Eugene Weekly : Letters : 8.9.07


In response to Sian Nelson’s letter (7/26) about “Fair Snobbishness,” I’d like to respond from an insider’s point of view. Yes, there are many who wander the fairgrounds with a sense of entitlement. But like any community, status is derived from your actions and your connections. This year I worked well over 125 hours to receive my camping pass. It is the hardest work I’ve ever loved to do so much for a T-shirt (and an apron). Do I feel entitled to my position? Yes, I’ve earned it by the sweat equity that with others’ all helps to create the amazing food we feed to the Maincamp Fair family.

Is the Fair closed to walk-on volunteers? Absolutely not. In the kitchen this year we had a few newbies who volunteered and kicked ass, thus earning their passes. No promises were made, but these newbies definitely proved themselves and earned their tent site and T-shirt.

If you want to cast blame towards the entitled, I’d suggest you blame all those who do nothing to make the magick of the Fair but instead feel entitled to sneak in or hide from the sweep. And blame all those who don’t lift a finger to fuel the magick and only take away the energy that otherwise illuminates us for the rest of the year. I’m sorry that you are over it, but take a personal check: Isn’t it your own personal ego that is affronted by the policies? What I find works the best to keep the action smooth in the kitchen is a total lack of ego. We constantly give our need to control away, thus working together synergistically. Try it, it’s great fun!

Jonathan Seraphim, Eugene



Excellent article by Camilla Mortensen (cover story, 7/19) on the cougar hound hunting issue.

She hits the nail on the head and gets behind the fluff that is normally passed off as good reporting to reveal the bogus justifications by ODFW for its cougar slaughter.

ODFW is hiding behind a sham of concern for public safety when in fact what they really want to do is persecute cougars so they can have a few more elk and deer for hunters to blast.

Any good biologist (apparently there are none in ODFW) knows that the indiscriminate killing of cougars disrupts social organization and skews cougar populations towards younger age classes. Young cougars are just like young humans. They are more likely to take risks, act foolishly and in general cause trouble. ODFW’s policy of cougar “management” will actually increase the likelihood of human conflicts, creating a self-fullfilling cycle of more conflicts, and thus more reason for even more cougar killing. Oregon’s wildlife would be better off if we got rid of ODFW — the agency is nothing more than a tag-selling industry hack.

George Wuerthner, Eugene



I always look forward to Brett Campbell’s pieces on music in your pages as he writes with keen insight and refreshing verve over a wide spectrum of topics. So I enjoyed his OFAM 2007 preview, “Getting to Know Richard Rodgers,” in your July 26 issue, right up to the last half of his final sentence, which reads “… and reaffirms OFAM’s status as Eugene’s most important musical institution.” That may wrap the package in a bow too wide by a tad.

Patrons of the Eugene Symphony Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival, Oregon Mozart Players, Eugene Concert Choir and perhaps other groups might well raise an eyebrow or two in response to such a sweeping statement. All of those groups have left their teen years behind, at least, and they have achieved an admirable level of artistic maturity. I shall also mention the UO School of Music and Dance, which traces its roots in this community back over a century, and whose presence has enabled and furthered the development of the musical groups mentioned above as well as numerous others.

One may argue at length over questions of rank, status and relative importance, but in the end credit must be given where it has earned its due.

John E. Heintz, Eugene



It was great to see (EW, 7/26) that Councilor Andrea Ortiz has joined the fiscally responsible Bonny Bettman and Betty Taylor to oppose our $50 million, as Bettman said it, “astronomical dowry to a private developer.” Since when does a city offer developers such large financial gifts and take on such risks without a vote of the citizens? When the City Development Manager Denny Braud says the city taxpayers woud have to “resell the properties in a fire sale,” it makes me wonder what we are doing. Too much risk if you ask me. Also, is it really true that the holes downtown would have been filled by now if we hadn’t postponed until the whole downtown area is planned?

