In your 10/30 "Slant" column, you refer to Jack Roberts' economic development ideas as "obsolete" because they will "draw more people to our valley" and "even 1 percent growth" will destroy the livability of our community.
Hold the presses, EW, I've got breaking news for you. The Willamette Valley continues to grow. No amount of blind, no-growth silliness is going to stop it. During our current economic recession, in-migration has continued unabated. Even without jobs, our area grows. According to LCOG's Region 2050 study, our area will double in population to over 500,000 by 2050, regardless of economic development policy.
Job growth through business recruitment could provide welcome relief to the over 12,000 current residents of Eugene and Springfield who are out of work and looking for a job. Creating new jobs would also retain and attract something every healthy community needs: families. Families provide support for schools, libraries, parks and social services. Families have an obvious stake in the future and provide community volunteers and support for community-based organizations.
Your no-growth strategy would most likely not stop or even slow growth. Growth would continue. But without job creation, it would likely be limited to people who don't need or don't want jobs. Nothing wrong with those folks, of course, but we need diversity in our community and we need citizens with a stake in the future. We should work diligently to create jobs that put our citizens back to work and support Oregon families. The economic development ideas expressed by Jack Roberts are just exactly what this community needs if we are to accomplish that goal.
Bob Warren, Eugene
I have been a fan and avid reader of Eugene Weekly for a few years now. I especially appreciate the hilarious comics and of course the honest reporting and event calendars.
However, I am at a loss as to describe my feelings about Ducks Illustrated. You see, I'm a student here at OSU. Although it was fun for a while to see all those losses listed on the Duck's schedule this year, as a proud Beaver, it's insulting and an affront to have to see Ducks Illustrated week after week. Ethical questions aside, however, what a waste of resources to include all those inserts for everyone in Corvallis.
We don't need your stinking Ducks Illustrated! I'm not going to stop picking up the publication every week, but I just have to get this off my chest.
Thanks and keep up the (otherwise) great work!
Tim Nam, Corvallis
Great "Viagra" cartoon (11/26) … would be right at home in a public restroom stall.
Keep up the high class and soon the editorial content will be on a par with that same venue.
Dan Schmieding, Eugene
A recent column by Mary O'Brien ("Wise Collaboration," 10/9) stated that environmentalists had succeeded in stopping the West Eugene Parkway. She wrote that collaborative effort in the local environmental movement includes "Protecting the Willamette Valley's last wet prairie wetlands from an unneeded five-lane highway."
While wet prairie is an extremely rare ecosystem, the west Eugene wetlands are not their "last" location. The WEP would not be five lanes wide. And, the Oregon Department of Transportation just completed a nearly year-long, half-million dollar redesign of the WEP.
The WEP will be dead when the money appropriated for it is used for other projects and ODOT's land is transferred to the BLM's West Eugene Wetlands Project. Until then, reports of its demise are premature.
ODOT hopes to have its larger, more expensive highway design approved in a Final Environmental Impact Statement in 2004, but that requires figuring how to cover the cost overruns. ODOT officials are considering using bridge replacement funds appropriated to fix dangerous, cracked bridges on I-5 and I-84.
WETLANDS (West Eugene Transport-ation, Land and Neighborhood Design Solutions) has crafted a viable land use, transportation, energy and environment alternative to the WEP, and has a wealth of information available at www.efn.org/~wep.A federal lawsuit is being prepared, since the WEP is one of the most illegal highway projects ever proposed in the U.S.
We invite the community to join our next wetlands walk in Bertelsen Nature Park from 1-3 pm Sunday, Dec. 14, starting at 5th Avenue and Wallis Street. Come see the WEP route for yourself.
Majeska Seese-Green, Mark Robinowitz, Eugene
EDITOR'S NOTE: Mary O'Brien had asked for a last-minute change to her column that was not made. She intended to say that the WEP had been stopped "for now."
FILL IN THE CRACKS
Alan Pittman's perspective on "Green Eugene" (11/13 cover story) sheds light on the oxymoron aspect of "sustainable business/development." It seems to be mainly about jobs.
GDP or GNP supposedly indicates the health of the economy. But rather than measuring "product," they measure money transfer, suggesting they measure the amount of work done. This is often counter to quality of life. The "economy" basically represents the rich.
Much that I read shows the conventional attitude that work/jobs/employment is a good thing. The physicist defines work as "the expenditure of energy." Unnecessary work also unnecessarily pollutes and expends other resources. Work that mainly supports the economy is "make-work welfare," a very inefficient form of welfare, that also supports corporate welfare. Today, the "need" for work usually leads to the "need" for big business.
What we all really need most is sustenance and a feeling of accomplishment and self-worth. Few jobs provide both well. Rather than make-work welfare, we need welfare systems that work for global and local communities, to fill in the many cracks left by private enterprise.
Dan Robinson, Eugene
I am concerned about the future for our kids in Eugene. It has nothing to do with their formal education, or the physical environment. It's more peripheral. It's radio. More specifically it's morning rock and/or roll radio. And I am not even writing about the recent allegations of "racy" broadcasts. It's all in the wit.
I work in a group setting. My morning music is drowned out by the obnoxious babbling of these morning show jocks who think that their sophomoric humor is actually funny. I mean look around, guys, we are now being fed a show from another state. What gives? Can't we find someone in the population who actually has a sense of humor and not just a skill to punch CD music into a supercomputer?
I realize that I have to be force-fed all this crap over and over. Why do I need another helping of commercial DJ's feeding me stupid jokes that I heard the night before on TV. Dazzle us. Get some original humor. Letterman can do it. And you only need to do it between commercials and songs. I am not NRQ! And I challenge any of these rock jocks to a wit-off.
Let's make the propaganda box a bit funnier. God knows Eugene is full of punch lines!
Eric Miller, Eugene
Green Party members should vote for Republican candidate Mean Howard Dean. He's obviously exactly what they're looking for: a pro-war, pro-Star Wars, pro-death penalty, anti-union fan of the police state, who seeks the support of fans of the Confederacy but ignores black and Latino workers, who is pro-polluter, pro-extraction industry, pro-insurance industry (premiums and co-pays for all), pro-NAFTA, pro-GATT, pro-WTO, pro-privatization (private water, private air, private forests), and a proud supporter of second class civil unions for gays and lesbians.
Of course, Greens could vote for a real winner, George Bush, the Real Republican.
Greens wouldn't want to vote for the candidate with an Iraq exit strategy, an anti-death penalty, pro-universal health care, pro-equal rights, pro-union, environmentalist ethnic with a funny name — Dennis Kucinich (www.kucinich.us).Nor would they want to vote for a candidate of the non-white persuasion — the pro-peace Rev. Al Sharpton or former Congresswoman Carol Moseley-Braun. Those are all losers, because they look like losers. Americans don't support people who look like losers.
Greens want to be winners, don't they? Better vote for the Rich White Guy, Mean Doctor Dean! He looks like a winner, and he's sure to win (the primary)!
Ann Tattersall, Eugene
David Caruso (11/26) states that he wishes to avoid moralizing yet that's just what he does with his assertion that pornography might be a tolerable one-time experiment but anything further bespeaks of a deeper pathology. No study has ever shown a causal link between porn and destructive behavior. Indeed, research like that of Diamond & Uchiyama has shown an attendant decrease in sexual offenses in places where porn is more freely available.
It's not unlikely that porn, far from causing crime, may act as a safety valve or, just as likely, merely comprises one form of legitimate sexual expression so badly needed within a repressed society that still needlessly equates sex with evil. Perhaps EW, then, is doing a community service by supplying such images and information about where folks might find more.
This is not to say that I don't have a problem with sexually explicit advertising. But it's not the sexually explicit part I take issue with, rather, it's the advertising. Caruso complains of the banality sex assumes within ads yet that's just what advertising does to everything; sexy women, cherub-faced kids, and doe-eyed puppy dogs alike. Whatever symbol can be reduced to a logo, song turned into a jingle, or body fashioned (no pun intended) into a billboard, everything and everyone is reduced in service to the bottom line (no pun intended), clothed or not.
Let's just ban advertising and make everything free, including the ability to run around naked the way nature intended.
J. Maas, Eugene
New Campus Rebels (11/20 cover story)? My idea of college is a place to learn about the world with the intention of making decisions based upon understanding. It seems that this concept of education is being kidnapped by the new campus conservatives to spread their ideas and morality. I will make a point of finding 18 people to vote against their agenda next election.
Adam Handwerger, Eugene
In response to "Nader Again," (11/20): To anyone who expects the Green Party to just roll over and play dead so that a candidate from any other party can get elected I have only one thing to say: fagedaboutit. If you want it so badly then do what the Republicans did, steal it. Sure, having Bush in office for four more years would be a disaster for America, but then having Democrats in office would hardly be a better second choice.
In conclusion, I have a counter-suggestion to make.
Why don't both the Democrats and the Republicans roll over instead?
