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Letters to the Editor: 3-5-2015

RAPE IS A DISTRACTION?

I continue to be troubled by the way the UO is handling the rape of an 18-year-old freshman by three basketball players. The university keeps telling us they have done nothing wrong. It seems to me that the UO has done everything wrong!

It is just wrong for the UO to file a federal claim characterizing the gang rape of an 18-year-old freshman as “frivolous.” It is wrong to attempt to silence the rape victim by making financial threats against her. It is wrong for the university to provide off-campus housing to sexual predators and then disclaim responsibility because the rape happened off campus. It is wrong to gull the rape victim into using the university counseling center then threaten to use counseling center records against her in court. It is wrong to tamper with potential witnesses by threatening to fire counseling center employees.

This week the university dropped the claim that the gang rape allegation is frivolous. University President Scott Coltrane now says the issue is a “distraction.” As I see it, the university is engaged in a cynical and calculated effort to silence and intimidate the rape victim. A recent survey found that 80 to 90 percent of campus rapes are never reported. I wonder why.

 Jeff M. Phillips, Eugene

 

FOCUS ON YOUTH

As a former social studies teacher, I found your news brief “Cynical Youth Lack Civics Education” [2-26] to be quite enlightening. It illustrates that our state legislators are quick to blame local youth and educators for low young voter turnout and poor civics knowledge. 

I wonder when legislators like Sens. Chris Edwards and Floyd Prozanski will meet and talk with youth on topics youth care about with the same enthusiasm they have for older wealthy constituents. Edward’s use of the word “abysmal” to describe young voter turnout could instead be used to describe the efforts of local legislators to adequately address youth at a level they can respect and understand.

The fact that some social studies teachers have never been to the state Capitol falls squarely on the teachers themselves. Nothing is stopping them from visiting and scheduling meetings with their state legislators at the Capitol or local offices to discuss topics that are of concern to them.

I find it disturbing that my tax dollars may be used to provide funding for a meeting that pulls teachers from the classrooms where they are needed and yet another exam for which to prepare.

Steve Ference, Eugene

 

REQUIRED READING

Alex V. Cipolle’s “Setting the World on Fire” feature Feb. 19 not only captured the enthusiasm and love behind the Betty Roberts Portrait Project but she also painted a lovely biographical portrait of the late Oregon Supreme Court Justice that should be required reading for young women contemplating careers in public service.

Martha Anderson, Corvallis

 

TURN TO SOLAR ENERGY

Regarding Kate Brown and green agendas [News story, 2/26]: It’s the time for solar! Living in Oregon, a state that I consider to be one of the most environmentally conscious states in the U.S., I have been waiting for this change for a long time. Now that we have a new governor, we have the chance to set a very strong tone of environmental progress throughout our state. 

One of the best ways that our new governor can lead Oregon to the front of the environmental movement is though leading us into better solar development. In Oregon, we are currently receiving .02 percent of our energy from the sun, and by developing better technology and policy, we can easily grow to an impressive rate. With Kate Brown I have a lot of faith that we can become a leader in solar energy and environmental protection in general. 

Caitlin Feely, Eugene

 

BROWN BIOFUELS

Oregon State Sens. Chris Edwards and Floyd Prozanski have unwittingly voted to increase your cost of food, fuel and all products that rely on transportation. They also unconsciously voted to increase greenhouse gas emissions, water pollution, deforestation and topsoil erosion. They effectively voted to decrease available funds for education, health care, Social Security and anything positive you wish to do that requires money.

The two senators voted for the Low Carbon Fuel Standard Bill (SB 324) that will increase the amount of engine-damaging ethanol and biodiesel Oregonians are forced to put into their vehicles. According the federal government’s own National Research Council, the net effect of biofuel farming is to increase rather than decrease greenhouse gases emissions. Global biofuel production has made all foods more expensive that rely on farmland and fertilizer to grow, and dairy products, eggs and meat produced by farm animals that need to be fed.

As half of our prime Midwest topsoil has already been lost to erosion, and ordinary gasoline is a “green” fuel compared to biofuels, the last thing we should do is gradually destroy more farmland growing biofuels, inviting our automobiles and trucks to the dinner table to share our food.

Christopher Calder, Eugene

 

NO SNOOP METERS

Somewhat amazingly in this time of cyber-security threats (with electric utilities involved by name), EWEB is pushing installation of smart (snoop) meters again.

Customers will be hearing about the benefits that are rather strangely worded, since there are no benefits, really. Customers of our “customer-owned” utility should perhaps consider some of the negatives before $27 million is spent.

Smart meters on your home: 1) Will cost $300 per home or more, and you will pay. 2) Might allow hackers to alter your bill (always up), or allow them to determine if you are home. 3) Make possible “time of use” pricing. Just when you want AC or heat — it is at the high rate — which equals higher bills.

And there is more if you look. You will be told the new meters can be set to “off,” and they are switching to an “opt in” policy. Seems better — but then you will find they can be turned on remotely, as your power can be turned off remotely.