Ruth Duemler, Eugene



As I read the letter to the editor by Lou Andrews (7/26), I could not help but picture a wolf in a sheep costume trying to sell to me this idea of an “Earth with Borders.” Here Mr. Andrews voices his pseudo-spiritual opinion on illegal immigration and even attempts to instill fear in me about “survival.” Well, let me tell you something: If you were really worried about survival of our species, you would be more concerned with environmental issues, such as that atrocious Measure 37 that overrides 30 years of activism and flushes everything that is Oregon down the toilet, and less about being scared of people from other countries.

If your “genes” are telling you that people from Latin America are reducing your chances of survival, then I would suggest taking a closer look at your habits and at your lifestyle, and really question: Am I at fault? Nah, you couldn’t possibly be! You are an American!

We live in a world community; we are all human, Why should we have to compete for survival? We perfectly know that survival relies on cooperation and a holistic non-individualized approach to living.

Dave Crowley, Eugene



As a liberal and a journalist/editor, I have a love-hate relationship with Eugene Weekly. Although I usually agree with its positions, I often decry the way in which they’re presented. Indeed, I sometimes fantasize about being a teacher of young humanities students and using EW‘s articles to see if the students could identify the leftist propaganda and fear-mongering in them. (John Birch Society publications would be my example of right-wing propaganda and fear-mongering.)

Having said all that, I unreservedly loved the Operation City Manager cartoon. It was clever, it didn’t try to disguise itself as objective reporting, and it spoke the truth (mostly). Way to go, EW.

Kelley Blewster, Springfield



The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is deservedly proud of the fact that cougars were brought back from the brink of extinction in Oregon largely due to responsible management actions implemented by ODFW biologists. As few as 200 cougars remained in Oregon in the 1960s, which led to protecting them as game mammals and placing them under the management authority of the agency. Because of ODFW’s recovery efforts, a thriving population of more than 5,600 cougars inhabits virtually every viable habitat in the state, serving as a prime example of responsible wildlife management.

It appears that Ms. Mortensen (cover story, 7/19) may not fully understand the details of HB 2971 or Measure 18. It is clear that Measure 18 outlawed sport-hunting of cougars and bears with hounds but explicitly allowed ODFW to hire/appoint wildlife agents to use hounds to manage cougars. However, the practice of appointing cougar agents was suspended after the Oregon Department of Justice determined that ODFW did not have clear authority to appoint wildlife agents. House Bill 2971 merely clarifies the law and provides the agency with authority to appoint wildlife agents, fully consistent with Measure 18.

We encourage the public to report cougar sightings to ensure the safety of the community as well as the welfare of the animal. Each report is evaluated to determine potential risks and dealt with appropriately if it appears there is an immediate threat to human safety or livestock. Many such reports are deemed to pose no significant risks, and no action is taken.

ODFW is responsible for protecting Oregon’s wildlife, and we respect cougars as top predators important to the ecosystem. However the department also bears the responsibility to manage cougars and other wildlife in a manner that minimizes risks to human safety and livestock. The public is encouraged to obtain information on safely living with cougars, available from on our website (,or upon request at any ODFW office.

Ron Anglin, Wildlife Division Administrator, Salem



I can empathize with Michelle D’Amico’s (6/21) troubles with grass allergies. My former husband was terribly allergic, and we too spent time in the emergency room.

As to holding the growers responsible for her allergies, I’m not sure that would be legal. Even if she would prevail, who would I hold responsible for my allergies to tree pollen and my friend for her allergies to mold?

As to why so much grass is grown here, the high water table and the heavy soil make it hard to grow some crops, but the grass thrives. Since it is an early season crop, typically you don’t see irrigation for that first crop that provides the seed and, unfortunately, the pollen. Fields are irrigated sometimes later in the summer, but not during the high pollen periods.

I don’t know the answer to the grass allergies. I can only hope the season will end soon for all the sufferers and better health remedies can be found.

Annetta Forrer, Eugene



This is in response to Roscoe Caron’s letter in the July 19 issue, “History: Imperial Messes.”

First, it was Oliver Hardy saying to Stan Laurel, “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into,” not Stan Oliver.

Secondly, I would like to add to Mr. Caron’s list of countries whose sovereign control the U.S. has violated and overthrown during the last 114 years: Hawaii, The Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, Iran, Guatemala, South Vietnam, Panama, Grenada, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Hawaii was overthrown in the 1890s because plantation owners were losing money. In fact, the majority of these actions were taken to protect American business interests while innocent civilians were murdered.

