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Letters to the Editor: 5-31-2012

CLEARCUTS STILL HAPPEN

I’ve met quite a few people in Eugene who don’t realize that logging companies in Oregon still clear-cut on public land … well, they do. Last year, Governor Kitzhaber and the State Land Board approved a management plan that nearly doubles the annual clear cut of the Elliott State Forest. This year we stand to lose another 850 acres of one of our last intact coastal rainforests. 

While Kitzhaber may claim that this increase in logging benefits public schools, he has also admitted that money from logging state lands is “a drop in the bucket” for Oregon public school funding. Clear cutting ancient forests for “a drop in the bucket”? So not worth it. 

To quote Utah Phillips, “The Earth is not dying, it is being killed. And the people killing it have names and addresses.” The people killing the Elliott State Forest are: John Kitzhaber, Ted Wheeler and Kate Brown. 

Grace Warner, Eugene

 

END OF GROWTH

Gas prices in Oregon now average $4.21 a gallon, the highest they’ve been since July 2008 and are between $4.18 at Costco and $4.59 at HP Car Wash around Eugene. We are still reeling from what these prices did to our economy back in ‘08, with the SGS unemployment rate still at 22 percent, and the Eurozone still crumbling, with Greece prepared to leave the Euro.

What we are witnessing is “The End Of Growth,” which is also the name of two new books about peak oil by ecologist Richard Heinberg and economist Jeff Rubin.  All major recessions experienced in the U.S. after the second world war followed sudden oil price hikes, first in 1973 and 1979, then in 1980, when prices reached $40 per barrel, and oil consumption fell from 17 million barrels a day down to 15.  The rise to $147 in July ’08 was half again higher even adjusted for inflation, and sent oil use collapsing from 21 million barrels a day down to 17, and it is still there! World oil production has not grown at all in seven years, and according to Robert Hirsch, the plateau will end and long decline will begin in 0 to 3 years, and “there will be chaos.”

World exports have declined by 5 million barrels a day since 2005, and more of this is going to other importers.  The U.S. probably won’t import any oil at all by 2020.  We need to reverse population and economic growth.

Zachary Moitoza, Eugene

 

GUN OPEN CARRY

There is no more staunch a defender of second amendment rights than yours truly. However, with those rights come responsibility and common sense. The guy who insists on open carry in a downtown setting [EW Blogs 5/23] exhibited little or none of either.

Sure — he was exercising his legal right, but I have to ask: Why? If he feels he needs to carry a weapon he should get a concealed carry license. They’re insanely easy to get in Oregon — not like the old days where you had to actually demonstrate competence with your weapon and an understanding of the laws and consequences.

You asked, who came off looking better in that encounter? Definitely the two police officers.

 Jerry Ritter, Springfield

 

SMART METER RISK

In spite of poll data indicating opposition to smart meters being installed in the EWEB service area, the “public” utility seems to be going full-steam ahead.

Apparently people are going to have to make it clear that this is not something wanted. The logic of even some EWEB commissioners is “Well, I have wi-fi exposure, so I cannot object to more RF microwave exposure.” This position makes no sense — actually, I had dental X-rays the other day, and that does not mean I want more today for no good reason.

Here is a way to picture the risk not evaluated. If installed, all the meters must “talk” — a group of more than 50 houses sending signals to the node house, which downloads to EWEB. Googlemap your neighborhood, to the resolution of 50 or more homes. Imagine a line going from each home to one selected one. Notice the intersections and heavy coverage. That is RF microwave smog, going constantly about 6 feet off the ground. These meters will give you that unknown exposure, and in return you get TOD — time of day pricing. That means use the most electricity at night or you get a much bigger bill. We should expect more from “our” public utility than a $33 million cost, unknown increases in RF microwave radiation and a bigger bill. Call EWEB for your commissioners’ name and number.

Michael Lee, Eugene

 

TO THE RESCUE

I wanted to compliment the excellent response time and conduct of two officers from EPD and the Cahoots crew who responded to my 911 call on behalf of a woman and her friend near the UO campus last week. I was flagged down as I was driving near the Bijou by a screaming woman standing over a second fallen woman who was apparently having a medical crisis on the front lawn of the Bijou. 

