• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Letters to the Editor 2017-06-08

BEATING WALDEN

Because of the “genetic Republicans who could not conceive of not voting for a Republican” in Greg Walden’s congressional district (“The Far Side,” May 25), any Democrat who runs against him will be at a disadvantage.

For this reason, it might be time for Bernie Sanders supporters who are disaffected with the Democratic Party to show their displeasure by registering as Republicans and mounting a primary election challenge to Walden. If they would do this, they could form a substantial voting bloc that could, at least, force Walden to use some of his million-dollar campaign chest for the primary election.

Also, a progressive populist such as Sanders might be able to win the support of working-class Republicans who are angry with the party for policies that are hurtful to them.

One of the reasons that the Republican Party has turned so far to the right lately is the fear moderate Republicans have of losing to Tea Party Republicans in the primary elections. This might change if there were substantial numbers of progressive Republican voters.

If someone does mount a campaign to attack Walden from the left, I can think of a good campaign slogan: “Make America America again.” This means putting the good of the American people above the good of any political party and going back to a time when the government was of, by and for all the people, not just the privileged few.

Steve Hiatt, Eugene

 

NATIONAL BREAKDOWN

I’m also disabled. Hockenberry (“I Am An Enemy of the People? Okay, Prove It,” June 1) states that “the president has called the press an enemy of the American people.” I would add to his list of U.S. breakdowns in “the deteriorating U.S. economy”: unemployment, outdated and inadequate housing, unequal rights for many, high rate of homeless people and unemployed veterans.

Hockenberry has had an interesting journalistic background.  My question is, will the U.S. leaders address these breakdowns, the educational system and inequalities of income?

Stace Webb, Eugene

 

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS

The landscaping for the new EmX 11th Street route looks great. However, it does not appear that enough of a sidewalk has been installed behind the new trees to accommodate a wheelchair. This is a concern.

Beverley Mowery, Eugene

 

CONSIDER THE HARM

Shock gave way to disgust the further I read the salacious news story “Lane County DA Offers Plea Deal in Rape Case” (May 25). EW’s decision to publish certain revolting peripheral details plucked from police records in a story that is ostensibly a legal update shows a grave lapse in judgment on the part of its editorial staff.

There are stories in which readers must be expected to look unflinchingly at the horrible truth of sexual assault, but this isn’t one of them and here’s why: The author explains that EW was unable to reach the woman who was raped that night. Disgust turned to horror as it occurred to me this individual would be as surprised as I was to find published in her hometown newspaper such lurid, humiliating and pointless details of the night she was raped.

The author bio indicates she’s an intern, which suggests she writes for EW in order to gain professional newsroom experience. EW failed its readers, its community and the writer herself when it printed this story without first considering the harm it could cause the woman who was assaulted last year.

Ben Ricker, Eugene

Editor's note: EW tried but was unable to reach the victim, who did not have an attorney who could speak on her behalf. Information and details used in the story were obtained by a public records request. EW did not use the victim’s name to protect her privacy. The reporting intern worked closely with the editorial team. We stand by our decision to publish this story.

 

FALSE AND BIASED

I was really surprised at your local mocking of an actual human being (“Lane County DA Offers Plea Deal in Rape Case,” May 25).

Logan Appel’s “rape charge” is totally irrelevant to his actual behavior. I found the article to be incredibly biased and falsely written. Logan had attended the concert with the female victim as a close friend. When the other guy got called out for raping his friend, the dude blamed it on Logan.

Logan helped call the cops because his girlfriend was freaking out that the guy had raped her. Can you imagine the whole hall exploding with music? I feel this man is totally being implicated falsely on his response to a man who hit on his friend at a concert. 

This article sucks and I feel like you didn’t even give facts from the victim and you didn’t even interview Logan on his opinion — but you’re willing to publicize that he is a rapist? Do you realize what an amazing man and human being Logan is in his family?

That’s right, you little gossip column: Logan Appel is a precious human father and the way you represented him will never be a true part of his God. 

Why don’t you focus more on homeless people or something?

Abigail Kellogg, Eugene

Editor's Note: Eugene Police Department reports state that when the victim was calling police, Logan Appel took the phone away from her.

 

WHITE-PRIVILEGE DRIVERS

If the city of Eugene is truly concerned about safety issues in downtown Eugene, especially as tourist season gets underway, the city needs to spend less time harassing the homeless and creating dog bans and focus a lot more on pedestrian safety.

