LETTERS IN THE EDITIOR'S MAILBAG.
Time to get out of Afghanistan
President Obama's Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel recently stated that the July 2011 troop pullout still holds despite a failed foreign policy and military strategy in Afghanistan. What is the point in continuing this Vietnam quagmire while hundreds more of our young men and women die or are wounded in the deserts and mountains of that faraway place, as we try to figure out a permanent exit strategy that will leave the citizens of that troubled world in better shape than they were when we invaded?
The Soviet Union's collapse and breakup can be heavily attributed to the 10-year Soviet-Afghan war that sucked their economy into the dirt. It's ironic that the CIA trained these fierce mujahedin warriors (including Osama bin Laden, who according to the latest reports is hiding in Iran as a guest of the tinhorn dictator Mahmoud Ahmadinejad). They defeated the Soviets but now many of these former freedom fighter have their weapons turned toward our troops.
It currently costs U.S. taxpayers about $750,000 for every soldier stationed in that country annually. The nation would be much better served if we brought our people home to the safety of our shores and used the war money to allocate the hiring of more teachers, police, firefighters, public health nurses and other essential public employees.
Let's study history so we can understand that no outside nation state has ever successfully occupied Afghanistan and that those who have tried paid a terrible price for attempting to do so.
A long wait to reach 80 degrees
It has been a cool, wet spring. Questions about how long we have waited to reach 80 degrees were raised by the paper a few days ago. I looked through weather records and came up with the following. From 1939 through 2009 we have had only one year where we failed to reach the 80- degree mark by June 30. In 1980 the highest temperature in June was 78. On July 1, 1980, we had a temp of 85.
Reference was made to a written weather record indicating a wait for 80 that lasted until July 3. I believe the written record is true, but likely dates from before 1939. Just because it's not on the Internet doesn't mean it's not true.
Spend bond money on parks
When we voted for the city's park and open space bond measure, we figured it was for parks across the city, for easy access to all. Soon after the passing, Mayor Kitty Piercy and company decided a big chunk was for land in south Eugene. That's not what I voted for.
Now it seems they might consider acquiring more land from Arlie & Co. in an even more remote area of south Eugene. If what city Parks and Open Space Division Director Johnny Medlin says is true about eventual access by extending "county roads," it seems the land may not even be in the city or within the urban growth boundary. Since we can't even maintain the roads we already have, I don't see this happening.
It is interesting that in the Arlie nodal development off Crescent, there is no provision for any kind of park. Since when are we in the business of rescuing Arlie from bankruptcy? I think we should spend the remaining parks money for parks inside the city for us to enjoy without driving to places with no roads. You want density in living so you need to supply relief from that in the form of easily available parks. The Arlie property doesn't fit that and should not even be considered by the City Council.
Fight proposed Family Support cuts
As of July 1, the state of Oregon plans to cut all funding for its family support program. This means funding that families of children with developmental disabilities have traditionally depended on for after-school programs, in-home respite, sensory and mobility equipment and other necessary supports will no longer be available!
Please join The Arc of Lane County and contact our Legislature today to tell them to reconsider these cuts!
Arc of Lane County
Private sector should help Ice
Americans of all ages are exercising less and growing fatter each year. Closing the county's only ice rink rather than upgrading it for continued use in the future is not only shortsighted, it's completely contrary to the public health goal of getting people of all ages up and moving more.
Staples Center, Arco Arena and Safeco Field are examples of how the private sector has created sporting venues in large West Coast cities. In my New Orleans birthplace, private companies stepped up and restored the city's long-neglected neighborhood playgrounds by purchasing new equipment and subsidizing their maintenance.
Lane County commissioners' decision Wednesday to grant a two-week reprieve provides a perfect opportunity for the commissioners to go to the companies that helped get them elected and broker a public/private venture that would preserve Lane County Ice as an important year-round recreational venue. How sweet it would be to have elected officials, local companies and generous philanthropists play a direct role in improving the health and well-being of those using the rink today and long into the future.