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Letters to the Editor

April 3, 2014

LNG HAZARD

Exporting liquefied natural gas (LNG) will lead to more drilling [see news story last week]. And more drilling means more fracking, more air and water pollution and more climate-fueled weather disasters like last year’s record fires, droughts and superstorms.

The proposed Jordan Cove Coos Bay LNG is an environmental disaster of hazardous proportions.

March 27, 2014

JUST PASSING THROUGH

Thank you, Kevin Sullivan, for writing the article (“Increase in Cougar Killing is Preventable,” 3/20) and for your compassion. Mountain lions who find their way into urban or residential areas such as Hendricks Park are typically just passing through. If left alone and given time, they will leave town on their own.

March 20, 2014

DEFORESTATION LOOMS

March 13, 2014

OUR FINE CITY HALL

Though unintentional, Jerry Diethelm’s history of city governance’s relationship with its constituents is misleading [“Design Matters,” 3/6]. Twice, in May 1994 and then in November 1994, voters rejected the new library measure. Did City Hall give voters a chance for final approval? Similarly, Eugeneans twice voted and twice voted down a new police facility. Again, was it funded with voter approval?

March 6, 2014

HOLLOW PREACHINGS

I grew up a broke, male WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) who regularly attended a fairly conservative church. Many of my friends in church, as it happened, were gay and subsequently pushed from our congregation via informal excommunication, to borrow a Catholic phrase, and were no longer welcome.

February 27, 2014

COUNCIL MISLED

Concerned citizens following recent Eugene City Council discussion around preservation of the Amazon Headwaters are wondering about the role of city management.

At the Feb. 19 work session, staff repeatedly stated that the Deerbrook PUD has been approved. This is false. The application received a tentative approval. The property owners have chosen to delay applying for other approvals needed before any development can begin. Why was council misled on this point?

February 20, 2014

WEAK FORESTRY LAWS

February 13, 2014

SCABS WANTED

The teachers are on strike in Medford, and to fight the strike and stonewall negotiations the Medford School District is reaching out to substitute teachers in District 4J, and probably other districts, looking for what, in my day, we called scabs — hiring teachers to cross the picket line and weaken the strike.

February 6, 2014

WHO BENEFITS?

I first noticed it several years ago at a community forum on health care. “It” came in the form of a union representative arguing against an inclusive single-payer health care model that would benefit us all. I wondered why unions would not support such progressive policy. Others in attendance educated me: Health insurance is a bargaining issue. Unions include it in contracts and appreciative members pay their union dues.

January 30, 2014

DON’T TRUST YMCA

I appreciate the valuable services the YMCA contributes to the community. However, they should not be entrusted with development of valuable public lands like Civic Stadium.

January 23, 2014

PAINS OF DISPLACEMENT

The most world-respected literary personage from our area is Ken Kesey. He is principally known for his novel One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962). It develops a common theme where individual and group clash, both losing. In this case, we like to give the edge to the skill of the first-person artist who renders us the depiction.

January 16, 2014

WHAT THE FRACK?

“Does that burger taste funny to you?” Recently I learned that fracking chemicals might be in the meat and produce being distributed to a grocery store near me and near you.

“On a North Dakota farm, five cows died after fracking began in 32 wells within three miles from the farm,” according to Food and Water Watch. In New Mexico, petroleum residues were found in 54 out of 56 animals tested. Some cows lost their tails!

January 9, 2014

NO FEAR NEW YEAR

Time to ring in a brand new year! It finds me still tryin’ to make friends with fear. Learning to let go, let life steer. Life is not for the weak of heart, my dear. The Whit seems to be the place for a beer. And our downtown is definitely threatening to reappear. Let’s come together and kick this thing into a higher gear. 

January 2, 2014

BETTER THERAPY AHEAD

I thank Catherine Burke-Maher for her thoughtful reply [12/19] to my letter [12/12] on the “Cuckoo’s Nest Option” for cleaning up downtown Eugene. While I do not feel wise, I am old enough to be the father of any reader here up to 70 years of age.

December 26, 2013

KEEPING BOTH TONGUES

I am a teacher and a conversation I had in line at the bank steered towards bilingual education. The person I was speaking with expressed dismay at monolinguals who spoke only Spanish. 

“They are in America now, and in America we speak English.”

December 19, 2013

POWER BILLS COMING

Last week, we experienced the lowest temperatures in 40 years. We also used more electricity than anytime during the last decade. At one point, Eugene was consuming 557 megawatts to stay warm. Overall energy consumption was 30 percent to 50 percent above a typical December day as many residents hunkered down at home and kept the heat turned up.

December 12, 2013

CUCKOO’S NEST OPTION

Eugene is a fine city. Many volunteer organizations take care of the homeless population in fair and foul weather. But too few citizens have direct contact. In spite of best intentions, I read that many volunteers cannot work with mentally disturbed people, especially when police presence is inadequate. If a substantial fraction of homeless people are mentally disturbed, this makes it difficult to accommodate all homeless in the same program.

December 5, 2013

MORE BAD POLICY

Chop. Chop. Tim-ber! Whether you hear it or not, that’s the sound of a tree being felled in the forest. And if Rep. Peter DeFazio’s and Sen. Ron Wyden’s proposed O&C timber lands legislation becomes law, you will definitely hear it loud and clear as 1.6 million acres of public forests are turned over to private industry for chopping. How bad is this legislation? After DeFazio’s bill passed in the majority Republican House, Democrat President Barack Obama vowed to veto it as bad environmental policy.

November 27, 2013

WIGGLE ROOM FOR SENECA

I talk to many people in Eugene about air quality and their health. This fall, Beyond Toxics completed our second large door-to-door survey in west Eugene. Among the trends we found, this one is troubling: 37 percent of the parents we interviewed said that they judge the quality of the air before they allow their children to go outside to play. 

November 21, 2013

PARKLAND IMBALANCE

In his Viewpoint [11/7] “The Civic Solution,” Eben Fodor proposes that the city purchase Civic Stadium with Parks and Open Space Bond funds because south Eugene has a relative deficiency of park facilities. City purchase is also supported by Donna Taggert’s Viewpoint [11/14].

November 14, 2013

SANE WILDLIFE POLICIES

I want to set the record straight on Congressman Peter DeFazio’s efforts with regards to wildlife management. DeFazio has been a staunch supporter for sane wildlife policies for decades. In the early 1990s he fought against aerial gunning of wolves in Alaska. 

Just this September DeFazio sent a letter to Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell opposing the delisting of wolves — for all the right reasons as well.

November 7, 2013

PULLING PLUG ON ESD

October 31, 2013

WRONG CLASS ENEMY

Regarding “No More To Give” [Letters, 10/17]: Jessica Hannah, what’s wrong? Your facts are as accurate as they are cold. The way you only point out what is wrong invites me to look between the lines for something constructive. How very clever. When your way becomes the law, then the only problem left will be one of enforcement. The work camps will be far from your sight. Instead of bums on every corner there will be a camera. 

October 24, 2013

THROW AWAY CIVIC?

In an earthquake Eugene’s Civic Stadium will be the last building standing. It is built on a solid foundation held up with huge, clear-grained old-growth timbers.

Our education system is slipping away: higher dropout rates, larger classroom sizes and underpaid teachers. Momentary cash infusions have not solved the problem.