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Letters to the Editor 7-7-2016

CAPSTONE 2.0?

Regarding the removal of trees and the new apartment building on Orchard and East 15th Avenue, 12 mature trees were removed. Will this be another Capstone project, which is widely regarded to have been a debacle with minimal plantings and inadequate setbacks from the street? Is anyone from the city monitoring this?

George Evans, Eugene


LOVE NOT WRATH

Regarding Lon Miller’s letter, “God’s Wrath,” of June 30, 2016: Lon Miller, with your medieval Biblical thinking, beware you throw stones. You may go down the “Drain.” We have been married for 27 years and have yet to become “perverts and deviants.” It is your deviant thinking that causes hatred and “stone-throwing” in this world. Someone must have torn the pages out of your Bible where Jesus speaks of love and compassion.

Joanne James, Eugene


EXPLAIN TRAGEDY

Recently, our neighbor in Drain, Lon Miller, “took up” his Bible and found satisfactory evidence to purport that Orlando’s mass murder is, in fact, no other than the modern day equivalent of Sodom and

Gomorrah.

Perhaps Lon can thumb his Bible a bit longer and proffer a verse or two that explains his God’s wrath in regard to another Miller Family: a Christian family of six who recently were all but exterminated in a horrific train accident in rural Colorado. An extremely tragic event that claimed the lives of the mother, father as well as three young daughters on their way to church. One daughter, 4 years old, was the sole survivor.

Robin Kelly, Eugene


DOG BOOK

This is in response to what I would call a hate mail letter to pit bulls.

Anyone interested in pit bulls, bulldogs, dogs and the human-animal relationship would be smart to read a book called Bandit: Dossier of a Dangerous Dog. The author, Vicky Hearne (now deceased), was a nationally known dog and horse trainer, but a poet and philosopher as well who taught for a time at Yale. To quote from the cover, this book is a “dramatic report from the front lines of the ‘pit bull wars,’ is a penetrating inquiry into the appropriate relations between animals and the human world, a song of praise for the ‘dance of friendship’ between animals and people, and a hell of a dog story.”

“Hearne brings a poet’s keen eye, a philosopher’s supple mind and a trainer’s true knowledge of dogs to the issues surrounding Bandit’s case and her three-year battle to snatch him from the jaws of the judicial system. Witty, fiercely intelligent, eloquent, Bandit is essential reading for anyone who cares about animal happiness and human justice.”

The library has this book.

One thing — because Hearne is a philosopher, there are occasional rambles into that territory. Just persevere. It is worth it.

Anne Hollander, Eugene


CORPORATE LOGGING

The BLM is working hard to increase logging on our federal public forests in western Oregon by 37 percent. This is exactly the opposite direction we should be going in light of global warming, mass species extinction and the need to protect our quality drinking water. Why would they be doing this, you ask? They are pressured by the legislators who are given large amounts of money via campaign donations by the logging industry and are using the archaic O&C Act of 1937 as the reason. 

We should be having an “all hands on deck” attitude to save our public forests here, as they are one of the best in the world for carbon sequestration and important habitat for wildlife. Our forests are a key component to mitigating the global warming crisis. It is no exaggeration to state that all life on Earth depends on us to give our energy and focus to save our forests and oceans, transition off of fossil fuels, localize food systems and build resilient and truly sustainable communities. 

Pam Driscoll, Dexter


SELF GOVERNMENT

No doubt, there is something stirring among the citizenry of this country. People are starting to react to the malaise of alienation, insignificance and hopelessness that the consumer, corporate-owned culture has used to colonize our minds. 

Example one: Although blasted by the media as a movement that couldn’t articulate its goals, the occupy movement couldn’t have done better. 

Anyone who hears of “the one percent” or “Main Street vs. Wall Street” understands those references perfectly. 

Example two: Today we have Bernie Sanders advancing the understanding of people’s rights vs. the corporatocracy.

Example three: Although gravely misguided, the “Trump-ets” are a significant population who recognize that they are not being treated fairly and want economic security that they justly deserve.

At home here in Lane County, the fight is being waged by the people to establish and secure our basic lawful rights of choice and democratic self-determination. Community Rights Lane County (CRLC, communityrightslanecounty.org) has for three years been trying to get a charter amendment on the ballot that would secure our rights to local self-governance. 

