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"Guest Viewpoint"

Charlotte Behm

 et al.

A chorus of bird songs filled the air on a recent stop at HAL-BA (“downstream”), one of the new Kalapuya Talking Stones that will be dedicated at a public ceremony on June 8. The beauty of the Whilamut Natural Area provided a peaceful place to reflect upon the incredible progress Springfield and Eugene have made in honoring the Kalalpuyas.

High cheekbones, even tans, long hair, perfect teeth, small feet, long eyelashes. The list goes on and on. What comes to your mind when I say beauty?

My mother, Virginia Eivers Gorton, was raised in The Rose City amid Portland’s lush beauty, but her garden was always more of a dream. While she delighted in the natural beauty of flowers, that love never extended to actual hands in the soil. If truth be told, perhaps the interest in gardens was more my interest and although I championed the joys of gardening through the years, she was always otherwise engaged.

An open letter to President Obama: I am a disabled American worker who uses state approved marijuana for medical reasons. I am offended that you choose to consider me a criminal.

The proposed city fee is the subject of much debate in our community. Many community members remain undecided. Voters deserve some clarity about the proposed fee and a response to the critics who say it is not needed.

Recently I volunteered at the Lane Peace Center’s annual Peace Symposium, “Rise to End Gender Violence!” Women's empowerment is essential to cultural progress. And violence toward or objectification of women impedes progress. Yet, I also feel compelled to stand up for that other gender, men. 

Having worked in two jails and one federal prison, I understand the importance of adequate institutional staffing for safety, security and efficiency. But in conjunction with deliberations about whether to support a tax levy to increase jail funding, I believe citizens would do well to contact their county commissioners about how any short-term funding solution should be coupled with a plan to rein in correctional costs that otherwise will undoubtedly only increase over time.

Recent experience suggests that once they understand the true implications, 4J parents and students have grave concerns about implementation of the 3x5 schedule at North Eugene, South Eugene and Sheldon high schools, and believe it should be delayed for at least a year or two, pending review of actual results of Churchill’s pilot of the controversial new schedule.

An epidemic of violence against women is happening globally and in the U.S. that rarely gets acknowledged because violence is embedded in our patriarchal concepts of masculinity. Globally one in three women will be raped or beaten in their lifetime, or over one billion.

Economic injustice permeates our local, state and national tax policies. The proposed city service fee reinforces and expands what is already a grossly unfair tax burden for low and middle-income wage earners. Not only is Ballot Measure 20-211 unfair, but it fails to deliver on the promise to fund essential services beyond the 2014 budget, and it’s permanent. 

In mid-March, forced by a serious bout of pneumonia to spend quiet time at home, I was able to more closely examine budget and other documents and to reassess my advocacy for the proposed city service fee. After much calm reflection, I concluded that I personally, and council majority collectively, had made a mistake in focusing solely on the “revenue-raising” option as the preferred strategy to address the projected General Fund imbalance.

I applaud Eugene Weekly for writing about the Israel-Palestine subject [Slant, 4/4]. I believe this subject is the core foreign policy issue that confronts the U.S. today. Therefore, I hope you will continue to publish relevant articles so that the public can stay informed.

Community Mediation Services (CMS) of Eugene is pleased to announce the establishment of its new Restorative Peer Court (RPC) program.

The opportunity to study abroad comes once in a lifetime. It is an opportunity to learn about unfamiliar and unique cultures, and in doing so, gain perspective into one’s own culture.

Lane County has pulled out all the stops on promoting Goshen as an up and coming industrial job center for Lane County. But before we go ga-ga over Goshen I’d like Lane County to answer a few questions.

A play celebrating the life of Paul Robeson March 8 and 10 at the Lane Community College main campus will benefit the LCC Black Student Union (BSU) scholarship fund. Dr. Stanley Coleman, a director and actor now on the faculty at LCC, plays Paul Robeson in the one-man Broadway play by Phillip Hays Dean. 

The first “Alternatives” class at the Osher Lifetime Learning Institute (OLLI) began with our watching an informative TED talk by Richard Wilkinson on how economic inequality harms societies.

At a recent City Club meeting, Oregon’s Chief Education Officer Rudy Crew passed up a great opportunity to peel his hands off a “cow” that’s sacred in some circles — opposition to school choice — and make current investments in public education work a little more efficiently.

A “no-kill” shelter is run by staff that consistently demonstrates passion for saving the lives of all adoptable and treatable animals. “Kill” shelter managers save some animals, and try to justify to their employees and community why they can’t save them all. In fact, they can.

If you’re a hunter who goes into the woods in order to put food on your family’s table, you can relax. Government agents won’t be coming around trying to confiscate your rifle – unless you hunt out of season or without any required licenses.

I want to violate the American taboo on socialism in response to the Weekly’s Jan. 17 Slant column that asks are we really listening to Martin Luther King Jr.’s message. “If so, why the growing disparity between rich and poor?”

As the fight over genetically modified canola and other GM crops escalates in the Willamette Valley, a group of farmers and neighbors in Benton County have spent the past year talking about how to stop GMOs.

The best way to win any debate is to define the debate topic and establish the rules to be followed. The firearms industry and its lobbyist organization, the NRA, are working 24/7 to do just that.

I keep hearing the question, “Why are farmers so worried about canola?” For the last seven months I’ve studied the topic, spoken with diverse farmers, read books on seed-saving and vegetable development, and researched canola. Here’s what I’ve learned and what you should know.