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Letters to the Editor: 7-19-2012

ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE

Imagine the lonesome howl of a wolf on a starry Eastern Oregon night. Does it curdle your blood or inspire you? Do you feel hate or love? Do you want to kill the wolf or protect it? These are the extremes and politics of our human-wolf relationship.

Characteristic of hate, anti-wolf arguments are based on misunderstanding and lies. Ranchers decry wolf depredation of their publicly subsidized cattle and sheep. Hunters claim more wolves means fewer deer and elk for them to kill. The truth is that livestock depredation by wolves is statistically insignificant and, thanks in part to the wolves, deer and elk populations are healthy. There is enough for everyone if everyone could learn to share. But for some it seems there is never enough.

Congress has just reduced federal protections that barely allowed wolves to recover from the brink of extinction. Now states are killing wolves by the hundreds. If you think this is bad policy, then get active.

I may never hear a wild wolf howl. But I can imagine it. And I can imagine each of us doing something today to ensure the howl of the wolf, the call of the wild, forever.

Benton Elliott, Eugene


NEUTER FOR NO KILL

I was taken aback by the title and tone of Tamara Barnes’ letter about Greenhill Humane Society’s euthanasia policy.

Every time someone attacks Greenhill — or any other organization — for doing the heartbreaking work of cleaning up after a throwaway society that thoughtlessly buys, breeds and discards animals, the puppy millers, breeders and irresponsible guardians who create the homeless animal overpopulation crisis get off scot-free. As a dedicated animal rights activist myself, I know that the only way to a “no-kill” nation is to stop bringing more puppies and kittens into a world that does not offer them the chance for a home. Pointing a finger at Greenhill does nothing to help the animals suffering today and won’t stop animals from having to be euthanized tomorrow. The only way to stop euthanasia is mandatory spaying and neutering and a full-scale ban on breeding — a fact that Barnes’ letter, unfortunately, ignored.

Curtis Taylor, Eugene


BACH OFF, NIKE

Thank you, OBF, for not allowing Nike to get its Mitts on you. We would’ve had to endure The St. Matthew Knight Passion, otherwise.

Jeff Albertson, Springfield


EXILED

When people marginalize those that cause them discomfort — especially when it is done harshly and/or unfairly — it endangers the shunned individual to harassment of all kinds like isolation, rape, kidnapping, getting pimped out, stalking, getting robbed, home invasion, mental abuse, assault, etc., etc. Think about this before you ever marginalize anyone. If it can happen to one person, it can happen to ALL OF US. Thinking you are immune to marginalization is only going to make you more vulnerable. Just saying … 

Nicola Noetic, exiled in Eugene, Oregon 


DEATH TO OYSTERS

Like the three proverbial monkeys who see, hear or speak no evil, those who deny that man is causing global warming are becoming the very definition of the word “denier.”

They deny the 41 million acres of trees killed by overwintering pine beetles. They deny the 4,000 heat records set this year. They deny the record 35-1 ratio of heat to cold records. They deny that the waters of Washington State, “the oyster capital of the world,” are too corrosive for baby oysters to survive. They deny the 97 percent of climate scientists who concur that humans are a significant contributing factor to global climate change. They deny the Koch brothers-funded study that agreed with the scientists. They even deny the CEO of Exxon, Rex Tillerson, who told stockholders that man-made global warming is real and caused by burning fossil fuels.

The harsh reality is that man is changing the climate of the Earth. Covering your eyes and ears and speaking evil of those who don’t deny reality won’t make the truth go away, no matter how inconvenient it is. Extinction is forever.

That’s the harsh reality.

Michael T. Hinojosa, Drain


ATTACK ON BASIC RIGHTS

Workers’ rights are human rights! Despite the rhetoric from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and the Republicans, their attack on the teachers and other state workers is not a sign of strong leadership. It is an attack on basic human rights of the working people of Wisconsin. Article 23 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, signed by U.S. and most of the countries in the world, states, “Everyone has the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of his interests.”

Taking away the collective bargaining rights of workers, who of their free will formed an association in order to gain fair pay, health care for their families, pensions for their old age and decent working conditions is a blow to every working person in this country. 

As a country that has supported human rights struggles throughout the world our credibility has been badly damaged. How can we tell other countries to honor their citizens’ human rights when a governor of a state and the Republican candidate for president have carried out and endorsed a violation of a basic human right here in America? 

All workers, unionized or not, deserve to be treated fairly in the workplace. And at a time when money equals political power, working people need a strong organization that will promote their interests in the political arena. 

Pete Mandrapa, Eugene


LACK OF VISION

I’m truly unhappy about the sale of the property and gift of millions in tax breaks to Capstone. I think this decision was made hastily, benefiting outside developers. It feels like the UO has been changing the demography of our community through its “needs.” My concern is that this will tip the balance of in-town residents toward a larger population of part-timers; ones who are less invested in the image and long-term health of the city’s core. It is now seemingly a done deal, one for the history books to gauge, a social experiment in the making. 

I’m glad to have that piece of property renewed but feel the choice of tenants was “low-hanging fruit.” I am one who believes that there needs to be more mixed income housing for retiring seniors, now downsizing and looking for sustainable housing in town, year round.

I recently read that Ashland was in the top 10 U.S. communities for retirees and I’m sure that’s because there is a there there. Albany is renovating its downtown to support the wonderful new carousel and the museum to house it. We have historic opportunities to focus on along with cultural organizations that are growing. I know there are many reasons that our growth has stumbled over the years; I just wish we could get a “big picture” of ourselves rather then growing by accident. There must be some new juice in this town to help us create some new vision.

 How about a “vision box” at the Eugene Celebration? Ask for concepts or brands. I know how hard it is for Eugene to come together on anything, but for this old town hippy, hope springs eternal. My entry is Somewhere Under the Rainbow.

Martha Snyder, Eugene