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Letters to the Editor: 11-1-2012

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

On behalf of the Human Rights Commission and the city of Eugene, we extend our deep sympathy and concern for acts of hate and violence that have occurred in our community.

The Human Rights Commission and the city of Eugene stand in solidarity with those who are impacted, and will speak out against acts of hate and violence. We do not condone either the acts themselves or the acceptance that silence implies. 

Any public response on our part that might identify targeted individuals will not move forward without the explicit consent of those who were targeted. While we honor all requests for confidentiality, we do keep track of reported incidents and use them to help us assess problems or trends in our community that we want to address.

We are sorry that acts of hate and violence occur right here in our community. Please know that you are not alone in your anger, frustration and sadness that these incidents are happening. 

Eugene must be a safe and welcoming community for everyone. Anything less diminishes us all. To report bias incidents contact the City of Eugene's Equity and Human Rights Office at 682-5177. To report bias crimes contact the Eugene Police Department at 682-5111 (non-emergency) or 911 (emergency).

Kitty Piercy, mayor of Eugene & Toni Gyatso, chair, Human Rights Commission

 

 

BETTER STREETS

Since the last street repair bond measure passed in 2008 we have all seen major improvements to the condition of the streets and paths we use to get around. Whether a commercial truck driver, a bus operator, a family biking to school or individuals driving their cars, things are in better shape because we voted to fund work that is not being paid for any other way. 

Keeping up our transportation network is expensive, and until more people start moving around the city in different ways and we change how we pay for our transportation modes, we simply don't have enough funds coming in through other means to keep that network running smoothly. 

The previous ballot measure worked. More streets were repaired than originally projected (54 vs. 32) and miles of multi-use paths were improved. The citizen review committee reviewed the city's work and helped make improvements to the process. The bond measure was a success and now it's time to continue that work. 

Measure 20-197 would continue to fix our potholes, work on preventative maintenance and improve our bicycle and pedestrian network. If it isn't passed the backlog of street and path repair work will just be pushed back and get more expensive. Vote yes on Measure 20-197 for better streets and paths for everyone.

Shane MacRhodes, Eugene

 

THE PUPPY VOTE

Thanks to your cover story [10/25] on the South Eugene Ward 2 council election, I was able to finally make up my mind. I want to compliment you on the title, ™Fifty Shades of Betty,∫ to clue us in to Taylor's ™wink & kink∫ association with Eugene's outlaw sexual subcultures. The double entendre with the pop porno novel was a subtle hint indeed, letting some of us (nudge-nudge) know who to vote for. 

After seeing the Weekly cover, while looking at the campaign literature, I realized that her opponent prominently displays his vanilla breeder credentials with a photo of his family at Crater Lake. In contrast, the mailing from Taylor had a photo of her with a cute little puppy, cleverly inferring that God will kill a puppy for every vote for her opponent. Clearly, if you love puppies you should vote for Betty.

Chuck Kleinhans, Eugene

 

RECYCLE RON DAVIS

For over 30 years we have lived across the road from Ron and MaryJo Davis. They have been great neighbors. He is always stopping to check on people on our road to make sure they are OK or need help. During this time we have watched his creativity. He has built a passive solar green house to help heat their house. In this greenhouse he has a composting toilet that helps save water and recycle minerals back to the earth. In addition they have solar panels that help to provide electricity for them and their neighbors. He believes that we only have one Earth and we need to help preserve it for our children and future grand children.

MaryJo has contributed to our town with her Rosebud consignment shop. It has really helped our children to get clothes and toys cheap or for trade. What is left over gets donated back to the needy in our community.

Ron was on the start-up board of the Emerald People's Utility District and did a great job in bringing us better service and cheaper rates. Now is the time to re-elect and recycle Ron back into the public service that he did so well. He may be 70, but he has the heart and energy of a 40-year-old to do great things for the people and environment. He's so smart and caring. If he can build a solar recumbent electric bicycle I think he can put the people back in the utility district. 

