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Letters to the Editor: 6-12-2014

MULTIPLE CELEBRATIONS

I just heard about the cancellation of the Eugene Celebration. What about this: Let’s have a Eugene Celebration from EWEB plaza to the North Polk Community Garden along the bike path. Two stages, one at each end. Maybe a third stage at Skinner Butte Park and a fourth close to the River House. Booths all along the bike path. And it could be free

Maybe see if the outdoor concert folks are willing to help coordinate with the neighborhood associations in those areas. Could be more fun than it has been for years.

Anand E. Holtham-Keathley

Eugene

 

SELF-SERVING RANT

After reading Chris Eidemiller’s Viewpoint [6/5] I have come to the conclusion that EW will print anything, including this rant, which is total crap.

First, we need to remember that the vast majority of scholarships are given to athletes who fulfill their time at the UO, and very few leave to pursue a pro career. I do not understand why an early departure would ruffle Eidemiller’s feathers. Would he care if a math scholar left early to work at NASA or a chemistry student left to pursue a career with 3M? Also, the UO does recruit in-state. Many athletes in all sports are from Oregon and the Northwest. 

I could go on about this self-serving rant, which clearly is an avenue in which Eidemiller can fulfill his desires to bash the UO, but I will end by saying good riddance; you will not be missed.

John Carlson

Eugene

 

THANKS TO KITTY

I hope we can all thank you, Mayor Kitty Piercy, for your important letter to UO Assistant Vice President Greg Rikkhoff. Is it just me thinking that gender inequality has increased? For some, sexual assault is to be expected? Or for some, we should only elect men? I really appreciated her strong position for women and I’m sure she knows more than most, as mayor, how we must make some changes. 

 Ruth Duemler

Eugene

 

VISIONARY PROGRAM

The new $7.25-million Berwick Academy for Historically Informed Performance Practice cements the Oregon Bach Festival’s position as the preeminent Baroque music festival in the U.S. The Academy will impact Baroque music performance throughout the country for the next 50 years. It will generate constant national attention to OBF and to the UO’s already outstanding music department, entitling Eugene to a new moniker: “Bach Town USA” (thanks to Nancy Pobanz for this insight).

UO alumni Andrew and Phyllis Berwick, OBF Executive Director John Evans and OBF Artistic Director Matthew Halls deserve enormous praise for funding and designing this visionary program.

David Wade

Eugene

 

NOT ALL FOR PROFIT

Your recent article neglected some critical information as to the “marketplace” for Common Core curricula, at least in math. There are a number of open, free or very low-cost resources — some supplementary, some full curricula — which teachers can now use thanks to the Common Core.

• Illustrative Mathematics, which provides individual tasks along with extensive commentary to help with classroom use and promote teacher professional understanding. Every task is approved both by a teacher and a university mathematician. (Also, see our videos for teachers about fractions. Coming soon: curricular maps.)

• Eureka Math/EngageNY, a full curriculum developed from the ground up by teachers working with national experts, which are freely available (including full teacher materials) in perpetuity.

• Dan Meyer’s Three-Act Tasks, teacher-written real-world problems at middle- and high-school levels. Dan also has a great TED Talk, “Math Class Needs a Makeover,” which speaks to the need for curricula to change significantly.

• Mathalicious, computer-based real-world projects, for example, a great unit on the dangers of texting while driving (requires a subscription, but for individual teachers it is pay-what-you-can).

• Khan Academy, which has been updating its content to be more conceptually demanding and useful as a classroom supplement (still in process), and still gives it away for free.

The list goes on. All of these resources are much better than just about anything available — free or expensive — four years ago. Moreover, individual teachers have better tools to share in a community that is building across the country. I met just yesterday with a teacher from Kalapuya High School in the Bethel School District who is doing some neat things, and I urged him to share more widely. 

If the corporations are planning to “cash in,” they’ve made a big mistake. Those producing high-quality materials and giving them away can now, thanks to the Common Core, team up nationally to serve students and teachers.

Dev Sinha

Assoc. professor of mathematics, UO

 

CONTRIVED ARTICLE

Since I have previously written with regards to Jake Klonoski’s views on Afghanistan, I felt compelled to respond to his wife’s feelings regarding Memorial Day [5/22].

