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Letters to the Editor: 1-8-2015

FROM THE OLD QUEEN

Happy New Year, y’all. Talk about a happy new year — our win over Florida State could not have started the year off better. Being part of the exuberant Duck fans was thrilling. I do declare, I’ve never seen so many outstanding plays and touchdowns! Wish I could go to Texas to witness us as the champions. Oh fiddle de dee, I’ll get to watch it with my mom back in Nashville, Tenn. She turns 90 the day after the game. She, too, loves the Ducks. I’m giving thanks for her endurance — and of course, our mighty Ducks.

Blessings to our team for a safe journey. Here’s to the next victory!

Peace and love.

Queen Scarlett aka Joan Gold Cypress


SEAVEY LOOP LAND GRAB 

On Dec. 31 the city of Springfield suddenly announced a “visioning workshop” to determine the future of Lane County lands and citizens, to be held from 4 to 7 pm Jan. 14 at the Springfield Library. I have grave reservations about this process.

• The subject area is all outside the city of Springfield. It includes LCC and Lane County’s largest park. These are all rural, unincorporated county lands. Springfield is an external power with no authority to direct visioning for this county territory and its residents. That is a violation of local governance and autonomy, which are the first principles of due process.

• The “invitation” was distributed on extremely short notice only via email and only to parties who have submitted comments regarding UGB expansion. A proper visioning process demands timely notification of stakeholders, which in this case means all county residents. There are well-established practices for stakeholder notification and for scheduling to accommodate stakeholders, starting with publication in newspapers of record. These practices were intentionally ignored, preventing stakeholder participation.

• Given the vast number of concerned stakeholders, the huge public investments to date and the importance of this area for the socioeconomic development of the Eugene-Springfield metro area, the proposed timeline of four sessions over four weeks is insufficient to even begin any meaningful visioning or consensus building.

• The area of wide-ranging public concern is the east-west axis from Buford Park to LCC, that is, the park and green zone, the agricultural and residential Seavey Loop neighborhood and the section of 30th Avenue extending to LCC. The vision does not involve College View Road, which is a commercial street running north-south along I-5, or Goshen, located miles away.

• This meeting is not the start of a meaningful or democratic visioning process for the best future of Buford Park and the greater Seavey Loop area. It is an obvious ruse — a crude attempt by the city of Springfield to confuse the public, define the framework, dictate the agenda, whitewash citizen opposition and completely dominate the outcome. Springfield is acting on the false pretense it has some authority outside its jurisdiction over lands that will never become part of Springfield.

The faulty Springfield process should be abandoned immediately. In its place, a new process may be launched by the primary stakeholders and concerned civic groups in collaboration with Lane County. This restructured visioning process will benefit from the knowledge and experience of wide-ranging participants to build consensus and reach the best possible outcome.

You can also submit your comments to mayor@springfield-or.gov.

Charles Stewart, Seavey Loop


FAITHLESS SHELTERS?

Robert Simms’ letter makes a strong case for faithless care for the homeless. It would be wonderful if the atheist clubs and groups in Lane County got together and came up with a system for emergency housing.

“Religious faith is a lazy person’s excuse for not having to think” seems a bit subjective, but then so is the thinking of believers who do the volunteer work.

Having been homeless 40 years ago, I know that I’d have endured a sermon for a meal or roof. I’d have stood on my head, chanted almost anything anybody demanded! But that was then.

Where did the "15 percent" data of the homeless use of faith-connected resources come from? And what would happen if all the church-affiliated doors closed tonight? (It was 27 degrees Thursday night.)

Those who can’t do, teach (or write letters?). 

I say bravo, Robert, bring on the universal love, the agnostic, the atheist, etc. shelters! 

Magi Hart, Eugene


WAR GOES ON AND ON

How can I describe the sadness that I felt during the holiday season, one that is meant to be a season of hope? I joined the community where I live, led by a children’s chorus, in singing with deep spirit, “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night” and other carols. I almost felt the hope that memories of the birth and life of Jesus brought to the world.