Cindy Ware, Cottage Grove

 

MAN WITH A VISION

We need an elected official who would bring a strong integrity, a vision and desire to move our city forward, one who would promote a healthy and productive economic system with respect for the environment for our children.

That person is Juan Carlos Valle ,who came to this country looking for opportunities and who knows what it is to be homeless, hungry and shunned. He worked the migrant worker circuit both in Oregon and Washington, earning little money but building determination to do better. He earned his way through higher education at LCC, where he was recognized as a distinguished scholar, then went on to the UO and made it all the way to grad school in policy and management.

His voice has been heard on many committees and task forces in our city. Juan Carlos has established partnerships to address air and ground pollution in west Eugene and on top of that he is an advocate for social justice for all.

His hard work, education, community involvement, and his willingness to take the lead when necessary have prepared him to join the City Council. His candidacy brings new insight and a new voice to the council. It's time for a change; pass your vote for Juan Carlos Valle, a man with a vision.

Lyllye B. Parker, Eugene

 

DISTRACTING FROM
THE ISSUES

We have recently become aware of the slanderous attacks against our longtime friend Ron Davis who is currently running for the EPUD Board. To attempt to refute each lie would be a waste of energy and time, which we believe is exactly what these people want. It is a smoke-and-mirrors attempt to distract voters from the facts and true issues facing the future EPUD Board. Voters should look past the negative and unfounded personal attacks and research the issues at hand and the true track records of those running. 

Ron Davis is a long time resident of Cottage Grove, a devoted husband, friend and grandfather with years of successful public service experience. He is a man of integrity and honesty. Ron served on the EPUD Board from 1981 to 1994. He is well aware of the issues facing EPUD and the problems that have plagued the utility in recent years. In particular, a lack of transparency and accountability has undermined EPUD's reputation as a progressive public utility.

Ron will help the EPUD Board return to the core values of innovation, efficiency, transparency and accountability. While we have no wish to denigrate his opponents, we are sure that Ron's commitment to excellence and integrity make him the best choice for the EPUD Board.

Jay & Valerie Frasier, Creswell

 

WRITE IN MULIER

When the residents of Lane County cast their ballots this year, they will be electing a judge to Position 7 of the Circuit Court District 2 through a write-in ballot. I would urge them to write in the name Vincent Mulier on their ballots. 

Mulier is a defense attorney currently serving the people of Eugene and I have had the honor of being one of his students at Portland State University where he teaches philosophy. I've taken two of the courses that he has taught, ™Philosophy of Sex and Love∫ and ™Morality of Punishment.∫ Through my conversations with him, I have found him to be a man of great principle with the highest of respect for the rights and the dignity of all persons and a thoughtful person who has put great deliberation into his moral stances. Consequently he is a strong friend of marriage equality, the environment and the rights of labor. 

There are more staid figures in this race, more conventional established ones, but there is no one more thoughtful, no one of greater integrity, and no one who represents such a bold and principled alternative to the judicial status quo as my good friend and professor. I hope that when the good people of Lane County cast their ballots this year, they do so by writing in Vincent Mulier as their choice for Circuit Court Judge, District 2, Position 7. He would be a tireless advocate for their rights and for our beautiful Oregon.

Michael Patrick Wright, Portland

 

POT IS VALID MEDICINE

The U.S. government granted a patent on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants, Patent #6630507, on Oct. 7, 2003. Cannabis is medicine that helps brain-injured folks. It's that simple. Vote ™yes∫ on Ballot Measure 80.

Joe Canfield, Eugene

 

MIXED-UP PRIORITIES

EW staff writer Shannon Finnell accuses Springfield City Councilor of making ™xenophobic and offensive∫ comments about Centro LatinoAmericano (™50 Shades of Betty,∫ 10/25). Then in the same piece she asserts that ™the demographics of the Eugene City Council will be ugly∫ if it ends up being mostly male or all-white.

