LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Football center critics are myopic
Like small children who cried because the neighbors' kid got a shiny new bike and they didn't get one, too, critics of Phil and Penny Knights' generous gift to the University of Oregon bemoan the evils of sports prospering at the expense of education.
Led in part by The Register-Guard's still-smoldering ego for not getting the first look, the incredible shrinking newspaper even commandeered Bob Welch's column space to help bash the new football performance center's "opulence." The truth is, the new facility will likely outlast the newspaper.
The letters to the editor have gotten lots of space for expressions of shame and shock, complaining that education is playing second fiddle to sports at the UO. Unfortunately, those myopic naysayers failed to acknowledge any positive benefits that may well come to the university and to the Eugene-Springfield area as a result of having outstanding facilities that attract superior athletes, students and tourists.
While it's relatively new for Oregon, schools such as Notre Dame became nearly legendary in no small part due to their sports programs and it would be difficult to argue that those schools have since lost their educational focus because of it. Further, as the faultfinders don their shirts, shoes and dresses made in Southeast Asia they attack Nike for utilizing overseas production facilities, presupposing that those foreign workers are all less better off because of it.
The final irony for me is that if the Knights had kept all that money for themselves, those same critics would be conspicuously silent.
Volcanic emissions exceed humans'
Regarding Phillip Noe's Aug. 18 letter concerning Art Robinson being named to lead the Oregon Republican Party, he stated that every respected scientific institution disagrees with Robinson's stand as a denier of human-caused climate change.
Ian Rutherford Plimer is an Australian geologist and professor emeritus of earth sciences at the University of Melbourne. He says the ash in the volcanic eruption in Iceland has, in just four days, negated every single effort that's been made in the past five years to control carbon dioxide emissions on our planet. In addition, there are about 200 active volcanos spewing ash at any one time every day.
When Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991 it spewed more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere than the entire human race had emitted in all its years on Earth. If that's true, why are we wasting so much time and money trying to reduce CO2 emissions when that effort and money could be better spent to solve more critical problems facing the United States?
Airport issues require cooperation
Having been a pilot for some 57 years, it was disheartening for me to see the Creswell City Council and pilots having to do what the Federal Aviation Administration should have done a year and a half ago. The FAA had given five promised dates to resolve the skydiving issue at the Creswell Airport. Those dates all came and went without a resolution, replaced with another date each time.
Try not giving the FAA something it requested on or before a certain date and the agency would have taken immediate action.
The sad part was watching a group of people who have so much in common having to choose sides, something that doesn't seem appropriate because the FAA is responsible for those decisions.
Pilots, both for and against skydivers crossing the runway, made good points when expressing their concerns. Most of them have worked hard to maintain and enjoy their love of aviation.
Skydiving is considered an aviation activity. Because of that and the guarantee from the FAA that any and all aviation activities must be allowed on airports that are federally funded, skydiving should be allowed to avoid jeopardizing that funding.
I can only hope the pilots, skydivers and other airport users can learn to work together and enjoy their favorite aviation activities in a safe, friendly and cooperative way.
Liberal lies cloud mascot debate
In justifying banning Indian mascots for even sovereign Indian tribes, militant, politically correct liberals tell two shameless lies. The first is found in an Aug. 10 editorial: "But the mascots are unavoidably offensive. No other racial group is caricatured as Indians are - not blacks, not Asians, not Latinos, not anyone."
According to liberal dementia, the David Douglas High School Scots mascot, a white guy in kilt with bagpipes, doesn't exist. Liberals believe if they tell a lie often enough it magically becomes true.
The second pathological lie argues that Indian mascots promote racist stereotyping of Indians. Before Europeans showed up, Indians held events for many reasons and games and competitions were held. They wore paint, danced and beat on drums because that's our culture - none of which was about war. It's liberal P.C. psychobabble promoting racist stereotyping of Indians that calls it "war paint" and "war dances."
With Gov. John Kitzhaber's veto of Senate Bill 215 we will put on war paint, as a culture war has been declared on us. We will do a war dance all the way to the ballot box and give P.C. liberals their Custer's Last Stand.
I wear paint, do many dances throughout the day and beat on drums because I dare live the dreams of my ancestors on the Trail of Tears who couldn't, and dreamed of the day I could. If that offends P.C. liberals, that makes my day.
Wolves, grizzlies go hand-in-hand
Wolves saving grizzlies? That's one more reason to leave wolves on the federal endangered species list so states cannot follow the lead of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho and reduce wolves to survival level.
In Yellowstone National Park, threatened grizzlies prepare for hibernation by stocking up on white bark pine nuts and cutthroat trout. Unfortunately, both foods are also threatened and in short supply. Berries can be as much as 50 percent of a grizzly's diet, and in Canada and Alaska as much as 60 to 70 percent.
A paper published by Oregon and Washington state researchers in the Journal of Animal Ecology documented an increase in the level of berries consumed by grizzlies (still only 14 percent) since the return of wolves to Yellowstone. Overgrazing of berry plants by ungulates and cattle has been reduced.
Recovering berry bushes also produce flowers that are important to pollinators such as butterflies and hummingbirds and are food for other small and large mammals and birds.
The researchers' paper points out the need for an ecologically sound number of wolves. Because of the cascading effects they have on the ecosystem, the issue is having enough wolves to help control overbrowsing, aid tree and shrub recovery and restore ecosystem health. Will we understand the term "balance of nature" only after it's too late?
Eugene architecture isn't 'garbage'
Architectural taste is subjective and of course Jennifer Mellone is entitled to her opinion (letters. Aug. 17). She referred to "so-called architects" foisting "eye garbage" on the city. Where's her tolerance for architecture from a different perspective?
The federal courthouse she referred to as "a cross between a toaster and an Airstream trailer" is distinctive and has won awards. The variety of architecture in downtown Eugene adds interest and reflects the talent and training of many architects and clients. Some of it's good and some of it - well, again, it's a matter of taste. She may not like what she sees, but "eye garbage"? How insensitive.