Eugene Weekly : Letters : 6.10.10


Expanding the urban growth boundary? Planning for population growth? How about planning for the collapse of stable weather patterns, stable predictable precipitation, snow pack, the Cascade glacier melt? How about planning for the end of cheap petroleum and transportation of 95 percent of the food consumed in Lane County?

If we plan for these things and for some reason they miraculously don’t happen (against all the best science now available), then we’ll have cleaner air, cleaner water, cleaner and safer food, cleaner rivers, more livable and resilient communities, locally supported farmers and closer neighbors. This also prepares us for a super earthquake.

Are you as our mayors, commissioners and city councilors going to personally feed an extra million people who move to the Willamette Valley as our climate and petroleum-based civilization collapses? Or will you just have your kids and grandkids deal with that because you are hoping you won’t be around to see it happen?

We are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic at best! It is long past due to start building the life boats. 

If we can’t raise enough food in Oregon to feed the population here, people in overcrowded and ill-prepared communities will starve.

Shannon Wilson, Eugene


In light of all the recent talk of illegal immigration, I feel compelled to share my opinion. I am an immigrant and proud to be one. Since I was 16, I’ve worked, paid taxes and have never been arrested. I come from a working class (immigrant) family that contributes to its community. That’s why all this anti-immigrant rhetoric angers me.

So some people come here illegally. What’s the big deal? Hello? Does anyone remember that this country was founded by illegal immigrants? Why is that a bunch of Europeans stole it and now are greedy about sharing? It’s not like the U.S. is overpopulated. It’s not like the “illegals” are stealing prime jobs from college graduates. They’re coming here for the same exact reason your great-great-great-grandparents did: to provide a better life for their families. Shame on you for criticizing them! I mean, seriously, does it affect your life that much? 

Let them in. I say, forget papers; open the flood gates and let everyone in! America is supposed to be the great melting pot, the land of opportunity. I wasn’t aware that was limited to white people.

I, for one, turn very brown in the summer, and I’ll be damned if some cop asks to see my identification on account of my tan! That’s not the America to which I immigrated!

Eve Cienfuegos, Eugene


 As an appreciator of your various past articles on the area’s nude/clothing-optional beaches, I’d like to offer some updating information. Eugene’s “other” full river-frontal sunnin’/swimmin’ hole — Nudie Rock Beach — seems to have fallen out of general public awareness and into relative disuse except by a small and timid number of “nudies” and a larger number of “textiles.” This came about after a sheriff’s “mini-crack-down” two or three summers ago when a few warnings and subsequent citations were issued, during an unusually heavy period of McKenzie River use by rafters, boaters and tubers. Some few of the apparently more offendable passers-by had reportedly complained. This happened in spite of the fact that Nudie Rock has been in continual clothing-optional use since at least as far back as the 1960s (as has been attested by various reliable recollections), and probably further.

Since that one anomalous summer, the water deputies have not made any further issue of the few remaining brave souls’ public nudity. They have in fact told the people at the beach that it was only because of the ad hoc public pressure that they made any issue at all, and that they have no intention to activate enforcement in the future (besides, it is probable that their “enforcement” was of dubious legality in the first place because of the long-standing no-clothing precedent and could have been effectively challenged).

I am writing to encourage any and all “textile shedders” to repopulate Nudie Rock because in recent summers we, the few, the brave, have felt outnumbered by the clothed and a bit over-“exposed.” Let’s rebuff this atmosphere of unnecessary timidity and vulnerability and re-“buff” Nudie Rock Beach! 

Park on McKenzie View Drive one mile upriver (east) from Coburg Road; go down steep path between two large rocks at exact top of hill; don’t annoy neighbors on uphill side of road, please!

