Eugene Weekly : Letters : 9.20.07


OK, who was the genius who decided to put the “tear out” impeachment letter on the inside of the front page of the Sept. 13 edition? When I got to Sunnyside Up (in Corvallis) for breakfast Saturday morning and went to retrieve a copy of EW for my Saturday reading, I noticed the top copy was missing half the front page. As I dug through the pile, the next 15 were all the same. Just as I was beginning to think this was part of this week’s design, I found a copy with the full front page about 20 papers down. Walking inside to order, I began to ponder the reason for all the half page copies. That’s when I opened the paper and saw the ad telling people to tear it out and send it to Congressman Peter DeFazio.

If you are going to encourage people to mutilate your paper, may I suggest that you put it somewhere in the middle of the paper, say maybe on the back of that meth ad you run. I can see a stack of pictures of that toothless beauty sitting on Peter’s desk.

Parnell Kelley, Corvallis



Apparently the Eugene Planning Commission has finally managed to look at the mountain of evidence and is starting to realize that this hospital site has major problems. A question I would ask would be: Does the city have the money to strengthen and expand the roads other than the Beltline/Delta Highway area? This would be on top of the $120 million to $150 million needed just to fix the Beltline/Delta Highway exchange. Since apparently there is over a $100 million dollar shortfall for fixing the Eugene streets, I would have to say there is no money to even attempt to prepare for the overload of heavy equipment that would be required to build the hospital. The current use by the sand and gravel trucks is putting enough strain on that area without adding more. Side roads haven’t been built to handle the additional weight, and the number of trips they will inherit with such an added burden.

Near-daily accidents through the area cause one to four hour delays for anyone who is limited to either of the affected roads. Just adding in the additional trips by the hospital personnel will result in far more backups and delays. When you add in the patients and emergency vehicles, it becomes a huge nightmare.

I have heard some mention that the doctors like the close proximity of the two hospitals. Since very few of them practice or use both hospitals, it appears to be a moot point, especially since the traffic will make it very difficult to get from one to the other anyway.

Charles E. Phillips, Eugene



I’m very sorry I couldn’t write sooner. But I’m actually shocked that, given all your articles about both cougar hunting and domestic animal welfare, no one has mentioned how cruel it is to use hunting dogs as “tools” for any large predator “control.” Hounds are bred to follow their noses, no matter how much trouble it might get them into. But then, I guess few people have experienced having a whole pack of lacerated dogs dropped off like a dented truck for repair. It doesn’t look a whole lot different from what you might see after an illegal dog fight, except the wounds are bigger.

Liz J. Andersen, D.V.M., Eugene



In response to William Porter’s letter (8/30, “Biodiesel Kills”), the phrase “My car runs off biodiesel” was never meant to be clever, and it surely isn’t. Rather, it is a statement of fact. “My child is on the Honor Roll” is in the same class of stickers: It’s not clever; it’s fact.

The letter was disjointed, and the claims you make have absolutely no factual evidence to support them. I base this conclusion on my own studies as a diesel mechanic and on the likelihood that someone as eloquent as yourself surely would have provided adequate sources — or at least any sources at all — to back their claims if any sources existed.

Here’s some evidence that disagrees with your conclusions. According to a study done by the USDA, here are the net energy yields of our various fuel options: gasoline .805, petroleum diesel .843, bioethanol 1.34; biodiesel 3.20. Now that’s deleterious to your credibility.

Did you notice that “middle class liberal elite” is an oxymoron? The elite aren’t middle class. Also, you can buy an old diesel Mercedes or VW that runs biodiesel for around $1,500. I certainly don’t consider this to be an “elite” price range. As for people in poor countries dying from the biodiesel market, we get all our biodiesel in the U.S. from corn and soy which grows in the U.S., and the only farmers dying here are those with inadequate health care, but if you can dig up an obituary of someone from a third world biodiesel crop field, then please show it to the news stations!

But really, stop driving so much; the bicycle is the most efficient mode of transportation known to mankind.

