Eugene Weekly : Letters : 8.26.10


Could EW please get this straight? The sidewalk painting (aka the “Magic Box”) at the LTD station isn’t a civil rights issue, it’s a response to a failure-to-have-basic-courtesy issue. No one has been “targeted,” no one has been mistreated and no one has been cited as a result of the city’s painting the pedestrian right-of-way.

On the other hand, LTD passengers — many of whom are elderly or have disabilities — now put up with a lot less crap at Eugene Station, hence the positive feedback the Magic Box has gotten. I assure you from daily personal experience that the sidewalk used to be an obstacle course of trick-bikers, skateboarders, Hacky Sack players and other asshats too thoughtless to consider exercising their freedom of assembly a few yards away where they wouldn’t be obstructing someone else’s freedom to catch a bus.

It’s too bad that the problem of obnoxious and oblivious sidewalk-blockers had to be solved in such an unsightly and ridiculous manner. But it has been amply demonstrated that “please” and “excuse me” just doesn’t work with that crowd.

Elizabeth Henning, Eugene


We reject your definition (cover story, 8/12) of a wingnut as “tend[ing] to live in caves or clans, wear plaid, chew tobacco but eschew public schools and are well-armed.”

We live in rural Lane County in a small clan who wears plaid as often as not, has a few guns, uses tobacco and thinks learning happens despite public school, yet we don’t identify with anything else described in your wingnut article (8/12). We have always thought Robinson was on shaky scientific ground, have always voted for DeFazio and have always been pro-choice, pro-freedom of religion and anti-DDT.

So are we an isolated aberration, or is your article a gross generalization of political views based on class differences?

Journalism requires some generalization, but we were disturbed at feeling we were being described as a follower of people we would never follow just because of our choice of family or dress or armory. In the future, please use political terms to describe political phenomena, and leave class differences for a different discussion. Perhaps your readers laughed at the “definition” of wingnuts because “they” are so foreign to Eugene-ites, but here at our farm, we saw ourselves, loyal EW readers from The Sticks, being stereotyped. We must protest that not all plaid wearing, home schooling, gun-owning people are going to vote for Robinson or watch Palin’s new TV show. 

Aradia and Brandon Farmer, Swisshome

Editor’s Note: Full disclosure: Some of us at EW wear plaid, live in the sticks and do a little hunting and fishing. 


 I love how people like Michael L. Quillan (“Violating Liberties,” 8/5) have such compassion for the liberties of the people cited and kicked out of downtown due to violations incurred by them in the “exclusion zone.”

 My question is this: Does he even live down here? If so, maybe he would have a like amount of compassion for the people that live down here and have to put up with the nonsense that these people bring to our neighborhood. 

 The “No Standing” places? (What a joke, btw). Well, maybe if he walked down there every single day, and had to walk in the street because the “too cool to move” crowd won’t move out of his way, even when he’s coming at them in a wheelchair, maybe, just maybe, he’d be singing a much different tune. 

 Now, on to Eve Cienfuegos. What can you say about her? I can think of a lot of things to say about this character, as I’m sure so many of you could, but EW wouldn’t print my first letter. So, I’ll just say that at the site that I make comments on, we would refer to her as a troll. She obviously gets off on pissing people off. And, lo and behold, EW publishes a letter from her just about every month, and the wailing and gnashing of teeth begins anew. People, she’s the Queen Dingleberry on the dingleberry heap. Get over her. That’s all, folks.

Eric Susee, Downtown Eugene


The concept presented (“City to Axe 13th Ave. Bike Lane,” 8/19) is so phenomenally stupid that it suggests a strategy often used. That is, the real plan is really bad, but show a worse one first so that it looks good in comparison.

Remove a bike lane? Back-in parking? How about “Build no parking and they will walk.” After all, only 18 people will be “inconvenienced.”

Gregg Ferry, Corvallis


Sad to see yet another “news story” by Alan Pittman (8/19) that tries to burn the city’s work to promote cycling and walking. His negativity and lack of full coverage on the issue does nothing to advance the cause of cyclists and I wonder what his goals are in “reporting” on cycling the way he does. 

The Alder/13th project that he wrote about has amazing potential and the overall improvements for cyclists and pedestrians could be precedent-setting if the grant comes through. The section he writes about has wider sidewalks (desperately needed), a wider bike lane on the north side, consolidated parking, on-street bike parking and other improvements including replacing a currently unsafe bike lane with “sharrows,” and that isn’t even the exciting “cycletrack” section of Alder!

I want to see infrastructure in our city where more people feel more comfortable cycling and walking more often and this plan has that — in spades!  Yet, if a reporter who supposedly wants the city to do more for cyclists writes something like this he is actually shooting us in the foot. This is the most advanced, progressive and positive design for cyclists and pedestrians that the city has put forward in decades. People interested in more active transportation should be supporting it and pushing for more changes like this, not complaining about small parts of the project they don’t like. The city isn’t “axing a bike lane,” they are leaping ahead of Pittman in vision and action.