Richard Reitz, Pleasant Hill


Pam Driscoll in her letter “Steeped In Oil” (6/3) is spot on when she asks, “What will it take to wake people up?” Yes, “the less gasoline used, the fewer oil spills.” Those responsible for the Gulf disaster act with impunity throughout the world, and the Niger Delta dwarfs our current quagmire. In Nigeria, oil companies have acted with such impunity and recklessness that much of the region has been devastated by leaks. In fact, more oil is spilled from the delta’s network of terminals, pipes, pumping stations and oil platforms every year than has been lost in the Gulf of Mexico! 

BP has been blocking progressive legislation both in the U.S. and in Nigeria, and in both places they have been living above the law. BP is clearly a danger to the planet and must be brought before the international court of justice. And it is way beyond time for all of us to assess our lifestyle choices.

Déja vu: Check out the history of the Gulf of Mexico Ixtoc rig that erupted in the middle of the night on June 13, 1979, the same night of a pipeline spill in Alaska. It’s not just the disaster itself that should sound familiar to us, but also the techniques that they were using at the time to try to contain the spill. By the way, two relief wells eventually ended that spill, and currently we will need to wait until August for that result!

Some have defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. 

Christopher Michaels, Eugene


As a civil libertarian, I appreciate the efforts of local activists to safeguard the rights of our community members, including those who hang out downtown. There is danger of arbitrary and unfair enforcement of the new “do not block” zones around the downtown LTD station in Eugene. If the zones are found to be unconstitutional, they cannot stay. But as a matter of public policy, they are a great compromise. They provide room for a public right-of-way while maintaining ample space on the sidewalk outside the zone in which to converse, hang out and just “be.”

Because of a visual disability, I rely on the bus for transportation. I access downtown businesses daily through the LTD station, accompanied by my small daughter and infant son. In recent months, we have found it difficult and unsafe to push through the crowds of people hanging out on the sidewalks around the station. Smokers gesticulate with lit cigarettes, not seeing my kids’ faces nearby. I have to steer the stroller around unsteady drinkers, unsure of which way they will lurch next. 

Think about who uses the bus. In large part, it is the disabled, the elderly, and poor parents with kids — people who don’t have the option of driving and who may not be able to negotiate a crowded sidewalk easily. This is a real problem. I am grateful that city leaders have found a solution that allows both bus riders and the downtown crowd to share the sidewalk.

Rebecca Flynn, Eugene


We felt ashamed by Chandra Cagle’s letter (5/27) which berates a straight woman for “whining” about her food stamp benefit reduction following her marriage. Cagle pointed out that queers don’t have the option to marry our partners and suggested that a reduction in food benefits is a fair exchange for rights we can’t legally access.

We would like to ask Chandra if in a “better” world it would still be OK for poor people of whatever sexual orientation to go hungry because their right to food is tied to the option of marriage. Should basic human rights ever be contingent on marital status?

It is reasonable to be angry about discrimination against us, but descending to a “lowest common denominator” mentality is morally bankrupt. As queer liberationists, we imagine a world in which poverty, violence, homelessness and hunger are nonexistent and legal rights such as child custody and hospital visitation are accessible on the basis of designation by the people concerned. Fighting for the scraps under the table will not bring about a humane society.

Steen V. Mitchell, Sue Dockstader, Eugene


Memorial Day 2010 has come and gone. It seems that female soldiers are not always recognized when attributing gratitude to the soldiers currently serving in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars. Notably, this occurs in using the phrase “our boys” when referring to members of the military. This phrase should forever be used as it has a nostalgic feeling of Americana wartime rhetoric. It is time to institute “our girls,” “our people,” and other phrases that refer to our mothers, sisters, cousins, girlfriends, wives, friends and loved-ones into our memorial rhetoric. Don’t forget the female soldiers. It is our responsibility to recognize them.

Ryan Roach, Eugene


There is a hearing before the Eugene City Council about the Walnut Station (a risky and secretive public-private redevelopment scheme involving the City of Eugene and UO) at 7:30 pm June 21 in the council chambers. You should consider taking the time to attend the hearing and help put this speculative planning fiasco out of its misery.