Richey Thomason, Eugene



After reading the “EPD’s Shocker” (8/9 news), I have decided that as soon as an EPD member actually uses a Taser on a person, I will refuse to go to downtown Eugene for any reason for fear of being grossly assaulted and tortured by an EPD criminal.

When the U.S. presidency has been stuffed by torturers and U.S. cities are policed by torturers, then there is no reason for any decent American or world citizen to support the current barbaric American government.

Just as atomic weapons are a problem instead of a solution, Tasers are a problem instead of a solution and should be banned by U.S. law and by international law.

Bob Saxton, Eugene



On Monday, Sept. 10, I was horrified as I watched the mayor and city attorney rudely cut off a Eugene citizen trying to ask a simple clarifying question. The question involved what determines a conflict of interest on the proposed McKenzie-Willamette hospital location.

The treatment of this good woman was nothing short of public humiliation and disrespect. It was played on Public Access Channel 21 and I only hope the rest of Eugene saw it. If this is how our city staff treats the citizenry, there is no hope for fair representation.

Jeff Lang, Eugene



Most “progressives” don’t get it with regard to illegal immigration. Those of us who do realize that the various industries that use illegal immigrants, agriculture for one, have for the last 75 years at least gotten away with robbing the American taxpayer and abusing human beings. The use of illegal immigrants is for the express purpose of increasing profits by cheating. When you use illegal laborers, you don’t pay your fair share of taxes, don’t give health benefits, overwork the laborers, abuse the laborers and house the laborers in substandard and dangerous facilities. The agriculture industry is particularly guilty of all the above.

Some in the construction industry are also guilty of bidding on jobs as if they were going to use union labor and, once the particular company wins the bid, turning around and hiring “illegals” to do the work, with the company pocketing the difference while paying the “illegals” less than half the union wage at best. Talk about greed.

These companies have had it good for so many years, and now that they have to play by the rules, they start crying like babies. Spoiled little shits. Too bad! Many “progressives” have the gall to defend these cheaters. Ass kissers! How about we help these people stay in their country of origin by helping to rid the corruption that exists in these primarily Latin American countries. Help their economies grow so they can provide decent living wage jobs with benefits and decent living conditions. I see, though, it’s not in our vested interest to have an economically strong Latin America. Where else can we get so much slave labor?

People, start using your brains and not your fantasies!

Chris Williamson, Eugene


The Lane County Fair has come and gone for another year! Every year I am subjected to the usual begging and pleading of my children, ages 9 and 15, to go to the fair. “What rides we can ride!” “What friends we will see!” And of course as a mom, I look forward to the vendors’ booths and spending time with my kids.

This year was a different story for us. One that in the end left me telling my kids, “Not again!”

“Cool your jets!” I will never forget these words coming from the operator and ticket taker of the “Super Loop” as I frantically tried to get them to stop the ride. My daughter was out of her seat — every mom’s nightmare. I watched my child crying, screaming in fear as she held on for dear life. Cool my jets! It was all I could do to keep from tackling this idiot. After the ride stopped and my daughter exited, white as a ghost and crying uncontrollably, I took my concern to customer service where I received my $3.50 back. Wow!

Is this what we are subjected to? Is this really acceptable?

I spend in the area of $100 every year at the fair to deal with impolite and obviously untrained people who can’t be bothered to take the time to pay attention to what is going on right in front of their faces. They’re too busy visiting with friends and having a smoke to bother with their jobs.

I wonder how many other parents have been subjected to the same fear and insensitivity and have left without further mention. This is one patron who will not be returning to the Lane County Fair.

Dianna Null, Veneta



I recently attended the wonderful local Free Shakespeare in the Park’s presentation of Romeo and Juliet. What really made this performance stand out was a line in the director’s note, “With Romeo and Juliet we see what happens when people are unwilling to love their children more than they hate each other.” I have not been able to let go of this thought and am finding it to be a tragic commentary on much of what is happening around the world today.