I sometimes forget that such statements and attitudes are not offensive to liberals, those stalwart defenders of tolerance.

I've always felt that qualifications matter most for those in public office. I'll respectfully remind said liberals of what happened not long ago when Eugene hired two police officers primarily on the basis of their ethnicity instead of their qualifications.

 Jerry Ritter, Springfield

 

REAL CHANGE NEEDED

Yeah, hooray, Pat Driscoll. You couldn't have said it better [Letters, 10/25]. Voting for Obama is being an active participant in the farce of our two party, so-called democracy. Only when progressives decide to vote for a third or a fourth or a sixth party which truly represents them will there be any hope for real change. 

This time around, Jill Stein's platform deserves our votes, Barack Obama's doesn't.

Georgette Silber, Springfield

 

WAKE UP, CHARLIE!

EW's endorsements remind me of Charlie Brown trying to kick the football that Lucy is holding. Just like Charlie Brown, EW swings ever-optimistically, hoping the Democrats will be the progressive liberal saviors of EW's dreams. Wake up, Charlie Brown! Lucy will pull the football away at the very last moment and you'll be flat on your back.

EW's rote party-line endorsements are no less predictable than the R-G's and no more inspiring. Voters who want to cast their ballots for peace, sustainability and a genuine democracy do have choices in this election but you wouldn't know it by either the EW's or the R-G's endorsements.

I cannot vote for a presidential candidate who supports expanding coal and oil production and whose ™foreign policy∫ keeps winding up killing kids in Third World countries. I'm voting for Green Party presidential candidate and Harvard-educated activist Jill Stein. And I'm voting for Pacific Green Party candidate Seth Woolley for secretary of state because Oregon needs campaign finance reform and a secretary of state who will use his role on the State Land Board to properly steward our state's precious forests.

Blair Bobier, Corvallis

 

MISSING THE MUSIC

A recent EW featured a grand total of three musical event write-ups for the entire week, and the limited genres covered are predictable. I do not believe this reflects Eugene's abundant and diverse music scene, and it is a poor use of space. Over a dozen events could have been highlighted in this allotment of space with fewer, more direct wording. 

As a music producer and music fan, I do not believe the entertainment features live up to the Weekly's otherwise stellar commitment to inclusion, diversity, and fairness. Shorter and more creative features would be much more respectful of the mecca for the arts that Eugene is known for.

Mike Meyer, Eugene

 

ABUSING THE SYSTEM

I am an LCC student. It is very disturbing to watch what I call ™professional students∫ abuse the financial aid system. Yes, everyone has the right to further their education, but not to abuse it! Some may not see this as an issue, but I do. Financial aid is not to support drug habits or to party with. This leads me to the welfare system and how it can also be abused. If in the future the government starts drug testing everyone who is in the welfare system, then I believe financial aid should also do drug screenings. After all, it is government money!

Kim Myers, Eugene

 

ONE OF LIFE’S GIFTS

 One of the reasons pot should be legal is that the secrecy that prohibition brings to families and friends is very divisive. Parents and other relatives can't smoke around minors. They have to hide from all their relations as if they were criminals. This creates a mentality in all those involved that there is something bad and it should either be hidden or told to the authorities. 

Cops aren't doctors, and although they have the experience of being around pot users, they are not qualified to speak to its healing or harmful qualities. 

I don't smoke it, but I don't abstain because of moral reasons. I am very sensitive to it and it reacts badly with me. Even though I stay away from consuming it, I think it and for that matter all entheogens should be legal, its use legitimized and its quality kept pure. I mention entheogens, a word many may not be familiar with, to encapsulate all drugs (plants and chemicals) that have a spiritual value, hence the word theo or ™god.∫

 Let this new age of the water bearer that is coming upon us be one of enlightenment and unity. Let's free up our jails (the most populated per capita than any country in the world, even China). Let's use jails in the traditional sense for murderers, rapists, thieves and other people who harm others, not those that are trying to explore their minds and find religion. Hemp products would also be a great boon to our economy and the environment.

