Eugene Weekly : Letters : 7.1.10


Ranchers are crying wolf again. Seventy years ago ranchers and government trappers exterminated wolves from Oregon. Their tolerance is no different today, and history is repeating itself. In response to six cows allegedly killed by wolves, nine kill permits were issued to ranchers, and federal aerial gunners are trying to shoot two wolves from helicopters. In spite of the fact that wolves have not been seen near livestock and no further depredations have occurred, the illegal kill orders have twice been extended and the kill area increased to 70 square miles. 

The Oregon Wolf Plan requires ranchers to exhaust nonlethal deterrents and to take steps to avoid attracting wolves before killing wolves. This is not happening. Piles of cow carcasses invite wolves and other predators, and steps to protect livestock are not being taken. Ranchers are not upholding their part of the bargain. ODFW is not only letting them get away with it; they are complicit in violating the Wolf Plan by prematurely issuing kill orders. Indiscriminately taking out bodies to appease bullying ranchers is not going to resolve conflicts. Good husbandry and nonlethal deterrents, not politics, are the keys to coexistence and conflict resolution.

Sally Mackler, Predator Defense, Oregon Carnivore Coordinator, Eugene 


Two folks, one a 10-year-old, wrote (7/17) with concerns about smoking, drinking and littering promoted by the cover of the EW Summer Guide. You suggested in your editor’s note under Wayne Taubenfeld’s letter that parents should make kids play out in the front yard while they enjoy a smoke and a beer in the back. Too bad you didn’t practice what you preached and put a picture of playing kids on the front page and your questionably appropriate “adult entertainment” pic where it belonged — buried somewhere in the back pages.

Hey, now that I’m considerably holier than thou, I can go smoke up some hot dawgs, peruse the saucy back pages (and frequent cheesy back cover ads) of your mag, let the grass grow and the kids play unsupervised out front. Glad you approve. Hey, maybe Fahrenheit 451 works and I can use those sheets you print to light up my cooking fire before the kids come running round the corner.

Ethen Perkins, Eugene

Editor’s note: Point taken. But hmmm, wasn’t that the issue with folks playing Frisbee on the cover?


It’s been awhile since the pit downtown has been in the news. Some people want housing, some retail stores, some parking and some a park. 

Why can’t we have all of them? We can build a parking garage in the pit, have retail stores on ground level, build a building that gives room for trees, grass and open space on the east or west end of the property, have modestly priced apartments and high end suites at the top. 

I know that many Eugeneans don’t want skyscrapers, but especially in downtown Eugene, we need to shed the ’60s and build for the 21st century.

A lot of trouble could have been avoided with the June 1, 1996, debacle (tree-sitting protest) if only three trees were cut to create a four-story building instead of cutting six trees to create a two-story building.

The time has come that Eugene use vertical space and not extend the urban growth boundary.

Jon D. Palma, Eugene


Three reasons I’m voting “none of the above,” not for Peter DeFazio’s reelection.

• DeFazio is chair of the House Transportation Committee’s subcommittee on highways. He makes nice noises about better trains but also pushes highway expansion even though we are past peak oil and peak traffic. In 1998, Clinton’s highway bill had more than $100 billion for roads (with a small amount for transit). In 2005, Bush’s bill had more than $200 billion for roads. Obama and DeFazio want about $500 billion for transportation, mostly for new and expanded roads.

• DeFazio hopes to designate the Devil’s Staircase Wilderness, a largely inaccessible area that escaped clearcutting due to convoluted topography. Meanwhile, he wants accelerated logging for “forest biofuels” that threatens our air and water with massive deforestation. A small, token “wilderness” designation is a nice gesture, but the real issue is the new threat of forest liquidation for forest biofuels.

• DeFazio opposed Cheney’s invasion of Iraq but in more recent public events has suggested the war was legal because Congress authorized it, which ignores the Nuremberg Code, the Genocide Convention and other standards created by the United States to prevent “aggressive war.” Politicians are not against war if they vote to fund it.

Mark Robinowitz, Eugene


After recently moving here from Idaho, it seemed like a nice change. I found some people who can hold down a conversation that’s not about hunting or fishing. But this city is not nearly as cool as people think it is. 

Why are there a million police cars patrolling everywhere? Is there a lot of crime here to justify this expense to us taxpayers, or is Lane County just using traffic citations to raise money for itself?

