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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Let the caller beware

Lately I have seen a few articles announcing the new "511" service in Oregon - people who call that number can obtain information about road conditions.

Well, I was recently in California and saw a sign offering road advice if I were to call 511, which I did. What was not mentioned was the $1.25 charge that came this month with my cellular phone bill. Let the user beware.

SUZI MARQUESS LONG

Cottage Grove

ArtWalk courting trouble

Do you want people to be cited during the ArtWalk? As host of the First Friday ArtWalk on Dec. 6, I violated the Eugene's new ordinance that controls the public spaces of the expanded "downtown activity zone." That's because I didn't have a permit while "conducting an activity" that was "likely to attract at any one time over 25 people." All quotes are from the ordinance.

This monthly "entertainment event" - or is it a "meeting"? - regularly attracts hundreds to the "Downtown Activity Zone." Indeed, as the ordinance states, ArtWalk attendees could have also been penalized with fines for "participating in the conduct of a meeting that is likely to attract at any one time an assembly of more than 25 persons."

Even so, had I applied for, paid for, provided insurance for, waited for, been approved for, and "conducted" the Lane Arts Council's "event" with a permit, anyone who "entered in or upon" the ArtWalk "for a purpose other than in accordance with" the "authorized use" would be "interfering with" the ArtWalk. Such "violation is punishable by a fine not to exceed $500." Beware, casual strollers.

Either way, every first Friday there is created an inevitable situation wherein some citizens risk violation of the law. Well, at least downtown still has "activities" to "authorize." Perhaps Downtown Eugene Inc. is to be congratulated - these little gains in developing the "value of the city's central business district" may be worth giving up our freedom to gather after all.

DOUGLAS BEAUCHAMP

Executive Director

Lane Arts Council

Eugene

Bettman is a strong advocate

After reading the comments about Eugene City Councilor Bonny Bettman in the Register-Guard's front-page story on Dec. 21, I wanted to share my own experience working with Bettman when I was a Lane County commissioner.

I found that Bettman was always well prepared. She expressed herself eloquently, and considered the opinions of others carefully. She was very responsive to her constituents' concerns. She exhibited the sort of work ethic that I admire in any elected official - conservative or liberal.

I noticed that in 2003, Bettman made efforts to bridge the usual rifts in local politics. For example, in September she worked with Jack Roberts, the executive director of the Lane Metro Partnership, on a plan to offer incentives for McKenzie-Willamette to locate its new hospital in Eugene.

I think our community benefits from strong advocacy by both progressives and conservatives. Bonny Bettman helps to maintain the balance by zealously representing her constituents in South Eugene. I hope she wins re-election in 2004.

TOM LININGER

Eugene

Media covering up for Bush

Uh-oh. Once again this administration is receiving reliable reports from a multitude of credible sources that terrorist activity is increasing. The last time this happened, President Bush interrupted his hectic fund-raising schedule to take a five-week vacation at his Hollywood set "ranch."

In the past, orange alerts have occurred only immediately after breaking events, such as Enron imploding, have threatened to involve administration officials. Orange alerts, like the hideously misnamed No Child Left Behind Act, are another unfunded mandate that force states to divert even more money away from needed public services.

But this administration learned an invaluable lesson after Sept. 11, 2001: No matter how grossly negligent or incompetent, its members can count on the corporate media to help them cover their rear ends. Why has the press not expressed outrage at the stonewall tactics this administration has used to prevent the public from learning the truth about the security failures that led to Sept. 11?

It is utterly appalling that a lazy, compliant press has allowed one of the most abject failures in the history of American security to be turned into a triumph by a secretive, mendacious, unelected administration.

DOUGLAS HINTZ

Eugene
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Dec 27, 2003
Words:708
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