We are the users of products that may support businesses that influence this nation to go to war. We make a difference whether we’re conscious or not of the global impact. Next time you vote (buy), make sure the company has your interest at heart.

Richard Hughes, Eugene


I know plenty of Eugeneans/ Springfieldians attend the Fetish Night at Diablo’s. I myself attended this evening and plenty of other evenings. And if you have been attending longer than three years, you will remember DJ Heath, who DJed Fetish Nights about two and a half years ago. Nothing against the current DJ, but what he spins is half industrial/fetish music, and the rest is crap. You go from a full dance floor to an empty dance floor in minutes. When Heath DJed at Fetish Night, there was never a moment where the dance floor wasn’t full! He played music that everyone wanted to dance to! If you know him and his music, then you know what I am talking about. He played everything good. Never a dull moment.

I urge the Fetish community and Friends of Heath to send Diablo’s messages via MySpace, call and leave messages for Troy, let them know how you feel — but it is time to bring the one, the only DJ Heath back to Fetish Night. He’s been sleeping way too long, and I know he wants to get you dancing!

Spanks and kisses,

Madame Dahlia Black, Owner of Black Rose Burlesque



While I applaud C. Michael Arnold’s awareness of his carbon footprint (7/26) and his efforts to live sustainably, I fear he misses the obvious and simple solution to his discomfort in killing predators and livestock. Don’t do it!

As he states, “being omnivores isn’t pretty.” So don’t be one. Becoming a vegetarian would eliminate his discomfort, save the lives of his farm animals and the predators he currently competes with and maximise his ability to live in a sustainable and healthy world.

I agree with and appreciate his pointing out that shoppers are clueless regarding “what they consider their guilt-free sustainable meat choices.” There simply is no such thing as a guilt-free meat choice.

For more information check out www.goveg.comBryan Wilson, Eugene



I simply must respond to Lon Miller’s attack (“Gay Friendly? Not,” letters, 7/19) on Sally Sheklow. Once again the ignorance of the fundamentalists has taken center stage. And once again I must call your attention to the fact that this type of homophobic bigotry is exactly what has turned modern day Christianity into just another form of domestic terrorism, and as gays and lesbians, we will not stand for it.

The only help Ms. Sheklow might need is an airsick bag to rid her of the toxic hatemongering behavior Miller has displayed. Miller is the reason that Christianity has developed such a bad name over the years.

Mr. Miller: Homosexuality is only an abomination according to you. Don’t you dare try to speak for my creator. You have no invitation to pass judgment on anyone else. And finally, Miller inquires about who wears the “organ” in the relationship. To this I say, it doesn’t matter who wears it as long as there is no man involved. You see, what lesbians have discovered is that an organ like yours can be fully enjoyed without the actual man part attached to it. This is the reason that so many “straight” women have jumped ship.

As long as men like you, who are so desperately afraid of their own homosexual tendencies, keep trying to bash people for loving someone, lesbians will continue to thrive and grow in numbers, and eventually no one will care who we love, just that we do.

Linda Cathey, Eugene


Although I applaud C. Michael Arnold (7/26) for his foray into sustainable farming with a smaller carbon footprint, I query why your alternative footprints have to be soaked in cougar blood. As you’re obviously not a “cat person,” I wonder what you have against using dogs to keep the purring panthers at bay. Enter the noble Great Pyrenees, bred specifically to defend your free-range critters against coyotes so you can sleep easy and save your shells. Scads of evidence from Montana farmers prove conclusively the ever-vigilant furballs fare equally well against cougars, wolves, raccoons, fishers, foxes and even skunks. If you really don’t enjoy killing predators and would be happy to just scare them away, then it’s a no-brainer.

After living in a teepee through two Montana winters with nothing between the Rattlesnake Wilderness and me but some cold canvas, straw and whatever wits I could get to function at -20§ F, I soon learned what it was like to be stalked and confronted by a cougar. The best survival advice I found is to not act like prey — jumping up and down, waving my arms and shouting “I’m not prey!”

