Bysetta, a drug for type II diabetics marketed by Amylin and Eli Lilly.

Shouldn’t such drugs be recalled? No, says our government. Amylin and Eli Lilly will issue a stronger warning in my hand … 1,127 words including: If your hair falls out or you experience headaches, nervousness, vomiting, diarrhea, irritability, trouble sleeping, changes in menstrual periods, leg cramps, trembling, excessive sweating, fever, sensitivity to heat changes in weight and appetite, chest pain, rapid or irregular heart beat or seizures, rash, itching, swelling, dizziness or trouble breathing, call your physician. 

What about the following ingredients on this warning? Simethicane? Cholestyramine? Polystyrene? Sulfonate? Colestisol? Sucralfate? Can they kill us?

Are our lives or corporate profits more important to our government?

Jerry Copeland, Florence



ABSURD NOTION

Today (9/18) Sen. Chuck Hagle (R-Nebraska) stated that in regards to Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for vice president, “She doesn't have any foreign policy credentials” and further, “I think it's a stretch to, in any way, to say that she's got the experience to be president of the United States.”

This really should put an end to the absurd notion that John McCain chose the “best vice presidential pick in history.” McCain’s position is more than just political hubris. Sarah Palin, as a person who proposes to be one heart beat away from the presidency, is a real and present danger for the security of the U.S. and the world. 

McCain has the right to make his choice. We have the right to make ours. It is, to me, a clear choice between the Democratic ticket of Obama and Biden who are well able to discharge the real responsibilities of the offices of president and vice president, and the Republican ticket of McCain and Palin, who are not. 

I will vote for Obama/Biden. 

Gerry Merritt, Eugene



POLITICAL INSANITY

Rather than discussing issues in this election, Republicans are going for crazy talk. McCain can't remember how many houses he owns but he calls Obama “elitist.” Sock puppets, T-shirts, and a waffle mix depicting Obama as a monkey are sold at Republican events but McCain accuses him of “playing the race card.” Ms. Palin's supposed foreign policy skills are due to her state being “right next to Russia.” I once lived near an observatory, does that make me an astronomer? 

The Republicans controlled congress from 1994 to 2006 and still have enough votes to block Democratic initiatives. The scrap heap of Republican claims is quite a pile. The party of “fiscal responsibility” deregulated finance and ran up the biggest debt in the nation's history. The party of “national defense” ignored warnings that might have averted 9/11 and then attacked the wrong country. The party of “freedom” eliminated habeus corpus and legalized torture. The party of “moral values” seems to have a lot of members sitting in jail or trolling for sex in public restrooms. The party of “efficient government” let New Orleans wash away in a hurricane. Republican policies have driven this country into the ditch and we would be crazy to let them continue governing.

Brook Adams, Eugene

 

THANKS FOR NOTHING

President Bush: Thank you for plunging our nation into the worst economic condition ever. Thank you for sending our best and brightest to die in an unjust war. Thank you for pandering the interests of all citizens, giving big businesses tax breaks, while we lose our jobs, homes, health care and hope for Social Security. Thank you for doing nothing to uphold Environmental legislation. Thank you for imprisoning and torturing citizens. Thank you for your total disregard for the Constitution, trying to remove Habeas Corpus, and illegal wire taps of citizens’ phone calls. 

Thank you for lying to the American public since you took office, stealing the election from Al Gore. Thank you for alienating allies with a foreign policy that is flawed and self-serving. Thank you for your hypocrisy in claiming you’re a Christian, deceiving those who observe the Word of God and causing discord among those who follow other religious tenets. Thank you for slashing funds to help our neediest citizens. Thank you for your arrogance in thinking you have our best interests in mind, while there’s no financial aid, prescription assistance, help for vets and seniors while more of our children and working families go hungry, without preventive medical care, having their faith in government shattered. 

Thank you for establishing an oligarchy (look it up in the dictionary), stripping the Bill of Rights, making our Founding Fathers turn over in their graves. Thank you for furthering your own personal agendas at the cost of the American people!!

M.J. Roberts, Eugene



GENDER VS. ISSUES

Why would so many women (presumably Democrats) become so angry that Hillary Clinton didn’t win the nomination that they are threatening to vote for the Republican nominee — issues be damned!