David Ivan Piccioni, Eugene

 

EDITOR'S NOTE: We always get a last-minute surge of election letters and we run as many in print as we can, but here are some letters that came in late, already appeared in other publications, or closely duplicate letters that we have already run. Also relegated to our web-only letters are some that are on national topics. We tend to give priority to local issues.

 

A GOOD ADVOCATE

I have worked in the Springfield-Eugene area for a local customer owned utility for more than 30 years. Over the years, I have attended many meetings and conferences with Katherine Schacht. These meetings and conferences she attended pertain to electric utility issues on local, regional and national levels and give insight to the issues facing the electric utilities. Katherine is very familiar with the issues facing EPUD on power costs and hiring a new general manager.

She is an advocate for her EPUD customers in her district. She is not afraid to ask questions about the operation of the utility or power costs. I think it is important for the elected officials to be able to ask questions freely since they are responsible for providing the overall direction of the utility.

I would strongly encourage EPUD customers in her district to vote for her in the upcoming election.

Robert C. Linahan, Beaverton

 

THE NON-DEBATE

Although I have voted previously for Betty Taylor to represent Ward 2 in the City Council, I recently starting hearing interesting things about Juan Carlos Valle, who is opposing her in next week's runoff. So I decided to attend the town hall meeting-style ™debate∫ in Washington Park sponsored by the Friendly Neighbors Association last Thursday.

I left the debate feeling frustrated, dispirited, and wondering whether the progressive attitudes that Eugeneans, especially residents of south Eugene, have been known to take pride in really exist or are just a myth. Valle did indeed offer many interesting proposals. He spoke repeatedly and enthusiastically about the need for a ™20-year vision∫ for our city and presented a list of more than a dozen items that the City Council should act on in the years ahead, including environmental issues that are of real concern to voters in Ward 2, such as finding a permanent way of protecting the headwaters of the Amazon Creek. He was also unfailingly gracious toward Taylor and declined to attack her even when he might have done so legitimately. 

Taylor not only did not ™debate∫ Valle, she never even made eye contact with him. She exuded an aura of entitlement and indeed at one point, in response to a question from a supporter, admitted that she simply ™could not understand∫ why Valle was running against her. In place of a laundry list of specific actions or programs like the ones Valle put forth, she offered a list of endorsements, mostly from fellow members of the City Council and other local politicians. 

When a questioner asked Ms. Taylor about her involvement in civil rights, the best she could do was to refer to a fair housing program she had supported in Springfield, Ill., before she moved to Eugene more than 30 years ago. 

Was Taylor's obvious disdain for Valle throughout the ™debate∫ simply the product of long (perhaps too long?) incumbency in her office? 

Is there any possibility that Valle's ethnicity (he speaks with a slight accent but is proud to share the story of his personal odyssey after having emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of 13) had anything at all to do with what went on – or didn't go on – that night? This is a question that ™dares not speak its name∫ in ™progressive Eugene,∫ but after witnessing last Thursday's non-debate at first hand, I feel that it must be asked.

Adam Horvath, Eugene

 

MY ROOKIE MISTAKE

Regarding Aaron Baker's claim [News Briefs, 10/25) about some of my filings or rather failure to file. I immediately contacted the Oregon secretary of state's office, discussed the missing filings and what options were possible. On Oct. 18, I met with Jennifer Hertel, the compliance specialist of the Elections Division for the secretary of state and formally filed the necessary paperwork for our LUCIANBLANSETTPAC account. In the process of the application, all deposits, contributors and disbursements were disclosed. Jennifer also notified me that I will receive a penalty for being late.

I would have liked to thank Aaron Baker for contacting the secretary of state's office regarding my rookie mistake, however the type of language that he used, with the purpose of detracting me personally and others, was scurrilous. The news media was notified of the filing error simultaneously with the secretary of state's office. It is fact that the Republican Party in Lane County is not happy with his tactics. Furthermore, his attempt to have ODOT remove my signs from ATR Land Management's [Greg Demers] property along Highway 126, caused the removal of a large display of Art Robinson's signs. I do support Art Robinson.

