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Byline: The Register-Guard

Eugene airport isn't competitive

I was in Houston last month and saw covered airport parking with shuttle service for less than $5 a day. Eugene Airport parking costs $6 to $12 per day, is not covered and no shuttle service is provided. Why can't Eugene provide parking for a lot less money? A taxi to the Eugene Airport has a $10 minimum charge, no matter how short the trip. It's just another penalty that discourages local airport use.

Airport hotels in Portland offer free parking for a week or longer if one stays just one night. Additionally, they shuttle guests to and from the airport and in most cases provide a breakfast.

How is the city of Eugene addressing these competitive services? It is not. Want to increase use of our airport? Then how about free or $1 to $2 parking, remove the taxi penalty and allow Lane Transit District to provide a limited airport service?

Once these deterrents are removed, higher airfares can be addressed by contacting the low-cost carriers and offering them the same guarantees that Delta was given. One of them may be interested. Delta lost $790 million in 2003. Why not invite a successful carrier?

Unless the city of Eugene learns how to market to the discretionary traveler, a large number of potential users will continue to use Portland for their travel needs. Higher passenger volume out of Eugene will make it possible to use larger and more efficient aircraft. We have a nice airport here. Let's make it user friendly.



What about a maximum wage?

Just a thought: If it's fair to have a minimum wage, why is it not also fair to have a maximum wage? A very generous one, but an upper limit, nevertheless. It would be extremely democratic in that it would help to prevent any one person from becoming overly influential.

In addition, the fat skimmed off the top could be rendered into billions for the renewal of infrastructure and community benefit.

"You may say that I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one" - John Lennon.



'Friends' not front-page news

" 'Friends' fans at UO get ready for finale" (Register-Guard, May 6). My God! Do you people really think this is front-page news?



Bush isn't held accountable

George Bush, a conservative Texas Christian, talks to God and thousands of people die - yet he remains president. Andrea Yates, a conservative Texas Christian, talks to God and her kids die, and she is in prison for life.

Bill Clinton et al. are paraded before investigators like circus animals and forced to publicly testify in excruciating detail over a little oral sex, at a cost to taxpayers of $40 million plus. All the testimony is on the record, published on the Internet and as an official government document. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney get to testify in private, together, off the record, over the deaths of 3,000 people and loss of billions of dollars that they likely could have prevented if the administration's lackeys and Bush were not so focused on avenging the death plot against his father.

Conservative Christians railed against Robert Mapplethorpe's exhibition of staged photos being funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, yet at taxpayers' expense the commander-in-chief's troops are photographed abusing, humiliating and torturing Iraqi prisoners in a truly pornographic and sadistic manner.

Bush apologizes on Arab TV for the actions of a few poorly trained and exhausted soldiers, yet he won't apologize to the families and victims of Sept. 11.

I am generally politically conservative, very grateful to be an American and proud of what I thought America stood for, but I am deeply appalled and ashamed of our president and his administration.



'Affair' headline a whitewash

The May 7 headline "Goldschmidt admits '70s affair with teen" is so far from the truth that it is ludicrous. It should have read "Goldschmidt admits to statutory rape of 14-year-old girl in the '70s."

It is impossible to have an affair with a girl this young. Why whitewash him because he is a popular politician?



No need for housing standards

I am a Eugene landlord writing to question a May 5 editorial in support of a local Eugene rental housing code. In my opinion, 90 percent of all landlord-tenant problems are solved voluntarily, and for the 10 percent caused by hardheadedness or financial problems on either side, we already have a strong Oregon tenant rights law and a proactive county court system with free mediation. In fact, it is stated that the Corvallis program used as a model conducts only three or four inspections a year for 11,000 tenants. Most issues are resolved voluntarily. Then where is the real need?

Are the anecdotes brought forth by the advocacy group part of a widespread problem? Some investigative reporting should be done before unqualifiedly supporting another governmental layer. In fact, what about an education campaign for renters on how to visually inspect a unit and the rights and responsibilities of both renters and landlords? What about the large Lane County Section 8 housing subsidy program, which requires federal housing standards? How does this fit in and support the editorial's goal?

I have been a landlord in west Eugene since 1989. I believe almost all landlords keep up their properties. Loss of major west Eugene employers, competition from subsidized units constructed by the university and the increase in home purchases by younger families has reduced rental demand and balanced the market on the side of tenants in most areas of Eugene. If reform is needed, propose one that is fact-based.



Kucinich vote sends message

Little in the way of logic was evidenced in this newspaper's May 2 editorial purporting to explain why Democrats in Oregon should not vote for Dennis Kucinich. The line of reasoning was to the effect that a vote for Kucinich is really a vote against Kerry, and therefore a vote for Bush.

Talk about jumping the gun. Kerry is certainly not yet the Democratic nominee. While he most probably will be, anything can happen. The newspaper's editors seem to forget what happened to Democratic front-runner Bobby Kennedy in 1968, shortly after he departed a whistle-stop appearance in our town.

And odds and dire scenarios aside, what about the idea of a voting democracy? Last I checked, that's what we supposedly have.

A primary election is the main opportunity for voters to state their preferences. Long before the national convention, exactly why should we feel compelled to put all eggs into Kerry's basket? The logic is destructively subversive, because it says Democrats should fall into lockstep on a Kerry vote to avoid sending a message of weakness to the Republican camp. This type of thinking, effective perhaps for belligerent military posturing, turns democracy on its head.

I agree that Oregon's primary vote will be noticed only if Kucinich rocks Kerry's boat. This is exactly why it is empowering to vote for the media-marginalized candidate, the only one who's facing the real issues with real answers. Voters can send a message that will be heard.

Register-Guard, rethink and recant.



Support Mackey for sheriff

I have listened to all three candidates for Lane County sheriff at different events around the community. All three speak of their focus on budgets and beds and patrols.

I have noticed in the Voters' Pamphlet, as well as new radio ads, that Russ Burger is carrying a lot of endorsements and has good management credentials. However, I am most moved by Steve Mackey's passion and intimate knowledge of the department.

He has spent the past several years working directly with criminals in the jail. Most importantly, Mackey's endorsements are the most impressive. He is supported and has a volunteer campaign staff made up of the department staff, friends and family. If these folks are willing to commit their spare time, after working grueling hours to protect and serve us, to help Mackey win this race, that speaks volumes about leadership and charisma.

That's why my vote is for Mackey, and I encourage you to do the same.



Schools should level with voters

Randy Rexius (letters, May 6) made a case for the Pleasant Hill bond measure based on the idea that raising taxes makes our homes more valuable. Following that logic, why raise taxes only $60? Let's have each homeowner pony up another $5,000 per year and look how much our home values will increase! Moreover, the writer failed to mention that increased property values lead to still more taxes.

Pleasant Hill, like many rural districts, suffers from reduced enrollment and that, along with heavy Public Employees Retirement System payments, has drawn money from regular operations. We need to move beyond the pleas to emotion or greed and have the board present all the voters with a recovery plan that is honest and affordable.

Once our leaders level with the voters about the real problems, increasing taxes becomes a viable part of the plan to put the shine back on the Pleasant Hill reputation.

A strong and viable school system is in all of our interests. Honest accountability will get us there.


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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:May 13, 2004
Next Article:Cancel special session.

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