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Letters to the Editor: 10-25-2012

WILL COUNCIL ACT?

The Eugene City Council is slowly, painfully, somewhat incoherently inching its way toward considering the proposal by Opportunity Village Eugene (OVE) to set up a self-governed village for homeless people, somewhat modeled after successful villages in other cities.

Most of the council is trying to talk about OVE without ever mentioning its name, which is strange to watch. They clearly see this as a political hot potato and are running scared, afraid of some of their constituents who hate the homeless and don’t want them in their neighborhoods — even though the homeless are already there.

As the American economy has steadily declined since the early 1970s, with working-class jobs automated or exported to Asia, classism has replaced racism as our country’s dominant form of bigotry. The increasing number of people dropping off the economic edge threatens the right-wing view of how society works. It also scares people, consciously or not, as they realize they could be next. So they react with denial and blaming the victim.

It will be interesting to see if the council has the guts to act on OVE and actually do something about homelessness, or if, as in the 1960s civil rights movement, we will have to turn to the streets and the courts for a solution.

Lynn Porter, Eugene

 

KINDNESS & RESPECT

 I worked in court with Judge Alan Leiman for eight of my over 30 years
as a Eugene Municipal Court employee. I also lost a loved one at the hands of a drunk driver. Judge Leiman was always fair and
impartial and he believed that politics or social standing had no place in the courtroom. He treated everyone who worked at the court with kindness and respect.

Alan Leiman was a strong advocate for more consistent DUII
sentencing and defendant accountability. He devoted countless hours outside of his law practice and work as a judge to reducing the number of impaired drivers on Lane County roads. As a 13-year volunteer Juvenile Court judge and as a past moderator of the Victim Impact Panel, Alan has demonstrated a true commitment to keeping our community safer. Please join me in writing in Alan Leiman for Position 7 of the Lane County Circuit Court.

Deborah Weaver, Springfield

 

TIME FOR A CHANGE

I am a retired teacher myself. I have lived in Eugene for about 10 years, formerly from New York City, continue to be a faithful member of the Democratic Party and consider myself a progressive. I have listened carefully to Juan Carlos Valle speak about his vision. While Betty Taylor has served Ward 2 well on some issues important to members of our Ward, what seems missing from her agenda is a vision for the future growth of our community. How wonderful it would be for Ward 2 to have a Latino man with a personal and quite compelling story of his own to represent us to help us move forward. It’s time for a change and I believe Juan Carlos can move us forward. 

Julie Beck, Eugene

 

NOT THE CHANGE WE NEED

From my prospective serving as the vice president of Southeast Neighbors and the Eugene Planning Commission, Betty Taylor is the right choice to for Ward 2. She understands our needs socially, economically and environmentally and she has proven this through her actions with her many years of service on council. 

I have deep concerns about Mr. Juan Carlos Valle; take a look at who is funding his campaign. Donations are funneled through a PAC called Community Action Network. Some of the contributors are Delta Sand and Gravel, Seneca and a number of investment companies. 

Valle has a fair amount of pro-development endorsements as well. One of Valle’s political claims is he will protect the Eugene Amazon Headwaters but with this type of financial support I am not inclined to believe him. Some people are saying that Ward 2 needs an infusion of new energy, but Valle is not the change needed. 

Taylor is backed by a long list of progressive-minded people and organizations. She will do what is right for Ward 2 and will keep the much-needed balance on our City Council. I have lived in Ward 2 for 30 years and have been involved in many issues that affect our neighborhood as well as our city. I know Taylor is the right choice for us. Join me in re-electing Betty Taylor.

Lisa Warnes, Eugene

 

RETURN RON DAVIS

I am pleased to see that Ron Davis is once again a candidate for the Emerald PUD Board. I have known Ron for many years, even before he was first elected to the board. I met him in connection with solar water heating efforts in the 1980s.

Ron has long worked to promote energy efficiency and investments in renewable energy. He was an energetic member of the early EPUD Board that oversaw the design and building of the path-breaking headquarters on Seavey Loop. I was a part of the design team for that building, and deeply appreciated the EPUD Board’s involvement in the design process. The staff of EPUD participated as well, and this building continues to serve efficiently and beautifully, 24 years after its construction. 