I got pulled over on the Beltline, and the officer cited me for “improper exhaust system.” The officer apparently was able to hear my truck drive by and diagnose the exhaust system from the side of the road before pulling me over and creating an actual safety hazard with our vehicles on the shoulder of the Beltline.

My problem aside, this city that prides itself on being liberal, maybe being a little chill, well, it’s really not all that chill. 

I think the local municipalities could drastically cut down on their police forces and save a bunch of money, with almost no impact on the community except maybe fewer traffic tickets.

Jack Schaefer, Eugene


Ever wonder what we could do with one million piles of $1 million? 

According to most estimates, including the counter at we passed the $1 trillion dollar mark this past Memorial Weekend. That’s $1 trillion spent on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars since 2001.

If we had set our priorities differently, what could we have done with that money? We could have funded one million projects with $1 million each! That’s a lot of funding for a lot of projects. I wonder how many jobs we could have created. Split evenly among all our 50 states, we could have given $1 million to each of 20,000 projects in Oregon! Divided equally among all counties, Lane County could have funded 555 projects with $1 million each! We could have given all 134 public schools in Lane County each $1 million, and still had enough money to fund 421 other Lane County projects with $1 million each!

When will we decide to alter our funding priorities?

Rees Maxwell, Eugene


David Delmar’s Viewpoint (6/13) was an eloquent argument for retaining professor De Bevoise on the UO Political Science faculty based on his teaching excellence. Delmar didn’t mention the professor’s publication record. In deciding on retention, most faculty are convinced that they can be more objective in evaluating a colleague’s publications than his/her teaching prowess. (“Publish or perish” is the usual shorthand phrase.)

A decision to give important weight to student judgments in this matter could well result in raising students to near equal partnership in running the university. I feel the visceral pull of such a democratic ideal. Yes! Speed the day! Isn’t the university a “teaching institution”? Then again, it does raise some issues:

Imaging the heavy responsibilities UO students (which ones? who chooses? tenure?) would have to assume. Imagine what would happen to UO funding. Imagine the status of a UO degree nationally (unless most universities followed suit). Imagine the profile of subsequent faculty hires, etc., i.e., all the unintended consequences .

Don MacQueen, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: Instructors are not usually evaluated based on publication records as are tenure-track professors. Instructors are paid only to teach, while professors are paid to research and teach.


First off, was reporter Alan Pittman stoned when he wrote (6/17) his “Urban Renewal Update”? The piece is just garbled.

Second, why are people in Eugene so damned excited about Voodoo Donuts when we already have a much cooler local donut shop with much better donuts? Have some dignity, people of Eugene, and spend your donut dollars at Holy Donut. There’s even a courtyard, for frack’s sake.

Finally, what the hell am I so pissed off about?

Timothy Shaw, Eugene


I second Pete Sorenson’s kudos (letters, 6/17) to Eli Friedman for winning the Callahan Award at this year’s college championships, and his reminder of the strong local presence the sport of Ultimate has. I think he got a bit over-zealous on the local links, though. Contrary to his assertion, the sport was invented in 1968 by a group of New Jersey high school kids. A quick check of the USA Ultimate website at will fill you in on the details. However, 1978 was the first year of the Eugene Summer Solstice Tournament, which Henry Callahan & co. founded. The 32nd annual tournament was last weekend, at Ascot Park and Roosevelt Middle School. I hope some people managed to catch some top-level Ultimate while the show was in town.

Jacob Blair, Eugene


It is astonishing to watch our current elected leaders fiddle-faddle around with citizens’ lives and stubbornly refuse to look outside the box. 

Gov. Kulongoski and his cohorts Senate President Peter Courtney and John Kitzhaber plan to fix the general fund budget problem by cutting school days, laying off Oregon State Police officers, releasing criminals and letting some of our senior and disabled citizens die. They prefer this plan to legalizing and taxing marijuana. 

On the Republican side Sen. Ted Ferrioli has been waging a violent drug war against Oregonians who smoke marijuana for decades. No new ideas there. 

These are our incompetent leaders. It’s like these leaders forgot to pay the water bill. Now they are running around crying, “We’re dying of thirst!” while outside it is raining.

When it comes to marijuana — it is raining money. Legalize it, tax it, fix the budget.