My campaign is made up of small business owners feeling the effects of socialistic policies that reduce freedoms for Americans. I am a small business owner myself, supporting a family in Oregon. My intentions for running for state representative are honest and sincere, and my efforts are to improve prosperity in District 8 which would result in higher employment for everyone. I want to thank the secretary of state's office for their gracious assistance, in particular Jennifer Hertel.

Lucian Blansett, Constitution Party Candidate, House District 8

 

DON∫T WASTE YOUR VOTE

Elections have consequences. A vote for one of the minor party candidates is essentially a vote for Romney/Ryan extremism. If 538 Nader supporters in Florida would have instead voted for Gore, the Iraq War would not have happened. Real people died because 538 people decided ideas were more important then practicality.

Presidential elections are not the time to cling to selfish idealism. A Romney win will result in the appointment of another extremist, conservative Supreme Court justice and a 6-3 conservative majority on the court. You can expect more rulings like Citizens United. The Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. States like Missouri will pass laws outlawing abortion even in the case of rape and incest.

President Obama never pretended to be an ultra-leftist. He ran as a moderate and has governed as a moderate. People attached their own unrealistic expectations to his election in 2008. Presidents don't pass laws, Congress does. Unfortunately many Obama supporters failed to vote in the 2010 Congressional elections and Tea Party fanatics took control of Congress. They refused to cooperate with Obama on anything. Please do not vote based on selfish, unrealistic idealism. Vote Obama in 2012.

Irene Henjum, Springfield

 

THE RIGHT VALUES

As this upcoming election is soon upon us, it is my concern that other environmental and social justice advocates in Lane County may not know about Vincent Mulier. He is running for Lane County Circuit Court Judge, District 2, Position 7. Although judges cannot create policy, it is especially important to choose people with the right values to sit on the bench. 

Mulier has a unique professional background being a philosophy professor as well as a public defense attorney. Holding a Ph.D. in philosophy from UO and a law degree from Willamette University, he teaches environmental ethics, business ethics and criminal justice ethics at Portland State. 

In his spare time, he devotes his efforts to promoting the restoration of traditional native salmon fisheries on the Columbia River, starting a nonprofit organization called Celilo Falls Restoration Fund. With far-reaching statewide interests, he has lived in Eugene since 1990 and his daughter a freshman at UO, showing his deep roots in the community. An equitable individual with a very inclusive perspective, his primary concern is the rights of young people and future generations, a healthy environment, and under-represented efforts and groups. 

Write in Vincent Mulier for Circuit Court Judge, District 2, Position 7.

Kim Carson, Monroe

 

MCGOVERN'S LASTING LEGACY

Last Sunday, we lost former U.S. Sen. George McGovern. Although many will recall his disastrous 1972 loss to Richard Nixon and his subsequent leadership in getting us out of Vietnam, his truly lasting legacy will be his war on hunger and malnutrition.

In 1977, following extensive public hearings, McGovern's Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs published Dietary Goals for the United States, a precursor to today's Dietary Guidelines. It marked the first time that a U.S. government document recommended reduced meat consumption. 

The meat industry forced the Committee to destroy all copies of the report and to remove the offending recommendation from a new edition. It then abolished the committee, voted McGovern out of office, and warned government bureaucrats never to challenge meat consumption again. (Food Politics by Marion Nestle, 2007).

Yet, after 35 years of studies linking meat consumption with elevated risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and other killer diseases, the MyPlate icon, representing USDA's current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, recommends vegetables, fruits, and grains, but never mentions meat, and shunts dairy off to one side. (www.choosemyplate.gov/). 

And it all started with one brave senator from South Dakota. 

