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Letters to the Editor: 9-19-2013

FLUID CONTROL

Good news, fellow Oregonians: Art Robinson is doing something useful for the state. Art wants us to send him some human bodily fluids for his “research.” Well, considering the problems that we have had of late with bodily fluids showing up in unwanted places, such as Eugene’s downtown Park Blocks, I suggest that the officials in charge bottle, box and send post haste to Art all of the miscellaneous bodily fluids they come in contact with that they find obnoxious. I’m sure Art and his family of “research assistants” will put all of it to good use. And, bonus, whatever is left over, Art can mix together with the radioactive waste he wants to sprinkle from airplanes to build up human resistance to the degenerative illnesses that his urine research is going to identify. 

In order to expand his funding base, Art should branch out into researching mental illness. All he has to do is attend some of his party’s monthly meetings. Bring the sample bottles, Art; I’m sure you’ll find plenty of test subjects.

Gerry Merritt, Eugene

 

DISTINGUISHED FAMILY

I am offended by Chip Duyck’s letter Sept. 12. I can tell that Duyck has never met Jake Klonoski, his brothers or his parents. I have, and wish to inform Duyck that this family, to a person, has a long and distinguished history of helping people. 

By the way, Mr. Duyck, I have had the honor of being in the Peace Corps, and the honor of being a captain in the Marine Corps. If we had more Jake Klonoskis and more Colin Powells, this would be a better world.

 David Jensen, Eugene

 

OUTSOURCED EXEMPTION 

I am appreciative of level-headed folks like Paul Conte, and other like-minded citizens in Eugene. This MUPTE (Multiple-Unit Property Tax Exemption) has been a regressive idea from the beginning. 

“The end justifies the means” (you can use bad or immoral methods as long as you accomplish something good) is the seeming mentality for the continuation of this program.

The latest handout of a 10-year property tax exemption was not even to a local or even state developer! The current recipient from the prostrated City Council majority was a Illinois developer of student housing.

The council approved a $4.5 million, 10-year property tax exemption. I find it humorous that Councilor Claire Syrett stated, “The promise by Core Campus to pay the city a total of $1.03 million over the last five years of the exemption made the difference in gaining her support.” OK. But how does paying the city $1.03 million for the last five years of the exemption seem like a good deal, when the city’s “giveaway” is for $4.5 million a year for 10 years? How does that make good sense? Granted, it’s better than a big fat zero that all the other “handouts” have given the city. The citizens of Eugene need to get involved in the happenings of basic city decisions. If your representatives are not speaking your concerns, replace them. Silence = acceptance.

As Paul Conte stated [EW, 8/1], the community should determine for what kinds of projects these tax breaks are granted. “One thing is certain, decisions on these important taxation and housing policies should not remain in the hands of Jon Ruiz and his pro-developer staff.”

And I agree. 

Terry Steiner, Eugene

 

CLEAN WATER MATTERS

The past few months, Oregon media have carried a back-and-forth debate about Congressman DeFazio’s plans to increase logging in Oregon’s federal forests. What is at stake?

It’s Oregon’s water — it’s the future of clean, flowing drinking water at stake. Polling by the Pew Research Center consistently shows that clean water is what matters most to Oregonians. That is one reason why there is increasing alarm about a bill introduced by DeFazio to increase intensive logging on national forest lands. Federal environmental laws would set reasonable standards for logging, but DeFazio’s bill puts Oregon’s antiquated state forestry laws above federal laws. In his guest viewpoint in the R-G Sept. 3, even the congressman admits that is a bad thing.

Oregon’s slack forestry laws are more than 40 years old. These rules permit the use of herbicides sprayed by helicopter. That is different from federal logging practices, which do not routinely use herbicides or allow helicopter spray. Oregon laws are notoriously lacking in water quality protections. The EPA is investigating if Oregon forestry laws even comply with the Clean Water Act.

DeFazio excuses the failure of his plan to retain federal environmental laws, saying that water quality protections “would have to come from Salem.” He means that state officials would have to fix the Oregon Forest Practices Act, a set of rules and policies put in place by the Oregon Board of Forestry, a governor-appointed commission mired in politics. In comparison, Washington, Idaho and California have forestry laws that require buffer zones to better protect rural communities and water quality. For example, the state of Washington protects domestic drinking water and bans certain herbicides, including Atrazine, from use near groundwater areas. Oregon has no such protections in its forestry policy. Even Idaho has stronger protections for water. Oregon has taken a backwards direction, away from good science.

A plan that exports Oregon’s politicized, obsolescent policies on to public national forests is unacceptable. We need to protect the health of rural communities, the purity of drinking water and the future viability of endangered species such as Coho salmon. Protection starts with bringing Oregon logging and pesticide spray rules into the 21st century and basing our standards on present-day science, not last century’s politics. 

Lisa Arkin, Executive Director, Beyond Toxics

 

BUSINESS AS USUAL

How to exploit money from a university that has a physically limited growth potential? Build student dorms for the rich. The new proposed high-rise near campus comes with many amenities including a lounge. The students will be like the Ducks and never have to go out into the rain except to attend the football games. The UO is doing a terrific job of attracting money. Keep up the good work. 

Vince Loving, Eugene

 

SENSIBLE SOLUTIONS

My thoughts are with the entire Washington, D.C., community, especially the family members and victims, as the facts continue to unfold in the Navy Yard shooting.

In recent years we've experienced mass shootings in a grocery store parking lot, an Army base, a movie theater, a temple, shopping malls, universities, high schools, elementary schools, and now a naval facility, and after every one the corporate gun lobby's friends in Congress obstructed the will of the American people and stood in the way of sensible solutions to gun violence. Americans deserve better than this.

While it is too early to know what policies might have prevented this latest tragedy, we do know that policies that present a real opportunity to save lives sit stalled in Congress, policies that could prevent many of the dozens of deaths that result every day from gun violence.  As long as our leaders in Congress ignore the will of the people and do not listen to those voices, we must hold them accountable. I hope Congress will listen to the voice of the people and take up legislation that will create a safer America.

Curtis Taylor, Eugene

 

TOUGH CHOICES

There are two ways that a growing population within a limited ecosystem i.e. a planet, can destroy itself; one is if the resources are depleted at a faster rate than can be regenerated. The other is toxins; if the excretions of living beings reaches a certain point self-poisoning will occur. In our planet it is not wildlife, but humans and the factory farmed animals that cause both of these problems.

The only intelligent way out with sense is reducing population: As put by Isaac Asimov, humanity has only two choices: “Either decrease birth rate or increase death rate. Take your pick.”

When one talks about decreasing population, different ethnic and religious groups have legitimate fears that others will want to exterminate them. If one group wants to grow at the expense of others we won't survive as a species. I am proposing reducing our numbers to a equal degree; where we can all thrive and flourish and not die as a result of overcrowding

Now that the population has grown and there are homeless people in lots of places we have to educate the public about contraceptives, abstinence and yes, safe and legal abortion.

The $12,500 alloted to clean up the “excrement” at the Wayne Morse Plaza was theft. As said before, the population has grown. Some sleep during the day, others at night. There should always be public bathrooms and showers available for all of us to take care of our hygiene.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene