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Byline: The Register-Guard

Parker loves Fonda-bashing

Kathleen Parker (Register-Guard, July 27) heaved a sigh of relief in her column that Jane Fonda is anti-war again and promptly began the Fonda-bashing.

You can hardly blame Parker. After all, bashing Joseph Wilson was getting nowhere.

As for Fonda, wasn't it thoughtless of her to be photographed sitting on an old manual anti-aircraft gun in North Vietnam 33 years ago? If she had used her head, she would have volunteered to sit in the bombardier's seat on one of the world's premier bombers employed by the world's most technolo- gically-advanced nation, the United States. From there, she could have been filmed dropping large not-too-smart bombs on the Third World citizens of North Vietnam. And she would have ensured her enshrinement as a true patriot.

Parker is nostalgic for those earlier Fonda-bashing Vietnam-era days. Listen to her words:

"Withdrawing now isn't an option. Losing the war isn't an option. So what is the point of an anti-war, vegetable oil bus tour?" It all sounds so familiar, but, of course, Parker is referring to the Iraq war. Living in the vicinity of Walt Disney World, she may have been able to repress the 58,000 names inscribed on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial wall in Washington, D.C.

The Vietnam War did not turn out as Parker and other patriots like her would have preferred. So many Vietnamese and just not enough of those not-too-smart bombs, I guess.



Cancel Eugene enterprise zone

Corporate profit depends on many indispensable production and marketing requirements, most of which are far more important than the relatively modest property tax exemptions offered by enterprise zones.

A Eugene Development Department executive correctly asserts that only when all imperative corporate needs are equally fulfilled at competing locations does a potential enterprise zone property tax exemption become a deciding factor.

Given Eugene's assets - abundant high-quality water, cheap energy, excellent transportation and communication, a significant labor supply, educational support and livability - most corporations would settle in Eugene even if corporate imperative needs exactly matched that of a competing site.

Conclusion: Any benefit of an enterprise zone is small and speculative.

Canceling the West Eugene Enterprise Zone would have changed a costly $48 million Hynix property tax revenue loss into an equivalent increase in property tax revenues. Think of this now-squandered tax rip-off as a lost remedy for Eugene's understaffed police force, the fire engine Eugene needs for one of its stations, school support, inadequate support for the arts, crumbling city streets or the many items removed by the Eugene Budget Committee.

Now that the new enterprise zone is in limbo because of contentious city and county disagreement on tax abatement allowances per job created, it is time to cancel the recently authorized and potentially very costly enterprise zone.



Fairgrounds a vibrant resource

On moving to Eugene four years ago, we found a rather quiet downtown but a surprisingly vibrant resource close to the city center: the Lane County Events Center. What a delight to discover, only a 15-minute bike ride from our home, a rotating carnival of activities for our whole family.

When I list all of the events held at the Lane County fairgrounds that have enriched our lives, I am astonished by the variety: home and garden shows, county fairs, antique shows, cat and dog shows, used book sales, Asian Celebrations, microbrew festivals, heritage fairs, psychic fairs, pottery fairs, 4-H fairs, farmers' markets and the Christmas Holiday Market - not to mention special events such as the ice show, Lipizaner stallions and even Michael Moore!

If this facility had been located at the far edge of Eugene, we would not have attended a fraction of these events. The Lane County fairgrounds brings the world to the heart of our fair city. Please preserve our wonderful fairgrounds!



Must all police shoot to kill?

I guess my question is: How do we protect ourselves from our law enforcement officers?

I would be very hesitant to call a law enforcement officer even if there was a home disturbance going on or if someone had stolen my pickup. I would be afraid that an officer would shoot and kill those involved. Before I would want that to happen, I would give my pickup to the thief. No one deserves to die because of a truck.

In the case of a home disturbance, that is more serious because someone in the home could get hurt. However, I would hope that any responding officers would be adequately trained and have sufficient judgment so as to be able to protect themselves and any aggressive person from harm - especially if he or she is armed only with a stick. If my spouse were killed because I called a law enforcement officer, I would be devastated.

I know that enforcing the law is extremely difficult and must be done if we are to live in a civilized society. However, is shooting someone over relatively minor infractions the answer? Surely there must be other means to deal with stolen property and a home disturbance.

I know I am speaking from only what I read in the newspaper, and there must be extenuating factors I am not aware of. However, human life has value and should not be snuffed out carelessly.



Sell the fairgrounds to Triad

A unique opportunity may be available as McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center searches for a new home.

The current Lane County Events Center site provides a good location for a hospital. The sale of the land could generate enough money to build a modern, multipurpose community facility to serve as a fairgrounds and event center.

In Eugene, like many other communities, the old fairgrounds was once on the outskirts of town, but development has encroached to a point that restrictions on activities are limiting the fairgrounds' ability to produce enough income to cover maintenance and operating costs. A new facility could provide expanded and more diverse facilities while reducing operational, maintenance and repair costs.

A fairgrounds is more than just a place to hold an annual agricultural exposition. Fair facilities provide for commerce, tourism, economic development and entertainment, including artistic, recreational, educational and athletic activities. Additionally, fair facilities are used all year by numerous youth and nonprofit groups.

A 1995 study by the Lane County Fair Board found the current fair site insufficient to meet their needs at the time, and the situation isn't any better 10 years later.

Such an opportunity doesn't come along every day. It needs to be seriously considered to create a win-win scenario for the entire community.


Cottage Grove

Civil unions deserved a vote

Oregon's Senate Bill 1000 is dead. In an outrageous abuse of power, House Speaker Karen Minnis gutted every word of SB 1000 and stuffed in her own agenda, denying our representatives the opportunity to vote on civil unions and nondiscrimination.

The majority of Oregonians - including voters in Minnis's district - support the civil union option. Our representatives should represent their constituents, not their own personal hang-ups about gay people.

Rep. Mary Nolan, D-Portland, then introduced House Bill 3508, which included civil unions and nondiscrimination, as well as the reciprocal benefits Minnis endorsed. HB 3508 deserved an open debate and a simple up-or-down vote in the Oregon House. No more dirty tricks. The Legislature should have let the people see where our representatives stand on discri- mination.

In the final days of the 2005 session, many voters demanded a debate on HB 3508. Speaker Minnis should have stepped aside and let our representatives vote.



We are failing our founders

With the industry of war as America's official top priority - adopted in 1950 without the consent of the people - advancing technologies spelled out in the Commentary section open Pandora's box (Register-Guard, July 24).

While nations with people-based economies use advances in robotics and nanotechnology to develop energy alternatives and methods to address environmental crises, America uses them to fill the world with the darkest of ideas.

Thanks to a sleeping populace, the United States and words such as "freedom" have been hijacked to support industry profit through conflict rather than human prosperity through peace.

The opportunity for rejecting and reversing the current national priority is clear and present. Only popular demand can change this priority. But because we do not yet suffer enough from our own policies, we will continue to focus on the symptoms instead of their root cause, until time to effect change runs out.

Osama bin Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda in Iraq are all products of a Pentagon black operation launched to feed our priority by men now in power. It is intended to distract us, instill fear and keep us from taking charge of the people's America. And we're lapping it up while the house burns down.

We should be ashamed of failing our founders.



Equal rights, not special rights

Bert McCoy's July 28 letter, "Civil unions are just wrong," was full of misinformation that needs to be corrected.

First, McCoy goes on about the passing of the constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between a man and a woman. What is not being said here is this amendment does violate the Oregon Constitution, and so one would expect the courts to toss this amendment.

McCoy then goes on to talk about how Senate Bill 1000 was seeking rights over and above the rights given to married couples. Wow, I would really like to know where he got this information.

There are 500 protections and responsibilities afforded heterosexual couples who marry that are currently denied to same-sex couples. To call these needs "over and above" is just wrong. It is called equal rights, and not special rights.


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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Aug 6, 2005
Previous Article:A so-so session.
Next Article:Oregon turns up the heat.

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