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Guest Viewpoint

November 19, 2015

As president of the Eugene Water & Electric Board of Commissioners, I have read hundreds of comments in opposition to management’s recent rate restructuring proposal. The proposal clearly offended the community. It did not take into account how important the two-tiered energy charge structure is to customers who sacrifice comfort to save money. Similarly, our customers who recently invested in efficiency measures or solar energy rely on the tiered pricing to help pay themselves back. People are telling us that it’s not just the money.

November 19, 2015

It’s not often you can, quite literally, don a hero’s cape for Planet Earth, and even less often that it would be plastic, and unheard of that this would land you in a global art festival, but here’s your invite: Thanksgiving weekend — on the eve of the most important meeting ever, when world leaders gather in Paris for climate talks — Eugene will mount a march and collaborative art event so creative and bold that we’re featured in the ArtCOP21 Global Climate Art Festival curated throug

November 19, 2015

Jump Shots From Israel

Sokolov Avenue is bustling outside of my studio apartment in Ramat Hasharon, Israel, just north of Tel Aviv: pizza joints, tech vendors, hair salons and Western clothing boutiques. The towering McDonald’s logo above (sigh) competes with the palm trees; in the distance, the Tel Aviv skyline resembles an American city. The robust high-tech infrastructure boasts abundant free wifi, and texting via “WhatsApp” is the medium of communication — no matter your age!

November 19, 2015

After the disaster in Paris there will be enormous pressure, especially from the Republican candidates, to do something. They will condemn the Obama/Clinton administration as ineffective and suggest simplistic solutions to this very complex problem — that will likely make everything much worse.

November 18, 2015

Recently the Eugene City Council was scheduled to act on a detailed rezoning ordinance for a large area of south Eugene. However, it raised the ire of local citizens because the issues it addressed had not been adequately presented to the people who would be most affected by its changes. The ordinances were justified as being in support of the Envision Eugene project and the South Willamette Concept Plan. In their notice of frequently asked questions (FAQs) the planners state that “the community will have opportunities ...

November 12, 2015

Arts funding is important. Without it, even our longest-running institutions close. The Jacobs Gallery at the Hult Center is the most recent in a string of examples.  

People wring their hands when yet another art venue closes in Eugene, and the standard frustrations are conveyed: “There’s not enough funding!"; “I can’t survive as an artist in Eugene!”; “Nobody buys art!”; “Someone should step up and donate!” 

November 12, 2015

Paul Robeson once observed: “The man who accepts Western values absolutely, finds his creative faculties becoming so warped and stunted that he is almost completely dependent on external satisfactions, and the moment he becomes frustrated in his search for these, he begins to develop neurotic symptoms, to feel that life is not worth living and, in chronic cases, to take his own life.”

November 5, 2015

It seems like only yesterday, and not 20 years ago. And I don’t know why or how, but Lewis Puller’s suicide “got” to me. But, what I wrote 20-plus years ago still stands: Another Vietnam vet has committed suicide. I do not know the particular demons which finally drove Lewis Puller to kill himself. I do know I have a few of my own that propelled me to the edge in 1975. 

November 5, 2015

The City Council deftly headed off a major confrontation with residents of the South Willamette area by voting Oct. 21 to not rezone single-family homes in the area. It was the council’s first opportunity to provide guidance to city planners on the highly controversial South Willamette Special Area Zone. 

October 29, 2015

We at Occupy Medical see suffering, lots of suffering. We see people, fellow citizens, who have been hungry for so long that they aren’t used to consuming more than a cup full of food at a time. The food that they do get is often from garbage cans. They soften food with milk or water to make it easier to chew as they are losing their teeth from poor nutrition.

October 29, 2015

Each month when you pay your electricity bill a generous portion of your payment is spent to restore salmon in the Northwest. In fact, when you write that check, you’re contributing to the largest fish and wildlife conservation effort in our nation’s history.

October 29, 2015

It’s Oct. 29. Have you voted yet? There’s only one item on the ballot, and it’s really important. Measure 20-235 will restore critical funding to Eugene’s public libraries, and we urge you to vote “yes.”