Through my long involvement with utilities, energy efficiency and renewable energy, I know that EPUD has an enviable reputation as a forward-looking public power provider. Davis knows this as well and is committed to its future as a successful example of how public power delivers reliably, saving ratepayer dollars rather than returning corporate profits.

I hope that Ron Davis is elected again to the EPUD Board.

John S. Reynolds FAIA, Former EWEB commissioner, Eugene

 

AN OBVIOUS CHOICE

 I am writing in support of Katherine Schacht for re-election to the EPUD Board. As a Coburg area resident for almost 50 years, I have worked with many local political leaders, and one of the leaders who has always been willing to listen and support me has been Katherine Schacht.

As a friend and neighbor of Katherine’s for over 30 years, I can vouch for her character, integrity and outstanding leadership. As a senior citizen on a fixed income I am grateful that Katherine has worked hard to keep utility rates low by controlling costs. Moreover, I have been fortunate to take advantage of EPUD conservation programs that Katherine has strongly supported over the years to help make my home energy efficient and further lower my bills.

Choose wisely this Nov. 6. I have two fliers sitting on my counter from EPUD candidates. One flier is a smear piece from a challenger who doesn’t state one positive reason to vote for him and gives me absolutely no information about his experience, goals or vision for EPUD. The choice is obvious. 

Keep EPUD one of the most efficient utility districts in the state. Vote for the only candidate who has a record of accomplishment for EPUD’s rural customers and the only one who has a positive vision to maintain EPUD’s commitment to reign in costs and provide even better service for years to come. Mark your ballot for Katherine Schacht for EPUD Board, District 4.

Luette Frost, Coburg

 

ENABLING BAD BEHAVIOR

What line does President Obama need to cross before he is no longer worthy of endorsement [EW endorsements, 10/18]? He’s already traveled further than even President Bush across the lines of murder, torture, terror, theft, oppression, fascism, treason and rape of the environment. You cannot “endorse” or vote for such a president and escape your personal moral obligation for enabling such acts. This is not an issue of moral relativism, like comparing venial sins. These evils are literally mortal. 

Don’t vote out of fear; vote your conscience and your values: Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for president.

Pat Driscoll, Eugene

 

A BETTER FUTURE

Ballot time is here and I’m hoping to vote to provide my grandkids with a better future. I know Betty Taylor will think of them when she votes, so that is an easy decision. I’ll write in Alan Leiman’s name for Lane County Circuit Judge because I know he worked hard for 20 years for kids at youth court. He gave them hope and directed them to a better path in life. 

In the past I’ve worked for a fairer election system with campaign finance reform and I must support the effort by We The People’s Eugene Ballot Measure 20-198 to end corporations having the same rights as people. It is a first step. And then, please no more money poured into casinos with Measures 82 and 83. If only we could reverse the past Measure 5 and have a progressive tax for schools and make education the number one priority for Oregon. Maybe next time. 

Ruth Duemler, Eugene

 

LWV SAYS ‘YES’

There are two critical Eugene issues on the Nov. 6 ballot: Bethel schools and Eugene street, bike and pedestrian projects. The League of Women Voters of Lane County strongly recommends an affirmative vote on both bond measures. 

 Measure 20-197 calls for using $43 million in general obligation bonds to fix approximately 74 miles of roads and fund various bicycle and pedestrian projects. The specific streets and projects are already named in a council resolution. Of the $8 million available annually, $516,000 would be used for the non-road activities. Bonds would be repaid from property taxes at a rate of $0.65 per $1,000 of assessed value, or about $127 per year for the average homeowner. The current bond measure, passed in 2008, has funded all of its proposed projects, but there are still many miles of rebuilding and maintenance needed. 

Measure 20-209 seeks approval of $49.5 million in general obligation bonds to update educational materials, improve student safety and repair and construct facilities for Bethel School District. Two schools built in the 1950s would be replaced; funds would also provide safety upgrades, building repairs, updated textbooks and computers, and cost-efficient energy saving heating and ventilation improvements. The proposal maintains the current tax rate of $1.25 per $1,000 of assessed value.

