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Letters to the Editor: 5-17-2012

NOT A PERFECT MATCH

The Capstone project will be good for Eugene, even though it is not a perfect match. The Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) — the project will be built in the downtown neighborhood  — has listened to literally hundreds of people. We believe that we understand the issues. As we would hope, the Capstone people have also listened carefully.

To date, concerns about most of these issues have been addressed directly. Agreements have been reached about behavior standards and neighborhood accountability, environmental impacts (there will be several opportunities for using “green” forms of transportation) and concerns of Olive Plaza residents.

DNA expressed a concern about 1,200 people joining the neighborhood all at once, and Capstone agreed to build the project in two phases to reduce the numbers.

Agreements have been reached, and conversations ongoing, with the Eugene City Council, city staff and Capstone.

For a list of some of the agreements already reached, go to the DNA website at www.dnaeugene.org 

We are looking forward to meeting and working with our new neighbors when they arrive in September 2013. Welcome to our backyard!

David Mandelblatt, Chair, Downtown

  Neighborhood Association


HAIRY ONES UNITE

OK, it’s time to stop kidding around here and get serious in this hirsute pursuit. This is a call out to those particularly gifted in the facial hair department, you know who you are! I am asking those who are considering an Oprah makeover, a clean-cut change to STOP where you are, drop the razor, put away the shaving cream, no running with scissors and use extreme caution around the fire circle. Let it grow let it grow let it grow! We are as we speak planning a beard/ moustache contest/ fashion show at this year’s Eugene Celebration. It is official, the Eugene Celebration folks are behind it, so lets’ get excited, hairy ones unite.

We are planning a bearded parade entry, so even if you don’t wish to compete in the event come join us for the parade, it’ll be a hoot! I hear some other Oregonians similarly hirsute may come and join us: COMBS, which stands for Central Oregon Moustache and Beard Society. In other words some hairy guys from Bend, Portland and beyond.

So if this sounds fun to you please stay tuned in to the Eugene Celebration website and also its Facebook site. Details are being researched and worked out still. This fall Out On A Limb Gallery at 191 E. Broadway is going to act as Beard Headquarters. What do you think a local beard group should be called? Perhaps it is fitting to have a local Beard King as we already have a local Slug Queen. 

Tim Boyden, Eugene


EARTH DAY TRASHED

It was so nice to be able and enjoy the outdoors on Earth Day weekend. We are lucky to live in a location so close to places to hike, particularly Spencer’s Butte. However, I was dismayed when I arrived at the top of Spencer’s Butte only to find it covered in litter. Soda and beer cans, water bottles, snack wrappers and of course cigarette butts were everywhere I looked. It blows my mind that people are somehow able to carry these items up the trail, but are too lazy and disrespectful to take them back down. Treat your own property however you want, but don’t bask in the glory of public nature only to trash it when you’re done. I have a feeling some of this recent litter was left on Earth Day, which makes me even more angry. 

Brooke Lusk, Eugene


NOT A WARM GUN

 In last week’s EW (5/10), Andy Valentine expressed his joy at shooting guns in the woods of Oregon, in his article “Happiness is a Warm Gun?” He came from England, where most guns are banned, and was amazed at how you “can literally drive out beyond city limits with a borrowed gun and start firing.” He states, “The sound of a pop echoing through the valley is something that every American should hear once in his life,” after shooting an assault rifle.

I don’t share his new fascination. I grew up in rural Arkansas, where the year-round “pop” of gunfire was a constant reminder of how gun-happy our country is. I’m no stranger to guns, having shot quite a few as a teen. Shooting is a rite of passage in that region. But my enthusiasm was a bit tainted when I sometimes heard my neighbor’s bullets slashing through trees over my head, or when my 14-year-old friend committed suicide with his father’s weapon, or when, at 18, I was six feet away when one boy fatally shot another in the head. Perhaps Mr. Valentine hasn’t been in the states long enough to understand that 110,000 shootings a year can make guns a little less “happy?”

Baldr Odinson, Eugene


OCCUPIERS, TAKE HEED

Interesting story (5/3) about the two moms who were pepper sprayed. Occupy protesters need to be aware that it is a different world they are protesting in now, as compared to last fall. The government has been busy crafting new laws to deal with dissidents in the US. Protesters should familiarize themselves with the following.

