LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Think globally, shop locally
The Eugene community is being negatively affected by our locally owned neighborhood store owners being put out of business by nationally or internationally owned corporate box stores.
Is it wise to prioritize convenience and consumer choice above local quality-of-life considerations? Bigger stores offer lower prices, it's true. And the proliferators of super stores say it is all about consumer choice - but the truth is Wal-Mart, Target and Walgreen are all the same, no matter where you go. They take the unique community qualities out of shopping, along with local owner recognition and accountability.
Stores that don't pay employees a living wage seem to be the same stores that purchase goods overseas. This hurts our local economy, as well as bringing into question the ethics of how these goods come to market to satisfy our consumer demands. Of the dollars spent in big-box stores, 14 percent stay in the local economy, while in locally owned stores, 45 percent of the dollars stay in our local community.
I have lived in Eugene for 20 years and am amazed at the gradual disappearance of familiar neighborhood businesses and the ugly sprawl that we are allowing to change our lovely community.
What to do? Here's a start: Find out who owns the store you shop at and who grows your food. If you care about the quality of life in our town, shop locally and join a community-supported agriculture farm. Don't let the corporations change and degrade our quality of life.
MoveOn video raises questions
I normally let your, or for that matter, any, paper go by without reading anything except the comics, but a couple of things did catch my eye.
Front page, female troops in Iraq (Register-Guard, Jan. 3): I think it is a good thing to tell the world women do have a right to stand with their male counterparts as equals, and being in this situation shows our desire to this end.
My other article of interest was in the Jan. 5 guest viewpoint, "Americans should view video expose on Iraq war." Why was this video shown only at parties in homes? Why was it not given air time on a national television program? Something that is this important is suspect as to the content and how it was put together. It could be that these things were said, or might it be more misinformation. They are lacking dates, times and in what context these words were used.
Who is this MoveOn.org? Is it another "let's irritate the people some more with our interpretation of what is said" group, and in a context that makes sense to our "org"?
Thanks to our forefathers and to freedom of speech.
LARRY C. TJOMSLAND
Timber money built this town
My suggestion to Mike Helm in following the "old growth money" trail (letters, Dec. 28) is to visit the major hospitals, performing arts centers, universities, community colleges, sports arenas, research centers of science, medicine, communication and human relations, plus all other civic activities that make Eugene a good place to live. He would find that timber industry names dominate the lists of major contributors.
When timber harvesting on the national forests was reduced by 90 percent with the adoption of the Northwest Forest Plan by President Clinton in 1997, logging trucks all but disappeared from the Oregon highways. Logging diminished mainly on national forests.
Helm's claim about taxes being used to fund national forest activities is partially correct. However, his overstated claims of the damage from logging are largely false. Harvesting systems for logging have dramatically changed with steady improvements in the past few decades. An example is in logging road design and construction methods. Fifty years ago and beyond, logging roads were constructed with bulldozers and the excess material side cast over the bank. Today this same material is dug, loaded and hauled to a road location that needs fill to maintain the road grade.
Most big log mills have been dismantled, and second-growth mills are taking their place.
Contrary to Helm's attacks on logging, the money from decades of logging built this town.
W. REX STEVENS
Sky is always falling for Ivins
Molly Ivins is the perfect spokesperson for the Democratic Party. Her negative, glass-half-empty sarcasm underscores the hatred directed at President Bush from such stellar organizations as MoveOn.org.
The sky is always falling for Ivins. Her journalistic vitriol makes Chicken Little seem like the eternal optimist. But surprise! Americans don't want to feel negative or apologetic about their country. Americans will respond only to a positive message given by confident leaders.
I encourage Ivins to keep spewing venom right up to election day. However, her most recent diatribe, blaming President Bush for mad cow disease, would indicate that Ivins may have the first human case ever documented in the United States.
WILLIAM M. EDDIE
Willis' insight will be missed
Someone may replace columnist and associate editor Henny Willis, who retired last year from The Register-Guard, but no one will ever fill his shoes. As state Sen. Don Husband often said in the 1970s, "fine wine only happens where the winemaker has labored in the vineyards." Although an idealist, I believe Willis' years as a working journalist in Salem gave him a pragmatic view of the possible from a political standpoint.
He worked the hallways of the state capital, just as a fine winemaker would tend his rows of vines. As a lifelong student of drama, Willis viewed the political actors on stage in the Salem Capitol with pragmatism and sagacity. His political columns and editorials reflected this hard-earned depth of knowledge and realistic view of the players on stage at Oregon's white-marble theater in Salem.
For years the public has been able to read and understand what was going on in state politics in Oregon with confidence because Henny Willis could be hoodwinked by no one. I will miss his columns and editorials.
Bush impersonating Hoover
We all chuckled when "All in the Family's" Archie and Edith Bunker sang the opener: "Didn't need no welfare state, everybody pulled their weight ... We could use a man like Herbert Hoover again." It was funny then, because we knew the program was a spoof on many of the positions taken by Archie.
It's not so funny now when it looks like we very much have a "man like Herbert Hoover again."
From The Register-Guard on Jan. 4: "Bush aims to curb domestic costs." The costs identified are cuts for "housing, veterans, medical studies and job training." He certainly fingered those programs that break the budget. I admit that something must be done with the 2004 budget deficit of $450 billion and last year's deficit at $374 billion, the largest on record. It's only right to select the important places to cut.
We are not to worry, however, because with the additional tax cuts projected, economic growth will overcome any hard times. Notwithstanding that "Total federal revenues have declined for three consecutive years, apparently the first time this has happened since the early 1920s," according to both the Office of Management and Budget and the White House budget office.
Archie was prophetic. With the outsourcing trend of activities of the federal government, we will probably see Herbert Hoover's philosophy come to pass that government's only responsibility is to "protect the nation and carry the mail."
I believe the right candidate could defeat George W. Bush come November.
LOWELL H. RUSSELL
Budget cuts feel like amputation
On Ballot Measure 30, I can't help but think of the implications if it does not pass.
Services will be cut again beyond Measure 28. Prescription drug coverage for the medically needy will be cut further disastrously.
I have always felt that the people of Oregon were making an investment in me and any other person of medical need. Some of those investments include becoming stable and have the ability to return to work. This issue goes beyond that of human services, though. It cuts across the board in education, public safety and other public services that we all use and depend on as residents of this state.
The proposed budget cuts caused by Measure 30 would no longer be cuts, but an amputation of our state's infrastructure. I urge you to think carefully on this issue and how it will affect our community as a whole. This is a long-term investment for all Oregonians. Choose wisely.
GREGG C. SWAN
Arafat is the obstacle to peace
Silvia Beres' Jan. 2 letter, "High hurdles for peace in the Mideast," urging that West Bank and Gaza settlers be brought back home, is canned chicken soup whose expiration date has long passed. She totally misses the underlying problem.
Yasser Arafat still controls the Palestinian Authority with the full support of the Palestinian street. He has no more intention of reaching a peace agreement with Israel than he did when he responded to then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak's unprecedented offer of a Palestinian state in 96 percent of the West Bank and Gaza, including shared control of Jerusalem, by unleashing terrorism.
Arafat has proven to be unbending in his refusal to reach a negotiated settlement regardless of incentives or concessions. There is simply no one home on the Palestinian side with whom to negotiate - and until there is, every Israeli concession is proof that terrorism pays and is an incentive for its continuation.
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the Editor|
|Date:||Jan 15, 2004|
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