 Both measures provide for citizen oversight and annual audits of expenditures. Both will create infrastructure jobs as well as improving the local quality of life. The League urges a “yes” vote on local Measures 20-197 and 20-209.

Pat Hocken and Kappy Eaton, Action co-chairs, LWV of Lane County

 

COAL BAD FOR TAX BASE

I just had the privilege of attending a Lane County Commissioners meeting that was held in Florence Oct. 16. The commissioners had published, in both print and radio media, that they would be coming to Florence for the express purpose of receiving public comment on the Port of Coos Bay’s proposal to bring large scale export of Montana Coal to various Asian markets. This proposal would include Lane County’s support for a “beefed up” heavy-duty industrial rail line that would accommodate this export, even though the coal would be transported through Lane County without the simultaneous provision of jobs for Lane County residents or the review of environmental and public safety concerns. 

Amazingly, the chairman opened the meeting with (and this is a direct quote): “The Port of Coos Bay called me this morning and asked us to ‘pull’ their request for our resolution of support. Basically, they don’t have a project yet. Everyone jumped the gun on this.”

It is a well-known fact that property adjacent to industrial railways generates significantly reduced property tax revenues as the industrial impact increases over time. An enhanced heavy-duty industrial railroad steaming through Lane County will reduce property values and adversely impact our ability to deliver critical public safety. Are we prepared to absorb the further erosion of our property tax base that will inevitably accrue as a result of our support of this runaway railroad project? 

Mary D. Stephens, Florence

 

OUR SICK CITY

If sending the flag from a homeless person’s father’s coffin to our landfill doesn’t break a conservative’s patriotic heart, what the hell will? [See letters, 10/11.]

Citizens with no place to go have to hide from cops. When found they lose their bedding, belongings and humble shelter with 30-degree nights. Our city has gotten to be sick and evil! A year of talking to the city about compassion and shelter was a waste of my time. 

It is time now for lawsuits and more demonstrations. The city rules have provoked this, and will spend more for police overtime. I’m frustrated, angry, and heart-broken at the injustice we call “our” government.

Jerry Smith, MSW, retired, Eugene

 

AGENT OF REPRESSION

This past week we have seen a third young person from the Pacific Northwest sent to prison for refusing to provide federal grand jury testimony regarding activists in the region. Leah-Lynn Plante, Katherine Olejnik and Matthew Duran have all been imprisoned indefinitely for remaining silent. 

It seems that it has become common practice to give immunity to people called before grand juries to force them to testify against others, frequently surrounding issues relating to political activity. It’s happened to animal rights groups, the environmental movement, and now the focus seems to be shifting towards the anarchist community. 

When a legal tool such as the grand jury seems to frequently be twisted to become a tool of political repression, it’s time to rethink its purpose in our society. The U.S. is the only country in the world that still uses the grand jury system. It’s time to refuse to engage with it. 

I admire the strength of activists like Leah, Katherine and Matthew who have taken a stand against grand juries, resulting in a huge limitation on their freedom. This is because they know that if we all resist grand juries like they have, eventually it will become a defunct agent of political repression.

Lilia Letsch, Glenwood

 

EVERYBODY WINS

 I am writing in response to the Sept. 26 article “Campers for County Park Security.” The Lane County Parks Division is doing something beneficial for the community. Using homeless people with RVs or campers as hosts for park security is a win-win solution for the Parks Division and for the hosts.

People with RVs are not legally allowed to sleep in their vehicle on the streets. Parks suffer from vandalism during the winter. The mere presence of a host will decrease crime while providing some homeless individuals a safe place to sleep in exchange for their much needed service.

I applaud Keith Heath of St. Vincent for running this program. He created an effective solution for helping homeless people versus the permanent Occupy camp proposed last fall. Occupy Eugene’s camp, which was a haven for the homeless, dealt with theft, fight and even a death from a heroin overdose. Why would anyone want to relive that? I am delighted that something proactive is going on in the community.

Wren Facaros, Eugene

 

WAR ON WOMEN

 Women will decide the next election, and if that scares you, we’re not tasking for permission. The empowerment of girls is a global fight that manifested itself in a 14-year-old girl named Malala Yousufzai in Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban because she’s an activist for girls getting an education. In America there has been a 125 percent increase in crimes against women and children. Where’s the outrage?