Elijah Hennison, Eugene

 

ABUSED MONKEYS

Starting back in 17th century America, cannabis and hemp have served a strong function in American's lives. Many of the founding fathers grew cannabis and Thomas Jefferson and George Washington would often have a pipe at the end of their day. Up until the early 1900s, cannabis was a big part of Americans' lives. Cannabis was thrown out of the game completely in the early 1900s. Support from the logging industry, pharmaceutical companies and other big business eventually led to the complete illegalization of any cannabis for recreational or industrial purposes.

 Many may argue that cannabis has been shown to destroy brain cells and destroy lung function. However what they told you in all those after-school programs was wrong. Cannabis has been linked to some short term memory loss, that is a fact that both supporters and disbelievers of cannabis and it's medical purposes can agree on. However, the idea that cannabis kills brain cells, makes you unmotivated and damages your lungs are all very much falsified.

The study that had proven cannabis kills brain cells was done on chimps in a lab. These chimps were pumped full of pure THC through a gas mask. The masks didn't allow carbon dioxide to be released so the carbon dioxide that they released was just recycled back through and ultimately would do what? Cause brain damage. The claim marijuana making you slow and stupid has all been a result of abused monkeys. 

 So America, how free are we? Are we going to break free from the corporate chains? Are we going to rise up and do what's right for our country? Or are we going to lay back and take whatever big business throws at us? The time is now to make that choice. 

Zackahry Brownsell, Eugene

 

IT COULD BE VERSE

Obama-oh, bummer

Versus dumb and getting dumber!

Hopelessly chump-changed, he fought

One hand behind his back

This good cop did their bidding

He covered Wall Street's back

Droned of torture and of war

Surveillance state did push

Liberal's white guilt blinded them

Fooled by a Black Bush

Primary freak show scared us

before it turned to Mitt

Anti-science, anti-women

A prerequisite

Tea baggers sold out quick

When first they were a stormin'

Will Southern Baptists suck it up

to vote for a Mormon?

The puppet master laughed above

A dog and pony show commenced

It's not who you're voting for,

It's who you vote against!

Scott Fife, Eugene

 

GOOD LUCK, SUCKER

To all the people still filling out their ballots, especially those who feel very confident about voting for those very rich, business-first candidates, believing that they will look out for you. If you still believe those candidates will make sure that every American will be cared for, I ask you to think again.

 Ballot Measures 82 & 83 are great examples of how those very rich politicos will quickly turn their backs on the middle class and the poor after they are in office. Remember the multi-million dollar corporations that wanted to put The Grange casino in our state? How they went on and on for months about how they wanted to help Oregonians, wanted to provide needed jobs, and help make our schools great, oh and make our state a better place? It sure sounded like they cared, wanted to help, had taken a true interest in our state. Interestingly, as soon as they saw the financial bottom line; saw that they were losing money; that the polls were not looking good, they didn't stay and fight to make our state great. Nope, they cut their loses and got out of Dodge (Oregon). All they gave us was a quick good-bye, we don't care, good luck, sucker. 

Guess who else is going to turn their backs on the middle class, poor and needy? It's not about the 100 percent of Americans those millionaire politicos care about, it is only about their bottom line.

Please vote wisely.

Maureen McClain, Eugene

 

PRAY AWAY THE GAY?

November 2012: The month that could decide the fate of gays around the nation. One president for legalizing gay marriage, one president for abolishing gay rights in favor of his religious views. That's right folks: While Obama is all about love and equal rights, Romney is abolishing the right to love, all in the sake of God.

This is likely in any situation relating to the Bible and preaching of God. The book of Leviticus states that a man shall not lay with another man as he does his lady, which has been interpreted as homosexuality as a sin. Not only that, but Leviticus also states that you cannot eat shrimp, wear a shirt made of two types of fabric, trim the sides of your beards, get piercing, or even have tattoos, among other common things in our society.

