KEEPING IT UNIQUE
Like many of my high school friends in 1980s Eugene, I couldn’t wait to explore the world. So I did. I’ve lived everywhere from Israel to Guatemala to New York City.
Recently, my dad moved back to town, so I visited for the first time in ages. We flew into Portland. On the drive down I felt the hills closing in, that familiar feeling of being trapped. Then we started coming down 30th into South Eugene.
And … I loved being back. Picking up a copy of EW reminded me about what’s special about Eugene. I loved that the end-of-year issue channeled community interests in education, music and local rivers. I loved the letter from the guy complaining about being forced to sit through religious indoctrination to get a bed in a shelter (classic rant!). I loved Jerry Diethelm’s visions for a better urban environment. I loved that Eugeneans voted to end cannabis prohibition.
I loved connecting with my friends who have returned to Eugene. I loved seeing that even as Eugene has grown, it’s kept its soul.
Older and slightly wiser, I feel lucky to have grown up here. Thanks for keeping it uniquely Eugene.
Jonathan “Jonny” Goldstein, New York City
OBSCENE TAX BREAKS
Because the property tax I pay isn’t enough, I pay an additional levy(s) for street repair. Because the property tax I pay isn’t enough, I pay an additional levy(s) for schools. Because the property tax I pay isn’t enough, the Eugene City Council wants to levy an additional bond to pay for library services.
Yet they give millions in tax dollar breaks to developers under the Multi-Unit Tax Exemption Program (MUPTE). Want an example? Keep in mind that this project gets a half million dollars a year in tax breaks while you watch the Hub on Campus video tour [wkly.ws/1wq]. That’s obscene.
They intend to continue this program. Brian Obie’s development downtown and the waterfront development project are already in line with their hands out. Tax breaks on some of the most valuable property in the state?
If a project isn’t profitable, don’t build it. And how will they determine profit? Suppose I’m a corporation making 20 percent profit and I don’t qualify for a MUPTE. I simply give myself a huge raise in salary — bingo! Same income, but now the corporation is only making 9 percent in profits and it qualifies.
To the City Council: Shame on you for giving tax breaks to millionaires and then asking the rest of us to pay more. As long as you continue the MUPTE program, I will vote against any and all measures that will increase my taxes. I’m all for good streets, education and the library, as long as everyone is taxed equally.
Can we start taking responsibility for our own lives? I mean no disrespect to Sarah or Trinity [Letters, 1/22], but it is not the job of the EW to babysit other people’s children. Most of the people in this area know that the EW is a newspaper that looks at all sorts things from war, politics, LGBT issues, Slug Queens and a lot of more risqué issues — but we draw the line at beheaded Mickey?
For as long as I have occasionally read EW, not once has it appeared to me as a newspaper whose target demo was that of the 18-month to 4-year-old crowd. With all due respect: Where were you when the kid was looking at the paper? If they aren’t the types to shield their kids from the world, then they have to realize that there are things out there that aren’t meant for kids. Do your own parenting.
The (French) Enlightenment promised an Age of Enlightenment, a world without religious superstition or intolerance. What happened in Paris is one more reminder of the falsity of that claim for the future.
The other Enlightenment projection was that science and technology would usher a brave new world of progress. But the Machine now imperils the biosphere itself, as everyone knows by now, as well as providing an ever more flattened, homogenized, globalized life-world.
The murderous fundamentalists now at work on every continent are not enemies of civilization. They are its product. The ruinous emptiness of mass techno-culture is removing any authentic community and terrorism — including our family slaughters and school shootings — is the result.
But, hey, let’s keep on voting and otherwise pretending.
John Zerzan, Eugene
To the inbred junkie loser who stole my bike from my backyard on 52nd Street in Springfield: My crystal-waving, Birkenstock-wearing pacifist friends tell me karma is a wheel. I hope that’s true. I hope you’re riding my bike when you get run over by the wheels of the bus I am now forced to ride because you stole my bike.