Let a party that actually represents ordinary people run things for
a while. You all had your chance and muffed it. It isn't the Green Party
Fred Mannheim, Eugene
ALONG CAME AL-QAEDA
We Americans have absorbed the horror of 9/11 in ways that are both mysterious and frightening; like children looking upon a dangerous fanged spider for the first time and puzzling its evil intent. There is no doubt that the spider's venom is real and its nature is to strike. The resulting anxiety has left us vulnerable to manipulation by those who would use our fear of the spider to achieve their own selfish ends. And why shouldn't we believe them? Look how the spider has dispatched its unfortunate victims.
Circling around the web, we are told to take up sticks to strike back. Angry and filled with our power to do as we please, we swing at the web. Its sticky threads cling to our hands, pulling the web and the spider towards us. Panic-stricken, we swing the sticks again and again until the web is destroyed. But did we kill the spider? Perhaps it is still clinging to a stick; or waiting on a nearby branch for us to drop our guard. Then it will climb upon us unnoticed and fill us with its poison.
We search for the spider, knowing it is there hiding. Our very size is a disadvantage. We are so big and it is so small and quiet; hiding in places we do not go. In desperation, we begin to smash nearby bushes with our sticks. Small bugs of all types flee our assault as we kill anything that looks like a spider. But there is no spider among the dead.
In our attempt to kill the spider, we have killed more victims than the spider. But their death does not move us. We want the spider.
How much better would it have been to have one glass jar, a tight lid, and two steady hands to catch the spider? But that would have demanded more patience, skill, and wisdom than frighten children can muster. And with the spider's absence, how many nightmares will we have of it sitting in the darkness, waiting to strike.
Richard Young, Eugene
On Thanksgiving our fearless leader took an unannounced, blacked-out red-eye to Iraq, in total darkness and secrecy, even landing with windows covered to prevent any light escaping. Never leaving Baghdad Airport, he spent a total of two hours on the ground, did a song and dance for some selected troops, shed a few crocodile tears (I suspect he had an onion in his pocket), then dashed home to resume his vacation in Texas. I'm so not impressed.
Wouldn't a leader, a true commander-in-chief, have announced, "I am going to Iraq," and spent, at the very least, an entire day touring the combat zones and conferring with his generals and troops? He would have flown in broad daylight, not in the dark like a sneaking coward, and would have fairly earned the respect of the truly brave men and women he had placed in harm's way.
But that's not our president's style.
Norm Waddell, Eugene
READ THE BOOK
In such times of strong national and international issues, it's sometimes hard to remember those which are closest to home. I don't mean state or even local politics, but something much more important to everyday living: traffic safety.
Since moving to Eugene three years ago, I have become more and more appalled at my fellow citizens' difficulty following the most basic of traffic laws. I dread four-way stops, for I never know who will think it is their right-of-way; I'm afraid for children when I see stop signs run near daycare centers.
But by far, the most common violation I see is the running of traffic lights. I regularly see yellow and even red lights run with total disregard for the safety of pedestrians and fellow drivers. Yes, it is frustrating to wait for a light at times, but that is no reason for endangering yourself and others.
In closing, I'd like to encourage everyone to have another
look at the Oregon Driver's Manual. Remember, traffic laws aren't
Murray Sampson, Eugene
In a recent EW (10/16), Jennifer Hess raised some valid questions about the guns and training of the Oregon Rangers Association. Since our sole purpose is to help the public and the environment, we feel it is important to be open and responsive to all valid questions and concerns.
The Rangers operate as an armed security agency, though we exist solely on donations. As such, we are required by law to adhere to the Department of Public Safety and Training's (DPSST) strict rules and regulations.
Oregon is known in the business for having some of the most strict guidelines in the country — the DPSST website will give you the details. On top of this, all Rangers are trained in non-violent conflict resolution (verbal judo, as police call it) and have firearms training at a level that nearly doubles most police agency requirements.
The reason most of the Oregon Rangers are armed while on volunteer work is truly only for our protection, though we will not hesitate to protect anyone in need. It is a dangerous world out there, especially when you are known to marijuana growers and meth manufacturers as someone who will not hesitate to report illegal activities to the proper authorities.
The Oregon Rangers would never seek to put ourselves in a violent situation, but I assure you, we are trained to defuse situations peacefully, quickly, and with as little violence as possible. We are volunteers, EMTs, firefighters, animal counters, environmentalists, freedom and forest loving people — not police officers or vigilantes.
Andrew Jensen , Public Relations Director, Oregon Rangers Association
LETTERS POLICY: We welcome letters on all topics and will print as many as space allows. Please limit length to 250 words, keep submissions to once a month, and include your address and phone number for our files. E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (please put "letters" in the subject line), fax to 484-4044, or mail to 1251 Lincoln, Eugene 97401.