Eugene Weekly : Letters : 1.3.08


So the Eugene City Council is proposing yet another property tax — this time to provide emergency shelter and affordable housing for the homeless. While I firmly believe that no one should live without decent shelter, and for 18 years have actively participated in and financially contributed to a food for the homeless program, I take issue with the notion that property owners should bear the brunt of solving the homelessness problem.

I am dismayed that the City Council seems to view property owners as their ready reserve. Here’s a hypothetical: If, as a property owner, I am taxed for a new City Hall, repairing infrastructure, downtown redevelopment and financing a homeless project, I may become one of the homeless on whom property tax money is spent. In that case, if I score affordable housing, I will once again be eligible to pay property taxes for — guess what?

Has it occurred to any of the “Eugeniuses” charged with solving the problem that a major cause of homelessness is unemployment? I would gladly support a program of job training or re-training and a task force to help those in need find employment. Better to teach a person to fish than to give them a fish — over and over.

So it goes.

Judy Dellar, Eugene



Well, wouldn’t you know it, Gustavo Arellano has shown his true colors in loud fashion. I’ve known his true colors for sometime, now with his latest response to his conjured up question, it should be obvious to all what this guy’s all about. He’s pro-Mexican, anti-non-Mexican Latino, anti-caucasian, anti-Native American, anti-gringo (white, black and Hispanic). If you’re not a Mexican, you’re a gringo. This includes Puerto Ricans, which I am one.

Why are you jealous of us, Gustavo? Are you jealous that we already are American citizens and can come and go as we please? Are you jealous of the Cubans, with their special immigration — get to solid land and they can stay in the U.S. status? Why do you hate us so? A better question would be: Why do Puerto Rican and Cuban rights groups support illegals getting citizenship?

As a former racist myself, the answer is: All of us Latinos hate the white Americanos more than anyone else for the past 200 years of manipulation and oppression. So we stick together, and stick it to them whenever we can. I on the other hand don’t hate anyone, I just expose hatred no matter how it’s disguised. Mr. Arellano has masterfully disguised his hatred, well, disguised it to the liberal, progressive, hoedad, burned-out old hippie community of Eugene.

You guys swallowed his seven course meal of dog shit with a boner in your pants and wanted even more. Maybe now the owners of EW will read his columns with objectivity and see that this guy’s a fraud, an egomaniac and a racist. Read the last week’s column for yourself. Don’t let his name calling and pathetic humor fool you! The caricature, well if that’s stopping you from reading his columns, don’t bother complaining, your brain’s full of hot air anyway.

Mr. Arellano should save his energy writing his bullshit column and really use his wit and energy in Mexico where people need him more. How about organizing and fomenting revolution in Mexico? I used my wit down there and let the locals in Chiapas pick my brains for about four months on how to organize and how to deal with the corrupt government officials. My radical days during the early 1970s in the South Bronx where I grew up gave me some insight on how to deal with corrupt politicians. I don’t know what good all my advice did, hopefully some.

My street “cred” would make Arellano’s street “cred” look like he spent his life selling Girl Scout cookies. He would have been eaten alive by the gangs in my old neighborhood. Arellano, you just see me as a gringo, no matter if I’m Puerto Rican, or Costa Rican. I think you’re a fraud and it’s time for you Eugeneans to see it too. How about you hoedads move to the big city for a couple of years so you can obtain street “cred”? Then maybe it’ll be worth listening to you.

Jorge Arroyo, Eugene



In 1992, those of us who had supported the Jerry Brown for President campaign in Lane County joined together around the banner “Vote for Hillary’s Husband” in the general election. Although I am mindful of an anarchist tidbit of wisdom, “Don’t vote, it only encourages the bastards,” I do vote, selectively. Last time around I supported my old colleague from the national Committee for Non-Violent Action, David McReynolds, running as a Democratic socialist.

But the prospect of Hillary herself, damaged goods to be sure, but no more or less so than any major officeholder, that has a real draw for me. My mother, as a girl, lived in an America that denied women the vote. To go from there to Clinton’s lead among Democratic presidential contenders, within my mother’s lifetime, gives me hope that the oppressive monoculture of power is amenable to humanizing change.

Women, people of color, immigrant and locally born youth, progressive geezers like me, etc., we are the hope of the future, if there is to be one that avoids the endlessly devastating impacts of global climate change and swelling worldwide populations. So, I may vote for Hillary’s husband’s wife, or not. I wish Dennis Kucinich had a chance — he has the mind and the heart.