D.S. Hall, Springfield
Thank you for the Jan. 15 Viewpoint by Justin Workman regarding the effects of herbicide spraying. A link to the article has been posted on the Earth Liberation Front website. I am 74 years old now and it makes me very sad to realize that the spraying has actually increased since my group formed 37 years ago. I’m glad that Justin and S.T.O.P. aren’t going off the deep end like I and so many others have done over the decades. Working within the system to effect meaningful change is the only way to go. Thanks for passing the word.
John Hanna, Coquille
It was a narrow escape. Oregon football was about to dip down to the level of a football factory before Ohio State ended those pretensions. I’ve been there before when I was on the athletics staff at Northwestern University. A dynasty was forming there, of all places, when it won successive games on the road in Ohio Stadium against Woody Hayes-coached teams that were superior to the Buckeyes who beat Oregon in a dismal “championship” game.
Ara Parseghian, probably the greatest of all football coaches, transformed the Wildcats from doormats to No. 1 national ranking. He also led them to four straight victories over the dominant football team of that era, Notre Dame. So Notre Dame hired him away to be its coach. There ended Northwestern’s frightening move toward becoming a football factory.
The UO will be best served by shifting its focus to become more of an educational institution like Northwestern than a football embarrassment like Ohio State.
George Beres, Eugene
Let’s hope this adoration of Marcus Mariota ends soon. The way people are carrying on you’d think he was the incarnation of the baby Jesus. Will we see Autzen Stadium renamed Marcus Mariota Stadium? The University of Oregon renamed the University of Marcus Mariota?
C’mon, after all, he did lose the biggest football game of the year.
Mike Quigley, Junction City
Thank you for your column “The Spin.” I really appreciate dance being covered as a local art and it helps me to find performances to attend! I’ll be going to the UO Dance Africa performance because of this — without it I would have missed it.
Joshua Dallman, Eugene
If you visit our lovely [Owen Memorial] Rose Garden soon, you will find a large tree that has broken at its base and fallen toward the river. While I’m no arborist, upon closer inspection of the tree, it seems to be healthy enough. What concerns me is the excessively thick “volcano” cone of mulch they have piled right around the base of the now dead tree.
When you look around this particular park, most of the trees have been improperly mulched in the same manner, and this is a great way to lose ALL the trees in this area to the same fate. You can see the trapped moisture rising up the bark. If you dig in the deep piles of wood chips, you will find bugs and mold.
Volcano mulching will stress and kill trees; roots suffocate and rot. Excess trapped moisture invites disease, molds, parasites and other pests. Piling wood mulch right against the trunk creates such constant wet conditions that the tree cannot survive. Was the city parks department involved in this? Do they have an arborist who can resolve the mismanagement and save our trees? I’m surprised the talented group of gardeners who manage this garden have not addressed this sooner.
Tiffany Stewart, Eugene
HEALTH CARE RALLY
On Feb. 11, Health Care for All-Oregon is having a massive rally in Salem to make sure we acquire our right, an expanded Medicare for all in our state.
The rally starts at 11 am at the Capitol and buses will be leaving Shopko on Coburg Road at 9 am. This will also be an opportunity to lobby our respective legislators so that one of the inherent insecurities of living is no longer an issue.
When illnesses or accidents arise, those affected directly are in no condition to negotiate financial matters related to life-or-death circumstances. People often make choices that are the cause of their financial ruin. Medical emergencies are the number one cause of bankruptcies in the U.S. Business is hindered because employers and employees are held back by an antiquated way of doing things, which gives a third or more of the money available to insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Because consumers as a whole are denied the right to negotiate the price paid for drugs, medications often cost hundreds of times more than possible. Single-payer as we are demanding would still give us choice of private doctors, but the number of middle people in the way would be reduced to one payer: the government. The proceeds would be from progressive (not flat) taxes and in essence would not be more than the vast majority of the “pool” now pays.
We need your involvement! To come along, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene
The Dec. 24 EW had a news brief called “Local Wildlife Documentary Gets Big Praise.” I finally got around to watching the 30-minute video. WOW, everyone needs to see this.
Exposed can be viewed on the Predator Defense website at predatordefense.org/exposed and is well worth passing around. Thank you, EW, for writing this story.
Rouanna Garden, Eugene