See for a different perspective.

Shane MacRhodes, Eugene

EDITOR’S NOTE: Shane MacRhodes is Safe Routes to School coordinator for Eugene School District 4J.



Another journalist bemoaning the declining readership of newspapers (Viewpoint, Arnold Ismach, 8/5). He should have added that all mainstream media is losing its audience, and there’s a very good reason for it. Mainstream media, and this includes EW, do not report what is really going on. They tell us about some namby-pamby world full of celebrities and reasons to hate the other side of the left/right paradigm.

What am I talking about?

What about the H1N1 pandemic? What happened. to the tens of thousands that were gonna die if they didn’t get vaccinated? What about the miscarriages, the kids with convulsions, the health ministers in Europe facing prison? Only a very small percentage worldwide got the vaccine and the H1N1 turned out to be the mildest flu ever. Where’s the investigative story about what was really going on there?

What about the major story of the last decade, 9/11? More than 80 percent of Americans now know that the official story is a load of crap. How about the third building (Building 7) that collapsed with no plane impact, hardly any fire? Mainstream media laughs at any thing that is not the official line of BS and calls it a “conspiracy theory.” The official story is the conspiracy theory.

These are just a couple reasons why people turn to the internet for their news. How can you have any respect for journalists who don’t talk about real issues? Sure the internet has a lot of goofballs and wild theories, but also it has a lot of people seriously trying to find the truth and get it out there. This is why I don’t subscribe to the R-G any more and only read EW for entertainment while having lunch at Laughing Planet.

Jim Showker, Eugene


Greetings, all you little PC sheeple airheads! As I know that many of the readers of this publication are right at, or near, college age, I think it’s important to remind them of a few basic facts concerning our present-day “higher learning institutions.”

1) Contrary to the doctrine being propagated all day, everyday at our colleges and universities; ”diversity” is actually a drain and an hardship on the country, not a blessing. 

2) Studies and recent history has shown that forced or prolonged overexposure to diversity causes confusion, disorder, injustice, resentment, anger, irritatingly misguided allocation of resources, misunderstanding, outright stupidity and shrivelling of the genitals.

3) And remember to question the authority of those who, for the last 40-plus years have insisted on telling us to “Question Authority.”

You may now return to your regularly scheduled propaganda.

Steve McLeod, Eugene


Many contend that homelessness is solely a matter of personal choice. This may be true to some extent, but what has been left out of the discussion is whether entertaining being homeless can be the best answer to the particular problem that must be faced. I feel a common misconception with homelessness is that it results directly from laziness, poor priorities and/or mental illness. While this is true for a moderately sized, albeit very visible, group of individuals, in counterpoint I want explain my decision. 

I faced this choice recently as a graduate student and community college instructor with severe medical problems and massive medical bills. On pay far less than $1,000 a month, I simply cannot afford to have a room and pay my insurance and bills. The public acceptance of debt being my alternative is abhorrent, so my choices are to go on public assistance (largely unavailable to me), let my health deteriorate until I cannot take care of myself or save money on my single largest monthly expense. 

As a “homeless” person I have managed my health and maintained my independence without costing the taxpayer. The only thing I have asked from my community is for people to try not to lambast an entire group of individuals who possess this inadequately broad label — homeless — as being less than deserving of compassion. 

Taking care of myself by a means I find comfortable in a manner that doesn’t impinge on another person’s property should be a personal right. My lifestyle does not bother me, especially since I still have a challenging, meaningful job and a community of friends. I am fortunate, moreover, to now have a safe place to park, as being homeless on the street is not easy partly because of the way one is treated as a non-person. 

Others would do well to exercise empathy for why people make such “choices,” at least show more empathy than those who have spat on my car, shone lights on me for hours, or shaken, beaten or hit my car with a hatchet just because they didn’t like the fact that I was “homeless” and felt they had some moral justification for treating another human being such as they have treated me. 

Ebba Peterson, Corvallis


In a sort of response to Karen Ecker’s web letter (8/12): So you are saying that, when it comes to bums, we have to go to them for help? No, they have a choice. When a bum has no choice, that means he is passed out. Now I have been “homeless” many times, but have never been “bum” status. My point is, I am on Eve Cienfuego’s side (and whoever else’s side), especially when we have able-bodied blue hair-dyed assholes that walk around in between vehicles in the intersection of Garfield and 7th, walking up to vehicles with a sad look while holding up a sign that says “PLEASE HELP.” 

Guilt trips do not work for me, or probably for those other people who were most likely sketched out. For the record, I have not ever done that before in my entire 27 year existence. 

