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Letters to the Editor: 7-12-2012

SKEWED PRIORITIES

The state of Oregon, local municipalities and Lane County allocated $2.8 million in taxpayer dollars on security for a track meet. Yet we have no long-term solution for accommodating the homeless or preventing teachers from being laid off. Why is it that public funding is available for sport events without question? Its a sad commentary on the misplaced priorities that fail to address the social needs of the most vulnerable citizens in our community. 

Pat Reilly, Eugene


JOINING THE BOYCOTT

I was pleased to read EW’s important cover story June 28 on drone technology promoting CodePink’s Medea Benjamin and her new book, Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control. Her presentation at Cozmic was excellent, and for those unable to attend it was filmed for later viewing on Community TV as was Jack Dresser’s interview with her filmed earlier that day. 

I also admire Benjamin and CodePink for their activism in promoting Palestinian human rights. Benjamin served on the steering committee and CodePink was a key organizer for the 2009 Gaza Freedom March where over 1,500 activists converged in Egypt and attempted to enter Gaza to bring relief supplies and protest the ravages of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead assault on its one-year anniversary. 

Benjamin and CodePink have also joined the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign against Israel with energy and imagination. A “stolen beauty” boycott action held on the 2010 International BDS Day led by Benjamin against AHAVA cosmetic products made in the occupied West Bank using stolen Palestinian resources can be seen at http://tinyurl.com/7yp5c2a

And for the past two years CodePink has organized conferences and demonstrations against the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) at their spring conferences in Washington, D.C. 

The connection? Benjamin explained that Israel is the world’s #2 producer of drones, used against the captive Palestinians of Gaza.

Mariah Leung, co-director, Al-Nakba Awareness Project, Eugene


BELOVED SPORT

Last year, the Eugene Disc Golf Club, the city and community members made great progress towards installing a permanent disc golf course within the boundaries of Alton Baker Park. As the summer heat is finally upon us, I have to wonder, where is this much needed course?! 

My family and I simply cannot wait for this course to arrive! We feel that a centralized disc golf park next door to the UO — which began the Northwest’s first collegiate team — that is within bicycle riding distance for so many community members is perfect for green Eugene. Furthermore, a disc golf course in Alton Baker would be a wellness boon for a diverse population of the community, especially college students and UO staff members.

On top of the health benefits, disc golfers will add to the positive presence of individuals in Alton Baker Park. Better yet, having a centralized course will increase the opportunities for the UO and Eugene disc golf clubs to fund raise and support our community through our beloved sport. 

We sincerely hope that our city leaders recognize the great value that disc golf courses have brought to communities all across the globe. We implore our city leaders to see this project through to completion as soon as possible. I encourage all of you to contact your city councilor and do the same! 

Mat Beecher, Eugene


COAL DECEPTIONS

The rush to export more coal is based on two lies. First, the claim we have so much coal we can export it even though coal has peaked in the U.S. on an energy basis. Richard Heinberg’s books Blackout and The End of Growth contain some of the details. 

Second, the illusion that shale gas fracking has given us a 100-year supply of natural gas and therefore we can shift from coal to gas for electricity. Fracking wells are not only toxic, they also rapidly deplete, much faster than conventional gas wells. What will the coal and gas industries do when the shale gas bubble bursts, likely during Obama’s second term?

One group rallying environmentalists against the alleged threat of coal exports is Sierra Club. It was revealed earlier this year that Sierra took $26 million from Chesapeake Energy, a leading gas “fracking” company, to fund its “Beyond Coal” campaign. 

I’ve used solar electricity for more than two decades; it is great but it’s not going to replace our current consumption.

Environmental groups that claim seamless transition is possible from coal, oil, natural gas and uranium to a renewable energy future have ignored depletion of non-renewables needed to build solar panels and wind turbines. They also urge us to support politicians who promote highway expansion, clearcuts and continued wars as long as we get token gestures that do little to protect the planet. Instead, they should teach people to grow food to reduce energy consumption.

Mark Robinowitz, www.oilempire.us/peak-coal.html, Eugene


EPUD MIS-DIRECTION

In a Register-Guard article June 27 Emerald PUD Board Director Patti Chappell, whose phone address is outside the district, was quoted as saying “The world’s going to hell in a handbasket.” After observing this board for the last year and having been a board member, it appears that the majority of directors are not directing, but following the Lambe. That would be Frank Lambe, the general manager, who is driving the handbasket without adequate direction from the majority of the board.

On May 24 at an Emerald PUD coffee chat, our local elected board member Bruce Pilling stated that Emerald was better off now than it had ever been before. I asked for details to support this statement. None were provided.

On May 8 at the Emerald Board meeting former congressman Jim Weaver stated that he felt that there was too much secrecy and everyone should know if we are making or losing money. Also at the meeting was the annual audit. The auditors said it was a clean audit and strong year in earnings with available cash, at the end of the year, of $11,392,961. It was so good that the employees were given a 3.25 percent raise.

 Now I read, Emerald is projected to loss $1 million in 2012, and the Lambe solution is to raise rates again and reduce service by eliminating 10 jobs. It would make much more economic sense to change the driver of the handbasket and a couple of the mis-directors in the next election.

Ron Davis, Cottage Grove


GREENHILL KILLS

Anne Harris’ claim [letters, 6/28] that Greenhill does not kill animals with treatable conditions is totally untrue. Greenhill kills some ringworm and some neonatal kittens. After years of denying they killed any treatable animals at all, a current Greenhill employee admitted in an open forum on Facebook they do.

Greenhill claims to be No Kill. The killing of kittens and healthy senior animals, the killing of animals with treatable skin and dental conditions, and killing healthy feral cats exclude them from that honor.



 

They are not transparent. When asked by an advocate to release copies of the files on five animals they recently killed, their response was “We don’t have to.” Hardly the response of an open, transparent and accountable facility, is it? People with nothing to hide, hide nothing. Greenhill’s numbers from 2010-11 have a suspiciously large number of “owner requests” for euthanasia. Owner requests don’t count in the calculation of their live release rate. These deaths are not questioned by anyone, they should be.


Greenhill does some good. However, they “cherry pick” the animals they let into their program. They import animals from California when there are the same number of animals locally that need help. It is past time for compassionate, honest, No Kill leadership at Greenhill. I for one will not drink the Kool-Aid and believe anything they say; neither should anyone else.

No Kill is the way.

Tamara Barnes, No Kill Lane County, Eugene


PUMP THAT RIDE

I recently read in the news that New Jersey has added self-serve pumps at gas stations. This leaves us as the last state that doesn’t allow it. I think it’s time we joined the rest of the U.S.

I’m not asking to do away with full service, I’m just looking for an option for those of us who would take advantage of the speed and efficiency of self serve. 

The arguments I hear from my fellow Oregonians don’t quite hold up in my book. Self serve will be cheaper, the elderly and handicapped will still get the service they need, employment loss will be minimal as it seems most attendants are already overworked and the “dangers” are also minimal with today’s technology.

It seems the other states get by just fine. Besides, what kind of state would we be if we offered fireworks for purchase roadside but not gas you could pump yourself?

Glenn Leonard, Eugene