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Letters to the Editor

May 19, 2016

INNOVATION HUB

I am writing in support of the amazing opportunity for growth, sustainability, shared art and contribution in downtown Eugene: a proposal for the redevelopment of the old LCC downtown center into an Innovation Hub, to be funded through an extension of Urban Renewal. This decision currently stands at the feet of our Eugene City Council. 

May 16, 2016

CHECK THE FACTS

May 12, 2016

VAL’S VALUES

I am proudly casting my vote for Val Hoyle, a pragmatic progressive running for Oregon secretary of state. 

Under Val’s leadership as Oregon’s house majority leader, we got expanded sick leave coverage, we closed a giant loophole that used to allow people to purchase guns without having a background check and we passed a clean fuels bill. She led all this while successfully representing a rural, blue-collar district. 

May 5, 2016

JOIN THE REVOLUTION

Today I went to my first political rally. “A Future to Believe In,” the signs read. The hour and a half in line followed by the event had me believing those words, because I got to hear Bernie Sanders and his New York accent preaching his gospel from less than 100 feet away. 

April 28, 2016

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN

In the last year, the world has lost two powerful women in the struggle to end not just aerial spraying but the use of pesticides on all land. A year ago, Audrey Moore left us after making her mark with the first pesticide ban ordinance to get on the ballot in Oregon! And last week we lost Jan Wroncy, who so graciously took me under her wing after my first aerial spray exposure. She and others taught me the history of aerial spraying in Oregon, and it’s not a pretty one. There have been too many casualties on the way. 

April 21, 2016

VOTE ON CITY HALL

We now have a proposed new city hall planned for the next 100 years. It looks like a breadbox surrounded by windows — and is earthquake proof.

The estimated price is about $25 million.
We need to think “outside the box.” We need an advisory vote on the November ballot to authorize spending $10 million to purchase the current EWEB building. This vote would indirectly approve the selling of the EWEB building by the commissioners for $10 million. 

April 14, 2016

HIS MONEY, OUR DEMOCRACY

Bob Macherione, leader of the “Our Money Our Transit” opposition to the new West Eugene EmX bus line out W. 6th, 7th and 11th avenues, complains that the EW March 17 article “Don’t Let a Loser Win” shows “what is wrong with the U.S. and especially Eugene politics today: the lack of civil public discourse with others who may not agree with your point of view.” (Letters, March 31)

April 7, 2016

VOTE FOR LIVABILITY

I’ve lived in Eugene almost five years and one of the things I love best about this place is the one- and two-story homey feel of this friendly small town. I intend to stay. 

Unfortunately, powers-that-be are working to turn our downtown into Portland’s Pearl District. Yuck! Every time I turn around, City Council has said OK to another eight to 10 or 12 story apartment building close to or inside downtown. Save Kesey Square. The South Willamette scheme is a whole other discussion.

March 31, 2016

DONE WITH HIDING

The fencing of places where homeless people camp isn’t really about trash. If it was, the city would be providing trashcans and portable potties at locations all over Eugene, along with a lot more managed shelter. Instead it spends money on services that people have to walk to, carrying all of their possessions, and policing to keep them from camping.

March 24, 2016

A BETTER INVESTMENT

I work with an organization that delivers food to Eugeneans experiencing homelessness, including those who sleep in Washington Jefferson Park. The city of Eugene just spent $67,000 to build fences that push these individuals out of the park. The reasons cited by the city have to do with safety and health hazards. To respond:

March 17, 2016

OFFENSIVE FENCES

The next step in the city of Eugene’s plan to criminalize the homeless is fences under bridges that have been used for shelter. Human beings, with no other resources than the clothes on their backs and the food they can find, use these areas for life-saving shelter and to find safety with others in the same predicament.

March 10, 2016

STOLEN ATTRIBUTES

I am an older woman now, not the little girl who played in the fountain on the Broadway Street pedestrian mall, but I still feel just as safe and happy when I go downtown. I am a member of two knitting clubs that meet in the evenings less than a block from Kesey Square, and as I walk to my destination, I see interesting people. I like to pet their dogs and ask them about their lives. 

March 3, 2016

THE CITY HALL VOID

Where, oh where has our City Hall gone? We ask ourselves that question as we pass the barren site daily. It stands there as the largest “kitty litter box” in the world.

The most symbolic project for our city in 50 years has received little or no public input, display or conversation. So what’s the problem? The current version shown is certainly not radical or particularly imaginative. 

February 25, 2016

STOP FAT HATING

February 18, 2016

FINICUM’S REFUGE

Snowy plover, greater sage grouse, short-eared owl and bobolink, white-faced ibis, heron, killdeer, sandhill crane and Siskin finch. The birds all pass through Malheur, even the cuckoo and the loon. And like all migratory species, they’ll be leaving pretty soon.

The stillness of the winter morn gave way to a sound of men. And just like that the Malheur was stolen away again. White men; again, with god and guns, found the door unlocked and then, they seized that dinky building, proclaiming:

February 11, 2016

FRIVILOUS LAWSUIT

Our four “conservative” (Ha ha! — “Give us more money folks, but we don’t believe in big government!”) county commissioners must be visiting the pot shops a lot these days, ‘cause they’re sinking deeper into their old pipe dream that wiping out the local forests will somehow improve life in Lane County. 

February 4, 2016

VALUABLE CONTENT

I am distressed and saddened that KLCC has removed Alternative Radio from its broadcast schedule. What is perplexing is the station is repeating other programs (TED Hour, Wait … Wait and Prairie Home Companion).

January 28, 2016

RADIO FOR DUMMIES?

January 21, 2016

A POWERFUL GIFT

January 14, 2016

DEAR OREGON

Your air feels freer, your coffee tastes richer and you always sound like a Sunday afternoon. I must a steal line and declare, “Oregon, I have just met you, and I love you.” It has been so few days, and yet I already wish to rip off my license plate and replace it with yours and a matching collegiate bumper sticker. 

January 7, 2016

A PROPHETIC MOMENT

I’ve had the privilege of being Peg Morton’s scribe for her many writings in the last months of her life. More of these writings will be disseminated after her memorial service as she requested. In mid-November she wrote a proposal that was communicated throughout the world to her “peace-building, nonviolence-loving groups and others, including faith communities, friends and family.” Thousands of people have now read, shared and are acting upon Peg’s proposal, which begins:

December 31, 2015

BEAUTY IN THE CRACKS

As an alternative to more buildings downtown, how about some grass, flowers and trees? There’s a reason birds and bees and human beings naturally flock to them.

City leaders seem hell-bent on filling every downtown space with concrete, providing green for the moneyed interests but only gray for the rest of us. There’s beauty lying dormant in the cracks.

December 24, 2015

COUNTY SHELTER IDEA

Imagine that from cooperation among the Eugene Mission, the city of Eugene and Lane County, a partnership develops that allows the Mission to operate as a public shelter, able to receive public funds like Community Development Block Grants or FEMA emergency shelter and food grant funds. It probably would require the Mission’s board to change some requirements, and would require the county to help fund but not run the Mission.

December 17, 2015

MAKE IT POSSIBLE

I have been reading with concern of the proposals and letters to the editor concerning the future of Kesey Square. I have been living in a senior apartment community, Olive Plaza, in downtown Eugene. Many of us walk for our exercise and refreshment. There are no places where we can go and sit. There is no green, no small park near the area where we live. A new City Hall park is much too far away. Kesey Square remains the one place where we could go, but the benches have been removed.