Protesters condemn the EPD's report on mass arrests at political demonstrations this summer as "consistently inaccurate, dishonest, full of giant holes and unanswered questions."
The EPD denied charges of excessive force in their report, but the protesters speaking at a press conference last week called the police investigating themselves "foxes guarding the hen house."
"Eugene Police Chief Jim Hill's recent report on the EPD response to the '7-Week Revolt!' is nothing but a propaganda piece for the police state, posing as an 'internal investigation,'" says Robin Terranova of Eugene Active Existence. "The report is full of convenient omissions and distortions of reality that paint a picture of EAE and the 7-week Revolt! that serves no purpose other than to legitimize not only the continuous harassment and surveillance of anarchists over the 7-Week Revolt!, but the ridiculous amount of money dedicated to policing the events."
The EPD reported that protesters had no injuries requiring medical attention. In a written rebuttal, protesters called that assertion "blatantly false." The report alleged numerous injuries and named four examples:
* "Male arrestee on April 24 th received forearm blows to the back of the head [pushing his face] into the street leaving one side of face too swollen to see out right eye for a week. That week was spent in custody."
* Arrestee Chuck Watkins "on June 17th complained of injury by police to knees and was ordered by jail staff to crawl across room on his knees."
* "Female arrestee on June 17th received multiple deep lacerations to ankle from police bike pedal."
* A male arrested on June 18th was targeted by shotgun bean bags. His cell mates reported that his knee was swollen "'to the size of a grapefruit.'"
* In a June 17th mass arrest of protesters who sat down and locked arms, police allegedly used "flashlights to hit the joints of people locking arms." Police also used pepper spray and the protesters allege an officer pointed and said, "Let's hurt that one next." During these events, protesters note that the police ordered media back from covering the arrests.
The EPD report repeatedly described "the calm demeanor of the [police] bike unit." But protesters' report cited videos showing, "police striking protesters with bicycles while shouting on April 24th and June 17th. One officer is seen on the 17th waving his bike up and down end to end and screaming like an attacking animal while 'corralling' a passive crowd. Officers are seen striking protesters and a media representative in the shoulders with raised bicycle wheels."
The EPD report alleged that on the night of April 24, "protesters used torches as weapons" against police. The protesters note that "only one person was charged with a violent crime for that night and he was given a deal just before trial. In exchange for pleading guilty to disorderly conduct, all other charges were dropped, including assault and riot. No one attacked police that night." In the first case to go to trial from the protests, a judge dismissed disorderly conduct charges against April 24 protester Erin Hauge, according to the protesters report.
Protesters also complained of "near daily video surveillance of activists" during the summer. Police allegedly followed protesters for blocks as they left peaceful demonstrations; stopped, demanded identification and videotaped "known anarchists" on the street; and videotaped and harassed an educational discussion group meeting on top of Skinner's Butte.
"This [EPD] report should be seen for what it is -- a huge whitewash serving to divert our attention from, as well as justify, a quarter-million dollar campaign of terror against the people of Eugene," says Martha Smith of Eugene Copwatch.
Sherry Franzen of the Independent Police Review Project calls the EPD report a "disservice to this community and to justice." Franzen says, "the concept of 'police policing police' is a hollow one. The inherent bias is clear." The EPD's "whitewash report serves to underscore the critical need for truly independent and external review of police conduct and policy."
EPD Lt. Rick Siel attended the protester press conference. "We continue to stand by that [EPD] report," he says, but declined to comment on specific protester allegations. Siel says officers respect the right of protesters to speak out on their differences with the EPD report and encouraged protesters who feel wronged to file official complaints with the police that the department will investigate.
"People have no confidence that will do anything," says
Terranova, pointing to the dismissal of an official
complaint by KLCC reporter Monika Hausmann who was struck by
a police baton as an example. Terranova says also, "some
people fear that by filing a complaint, they'll be targeted
GTF wages at the UO are under the national average for similar second-tier universities. The union previously traded $375,000 in potential wage increases to keep free health insurance for its members. Now the union is asking the UO to pick up the costs of a rise in premiums, and the university is balking at the second steep rate increase in two years.
Paul Prew, president of the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation (GTFF), says he knows the university is worried about future rate increases, but the costs of paying for health insurance is small compared to the gains for the UO in recruitment and retention of high-quality grad students.
Health care premiums rose 90 percent last year and 60 percent this year, he says.
Many GTFs gross less than $400/month. The GTFF's goal is to keep costs to GTFs and their families the same as last year's.
Recently the University of Southern California added health care benefits, mainly to attract top quality grad students. Prew says many GTFs choose the UO over more prestigious or higher-paying schools because of the free insurance.
The GTFF predicts the following consequences of grads losing the insurance:
* Department reputations will suffer through inability to attract the most talented students.
* Departments won't be able to "crunch" enough graduate credit hours. (More hours that grad students sign up for each term equal more state money to departments.)
* Faculty will have fewer qualified grad students to work for them.
* Undergraduate education will deteriorate rapidly. GTFs teach one of every three undergraduate hours in discussion sections, labs, and classes.
The UO has been requested to pay $500,000 in additional premiums. The previous year's increase, which included a contribution to summer and dependent insurance, cost about $550,000. Administrators want to cap future increases at 15 percent, which is about the average for premium increases in the insurance industry.
Prew says UO bargainers suggested the GTFF make some "hard decisions" to eliminate summer insurance and family insurance altogether. That would be unacceptable to the union, Prew said.
The company providing GTFF health insurance lost money the last couple of years, Prew says. For every $1 in premiums, ODS paid out $1.20 the year before last and $1.13 this past year. Premiums are rising because of big claims -- "two premature births, one which was twins, plus cervical cancer, AIDS, lung problems and a knee surgeries -- all the reason one wants to have insurance for anyway," according to Prew.
Prew says the union may join with other universities or explore other options to bring costs down.
-- Jule Wind
Although the protests against police and capitalist brutality were almost entirely non-violent, the city is prosecuting more than 70 cases against demonstrators. Most are charged with disorderly conduct.
The city paid EPD officers $145,633 in overtime and $3,000 in supplies and equipment during the protests. The Sheriff's Office spent another $14,400 in overtime for jail deputy overtime. Springfield officers had $6,000 in overtime providing "mutual aid" to arrest demonstrators.
To prosecute the protesters, District Attorney Doug Harcleroad directed one of his deputies to work full time on the demonstrators for two and a half months.
Local police and the DA have long claimed that they lack the resources to deal with serious crime in the area. For example, last summer the EPD reported to the City Council that because of a lack of funding, "Domestic violence cases are currently not investigated by detectives unless they are felony crimes with named suspects or serious in-progress complaints."
With a $161,000 budget increase, the police could set up
a unit focusing on domestic violence, EPD told the council.
The total police bill for cracking down on the protesters
adds up to $169,033.
Newspaper boxes outside of stores will not be eliminated, and customers will be encouraged to bring papers inside to read them, according to Nicki Shore of Starbucks corporate headquarters in Vancouver, B.C. Shore says Starbucks stores nationwide have been inundated by requests from local community papers.
Shore says Starbucks planned to send out a press release explaining the new policy, but the story got out over the Labor Day weekend. Eugene and Portland television stations reported that Starbucks was planning to ban all free alternative newspapers, and that story was also picked up and disseminated over the Internet by Yahoo! News, and nationwide by CBS News.
Eugene Weekly Publisher Sonja Snyder was interviewed by KVAL-TV. "It would be really sad for something as important as the local independent media to be excluded, not just in Eugene but across the country. It's a huge mistake, and I hope they change their minds," says Snyder. The Starbucks store on campus has an EW rack inside; the 18th and Pearl store has a red box outside; and the Coburg Road store eliminated EW's red box months ago, citing clutter as the reason.
Shore says the company might make individual exceptions
in certain markets and reintroduce selected papers.
Starbucks recently signed a contract making The New York
Times the only national newspaper sold in their stores,
shutting out The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Local
daily papers will continue to be offered.
The Eugene Sister City Foundation -- the largely
volunteer group that does the work behind coordinating
sister cities -- is busy working on projects with the city's
three other sister cities. The foundation wrote to the city
last month, "we do not have the volunteer capacity to take
the lead on such a project." The letter added that among the
group's board members, "some concerns were also raised about
viability of pursuing a sister city-like relationship
without a grassroots community movement behind it."
"In the first instance, a suicidal subject unholstered an officer's sidearm as they attempted to restrain him. It took a number of officers to subdue the individual and transport him to PeaceHealth for evaluation. According to a care giver, the individual was 'off his meds.'"
"In the second incident, officers were dispatched to a
call of a burglary in progress," Hill reported. "They
arrived just after a suspect described as 'high on acid'
dove through the window of an apartment. Officers responding
to the apartment found the suspect in a car outside. He had
broken out the front window of the car (not his), climbed
inside and was tearing the interior apart. He had numerous
deep cuts from the broken glass. When he saw the officers,
he broke the passenger's window, climbed out of the car,
advanced on the officers and then dove back into the car. He
did this several times, incurring more cuts on his person
each time. A police canine was used to get the subject's
attention long enough for officers to get their hands on
him. During the ensuing scuffle, he attempted to get an
officer's gun. He was finally pinned down, handcuffed and
taken to the hospital. Emergency room staff later informed
the officers it took 32.5 cc's of medication to calm the
subject down -- six times the dose commonly used to subdue
The results of this fall's legislative elections are almost entirely predictable based on largely unopposed races and the amount of money candidates have raised, according to a study by the Money in Politics Research Action Project (MiPRAP).
"This lack of meaningful choice for voters seems like a factor in apathy about elections and is a disturbing trend in the health of our democracy," says Janice Thompson of the Portland-based group.
MiPRAP found that outcomes of 80 percent of the 15 Senate races and 68 percent of the 60 House races offered little competition and had predictable outcomes.
Only three Senate races had candidates with start-up funding anywhere near each other. In all the other races one candidate had four times the money as his/her opponent(s).
In the House, only two races had opponents within 25 percent of each other in campaign funding.
Experience with past elections has shown that "most of the races were won by the candidate with the most contributions," MiPRAP reports. When there's an upset, it's usually when there's only a 25 percent or less difference in funding levels.
Combine the big gaps in campaign cash with the many
largely unopposed campaigns, and Oregon democracy looks even
worse. In the Senate, 40 percent of races lack a major party
opponent or have only a write-in challenger, according to
MiPRAP. In the House, 23 percent of the races lack similarly
lack major candidate competition.
The Citizens Nature Project delivered documentation of 110 natural resource areas in Eugene and Springfield to local government planning staff this week. The information on more than 100 local nature areas was compiled by a wide range of citizen volunteers organized during the month of August by the Citizens Nature Project, as an grassroots contribution to the Metropolitan Natural Resources Study being conducted by the Lane Council of Governments (see "Great Little Places" story, EW, 8/10).
The study is being conducted by LCOG for the cities of Eugene and Springfield, and Lane County, to designate specific natural areas for protection as part of the statewide land use planning Goal 5 inventory requirements. Sites are listed for consideration as significant riparian, wetland, and wildlife habitat areas, on both public and private lands.
"Most of the riparian, wetland and wildlife habitat areas that historically existed in the metropolitan area have already been lost to development," says Kevin Matthews, a Nature Project coordinator. "It is urgent to recognize and protect the precious bits of green space and natural habitat that still remain."
A previous round of work on the Metropolitan Natural Resources Study in the early 1990s ultimately failed to be approved by all of the local jurisdictions.
"We support the local government efforts to approve an initial natural resources inventory quickly," said Matthews. "But their timeline and budget don't allow for the fieldwork needed to find all the important areas. We saw an opportunity for local citizens to help improve the quality of the process, by taping into the local knowledge of the community, working very quickly so as not to delay the ultimate approval. Now after just a month our grassroots effort is submitting more than a hundred documented nature sites."
Madison Says 'No'
Community opposition to the contract had grown since it was approved by the school board on a 4-3 vote in June 1997, according to University of Wisconsin student activist Matt Nelson.
"The people of Madison have said enough," says Nelson. "We are sick of corporations lobbying to cut funding for education and trying to take advantage of our schools with their poorly disguised bribes. We're committed to ending this cycle, and are renewing our call for full public funding of education."
Similar exclusive marketing contracts have been rejected by 39 school districts nationwide, but Madison was reportedly the first school district to cancel an existing marketing contract.
"This vote was very significant," says Dylan Bernstein of the Center for Commerial Free Public Education. "Madison woke up to how detrimental these corporate soda deals are -- for schools, for teachers, for parents, and most of all, for the students. Soda deals don't solve any fiancial problems, they only take advantage of under-funded schools and turn students into a captive audience of consumers." -- TJT
It's what I see through binoculars: grey wet river flats; luminous, iceberg-ground dust blowing north to the sky; and one solid Alaskan brown bear racing south, dwarfed by the dust storm, but loaded with strength and energy. Her race finishes with a Copper River salmon in her mouth. She drops to her belly and consumes it from between her paws, like an enormous dog gnawing on a silver, flat-floppy bone.
Two days later, three of us are drifting silently into one of the inlets of a Copper River Delta lake, near Cordova. It's our last evening in Alaska. The smells of dead, mineral-laden sockeye fill the air, while a few sockeye elders hang suspended in the water beneath us, barely moving in their few last hours of life. These are the ones who came full circle -- from this lake as eager youngsters, through vibrant years in the ocean, and back -- past predators, past disease, past nets and hooks, past spawning competition - to this: a quiet death on a cloudless, still, Alaskan August evening, their bodies becoming food tomorrow morning for another generation of fingerlings.
As we drift in this lake, coho are swarming into the Delta from the ocean, some toward this inlet of grizzly-trampled banks, to spawn and then, like these sockeye, to become still, and food.
The week has been wild, with shovel-sized bear prints; three inch-high cottonwoods seeding; glacier-moistened soil blinking in sunlight for the first time in 10,000 years; horizon-to-horizon wetlands; slopes rendered impenetrable by alder. And it's been whole, with bald eagles, salmon, grizzlies and geese; ice dripping into streams that gather in the Delta, which shares water in and out with the Pacific Ocean.
And this I know: My town in Oregon was once rich like this.
A week later, I am walking with local residents, helping map remaining natural areas of Eugene and Springfield. The grizzlies that once raced here after salmon are gone. Coho no longer return to most of Oregon, and their remaining small runs are at risk of extinction. Stream meanders are buried, visible from airplane windows as dark green, snaky ghosts across the farmlands.
We walk through a forest patch, recently logged and roaded for a cemetery expansion. A black-tailed deer stares at us from among upended trees.
Does this mapping make any sense at all? Does it make sense to defend a tiny wetland surrounded by a lumber store and homes? The shaded, seepy headwaters of a creek doomed, within a mile, to run into herbicides, lawn fertilizer, and motor oil? Five hilltop acres of Oregon oaks whose backsides are being bitten by a quarry that's mining the hill for construction materials for more roads and neighborhoods?
Well, yes. Because the threats to these local fragments of forests, grassy openings, wetlands and headwaters are the same facing the vast, fragile Copper River Delta: namely, the roads, mines, ditches, vehicles, homes, culverts, landfills, and toxics of both human habitation and habits not driven by need. We can't foul our own nest and pretend that Alaska will remain wild for us or anyone else: Polar bears are roaming ice flows diminished by global warming driven in part by SUVs in Eugene. The breast milk of Inuit women near the Arctic Circle is among the most contaminated on Earth, from persistent toxics emitted in North America and Europe. A Princess resort is being proposed along the Copper River, for people exhausted by city life, but unwilling to shed convenience.
Wild places and species aren't convenient, but then what on Earth that matters is? If we keep the five-foot diameter cottonwoods that remain in Eugene, we can learn about the conditions that made them, and how to allow new five-foot diameter cottonwoods to grow. If we keep the headwaters of creeks, we might one day learn our way down their streams, wetlands, rivers, and ocean mouths, to reconnect them all, letting salmon return. If we want our children to see a red-legged frog or meadowlark on their way home from school, we will have to learn how to be families that won't generate the need for ever more houses. For our oak forests, we may even learn to give ourselves back to the earth when we die, like the salmon, rather than taking still more, after death, through cemetery clear-cuts and lawns.
It's this I believe: If we keep remaining fragments of nature in Eugene and Springfield; and big, wild systems in Alaska, we might learn one day to reinhabit our towns, this time around with care. And then our trips to Alaska will be for learning how to live at home.
Thanks to Eyak Preservation Council volunteers for floating 13 of us down the Copper River; and to Citzen Nature Project volunteers for standing up for Eugene and Springfield.
Mary O'Brien has worked as a public interest
scientist for the past 18 years. Her new book,
Making Better Environmental
Decisions: An Alternative to Risk
Assessment, has been published by
The MIT Press. She can be reached at
"In or out." I hold the screen door open and issue my ultimatum with all the authority I like to imagine I have. My cat sniffs the air, rotates her radar ears, and checks for whatever it is cats check: rain, traffic, dogs in the vicinity, some neighbor opening a can of tuna. She may scurry outside or launch into a bout of personal grooming. There's no point trying to force her to decide.
One time I got impatient with her prolonged deliberations. It was cold out and I had just stuck my arm into the winter chill to retrieve the morning paper. Bella stood in the crack of the doorway surveying the world. Icy air rushed in and expensive heat poured out. I was in no mood. With the inside edge of my slippered foot I scooted her out and pulled the door closed behind her.
That incident is one of the few memories my cat retains. Now, before she'll even approach the door to begin her assessment of the world beyond it, she has to first determine that she is safe from "The Foot." Then she'll glance outside, sniff the air, and sit on the threshold, poised in indecision.
People are as peculiar as cats. They can hover indefinitely on the brink of coming out of the closet. When someone is agonizing over whether to come out, it's tempting to wish "The Foot" would just swoop through and end the debate. Frequently, when we finally do come out to our families or co-workers, they reply, "We wondered when you were going to tell us." Still, we can sit in the doorway for years. Even someone as flamingly gay as Liberace went to the grave clinging to the myth that he was just "eccentric." Shoving someone out when they're not ready rarely helps.
I knew a woman in college who, from her side-parted butch haircut down to the heavy gold pinky ring, seemed to be a DD -- definite dyke. Next to her sure-footed swagger, John Wayne would have looked prissy. Jo strode the hallowed halls wearing dress shirts and slacks, and silver-framed tinted aviators that darkened in the harsh fluorescent classroom lights. She was shy though, and kept to herself.
One time in a research methods class, Jo gave me what I thought was a sign. A tuft of her fine blond hair had fallen forward when she hunched over her text book. She pushed the wayward forelock back with a broad, full-palmed diagonal swoop that I took to be an intentional flashing of the pinky ring, as in, "I'm gay. If you receive this signal, please come talk to me."
After class I tried to strike up a conversation, "Hi, did you know the campus gay and lesbian center is having an open house today?" That's me, all tact and subtlety.
Her rebuff was cold and swift, "Sorry honey. I'm not that way."
She'd denied this assumption before. She knew how to dodge "The Foot." It is possible that I'd read her wrong. Maybe she was just a tough-looking straight woman. Or maybe she just wasn't ready. When gay hero Harvey Milk urged us to "Burst down those closet doors once and for all and start to fight," I came out. Actually, I was never in. I went from clueless to full-blown in no time. Twenty-five years ago, a guest panelist in my college Women's Health class smiled and said proudly, "I am a lesbian." I nearly fell out of my seat. I had never heard the term used in a positive way. Suddenly I was standing in the doorway of a whole new world.
After class I told the instructor that the panel made me feel unsettled and confused. My instructor's words changed my life, "I think you'd make a wonderful lesbian." It was like saying to Cinderella, "Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo."
Months later, I experienced the sexual side of homosexuality. A group of friends, all co-workers at our local Women's Center, had gone for a moonlight swim one hot summer night. One of the women, Katie, swam up behind me and purred, "Would you like to come home with me and make love?"
Indecision was not one of the feelings that surged through me. My official lesbian papers were notarized that night.
My coming out was made possible by people who were willing to hold the door open. A lesbian panelist declared her identity matter-of-factly, free of shame. An understanding and open-minded instructor gave me a positive association and pointed out the option. A sexually comfortable co-worker helped me turn the theoretical into the actual by sharing primal pleasure.
I was one of the fortunate ones. I did not need "The Foot." I sniffed the air and the world beyond seemed welcoming, safe, exciting. I was so delighted about this transformation and my immersion into an affirming supportive subculture, that I stepped right out and stayed here. I will always be grateful to those women for holding the door open at the right time. I hope, when she was ready, someone did the same for Jo.
Sally Sheklow has been a part of the Eugene community since 1972 and is a member of the WYMPROV! comedy troupe. Her column, which began at EW, is gaining national attention and was recently picked up by The Desert Post of Palm Springs., The Citizen of Cincinatti, The Ripsaw News of Duluth, and Pride Magazine in Seattle, Chicago and Denver.
Read: Dr. Alexander Schauus, Diet, Crime and Delinquency; Dr. Lendon Smith, Improving Your Child's Behavior Chemistry; Probation Officer Barbara Reed, Food, Teens and Behavior.
Measure 11 is not what we thought it would be when we voted it in to existence in 1995. It was sorely misrepresented. Today, under this measure, our young people are being incarcerated in astounding numbers. What could once be considered a scuffle between a couple of teenagers has become under Measure 11 an offense that could earn them 70 months in an adult prison.
This is not a way to treat our young for their mistakes. Judges need to be given back their power to make the decisions concerning sentencing on cases on an individual basis. It's not a one-size-fits-all scenario.
Please search your hearts and your conscience and do what you feel is right. Remember your children and loved ones are not immune to this measure as it stands. My heart and conscience tells me to repeal measure 11. What about yours? Please vote "yes" on Measure 94.
Remember back when we used cops and judges as a substitute for community, money as a substitute for love, and voting as a substitute for thinking for ourselves? It already seems so long ago, but it is important that this virtual hell on Earth be preserved museum-like, in miniature, so that we can be sure not to repeat these tragic mistakes.
Recognizable by their bland attire, pale dough-like complexion, noose or leach-like appendages hanging from around their necks, these noble potsies provide and important service to humankind. So, hats off to these rebels against higher consciousness, or, in the words of the great anarchist leader, Arthur Fonzarelli, "Sit on it, Potsie!"
Why is he doing this? Because he doesn't want to look "soft on drugs"? Who cares! He's only going to be in office for a few more months anyway! Because he's trying to improve on his legacy after he leaves office? He is going to force these unfortunate people to suffer even more than they already are, even possibly death, or to face ruin if they continue to use the drug and are arrested for doing so.
Nike pays those workers exactly what they are worth, to Nike! Who else is qualified to make this decision? Someone who is willing to steal my money? The state? Rich guilty consumers? I don't think so!
U.S. companies have an obligation to pay a wage, period. Ms. Hess calls this slave labor. These jobs are filled voluntarily and freely! Slaves do not earn a wage or have freedom. Regardless of the conditions of life in Southeast Asia, these workers are totally free to quit these jobs, as Nike is free not to provide them. Why should the owners of Nike be " obliged" to give their profits away merely on the basis of need?
Ms. Hess decries " The age-old problem of exploitation of the poor by the rich." Please, oh rich ones, exploit me more, so that I might partake of thy wealth! This "age-old problem" makes me happy.
Finally, Ms. Hess, I have experienced something close to slave labor when I lived on an Oregon commune. Working 50 hours a week, I received a stipend of $25 a month if the commune had the money. Ironically, this commune receives high praise in the Eugene alternative community for its pioneering social experiment.
Being told we had better vote for Gore or else Bush will win is not democracy, it is extortion. It is time to liberate ourselves. Cast your vote for the candidate you believe will best represent your interests, and it is not the well-connected jerk next in line. It is Ralph Nader: a citizen activist dedicated to our democracy, not capitalist crooks.