For background information: Civilian Inmate Labor Program, Emergency Centers Establishment Act.

And since last fall: In December, Kellogg Brown Root called for FEMA Camp Service Activation Bids; the National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law by Obama on Dec. 31, 2011; and the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act, signed into law by Obama in February.

Taken together, the government now has far greater power to deal with protesters, so act accordingly. 

Jim Showker, Eugene


DENY THE REQUEST

We applaud the recent denial of a large speculative application for water rights on the McKenzie River. The application from the Willamette Water Co. did not identify committed customers for the water or show how the withdrawal would comply with land use laws. The company also has challenged some recommended protection for fish. The administrative law judge’s conclusions that the application did not meet legal requirements and that granting the permit could be detrimental to the public interest might be expected to end the matter.

However, the Oregon Water Resources Commission is not required to heed the judge’s decision and the Water Resources Department had earlier recommended that the permit be granted.

The League of Women Voters of Lane County is requesting the governor and our local legislators to encourage the department and commission to deny the Willamette Water Co. request. We hope others who share our interest in responsible management will do the same. Our water is our most precious public resource and granting rights for its use should be carefully considered to provide the greatest benefit for all. It should not be used simply as a commodity for profit through speculation.

Susan Tavakolian & Suzanne Boyd, Co-Presidents, LWV of Lane County


MORE LIES AND LOGGING

Rep. Peter DeFazio’s plan to privatize and liquidate half the federally managed O&C forest is really just a huge re-election gift to corporate timber without securing future old growth or future generations — a gift to the same corporations who are already allowed to export jobs and a third of Oregon’s annual timber harvest while paying a pittance in taxes.

Very little of the profit from logging the public’s high-value O&C timber would return to the public. Most of it would go to the timber corporations who control our elected officials and, indirectly, the agencies. This latest giveaway of valuable public forest smacks of the Oregon land fraud scandal in the early 1900s. Subject of the famous Looters of the Public Domain, Oregon’s elected officials granted millions of federal acres to some of the same timber companies returning for seconds and thirds today.

Greedy timber barons and their hirelings won’t stop with half the O&C forests. They’ll peck away at the other half and then what’s left of the high-value Forest Service forests. Oregon is the last stop in the timber industry’s systematic looting of America’s public domain. Will Oregonians wise up or continue to be duped and lose their great forest inheritance?

Samantha Chirillo, Eugene


LOSING PROPOSITION

Regarding “Goosed,” Roy Keene’s commentary (4/12) on one of the timber sales in McKenzie Bridge, there’s another lesser known dark horse riding out of the Forest Service’s McKenzie District stable: the Horse Creek Timber Sale, of huge and equal or greater concern to the residents of Horse Creek Road, McKenzie Bridge and Lane County.

Log trucks are already pounding the pavement this spring, from the private sale that has clear-cut a large section of the north side of King Road and one has to wonder how this private company is making money on this sale considering the current price of gas and board feet. But, clearly, given the price the Forest Service finds acceptable, it’s a losing proposition for everyone: Forest Service, taxpayers, local residents and not least, the trees.

A notice was sent out on May 19, 2011 announcing a 30-day review and comment period of the Horse Creek Sale, though where and who saw it is anyone’s guess. I only discovered it recently while perusing the Save the McKenzie website. 

The Horse Creek Project intends to cut 2,043 acres comprising 27 million board feet (another 7,000 trucks) and includes 940 acres of “heavy” commercial thinning.

Anyone who has had the good fortune and pleasure of exploring the Horse Creek drainage knows what an incredible place this is. When most of the pristine rainforests on the planet are being decimated on a daily basis, do we have an even greater responsibility to protect this amazing life sustaining forest intact.

 Lia Gladstone, McKenzie Bridge


OCCUPY PARVIN

Developer Greg Demers has been in the news recently. Spend a little Google time and check out his track record. He has done well for himself: a lot of land and timber, property development and more, all quite legal of course. 

Demers’ methods of acquiring wealth are emblematic of those that gave rise to the Occupy Movement. The movement is relatively quiet now and many will prefer to dismiss it as a minor historical footnote. Perhaps the movement’s original scale was too large. What if the Occupy movement focused on more local, more tangible issues like Parvin Butte, where state and local regulations have stopped working for a great many of the people whom they are supposed to serve? 

Kevin Reilly, Eugene