Paul Prensky, Eugene



Dear whiny, disgruntled Eugeneans: What will you bitch about this week? “ÁAsk a Mexican!”? Dan Savage? Downtown? Sally Sheklow? Unjust prison sentences for people you’ve never met? Something new and exciting that you can imagine slights your fragile little sensitive existence in some way? Or will you do what most humans are wont to do when there is no current drama to nibble at — invent one? Here’s an idea: Every time you feel angry about some injustice or other, simply go to your sink and turn the tap. Voila! You have running water! Get over yourselves now, please.

I have three children — they are 9, 7 and 10 months. And all of them put together on their worst day cannot generate a fraction of the piss-and-moan wattage you people are putting out. And I’ll stop right here and say that if you find yourself already feeling angry and indignant at this letter, then you are most likely the kind of person I am talking about. Give me a break, children! Most of you preach tolerance (rag it to death, in fact), but are you not the most intolerant creatures on the planet?

Whenever a new idea crops up, you immediately pop it under your microscopes and scour it for flaws, PC discrepancies and ways that it doesn’t jibe with your paradigm in general. This being the case, you all must really hate yourselves, for if there’s one thing you will simply not put up with, it’s a sanctimonious hypocrite, right?

Every week when I open the Weekly, I see the same names under the same old whiny inane drivel. Give it a rest already! It should be obvious to you by now that it is not possible to bitch problems away. What happens is you begin to bitch for the sake of bitching and you lose any concept of what you think you are fussing about. Wait. I am bitching right now, aren’t I? See how easy it is to realize that you are being a pill?

So, EW, let me make it clear that I love you. I find your paper highly entertaining and informative, and I cannot thank you enough for making yourself available to everyone at no cost. I also ask that while you don’t let these bell-clangers influence what you print, please never stop printing them. Because probably the most entertaining part of the paper is when I get to read the frothy ravings of a bunch of angry, petty adult dumbasses.

Rodney C. Cimburke Jr., Cottage Grove



Despite claims from NASA, the U.N. and the British Government’s Stern Review that logging the world’s forests is the second cause of climate change (after fossil fuels) — up to 25 percent of human-caused carbon emissions — we’ve heard hardly a peep from either the mainstream media or the mainstream environmental movement about the most compelling reason yet presented to protect and preserve our remaining natural forests.

Mainly because of the Bali climate summit in December, we’re finally seeing a few blips on the radar screen about the need to stop native forest logging to protect the climate, both globally (due to forests’ carbon storage and sequestration capabilities) and regionally (as logging causes desertification and drought)

To further explore the connection between forests and climate and to help bring together the climate and forest protection movements, on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 10 am to 5 pm at the UO’s 177 Lawrence Hall, Cascadia’s Ecosystem Advocates, Native Forest Council and (with 16 regional cosponsors) will present “Clearcutting the Climate,” a conference of science and action. The conference features OSU scientists discussing the role of forest carbon, panels exposing timber industry climate change propaganda and the link between deforestation and desertification, and a workshop to find common ground between forest and climate advocacy. It will be videorecorded and uploaded to our website, where it will be available along with other information on the link between forests and climate change.

Attendance is free, though donations are accepted (and appreciated!). Please RSVP at Call 688-2600 for more info.

Josh Schlossberg, Eugene



Regarding Christelle Munnelly’s letter to the editor titled “Give Us Our Lane” (11/21), she only had it part right. What she had right was that it’s certainly not acceptable for a driver to say, “Get the fuck out of the road” to a bicyclist, and that where necessary, under certain conditions, the bicyclist has the right to use the full lane.

What she had wrong was that actually, the Oregon rules of the road actually DO require bicyclists — generally — to use “a teeny portion [of the road] all the way to the right.” What the relevant Oregon statute (ORS 814.430) actually says is: “A person commits the offense of improper use of lanes by a bicycle if the person is operating a bicycle on a roadway at less than the normal speed of traffic using the roadway … and the person does not ride as close as practicable to the right curb or edge of the roadway.”

The exceptions are: 1) passing another vehicle, 2) preparing to execute a left turn, 3) when reasonably necessary to avoid hazardous conditions, 4) riding bikes two abreast in a manner that does not impede “the normal and reasonable movement of traffic.”

A sometime bike rider myself, the main reason I share this information is that failing to follow these rules is a ticketable traffic violation. Don’t give a cop an excuse to ticket you instead of the rude SUV driver.