Hunting such an invisible and majestic animal with or without dogs is barbaric, inhumane and ineffectual. Let’s look at it another way — cougars need more room. There is still a movement to create wilderness corridors connecting their dwindling postage stamp ecotones from North to South America called the Path of the Panther, and Oregon should pounce on it if we desire any wilderness heritage at all. Sound better than paying for the new NAU Superhighway?

A.F. Nash, Eugene



That developers and bureaucrats would consider building a corporate-owned art cineplex downtown — almost certain to run Eugene’s beloved Bijou Art Cinemas out of business — comes as no surprise. This is the same mindset that tried to put a Whole Foods downtown to compete with the Kiva. These are the same basic people who, while wringing their hands over how to revitalize Eugene’s downtown, rubber-stamped new Wal-Mart and Target stores way out West 11th Avenue.

It is a truism that in rising up the ladder of success in one’s career, it is very convenient to learn to embrace the belief systems of those at the top. In the case of politicians, bureaucrats and corporate executives, in order to swim and thrive, they must learn to enthusiastically believe that any and all growth and development is inherently beneficial for society. They must also believe that the “wise hand of the free market” is superior to government regulation in determining what should or should not happen. Of course, they don’t believe these things because they’re true. They believe these things because doing so is convenient. Real, genuine truth takes a distant back seat in the lives of the people running the world. Just look at the Bush Administration.

It has been said for decades that human consciousness must change for world peace and environmental sanity to prevail. While it would be wonderful if people somehow began to realize the divine nature of creation, perhaps a more realistic goal would be for people to simply learn to open their eyes and begin to believe what is true as opposed to what happens to be convenient.

Robert Bolman, Eugene



The July 26 issue of EW‘s News Briefs section ended with an entry called “War Dead.” If we have learned anything from the Vietnam War it is that war traumatizes soldiers and that the trauma lasts for the rest of their lives.

It would be a valuable addition to include an entry for the number of service people we are subjecting to this trauma.

It is important to realize that the war may end, but members of our society will be degraded by their experience for the rest of their lives.

Kent Loobey, Eugene



More green spaces are needed in the downtown area. Wouldn’t the large hole across from the library be a great place for a park? I would love to enjoy a relaxing lunch under the shade of a tree before perusing the shelves of the library. Maybe we could even incorporate a small community garden. What a great opportunity to build something really special for the citizens of Eugene that can be enjoyed by all.

Stephen Mildrexler




If service stations don’t want to be the tax collectors for the city’s street repairs (who can blame them?), maybe a shell game (no pun intended) is in order. To wit, if the city stops paying the half-million dollar annual electricity bill to EWEB for the street lighting system, those dollars could fund one-fourth of the $2 million the city needs annually for street repairs.

Now EWEB, don’t have a coronary — you can still collect the half-million annually by adding one or two dollars as a street lighting fee to the monthly bills of all the electricity rate payers in Eugene. Citizens would have a greater appreciation (monthly!) of their street lighting (one of those services often taken for granted), and the city would have a substantial pool of money for street repairs.

Am I being too simple-minded?

Ramona McCall, Eugene



As I expected, my free roaming cat letter hit a nerve. I want to thank Barbara Gunther’s letter (7/19) for pointing out that J.R. Yeager did not start the TNR program in San Francisco but did participate in it. And for Sue Mandeville’s (7/26) comments, however, it is misleading to minimize the National Audubon Society’s official stance on outdoor cats ( also consider it dishonest for Barbara Gunther to not identify her position as a coordinator of the local Feral Cat Coalition.

While their criticisms of minor points were fair, they misled by not addressing the main concern: that outdoor cats are a significant threat to wildlife. From Audubon Society research, a feral cat’s diet contains 20 to 30 percent birds, and feral cat colony programs do not eliminate predation on native wildlife or reduce the size of feral cat colonies.

The term no-kill is misleading since one feral cat kills many hundreds of smaller animals. Audubon Society states that hundreds of millions of native birds and other small animals are killed by cats annually. Anyone would support saving adoptable cats, but supporting feral cats is not environmentally conscious, ethical or humane. The term no-kill is only a bait and switch technique. Cats are a top, if not the top, cause of injuries to small birds brought to Portland’s Audubon Care Center, the Willamette Valley Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and a large portion of kestrels at the Raptor Rehabilitation Center.