The most obvious connection here is war, civil war, war on terrorism, whatever — a practice in which a leader and the parents who support that leader are willing to send their children to die for hate, fear or greed.

My thoughts led me next to contemplate all of the other things that we are unwilling to love our children more than. How many choices do we make in our everyday lives, based on our short-sighted desire for convenience, or to save a few dollars today, or to keep up appearances that jeopardize the future of our species? Many of us who are in the position to know better and to do better (and here I readily admit my own lack of perfection!) make lifestyle choices that we know harm others — such as taking advantage of cheap labor or our well-documented continued reliance on carbon based fuels.

So, I send a plea out to all adults, since the children of others are still the future for all of us, to start to be willing to love our children more than we hate and fear others and more than we love our unsustainable lifestyles. It is the everyday choices we make that can protect our future generations from a tragic ending.

Jennifer Wyld, Eugene



I was very impressed with Leonardo DiCaprio’s powerful documentary The 11th Hour. The film depicts the devastating impacts of global warming, including droughts, hurricanes and flooding of coastal areas. It features interviews with the brightest minds on our planet about the causes of this man-made environmental crisis and possible solutions.

A powerful solution was suggested last November in a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. The report found that meat production accounts for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming. That’s more than automobiles!

Carbon dioxide, the chief greenhouse gas, is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and combustion of fossil fuels to operate farm machinery, trucks, refrigeration equipment, factory farms and slaughterhouses. Much more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.

The good news is that each of us can do our part to reduce global warming on our next trip to the supermarket. More details are available at

Elijah Hennison, Eugene



I’d like to respond to several past letters. I consider myself to be a progressive, both on environmental and social issues, and after reading a few letters to the editor I’m just now realizing that many so-called progressives are out to lunch.

Dave Crowley, for one, must also wear the colors of the right wing creationists. You know, the people who think creationism is a science and that evolution isn’t a science. Mr.Crowley doesn’t seem to believe in science or just the science that suits him.

We have Paul Simon of the Student Peace Alliance; he actually thinks you can have a Department of Peace, a governmental agency run by politicians. He has an excuse. He’s a young college kid naïve to the worldly ways. Once there is a government agency, the politicians from all sides will stack the department with political lackeys and patronage appointees, and it’ll turn into another joke of an agency. Politicians are crooks, Paul.

Chris Willow-Oak talks about the coming wars and the “corn wars” in particular. Most scientists agree that the Earth can take about 8 billion of us; we’re at about 6.5 billion now. Time’s a runnin’ out. The smart person would say, “How about population control?”

Most people are too arrogant to say that we need to start controlling our birth rate, either from a “religious” arrogance or a naturalist arrogance point of view. Mr.Willow-Oak might be in that camp too. Looks like that most of EW‘s letters are from “bitch and complain and wish it were different” crowd. Mr. Browne, Andrews and Williamson’s letters are a breath of fresh air and reason. Doesn’t seem that there are too many of those types in town.

Juana Garcia , Eugene



George Bush may actually pull off one of his two objectives in Iraq.

His first objective, getting control of Iraq’s oil for American corporations, is probably not possible. To do that he would have to somehow pacify Iraq enough to keep a “friendly” government in power long enough to hand over the oil. This looks very unlikely.

His second objective was to acquire permanent American bases in Iraq from which to launch attacks, when necessary, against other Middle Eastern countries, thus establishing American control over the area. That may still be doable.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress are reportedly headed towards a merged strategy which will reduce the number of troops in Iraq and pull them back to defensible bases in the desert away from major population centers. Their mission would be redefined as protecting those bases, attacking anyone we choose to define as “terrorists” and training Iraq government troops. There will be much less combat.

This de-escalation of the war will push it off the evening news, towards the back pages of American newspapers and out of national politics. American casualties will be greatly reduced. The Iraq War will become like the war in Afghanistan, something few of us pay much attention to. The peace movement will collapse.

If people don’t want that to happen, they need to demand that their senators and representatives vote against any further funding for the war and support only a total immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops and mercenaries from Iraq.