Over 150 years ago, Henri Amiel said, “Everything you need for better future and success has already been written. And guess what? All you have to do is go to the library.” Think about it. Public libraries are, and have always been, a stepping-stone to a better life for anyone who walks in their doors. 

October 15, 2015

Dick Vitale owes me a working eyeball.

Vitale, if you are not familiar, is the loudest basketball announcer in the world, according to a poll of ESPN viewers, audio specialists and the recently deceased. When he gets going, according to SB Nation, the guy can hit 180 decibels, louder than a gunshot, and equal to the explosion of Krakatoa.

This is not the type of person you should be listening to when you’re putting on your drag makeup. 

October 15, 2015

What might Bernie Sanders have to say about Eugene’s $2.7 million a year property tax increase for the public library? Well, it’s definitely “socialism,” which is defined as a redistribution of wealth. But, it’s the opposite of Bernie’s brand of socialism because it enables the redistribution of wealth up to the top of the economic ladder, instead of in the direction of average working people.

October 15, 2015

The academic school year has begun and as a graduate student in clinical psychology, I am reminded of the many roles I have played over the years: researcher of sexual violence victimization and other traumas, teaching assistant, instructor, mentor, and therapist. Amidst these responsibilities, social justice advocate is the most unexpected role I have had. 

October 8, 2015

Before Oct. 1, I was in the habit of introducing my hometown with a bit of apologetic nonchalance. “I’m from Roseburg. It’s an hour and a half south of Eugene. Pretty small. You’ve probably passed through on I-5.”

I now envision a future where I introduce my hometown, and a bell of recognition dings in people’s minds — Roseburg, a place where one mass shooting among far too many shootings has devastated a community.

October 1, 2015

You don’t have to be a fundamentalist, evangelical, Catholic Christian or an ancient Jew to wonder whether we’re in a “culture of death,” “the sixth extinction” or some kind of universal cataclysm.

September 23, 2015

As back-to-school season arrives, parents and their children are excitedly filling their school supply lists and checking out the latest fall fashions at the mall. Parents, though, often have many important decisions to make regarding their children’s education.

Maybe they are uncertain about what school is the best fit, which after-school programs to enroll in, whether their child should take choir, band or both. Not to pile on more worries, but I am going to throw another decision into the mix. 

September 17, 2015

An open letter to Springfield Councilor Dave Ralston: I was elected this year as the president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Formed in 1929, LULAC is responsible for the formations of the American GI Forum and Head Start schools. It also helped pave the way for the Brown V. Board of Education ruling.

September 10, 2015

With wildfires raging across Oregon, it has become even more urgent for Gov. Kate Brown and U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley to oppose the liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal and pipeline proposed for our state by a Canadian energy company. 

The Stouts Creek fire, one of the largest current blazes, is impacting at least 17 miles of the route the Pacific Connector pipeline would take to bring LNG from Canada and the Rockies to Coos Bay for export to Asia.

September 3, 2015

It’s a bit odd that in America’s thoroughly corporatized culture we have no national day of honor for the Captains of Industry, and yet we do have one for working stiffs: Labor Day! Where did it come from? Who gave this day off to laboring people? History books that bother mentioning Labor Day at all usually credit President Grover Cleveland with its creation: He signed a law in July 1894 that proclaimed a holiday for workers in Washington, D.C., and the federal territories. 

August 20, 2015

Late in the 19th century, we discovered and began to burn crude oil rather casually, as if an epoch-marking discovery of an incredible energy source was a routine event.

It wasn’t.

Crude oil is an enormous one-time bounty of highly concentrated energy that developed millions of years ago in the depths of the planet, from a soup of anoxic water, alga, sediment, heat and pressure. We have squandered about half of that gift in just 156 years.

August 13, 2015

Located in the heart of Central America, Honduras has in recent years experienced some of the highest levels of corruption in Latin America. Hondurans are characteristically warm and peaceful. But evidence of the Honduran Social Security Institute’s embezzlement of more than $300 million that was used in part to fund the campaign of President Juan Orlando Hernández has united the country against corruption and impunity.

August 6, 2015

Through the Hoffman Report (apa.org/independent-review/index.aspx), it has recently come to light that the American Psychological Association (APA) — the governing body of psychology — in collusion with the Department of Defense, used its power to support the use of torture.