 The war on women in America is a move to defund Planned Parenthood. Last night I drove by their new building in Glenwood and on the top floor was a room full of men and women taking a class. How can anyone who lives in this century be against men and women getting family planning and getting birth control? The world has over seven billion people. One party wants to reverse Roe v. Wade. One in three women have made the choice to end a pregnancy; we are your daughters, your nieces, your aunts, mothers and grandmothers. No matter how you feel about it, our government has no business taking a woman’s choice away.

 Women still make 76 cents on the dollar that men make. Where’s the outrage? Baby boomer women started feminism; it’s time to band together with younger women and evolved men. 

 Think about the little girl in a hospital bed with a hole in her head, all because someone doesn’t want her to get an education. Women and girls must stand up against oppression. 

Diane DeVillers, Eugene

 

BEYER FAVORS LIVELY

I read with great interest “GOP cash infusion heats House Race” by Saul Hubbard in the Sept. 29 issue of the R-G. I live in this area, which is presently well-served by Rep. Terry Beyer, who has been a strong supporter of education, including LCC, and of programs that benefit seniors and the disabled. She has chosen not to run for another term and has endorsed John Lively to replace her as our representative in Salem.

Lively has served on the Springfield City Council and as the mayor of Springfield and a number of other posts. (Visit JohnLively.com for a list of his work for the benefit of Springfield.)

Recently there have been a number of criticisms of the Pishioneri campaign, and the R-G has published a letter to the editor from Betsy Schultz, his campaign manager, denying that the campaign has done anything unethical or illegal. I beg to differ since this campaign has used push polls which are designed to sound as if an objective poll is being conducted. In reality, the call is actually from his campaign and is basically an anti-Lively call. I consider this to be unethical. Also, recently someone destroyed my Lively campaign sign and placed some anti-Lively campaign material in my mailbox. The material was not mailed and did not have a mailing address. Not only is this unethical, but this is illegal, according to the U.S. Postal Department. 

I would, as a former elected person who represented Springfield on the LCC Board, like to endorse John Lively in his bid to replace Rep. Beyer.

 G. Dennis Shine, Springfield

 

ILLEGAL TO RECORD?

 I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Lauren Regan’s comment in “Busted” [Back to Campus, 10/4] that “you are probably being audio-recorded” when being questioned by the police, but probably just misinformation from your writer. I was under the impression that Oregon law (ORS 165.540) makes it illegal for any person (including the police) to “obtain or attempt to obtain the whole or any part of a conversation by means of any device, contrivance, machine or apparatus, whether electrical, mechanical, manual or otherwise, if not all participants in the conversation are specifically informed that their conversation is being obtained.” Please ask Regan for clarification.

 John Tietjen,Corvallis

EDITOR’S NOTE: We checked our (legal!) recording of the conversation, and that is an accurate quote. It gets complicated in this age of ubiquitous smart phones and pocket recorders. Court cases often examine whether the person being recorded has an “expectation of privacy” and whether clandestine recordings are permitted as evidence in court. Recent cases have favored citizens’ rights to record police activities in public places. 

 

TIME FOR TEACHERS

I applaud EW for deciding to dedicate a column to education in Eugene [10/18]. I also appreciate Anne Bridgman for giving voice to educators whose voices have been drowned out by shrill voices of public education enemies and supporters of corporate education “deform” movement. It’s time for teachers to tell their stories to the community in their own voice and I hope that this column can be shared with any educator willing to speak up. As a public school teacher for over 33 years in 4J (classroom teacher and now a substitute) I have witnessed huge changes in our schools. It’s important to document those changes for all to see.

I also hope that we can put 4J experience into a larger national context. Our experience is very similar to other communities in Oregon and beyond. Public education, the foundation of our democracy, is systematically being defunded and supporters of privatization are creating a two-tiered system of education, one for the haves and another for the have-nots.

Educators here and all over the country are under attack, blamed for everything that is wrong in the underfunded schools. They are accused of selfishness for bargaining health care benefits, pensions, decent pay and working conditions. Unions are accused of sheltering poor teachers and standing in the way of reform. The fact is that teachers and their organizations are the strongest advocates for children and public education.

