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Letters to the Editor 2017-09-14

DICKLESS DOLLS

Kari Johnson (“Rejecting Barbie,” Letters, Aug. 24) gives us a very old feminist lecture I’ve heard years ago, taking on what seems to be some of her old toy Ken and Barbie dolls.

See if I remember this right: It’s moms who give their daughters Barbie dolls and it’s the desire of those dolls’ owners that they choose and get Ken dolls. Moms like that because, as everyone knows, the Ken dolls have no dicks.

Factory emasculated males.

So I hereby give a necessary social correction with this simple statement: Men are from Earth, male feminists are from Uranus.

It’s 50-50 dear, live with it because men are screwed over, too.

Just ask the Vietnam War draftees: You can find a lot of their names on a wall or in a pit, and you need to know that most of them were virgins.

Dan Moore, Springfield

 

GRITS AND BEAR IT

The Oregon Bach Festival fires Matthew Halls for making a private joke (to a black artist friend) about the “antebellum” setting of some event and then, in a Southern (not Southern black) accent, asking if he’d like some grits. 

Halls’ friend is not interviewed by the festival board; his firing hinged on hearsay.

What can a person say except, “Did you never see My Cousin Vinnie?” Grits are colorblind!

S. Lea Jones, Eugene

 

CLEARCUT MOUNTAIN

I can’t help but notice that the size, severity and scope of the recent clearcuts visible from the road seem to have grown and are alarming to me.

For as long as I have lived in Oregon, I will never get used to this egregious practice that forsakes the local community, wildlife and the general ecology of the area. I cannot accept that these lovely forested hills exist for the sake of a chief executive officer or for shareholders who live far away.

The clearcutting along the McKenzie River Valley and the Row River Valley is so extensive that entire mountain ranges are bald, entire mountains completely cut! It baffles me that, in an area as progressive and politically active as Oregon, these practices continue unabated. 

What’s holding us back, Oregon? A clear answer comes to mind: the forest industry and the entrenched ties to the political and economic systems in this state.

Corporations make large sums of money from the timber industry, and they are not going down without a fight. But there are more of us than there are of them, and the time is nigh to address the ways this industry is encroaching on life more and more.

As the unsustainable nature and short-term vision of this industry becomes apparent, our recreational spaces and agricultural land are compromised. And these clearcuts are directly related to the unstoppable fires raging at this moment.

All who live here, new and old residents, love this land. It is time for us to deconstruct this practice and finally stop it.

Kerstin Britz, Cottage Grove

 

TAKING ON HOMELESSNESS

There is not enough recognition of the efforts by Mayor Lucy Vinis that are actually working towards under-attended and long-needed reforms.

I have attended two meetings since July, with officers and homeless persons present, speaking on concerns and issues at the request of the mayor.

As a member of the Poverty and Homelessness Board, and participant in the shelter task force discussion, I have seen Vinis speak on the topic, listen and have staff taking action on the testimony of our attending homeless. Her motion established an advisory group consisting of 100 percent homeless persons, for the very reason of being interested in hearing directly from those who are experiencing homelessness, with the ability to give feedback on proposed action, and generate materials for the board tasked with addressing homelessness issues.  

After I collected definitions for data on homeless and police interactions, I found that even the police are trying to find better ways to engage and help, versus ignoring or increasing the issues. 

Kris McAlister, Springfield

 

WELCOME TO OREGON

Dear newly arrived folks from other states: 

If it wasn’t a job that brought you here, then it was probably the beauty of Oregon and all the outdoor activities it offers. Living here is truly a throwback to another era.

This does not come without a price. The clean air, water and seemingly endless pristine coastline and trails are costly: It is your time, your donations, your effort and your volunteer hours that keep our state’s environment as healthy as possible.

There are many entities already in place where you can do everything listed above: Oregon Wild, Cascadia Wildlands, Beyond Toxics, Sierra Club. Many of these non-profits offer outings and hikes. So — go, do, see. Then please get involved in volunteering to keep Oregon beautiful. 

We need all hands on deck to fight polluters, and you are the newly arrived hands. We need you. Your involvement will pay you back handsomely in more ways than you can imagine.

Kim Kelly, Eugene

 

BAN AERIAL SPRAYS

The state of Oregon’s new herbicide spray notification website (“The Spray Near You,” Aug. 31) is an improvement over the old subscription system, but a poor substitute for prohibiting these abuses. We don’t need better disclosure about the scale of poisoning; we need to ban aerial spraying of cancer causing biocides over corporate clearcuts.

The ballot initiative to ban aerial spraying in Lane County was mentioned parenthetically in a sentence, but the organizer, Freedom From Aerial Herbicides Alliance, was not. 