The three intersections on Broadway (High, Pearl and Oak) are dangerous for pedestrians navigating crosswalks thanks to speeding drivers, aggressively fast-turning drivers, drivers blowing the traffic lights and frequent intimidation and harassment by drivers of crosswalk-occupying pedestrians crossing legally.

I work downtown and must use these crosswalk-protected intersections several times daily, and it is a constant problem of dodging cars where drivers range from inattentive to aggressive and even abusive.

Complaints to city staff receive responses from eye-rolling and patronizing (from beat cops) to “aw, it’s always sad when one cannot control what others do” (city manager office staff person).

It’s even “sadder” when elderly Eugene Hotel retirement residents using walkers or canes are intimidated by drivers too much in a hurry (or stoned?) to respect seniors crossing the street legally.

And, by the way, I have never been run down by a dog in these intersections — it’s usually by someone exercising their white privilege in a luxury vehicle!

Sarah Katherine Moore, Coburg

 

NO HOMELESS HERO

Your portrayal of Rod Adams as some kind of hero made me feel a little bit queasy (“44 Counts of Homelessness,” May 25). A great homeless advocate, perhaps, but certainly no hero in my book. His verbal abuse of EPD officers should not be condoned or even tolerated.

If I catch him in the act of vilifying or otherwise harassing one of our officers, downtown or anywhere, I’m going to speak up, loudly. And I hope others will do the same.

It’s not okay to talk to any human being the way he is allowed to speak to the police.

Someone who puts his life on the line to protect us deserves at least as much respect as anybody else, right?

And if you think I’m mistaken about Mr. Adams, watch some of his videos and see if they change your mind.

Pamela Hodson, Eugene

 

PUBLIC TRUST

Only a dozen residents attended the May 22 Department of Environmental Quality Meeting regarding groundwater contamination of the Trainsong and River Road neighborhoods. This clearly is a message of either poor public notification or the apathy of residents whose private water wells have been tainted for 25 years. 

Since 1990, DEQ has been investigating groundwater and soil contamination from the Union Pacific Railroad rail yard in the Trainsong and River Road neighborhoods. DEQ’s plan is to monitor 15 test water wells for five years and to manage risks to site workers through on site controls and deed restrictions.

The Public Trust Doctrine, in existence since the Roman Empire, states governments have a sovereign duty to protect the assets of the public. The natural resource contamination of groundwater and soils by Union Pacific Railroad violates this trust and the DEQ has a fiduciary responsibility to protect the trust from substantial impairment and restore these assets to their original state.

The natural resources of Eugene are part of the reasons we live here, and they should be protected for present and future generations. From herbicidal aerial spraying to polluting industrial practices, residents have a responsibility to demand protection of air, groundwater, soils, shores, waterways and watersheds.

Contact DEQ at Hanson.don@deq.state.or.us before June 15 to submit questions and comments.

 Jim Neu, Eugene

 

REMEMBER THE HEROES

Recently in Portland, several citizens bravely stepped forward, like many other stories of “ordinary people” risking their lives and safety to help someone, anyone, threatened with harassment and possible death.

Two lost their lives and one was severely injured. Although they have received timely support and acclaim, in the long run this story is like that of many other news stories of our time; it will probably be lost, like tears in the rain, as society moves on to the next new issue of the moment.

Rather than being forgotten, we would be better served if acts such as these were preserved as a lasting inspiration for others. Oregon could best do this by establishing one day a year for recognizing selfless acts as these.

This event need not be limited to just Oregon or Oregonians, but Oregon is a good place to start.

William W. Trevarrow, Eugene

 

SUFFRAGE THE LITTLE CHILDREN

The city of Eugene has the chance to lead the nation as the U.S. pulls out of the Paris Accords. Of course, we should redouble efforts to meet goals of the Climate Recovery Ordinance, but our response can and should run far deeper and resonate more meaningfully.

Pundits are fond of saying global warming is destroying our children’s future. At the same time, our children remain excluded from a political process that gravely affects them. I propose that the city of Eugene expand its democratic base and give our children the vote.

Enfranchise children. It is their due as citizens. They may, I am sure, exercise the right more wisely than we have. They could hardly do worse.

Otis Haschemeyer, Eugene

 

HOW TO BE A FEMINIST

Hi Mr. Chad Anderson [Letters, May 11]: In my last letter I promised you some suggestions for how to be effective as my feminist ally. 

