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Eugene Weekly : Letters : 6.3.10




DENY CITIZENSHIP

I agree that we need to reform immigration laws (News Briefs, 5/27). We need to pass two laws: 1) it is a felony to be here illegally, and 2) felons cannot become citizens. Illegals do not respect our laws or they wouldn’t be here. They are willing to break our laws for money. If they were good citizens, they would be in their own countries working to make them better. Reagan gave illegals immunity to give business cheap labor. Illegals have been demanding citizenship (immunity), which hardens attitudes against it. I am a life-long registered Democrat (liberal), and 27 out of 30 of my friends who are liberals do not want access to citizenship for illegals. I don’t care what country they are from. If they are here illegally, they are spitting on the very laws that make this country one that’s attractive to live in. I want them to go home. To say they have been here for years, therefore they deserve citizenship, is hogwash! 

Saying that it’s racist to pass a law that allows police to request identification is a Karl Rove move — don’t address the issue, just accuse the person who points it out of some offensive act. I can’t wait until all of the races intermarry so that card can’t be dealt as an excuse for poor choices. 

I feel compassion for children of illegals who will suffer their parents’ choices, like our citizens’ children who suffer consequences by ending up in foster care or with relatives. Why should children of illegals get privileges that citizens don’t? Why do people assume that liberal Democrats want access to citizenship for illegals? And, why haven’t lawmakers asked registered voters what they want?

Diana Brown, Cottage Grove



A BETTER PARTNER

In their consultant’s report on Civic Stadium, G2 Strategic recommends that School District 4J partner with the city of Eugene in the redevelopment of Civic Stadium. More precisely, they recommend that the citizens of Eugene borrow $70 million and give it to 4J, virtually no strings attached. Eugene will be neither buying nor leasing Civic, and decisions about its management would be made by the 4J School Board, leaving the citizens of Eugene with no say in the management of their $70 million investment. 

Having done the data entry of all those signatures that Dennis Hebert gathered over two years of Em’s games at Civic, I can say firsthand that a much larger community than school district 4J, or even the city of Eugene, cares about the future of our historic Civic Stadium. People from all over Lane County, and beyond, attended games at Civic. So people from all over Lane County should have a say in its future management. 

Rather than partner with Eugene on Civic’s future, 4J should partner with LCC. But LCC should get something in return. I believe that LCC should propose a long-term lease of Civic, with an option to buy. 

The same half-mill levy (50 cents per thousand) that the voters of 1938 approved to allow the construction of Civic to go forward, would raise $10 million against the LCC tax base. This would be enough to fix the urgent “to-do list” at Civic, bringing Civic back into serviceable condition. 

Whether the concept proposed by G2 Strategic goes forward or not, LCC is a better partner for Civic Stadium than Eugene. 

Lonnie McCullouch, Eugene



LOSS FOR EUGENE

Another brilliant woman is fired. What is this with Eugene? Assistant Police Auditor Dawn Reynolds was fired after standing firm for fair evaluations of police misconduct. Her background in law and the justice system allowed her to recognize quickly when wrongs were committed. She provided hope and a more secure feeling for many of us in our community. I’m very sad to see her leave.

Ruth Duemler, Eugene



SUPREME VISIONARIES?

I have been a reader of alternative newsweeklies since Seattle Weekly came out in 1976, as a result of Yale graduate David Brewster’s vision to “educate the uneducated” in Seattle. Over the years I have agreed with much that comes out in newsweeklies. 

But, now to the comments from Brett Campbell and Tom Manoff (5/13) about Eugene Symphony program issues: Are they supreme visionaries knowing what is best in giving people the “music of the times?” What is the music of the times anyway? I find Manoff’s remarks lacking in knowledge of really what is happening to concert-goers in Eugene. Both he and Campbell seek to demean the last Symphony multimedia program. This program was not an educational tool? My goodness, are we going to say now that all the opera and symphony programs that are being broadcast in movie houses are tearing down the values of good music? 

I know that music is an aural sense and becomes satisfying for most people only about 50 years after a composition has been written. Then the ear of a listener who has had some or no musical training might be able to accept it. This is documented. The ESO has always carried as one of its objectives the introduction of new music. That is why the organization has had a composer in residence. Check your facts, gentlemen, before making such blatantly false statements. Paul Winberg’s response (5/6) was totally justified. The Eugene Symphony has been a model for other orchestras — and this, according to the American League of Orchestras, for its perceptions, innovative activities and programming. This is fact. 

