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Letters to the Editor: 8-20-2015

MORE REST STOPS

Regarding EW’s Aug. 6 Slant item on homeless camps and the river:

“The city spends about $250,000 a year cleaning up homeless camps … John Brown has some ideas. Anybody else?”

Yes, we have lots of ideas. For starters, spend that $250,000 on creating legal homeless camps, such as the five existing “rest stops,” Opportunity Village, etc., so that people don’t have to camp along the river. Provide more port-o-potties and trash bins near where people are camping. Open up more city-owned land for rest stops and villages. Refuse to let public opposition stop siting them. 

Right now it’s like pulling teeth to find a place where the Eugene City Council will allow them. Put more city money into supporting the legal camps so that the nonprofits presently managing them don’t have to work so hard at fundraising. Or have city employees directly manage some camps. Do a lot more to build affordable housing for people who have little or no money. End the camping ban, which criminalizes homelessness.

None of this is hard to figure out. It would help if Eugene Weekly would write more about all of this instead of John Brown’s lame idea.

See also the reactions to this Slant item on the Homeless In Eugene Facebook page. 

Lynn Porter, Homeless Action, Eugene

 

THE BLOB

I wish it was just a cheesy sci-fi movie, but “The Blob” is real. A huge patch of unusually warm Pacific water lurking off the coast, from Mexico to Alaska, has appeared. Like the movie blob, it sucks the life out of everything in its path. The Blob’s algal toxin, domoic acid, is moving up the food chain. Razor clams, Dungeness crab, sardines, salmon, seals, whales and sea birds are dying. 

The Blob is feeding off El Niño's warm water. If El Niño persists, The Blob could spread across the Pacific, causing a mass kill of marine life. Some scientists are alarmed that we are racing toward the sixth great extinction of life on our planet. 

“Extinction, as is no longer in existence, having died out, leaving no living representatives.” The movie blob was never destroyed; it was subdued by the cold Arctic ice. Our survival may lie in the last line of The Blob movie, “Yeah, as long as the Arctic stays cold.”

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain

 

NOT BY CHOICE

With the pressure that our homeless community is receiving from the great residents of our city, I would like to point out that, without a doubt, a large number of these folks are not living in this manner by choice. There are many factors that contribute to this problem in which many are having great difficulty finding housing that is affordable and without having the burdens of their past reflect on their ability to pass a screening, a criminal background check as well as past references.

With so many of these willing and able men and women out there living in shelters, exiting drug and alcohol centers and moving out of abusive or dangerous living environments to find safe, stable and permanent housing, is it too much to ask for our community to band together and help find a solution to this existing and ongoing problem?

Let me point out that a lot of the services these people seek out have not done much on their part to help! Handing them a piece of paper with a list of places to find food, clothing and free medical facilities does not solve the problem of homelessness, yet at times leads to discouragement. 

As for people in active addiction, they must seek out help that is so readily available to them with no cost before they can do any good for themselves. I would also like to say that I myself was one of the many who we see on the streets today and found a way out of this and by no means encourage homelessness in any way, but I do have sympathy for the ones who are struggling with this dilemma. With the help of our community leaders and the citizens of Lane County, we could all help a large percentage of our houseless citizens of Eugene by being less restrictive of them finding a place called home.

Joey Hensley, Eugene

 

THEN CAME ISIS

Lest anyone forget Bush’s legacy: Endless war! “Bring ’em on!” 

Then came ISIS and their ilk.

Marilyn Marcus, Eugene

 

GOODBYE ROCK PILES

Regarding the letter from Doyle Srader commenting on the beautiful rock-stacking art — I too enjoyed the rock-stacking art next to the University of Oregon bike bridge. Recently, I was watching the river-boarding activities. Four young, college-aged men swam over to them and systematically destroyed them all. They seemed quite pleased with themselves. A brave couple let them know that they were very displeased with their behavior. Doyle’s letter was right that “they change day to day.” Perhaps they have been rebuilt by now. 

Marvin Davis, Eugene

 

NO THROWING BOOKS

I had never entertained the notion that I would find one of your covers bothersome until the Aug. 13 edition. The idea that books should be thrown is something I object to on an almost daily basis.

As a volunteer in a preschool and, during the school year, kindergarten classes, I spend a fair amount of time teaching respect for books. A repeated mantra is, “We do not throw books!”

Not being privy to what percentage of your readership is between 3 and 6 years of age, I won’t even guess at how many times I will now hear, “But I saw them throw books in the newspaper.”

Kenner McAlister, Cottage Grove

 

PLAGUED WITH DRIVERS

Apparently there’s more than one Riverview Street in east Eugene. The Riverview I walk end to end almost every day (which, coincidentally, is also getting speed cushions) is plagued with drivers traveling far above the posted 25 miles-per-hour limit, endangering other drivers, pedestrians, playing children, pets and wildlife. Locals have erected handmade signs imploring drivers to “drive like you live here!”

I welcome the traffic calming speed cushions, and I imagine so do the majority of Riverview residents.

David Stambaugh, Eugene

 

ALTERNATIVE TRAJECTORY

Having followed the exchange between Dillon Thomson (7/23 and 8/6) and Karl Stout (7/30) for several weeks now, I submit that they’re both offering very important and not necessarily antagonistic insights. No force since the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs has been as ecologically destructive as the industrial extraction system Thomson condemns, and his call to fight to bring it to an end makes sound sense. 

But to dismiss Stout’s view overlooks the fact that bringing down the prevailing global order with nothing but apocalyptic-dystopian-anarchic nightmares or technotopian-space colonization-divine salvationist fantasies to fill the void will almost certainly make things far worse than they are now if for no other reason than the meltdowns of the 443 (soon to be 503) nuclear reactors Ted Taylor cites in his interview with McPherson (7/16). Yet, to uphold the industrial infrastructure on which we depend in order to prevent these meltdowns requires all the other industrially facilitated (and ultimately suicidal) forms of planetary destruction to continue.

Thus, with regard to nuclear reactors alone, neither an immediate industrial collapse nor the effort to maintain the present global trajectory have any real chance of leading to a healthier future. Instead, a much more imaginative, challenging and collaborative approach is needed: seeking a personal or cultural trajectory that leads toward positive, ecologically sound alternatives to industrial modernity out of which the gradual, conscious and noncatastrophic phase-out of such artifacts as nuclear reactors will naturally flow. 

The efforts to uphold this alternative trajectory both individually and collectively will then bring about the very dissolution of the industrial order advocated by Thomson and in a way that avoids the calamitous societal meltdown feared by Stout. 

The dinosaurs didn’t have a choice. We still do.

Tim Fox, McKenzie Bridge