Jesus brought a message of love, healing and courage to his community and to the world. He lived in simplicity, mostly out of doors, serving those in need, those who were rejected in his world, as best he could. The brutal Roman Empire dominated the region, and many wanted to rise up and forcibly overthrow it. But his was a message of courageous love, and he was willing to give up his life for it.

What a contrast memories of his life bring to the violence, the greed and, yes, the futility of our foreign and economic policies. President Obama has sent thousands of troops to “give instruction” to the armed forces in Iraq. Bombings and drone strikes ravage the countrysides, creating suffering and hate. A willing and distracted U.S. public seems to be in complete support of sending trillions of dollars for this widening conflict and quite possibly many more years of war.

I long for a rising up of active compassion, of intelligent, imaginative, courageous devotion to nonviolent and planet-healing alternatives. I do see glimmers of that. I do.

 Peg Morton, Eugene


LIMITED DREAMS

After reading “I Dream of Eugene” Dec. 31, I am totally disappointed by the EW staff’s inability to include one professional African-American or Latino who dream of funding for Eugene’s schools. The writers did include an African American hip-hop artist. Honestly — hip hop? You mean to tell me in all the fields of medicine, education, business, etc. you could not finds one who lives in Eugene?

Where is the inclusion in this piece? If you don't know ... ask.

Edwin L.Coleman, IIm Emeritus professor of English

Editor’s Note: Latino and Native American community members did respond to our request for dreams, and we attempted to contact African-American students for the section on schools. However, we always need and welcome reminders that we should try harder and do more.


MORE MUSICAL DREAMS

What do I dream of for Eugene’s music scene? [See our cover story last week.] 

• Promoters to put on music before 9:30 pm and not put on the headliner at 11:15 pm.

• For the drinkers near the bar at Sam Bond’s to shut up when the musicians play. Please.

Dave Tobin, Eugene


POOR INVESTMENT

I heartily second Deanna Kuhn’s Dec. 31 letter regarding the many reasons why supporting Heifer International-type groups should be avoided at all costs. A very well researched article by Dawn Moncrief of “A Well-Fed World” was published a year ago, listing “10 Reasons To Say NO To Animal Gifting Hunger Relief Organizations.” They are: 

Most recipients are lactose intolerant and harmed by dairy, more farmed animals do not equate to less hunger, more farmed animals mean more mouths to feed, farmed animals do not just “live off the land,” farmed animals use a great deal of water, experts disapprove of animal gifting, animal gifting programs mislead the public, animal gifting organizations have questionable spending, animal gifting programs raise concerns from charity raters and there are better feeding programs and gift donation programs.

For in-depth explanations of these 10 reasons, pleases see http://wkly.ws/1vn. 

Barb Lomow, Eugene


TRIVIALIZING RAPE

Will the “flagship University of Oregon” sweep the trivializing of rape by the football team under the rug ala the basketball team? Hoping EW will not let this slip by.

Rape (alleged or proven) is not funny, not something to joke about. Where are the high quality people they recruit to fill the fancy uniforms? Where is the discipline the coaches talk about? Where is the dignity and respect that you would expect from a top program?

Jon Rathsack, Eugene


ONLY HALF BLESSED

Congratulations to Sally Sheklow for a wonderful, insightful holiday poem Dec. 24. Not only was the content “right on,” but the meter was perfect as well. I hate it when a poem is supposed to have a certain meter and then doesn’t (being an amateur poet myself). 

I guess that I am only half-blessed being non-Jewish and queer! In any case, I’m having a great life and wishing you the same.

Jane Dods, Eugene


A BETTER EUGENE

I dream of a Eugene in which the ADA is a reality. Where people with disabilities are not barred from participation in everyday activities like going to see hawks at the raptor center, volunteering at Greenhill Humane Society or using the bathroom without having to go to a different floor than everyone else. Where buildings and business are accessible to all and architectural barriers do not exist. Disabled accessible and affordable housing is available in every neighborhood and a recreation program that does not lock us into one rec center or ghettoize us away from the abled bodied. 

