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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Don't let housecats roam free

I appreciated seeing Lee Darling's sad April 13 story about roaming housecats and Diane Warnock's April 14 plea for a little common sense. But the tone of these seemed a bit tame for my taste.

I am frankly sick and tired of picking slimy housecat poo from my garden. Everyone agrees you can't let your dogs poop on other people's property. Why do so many people think it's OK to let housecats poop on other people's property? It's not OK!

Do housecat owners realize the fantastic damage they do by letting their housecats rove about? And it is the owners, not the housecats, who are guilty. It's even crazier to put food out for feral and semi-feral housecats.

But don't take my word for it. Ask any environmental organization, from radical Earth First! to conservative Nature Conservancy, and they will all tell you to keep those housecats in the house - "house" cats, get it?

Whole bird species have been made extinct by housecat predation. It's estimated that fully one third of all bird deaths are due to housecats. Please look it up!

In many communities it is illegal to let your housecat stray. When someone brings an identifiable housecat to a shelter, the owner pays a substantial fine to get the animal back.

Harken! And don't pretend you didn't read this! You can't let your housecat roam and still profess to be environmentally awake.

Ronald B. Duber

Eugene

A class-action pothole suit?

I still own a vacant lot in Eugene after having moved to Douglas County. I should go to my lot more often for checks and maintenance. But I can't afford to repair my tires and axles.

I avoid Eugene streets.

I pay more property taxes for a small vacant lot in a marginal Eugene neighborhood than I do for six forested acres and a house overlooking the Umpqua River. And I don't even get to vote against Eugene levies. But that's the risk I took buying real estate. Which reminds me to ask - why is the city of Eugene in the real estate business?

I'm referring to all the fretting about downtown and bailing out wealthy landowners over the years. The city has historically made bad business decisions,buying high and selling low.

I don't even understand why the city pretends to have say in a hospital siting. Unfortunately, some hospitals are for-profit businesses, and all Eugene has succeeded in doing is running them all out of town.

Whatever happened to the idea of municipalities being in existence for purposes of infrastructure and protection, mostly police and fire? The state of the roadways and the city's attitude that it just doesn't have the money is, at best, an admission of failure. I can't help but think of two words: voter blackmail.

Pothole victims, save your receipts. There may be a lawyer brave enough to take on the imperial city of Eugene. But beware - settlements come out of our pockets.

Holly Warren

Oakland

Rethink the meaning of diversity

I am a 17-year-old and I have been a resident of Eugene my entire life.

I have lived in two parts of town that have very different social and political views. I have realized that a creed that is claimed by many Eugene residents is, "honor diversity" or "coexist."

I have spent a lot of time in other parts of the country where populations are much more diverse, such as San Jose and San Francisco, Calif. My aunt also lived in Eugene for the entirety of her youth before she moved to San Jose.

During a conversation this past year, we came to a common conclusion: although Eugene residents claim to honor diversity, they have little diversity in Eugene to honor. The main diversity in Eugene is homosexual or others who chose to live a nontraditional lifestyle, such as hippies.

Honestly, Eugene is very accepting of hippies and other people who choose not to conform to mainstream America. But let's face it - dreading your hair or getting tattoos and piercings are things people choose to do. What about honoring those who can't choose their differences, such as people with disabilities, African-Americans, Asians or Latinos?

I know for a fact that these people could be treated better. I'm not saying that Eugene is the only city with a problem; just don't be self-righteous. Rethink diversity and the meaning of coexistence.

Bronson Durrant

Eugene

Where has Iraq oil money gone?

Now that we've been at war for five years, I think the public would love to know exactly where all the revenue from the vast Iraqi oil fields is being channeled.

With the high cost of fuel in this country and the economic shape we're in, Iraqi oil revenues would help us out considerably. When the war started, it was my understanding that the oil fields would pay for the rebuilding - which so far hasn't happened.

We've been pouring money down the Iraq rathole long enough, and it is past time that we realize a repayment. The presidential candidates address social and environmental issues, which are important but not nearly as important as the economy of the United States.

Where are the revenues going and why are we having to pay for their country's improvements out of own treasury? Let's hear something about this and get some action going. It's been long enough now, and we need an explanation and not just a lame excuse. I have never heard an elected official give a really good explanation of where the oil money goes.

It's time our elected officials get to the bottom of this.

Shirley McAhinch

Coos Bay

Mentally ill brother needs help

I'm at my wit's end trying to get help for my mentally ill brother. I've been working with Lane County Mental Health, White Bird, Sacred Heart Medical Center and local shelters, but I've run out of ideas.

Even though he's been placed on suicide watch in jail, and has been witnessed playing with a train and stepping into traffic, he apparently isn't dangerous enough to himself or others to be committed. Sacred Heart will no longer accept him on a voluntary basis because he keeps walking out.

He's waiting to be approved for disability insurance, which will allow him to get into long-term treatment. The process can take several months, if he even gets approved. He's been denied twice in the past.

He was evicted from his apartment last month, and it's pointless to get him another one. He was a constant source of complaint from the neighbors, and he trashed the last place. His behavior has too much impact for him to stay more than a night with me or his friends.

He's not competent enough to be homeless - he keeps losing everything. What he needs is structure, supervision and professional care.

In summary, he can't get help because he won't stick around for it, and they won't make him stick around for it because he's not dangerous enough. But he still needs help. Desperately.

Can anyone suggest other resources? I'm also writing to increase awareness that services for people like my brother are increasingly difficult to come by.

Becca Perry

Eugene

Rich watch the rest going under

In what is supposed to be recession-proof Oregon, nine of the 10 business headlines in the April 18 Register-Guard are about layoffs, downsizing, reduced hours, business closure or bankruptcy.

I drive on rutted asphalt and concrete roads, pay $3.45 for a gallon of gas and know that every dollar I have tried to save is cheapened by the shenanigans of Washington, D.C. I could cheerfully vote for the impeachment of the last two presidents and half or more of both the House and Senate.

It is as if our ship of state has capsized, the rich insiders are sitting atop the inverted hull wearing life jackets, sipping champagne and placing bets on which of us poor swimmers will be caught by the financial sharks in the water. The financial sharks are bankruptcy, foreclosure, NAFTA, anti-unionism and health care.

Phil Alderman

Eugene

Warmth isn't key to prosperity

I can only assume Ron Richey (letters, April 21) is writing with tongue firmly in cheek when he says, "The ideal climate for humans is warm. Warm produces prosperity and cold produces poverty."

Of course, that must be why Mexico is so much richer than Canada, and why Africa is always sending food and doctors to Northern Europe.

Let's all fiddle while the world burns.

Carola Dunn

Eugene

A volunteer for waterboarding

In response to Jamie Selko's April 21 letter: OK, I'll volunteer to be waterboarded. As one of the area's well-known radical right-wingers and conservative curmudgeons, I'll accept Selko's challenge.

Waterboarding is not a frat prank. It is psychological torment - or a coerced interrogation technique that can cause mental trauma - for a brief period of sheer terror.

However, before my waterboarding session, Selko must volunteer to go to Iraq and lead a patrol through hostile territory.He has to watch some of his men get their legs blown off or be blinded by an improvised explosive device in an ambush that could have been prevented by proper intelligence.

Maybe then Selko would stop beating the torture horse to death and pray for peace.

Jeff Crocker

Eugene
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Title Annotation:Letters Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Apr 27, 2008
Words:1552
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