Behavior like this is like a child’s revenge, “cutting off your nose to spite your face.” It’s beyond me.

Nancy Slagle, Springfield



BIG DISTRACTION

Well, I got sucked in; did you? It is less than 50 days to the general election and what has the whole country been sucked into talking about? Is it the issues facing America today? Health care? Immigration? Iraq? Gas prices and supplies? 

No! We are gossiping about Sarah Palin's personal issues. Is she a good governor? A good parent? Who cares?! It's not relevant! What matters is her stance on abortion, NRA, gay rights, Iraq, sex education, etc. What matters is keeping her religion out of the White House and out of government policy. However, it seems her repressive right-wing conservative beliefs overlays everything she says and does. What matters is keeping Palin out of the White House!

And I, for one, am sick of looking at McCain's smug face grinning at the coup he thinks he's pulled off by picking a woman running mate. Ha! Think again, John!

McCain has pulled in a Trojan Horse ("Trojan moose" according to the Huffington Post) to distract us from the mess Bush has made of the country. McCain and Palin have spent precious little time talking about the Republican Party's record or the Republican Party's platform and agenda, and for good reason: They want to distract us from looking at it too closely. So they concentrate on throwing mud at Obama and on being cute and coy about non-issues regarding Palin. Every lie and equivocation the McCain/Palin ticket has been employing is geared to distract us from the truth of the last seven years and what the McCain/Palin ticket is promoting for the next four years; more of the same! America cannot afford it!

We must all stop gossiping and get down to business!

Eileen Peterson, Eugene



PICK A PANDA

I sat through the airings of both party conventions. It’s no wonder the pundits cartoon both candidates. With Iraq-evacuation promises made by both too close to cipher, taxation demographics remain the primary voting issue. Obama will tax the rich, McCain, the rest of us. Everything else is pandering.

Obama chose Biden for his expensive dental work and million-dollar smile, and in retort, McCain has taken to flashing his own ivories at every opportunity. (With his geezer vertebrae so fused that his neck has no swivel, I wouldn’t trust him with a driver’s license.)

Palin’s only pandering default is her hair. She’s got the hairdo of a seventh grader from a desperately poor family. But she won’t go in for contacts and hair makeover lest she be exposed for the panda trophy she is.

Kiddies, face it, it’s all showbiz, all of it. I’m voting for Obama and releasing the rest to the universe. What the hell. We’re fucked, either way.

Lori Kasprzak, Eugene



YIELD, PLEASE

In response to Teri Kohley's excellent letter (9/11) regarding the Delta Highway/Beltline interchange I'd like to chime in and say that the problem lies in too many drivers' inability to follow basic traffic rules. There is a yield sign for the traffic coming off the Beltline West bound that most people tend to ignore or misinterpret. I drive by this intersection daily and have had to swerve out of the way of drivers who do not yield to the Delta Highway traffic several times. I've even yelled at unconscious drivers who just roll through the yield sign without so much as looking to the left for any incoming cars that they should be yielding to. And this lack of understanding what "yield" means results in traffic back-up and accidents. 

Every day during rush hour the right lane on the Delta Highway is backed up because drivers coming onto the Delta highway think that yield actually means merge. It does not mean merge, or every other car should merge into the on-coming Delta Highway traffic. I've seen cops waiting to ticket Delta Highway speeders a hundred yards south of this interchange while drivers coming off the Beltline continue to merge into traffic without looking at what's coming right at them. 

What is wrong with too many drivers these days that they don't understand the very basic concept of yield to the traffic they're trying to merge into. I call it the "attack of the stupids," but perhaps that's too simplistic (although it sounds like County Commissioner Bobby Green's decision to take the allotted monies away from this interchange to spend it in Springfield was a monstrously stupid idea). 

In my experience driving the highways of the West, I've noticed that the highways are the last bastion of anarchy in this country. Sure there are state police and highway patrol cars parceled out to ticket speeders. but if you have a radar detector and half a brain you can skirt the authorities waiting on the roadside to ticket the next speeding imbecile and speed on down the line. 

As for the Delta Highway/Beltline interchange the simple solution for this problem would be to replace the yield sign with a simple stop sign.

Jonathan Seraphim, Eugene