Chris Pender, Eugene


Statistics show the crime rate is falling. Maybe that explains why the Lane County Sheriff’s and the D.A.’s office have time to prosecute my mom over a misunderstanding about a stray, dying cat.

Two years ago, a stray cat began eating with our outside cats and adopted us. A neighbor recalled that his name was Stanley, and he had been left by an elderly man who moved away. Stanley took sick three weeks ago with raspy breathing and became emaciated since he wouldn’t eat or drink. A kindly neighbor lady, knowing we can’t afford expensive vet bills, took Stan to the vet for antibiotic shots and found he had an identifying chip.

Days later a man called numerous times claiming it had been his ex-wife’s pet. She had moved out of state, but he wanted the ill cat back, “dead or alive.” He sounded threatening to an elderly lady, using profanity and phrases like “I know where to find you!” Also, he called the cat a name different than the one on the chip and supplied other info that conflicted with what we knew as fact, causing disbelief he was the correct owner.

He frightened and confused the lady and got the police involved. The sheriff refused to charge the guy with threatening and harassing phone calls, yet filed a report that led the D.A. to bring charges against my  mom that could result in a felony conviction although she has no prior record. 

The vet said the cat was unlikely to remember its past owners and felt it had a better chance of survival with its present family. Last year, Stanley got ill to the point of losing mobility of his back legs, but we nursed him to recovery. Last week, Stanley resumed eating and drinking but has since taken a slight turn for the worse.

We feel we’re doing the right thing for the cat, but legally we’re confused. We can’t afford legal representation, but if you pet lovers or others have any good advice, please contact C. Wulf, Veneta, 514-3673. Meanwhile, when the police or D.A.’s office ask voters for more funding, remember how they are wasting time and your money on frivolous cases, and vote against them. 

Les Wulf, Eugene


The next time you allow your child to take juice to school in a plastic container, think twice! Thanks to a small amount of one week old juice that had fermented in the bottom of a plastic bottle left in her backpack, my stepdaughter was issued a ticket for possession of alcohol by a minor, suspended from school, thus missing her Shasta Middle School graduation, and her newly acquired position as a Willamette High School junior varsity cheerleader is in jeopardy. 

The whole thing started when some students borrowed my stepdaughter’s “empty” juice container to get some fresh water. The students noticed an offending alcohol smell. This resulted in a trip to the principal’s office where the witnessing students were asked to write testimonies concerning the offending bottle. After someone at the school suggested that my stepdaughter was drunk, she challenged them to call the police to check her for alcohol possession and use, and the school followed suit. The officer’s tests showed the bottle positive for alcohol, but the breathalyzer test proved negative. The officer who wrote the citation did not take any time to think critically about the evidence — he and the school authorities vested their actions based on what the other students had rumored about my stepdaughter’s activities.

One thing I have learned from this experience is that it is really important to know your child, so when situations such as this arise, you can see into the truth of the matter despite the authorities. To the school’s credit, they are seeking to arrange a meeting between a school counselor and my stepdaughter in order to discover what was really said, implied or intentioned. 

Thank you Shasta Middle School for ruining my stepdaughter’s graduation night. I just hope that this whole situation makes her stronger in the face of injustice. In the meantime, beware of leftover juice in your child’s backpack.

Carolyn Gsell, Eugene


“Renewable” energy is not sustainable energy! It is impossible to replace oil and coal with windmills, solar panels and biofuels. When you try to do the impossible, many bad things happen that you never took time to think about, such as a collapse of our economy, increased environmental damage and skyrocketing food prices. 

The renewable energy fad is a temporary craze, an irrational, insane quasi-religious belief that just because an energy source is labeled “renewable,” but not actually in fact economically, politically and environmentally sustainable, that it is a good thing. If an energy source is horribly inefficient, incredibly expensive, takes up huge amounts of land and natural resources to implement, then it will not be sustainable over the long term. Currently, renewable energy projects are just expensive window dressing projects sold to the public by politicians and utility companies who have no idea what to do. 

The authentic, mathematically correct energy solution is thorium power, and the best way to utilize energy from thorium is through a liquid-fueled reactor, not an inefficient old style solid-fueled reactor. The liquid fuel idea makes the reactor stable because the fuel is already in a broken-down liquid state by design, and any excess heat automatically expands the liquid beyond its criticality point, making the design inherently safe.

Please see:

Christopher Calder, 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.