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Letters to the Editor: 6-19-2014

PRIVILEGE & RESPONSIBILITY

Jim Stauffer [“Biological Disaster” letter, 6/5] offers a valuable male viewpoint on the issue of sexual miscommunication and victimization. I agree with his call for education of young people with a goal of helping them form respectful sexual relationships. But his criticism of me comes across as self-defensive. 

As a white woman, I have a responsibility to work to end oppressive cultural practices that give me unasked-for privilege at the expense of people of color. As I am the recipient of institutionalized power in this dynamic, I am also given the power to make this beneficial change. 

On the other hand, as a woman (on the victim end of sexism), I can speak up about how this oppressive institution affects me and my sisters, but the men hold the responsibility for making the change. I know many men who accept this responsibility and work on all fronts to end the victimization of women — including my husband.

Let’s leave the blame and defensiveness behind. We can call it like it is, place responsibility where it belongs and work together to make this a better world for ourselves and our children.

Kara Huntermoon, Eugene

 

TWO-EYE-PATCH SOLUTION 

Now under way on the steep slopes of a watershed and/or scenic byway near you is the first of five years of “fuel reduction” logging brought to you, by of all things, The Healthy Forests Restoration Act. The obvious first casualty, other than the truth in this legislation, is the intact forest and its soil- and water-holding capabilities.

All the 60- to 100-year-old Douglas fir second-growth trees along the Aufderheide scenic byway will be gone when Face Thin Timber Sale (TS) is complete. The third and forth casualties are the cool shade and clean water of the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River, flowing fresh, cool and clear from Waldo Lake.

How Oregon and the agencies of jurisdiction continue logging without thought to soil and water after having contributed to the extinction of the North American temperate rainforest is easy. It only required 165 years of “reductionism” and “compartmentalization,” which compare favorably with our country’s short history of other “double blind” tested grand delusions.

Hundreds of millions of board feet of the oldest, healthiest trees in Oregon’s watersheds and scenic byways are going to be stumps by 2018 under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act.

Are we “all in” for the “two-eye-patch solution” of chainsawing our way to “what nature can sustainably provide”? Hello? Anyone home? 

P.S.: Credit to British comedian Eddie Izzard for unveiling the challenge of looking cool while wearing two eye patches.

Dick Shearer, Westfir

 

MAKE A SAFER NATION

The tragic shooting in Troutdale, Ore., is at least the fourth mass shooting in our nation in the last few weeks, the third involving a school. Seventy-four school shootings have now taken place in the approximately 18 months since the Dec. 14, 2012, Newtown, Conn., shooting.

While the circumstances of the senseless attack at Reynolds High School remain under investigation, the fact is that we lose another 86 people to bullets on an average day and there are real things we can do to prevent most of these tragedies — from passing commonsense legislation to inspiring safer attitudes and behaviors around guns. It is imperative that we come together as a nation to make our voices heard above the money and influence of the corporate gun lobby to make this the safer nation every sane American wants it to be.

Curtis Taylor, Eugene

 

DEAL WITH THE CAUSES

Having gone through the tragedy at Thurston High School in 1998, I understand what UC Santa Barbara is going through. But even I think Ken Barnhart’s letter in the June 5 issue is misguided. Guns are simply tools. While I am not a gun person, nor will I ever own one, even I know that they simply are items of convenience for mass shooters. If not with guns, people like Elliot Rodger, Kip Kinkle and the assailant that attacked Seattle Pacific last week would find other ways to harm or kill people. 

But is a single death any less tragic than a mass homicide? Instead of focusing on the tools by which these people commit murder, why not address the reason why these people feel that there is no other response left but to kill? Why not address the mindset of a killer instead of an inanimate object? If a cop picks up a gun, it’s a tool. If someone like Kinkle picks it up, it’s a weapon. 

How many more mass shootings must take place before an honest, hard look is taken at the state of the mental health in this country? It’s like with rape: Instead of reaction, be proactive and correct the belief that it is OK to rape women. Whereas with incidents like Paducah, Columbine, Thurston, UCSB, Virginia Tech and Seattle Pacific: Get rid of the idea that getting help is a taboo. Show these teens/kids that murder is not the answer, by whatever means. 

James Ready, Springfield 

 

EWEB ‘WHAT IF’

First was last Sunday’s R-G editorial about four possible developers for the EWEB riverfront property with a great bird’s-eye view of the site — decision time soon? Then the announcement that there couldn’t be a Eugene Celebration — Eugene hasn’t enough underutilized property any more!? But here’s the EWEB riverfront, newly underutilized property, 20-plus acres of it! Look at that picture! Why not invite the community down to the river and have the Eugene Celebration on the EWEB land?

It’s been recently tidied, some structures that didn’t seem to fit the vision have been removed and frankly, we, the current owners of that riverfront, are about to be given perhaps our last opportunity to decide who will own it (us or the developer), and how we’d like it to develop. Up till now, most Eugeneans have been unable to even set foot on this historic bit of Eugene’s industrial past save for the narrow bike path on the edge of the river bank, the Steam Plant hidden behind the ivy-clad fence.

Reconfigure the fencing to support whatever control is needed and include some well-considered temporary lighting. Give the community the opportunity to better understand what’s at stake here when it’s deciding time, and to walk around the steam plant, the operations barrel-roofed warehouse, the meter shop and feel the river’s presence. We could try laying out some street locations, set up some proposal displays from the four developers at strategic locations, suggesting “What if ...?” 

 Tom Snyder, Eugene

 

SCHOLARSHIPS RANT

It’s hard to imagine a more pompous rant than Christopher Eidemiller’s Viewpoint [6/5] directed at the UO athletic department because it offers scholarships to out-of-state athletes. 

For your information Mr. Eidemiller, the money for those scholarships comes from ticket sales to ball games and private donations, and no one is going to pony up the big bucks to watch a bunch of third-string athletes play simply because they are all Oregonians. Furthermore, with the possible exception of co-ed softball, the point of any game from chess to soccer is to win — which is why every school in the country offers scholarships to the best athletes they can find, regardless of where they live.

And there’s something else. Your attitude toward 18-year-old kids from out of state isn’t all that different from the attitude others have toward illegal immigrants. Goddamn foreigners! I don’t want them in my community. American jobs for Americans, that’s what I say. Oregon scholarships for Oregonians, that’s what I say. Harrumph! 

Oh, and one more thing. You tell us that you will be boycotting certain teams at the UO because they offer scholarships to out-of-staters. FYI sir, all 18 UO athletic programs offer scholarships to out-of-staters. And finally, do you really think anyone cares if you boycott? Jeez, guy! 

Chuck Hale, Eugene

 

STANDING FOR PRINCIPLES

Regarding my Viewpoint June 5 discussing the state of athletic affairs at UO, and a letter from John Carlson June 12 in response: My article on recruitment of out-of-state athletes was somewhat of a “rant,” but I am still trying to come to terms with my alma mater selling out and going pro. My standpoint is certainly not “self-serving.” I am essentially making a personal sacrifice by withdrawing my support for UO athletics in order to make a stand. I am advocating for academics to come first, with sports to be a supplement to formal education, and making my position known for public social commentary.

I realize our state has only one professional sports team and that citizens without a profound social perspective (which comes only from a university degree completed in its entirety) need something greater than themselves to fill their free time and detail their identity. But, for those of us who have been formally educated in the finer points of humanity, we are concerned with the collective well-being of our local community more than our own self-centered needs. We stand up for our principles and applaud academic accomplishment; in contrast to spectators like Mr. Carlson, who probably prefer to stand for touchdowns and applaud only three-pointers. 

In order to further our understanding of this matter and to protect the educational rights of our local students, I challenge EW to fulfill its social commitment by producing the facts in the case rather than just promoting the opinions of its readers. I request that the editors at EW do the necessary research in order to determine university policy, and print the actual numbers concerning out-of-state athletes who receive full-ride scholarships in direct comparison to the total number of local athletes who are offered the same opportunity.

Christopher Eidemiller, Eugene

 

GOVERNMENT OVERREACH

A downtown smoking ban would be an example of government overreach. It would be a way of controlling and marginalizing people, a power play disguised as altruism. The fact of the matter is tobacco, in its natural state, actually has medicinal and spiritual value. But under a blanket ban, even those who use tobacco entheogenically would be discriminated against, so they’d be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Instead of an across-the-board ban, why not designate a few select smoking areas downtown and make the rest non-smoking? Then nobody’s space would be invaded and nobody would have to be treated like a second-class citizen. In a free society, minority rights must be protected as well.