In my humble opinion, to pick parts of Leviticus to mock and harass people as they are is a sin in itself. In today's modern society, the Bible's rules and claims simply cannot be followed; who is to stop a woman from her monthly time, and where can you find a shirt made of one single fabric? Let's face it, Leviticus can't be taken seriously anymore, and, quite frankly, using it as a statement against gays is like using a car as a statement against vegans. It just doesn't comply. 

So, face it. It's impossible to pray away the gay.

Enya Smith, North Eugene High School

 

BUYING OUR LEADERS

I keep asking: Who is giving money to politicians? Why can't we see who is donating? Why are the records hidden?

Look people, thanks to Citizens United massive international corporations now have the legal right to give unlimited monies to the leaders of our country but they don't have to tell you who is giving politicians these monies. It's kinda an important thing to know.

It takes at least $500 million for a president to be elected. I was a traveling door-to-door salesman, I have seen 38 states and three countries. I have met tens of thousands of people. I have met honest, hard working, decent, fair Americans who I would love to see have a chance to run this country. But you will never hear of them because they will never see $500 million.

Why are we allowing this? Why are we giving massive international corporations the right and ability to buy our leaders? What are these corporations expecting to get back?

Are we supposed to believe corporations have our best interests at heart? What would a kid living in a cancer cluster say about that? I bet Erin Brockovich could answer that question.

Once a governmental body begins to vote itself power and treasure that government always fails.

Who are we voting for, corporate puppets or honest Americans?

Charles Echols, Springfield

 

THE MESS WE'VE MADE

I was raised in a conservative household – that is, in a family home built by my own carpenter father who believes in fair taxes, small central government and people's rights to freely pursue their version of the American Dream. That party line has been hijacked and radicalized for reasons that are beyond the comprehension of my small-town mentality – knowing and sharing with neighbors, supporting local businesses and building community through meaningful conversation and action. I guess I'm old-school for still valuing those things, and I'm barely 25 years old! 

I feel a deep sadness when I consider our current national and global situation. Look at this mess we've made of such an abundant and giving planet, the only one we've ever called home. 

I am a level-headed person, not quick to act unless I see blatant injustice. Well, I don't know if I've asked for it or what, but I'm feeling more and more called to action everyday and less and less empowered to change anything all the while. I see blatant injustice all over ™the system∫ and yet most of the people I know are good quality people. How can this be? 

I don't know what to do and I wish we could all just have some honest conversations, but it seems like the ™big boys∫ are playing on a whole other field – and we're not invited. 

Sarah Johnson, Eugene

 

IMMIGRATION AS GATEWAY

Should we allow immigrants into our country? Are these people taking away my chance at a job? How will I support my family? How can I compete with people who will work for less benefits and money? Is it fair to us Americans who have been here for such a long time? People, at some point most of us were immigrants coming across the Atlantic Ocean in search of riches, safety and most of all, freedom. So we all need to just take a step back and realize that giving people chances can also create more good changes for us as a united nation.

Just look around. Latin, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Asian and so many more cultures have given us new ways to cook, dance, create music, and have given us different languages. The spoken languages that spread throughout our world make it so human beings can interact with each other.

Immigrants give us lots of things and because of immigrants we have more culture in the U.S. And as George Washington said, ™Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.∫ We need other countries and their culture to experience new things that may interest us and give us the passion and courage to do those things.

Alex Wirrick-Coad, North Eugene High School

 

REAL DIPLOMACY

 In last week's debate, both President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney said that they support diplomatic negotiations with Iran and want to avoid a war if possible. This is a sane attitude. Unfortunately, too many member of Congress haven't gotten that message. This past weekend, Sen. Lindsay Graham of South Carolina even declared ™the time for talking is over.∫ 

I hope the rest of them don't think that. We already have staggering debt from the last war with Iraq. I hope whoever wins this election supports real diplomacy with Iran. War never solves anything. And I hope that Sens. Merkley and Wyden support restarting serious negotiations to prevent war and to prevent a nuclear armed Iran. Watch, though. I'll bet somebody proposes legislation that puts roadblocks in the way of diplomacy!

Nancy Shinn, Coquille