It’s time to hear from teachers and all the people who work with our children every day. 

Pete Mandrapa, Eugene

 

HOBOS AMONG US

In your Oct. 4 News Briefs, entomologist Melissa Scherr (“No Worries About Giant Brown Spiders”) is quoted as saying, “No hobo spiders have been documented in Oregon south of Corvallis.”

I’m not sure if she limits that claim to this year, but during 2004 and ’05, I removed over 20 of them from my house, which is in Eugene. I took several to the Lane County Extension Service for positive ID and they were identified as hobos. Upon request of a staff member, I later brought in a live one. Nobody there seemed surprised that they came from south of Corvallis or commented on their rarity. I don’t know what records they have at the Extension Service, but there were and probably still are hobo spiders in Eugene.

Zig Engelmann, Eugene

 

THE LAST STRAW

Coal trains through Lane County are emblematic of the nation’s decline. Sen. Bernie Sanders told us that 55,000 manufacturing plants have closed in the last decade, transferring jobs, machinery and skills offshore. Only to benefit the 1 percent. Then, next level jobs went offshore: call centers, service facilities, financial services, research centers and many other large volume employers. Some corporate headquarters even left us. 

Now we scrape the bottom of the barrel to export basic raw materials. We export our forests as logs, chips, pulp and even biomass. There is clamor to export very damaging fractured natural gas. The most destructive coal mining ever conceived now plans to export for short-term profits. It is ironic that the largest number of containers returning across the Pacific are filled with baled paper waste. 

Third-world nations are forced to export their raw material. Is this to be our destiny as well? And what does nature tell us? It is finite. Please don’t consume it, laying it to waste in a mad search for profit.

A much wiser course for our nation would be to apportion our raw materials, over a very long time frame. Don’t future generations of U.S. citizens deserve their share? Why not 1,000 years? Many resource scientists believe that hydrocarbons should no longer be burned, but used for manufactured products that last a very long time. Hydrocarbon molecules should be reused and recycled, some almost indefinitely. Energy currently derived from the sun, in all its many forms, must be our nation’s and the earth’s future.

 So let’s not just worry about coal train routing, but the very concept of exporting it at all.

 George R. Hermach, Eugene

 

SMOKER’S HERO

The big bad government is at it again! First they banned smoking on airplanes, then our workplaces, and now they’re coming for our socialist parks!

The liberal health police somehow think that we should keep toxic cigarette smoke out of the places where our families and children gather. Thankfully we have incredible conservative leaders like Commissioner Jay Bozievich, who possess that special kind of courage it takes to stand up for the right of smokers to contaminate Lane County’s parks with toxic smoke. And who doesn’t love those lovely cigarette butts strewn everywhere? Bravo Bozievich. Keep up the good work!

And with registered Democrats outnumbering registered Republicans nearly 2-1 in Lane County, we (particularly smokers and plunderers) should feel very fortunate to actually have a wonderful right-wing dream team in control of the Board of Commissioners. To all you Democrats who haven’t been voting: Thank you very much! 

Joshua Welch, Eugene

 

A SCATTERING OF TOXINS

I am writing in response to the article by Camilla Mortensen on July 12. “Coal Battle Heating Up In Eugene” points out numerous reasons to oppose these environmental degrading coal hauling machines to pass through our treasured city of Eugene.

Many citizens of Eugene recognize the potential harm to Eugene’s air and water quality. We should all be concerned about the likely damage to our beautiful parks and open spaces. 

In addition to the harm the coal trains would levy on our community, people should also be concerned about the traffic issues that would be aggravated by these toxin-scattering machines. On one end of town we will have to navigate our way through the probable EmX expanded bus route and at another part of town waiting for the coal train to pass by.

As a current LCC student who plans on graduating soon, I understand the importance of producing jobs for Oregonians. I don’t believe that creating 150 jobs in the North Bend/Coos Bay area is validation for allowing damage to the environment and the beautiful city of Eugene.

