LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.
Bikes can't force cars anywhere
Two letters about cyclists on July 16 - "Did senator fall off his bike?" and "Make new rules for bike riders" - contain too much ignorance and arrogance for 250 words to rebut. So let me focus first on one misconception common to both letters.
They refer to motorists being "forced" into oncoming traffic by cyclists, causing potential head-on collisions. Since when can a 200-pound bicycle and rider force the driver of a 4,000-pound car to do anything? Each car is conveniently equipped with both a brake pedal and steering wheel to allow the driver to control the movement of the vehicle. The point to remember is to drive at a safe speed for conditions and never pass unless it's safe to do so. Remember the brake pedal we discussed earlier?
One letter writer says, dismissing cyclists, "I thought the roads were built for vehicular traffic." The roads are intended for vehicular traffic. And cycles are treated as vehicles under the law.
The other correspondent complains twice about cyclists violating the fog line. The fog line is there because motorists apparently don't always remember to keep an eye out for the edge of the road. It is not the demarcation of a bike lane.
Cyclists are entitled to use of the roadway, being required to stay to the right when practical. They are not consigned to the fog-lane (to coin a phrase), which is sometimes only inches wide.
I suggest we all read the Oregon Drivers Handbook.
Cars have option to slow down
I am dismayed by the threatening tone of June Turner's July 16 letter to the editor titled "Make new rules for bike riders."
Turner implies that if given the choice between hitting bicyclists riding outside of the designated bike lane or swerving into an oncoming car, she would choose to hit the bicyclists.
I would suggest that there is another option - slow down, wait until the situation clears, then proceed with caution. Bicyclists are just like motorists, they make dumb mistakes and bad choices. However, the price for their mistakes should not be death.
Is getting someplace on time worth someone's life? I'd like to remind Turner that the law now requires that when she is passing bicyclists she allow them enough room to fall without being hit her car. Something to think about next time she's tempted to get around bicyclists as quickly as possible on her drive down the coast.
Mobile home rents can climb
The Eugene City Council has amended its mobile home park ordinance to offer more support for park residents in cases of park closures.
My park owner would pay me $17,000, the state $7,000, and I'd get $5,000 as a tax credit. That equals $29,000 for a house valued this year at $89,530. Many landlords didn't support amendments to Oregon House Bill 2735. Had the amended bill been defeated, we might have ended up with a 365-day notice to vacate the premises and no money at all. But it passed, allowing cities to keep their ordinances and to make revisions for a limited time.
The Landlord/Tenant Coalition that developed the original bill is made up of many people who caucus in four groups, each group getting one vote: two groups of park owners, a group of manufacturers-dealers-financiers and Manufactured Home Owners of Oregon/Oregon State Tenants Association.
The park owners didn't want city ordinances. Furthermore, Wilsonville's ordinance was declared illegal by the circuit court judge in Clackamas County who found Wilsonville in contempt of court when the city tried to revise it.
Oregon City's ordinance is also in jeopardy since that city is in Clackamas County. Bend is being sued over its ordinance. If Eugene park owners sue and lose, nothing stops them from raising our rents. If rents double or triple or quadruple, how many of us will be able to afford to stay in our homes? Will landlords and tenants ever work together again?
Here's what LRAPA minutes say
Concerned readers of Richard Marlatt's July 16 letter, "Base LRAPA decision on science," about Lane Regional Air Protection Agency board member Dave Ralston's dismissive opinions on global warming and whether LRAPA should begin to address its local ramifications, would be interested to read the board's approved May 3, 2007, minutes. They read:
"Ralston commented that he doesn't think LRAPA should spend time trying to do something about a global problem. He said he has seen the science and the documentation and there are no facts to back up the claim that global warming is being caused by human activities. Ralston said instead of CO2 raising the global temperature, the rising temperatures are actually raising the CO2 levels and that the cause of the greenhouse effect is more water vapor in the air. He said he is not interested in pursuing the issue of climate change."
"Cottage Grove/Oakridge Board Member Pat Patterson agreed with Ralston, stating that the issue of climate change has turned into a political nightmare and he thinks LRAPA should continue its programs to take care of air quality in Lane County and let other people take care of their own areas."
Seek greener site for hospital
Eugene prides itself on being on the leading edge in the green movement. Our new courthouse is green. The proposed new city hall will be green, as will be the downtown redevelopment project currently being fine-tuned.
Why, then, is the city even considering approval of a regional medical center on the RiverRidge Golf Course at the far north edge of town? The property used to be outside the city limits and had to be brought inside before the project could even be discussed.
Lane Transit District representatives have stated that they have no plans to extend bus service up North Delta Highway. That means employees and patients, plus vendors, physicians and visitors, will dramatically increase energy use and fossil fuel emissions as they travel to and from the distant site each day. Hospital representatives have admitted that traffic in the area will increase by a minimum of 53,000 vehicle trips per day.
The population center of Eugene is somewhere near Second Avenue and Chambers Street. Wouldn't it make more sense, and greener sense, to site the medical center in the urban core instead of in such an inconvenient location?
Clinton was the immoral one
It would be interesting to know where the writer of the July 13 letter "Get rid of Bush and Cheney" was for the eight years that Bill Clinton was president.
Maybe she doesn't recall the pardoning of 100 people by Clinton on the last day he held office. Several people he pardoned were well connected and even notorious lawbreakers and certainly not deserving of pardon. Even Clinton supporters and appointees were openly critical about this last-minute trick he pulled. Talk about "in-your-face imperial decisions." I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby is small pickings compared to the people Clinton pardoned.
Her other accusation that the Bush-Cheney administration is morally and ethically corrupt would lead you to believe that the writer lives somewhere besides the United States. I don't recall either President Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney having several extramarital affairs! How moral was the Clinton-Lewinsky affair, or the rest of Clinton's extramarital liaisons?
I think this is a case of "the pot calling the kettle black." Or, to coin another phrase, "People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."
We'd be better off with Edwards
As a senior who is worried about the degraded condition of the nation and the globe that we're about to dump in the laps of our children and grandchildren, I have decided right here and right now that I am going to support John Edwards for president. Here's why:
First, I'm tired of the feeling that most Americans probably share that we dare not turn our backs on the Bush Republican Party for even a moment lest it burrow into our bank accounts, or launch open pit coal mines in the middle of Yellowstone National Park, or eliminate all remaining taxes for their super-rich donors, or invade Iran.
How nice it would be to go fishing one day and not come home to find that political enemies of the White House have been fired for properly doing their jobs or speaking the truth.
Given the unwavering focus on the plight of working and poor Americans that is a big part of who Edwards is, I know we could hand him the keys to the White House and go about our lives with full confidence that this country would be better off, not worse off.
Wouldn't that be a welcome state of affairs?
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|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Article Type:||Letter to the editor|
|Date:||Jul 23, 2007|
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