Eugene Weekly : Letters : 2.19.09


I hunted wild boars in Poland for two years, so you can imagine my delight in reading Camilla Mortensen’s well-researched report on Oregon’s feral hogs (“Hog Wild” 2/5). I doff my loden hat not only to Mortensen but also to EW editors who encourage such a wide breadth of reporting. If Oregon offered better opportunities to hunt feral hogs, I would invite Mortensen to an extraordinary game stalking experience.

For centuries, Europeans have maintained an admirable symbiotic relationship with wild boars, thanks largely to strict game management policies. Wild hogs reportedly have roamed the Oregon territory long before statehood. Given the historical connection, caution should be employed before adopting headstrong eradication policies against this gregarious and venerable creature

John. W. Harrison, Eugene


After reading Mariam Wahed’s comments about what students want (Viewpoint, 1/29), I was reminded that not much has changed since I was in high school (graduated 1960). The second-class status of art, the minimizing of creativity, the pressures to jump through many mindless hoops (for the convenience of those who want to measure performance), the overly theoretical approach to math and science, and skewed sex education are exactly the same issues I experienced in high school. Of course, with these kind of symptoms, one must face the fact that the teaching profession has been hamstrung. The sheer lack of progress has no doubt driven off some of the best talent while making safe havens for bureaucrats and party-liners who are content with business as usual. 

The saddest thing is that we former students have accepted the unacceptable in education, mediocrity. I accept my part in the demise of education by not doing more to help it change. I apologize to Mariam and all students who want something better than the institutional gruel served up by so-called “educators.” I would say, however, that if I have learned anything, it has been to question authority and to never just go along with the program regardless of the financial rewards. I’ve lived through a “money culture,” and it doesn’t take much of a genius to see where that has gotten us. I wish Mariam and her like-minded student population all the best. The world deserves you, now more than ever.

William Grant Macdonald, Eugene


The website contains some interesting information concerning the state tax liabilities of lower income Oregonians, relative to other states. It is invariably argued (especially by representatives of Portland-area merchants, whose livelihood depends so much on catering to Washington residents who cross state lines to evade the sales tax) that Oregon has a progressive tax system because it has no sales tax and relies on a graduated income tax. 

Sales taxes that exempt food, rent, utilities and most medical services leave a rather low proportion of a lower-income family’s budget subject to taxation. They fall most heavily on above-median solidly middle class consumers, those well off enough to purchase a lot of consumer goods but not wealthy enough or making enough large purchases to make elaborate schemes for evading sales tax pay off.

To characterize Oregon’s personal income tax as “graduated” is a cruel joke. Oregon is second only to Vermont in its maximum tax rate (9 percent versus 9.5 percent), but whereas Vermont’s maximum rate kicks in at $325,000, one of the highest thresholds in America, Oregon’s kicks in at $7300, lower than every state except Georgia and lower than the federal poverty rate. Oregon also has some of the lowest personal exemptions in the nation. This situation is utterly unworthy of a state that claims to be progressive in any sense of the world, and demands redress. 

To replace the lost revenue, I would personally support a sales tax in preference to raising rates at higher income levels. My own income is slightly below median, so it would be tempting to support raising somebody else’s taxes, except that
experience shows that the higher the income level, the greater the probability that the person can manipulate the system to his advantage. 

Martha Sherwood



Although I haven’t seen PotPie’s new show, I must agree with Edith Marie Hurley (Letters, 2/12). Comedy is meant to be puppies playing with children and not make light of great world tragedies like lesbianism, Hitler and Rick Dancer. If comedy shocks or offends you, it’s being done poorly.

I propose a boycott of Lord Leebrick for daring to assist in letting these hateful folks on stage. I think all right-thinking people would agree, especially Rick Dancer, who has accomplished so much in his long career as a local celebrity.

And EW? You’re on watch. One more suggestion of art I disagree with, and I’ll propose a boycott of you too.

Gregoire Heaton, esq., Portland (former Eugenean)


Disappointing to find that Chow doesn’t list El Corral in the Edgewood shopping center in southeast Eugene. Mexican food like you remember from Mazatlan and Guaymas and La Paz and Todos Santos. Mouth-watering camarongos and camarones direct from Mexico. You like margaritas?
El Corral serves ’em extra large with a shot on the side. If you like real Mexican food, you owe it to yourself to give this place a try.