Matt Keller, Eugene

 

CHIP SHOULD APOLOGIZE

Chip Kelly’s job as a college football coach at a public university is not just to win football games but also to act as a leader for the democratic values that underlie our society and our public academic institutions. It may be the case that when confronted with a competent criminal defense attorney and shaky evidence, that the prosecutors dropped a DUII charge against Isaac Remington, where they would normally intimidate the average Joe into a plea bargain. That may have been the case here. 

Nevertheless, Kelly took negative action against a player based on accusations and where there was no evidence considered and not even any kind of internal hearing held at the university level to afford some kind of due process rights to the student athlete. I don’t follow football all that closely but I can imagine that this was a decision that could have an enormous and irreparable impact on this student’s life and career, football or no football. 

And if this case had gone to trial and it taken a year or so and Remington been ultimately been found not guilty, he would have been totally screwed out of at least one season of play and possibly his career. 

Kelly’s policy of suspending players without any due process is un-American and Chip Kelly should apologize to Isaac Remington and the policy should be changed to afford student athletes some semblance of due process before being suspended from participation in university athletics at a public university. 

James Tily, Eugene

 

EXCLUDING RIGHTS

The exclusion ordinance is a classic bait-and-switch evidenced in the least by its dishonest lie of a name. Setting aside the immorality of its true purpose as an implement for harassing transients, it is also unfair policy for all citizens of Eugene. This ordinance violates the Equal Protection Clause rights guarantied to all Eugene citizens by the 14th Amendment. The exclusion ordinance provides for an unequal level of government enforcement within an arbitrary zone, those outside the zone but within city limits denied comparable protection under the law. 

This ordinance is not about public safety, nor does targeting transients for exclusion make the public more safe, within or without the boundary. Any public place in Eugene should be entitled the same levels of protection under equal application of the laws. It is a despicable and slippery slope officially craft such dehumanizing and plainly unconstitutional language into city policy.

Mike McFadden, Eugene

 

BEST POSSIBLE JUSTICE

I am writing to ask the voters of Lane County to elect Vincent Mulier, Ph.D. as your next Circuit Court judge. Mulier is one of four [now five] candidates running write-in campaigns for this seat. Please write his name on your ballot.

Mulier is a professor of philosophy as well as a public defense attorney. He is also the founder and executive director of a nonprofit group, Celilo Falls Restoration Fund, which promotes restoring traditional salmon fisheries on the Columbia River.

Mulier has a thorough understanding of the philosophical and ethical basis of the American legal system. He teaches elementary ethics, environmental ethics, business ethics, and morality of punishment at Portland State University. 

Last spring and summer I took two courses from Dr. Mulier. He is a man of true character and integrity. As a professor, he is committed to giving his students the best possible education. As a judge, he will be committed to giving citizens the best possible justice. He will work tirelessly for you, just as he has worked tirelessly for his students.

It takes just a quick look at the backgrounds of the other candidates to see that they are each part of the legal establishment. Mulier is the only alternative candidate in this race. Lane County voters have a chance to elect a judge with a doctorate in philosophy as well as a law degree. Write in Vincent Mulier for Circuit Court Judge, District 2, Position 7. 

Shelley Shaw, Portland

 

COAL HAS PEAKED

It amazes me how many people are concerned about coal trains passing through Eugene, when it won’t happen for long. Our largest coal resource is the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, which recently had its coal reserves downgraded to just 10 billion tons of economically recoverable coal — just an 18 year supply at present use rates. All of the other coal-producing states are long past peak, and the U.S. actually peaked in energy output from coal back in 1998. It is all downhill for coal from here on out, and coal will have half the extraction rate in just a couple of decades. This is also true for China, which probably reached peak coal last year, and is now slowing down its economy, like most nations.

What we are witnessing is “the limits to growth,” which in 1972 were accurately forecasted for around 40 years in the future. Obama loves to claim that we have 100 years of natural gas, but that is the resource, not the reserve. The technically recoverable reserve is 10 years, and natural gas peaked in 1973, and is now 10 percent lower than back then, and falling fast. When it comes to oil and gas production, as the Red Queen said to Alice in Alice in Wonderland, “you have to run as fast as you can just to stay in the same place.” Even with all this fracking, they will soon start declining again.