Finally, although obstructed by endless corporate money and $600-an-hour corporate lawyers, petitioners managed to get the “Freedom from Aerial Spray” charter amendment and the “Right to a Local Self-Government” charter amendment ready for signature collection. If the corporate push-back is any indicator, the value of these laws to our rights is huge.

Although our strength lies on the grassroots, local level, this is not a single issue campaign. The structure of law must change so profit is not the sole priority above the access of the people to health, justice and security.  

Richard Gross, Deadwood


TOW TRUCK HERO

On June 20, there was a house fire at a home in the Skinner Butte area on 2nd Street, near High. A passing tow truck driver was the first person to alert the authorities of the house fire, and he also aided in the rescue of a person sleeping in a slightly detached back studio. 

It was impossible to walk down the side of the house because of the flames, so he went down the alley and tore down a section of the fence (using either a crowbar or his body) to get to the sleeping tenant’s door. 

Our neighborhood community would like to give a shoutout of gratitude to this unknown man (he left as soon as the firefighters arrived). We would also like to thank the firefighters. When you wake up at 1:30 am to your next-door neighbor’s house on fire, then see the courageous firefighters show up, who then put it out, you give thanks for living in a community that has such services. 

Robin Quirke, Eugene


PEACE MOVEMENT

We need a new peace movement — a movement to bring both peace and peace of mind, a movement that turns away from greed and force because greed and force are ugly in the eyes of childhood and our better nature. The world needs a peace movement to becalm its waters and rinse its skies with cool clean rain. A world that acquires learning (for its own sake) and makes peace (for its own sake) removes rocks from its fields and sows for a tomorrow that we can give our children as a gift. Our world needs a peace movement because tigers love not the lamb, and bloodshed lays salt upon the land.

Leo Rivers, Cottage Grove


REMEMBER THE BASTILLE

As we all know, Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “make America great again” includes a proposal to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border — an idea as arrogant and divisive as it is ludicrous and impractical.

There is absolutely nothing to gain from such an offensive display of misguided thinking. Political history well documents the failure of similar structures — dismal and shameful remnants of the failed policies of exclusion and isolationism.

Consider the infamous legacies of such walls as Jericho, Berlin and The Bastille. They represent painful reminders of fear, oppression and racism — all constructs of despotism and autocracies. All eventually came tumbling down, breached and broken by the forces of revolt and revolution — conquered by the ideals of true greatness and freedom.

Under the guise of national or ethnic security, the foundation for those walls were cast in oppression and prejudice — walls of fear, secrecy, retreat and imprisonment. America was founded by immigrants, all seeking the opportunities offered by freedom and the promise of a better way of life. Walls were not the answer then, and they are not the answer now. Let us not leave Trump’s wall as such an embarrassing legacy. True greatness knows no bounds.

To paraphrase Jimi Hendrix, “Castles made of sand, drift into the sea eventually.”

W.C. Crutchfield, Eugene


STOP SUICIDE

Sara Scofield’s letter demonstrates the activism necessary for democracy to work in our country [Letters, June 16]. She cites a problem — suicide — and proposes a way to begin to solve it. Her letter is part one. Part two is calling us to action to help make a difference, telling her story in D.C. She even provides a phone number. Each of us can make a difference. Preventing suicide is an important issue; ending hunger is as well. In a country where one in five children are not sure where their next meal is coming from, Congress is considering cutting the SNAP program, formerly called food stamps. Also, the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, targeting ending millions of preventable deaths in our world, is stalled in committee. So make a call about one of these important issues or send an email to your representatives. Congress is depending on us to show them the way to a better world.

Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Washington


HEALTH CARE PAYOUT

To the honest people who deserved a portion of the buyout through their insight and hard work, and also those ruthless (could think of worse adjectives) profiteers who made more than they deserve: May I suggest a contribution to the new YMCA. It might help you sleep better.

