Hello, my name is Indigo Amarys, and I am 10 years old. This letter is regarding the photo on your Summer Guide cover (6/3). What is wrong with that picture? They’re smoking, they’re drinking; they’re littering; they’re not wearing sunscreen and I see no lifeguard! My biggest concern is that they’re smoking and drinking beer. Are you saying this summer that young people like me should be sitting in a baby pool drinking and smoking cigarettes? That is the message I got from the photo. To be honest, I think that was a very poor choice of photos. It was not necessary to add any of that! The cigarettes, the beer, or the littering! Why are there six cans on the ground? If you’re trying to tell us that smoking, drinking and littering is a fun choice for this summer, let me just say I completely disagree!
I hope that I am not the only one who saw this and was as disgusted, especially considering that most of the time I love EW! I was very disappointed to see something like that!
Indigo Amarys, Edgewood Elementary, Eugene
VIOLATING MY RIGHTS
I have lived here in Eugene for about 16 years and did not want to become a victim to any police corporation, but it happened to me Saturday, June 5.
I had done the drum circle that day and had paid for a sword called “Sting.” This sword is used for acting because it has no tang to it; in other words, it has not been sharpened, although you cannot tell this if you have seen it in a spy camera such as the one that we have at our drum circle at 8th and Oak at the Lane County Courthouse here in Eugene. I definitely did show this sword there because I’m trying to get a pair of Renaissance-type boots made for the fair season.
That night I was on my way home with a friend when one of the corporation of the UO safety officers yelled at me that I did not have my lights on. I told him that no one else had their lights on either, but he ordered me to pull over. I did, and then he ordered me to get off my bike and sit in this muddy puddle. I told him that I was not going to do that. He pulled out his Mace and ordered me to do this thing again. I refused, and a police-type car rushed up behind me, and the officer got out and was behind me. I told the officer that that this situation was a traffic event and asked if I could have the ticket so that I could be on my merry way. The officer commanded me to the puddle, and when I did not comply, I was tackled and they tried to go in my pockets. At this time I was handcuffed.
They were after “Sting” the sword. I told them they were violating my rights and they had no probable cause to torture me and try to go into my pockets. This part I did fervently resist, so they cut my $337 Gore-Tex jacket in two places and removed my property “Sting” from my large jacket pocket. And when I was knocked from my bike, my Gore-Tex pants were ripped. I do believe that I should be compensated for this loss.
Darrell Richard, aka “D”, Eugene
EDITOR’S NOTE: Darrell Richard has told his story to Tim Lewis for an upcoming “Picture Eugene” video interview to be posted on YouTube.
A BETTER LIFE
I agree that illegal immigration is a problem. Honestly, I don’t have a good solution. My husband is from Mexico, and not the resort-filled Mexico. I’m referring to a rancho where there is no running water, no paved roads, no telephone lines and only spotty electricity. He was working with his dad by the age of 4. If you grew up like that, wouldn’t you want something better?
My husband did initially come here illegally. We went through an attorney to acquire his green card, paying thousands of dollars, waiting nearly three and a half years and experiencing such horrendous hardships that at times it almost didn’t seem worth it. Five years and two beautiful children later, we are a success.
He came here not to fall in love with some gringa to get a green card and have the opportunity for citizenship but to make a better life for his family. He worked three jobs at once to support us and send money home. Other illegal immigrants who are here and working just as hard, but not fortunate enough to marry a citizen, have no opportunity to obtain citizenship.
I understand there are a handful of illegals who “take advantage.” However, if you talk to most immigrants, you would hear about the dire circumstances from which they escaped. They, like most human beings, are simply trying to better their lives.
I wish more people would understand the struggles that many illegals experience and stop associating them with the few who make poor choices.
Jennifer Corona, Eugene
DISMAYED BY IMAGE
I am a regular reader of EW and generally support your format and articles. I am dismayed at the picture chosen for the cover of the Summer Guide (6/3). The scene of one person smoking a cigarette and both people drinking beer provides a tacit approval of smoking and alcohol consumption. As parents, we have enough to deal with already without having to attempt to explain why their local newspaper supports smoking or drinking.
I do like to consume beer and wine on occasion, and so I am not a prude or a ranting Puritan. However, I think that your newspaper, which is a public paper read by children as well as adults, should be held to a higher standard. I am sure that there are perhaps a thousand other possible pictures that could represent the joys of summer. I realize not everybody has children and perhaps the staff does not even think about such issues, after all, there are way more explicit items inside. So, maybe the staff should think about these newspapers lying around where children can see them and consider these concerns.
Wayne Taubenfeld, Eugene
EDITOR’S NOTE: For some of us, summer is all about cheap beer, a little smoke, a little sunshine, a patch of grass, good company and a lot of laughs. Life is good in the backyard. Celebrate it! Make the kids play out front.
CRITICS’ CIRCLE JERK
While I share Tom Manoff’s frustration (6/3) at some aspects of the ESO’s programming and applaud his efforts to promote performances of contemporary music — at least, accessible contemporary music (to use his term) — he betrays a tin ear to what made Brett Campbell’s dip-shitty preview of Play! so objectionable. Perhaps he feels compelled to go on the offensive on Campbell’s behalf because he shares Campbell’s view that the ESO “took a swipe at classical music’s legitimacy” by presenting Play!, or perhaps it is because he lists Campbell as a contributor on his website and he feels obliged to participate in the circle jerk that comprises “professional” criticism of “serious” music.