According to Audubon, the following groups voice similar opinions: American Ornithologists’ Union, American Association of Wildlife Veterinarians, International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Inc., the Cooper Ornithological Society and the American Bird Conservancy.

Greg Norman, Eugene



Greetings! Regarding our pending urban renewal: I am hoping a voting majority of Eugene City Council members decide not to give environmentally blind developers millions of city taxpayer dollars, just as our previous City Councils have blindly given Hynix over $150 million in tax breaks.

I suggest our council require those developers applying for contracts to submit plans designed to include green spaces such as gardens atop new buildings, like the rooftop green spaces made popular in green towns and cities like Chicago.

Eugeneans would support and participate in green development.

If designing such a green space is honestly not feasible, then let’s require the developer to paint the rooftop white, reflecting heat just like the remaining Artic and Antarctic snows. And let’s provide tax breaks for landlords who convert their existing rooftops to green or white spaces.

Can we ask Hynix to get honest and refund that last tax break they so obviously should not have applied for? Perhaps Hynix would donate to an urban renewal fund. Imagine that!

I also suggest that we do everything possible to avoid development that accentuates our downtown’s current lack of appeal; i.e., no more designs like the gray fortress that is our new federal building which needs a rooftop garden of thick hanging vines.

If recalling an anti-environment city councilor becomes necessary, then let’s ardently pursue having a recall election while re-reading Edward Abbey’s books.

Charles F. Thielman, Eugene



Ah, so, the American solution to the Middle East war: Give them more bombs because the guns are not efficient enough. Oh, and because Israel objects to Saudi Arabia and Egypt getting to buy loads of bombs, we will give them a few billions’ worth. That’s money away from our health care system. We are giving so we can ferment war. Oh, but you won’t print that we are giving billions to Israel to keep them quiet. In fact, here in the U.S. the media only refers to the sale as a sale to Saudi — no mention of the gift of arms connection to Israel.

Andrew Frost, Eugene



I’ve been reading all these letters between citizens and Greenhill. I can’t just sit quiet any longer. I used to think Greenhill would be the one place that I could recommend if someone had no other choice. These animals are pets; members of families and people pay Greenhill to take them. Greenhill is getting paid to provide a service that I just don’t see them providing.

Recently I called about a dog that had been transferred from LCAS to Greenhill. Staff told me she couldn’t see anything in the book she had, she’d have to go through daily reports and she couldn’t right now. Nobody in the kennel was available to talk to me either. She said it would be easier if I would come in and look.

So, I drove all the way out there to see about this dog and finally found staff that would talk with me. She was there, but not yet “on the floor.” I have yet to see this dog on their adoption list. Where is this dog? Is this dog another that was given up on and killed because it was easier than to properly care for? It doesn’t seem to me like Greenhill is really doing what they want the public to think they are doing. I will not under any circumstances take an animal there. I don’t see Greenhill making every effort to find these pets a new “forever home,” and I am outraged.

Cherie Cahill, Springfield



I am the state coordinator for the Student Peace Alliance of Oregon. We are currently campaigning for the establishment of a U.S. Department of Peace and Nonviolence. In Oregon we are fortunate that our U.S. Sens. Gordon Smith and Ron Wyden have a history of working well together. We at the Student Peace Alliance feel that Oregon has the potential for leading the nation in the creation of this revolutionary new dimension of government, as a bipartisan movement. Our checks and balances system is no longer balanced. The executive branch has usurped power from the legislative and judiciary branches, and has placed itself above rather than alongside the other two branches. This imbalance has moved the current system away from integrity and the system has lost accountability.