It is sad that the lack of real understanding of music and the hard training of listeners has completely escaped the writers in both of the commentaries that were present in the May 13 Weekly. What is it they say about critics? “If they can’t do it, they write about it.”

Mira Frohnmayer,  Eugene



NOT OF OUR WORLD

I think renaming Beltline is beyond insane for a number of reasons. Here are two: 1) the cash, and 2) to honor Randy Papé, Attila the Hun, hell anybody, by renaming a highway is not much of a compliment.

I’ll go out on a limb and speculate that $250,000 is a huge amount of money for nearly all of us. I could not comprehend the DOT panel’s flippant decision to blow that amount of cash on a project that I sense the overwhelming public opinion is strongly against. How in the world could they so easily disregard the obvious will of the people?

It dawned on me that financially, compared to you and me, the DOT panel is not of our world.

The overall ODOT budget is nearly $3.5 billion. What percent is $250,000? That’s .000071 percent. In our world, that is $3.64 if you make $50,000 a year. A latté. So for the panel it was a no-brainer to blow $3.64 to bestow a dubious honor on some dude because in their eyes it is peanuts!

Think of all the lattés we could swill if the Papé family just changed Randy’s name to Beltline. How about naming some plonker alley after a guy who lives quietly, doesn’t bother people and has a brother who lives in Thailand?

Tim Neun, Eugene



ACROBATIC HAZARD

Even after 15 years of cycling in Eugene there’s always something new — like yesterday when I was sideswiped by an urban freerider between the EWEB Plaza and the Peter DeFazio Bike Bridge. There’s a steep grade on EWEB property that is attractive to downhillers and semi-camouflaged in shrubbery. This time the only casualty was my hand-built front wheel, but it could have been the families with kids on training wheels who rode by minutes later. The culprit was an unhelmeted teenager doing stunts alone on a Sunday afternoon. 

I enjoy watching freeride videos online, but like the majority of cyclists it’s not for me. Your article “Urban Assault” (5/20) extolled the thrills with little emphasis on safety. Because of this omission I feel compelled to plead the following:

If you do stunts in public places, use the buddy system and spot for each other. Try to use them when bicycle and pedestrian traffic is minimal. Always wear a helmet — no exceptions. If despite these precautions you harm someone or their property, take some responsibility. Be prepared to get help in case of injuries (another good reason for the buddy system). If you crash into someone’s bike or other property, respectfully do your best to talk to the person, determine any damage and what you should do about it. Understand that saying you are sorry does not undo the damage.

Some portions of the Eugene bike path system are hazard zones. If urban freeriding takes off in Eugene, I’ll need to add a few more hazard zones to my mental list.

Lisa Wilson, Eugene



LTD BOONDOGGLE

I read EW’s footnote response to Dean Carter’s letter from a couple of weeks ago (5/6) and have come to conclude that either the editor can’t read and comprehend English or that the EW’s editorial staff truly has been blinded all along with its support of the EmX bus service. Carter points out clearly that tax money, whether federal or local, should be used to provide funding for operating expenses of public transportation and not on boondoggle projects like the EmX. The editor seems to think otherwise with his comments, thinking since the feds are providing most of the funds, let’s build this thing anyway while the entire bus system is due for a 20 percent service cut. 

$120 million is a lot of money which EW thinks it’s alright to waste and have the general public suffer as a consequence. Just one EmX bus costs $1 million; three regular buses can be bought for that amount of money. I also find it hard to believe that there is no outcry against the service cuts, and that Lane Transit is still pursuing the building of EmX for west Eugene.

I find that the Weekly is not a community leader but just another outfit looking out for special interests, not community interests. I do advise the editor of the Weekly to have his eyes examined and his brain scanned for any abnormalities. 

Juana Garcia, Portland (formerly Eugene)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Thanks for your kind concerns about my health. My eyes are OK (except for those little floaty things), but my brain is certainly abnormal, We hate the service cuts too, but looking ahead 20 to 50 years, we see a need to establish routes and rights-of-way  for the next generations of mass transit. These EmX routes could someday be used for electric trolleys or something completely new.



BODIES ON THE LINE

It seems many people in Eugene are starting to think that protest and direct action are all but dead in this area. The people of Eugene need to know that we are still fighting, people are still putting their bodies on the line and standing up for what’s right — such as the 27 people who were arrested in the Elliot State Forest last year while trying to protect old-growth trees and native forests from devastating clearcuts in steep terrain in sensitive watersheds. Twenty-two of these people are currently awaiting a hearing to determine whether they should pay back the $130,000 the state spent arresting them. For the state to ask for these obscene amounts of money to fund their use of incredibly excessive force as a response to run-of-the-mill civil disobedience, the true American pastime, is absurd! 

What about the hundreds of people who refused to let Nazi sentiments be heard on the UO campus and stood together fight the Pacifica Forum?

Also, early last summer, there was a tree-sit in place for weeks in Fall Creek old growth when it appeared logging may be heading there. The death of the WOPR brought that tree-sit down.

This year on June 11-13, join local direct action proponents in the woods for a weekend of skill sharing and forest talk. The West Coast Earth First! Rendezvous and Cascade Forest Defenders Action camp will be teaching skills relevant to direct action and activism in general in a comfortable camping setting to anyone who comes. This camp will be happening in the increasingly threatened McKenzie watershed. You don’t have to know someone to attend these events; you don’t have to be a black-clad anarchist or un-showered hippie to fight oppression. This campout will be accessible by bus! See www.forestdefensenow.org 

And keep your ears to the ground for a lively summer of protests, rallies and actions in Eugene this year. This could be a year of revival for the legendary power of the people in the Northwest. Eugene could be the center of it all. Will you be there?

Jason Walters, Walton



NOT JUST EUGENE

I read with interest the article entitled: “Urban Renewal: City breaks law on tax diversion” (5/20) by Bonny Bettman McCormack.

Unfortunately things like that happen again and again. Here in The Dalles we have a state sanctioned monopoly power company that doesn’t even follow the rules they write.

The biggest problem is that governments, power companies and the like have virtually unlimited funds to hire lawyers to get away with this lawbreaking while challengers must pay up front and out of their own pockets to make them follow the rules they write. 

Please check out www.reformwascoelectric.com

With Wasco Electric we have even a bigger problem in that the law does not allow us to have honest and impartial board of directors elections, making it impossible for us to elect those we want on this board to the board.

Britt Storkson, The Dalles



STEEPED IN OIL

What will it take to wake people up? When will the insanity end? Humans have butchered, dug, scraped, dumped, blasted and stolen from the Earth with such filthy, greasy greed, it must end or we will all end. We are intricately connected to the web of life that works with such beauty and infinite complexity. 

We have the power over the extraction, manufacturing and agricultural industries because without us they have nothing. We vote every time we give money for an object. The more local, sustainable and green our choices, the more healing will take place. The fewer children born, the less impact on the planet. The less gasoline used, the fewer oil spills. There are 200 oil spills from drilling on average every year. Almost every product in a store is saturated with oil by the way it is transported and also packaged. Are humans so ignorant they will kill all the life around them and think they will not be affected? Are they so heartless they don’t care for the wonderful diversity here? So lazy and fearful they won’t take a stand?

We must heal the Earth and heal each other. We must wake up and take responsibility.

Pam Driscoll, Dexter



DISCLOSURE NEEDED

In the wake of the many recent calls for sustainable and local agriculture, I would like to bring the issue of GMOs (genetically modified organisms) to the fore. More than 90 percent of our corn, soy, sugar and canola is GMO. There are several significant peer-reviewed studies (those not paid for by Monsanto and including warnings from the FDA’s own scientists) that reveal great danger to animals, humans, and the environment. These include death, sterility (fourth generation cows give birth to empty water sacs), organ damage, resistance to antibiotics, genetic mutation, polluted soil and water and death of the pollinators (the bees are disappearing in an alarming rate).

Because our legislators won’t do it (many are supported by the biotech industry) and our media are virtually deaf dumb and blind to the issue, I ask that our local food venues, such as grocery stores, health food stores, restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, etc., protect the public by taking the necessary measures to exclude ingredients containing GMOs in the foods that they carry and prepare for the public. This has been done for more than 10 years in Europe and Japan — where there are bans on GMOs — and even multinational food giants are required to use non-GMO ingredients.

 Get educated, think of your children and remember the wisdom of the Precautionary Principle, which implies that there is a social responsibility to protect the public from exposure to harm, when scientific investigation has found a plausible risk. And there is great risk.

 Sabrina Siegel, Eugene