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Eugene Weekly : Letters : 9.15.11




DRUNKEN DUCK NUTS

This past Saturday, Sept. 10, I was threatened as I rode my bike along 19th Avenue from the intersection of Patterson Street. What was my crime according the SUV full of likely drunk Ducks Fans? I was riding my bike on a Ducks football game day. 

The SUV full of these young people pulled up along side me, leaving about 18 inches of clearance between me and their vehicle and me and the parked cars to my right. One person screamed out the window, “What are you doing?” I replied, “Riding a bike? What are you doing?” To which he replied, “B*tch, get the f*ck off the road! It’s a Duck’s game day; you need to be prepared!” 

I’m not really sure what I did to be treated this way but the experience left me reeling. I felt scared for my life as I continued my ride with this car full of what I am sure are the UO’s rising academic superstars trailing me. The young men who continued to scream at me were probably far from sober already and upset because I was making them two or three minutes late to the next keg party, where they would continue to become more drunk and out-of-control. 

I hope that UO athletics will take some steps to better educate their fans about the culture of active transportation in Eugene and also about to behave in the larger society on game days. Maybe Duck athletics can take steps to better police their fans and keep them from becoming violently drunk at games and maybe they can also talk with local bars to ask them to do the same. As a UO alumnus and an current employee of the UO, I must say that I am not only disgusted and afraid of the behavior that I was subject to that day, but I am also embarrassed to be associated with an institution who’s biggest fans are dangerous bullies. 

Anya Dobrowolski, Bicycle Pedestrian Advisory Committee member



LIFE IN THE HOOD

I reside in the very crotch of the historic Whitaker District at Fourth and Blair. This area has become the bane of my existence. I have witnessed the slow deterioration of this once splendid block of artists, teachers, free thinkers and colorful citizens into one of chaos, filth and anarchy. 

I am not writing to complain about the severely disabled who live on this street as I have great sympathy for their situation. What troubles me are the drug dealers, users, gang members, prostitutes, pedophiles, thieves, aggressive panhandlers and anarchists that converge upon The Tiny Tavern parking lot and Scobert Park. Their constant presence and activities downgrade the quality of Whit life and the value of homes. These miscreants arrive early in the day and stay until evening. Junkies hide in the bushes tossing hazardous waste about, while others sleep on the playground equipment. This park is not a child safe environment.

Homeowners in the area are fed up with the nuisance and have every right to work individually with police and other agencies to address concerns regarding personal safety and property. The current call for neighborhood-based resolution and the neighborhood association is laughable and an utter waste of time. The agenda of these groups is not in the interest of the 10- to 30-year homeowner affected by Scobert and The Tiny Tavern. 

Only God knows exactly how many people were found dead in the park and alley this year. Last week I stepped on a syringe at the Red Barn, found two more by my back fence, my Buddha was stolen from my backyard, my chicken was stolen from my side yard. Someone was attacked and beaten in the alley behind my home; someone else was beaten in the driveway of my home, knocking down our gate. The unlucky fellow left behind his jacket and a pocket full of syringes. Others have passed out on my porch entrance and in the driveway. My neighbor’s car was broken into. I have been physically accosted by aggressive panhandlers and have changed the school bus pick-up this year so that I don’t have to walk my child past this area.

Other than this, the rest of the Whit ROCKS!

Marcia Lent, Eugene



CONTRADICTION

In November 2004 voters in the Blachly precinct voted 725-482 in favor of Measure 37, the so-called “regulatory takings” measure. But apparently they are all too willing to call on government regulators when it suits them. Kind of like the conservatives who scream about taxes but whine loudly when the potholes in their street aren’t fixed.

Doug Hintz, Eugene 

 

 

OUT OF CONTROL

Health care costs and the related health insurance premiums are both going up in price. According to USA Today, between 1999 and 2009 “insurance premiums for families rose 131 percent … far more than the general rate of inflation” which was 28 percent over the same period. The Huffington Post reported in 2010 that “people in six states were facing pressure from insurers to raise rates by as much as 56 percent.”