Niels Hansen, Lowell


ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY

Our Community, Our Rights just received a big win in court that protects our right to the initiative process. The majority of Lane County Commissioners, in conflict with Judge Carlson’s June 3 ruling, is seeking to nullify it. This entire initiative review process is unconstitutional. The constitutional right of initiative belongs to the people, not the whims of elected officials. The “matters of county concern” argument these commissioners refer to is a Trojan Horse. It provides an excuse to attack the substance of any initiative before the people have spoken. Initiatives are the people’s business. This action by the commissioners is an attack on direct democracy. It’s time to get involved, Lane County. Join us in protecting our constitutional right to the ballot box at communityrightslanecounty.org.

Michelle Holman, Community Rights Lane County, Deadwood


GRIN AND PRETEND

It is amazing how a couple of years can completely change a person’s opinion. I voted for Mayor Kitty Piercy twice before I realized that she is just another expensive, backroom, crony-serving politician. Under her leadership, votes have been changed (parkland funds to overpaying for Civic Stadium and ignoring a past vote about urban renewal termination date) and repeatedly labeled unnecessary and denied (City Hall and urban renewal).

No public notice was given that Kesey Square was being sold by our city manager/manipulator to one of his acquaintances. I thought he was to supposed to follow City Council’s directions. Who gave him those instructions? Wouldn’t a public sale generate more money for the city than with a secret deal? Define corruption for me again.

Then the mayor starts up about the travelers. Just another ordinary political action to help the sale.

Use the homeless when it makes you look good. Use the homeless when you can manipulate the public.

I have read two glowing letters lately with regards to Mayor Piercy’s leadership.

For me, the Piercy/Ruiz leadership is best described as arrogant, manipulative, secretive and heavy handed, with very little need for open and honest government.

Remember, Piercy and five of her minions on the City Council wanted to suppress Ruiz’s latest amateur and adolescent actions regarding the construction of City Hall.

Seven out of 10 city (five of eight councilors) leaders wanted to keep public information from the public. At least we have three open and honest councilors. Much thanks to Councilor Brown for exposing the truth.

Mayor Piercy was upset about the councilor’s honesty. Mayor, continue to grin and pretend that you are not what you are.

Wingert Thomas, Eugene


SENECA AD

I find it peculiar that Seneca Jones would pay more than $1,000 to advertise in the paper, not even to sell anything but just to talk about how great they are. Let’s clear a few things up. Planting monocrop tree farms in no way remedies clear cutting, or cutting down old growth and native forests.

It does not matter if you plant more than you cut. When you cut down a forest and destroy an ecosystem, you cannot just replant it. Monocrop tree farms are causing extreme damage to the environment. The fertilizers used are polluting waterways, massive amounts of topsoil are eroded, the weak immune systems of the plantations host pest and disease infestations and the dry drought conditions that prevail in this monoculture system are responsible for hosting fires that burn very hot and move fast.

Regardless if your “tree farms clean the air of the annual CO2 emissions from 86, 169 vehicles,” your pollution from your horrid logging practices, mill and dirty biomass plant alone releases an estimated 17,900 pounds of air toxins into West Eugene neighborhoods annually — this in addition to the 73,000 pounds already released annually from the mill itself. Seneca Biomass failed its first EPA air pollution test and yet sued the state for extra money to offset the expenses of building the plant. There are three schools within 3 miles of the Seneca Biomass facility and asthma rates in the area are almost twice the levels of the rest of Eugene.

Seneca Jones has been called out many times for its repeated greenwashing and false claims. For more information, check out Cascadia Forest Defenders. In the wise words of leading youth activists from the Earth Guardians, “Put down the axe for the future generations, restore our ancient forests, that’s reforestation.” 

Olivia Louise, Eugene


TRAIN SOUNDS

I live in the vicinity of Lawrence and Lincoln near Skinner Butte and decry the notion of spending close to $7 million to muffle the sound of the trains. Trains are our history. Trains are romantic. The sound of trains has inspired countless fine songs because trains invoke such rich imagery. Between the sound of 105 and the sound of the trains, please — muffle the highway, not the trains! And do not close the much-used Lawrence Street crossing! I’m actually stunned this proposal is even being considered. I was sitting outside at Cornucopia last week when a train blasted by, and nobody was even fazed. Take that $7 million and buy every kid in town a ticket to the movies and popcorn, or better yet, use it to resurface Lawrence Street between 5th and the park. Don’t throw it away on trying to muffle the sound of our history. 

Jennifer Sunseri, Eugene