I dream of a bus system that serves all disabled people, not just those in wheelchairs, and pays our medical bills when we get hurt. An LTD that includes seatbelts for the seats up front and child safety seats for all children who need them in cars, and secures walkers and rolling carts to the floor. A police department that enforces traffic and smoking ordinances rather than just hassling homeless people. Benches at all bus stops and a warm place to wait hours for buses that never seem to come on Sundays. An LTD that is responsible to the wishes of residents.

A city where businesses are ashamed to fly Confederate flags and where the white majority is ashamed to behave in racist ways when no persons of color are present; that supports the Equal Rights Amendment and sexual minorities and does not just give lip service to equality for all. 

But I guess these are just pipe dreams because Eugene and Lane County are so filled with violations of human rights I doubt it will ever get better. The Ducks, football and the almighty dollar are so much more important.

Marianna Cathryn Glenday, Eugene



TIS THE SEASON

Trees on top of vehicles / Like slain deer / Cars moving stealthily on highways / Like cougars tracking their prey / Tis the season.

The whole scene falls short of what it’s after: / Peace and serenity. / “Soft moonlit snowfall” / Is jarred by flashing neon figurines / Disproportionate expectations / Feelings of inadequacy / I sense the wounded around me.

Those for whom the cheer brings out painful memories / Those who are lost and lonely / Those who have barely enough to eat / Let alone jewels or treats for their children.

I enjoy the candles and quiet / Circumvent the excess / I remain connected to loved ones / And wait patiently for the calendar to turn.

Lorri Goodman, Eugene


POOCHES ON THE LOOSE

Echoing a letter that appeared in these pages a few weeks back, I am tired of the selfishness of Eugene’s dog owners with regards to keeping their animals leashed. Just now, riding my bike home on Van Buren past Adams Elementary School, I heard barking and turned to see a dog charging after me into the street. Fortunately, I was already going fairly fast and was able to get away. That being said, the Friendly neighborhood is full of families. What if I had a child in a seat, or in a trailer? What was only a moment of panic for me could have resulted in serious injury for another cyclist or pedestrian. I don’t care how well behaved or friendly your dog is, keep it on a leash in public. It is selfish, rude and (as in cases like this) shows a lack of consideration for your pet’s wellbeing, as well as that of others.

Eric Devin, Eugene


GRAND POETRY

Once again, Sally Sheklow’s column Dec. 24 cut through cultural miasma with incisive commentary — and in such a joyful way! I appreciate learning what I cannot know from my own experience. Thank you! 

Now, with apologies to you and Clement Clark Moore:

Sal, thanks again for your grand poetry / and reminder of straight Xmas effrontery / Whatever my friends’ choice of holiday / and no matter if they are gay, straight or queer / I wholeheartedly wish them a “Happy New Year!”

Robin Cushman, Eugene


RADIATION ABOUNDS

We are bombarded by radio frequency (RF) /magnetic radiation supporting computers, iPads, cell phones, cell towers and locations that provide wi-fi to others. Electric wiring is also a source, as are radios and TVs. All these small doses accumulate over time.

Now, we learn that much larger doses in the form of “smart meters” (electric, gas and water) will be added to the mix! Each one will send signals through our homes and businesses that will also be receiving signals from each of our “smart” appliances. Your main meter may also be receiving signals from a dozen or more buildings in the area, passing them on to the collector nearby. In this way, it’s possible that one household could experience 11,000 or more tiny bursts of radiation daily.

With a cell phone or computer I can decide how and when, or not to use them. The difference here is I cannot choose when or how often these meters will be sending radiation through me, my home or my surroundings! There is exhaustive evidence that even small doses of non-ionizing radiation will cause deformities of human DNA. What will accumulation of ever more doses do to us?

EWEB wants to use smart meters to save money by cutting jobs, at the expense of our health and the lawsuits that follow. Demand a moratorium on and public discussion of the health and financial risks of smart meters, now!

Robin Bloomgarden, Eugene