 Lucky that we have a state agency, the certificate of need (CON) that is there to help protect our health care costs by making sure that facilities are needed and that their costs are not going to adversely affect us. So back in 2006 Peace Health was required to get state CON approval to “remodel” their hospital facility in downtown Eugene. They received approval at the cost of $23,659,321. And this was apparently not going to affect our health care costs.

 Last week in The Register-Guard there were several articles regarding PeaceHealth. One indicated that they had plans to spend $80 million. I called the reporter who wrote the story and asked how they got approval for an additional $56,340,679? She did not know. Does anyone? Is there anyone looking out for the people’s interests? Or is it just money rules, Big Money rules absolutely and democracy is a thing of the past?

Ron Davis, Cottage Grove

 

 

INSANE BIKERS

When I ride my bike, especially when I have my 3-year-old with me, I assume that every car is being driven by an insane, drunk, half-asleep, texting 16-year-old. And I trust them accordingly. When I drive, I am hyper aware of walkers, bikers and other cars because I don’t like hurting people or getting into accidents. 

Today at 18th and Chambers I put my blinker on to turn right onto Chambers, while watching a dready hippy chick in my rearview mirror coming towards me on a bike. She was going straight so I gave her the right of way. With righteous Rasta love, her answer was to scream obscenities at me while waving for me to turn in front of her. If you’re a biker please write in to educate all of us dumbass drivers how screaming at people who are giving you the right of way while screaming at drivers who turn in front of you (which distracted drivers do way too often) is creating the kind of city we all want to live in. And if you’re that hippy chick from today: F you too.

Kevin O’Brien, Eugene

 

 

CORPORATE PEOPLE

What do Apple, Google, eBay and General Electric (to name a few) have in common? They are all “corporate persons” who aggressively avoid (defer) income taxes by stashing company profits in off-shore subsidiaries (Cayman Islands and Ireland are two), then every few years ask for a “tax holiday” from Congress to “repatriate” their profits at 5 percent instead of the 35 percent corporate rate. At the same time, since their profits are recorded off-shore, then at home they pay few to no income taxes, and actually rate a refund in our system. A refund? It pays to have great friends in Congress!

Here’s some numbers: General Electric paid $42 million in lobbying and got $3.25 billion in tax refunds. The top 20 aggressive corporate tax dodgers pay significantly higher CEO salaries too. Black and Decker’s CEO’s salary is $26 million and their tax refund was $75 million. In 1980 the disparity between top and bottom wage earners in the U.S. was 42 to one. Now it’s 325 to one, up from two years ago by 62 points. See a trend? To hear more details, stream Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now at www.democracynow.org for September 1, 2011.

The amount these global companies spend on lobbying our legislators guarantees they get their good tax deals, which leaves the rest of us holding the bag (the federal deficit). We need to let our elected officials know that this is outrageous.

Why is Congress only talking about cutting spending when we could reform the corporate tax code to return to levels 10 years ago and significantly close the budget gap? Why are we not looking at increasing taxes on our most wealthy? Why are revenue strategies off the table entirely? It’s ridiculous to look at only one side of the equation. Isn’t that obvious.

There is a bill before Congress now called the “Stop Tax Haven Abuse Act” which would close corporate off-shore tax loopholes. Let’s tell our representatives to get sober and support this! 

There is enough for everyone, but some are gaming the system to take more than their share. It’s up to us to put a stop to it. Get engaged and make your voice heard ABOVE the special interests that would sell our democracy down the river.

Deb McGee, Eugene



PARANORMAL-LEGAL

If large corporations commit fraud, like Bank of America and friends, and since corporations are legally citizens can the entire corporation be sentenced to some jail time like that Lebanese who tried to bankrupt the insurance industry?

Vince Loving, Eugene



DIRTY AIR

So our Lane Air Pollution Protection Agency has asked the public to cooperate and not burn wood in fireplaces and stoves. How about Seneca burning wood 24 hours a day, making breathing difficult and harming our lungs? In some communities laws have passed that stop all children playing sports with football practice in early morning hours and running halted for the duration of heavy pollution. Maybe we need to have schools and the university implement some restrictions?

Ruth Duemler, Eugene