Greg Vaughn, Eugene


Regarding Lisa Hammack’s letter to the editor (2/12): Sounds like sour (organic) grapes to me. Would she be happy if Market of Choice (MOC) aired the inaguration had John McCain won? I go to MOC for my coffee too. I also go there to buy groceries. I don’t, however, go to MOC to engage in politics. I’m sure they were just trying to stay out of this argument. If she really wanted to watch the inauguration, she could have done so elsewhere, like YouTube.

Melody Smith, Eugene


As local high school students and members of REVolution, Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon’s Youth Action Council, we support Mariam Wahed’s Jan. 29 Viewpoint, especially with regard to the sex education issue. REVolution is comprised of 11 Eugene/Springfield area teenagers dedicated to pursuing Planned Parenthood’s New 3Rs: Rights, Respect, Responsibility. Mariam’s recent Viewpoint epitomizes the Respect component of this initiative by providing an avenue for youth to voice their concerns as respected members of the community.

To take Mariam up on her call for a youth-led forum, we are going to open one of our weekly meetings to the greater public. On Sunday, March 1, at 6:30 pm, we hope that youth, adults and community leaders alike will join us at Amazon Community Center to discuss the future of sexual health and sexuality education in the Eugene/Springfield community.

One important clarification to Mariam’s Viewpoint: State policy does not prevent the distribution of condoms to young people unless they have a sexually transmitted infection — although some school district policies (including 4J’s) do. In fact, Oregon Statue 109.640 allows young people to obtain birth control and sexual protection confidentially.

Leah Reis-Dennis, Zach Sera and other members of REVolution


Just put the prisoners in a Registered Terrorist Offenders program just like the one that works so well for registered sex offenders. They would report to the federal courthouse once a month if they promise not to blow it up and be integrated back into society following the UO’s Skinner’s how-to-behave ersatz. 

It’s not who you are that’s important but that you learn to put up a successful front; also known as the Nixon/Reagan/Bush Syndrome. Who says you can’t introduce an old dog to new tricks? Let’s make a deal that lets all of us be.

Vince Loving, Eugene


Glue traps are among the cruelest pest-control devices on the market today, and the new Lowe’s store in Eugene is selling them. Animals who get stuck to them suffer for days before they finally die of starvation, dehydration, self-mutilation and shock. Patches of skin, fur or feathers are torn from their bodies as they frantically struggle to escape the relentless adhesive.

I suggest that Lowe’s follow the lead of Rite Aid, Safeway, Albertsons, CVS and other companies that have made the compassionate decision to stop selling glue traps. I will not shop at Lowe’s and urge everyone to do the same until the company ceases sales of these notoriously cruel devices. I urge Lowe’s do the right thing and stop selling glue traps immediately. 

Curtis Taylor, Eugene


I had been on a letter-writing campaign to my local state reps (Nancy Nathanson, et al) to ban cell phone use while driving. I have now done a complete about-face on the issue. Spotting the cell-phone driving-impaired aids me in getting from place to place quite efficiently and effectively. Those are the drivers with the glazed expression who leave more than enough space in front of them as they attempt to navigate. It’s very easy now for me to change lanes and get to where I’m going.

Don’t stop gabbing/texting/surfing, zombie lemmings! I have purpose in my driving. Apparently, you don’t.

Glenn Leonard, Eugene 


A Department of Defense advisory panel recently recommended to the Pentagon that current DOD policy not be changed to allow Purple Heart medals to be awarded to military personnel stricken with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Currently the Purple Heart is awarded only to service members who are “physically wounded” in the line of combat duty.

As a veteran and one who supports persons living with mental illnesses, I find this federal panel recommendation to be hurtful. It displays callous disregard for those military members who serve their nation under extremely difficult times. Such action is identical to the slap in the face delivered by General Patton during World War II to a soldier suffering from shell shock. I thought that our nation had progressed from those dark times to a point where we consider the mental injuries incurred in combat equal to those of the physical kind.

I can only hope that the secretary of defense will dismiss this recommendation and bestow the Purple Heart on those who were also wounded in the service to our country. Presenting this highly prized recognition to those affected would recognize that not all combat wounds are physical.

Terry Arnold, Executive Director, National Alliance on Mental Illness, Lane County