Support equal pay for equal work. Find out if your female coworkers are paid less than you are, and demand that they get raises until they have pay equity.

Criticize the capitalist system that profits off unpaid or underpaid female labor. Demand that parenting become a paid position, with guaranteed income for full-time parents. Demand that childcare, eldercare and care for disabled adults become living-wage jobs. Support increased funding for welfare cash assistance for mothers, remembering that the average welfare mother is 30, divorced, with two kids and fleeing domestic violence.

Stand up against the objectification of women. Stop your friends from making jokes and comments sexualizing women’s bodies. Do not consume pornography. 

Tell your male friends to get off their video games and get to work. Recent studies show that among people aged 18-30 who are unemployed and not looking for work, greater than 90 percent of women are engaged in unpaid caregiving or housekeeping, while greater than 90 percent of men are playing video games.

There is plenty of unpaid work to do in your family, household and community, and there is no rational reason women should be doing the bulk of it.

Kara Huntermoon, Eugene

 

 

 

 

WEB EXTRA LETTERS

 

 

THE NUREMBERG DEFENSE

Joining the military of a super-empire usually provides economic benefits to the individual who participates, but does it hold up to ethical scrutiny?

Entities that profit from this sacrifice are primarily undemocratic governments (like ours), military contractors, weapons manufacturers, resource extracting corporations, big banks and the legal system that created the “war on drugs.” These are the agencies that ultimately pull all the strings and tally lives like counting money. They are the wizards behind the curtain and the ones farthest away from the real danger.

The phrase “I was just doing my job” is used as justification for soldiers, policemen and women since the beginnings of human societies. Natural resources and cattle requiring protecting are often the motive as is the whims of kings or presidents.

Is this done, as the recruiters say, “for God, country and family?” Seasoned veterans say the real reason is to be there “for the guy next to you who depends on you for his life.”

This ritual bonding is a way to transcend individuality and merge with something greater than one’s self. It is a spiritual experience and takes the one involved to another level of maturity and responsibility. This intermediary consequence certainly has a lot of value, but what about the root causes (following orders blindly) and the final end result (megadeath)? 

Victory that is accomplished by killing should always be viewed with sorrow, as a last resort, and the prevailing mood should be that of a funeral.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene

 

MAYDAY! MAYDAY!

Richard Millhouse Nixon was mortified at the threat of being impeached, ashamed to resign his office.

Trump, on the other hand, is probably looking forward to his glorious impeachment, a fight-to-the-bitter-end TV drama from hell.

Expect no apology — lie, cheat, steal, that’s Trump’s real “deal.”

Dry-docked Democrats hide from their own shadows while our ship of state sinks.

When the current swamp burns down, the same imposter who never showed America his tax returns will have set sail on his gold-plated yacht to distant tax haven horizons.

Dry-docked Democrats hide from their own shadows; “Impeach Trump” bumper stickers might be a good start.

You mean there isn’t a single dollar left in Clinton’s massive campaign war chest?

Fellow citizens: Have you noticed there are no lifeboats for steerage class on this S.S. Trump voyage? Fearless leader Trump is not going down with his titanic mistakes; we are.

The presidential buck stops there.

Glenn Jones, Eugene

 

EATING ENVIRONMENTALLY

Are you, too, fighting mad about Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate Accord? Then let’s fight back three times a day by adopting an eco-friendly plant-based diet.

Yes, our diet is pivotal. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, 38 percent of land use and 70 percent of global freshwater consumption.

Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by fossil fuels combustion to operate farm machinery, trucks, factory farms and slaughterhouses. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources.

Each of us has the power to protest Trump’s failure to maintain America’s leadership in moderating climate change, simply and effectively, by what we choose at the grocery store.

Edward Newland, Eugene

 

JOIN THE CLIMATE ALLIANCE

The states of California, Washington and New York have formed the U.S. Climate Alliance. This group is dedicated to letting the world know that they repudiate the Republican refusal to face reality, and that they will continue to adhere to the goals and emission limits of the Paris Accords.

Massachusetts has joined. Oregon should have been a founding member. Contact Governor Kate Brown’s office. Contact your state representatives. Tell them to join the U.S. Climate Alliance immediately.

As Washington’s Governor Jay Inslee has said, states, counties and cities are now the frontline of addressing global warming in this country.

Jere C. Rosemeyer, Eugene