Blue hair guy? That is worthless to me. That is a man that should not breed. You ask, “Who are we to judge if we have not walked a mile in those moccasins? Why would anyone choose to live on the street if they had a happier option?” The answers are why would you walk that mile, especially since, voila!, no one forced you become a bum. You lost your job, go find something else. Do something. They have a choice, just like every human being should have. Do food boxes come to bums? No, they don’t. Do quarters fly out of people’s pockets and land in a bum’s hand? No, they don’t. So why should we feel sorry? I feel sorry about the kind of beer they drink sometimes, but that’s about it. They choose to get money in there own ways, they choose to spend the money on beer or drugs instead of a haircut. Gimme a break. 

No one gets the whole concept: Why are those kids living in a van? Because the parents are either tweekers or alcoholics. They have the choice to stop. They have the choice to go for help. Do I feel sorry for the kids? Yes I do. Do I feel sorry for the parents who got everyone in that situation? No, I do not. 

It’s a choice. 

Jimmy Spoor, Eugene


Jimmy Spoor (web letters 8/12) claims that other countries don’t invade the U.S.

What does he think has been happening on our southern border?

Jerry Ritter, Springfield


Regarding the July 22 letter by Eve Cienfuegos: Mrs. Cienfuegos, what makes you a better person just because you have a house and a job?

In a community with double digit unemployment and mass layoffs, it is expected that many people will lose their homes. You must enjoy kicking people who are down. Venomous attitudes like yours can spark hate crimes.

Why do you stereotype those down on their luck? It’s not that easy to “just rent some lame apartment” for those with credit problems. In this economy many have credit problems.

So families that were foreclosed on are “worthless,” “should not breed.” There were Germans during the Great Depression with the same beliefs about their neighbors. Would you hire a homeless person? Many don’t if the applicant has no address.

Your hateful letter brought tears to my eyes. I hope I don’t get laid off my job. It will be hard enough to get work and new housing without having to deal with people like you who will hate me just because I’m “stranded in public” sleeping outside by no choice of my own. You don’t know everyone’s personal situations. Stop your classist judgments!

Eric Stanton, Eugene


As a “baby-boomer” I wish to apologize to Donovan Worland who I guess almost got run over in Eugene by an old person (7/22, “Not So Sharp”) because, you see, I don’t have a car.

I can’t be “cool” any more; They don’t carry leather engineer’s boots in the stores any more, the state of Oregon has put cancer causing fire retardant in all the cigarettes so my best brand called Navy Players is no longer available, they stopped making real Coca-Cola so I can’t get a decent rum and coke anywhere.

If I had a decent big frame car made of steel with a good power plant I can no longer get the gas I need to make it run right. Hershey chocolate bars suffer the same problem as Coke but are all made in Mexico now. All of you are now wearing underwear T-shirts with paint on them acting like they are actual shirts. So basically all the “cool” stuff I would wear and use that are “cool” is gone which even includes ordinary basic peanut butter for I can now taste the peanut shells they have fluffed the paste with and that means I can’t even get the most basic P&J lunch I grew up with. Jimi Hendrix said “Hey Joe, where ya goin’ with that gun in your hand?”

Oh yeah, adult punk boys and girls have repeatedly almost run me over still using hand phones while play driving and have the alleged “music” cranked up as I try to use the crosswalks.

They’re not so sharp either, zipper heads.

Daniel J. Moore, Springfield


The amount of ignorance it took to compose your letter “It’s Just Not OK” (7/22) is staggering Ms. Eve! Bankruptcies, foreclosures, mental illness, divorces, job loss, sexual abuse, domestic violence, death in families, medical problems, are a few reasons why homelessness can happen to anyone. Native Americans have been homeless for more than three centuries in what was once theirs. For you to say “perhaps worthless people ought not to breed” is cruel and evil. Do you believe only beautiful people fall in love, have relationships and families, while insinuating that homeless people breed like animals?

I think that you might want to get out and meet some of the people you call “douches,” it might enlighten you! Some homeless citizens have fought in combat and have been awarded the Medal of Honor, to protect your right to be bigoted and stupid. Worthless people?

Marc Albaum, Springfield


The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, predating the Constitution that was written in 1787. So the Declaration came first, and thus paved the way for the Constitution.

Regarding God in the Declaration, it states that men are “endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” It also states we are “appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions.” And it ends with: “a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.” As you can see, they relied on God a lot in the Declaration.

 However, the Constitution was another matter entirely, and differed from the Declaration by excluding God. It also lacked basic freedoms for the citizens and sovereignty for the states. It is for these reasons that Jefferson, who wrote the Declaration, insisted that the Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution as its first 10 amendments.

The Constitution passed by only a small majority because it advocated too much federal power over the states, and that is why many patriots of that time refused to sign it, including Jefferson.

So to put it in perspective, the Declaration was truly a Christian document, but the Constitution was not. William Penn said: “Those people who are not governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.” Acts 5:29 states: “We must obey God rather than men.”

Roy Toll, Eugene