The world is past peak oil, exports have been declining since 2005, and the U.S. probably won’t be able to import any oil at all by 2020. We could quite literally be back to the America of Thomas Jefferson by 2042, when our fossil fuel extraction rates will be about a fifth what they are now, and it will take almost as much energy to mine them as we get back from burning them.

Zachary Moitoza, Eugene

 

POWER GRABS

Consider the protestors who say “We are the 99 percent!” What do you think the 1 percent say in response? My guess is “Yeah and we’re damn glad of it!” Question is, what can be done about this inequality? Vote? 

After Bush’s “s-election” in 2000, stealing elections has become the preferred power grab. Craig Unser who wrote Boss Rove states that the 2004 election was stolen by a computer in Chattanooga counting (and falsifying) extra votes from Ohio. Face it folks, when it comes to democracy, it’s game over. Can you say oligarchy?

How are they fooling us? Maybe the 1 percent think that Americans can’t/won’t believe really bad things about their leaders. To wit: There are theorists who maintain that FDR knew about the planned attack on Pearl Harbor but let it happen because that was the best way to get the American people behind the war effort. Starting with good ol’ Ike, Amerika uber alles was soon in effect. Then came the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King Jr. Isn’t this the definition of a police state? 

Then comes 9/11 and another president needing America to be attacked. There are more examples, but the main thing is: Republicans and Democrats are the same. Obama kept the financial “experts” from the Bush years that got us into the collapse. The collapse, initiated by Clinton who let the Glass-Steagall Act be repealed, opening the door for banks to combine their investments and your money. Privatized gains and subsidized losses. 

It’s clear that the bankers and their henchmen are literally “calling the shots,” and all we Ghandi-King advocates can do is protest non-violently. OK, I’ll wave my tiny fist in the air, further amusing the 1 percent. Grumble grumble, blah-blah.

Stephen Cole

Eugene

 

NICE RUNAROUND

Greenhill Humane Society just loves to tell the community how transparent they are. That isn’t true, and here is why. Recently we have requested information about some animals that were at First Avenue pound. “We can’t give you that information,” Greenhill’s Cary Lieberman said, “You have to ask the jurisdictions” (cities of Eugene, Springfield, and Lane County). Well, yes they can provide the information, they just don’t want to. Second, we asked the jurisdictions and lo and behold, we were told they aren’t the custodians of the information, Greenhill is. Nice runaround.

So how do Greenhill and the jurisdictions plan on providing the information requested about animals from First Avenue? This facility is supported by our taxpayer dollars, and all those records absolutely are subject to Oregon open records laws. In addition, the contracts Greenhill signed with Eugene and the county specify that all inquiries will be answered promptly. Inquiries have mostly been ignored. Not exactly what you call prompt or the spirit of openness is it?

What has Greenhill done to those animals and why don’t they want to release the records? We have a good idea. See the reports on our website NoKillLaneCounty.org. These reports aren’t innuendo nor are they fabrications, as Greenhill’s wishful thinking claims, they are the truth.

When an organization hides behind the cloak of being a nonprofit, that is a huge red flag for its donors. Nonprofits with nothing to hide, hide nothing. Greenhill donors beware.

Tamara Barnes, No Kill Lane County, Eugene

 

NO-KILL FANTASY

So-called “no-kill” shelters sound heroic, but they are often anything but. In reality, they are limited-admission shelters, which turn away the most vulnerable animals and often allow only the youngest, cutest animals admission. And many such places force animals to live for years in a cage, even when the animals are sick or losing their minds from such confinement.

No one wants to have to perform euthanasia, but some of the most caring people in the world have to be brave enough to provide animals with a painless exit from an uncaring world — because no matter what the “no-kill” hucksters and hoarders say, there are too many dogs and cats and too few homes, and leaving them on the streets, selling them to laboratories, or just shunting them along to other states, is not a solution to the animal-homelessness crisis.

Blame needs to be placed where it belongs—at the hands of breeders, and people who refuse to spay and neuter their animals. In the meantime, open-admission shelters will continue to take in all of society’s castoffs, not just the young, healthy, and cute ones—and not just when it’s convenient.

If you know anyone who is thinking of buying instead of adopting or who still needs to make that sterilization appointment for a dog or cat, please help reduce euthanasia by giving them the facts, not by supporting some “no-kill” fantasy facility.