To keep electric bills from going even higher, we should all just say “no” to the whole concept. Privacy and lower bills are good things worth the effort.

Michael Lee, Eugene

 

CRUEL BREWERY

I am one of the numerous neighbors of Ninkasi Brewing. I fear I will have to lose my home because of their constant noise, louder than 50 decibels inside my home and all parts of my yard. The smell is noxious, sickens me, I get migraine headaches from the constant, high-pitched noise unavoidable inside my bedroom, followed by the stench of hops. My yard is unusable when they run their machinery. 

I am a single mother; this was my dream of home ownership. Ninkasi is dead set on pushing us out and making us go rent somewhere with no yard, no pets, no growing a garden. My child has been affected. They are causing me serious depression. Greedy. Nikos, buy our homes, stop being cruel and greedy. 

Hannah Levin, Eugene

 

THE POWER OF NOISE

I read with sadness and empathy the letter [2/19] from the woman about how her home has been invaded by the noise generated by Ninkasi. I, too, am disturbed by the noise from Ninkasi and live blocks away.

I do not understand how it can be OK for someone to invade another person’s space or home resulting in stress and unhappiness in the person being invaded. I think the police would stop it if it were a person — even if it happened only once. This has been going on for over a year. Is it because Ninkasi is generating money (beer) with their noise? How horrible is that?

Ninkasi says they are working on it. Did they not realize that their machines would make noise? Did they not see the houses and families that are affected by their money-making acts?

The Whiteaker is inundated with noise. It is party central — with some parties that cost a lot of money to attend going on for days in neighborhoods where people live. I am sick and tired of being overrun by inconsiderate people making money. Where are the lawmakers and enforcers?

The World Health Organization has done studies showing that noise creates stress and impairs children's0 ability to learn. When Reagan was in office one of James Watts’ first actions was to defund the Office of Noise Abatement, saying “Noise is power. The noisier we are as Americans, the more powerful we appear to be to others.”

How about some peace and quiet? Or a class-action lawsuit?

Jean Denis, Eugene

EDITOR'S NOTE: In response to previous letters on this issue, Nikos Ridge of Ninkasi told EW: "We're working on it; we have encountered some design issues with adding the sufficient sound dampening to the existing structural elements of the building, and unfortunately it takes time to meet code and do it right."

 

WORDS OF WISDOM

Two years ago EW had a “Bailing Out City Hall” column by retired city councilor Bonny Bettman McCornack (see wkly.ws/1yl). I kept a copy knowing that her words of wisdom needed to be listened to again. She explained how the rich became richer and the poor are getting poorer with all the money grabs for tax waivers, rate reductions and giveaways to developers and speculators. 

She explained flat taxation tagged on to the stormwater budget of EWEB was added for parks and recreation. “A flat fee is one of the most regressive taxing mechanisms imaginable. A senior living in an apartment will pay the same fee as someone in a seven-bedroom, five-bath house with tennis court and pool. Entire multi-unit complexes will pay one flat fee. Regional non-Eugene residents who enjoy Eugene’s parks will pay nothing.” We are again having another flat tax proposed for our EWEB bill. Hopefully we can have a fairer tax such as a carbon tax on gasoline plus large fees for heavier trucks and studded tires? Both could go for repairing roads and bridges.

Ruth Duemler, Eugene

 

HOYLE’S BROWN BILL

One of the “good guys” (gag), our own Democrat Rep. Val Hoyle, is pushing House Bill 2666, which is a sop to mining interests and a blow to local farmers. With friends like that, who needs enemies? Of course the whole Democrat = Green hand-waving is a bunch of bull; the only green these characters respect comes off a printing press.

Karl Stout, Eugene

 

ANY BETTER OPTIONS?

Folks have long fussed about the need for immigrants to master English before they’re granted citizenship, and also about the need for U.S. students to score higher than those from elsewhere. 

We’re a language-driven social species. It’s easier for children than adults to master language, and various tests have always been used to measure such achievement. All innovative systems, such as the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), gene analysis, automobiles and parents don’t function perfectly at the start. But if they don’t get started, they’ll never improve. CCSS began with the easier areas to test. Language and math testing will have improved after a few years. Similarly, effective testing of such areas as the natural/social sciences and the arts will also occur. 

What functional options do the critics propose? 

Robert Sylwester, Eugene

 

BUBBLES IN A HURRICANE

I found a quote that eloquently describes all of us who have given a great portion of our lives, thought, study and devotion to a cause we truly believe in: preventing wireless “smart” meters.

The quote below was written by a powerful and compassionate man:

“One thing I have come to believe is that if we accept things in silence, then we ultimately approve of those things or we become susceptible to the negative influences of those things.”

This man was Roger Gray, at that time information officer of Pacific Gas & Electric. These words were written to his colleagues upon leaving his 19-year position at the company. He was one of the 228 recipients of the $84.5 million in bonuses awarded to top executives shortly after the utility’s 2001 bankruptcy filing. It is said, before he left “he didn’t think it was fair that the employees were making a lot of sacrifices while senior managers were getting all the money.”

