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Letters to the Editor: 8-7-2014

CURSED FONT

Your choice of Helvetica Bold typeface on the cover of last week’s issue [7/31] was both alarming and disappointing. I had hoped that EW was more enlightened. But your use of that font shows that further awareness is needed. 

Helvetica is a curse on society. Aesthetically it is a scar on the landscape. It is drab and modern and completely uninspiring. It is less of a choice than a default. But the gravest danger posed by Helvetica is homogenization.

Look around. Helvetica is everywhere! Helvetica is like the English language or McDonald’s or top 40 music. Not only are these entities bland, but their cancerous growth displaces an unimaginably rich diversity of pre-existing cultural amenities. 

Why would EW foster cultural homogenization, and so needlessly? Many other fonts offer suitable substitutes. Please consider an alternative typeface for future covers. 

With your help we can eradicate Helvetica once and for all.

Blake Andrews, Eugene

 

UNBALANCED PANEL

Does planning in Eugene represent all sectors? Membership on the Eugene Planning Commission may not! The Planning Commission is one of the most important commissions in city government, as its website attests: eugene-or.gov/pc. Members are appointed by the City Council.

For some time it has been seven positions and seven men. Recently the council appointed one woman. One female member, six male members: possibly not the balance of men and women in the community, nor the balance of protected-class persons in the community (possibly) nor the balance of persons of varying economic classes in the community (probably).

The council might consider creating a membership on this commission that responds to its charge: “Now, especially, is a critical time for the planning commission to make a difference in Eugene’s future as Eugene is in the midst of many important projects that will define our community’s character for years to come,” and, “Without their assistance (the assistance of the members of the commission), many complex and significant matters might not be brought to the City Council’s attention and risk receiving only a limited review” (see website above). 

The current membership balance on the commission is at risk of providing the council with “only a limited review.”

Richard Guske, Eugene

 

DISSING THE WHIT

I am perplexed at the choice of cover July 31. Were you advertising the Whiteaker Block Party? The same neighborhood that has worked for years to make the Washington Jefferson Skate Park safe and healthy for families and kids?

Or were you celebrating our mayor’s home neighborhood? Such a fine advertisement for our city leader. Or were you dissing all of the neighborhood as a dive? The best place to do drugs, communicate with hand gestures and hate decency and authority while drunk. Oh wait. That’s funny. 

 Not Laughing.

Virginia Sherwood, Eugene

 

REFUSING CHILDREN

Indignation is flaring up over the flood of children from Central America across the U.S.-Mexico border. Provide sanctuary for these underage tourists? The U.S. wasn’t always like this. In 1939, just before WW II, almost a thousand Jewish citizens of Europe were at sea, in limbo, fleeing from persecution by some German dictator with a goofy notion about extinguishing the entire Jewish population. Also, bleeding-heart factions in our government had the temerity to propose rescuing 20,000 German Jewish children and bringing them to the U.S. The FDR administration turned away the boatload and shot down the proposal. Talk about the good old days!

Jim Wood, Eugene

 

SAFETY IN ORANGE

Recently I worked security with a phenomenal group of people at the Lane County Fair. Our job was to make sure everyone enjoyed their weekend safely. We found a lot of lost kids and even a few lost parents! A couple of times, though, I witnessed parents pointing to me and telling their children if they misbehaved, I would arrest them. 

Parents: Please don’t use me to threaten your kids. Had your child become lost, they would have hesitated to approach anyone dressed like me for help. It’s terrifying enough to be lost in a crowd of people, loud noises and frightening rides without having a place of safety to go to. 

The people in the orange shirts should be a beacon of hope for your kids, not the people to fear. Next time, point us out and tell your kids if they are lost or need help, we are the people to provide it, along with a sticker and a smile! Thanks!

 Mayra Martinez, Eugene

 

SLICE OF THE GOLD

For Woody, Pete and Jim Hill: Proud to be in the SEIU and glad to see that paying my dues is going for the cause. The striking fast-food workers want a fair slice of the “Golden” arch. The only response that the National Restaurant Association could come up with was that “increasing wages to $15 will not solve income inequality.” Well it sure would be a step in the right direction. And as to the accusation that we’re only in it to “boost dwindling membership” is ironic since the fundamental foundation of capitalism is to expand. 

You and your kind may have won the battle of the “closed shop,” but be sure many of us will continue to support the union and erase that inequality you so affectionately mentioned in your press release.

Vince Loving, Eugene

 

PAINLESS EXECUTION

Like most of the civilized world, I’m against the death penalty. Even though in the U.S. 35 states have banned capital punishment, we still rank in the top five in the world for execution. China, Iraq and Iran are the top three. 

The Eighth Amendment to our Constitution prohibits “cruel and unusual” punishment. Recently the stories about prisoners gasping for breath for two hours after being injected with untried cocktails of chemicals have crossed over into the “cruel and unusual” punishment zone. 

If we are still going to put people to death, let’s at least make it swift and painless as possible. Such a method exists. It’s called inert gas asphyxiation. We currently use it to humanly put chickens and pigs to death. It’s a simple method of filling a room or bag with helium or nitrogen. Consciousness is lost in less than a minute and a painless and peaceful death follows within a few minutes. 

It’s time we act like a civilized nation and ban cruel and unusual executions.

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain