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Letters to the Editor: 1-22-2015

MARCUS AND WE

Just when you think you’ve seen it all at Reality Kitchen, we recently had a special visit from a very special friend, UO Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota! 

He heard about the program we have and was kind enough to stop by before leaving town for the national championship game. Mariota also signed a football after touring our bakery and visiting with program participants. Running a community inclusion program means many things, and when one of the community’s favorite sons comes to visit, we make sure he leaves with some pretzels and our best wishes for his success in his future!

Thanks so much, Marcus! Come on back any time. 

Jim Evangelista, Reality Kitchen Nonprofit, Eugene

Photo: Mike Dixon and Marcus Mariota at Reality Kitchen

 

HEART OF THE MATTER

Thank you so much for printing Laetitia Beraud’s insightful Viewpoint from Lille, France, Jan. 15. It was amazing to see such deep insight from a youngster. She really gets to the heart of the matter, and her juxtaposition of Voltaire’s quote with the quote from the anonymous Muslim woman at the end of the article was masterful.

I would argue that the root of the problem is that some of the Muslim population feels as if they cannot identify with the mainstream French society in which they marginally live. This separation of identity breeds a mindset in which you can literally live in the same city with people, yet feel no connection or shared fate. You can then dehumanize those whom you do not identify with, and even brutally kill them over some perceived slight. 

One may argue the answer to this conundrum would be some soul searching on the part of these young extremists, but I would argue that the most direct solution would be for the non-Muslim people of France to use this opportunity to reach out and embrace the moderate Muslim culture there and pull these people into their fold of shared dreams and culture. To merge identities and families is the way to go. That way the distance between the two cultures would diminish and eventually get washed away. The type of ideas that breed extremism would not have any ground to plant themselves when everyone looked around and saw only family.

 Scott Zarnegar, Bohemia City

 

TRAUMATIC FOR KIDS

I’m having trouble understanding the reasoning behind your Jan. 15 cover, the Mickey Mouse beheading. I have an 18-month-old daughter in a huge Mickey phase, and I didn’t feel it was appropriate for her to see Mickey like that. Since she is so young, luckily it doesn’t have much impact on her but I worry as a mother for older children who do recognize what is happening. 

I can’t shield her from everything, I know, but when I can’t understand the point of something is when I take offense. Please consider what you put on your covers as they are out in public at almost every business we frequent. This is the first time I’ve had a problem with it. Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Sarah Hotaling, Eugene

 

PORNOGRAPHY OF FEAR

I just brought home the Jan. 15 Weekly and my 4-year-old daughter said it best: “That’s horrible. They just shouldn’t do that; it’s not right!” I responded, “You’re right.” The cover shows ISIS beheading Mickey Mouse, a reference to the Disneyland in Paris, and the terrorist killing of the 12 cartoonists at the Charlie Hebdo paper in the name of the prophet Mohammed, by ISIS apparently (I might add a religious extremist group).

Her initial reaction is right: All of society should be reviled and sickened by this disgusting use of beheading as a tool in all the media outlets available to us, as the latest fear porn weapon and tool for the masses. I am really sick of all the media fear porn that is pumped out to begin with, from radio to TV, video games, the internet; it’s really hard to not have your family be influenced. Now, the latest tool, beheading.

It is not a new fear porn weapon either. If anyone studies history, ancient generals, the Roman Catholic Church in the Middle Ages and now the Muslim extremist group ISIS, along with political cartoonist in the local paper. Publishing this is in the name of journalistic freedom and free speech, you say? 

What is wrong with the editors of EW? What does this say about our society today? Enough is enough. It is nothing but the disgusting psychotically degenerate war tool tactic that it is. And a broken tool from the bag of psychological war tools, I might add. Perversion of all accomplished. 

Good job, Eugene Weekly! Dumbasses!

S. Trinity, Corvallis

Editor’s note: The cartoon’s meaning has been interpreted differently by various people. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed the Charlie Hebdo attack.

 

BUYING INTO SPRAWL

Regarding the process for the proposed changes to Seavey Loop, Buford Park and the surrounding area (letter from Charles Stewart, Jan. 8):

I lived in Sarasota, Florida, for 25 years before moving to Eugene in 2011. From the 1990s onward, deep-pocketed developers swooped down on the city council with tales of “improved” neighborhoods (where all the old picturesque bungalows were pulled down in favor of cheap new buildings) and “enhanced economic development” (read: no affordable housing). They ran roughshod over the people and processes meant to keep them in check (aided, by the way, by compliant city officials), tearing through historic neighborhoods with the worst of gentrification excesses. This state of affairs lasted until 2004 when public outcry regarding a developer sniffing around a 100-year-old downtown church to be torn down in favor of a multi-story parking garage made it grind to a stop. The church was saved thanks to public response and their courageous board of directors, who took about 15 minutes during their meeting to decide to let the developer know they weren’t interested. By this time, however, the damage had been irreparably done.

Do not let elected officials lull you with great-sounding phrases as they attempt sleight-of-hand. Do not allow developers waving cash tilt your processes in their favor. Downtown Sarasota is now a concrete canyon and the surrounding city is lost in sprawl. Don’t let this happen to our beautiful Eugene-Springfield area.

Stephanie Bashein Emerson, Eugene

 

CREATING A DEAD ZONE

 Regarding the Jan. 8 Slant rant about sprawl: I would like to rant about government facilities being on the waterfront. The Eugene area seems to have way too many government facilities on the waterfront. Try and find another city that does the same thing. From an economic standpoint putting government facilities on the waterfront is a disaster. At 5 pm the areas around these government facilities turn into an economic dead zone. The whole area is wasted for most of a 24-hour day.

Waterfront is precious and should be developed as “waterfront.” Any facilities on the waterfront should be open for business at least from 6 am to midnight. Grocery stores, gyms, etc.

The above also applies to office buildings or anyone else who closes up at 5 pm.

Frank Skipton, Springfield

 

 

WHAT BUSH SAID …

The same gullible people who renamed their french fries to “freedom fries” because France didn’t want any part of Bush’s terrorist-creating Iraq War fiasco, are now bashing Obama for not showing up for a phony, staged, photo-op picture. The “leaders” who “led” the rally were not even near the crowd but isolated and protected on an empty street. A surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonist called the “leaders” hypocrites for not actually being there leading. 

The French government took no offense at Obama’s absence, and praised his continuing support. Some people will always be fooled by “Mission Accomplished” type events that are all style with no substance. Remember what President Bush said, “Fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can’t get fooled again.”

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain