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Letters to the Editor 2017-06-15

NO HUNGRY KIDS

What does it mean when 53 percent of children and youth in Lane County are eligible for free lunch programs (“Summer Safety Net,” June 8)? With one in five children in America living in homes in poverty, this is not just a local problem but a national one.

And the current response from budget proposals by the President and the Speaker of the House is to drastically cut the SNAP (formerly food stamp) program.

Instead, we need to fully fund this program while we deal with the underlying causes. Our calls and letters to our representatives about this dire situation can make a difference. Have you got five minutes to make a call?

Millions of American children are depending on us, along with the future of our country.

Willie Dickerson, Snohomish, Wash.

 

DON’T BLAME THE REPUBLICANS

Mr. Corcoran’s legislative lament is humorous (“No Special Session,” June 8). He usually is.

However, the failure of the legislative session has not been caused by Republican obsession with the 2018 governor’s race, as he claims, but rather the Democrats’ unwillingness to vote on any important issues.

Last I looked, Democrats outnumbered Republicans 17-13 in the Senate and 35-25 in the House. If the Dems really want to make necessary changes for the good of the state, they should introduce bills they think will accomplish those ends. They have the votes, what’s the problem?

Ah, the 2018 governor’s race…

Rick Roseta, Eugene

 

DON’T DUMP LEVIN YET

I don’t often write letters to editors, but the two responses to Rick Levin’s review of some Alien movie or another (June 1) compelled me.

First off, I love the juxtaposed irony of the first letter writer calling him a triggered liberal and the next one calling him a misogynist. Very telling of our times, no?

 I was just thinking a week earlier that Levin’s take on Venus in Furs (“Masochism is as Masochism Does,” May 25) was one of the most exhilarating, engaging reviews I’ve read in a while. I’ve been following his writing in the Weekly for some time, and in both his features and his reviews, he’s one of the best writers you’ve got.

There must be many readers who feel the same way, but I suspect we’re not the type to write accusatory letters to editors all that often. 

Keep Levin anyway, please.

Bobbi Scully, Leaburg

 

NO FRIENDS OF PARKS?

Upon discovering trees flagged along the East Summit trail on Mt. Pisgah last spring, I inquired with Friends of Buford Park to find out what was going on. They relayed that Friends and Lane County Parks would be logging out about 30 to 40 acres of Douglas fir, oaks and maples around a few oaks and pines. 

I relayed my personal observation of so-called “oak restoration” that Friends and Lane County Parks completed on the adjacent 20 acres in 2012: “It looks like an Armenian blackberry and Scotch broom covered clearcut.”

They said, “Well, the timing didn’t work out for prescribed burning.” Then Friends stated they’ll likely have to spray poisons in attempts to knock down the sprawling exotic plant invasion created by logging. As a result of my inquiries and input, they apparently had some public meetings last summer to discuss this but neglected to invite me even though they had my contact information. 

The logging is now done. It is much more extensive than I was led to believe.

For the past several years, my friends and I have been the only ones maintaining the East Summit trail and removing Scotch broom from small meadows. 

Now that one of my favorite hiking places has been severely degraded, I’d ask Friends of Buford Park and Lane County Parks to manually remove the Scotch broom literally taking over the eastern flanks of Mount Pisgah and maintain the East Summit trail for now on.

Shannon Wilson, Eugene

 

A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Our civilization is in decline. We’ve used up the wealth of the land that the native people tended for millennia. The elite continue to extract from workers and the land.

People with money are pouring into the beautiful Northwest, the last land to be spoiled, displacing locals. People with medical costs and other vulnerable people are losing their houses and jobs. Some start using meth. Hopeless, desperate Oregonians are camping in parks, wandering lost on the streets, trying to survive.

It might seem counterintuitive, but we must make life better at the bottom of society or we will be living in a degraded, dangerous town. When people have nothing to lose, when they have guns, when they’re addicted to drugs, when the only comfort and family they can find is a gang, we can try to deal with the problem by locking them up. But they tend to come out worse.

We spend more energy and money punishing than it costs to make real change! We need rent control. We need many small co-operative camps with community centers, with educational options, with gardens, tools, tiny shops, treatment programs, performance venues.

We will make the bottom of society more stable, or we will all suffer.

Turning away, punishing the poor, kicking our neighbors to the curb, making gated neighborhoods, will put us all in a prison-like town.

Kari Johnson, Eugene 

 

BUILDING A BETTER FUTURE

As a Eugene architect, one of my key goals is designing sustainable buildings for current and future generations that will live and work in the structures I’ve created. A sustainable and resilient built environment is one of the best solutions we have to combat the effects of climate change.

That’s why I’m so concerned about President Trump’s plan to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. A total of 195 countries — including the U.S. — adopted this first-ever universal climate deal in 2015 that sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change.

Architects have a unique role to play in achieving the Paris Agreement’s goals. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, buildings are responsible for 73 percent of all electricity consumption in the U.S., with about half of that coming from commercial buildings.

American architects are focused on designing buildings that are energy efficient and, in some cases, nearly carbon neutral. We have worked hand-in-hand with the federal government to help make our profession and country competitive global leaders in the quest for an energy efficient built environment.

Withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement is a major step back for America’s global leadership in sustainable design.

Jan F. Fillinger, 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

 

STOP CRYING PRIVILEGE

Can we please stop using “white privilege” as a blanket term to shame people so we can stand proudly on our self-appointed soapboxes (Letters, June 8)? I get the frustration about drivers as I walk around downtown myself. Though I am more worried about being mugged or assaulted than someone being white. 

Ms. Moore (6/8), if you want to talk about how the city treats the homeless, fine. How drivers act when pedestrians have the right of way, even better. But saying that the driver in the Volvo is impatient because of “white privilege,” when it has more to with them being a jerk, is such a knee-jerk reaction.

When an actual example of white privilege happens, the word will no longer have meaning. People will have been desensitized because of self-imposed social justice warriors crying wolf.

Save the passion and anger for the right causes. Stop using buzzwords to fight injustices just to mark something off your moral feel good check list.

James Ready, Springfield

 

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

 

LETTERS POLICY: We welcome letters on all topics and will print as many as space allows, with priority given to timely local issues. Please limit length to 200 words and include your address and phone number for our files. Email to letters@eugeneweekly.com, fax to 484-4044 or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.