Curtis Taylor,
Eugene

 

AGONIZING CHOICE

I do not believe that any woman, no matter what her political or moral beliefs are, is going to take the decision of aborting a fetus casually. The choice is agonizing for any woman, no matter the outcome. 

To outlaw abortions will not actually reduce the demand for the procedure. Whether the procedure is legal or not, a great number of women will still require the option. If they are desperate enough they could seek a “back-alley” abortion, or other unsavory options. An underground market of options to eliminate pregnancies would grow and prosper, with more people risking their lives and breaking the law to take care of their needs.

The point of outlawing abortions is to save lives, but I only see more and more lives being lost or injured with the outlawing of abortion. 

Sequoia Fellows, North Eugene High School 

 

DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE

“I now pronounce you man and man.” Or woman and woman, for that matter. These statements are illegal in many states and are in question as to if they should be nationwide. Why shouldn’t a homosexual couple — possibly somebody as close to home as a neighbor or relative — be allowed the same rights as heterosexual couples? 

The majority of this nation’s population believe it goes against what marriage stands for. But isn’t it interesting that most people who believe this and affirm the notion that same-sex marriage is wrong, are heterosexual? Where is the equality for the millions of same-sex couples wishing to be able to have the same lifelong happiness that the man and woman next door are entitled to? Just because something has been one way for a while doesn’t mean it’s right; look at slavery.

People claim that it goes against the Bible and some religions to marry two men or two women. Why make it illegal because it’s against some people’s religion? If they’re not apart of that religion then go ahead and if it’s against their religion then don’t. 

The Constitution requires that church be separate from state, so one can’t make a law against same-sex marriage based on the foundation of religion. If this country is for fairness, equality, freedom, and opportunity; why don’t same-sex couples get those rights?

Jesse Finnila, North Eugene High School

 

DEVILISH DETAILS

Some say God is in the details, some say the devil is in the details. In bishop Willard Mitt Romney’s case it’s the latter. From the desecrated flag pin he wears to his off-shore money, the Romney’s have a history of putting their own good before country. While my family and friends were eating c-rations in the jungles of Vietnam, Willard was eating fine French cuisine touring the French countryside looking for recruits to his cult religion. A religion and it’s binders full of wives that exiled his family into Mexico. 

Bishop Romney refuses to include any details about his personal finances or his plans to govern if elected. What details are know is that he plans to fill his cabinet and war room with the same chicken-hawks and neo-cons who deceived us and plunged into the disastrous Iraq War. 

A disturbing devil detail is bishop Romney calling on his 1 percent corporation buddies to threaten their employees’ jobs if he is not elected. But the most devilish detail is his family’s recent purchase of the company that owns the uncheckable electronic voting machines.

I smell a rat and his name is Willard.

Michael T. Hinojosa

Drain

 

THE BIG FLOPPER

Will the real Mitt Romney please stand up? In most elections some flip-flopping by candidates to try and win votes is to be expected but in this election season Mitt Romney has changed his mind on some big issues.

On abortion: Back when he was a governor he was pro-choice then in the Republican primaries he was solidly pro-life. Now during the general election he has, according to Bill Maher, changed his mind on this issue twice in less than 24 hours which is less time than the waiting period for an actual abortion. Naturally the Republicans are saying this was just a slip of the tongue but that there is serious consideration it could be otherwise shows how little faith people have in Mitt saying something and sticking to it.

On health care: Back when he was governor of Massachusetts he passed a law that was very similar to Obamacare but now as a candidate he says that Obamacare is bad and he will repel it. This change of heart shows that Mitt can and will change his mind on the most important issues facing our country today. This is worrisome because it shows that voters can’t trust him to keep their best interests at heart (not for long anyways).

On taxes: Back during the Republican primaries he talked about a $5 billion tax cut, then at the first debate he changed his mind to say he would not make any tax cuts that increase the deficit. He then went on to make vague statements about cutting loopholes to pay for the tax cuts. Even when he is not doing a complete reversal of his positions he is changing the details to appeal to the current crowd.

This inconsistency leads to the conclusion that he cannot be trusted to run a country when he can’t even keep track of his own opinions.

Jade Krueger, Eugene