Lynn Porter, Eugene



On this sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S., a much larger threat to our nation is rearing its ugly head. Researchers at Atlanta’s Morehouse School of Medicine have just reported a rising rate of high blood pressure among America’s children. Based on surveys of nearly 30,000 children aged 8-17 by the National Center for Health Statistics, the report will be published in the Sept. 25 issue of the American Heart Association journal Circulation.

More than 400,000 American children are developing high blood pressure, a chronic precursor to heart attack and stroke that has traditionally afflicted only adults. The leading cause is the childhood obesity epidemic brought on by a diet grounded in sugary foods and drinks and fat-laden meat and dairy products.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 90 percent of children consume excessive amounts of fat and only 15 percent eat the minimum daily recommended servings of fruits and vegetables. It’s no wonder that most children are overweight and one in six are obese. Childhood dietary habits become lifelong addictions.

Parents should insist that children consume more whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fresh fruits. They should work with their PTAs to demand healthy meals, snacksand vending machine items in schools. Helpful resources are provided at

Edward Newland, Eugene



General Petraeus’ and Ambassador Crocker’s testimony this past week includes plans for the withdrawal of a few troops from Iraq. But the general and the ambassador also laid out plans for a long-term U.S. military occupation of Iraq, creating a compliant, protected regime in the oil-rich heart of the Middle East. A long-term military occupation of Iraq is a bad solution to a failed war policy. Our members of Congress should be working towards an end to the war that people in this country of all political parties can unite around.

One such proposal has already been put forward and would enact into the law the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, including a firm commitment for the withdrawal of all U.S. military troops from Iraq, full support for regional diplomatic negotiations with all of Iraq’s neighbors and a commitment to assist in rebuilding a country that U.S. military troops have helped to destroy. I hope that we can count on our members of Congress to support this bill and a real end to the Iraq war.

Marietta Thompson, Oakridge



For sale, one registered voter. Will vote for your initiative, tax ballot or cause for x amount OBO.

We live in an era of lobbyists outright buying local, state and federal government representatives — you know, the people who are supposed to be working for us. Well, I’m fed up with the elected officials and lobbyists making all the money and spending tax money however they please while we get ripped off, so I have a better idea.

Our votes are too valuable to give away, so I suggest, like the people we elected, you sell your vote to the highest bidder. Hey you, big tobacco, you want to stop the tax on cigarettes (man, that cuts into your profits) to support health care for kids, and you’re spending millions to stop it. Save your money; buy the vote directly from me and cut out the middle man. Of course it’s going to have to be enough to cover my health care costs, but hey, that’s business.

Developers want to transform downtown Eugene into their vision? Sure, not a problem, I’ll vote in favor of it for the right amount of money. How much will your project cost me in taxes or loss to the local economy? That’s how much it will cost you to get my vote. Do the math and make your pitch.

Remember, as a citizen and voter, it is your duty to be involved in government, make your vote count and get paid for it.

Alisa McLaughlin, Eugene



Life is not safe. Don’t be stupid.

There are about 300 million people in this country. Over the last 100 years something like 20 fatalities from cougars have been reported. And yet we have DANGER signs at Mount Pisgah. “‘Don’t walk alone or a cougar will kill and eat you! They’re probably watching you right now! Run!”

At Spencer Butte, it’s “Stay away from the rocks or a rattlesnake will swallow you whole! Fear their toxic venom!”

Not really, but that is the gist of these warning signs. People are easily frightened, apparently. I’ve been on Spencer Butte at least 500 times and I’ve seen rattlers twice. Does that mean I’ll never get bit? No, but it means my chances are very very slim.

Same goes for you. Be as cautious as you want, but it’s the height of presumption to live like there is a predator behind every tree in the woods, waiting just for you. Sunny days outdoors overall are benign and one of the greatest simple pleasures. Strangers, in general, will do you no harm. In small doses, the wild is as safe as it gets. I don’t get how rational people can presume any different.

Tim Kronberger, Eugene