Roger Gray is now general manager of EWEB. He has the power and influence to prevent untold suffering before it is too late. The implementation of proven unsafe wireless smart meters has begun. 

For years Gray and the EWEB board have heard evidence from concerned, educated citizens sharing research from around the world leaving no doubt about the dangers of wireless smart meters. 

EWEB has not been forthcoming with the horrifying truths of smart meters. No person or other living beings are immune to smart meter radiation. This time will money override conscience?

Eve Woodward-Shawl, Eugene

 

NO FORCED VACCINATION

Our medical freedom for our children’s health is being threatened! Oregon Senate Bill 422 has been amended to take away religious and philosophical exemption from vaccinating our children. Only medical exemptions will be permitted from specific care providers, no choice to space out vaccination, or omit some. Every child will be made to have every vaccine, by schedule, on the immense and growing list, exactly by the state guidelines. This is forced vaccination and frightening, unacceptable and undemocratic.

Time to question! Doctors get large financial bonuses from pharmaceutical corporations only after all the “required” vaccines are given. Many children are damaged after vaccination with billions of dollars of settlements kept out of media. I worked in special education for 10 years and witnessed story after story — children’s lives completely changed after vaccination, brain damage, lost of health, and language. 

“Herd immunity” has been shown to be a myth and that ironically the vaccinated children are the carriers of the “diseases” and are a threat through “shedding” (most of these childhood diseases last just a few days!).

Write your representatives! Tell them vote “no” on SB 442! Join hundreds of Oregonians from 1 to 2:30 pm Monday, March 9, at the Capitol building in Salem for the “Medical Freedom Rally.”

Sabrina Siegel, Eugene

 

PRETEND FREEDOM

 Regulation can be a good thing — the regulation of nuclear waste disposal, toxic chemicals, or even the generation of toxic mortgage loans. But what if the problem is information, the free flow of information made possible by the net.

How to regulate the free, open, and unregulated net? Some want that power but could not come right out and say it. Then came “Hey, internet service providers could favor some users. We better stop what they might do.”

 Indeed, sheeple, rally to the cause. The internet might be regulated like a utility, the FCC could do it. Well, they did. With a 344-page document that could not be seen before the vote.

 It is telling that two of the five FCC members wanted a brief delay — so we could read it. Sounds reasonable — 30 days to read it, then vote.

 Nope. Voted down. Vote first, then read. Advocates of freedom of information may be reading some very upsetting things soon. Or, they could just click “Agree” and not read it at all, as usual. Pretend freedom works too.

 Kathleen O’Gieblyn, Eugene

 

NO ON SNEAKY BILL 442 

No on sneaky “emergency” amendments to Senate Bill 442, yes on medical freedom! 

The Oregon Senate Committee on Heath Care is amending SB 442 to eliminate all philosophical and religious exemptions from vaccines for all Oregonians, limit medical exemptions, and make vaccines mandatory for all children in Oregon who attend public school, private school, daycare, after school care or children’s facilities. It also includes any home-school child who uses any curriculum associated with public schools. 

Please educate yourself about this bill if you have not already: www.noonsb442.com

If you care about medical freedom call or write the committee. These are the members who need to hear from you:

Sen.LaurieMonnesAnderson@state.or.us (503) 986-1725

Sen.ElizabethSteinerHayward@state.or.us (503) 986-1717

Sen.ChipShields@state.or.us (503) 231-2564

And come to the rally from 1 to 2:30 pm Monday, March 9 on the Capitol steps in Salem.

Stacey Black, Eugene

 

GREENWASH VS. ECOLOGY

The resignation of Gov. John Kitzhaber reminds me of the toppling of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who was ousted by her Conservative Party colleagues and replaced with someone who pushed the same policies but was less of a lightning rod.

Our new Gov. Kate Brown is the new green(wash). As secretary of state, she was on the State Lands Board with Kitzhaber when they voted to sell state forest lands to timber companies. 

Corrupt greenwashing is a factor that led to Kitzhaber’s downfall. Cylvia Hayes’ consulting for “green energy” was in reality promotion of greenwash, not ecology. Kitzhaber called incinerators renewable energy, corporate clearcuts sustainable forestry, funded highway expansions, and praised NuScale nuclear power company in Corvallis. It’s Orwellian.

Hayes and Kitzhaber were good at sustain-a-bullsh!t and the environmental establishment endorsed Kitzhaber’s re-elections.

Greenwashing also describes the city of Eugene’s alleged response to environmental crises. In 2014, they enacted a law requiring purchase of “carbon credits” while continuing to promote highway widening, overdevelopment and paving farmland. Giving public funds to consultants cannot offset pollution.

Democrats in Salem have a bill about one of Oregon’s worst abuses — helicopter spraying of herbicides. Unfortunately, this bill merely requires Oregon Department of Forestry, which approves corporate clearcutting and spraying, to write a regulation for better buffers, even though helicopter rotors can blow this poison for miles. Downwinder communities have tried to ban this since the 1970s. These Democrats want better records kept about our poisoning, not to make it illegal.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene