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Eugene Weekly : Letters : 6.30.11




DONT FEEL SAFER

The Lane County Public Safety Coordinating Councils makeup must reflect a majority vested interest in incarceration, not rehabilitation, considering their recent 11-5 vote for funding cuts. Sponsors will lose 52 percent of its funding for released inmates, over a half million dollars. After nearly half a million in cuts, three out of four serious released sex offenders will no longer have full supervision, treatment or enough caseworkers. State funds for drug and alcohol abuse treatment for indigents at Emergence will be cut in half.

Whatever interests the council heeded, they surely werent Lane County voters. The recommendation flies in the face of repeated county voter rejection of local tax proposals that were skewed toward greater lock-ups without sufficient rehabilitation and education components. The PSCCs decision doesnt make me feel safer and isnt likely to save taxpayer dollars. Instead, we will spend more on the barred side of our widened, revolving jailhouse and prison doors.

According to Sen. Floyd Prozanski, Measure 57s supposed treatment programs are unlikely to materialize if it is implemented. This will further imbalance our system toward incarceration and away from rehabilitation.

We unwisely belt tighten by taking off the belt and using it for punishment, when punishment through jail time itself is demonstrably the cause of much repeated crime ã not its cure. Our county commissioners would do well to reject this proposal in favor of maintaining rehabilitation program spending. County commissioners will answer to me and other majority voters if they implement this lopsided recommendation.

Ethen Perkins, Eugene



FORESTS FOR HORSES

Each EW has multiple letters on how the rich arent carrying their fair share of the tax burden and control our society. Cognitive dissonance was displayed in the June 2 EW.

In the Slant section, Seneca owner Aaron Jones was congratulated for his horses placing well in national races. News Briefs mentions how Jones had fought environmentalists in order to log Trapper old growth. Question: How do you think Jones paid for those horses? Answer: Decimated forests.

Aaron Jones is a minor player compared to the ultra-rich. Billionaires are treated as gods and grace magazine covers and TV shows. Billionaires are sociopaths whose lifestyles use more of the worlds resources and create more waste.

The occasional bone is thrown as "philanthropy.” A philanthropist steals from the workers and the environment to give to themselves. They give a pittance back and are called heroes.

Would Phil Knight give money to UO if he didnt get his sons name on the arena and had Nike symbols plastered across campus?

Im not saying be rude to the rich but dont praise them. Realize that their interests and ours are diametrically opposed.

We dont want charity, we want environmental and economic justice.

Scott Fife, Eugene



FIX THE ECONOMY?

If you just want jobs, why not build some pyramids? Or stop using farm equipment and go back to hand planting? Why are there so many people complaining about not being able to carry out their life sentences in a corporate cubicle as a wage-slave so some parasitic capitalist douchebag can buy another yacht?

As George Carlin said, its called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it. This country needs to wake up from the fantasy that we can continue to grow more top-heavy, bureaucratic and inefficient and continue to produce disposable garbage, because monopoly capitalism will suppress all honest competition.

This economy is based on the wasteful and untenable principles of planned obsolescence, annual model changes and volume sales instead of quality and dependability. We have more bureaucrats and managers than we do skilled craftspeople and farmers. We need local, state and national initiatives to help start and run small businesses and co-op workshops where skilled craftspeople can share the expense of manufacturing machinery and earn a living doing what they love; where world-class merchandise and artwork with far greater value than mass-produced junk can be created by artisans chosen for their skill instead of their seniority and ass-sucking talent.

We must make group health care, tax breaks and every benefit possible available to these small businesses, entrepreneurs and artisans so they can compete on truly level playing fields like Saturday Market, festivals and the global marketplace of internet sales.

Warren Weisman, Eugene



END HANFORD DUMPING

On May 19two friends and I carpooled up to Portland to attend the U. S. Department of Energy hearing on the proposal to continue to truck high level nuclear waste across the nations highways, including I-5 in Oregon, to bury at the Hanford Nuclear reservation in Washington. It is estimated that it will take 12,600 truckloads to dispose of extremely radioactive waste, mostly from nuclear reactors that will be dismantled in the coming decades.

In attendance were 190 people, the majority of whom oppose the DOEs plan, including Portland Mayor Sam Adams. So do Sens. Wyden and Merkley, who have stated that "truckingnuclear waste through Oregon on its way to Hanford poses an unacceptable risk to the health of Portland citizens.”One would think that in the wake of the unending nightmare and tragic nuclear accident at Fukushima that our government would consider a better way to dispose of nuclear waste and not expose thousands of us living in the Northwest to our own potential Fukushima.

Hanford is still a Superfund site, still contaminated from 40 years as a major generator of plutonium for our nuclear weapons. There are miles of unlined trenches with containers leaking some of the most toxic chemicals on the planet. This contamination has been found in the soil and the Columbia River which is threatened by a uranium contaminated groundwater plume, moving much faster than the DOEs projection of 125 years. Hanford needs to be cleaned up before any more high level nuclear waste is brought and buried there.

More information is available at Heart of America Northwest website,www.hoanw.org

Eva Kronen, Eugene



PERPETUATING BIAS

As the CEO of a local nonprofit agency that serves adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities, I am responding to the approach by both the writer and the editors of the (6/16) review of The Boys Next Door. The review perfectly demonstrates how to continue prejudice at many layers, from disability to race to characterizing audience members.Continue to promote the ignorance by repeating the language and stereotyping.

One point to make about this review is the truth about the R word can most effectively be defined by people with intellectual disabilities, not writers observing a play.If anyone spends a few days with our clients, you will gain real experience, not theater or someones observation of theater. You can also educate yourself on the movement to end the usage of the R word, for starters at www.r-word.org

People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are one of the most abused groups of citizens in our culture. They have a four to 10 times higher risk of becoming victims of crime when compared to those without disabilities. One way to advocate as an ally is to eliminate the negative language and stereotyping.Responsible citizens will do so; others will continue the language which promotes an environment where this abuse occurs, as unfortunately EW just did.

Margaret Theisen, CEO Full Access, Eugene



MISSING THE POINT

I have the feeling I saw a different play than did the reviewer of The Boys Next Door. I did not come away with the idea the playwright was trying tomanipulate me into thinkingthose with developmental disabilities are especially pure or wise. I thought the play did an extraordinary job of showing that such peoplecan be annoying and deserving of affection at the same time. The caretakers role was especially poignant.He got angry with the four, but that didnt make him feel good. He was frustrated by the fact that no matter what he did they never changed.

To say the play lacked a plot is only to say that the lives of the people depicted (most lives, perhaps)lack a plot.Thatmay have beenpartly the point of the play. The playprovoked laughterin places, but that only made it easier to accept the basically sad state of affairs being played out before us.

In my opinion the acting and directionwere excellent. And the play definitely illuminated the plight of those like The Boys Next Door as well as those assigned to look after them. I was reminded that any societyclaiming to be enlightened ought to be judged by how it treats its most defenseless and neediest members.

Jim Dinsmore, Eugene



 




GOOD OREGON STOCK

As a 20- to 30-something in Oregon during the 70s and 80s (Eugene/Bend), times were often tough. To survive I worked part-time jobs and started home based businesses (including a resume writing service and recreation magazine).

My 31-year-old son Erik, after community college in Coos Bay, met and married an Oregon woman whose roots in the state go deep (her family lives in Forest Grove). They went to school together at EOSU in La Grande. Erik got a master's degree at Northwest Christian College in Eugene. He was recently let go as a middle school counselor in Madras ã due to absolutely no fault of his own ã just prior to getting tenure after nearly three years. He also worked with troubled youth in the Beaverton schools. His wife, Allison, received her master's degree in education at the very same time in anticipation of a first job as a grade school teacher near her husband.

Both have (and are) crisscrossing the state in search of positions that will keep their marriage intact, and offer career opportunities for both. They have interviewed well and have come extremely close to getting jobs ã but not in places they could comfortably commute to each other. They would relocate anywhere in the state at this point, but are now considering other states (not happily).

It would be such a shame to lose such good Oregonian stock. Oregon, you may lose your best and brightest young teachers. Contact them at e_seavey@hotmail.com

William L. Seavey, Cambria, Calif.



WHY THE FIREWORKS (WTF)?

I am a Springfield resident who is a multi-pet owner and I loathe this upcoming Fourth of July holiday. The constant popping and occasional explosions taking place in my neighborhood are totally disgusting. My pets and most pets in our neighborhood are terrified from all this stupid entertainment.(?)

This started on Father's Day and who knows when it will end. The fact is that it is very annoying to me and my family must less all the pets that are traumatized. I had to get some doggy Valium for my dog and I don't like to do that but have no choice. C'mon people, get over this love affair with fireworks. It has nothing to do with the holiday, just a chance to see how annoying you can be. You have no consideration for anyone else's feeling or their pet's welfare. I think they should be outlawed for multiple reasons: fire hazard, injuries, leftover trash, and annoying as hell.

If you want to see fireworks go to a Ems game or some other function and let the professionals do it. It sounds like a war zone around here. If you people like to blow stuff up, join the National Guard or something similar. Parents should be more responsible, but I think its more the parents than kids doing this. Give the pets and your neighbors a break.

Steve Meyer, Springfield



TO THE MAYOR

I am writing to let you know I have pulled my support from Eugene City Council and Councilwoman Betty Taylor. While Eugene may be a predominantly liberal town, my family and I are conservative and stand by The United States of America. If Ms. Taylor thinks reciting the Pledge of Allegiance is akin to reciting the Communist Manifesto, I highly recommend she step down from public office. She has an obligation to stand true to the values she was elected to uphold as a public officer. I'm assuming she had to recite the Pledge during her inauguration? In these times, it is imperative that an elected official stand in unity with the the City of Eugene, its constituents, as well as the United States of America, as opposed to likening our oath of loyalty to liberty to that of socialist and communist views and ideals. In fact, not saying the Pledge at council meetings is hugely socialist, and I will fight till the death to uphold my liberty and freedom as a U.S. citizen. I believe in capitalism and individualism, not communism and socialism. We are an indivisible nation, and Betty Taylor is abusing her position to make this a divisible nation.

The flag of the United States of America stands for liberty, purity, unity and justice for all. We should feel humbled and blessed to be "One Nation Under God," as we are a Christian nation, founded on the principles of Christianity. If Betty Taylor compares these ideals to that of the Communist Manifesto, I demand she step down from public office immediately. Not only does she not hold true the ideals of the people of Eugene, she does not hold dear the ideals of the people of the United States of America. She is using her post irresponsibly and embarrassing the taxpayers. Remember, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Stephanie Golubski, Eugene