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Byline: The Register-Guard

Symphony grateful for support

I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the support this community has shown us, the Eugene Symphony, during a most difficult time.

The shock and grief and many layers of sorrow continue to unfold. The gestures of condolences, the cards, the comments, phone calls, e-mails and the media coverage have all been helpful as we try to sort through our grief and move forward.

Our thoughts and prayers continue for the families and friends of Kjersten Oquist and Angela Svendsen. We find tremendous joy knowing that Kelly Gronli's life was saved.

The Board of Directors for the Eugene Symphony Association would also like to acknowledge and extend our deepest gratitude to our musicians, who found the courage and strength to perform last Thursday night. Speaking through the beauty of their art, the music allowed us all to find refuge, beauty and solace. It was an extraordinary gift.


Board President

Eugene Symphony Association


Criticism of Ivins was appalling

I am appalled at the Feb. 8 letter from Arnold Ismach, "Molly Ivins had an arrogant side." Who cares? Big deal. Doesn't that go with the business of being a successful professional writer?

Ismach claims to have worked with her personally, yet he chooses the reporting of her early death to cancer to mount a springboard for his accusations of her "ego-driven ... stone-throwing methodology." Wow! You'd think he might have talked with her personally about this, since he says he knew her, and not waited until after she was dead to criticize her publicly, after she is no longer here.

Is it possible Ismach was afraid to do so while she was still with us? Poor Ismach. I'd hate to see what his critics say about him in letters to the editor after he is gone.

Please, let's try and keep our criticisms to the living and refrain from criticizing the newly dead. I am actually quite astounded that the newspaper printed Ismach's letter, which prompted this response.



Increase funding for education

In a Dec. 29, 2006, editorial, The Oregonian urged Oregon legislators to listen to Kirby Dyess, vice chairwoman of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education, as she explained how investment in higher education brought prosperity to Ireland. The editorial advocated increased investment in Oregon's colleges and universities. Wise advice - but it doesn't go far enough.

During the past six years, community college tuition has nearly doubled. In 1999-2001, the average cost to attend an Oregon community college was $1,700. By 2005-07, that cost was up to $3,000. In practical terms, if a college student worked at a minimum-wage job to pay for school, by 2002 he or she would have to work for 55 hours a week, leaving virtually no time to study. We need to bring tuition costs down, so workers can afford education.

When I was a member of the state Senate Education Committee, we contemplated starting a commission to figure out what a high-quality education in Oregon would cost. Later, the Legislature created the Oregon Quality Education Commission. It has concluded that we have a gap in excess of $1 billion between the cost of a high-quality education and the amount that Oregon currently provides.

In 2002, Commission Chairman Kenneth Thrasher asked, "Have the reasonable goals of a quality education become a broken promise?" In 2007, it's time to restore that promise. I hope that this year the Oregon Legislature will significantly increase investment in public education at all levels.


Lane County Commissioner


Forests rot while jobs are lost

First, President Clinton shuts the forests in the 1990s. We lose thousands of jobs, the forests rot and our county replaces timber income with a Washington handout.

Next, Washington wants to cut the handout. Our forests still rot, jobs are still lost and we spend tens of millions on empty buses driving around.

Finally, Lane County places an income tax on the ballot exempting government retirees. Forests still rot, jobs are still lost and money is still wasted on empty buses.

It keeps getting worse and nobody cares. Why not shut down the Lane Transit District and put the millions toward public safety and the jails?



Mohawk won't affect EWEB

I am one of the 10 Measure 37 claimants mentioned in The Register-Guard's Feb. 8 article "Measure 37 claims spur watershed warning." I am also a board member of the Mohawk Watershed Partnership. It probably comes as a shock that a Measure 37 claimant could also be concerned about water quality in the Mohawk and McKenzie watersheds.

The Eugene Water & Electric Board had concerns mainly about water quality for its customers and septic tank leakage. Several of the Measure 37 claimants mentioned in the article, including me, are on the Mohawk River watershed. I have really good news for the commissioners at EWEB concerning those claimants.

The Mohawk River flows into the McKenzie River several miles downstream from EWEB's Hayden Bridge intake facility. In actuality, no matter what the water quality of the Mohawk River was, it would not affect one EWEB customer.

Lane County has strict septic tank system regulations, and new systems are inspected. These systems don't fail. If EWEB is concerned about septic tank leakage, it should request that any residence within one quarter of a mile of the McKenzie River that is over 20 years old be inspected and new systems installed as necessary.

Concerning my Measure 37 claim: The property in question was purchased in 1952. If anyone from The Register-Guard had bothered to read it, they would have seen that while I could have made a claim for all 338 acres, only 50 acres are in play and that any development is intended only for family members.



Concert was unforgettable

The Eugene Symphony Orchestra's concert last Thursday was absolutely inspiring. Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero is a master and wonderful teacher. His style and form were perfect for the concert's deeply touching and emotional beginning.

The way that Guerrero conducted the opening piece, without baton, for the symphony's two fallen musicians was particularly perfect. His love for them and support for his orchestra was in every motion of his hands.

Guerrero wisely shifted the feeling of the rest of the evening to optimism and joy, further honoring the lives of Angela Svendsen and Kjersten Oquist. This concert was an experience we will never forget. We are so lucky to have the Eugene Symphony Orchestra and Giancarlo Guerrero in our city.




HPV vaccine needs more study

If wearing a helmet while driving a car saved lives or prevented head injuries of people in vehicle accidents - which it potentially would - why wouldn't the government require it?

Yet, ironically, it is required in Texas, and is being considered in other states, that all young girls be vaccinated against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus without even any short-term studies on possible adverse effects.

All the helmet could cause was a bad hair day.



Oregon should ban burning

I live on Mount Tom in the Coburg Hills north of Eugene. When the conditions are ideal for open field burning, that means the smoke from nearby fields engulfs my house and neighborhood - several times a year from late July through October. These are considered successful field burning days because the smoke does not hit Eugene - but my family's health and the health of my neighbors is important, too.

There are more than 50 families on Mount Tom that are breathing high concentrations of particulate matter, sometimes for 8 to 10 hours at a time! We are at an elevation where the smoke often lingers - it does not quickly rise up and over the hills.

Breathing particulate matter, especially high concentrations as we do, has been proven to cause irreparable harm whether young or old, healthy or ill. Washington and Idaho have banned it - it's time for Oregon to ban it, too.



Ivins was accurate, not arrogant

One thing my old friend, Arnold Ismach, never told me is that when he knew Molly Ivins 30 years ago, she turned him down when he asked for a date. He did not say that. But it's the only justification I can think of for his criticizing her post-mortem (letters, Feb. 8).

Like most good friends, Arnold and I have our differences, as in his contention that public relations classes belong in the University of Oregon School of Journalism, which he once headed. Maybe that view explains why he can describe as arrogant a woman who had guts as a young reporter and went on to become a vigorous, accurate critic of the Bush administration.



The Register-Guard welcomes letters on topics of general interest. Our length limit is 250 words; all letters are subject to condensation. Writers are limited to one letter per calendar month. Because of the volume, not all letters can be printed.

Mail letters to: Mailbag, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188

Fax: 338-2828

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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Date:Feb 20, 2007
Previous Article:CORRECTIONS.
Next Article:Back on the open road.

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