For more than 10 years, this floundering plan has failed to gain the support of Eugene citizens. Now the city of Eugene, UO and UO Foundation are pushing an interrelated LTD EMX redo along Franklin Boulevard that is estimated to cost $200 million (and utilizes eminent domain to widen Franklin Boulevard). The “multiway boulevard” being planned will also require demolition of some of the recently completed EMX construction work. The multiway boulevard will supposedly make Walnut Station vibrant and walkable.

The city planner in charge of Walnut Station visioning now also insists that certain “stakeholders” have reached a private consensus that language should be included in the Walnut Station plan allowing a second indoor arena near the Nike arena. Is that going to allow a place for the $30-40 million indoor track the UO Athletic Department is hoping to bond and build?

What criteria did this planner use to define who exactly should be considered a “stakeholder”? Why does the city continue to refuse to list the city/UO arena committee in the normal city calendar? The pattern of planning decisions and the ongoing creation of sports-centric neighborhood visions and leaves the impression that money is being laundered from Nike through the UO Foundation and City of Eugene parks programs and that the money eventually has the effect of influencing the city’s dysfunctional planning efforts.

Zachary Vishanoff, Eugene


Too big to fail and they made them bigger? While it’s great to see Rep. Peter DeFazio’s strong stance against Goldman Sachs’ alleged fraud and the Democrats starting to take on Wall Street, citizens can fight back now in a new project that encourages people to transfer money out of the nation’s largest banks into community banks and credit unions.

It’s called Move Your Money, and it’s being promoted with a short online video ( that compares the situation to the film It’s a Wonderful Life, where a community banker helps the town’s people escape a predatory banker. 

The banks being targeted for divestment are Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and asset managers Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. These six have 97 percent of the derivatives market and are using bailout money to stop Congress from reforming our financial system. They want to keep status quo and have taxpayers pick up the bill in the event of another fiscal meltdown.

Individual accounts are significant to the big banks who profit from checking, savings and transactions. People everywhere are moving their money to small, community-minded banks and credit unions and spreading the word. More money is kept locally instead of being exported elsewhere.

Find where your church, union or employer has their money. Institutional Research Analytics (IRA) website has listed the best local banks in your area. Just enter your zip code at and then bail on the big six bailout bandits.

Scott Fife, Eugene


I would just like to congratulate the “progressive” community activists for their success in banning the Pacifica Forum. You have managed to stifle free speech, you have out-Nazied the Nazi sympathizers. Quite the feat. 

Alan Bellew, Springfield 


I am writing to voice my support for Josh Keim and his efforts to help the homeless youth of our community. Yes, they are our homeless youth, some as young as 11. Why would we deny them a place to sleep when one is offered? Why would some of the adults of our community call Josh’s restaurants to say they will never eat there again because he helped our kids? How small of them. Should we not question ourselves instead? 

Why would a child of 11 leave home in the first place to find shelter on our unfriendly streets? Was it because his or her home was full of love, warmth and support? I rather doubt it. More possibly he or she was emotionally, physically or sexually abused, and then ignored or called a liar when trying to tell a family member of the abuse. What is the message the child hears then? “I am no one, I do not belong here. I am unloved.”

I can’t imagine anyone brought up in a loving home denying these kids a place to sleep. Neither can I imagine someone of the same unhappy circumstances complaining when Josh offers them a place. Who then are these people? Is it you? Why?

I say thank you Josh Keim for caring and for helping our homeless youth. I’m sure you will find a way to continue, even in the face of the small-minded. I say one person can make a difference! You do.

Barb Eisenhardt, Eugene

LETTERS POLICY: We welcome letters on all topics and will print as many as space allows, with priority given to timely local issues. Please limit length to 200 words, keep submissions to once a month, and include your address and phone number for our files. E-mail to letters at fax to 484-4044, or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.