Although I respect her views, Memorial Day should also include mention of the untold, unaccounted-for and unmentioned innocent Afghan civilians who paid with their lives and destroyed families, which Katie Potter didn’t have to endure. Because of this, I feel her words to be as shallow and self-serving in an article that also feels contrived.

It is easy to only consider your own in a world that wants to find only division, not connection. It is also easy to unquestionably be patriotic to “the cause” as, ironically, Fredrik Logevall alludes to in the very same EW issue, which states that misguided ideology, apathy, an unquestioning press (hello, EW?), permissiveness in government and exaggerated promises (well, duh!) all contribute to what continues to be one of our unending “bloody catastrophes.”

Is it any wonder that Potter should love Army Wives, not only because she is one but more so because she, along with the millions who also support such propaganda, help in the government’s continuing PR efforts to romanticize war with the help of Hollywood and the media.

From John Muir to Marine Gen. Smedley Butler to the Dalai Lama, there are many from whom to quote for a different way of “seeing” the world and our place in it. Mario Vargas Llosa, is his book Wellsprings, paraphrases Isaiah Berlin based upon Einstein: “If we are going to pay homage to certain individuals, it should be to those who have achieved something important in the field of knowledge and culture rather than in the areas of conquest and power.”

Sean S. Doyle

Corvallis

 

SLEAZY WEEKLY

I finally got it: The clinging wet T-shirt on the buxom young woman on last week’s [5/29] cover was supposed to tie in with the T-shirt offer in the upper right-hand corner. What was most evident, however, was EW’s cluelessness at best, and misogyny at worst. 

How ironic, in the wake of the recent UO sex scandal — attributed in part to turning someone into a sex object — that our supposedly more enlightened news source persists in the same practice. Yes, you get points for fewer sleazy American Apparel ads, but you’ve got a ways to go. Now is the time for EW to stop making sex objects out of women.

Marie Keith

Eugene

 

MAKES NO SENSE

Under “Activist Alert” in last week’s paper [6/5], Raphael Aldave, whilst attacking the city over improvements on Willamette Street and not making any sense, suggests that adding bike lanes will raise insurance premiums and cause motorists to cross bike lanes, causing havoc! Well, as if cars don’t cross in front of bikes at present! 

To me, as a car driver, a semi driver and a bike rider, I can tell you that turning Willamette into a two-lane street with a turn lane in the center and adding a bike lane on each side will make traffic flow more easily and make riding a bike much safer. 

Mr. Aldave, try riding through south Eugene on a bike. It can be quite a ride! And shame on you, EW, for printing such drivel.

Peter Tildesley

Eugene

 

USELESS ORDINANCE

Fourteen years ago I became involved in the issue of siting cell phone towers in Lane County. Mostly I worked with neighborhoods in Lane and Lincoln counties but was even contacted by concerned citizens on the East Coast and India. The siting of towers falls under land use. The 1996 Telecommunications Act does not allow jurisdictions to consider environmental impacts. Although the First Amendment allows us to talk about health concerns and the mounting evidence supporting our concerns, we can talk until we are blue in the face.

Lane County eventually passed a telecommunications ordinance, supposedly keeping these facilities 1,200 feet away from homes and schools. Both Eugene and Lane County ordinances are flawed. Jurisdictions still have some say in the placement of these emitters of radio frequency radiation. However, neither ordinance requires the necessary technical information needed to determine if all claims made by applicants are true or accurate. 

Some people question the economics of providers building unnecessary infrastructure. This is a speculative industry and when a corporation walks away from these structures it can leave jurisdictions to clean up the mess. Also, anyone with a phone (landline or cell) pays excise taxes to fund this build-out. It is a no-lose situation, except for neighborhoods.

If you don’t want a cell tower in an inappropriate place, you must change the land use laws. It won’t happen one site at a time. Lane County is looking to change its ordinance, and it won’t be for the better.

 Mona Linstromberg

Tidewater

 

CLOSE TO HOME

Jeffery Bode [Letters, 6/5] asks about Mayor Kitty Piercy: “How close is the nearest homeless camp to her estate?” The fact is that Mayor Piercy and her family have lived in the Whiteaker neighborhood for decades, so the answer to your question is: “Pretty damn close.”

Jud Landis

Eugene