Marianne Dugan, Eugene



History will damn George Bush and Dick Cheney for treasonous crimes against the U.S. Constitution, state-sanctioned torture and global war crimes.

Unfortunately, democratic leadership will also be damned by history and be held complicit to these very same crimes because of its cowardly refusal to use its constitutional authority to impeach and investigate Bush and Cheney for such crimes. Congressional leaders have taken an oath to defend and protect the constitution of the United States. They did not take an oath to defend George Bush. They did not take an oath to defend the American people from inconvenience should impeachment hearings bring strife. They did not take an oath to protect a cabal of neocon punks and corporate cronies who have hijacked the machinery of government and the U.S. military to be used for their nefarious and self-enriching imperial projects around the world.

The Democrats’ excuse that impeachment is impractical because there is only a year left in Bush’s term is an obscenity. If a corporate CEO is alleged to have committed murder and bilked millions from his company, would a prosecutor withhold charges if the CEO only had a few months left at the job and it might cause strife with the company?

Impeachment would send a message to future leaders that there is accountability for criminality. It would also show our citizenry and the world that our country has returned from the brink of lawless insanity. What could be a more important task?

Gerry Rempel, Eugene



So many Americans are desperate for a change in leadership, but in the frenzy of the upcoming presidential elections the issues are being bypassed by multi-million-dollar campaigns. We hear only rhetoric from those candidates who can buy the most media time, thus successfully imprinting themselves on the American psyche. But after all the hype, what we really want is a candidate who best represents our shared vision for our country.

I’ve decided to approach the elections the way I approach any major purchase. Using a car for example, I would not buy a car based on appearance or the biggest price tag or media blitzes, and I would definitely not buy from a dealership that received most of its funding from an auto repair shop. I would look for a car that has consistent quality, safety and dependability, that will save money; one designed for the driver. I would buy it from a dealership funded by the very drivers it hopes to sell to.

Using this common logic, my candidate is Dennis Kucinich. He has a consistent voting record on issues of peace, justice, environmental protection and human rights. He is funded by the people, not big corporations, and he has a plan for universal, single-payer, not-for-profit healthcare, a plan to get us out of Iraq immediately and keep us out of Iran, a plan for education, a plan for the economy, a plan for the environment moving away from dependence on foreign oil, a plan for immigration and, most importantly — a plan to restore the Constitution and the values it puts forth to the American people. Dennis Kucinich may not be flashy or receive any contributions from corporate giants (which means he has no strings attached to the oil, pharmaceutical or defense industries), but he does represent our hopes and dreams, and he has viable plans to achieve them.

On an Internet poll ( 197,000-plus people that asks solely about the issues and their importance, Dennis Kucinich consistently ranks number ONE with more than 85 percent of respondents. Try it, and you may be surprised to learn that you, too are most in alignment with candidate Kucinich.

Gail Rhamy, Eugene



The Earth is the only planet in the universe that has running water, air to breathe and multiple life forms and is just the right distance from an energy source the sun. It is a delicate balance. It is the only place that we know like this. For the last 200 years, humans have attempted to control nature. This has resulted in high standard of living for many of us. It also has resulted in polluted water, air and agricultural systems. Many species have gone extinct. We are out of balance with nature and on a destructive path. We humans have a choice to become extinct or not.

The latest BLM plan to cut the rest of the “old growth” and to cut further down to streams has been criticized by scientific peer review, the EPA and the Federal Fish & Game. These lands belong to the people, not the corporations. Their health helps to insure our health.

I plead with everyone: Please call your federal representatives and senators. Tell them they need to insist that the BLM must produce a “new” plan to help renew the health of our region, our planet and our species.

Mary Jo Davis, Cottage Grove



It appears that the Republican presidential nomination race has focused around Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney and Fred Thompson. Mike is in Iowa telling the voters that they don’t know Mitt. Mike is a religious minister. He is convinced that Romney has Mitt for brains and is a Mittfaced imitation of a conservative. Romney is trying to persuade voters that if they let him sling some Mitt, the religious right will be shouting: Holy Mitt! Brother Fred is walking around the precincts looking like two pounds of Mitt in a one pound box. He is telling the right wing faithful that a vote for Romney will put the GOP up Mitt creek without a paddle. The latest polls shows Huckabee surging in favor with the Republicans while losing the presidency to any breathing, hot Mitt Democrat.

Gerry Merritt, Eugene