The near-capacity crowd that attended Play! had a great time, and that includes not only my own 9-year-old reluctant violin student but also those many who, as Campbell derisively pointed out, are unlikely to attend future performances of the ESO. Who gives a crap whether they come back or not? It was still a worthy outreach on the part of the Symphony. Do Campbell and Manoff seriously think that a program comprised of a typical mix of “accessible” and, uh, “challenging” contemporary American music would be more effective in attracting the same unwashed masses who came to hear Play!?
Steve Golledge, Eugene
Tasers are deadly weapons and must be used only when a person’s life is threatened and only by a well-trained police officer. I believe it is an important weapon to use instead of a gun to save lives. It should never be used for crowd control or when there are safer ways to gain compliance of an individual. We have had more than 350 individuals die from its use, and I deeply regret that it has been used in a careless manner in Eugene. I would like to know how many times it has been used in Eugene and if it the use was approved by the Civilian Review Board.
Ruth Duemler, Eugene
LET’S KEEP IT CIVIL
It’s unfortunate that some of the recent conversation about the Eugene Symphony Orchestra’s programming has devolved into insults and personal attacks. Not only does this take the dialogue off topic, but it tends to create barriers to a meaningful and substantive discussion. I am one music fan who appreciates a civil exchange of ideas about contemporary music and programming. I also appreciate reading the viewpoints of Brett Campbell and Tom Manoff, who are each nationally recognized as music critics. Even if it’s understandably difficult for individuals to hear criticism, I believe it is healthy for society to have critics raise questions that relate to contemporary art. In this sense, I think both Campbell and Manoff do us a great service. Their discussion has certainly sparked a meaningful dialogue between myself and some other musicians on a topic that is dear to us.
Matthew Svoboda, Eugene
In response to “Fighting for Scraps” (letters, 6/10), it seems the point of choice was misinterpreted. Steen V. Mitchell and Sue Dockstader asked, “in a ‘better’ world would it 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?” As I understood, the frustration at hearing a woman “whine” about a decrease in food stamps, after choosing to marry, was that that was her choice. That she had that choice. That too many others are not allowed that choice, because outsiders have decided they don’t deserve it.
I have known straight people who relied on government assistance and knew that assistance would end (or decrease) upon marrying. Some chose not to marry because of this. Yes, it sucks that people have to choose between access to basic necessities and the benefits that accompany the marriage of a life partner.
The point of not wanting to hear someone whine over the choice they made was simply that they at least have that choice to make. The outcome is therefore their decision.
Mabel Brown, Eugene
Ultimate Frisbee wasn’t invented until after I graduated from high school and college. It’s a great game, though, because it’s inexpensive, accessible to almost everyone, self regulating, egalitarian and exciting. These are the kinds of values that EW tends to endorse.
Within the sport, it’s widely known that the sport’s highest honor, the Callahan Trophy, was named for former UO student Henry Callahan. The Club Sports program at the UO founded the sport in 1978. Callahan unfortunately died at age 24, and because of his dedication to making Ultimate Frisbee a recognized sport, the national Callahan Trophy was named in his honor.
Although EW didn’t mention it in your cover story (6/3) on Ultimate Frisbee, this year’s Callahan Trophy, correctly regarded as the Heisman Trophy of the sport, was awarded to Eli Friedman, who’s not only a UO graduating senior but also a native of Eugene and graduate of South Eugene High School.
Way to go, Eli! Do a story on him, EW!
Pete Sorenson, Lane County Commissioner
Irony is never in short supply in Eugene, and lately it’s become hard to avoid.
At the UO, recent protests against the Pacifica Forum (PF) have been gushing irony. PF has been presenting a wide range of ideas and opinion for 16 years. But recent speakers have brought campus activists to a flash point by committing the unpardonable sin of defying political correctness and questioning conventional wisdom.
PF talks have spanned environmental issues and politics through the years, but when invited guests chose to discuss their views on the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and denial of the Holocaust, freedom of speech became a one-way street barricaded against opposing thought.
Stories published the last few months have exploded myths surrounding the First Amendment. Apparently, ideas are H-bombs, and words have become ballistic missiles. Or maybe just cudgels to beat everyone into a verbal coma.
When the attempted discussion of an idea, odious or not, becomes a proscribed issue, something is desperately wrong.
Protesters and students claim that the presenters are spewing hate speech that wounds gentle souls and could lead to violence. Of course, in the “could” game, flying purple-people-eaters could nibble our noses and tickle our toes-es. It’s true — anything could happen.
And the free exchange of ideas could lead to critical thinking and a greater understanding of other people. It is not necessary to agree with an idea, but it helps to understand how others think. But that’s not allowed at a center of higher learning.
Protesters have called PF speakers terrorists and claim their rhetoric is as deadly as a bomb and that Eugene cannot allow a platform for fascism. Then they arrive en-mass at Pacifica open meetings, using shouts and foot-stomping to drown out all but their own voices. The last meeting was stormed by a group wearing black masks covering their faces and setting off stink bombs.
Ironic, isn’t it?
Jess Henryes, Oakridge
I dreamt that God said, “It has come to My attention that the world is run by gamblers. I am tired of the late-night prayers. Half of you are playing because you have bet something too precious, and the other half of you play because the game feels too good to stop. I only have one miracle left to show you.” And then, He set the Gulf of Mexico on fire.
Gavain U’Prichard, 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 eugeneweekly.com fax to 484-4044, or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.