Nader has the qualifications. He has relentlessly battled the headless monster of government, as a citizen, proving his dedication to the average American. He is not beholden to any corporations. He has fought America's biggest corporations and emerged victorious. He is a candidate for us, the common citizen who can't afford to attend $25,000-a-plate fund-raisers to buy a voice in our government.
Winnona LaDuke, Nader's running mate, is a seasoned and dedicated activist. She has spent her adult life working for the betterment of others and has achieved much for those in need. She would make an excellent president in her own right.
Many on the left argue that there is too much at stake to risk a Bush presidency. I agree. But I say it is the very soul of our democracy that is at stake.
Unfortunately, America's two-party system drains competition and variety. Even when progressive independents and Green Party candidates run outside the bi-partisan see-saw, those otherwise Democratic votes help the Republican nominee.
With only a slight margin between Gore and Bush in Labor Day polls, critics have noted that Oregon voters, many independent, may be the final sliver that decides the outcome of the presidential election.
Many are hoping that Oregon votes will be absorbed by Nader, who is, however much the Northwest likes him, a nationally unfeasible winner, and therefore bolster Bush to presidency. It is crucial for Oregon voters to be aware of this drainpipe. A fowl trap, yes, but one that must be considered if Gore seems at all better than Bush (think about the Supreme Court Justices that are to be elected -- Bush would have an anti-abortion swat-team).
I urge voters to crucially examine and consider sacrificing Nader votes to insure that Bush remains on the sidelines. Oregon votes are the determining factor in this upcoming election.
Since this shocking first encounter, I have tried to educate myself. After being reassured by the USFS that only private land is clear-cut, I am more confused as I have visited Umpqua National Forest land that is virtually clear-cut with a few token trees here and there. The value of the land as a habitat and food source for the wildlife is shattered as well as its beauty. When will our federal agencies stop acting as if human beings are the only species?
Please do not get me wrong. I know our society depends on tree products, much of it imported from the Third World. Yet, we cannot be passive about this reality. We must demand two things: a stepped-up demand for recycled products and a ceasing of all logging in old-growth forests. The logging should be confined to well-managed forests where there is not fire danger because of an overplanted monocrop of trees that are too close together.
Until I visited Oregon years ago, I have never seen the beautiful giants of the Western forests. There is nothing comparable in the Eastern forests where I grew up. Unfortunately, the old growth out there was cut too fast for anyone to do anything about it in the early 20th century.
I write about this because it is not too late here -- yet. I urge people to go out and see these beautiful groves before it's too late and to become involved in making our voices heard. The trees are a source of renewal and re-creation.
Kerstin E. Britz
Mockery of Justice
I, too, viewed video tapes and saw police using bicycles as weapons on people's legs, and more. I was disturbed all weekend, wondering how the EPD could get away with such obvious mockery of justice time after time. Then, on Monday (8/21) I read in the R-G about a brave new, grassroots group calling itself the Independent Police Review Project who, without government funding or sanction, will take on the difficult task of independent review of police activities in our community.
I was revived after the weekend. I applaud these pioneering people that, without financial support, and perhaps accompanied by resistance from city officials, will take on a chore so badly needed. It's high time somebody acted. Let's support this effort in every way we can, encouraging our City Council to help. Police accountability will help reduce the violence threatening all of us -- police included.
Everything for Sale
Luckily, the condemned trees on the Green Mile have a temporary stay of execution, thanks to a ruling by Judge Dwyer that original surveys for the presence of red tree voles were perfunctory. The indefatigable volunteers of Red Cloud Thunder, God bless 'em, are at the Clark site right now searching for vole nests in order to help the Forest Service finalize a more realistic Supplemental Information Report on the issue.
The irony is that the only reason red tree voles are being surveyed is in their relationship to the spotted owl as a prime food source for the bird. But in some twisted "don't ask, don't tell" policy, the spotted owl's status is a non-issue, even though Clark was once a protected spotted owl habitat, prior to the infamous Northwest Forest Plan.
Readers of Eugene Weekly, I urge you to contact your representatives and the Forest Service to help save this magnificent old-growth forest.
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