My call to 911 lasted approximately three minutes, at which point EPD officers Stewart and Dewitt arrived, at around the same time a Cahoots response team got there. The 911 operator was also very helpful initially in conveying instructions to me on how to make certain the unconscious woman was breathing and in a safe body position while awaiting the emergency personnel, but the officers got the situation under immediate control upon their arrival, dismissing myself and the growing throng of onlookers, and took to providing care for the young woman and calming her friend in advance of the ambulance.

I’m a frequent critic of EPD (at least in my social circles), so I feel obliged to recognize good work from two officers and Cahoots as first responders.

Connor Salisbury, Eugene

 

GIVE BEES A CHANCE

I am a beekeeper and I live in the River Road area. My bees fly up to five miles in search of pollen and nectar and that pretty much covers all of Eugene.

With all the new information coming out how harmful pesticides are my greatest fear is my bees will travel to one of my neighbor’s yards that are using these chemicals and poison my bees.

They have proven Roundup is not inert. It and other harmful pesticides are being found in our water, food and the air we breathe. These pesticides are wreaking havoc on our environment and poisoning our country.

As a beekeeper I offer my services freely but it comes at a huge cost to my bees. If the pesticides don’t kill them immediately then the bees bring the poison home and poison their family slowly.

My bees are in your yard working hard to pollinate your plants, veggies and fruit trees. I hope you all respect that fact and treat them kindly. Remember, we all eat the honey and it is amazing. 

We are all stewards of the land and it is so important we protect the ones we love. The next time you see a bumblebee, honeybee or any other flying insect remember without their pollination services we would all perish. 

For the sake of all future generations I am asking my neighbors to all take a stand and stop the sale and use of pesticides. Give bees a chance. 

Doug Hornaday, Eugene

 

STUDENT DISCONNECT

This is a call for reform of the Eugene city government, specifically of the City Council and mayoral positions. We currently have eight council members (twice that of Portland), yet as a student of the UO, I feel deeply disconnected from the city government and that we the students are under represented and undervalued by the city.

The police force rarely solves a robbery; it patrols the streets looking to give parking violations and citations to underage drinkers and looking to outside investment to revitalize the city’s downtown. The lack of good police work has created a dependency of the city on the funds received from the continued issuing of petty crime citations, while also inflating the police’s crime stats. 

In addition, the parking meters near campus make a fortune, but don’t make sense when discussing social equity, as I see no parking meters in the residential areas of south Eugene. The tension between students and police, combined with little incentive for students to stay in Eugene past graduation, goes against the social equity and sustainable economic development that all the City Council members and mayor have listed under their “special interests and concerns” on the city website. 

I challenge the city to prove me wrong. Mayor Kitty Piercy, show me otherwise, because until then we will continue to be misrepresented in government, with no real long-term investments in the city and the college students will continue to pay the price for the city. 

Aidan R. Smith, Eugene

 

NO MILITARY SOLUTION

Its a crime, not a reason for war. The proper response is policing open dialog with extremists and limited military. The Taliban is seeing their blunder in associating with al Qaeda, and in the past have wanted a settlement, but our precondition requirements have stopped talks. We need to stop our preconditions and start talking.

To those who say negotiations with an extremists group is wrong I say the Taliban did not attack us, that was al Qaeda. Certainly the Taliban is bad but they are only a little worse than the Karzi government that we support. Its called moderating their behavior. Any settlement would require A) and end to support of al Qaeda, B) human rights, C) power sharing with other factions. 

The conflict could be demilitarized by Muslim peacekeepers from the Philippine, Indonesian or Egyptian armies. It’s in the Koran: Help other Muslims, who could be trained by us, until all foreign troops are not needed. Our non-Muslim force is unintentionally pushing people into the hands of the Taliban. 

The Iraq surge success, if you can call it that, was more a change on the ground; the awakening movement Sunni tribes siding with us, for their benefit (they are not pro-American), brutal ethnic cleansing success, the battles for neighborhoods mostly completed, the surge was not responsible. The surge in Afghanistan is a different beast; there is nothing in place like there is in Iraq. 

Lastly there is no military solution to the conflict. If we spent 80 percent on pacification helping civilians, 20 percent on military, we could maybe have a 50-50 chance of success. We are spending 94 percent on the military — who can only move in and control an area for a short time.

Stuart Larsen, Newport