It is unfortunate that many of the citizens of this great nation have become disenthralled and have disempowered themselves. As citizens of a nation, we must reengage, wake up the captain and begin to steer the ship in a new direction. The Department of Peace and Nonviolence would act as a compass to guide us. For more information check out our website,

Paul Simon, Student Peace Alliance, Eugene



I was saddened to hear of the end of the local portion of KOPT-AM’s broadcasting. From its inception just after the 2004 election, having a local presence on the air was a special pleasure. We got to hear our elected officials, the KOPT news team of Rick Little, Sarah Ferren and Sean Shoppe were at almost every important local meeting and won a slew of AP awards, including Best Overall News for 2005 and 2006.

There were some amazing hosts: Nancy Stapp, Danuta Feiffer, Liz Kelly, Alan Siporin, even Dave Wooton. Who can forget Ron Burley’s frequent appearances; or George Beres and Jim Weaver? Mac McFadden? Sally Sheklow, Mary O’Brien, the weekly astrology report, movie reviews and Bernestine Singley — the list goes on and on. We had Al Franken, Tom Hartmann and Ed Schultz come to town, and Franken again (after the private jet from Arlie conked out somewhere in Kansas and the event had to be rescheduled).

Shelley Gaske and others did yeoman service producing, bringing us Peter DeFazio and Ron Wyden, Ted Kulongoski, Kitty Piercy, Bonny Bettman, David Kelley, Betty Taylor and a huge number of key local players, including, in that famous interview by Nancy Stapp, John Musumeci himself.

We were treated to a surfeit of amazing local minds and talents.

KOPT was a class act, a real and vital parallel to the nationally syndicated shows by being a breath of fresh air and shedding sunlight on the local scene. It will be missed. Thanks, guys.

Hart Williams, Eugene


I fully sympathize with the writer who complained about the trains and their constant horn blasting. I’m clear over on the west side of town, and I can hear the trains blasting their way past Fifth Street Public Market and the homes in that part of town. I have had similar experiences in Europe as he has. Early this year I rode a train from Perigeux to Bordeaux, France, which is about a two-hour trip. We stopped at many small towns along the way to drop off and take on passengers. We also passed many crossroads where cars were stopped to let the train pass. During this whole trip, the train did not blast its horn one time.

I doubt that writing to our City Council will help. I included comments about the noise from the trains and my European experience in a letter to the mayor and council members some months ago. However, I did not even receive an acknowledgement. It would probably be best to write to our congressmen who might be able to influence U.S. safety regulations for trains.

Wayne Pierce, Eugene



Can Cuba, a small country with a population around 11 million, teach the U.S. anything about health care? Peter Chabarek, a Eugene acupuncturist and peace activist, believes it can. On July 20 he gave a slideshow and talk at EWEB about his recent trip to Cuba.

Cuba provides its citizens with universal, single-payer health care, as do most rich countries. (“Single-payer” means the government pays the bills.) This poor, “third world” country, Chabarek said, has attained “first world” health statistics similar to those of the U.S.

Do Cubans pay high taxes to support their health care system? “They don’t pay any taxes,” he said. Cuba is a socialist country with the government controlling most of the economy, setting prices and wages. What would be profits in a capitalist economy such as ours in Cuba go into social services.

What can we learn from Cuba’s system and adapt to U.S. health care?

• If you take the profit out of the system, you can use that money to give everyone health care.

• Cuba puts a high priority on training doctors. It has a doctor-patient ratio of 1-156. Cuba exports doctors to other countries.

• There is a heavy emphasis on preventative care to treat small problems before they become big ones.

• Medical and other services are well-organized on a neighborhood basis, keeping them close to the people served.

• Cuban medicine merges “modern” and “traditional” medicine, with doctors being trained in both.

• Their highest medical priority is a mother-child program, with extensive services for women and babies before and after birth.

Chabarek is interested in giving his slideshow and talk to other groups, and can be reached via email at

Lynn Porter, Eugene



Question: Who does The Washington Post describe as “the highest-profile corporate skeptic about global warming?” Hint: It is the only major oil giant calling alternative energy an “uneconomic” investment. The company whose former CEO (Lee Raymond) was just chosen by the Bush administration to lead a major study on America’s Energy Future.

Answer: ExxonMobil.

Why is this oil company’s former CEO leading a major study that is supposed to examine the viability of alternative energy such as wind, solar and biomass?

I am concerned about the impact of such a decision.

Brittney Andrews, Eugene