Jess Nichols, Eugene

 

BIKE PATH OBSTACLES

Did you know there is a serious danger lurking on bike paths? They are the strangest things. I’m still not quite sure what to make of them, and I still don’t have the pronunciation down quite right, but I think they’re called pud-dest-rianns. I think that’s how you say it; let me try it again: pud-dest-rians. Wait, I think I almost have it: pedestrians! Yes! There! That’s it! I think it’s Latin or Gaelic or something.

Pedestrians are people who actually walk on the bike path. I know what you’re thinking, crazy right? I mean these “people” actually walk with their families on the bike path like they’re trying to do the same thing I’m doing and get to where they’re going or take in the fresh air and beautiful weather we’ve been having. Just what the hell are they thinking?! Don’t they know the bike path is for bikes only?

Oh, wait, a quick Google search has told me that as of 2000, bike paths in the Eugene and Springfield area are open to runners and these pedestrians as well. Don’t these people know it’s dangerous for me for them to be out there? I only travel as fast as a slow-moving car sometimes, blindly cruising around corners and forgetting to announce my approach (“On your left!”). What? Brakes? What the hell are those? I don’t need those, or common sense; I just need these pedestrians out of my way! I mean they are a real danger!

So, fellow bicyclists, be sure to watch out for these strange people on the paths. They’re all over the place and incredibly inconsiderate!

Jeff Warren, Eugene

 

CAUGHT IN THE E-WEB

What a tangled E-WEB they weave when they practice to deceive. EWEB has chosen to proceed with plans to install its surveillance devices on our homes and businesses in spite of “Families For Safe Meters” serving them with a legal notice and demand to stop.

In the near 1984 future, these digital surveillance devices called “smart meters,” with their ability to send and receive wi-fi signals, along with the “smart electrical grid” and “smart appliances,” are the final link in the chain to institute a total surveillance society infrastructure.

EWEB wants us to believe that its opt-in program gives us a true choice. If your neighbor gets a “smart meter,” you have no choice; the signal will reach your home. As time goes by, people will forget that there ever was an opt-in choice, or EWEB will just change its mind.

We must not sit back and permit EWEB to trespass on our right to privacy in our own homes or businesses.

Most of us love our digital devices. We can buy them or use them however and whenever we want. “Smart meters” are permanent digital devices attached to your home or business that can operate 24/7 and be programmed, reprogrammed and controlled by someone else.

There are other serious issues with “smart meters.” Get informed; spread the word. The word is NO. Don’t get caught in the EWEB.

Check out Jerry Day smart meters on YouTube, takebackyourpower.com, familiesforsafemeters.org (and see the “notice and demand” we served on EWEB).

Abraham Likwornik, Eugene

 

BABYLON IN TURMOIL

Streaming to my handheld, world news shows that Babylon is yet again in turmoil. Between the lines about ISIS, the fall of Mosul, Iraqi security and Al-Qaida-linked terrorists, I hear a plea from the press for Obama to do something to stop the chaos. It is inevitable that losing political and economic control of Iraq means skyrocketing oil costs for Western civilization. 

President Jimmy Carter wrote doctrine stating that we would use our military to secure access to cheap petroleum. Our presidents have delivered on their promise to buy oil with Arab and American blood. As the situation in Iraq and the Middle East deteriorates again, the press and the congress call for the president to act. 

Our presidents have acted. Every president since Carter has meddled in Middle Eastern affairs. Bush invaded Iraq. Obama has overseen its dominion with drones, and we have been afforded another decade of relative economic stability. But the presidents can only buy us time. 

As this round of fighting begins, and pressure mounts on the presidency, I remind myself that it’s not the president who needs to act. We do. We’ve had time to prepare our mentalities and economies to be local and sustainable. At some point, through revolution in the Middle East, or when the last drop is drilled, we will be on our own. We must be ready to live locally, sustainably and bravely as the world once again becomes big and the era of cheap oil ends.

Micah Olson, Eugene