EW’s article quoted Lisa Arkin, who runs Beyond Toxics. A casual reader might assume this group is part of this initiative effort, but Beyond Toxics has not (yet?) endorsed the spray ban, focusing instead on the more elusive, less effective goal of better regulation.

A similar group, Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, helped ban aerial spraying on the federal forests in the 1980s. Now, NCAP claims a “300 foot” no-spray buffer supposedly protects salmon in streams from contamination. Helicopter rotors blow sprays far beyond intended targets, inflicting collateral damage on down-winders. Forest fire smoke reminds us air pollution crosses land ownership boundaries.

Better “regulation” is an illusion — prevention is the only solution to protect public health.

Elected Democrats in Salem and Lane County either support aerial spraying or are hesitant to oppose it. EW barely mentioned the initiative during the signature-gathering phase. I hope EW, Beyond Toxics and NCAP promote the proposed aerial spray ban before the election.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene

Editor's note: In addition to mentioning the proposed ban in "The Spray Near You," EW did two stories on the ban in 2017 as well as running letters, activist alerts and a viewpoint.

 

THE ZIG-ZAG PATH

Last week, as my lungs struggled to breathe and the sun was an alien orange blob in the sky, the Hopi prophecies entered my thoughts: “When earthquakes, floods, hailstorms, drought and famine will be the life of every day, the time will then come for either the return to the true path or going the zig-zag way,” said Hopi Elder David Monogue.

The ancient Hopi prophecies etched in stone point to a crossroad for humanity — one path leads to a synthetic world out of balance, the other path is rooted in a life in accordance with the creator.

This last election we had a choice between these two paths. “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” says President Trump. Or, “the scientific community is telling us if we do not address the global crisis of climate change ... the planet that we’re leaving our kids may well not be habitable,” says Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Unfortunately, the zig-zag path was chosen, and we will continue to suffer the consequences of that choice. 

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain

 

MAKING LEMONADE

In 1998, the white supremacist hate group Aryan Nations applied for a parade permit in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. In response, Northwest human rights groups launched a “Making Lemonade out of Lemons” campaign.

Borrowing an idea from a city in Pennsylvania that faced a similar situation, the groups solicited pledges for donations based on how many minutes the Aryans would march. The goal was to raise $1,000 per minute for human rights groups.

Non-violent resistance to the current upsurge in neo-Nazi and white supremacist hate group activity is of paramount importance. I encourage other community members to share their knowledge of strategies and tactics of non-violent resistance.

Tom Pugh, Eugene

 

IS IT JUST ME?

I truly believe that our leaders, or Monsanto (difference?), are crop-dusting Lane County with russet mites/broad mites. At first, I thought it might just be fire planes circling, but then noticed all these “crop dusters” were east of my property.

There are currently no fires east of where I live. And why would they be swooping in and out and circling about? Even on heavy fire years and light fire years, with heavy marijuana policing, I have never seen these planes before.

 Just wondering if anyone else suspects the same? These bugs cannot be killed organically. Extremely toxic, nasty chemicals must be used. So if you have a medical grow or sell to dispensaries, everyone suffers.

Mike Tirsell, Springfield

 

ANTIFA HARRASSMENT?

As ethnically mixed people with a record of being against bigotry, we have to respond to “Setting the Terms After Charlottesville” (EW, Aug 17). Some of us in Eugene have been labeled Nazis by local Antifa without valid reason.

Does this mean that we are “not welcome in Lane County” or that we should not be allowed to “live comfortably within our boundaries?” Should a group of mostly white terrorists be allowed to threaten POC?

As I detailed in a letter to EW months ago (June 29), they have harassed and threatened my girlfriend and I in person and online. So be careful about labels like “Nazi.” To accuse one of being a Nazi is to put them in danger.

Antifa goes after any who challenge their propaganda. We are not the only people they have falsely accused and gone after.

Also, it was insane to have Redneck Revolt in Eugene. They have been seen by thousands assaulting a peaceful reporter in Phoenix. They are allied with Antifa. These are not anti-racist groups. They are wannabe communist revolutionary LARPers. Look into them.

Justin Antitheist, Eugene

 

BOMBS AND CARROTS

The U.S. is good at producing military weapons and good at producing food, including the types of food North Korea would like to receive. A carrot stick is loaded with nutritional power, exchangeable by a good businessman.

Helen Woodford, Eugene

 

LOOK IN THE MIRROR, HILLARY

Hillary Clinton is on a national tour promoting her latest book, What Happened. I can save your readers the price of admission and the cost of the book.

Figuring they had the 2016 election in the bag, Clinton and her party wrote off straight, white, working class voters in the heartland. Called them a bunch of “deplorables” and “irredeemable.” And lost.

And then blamed everybody but herself.

That’s “What Happened.”

Jerry Ritter, Springfield