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Byline: The Register-Guard

Eugene as friendly as Texas

Our family moved to Oregon 10 years ago from Texas.

We love it here, but I've always had the opinion that people in Texas are much friendlier than those in in Oregon. Well, the recent Olympic Trials have proved me wrong.

We went to the Eugene 08 festival at the Trials and everyone - volunteers, workers - was helpful and friendly. The reaction from out-of-towners and athletes seemed to be overwhelmingly positive about Eugene.

I'm proud of everyone involved in making the Olympic Trials and festival a wonderful experience for everyone.

Robbi Hill


Dodged one subprime bullet

Just think - i

f George Bush had had his way, our Social Security funds might now be invested in safe, secure subprime mortgages.

Jack Stevens


Lots of money left on the table

Did you know that more than 7,000 eligible Lane County residents have not filed for the stimulus payment being given out by the U.S. government?

As an AARP TaxAide volunteer, I was shocked to hear that number from the IRS and to know that a total of more than $2 million won't be used by local citizens if they do not file a tax return.

It's not too late to file for the money. A simple 1040-A can be prepared by the eligible resident or with help from a relative, friend, neighbor, the IRS or TaxAide.

If you know a low-income person or older resident who may nothave filed, please offer to help. The AARP TaxAide is also running one session a month at one of the Eugene adult and senior centers and will prepare and electronically file these 1040-A forms for free. Forms may be obtained at the Web site and for additional information go to www?

Mary Koebrich


Is Seed Council being candid?

The Oregon Seed Council states that there is no link between illness and the noxious clouds of smoke its members produce every summer.

The Oregon Seed Council wouldn't be ignoring evidence that indicates otherwise, would it? The Oregon Seed Council wouldn't lie to me, would it?

Jim Schmidt


What can Eugene do for encore?

On July 7, Bob Welch wrote, "Eugene did not just put on a track meet. Eugene put on a happening."

I, too, felt confidence and pride and asked myself "whatcouldwedonext?" As I sat in the stands on those beautiful days and took in the world-class organization and events, my eyes swept around Hayward Field and viewed the setting of huge trees on Hendricks Hill and other stunning scenes. I thought: What other city has this to offer?

Eugene demonstrated that it has the spirit. Think of the number of volunteers it took to do the Olympic Trials, the Bach Festival, Art and the Vineyard and the Butte to Butte - simultaneously.

Susan Palmer reported that a riverfront team will be meeting to discuss the future of the Eugene Water & Electric Board site (Register-Guard, July 9). The river is so key to the future of Eugene. To achieve its full potential we need visionary planners. This opportunity must not be squandered. The area needs to be developed with the idea of making it attractive to people.

Not a courthouse or a hospital or even a convention center, but living facilities, public walkways, restaurants, shops and outdoor places that are people-friendly. Think of the Oakway Center courtyard, the North Bank restaurant patio, SweetWaters, Roaring Rapids and multiply your vision.

We can truly have a city that visitors will want to return to over and over and that proud locals will delight in sharing. Think big!

John Bigelow


Protesters embraced a bad idea

There are good ideas and bad ideas.

Consuming large quantities of beer and taking dares - bad idea. Dating your girlfriend's sister - bad idea. Mooning a convention of professional dart throwers - bad idea.

Fortunately, in my youth I've had friends, a touch of common sense and adult supervision that have kept me from implementing some not-so-brilliant plans.

This brings us to the May 30 Eugene Taser incident.

Now, I agree in principle with the point of the anti-herbicide protest. However, I am curious: Why didn't Ian Van Ornum's friends, the adult supervision or anyone with common sense say, "Hey, Ian, I don't think you should do that. We're trying to get people to rally to our cause.Making them think that you're spraying them or their cars with poison probably isn't the best approach."

I'm sure Van Ornum and his fellow protesters have had some great ideas. This just wasn't one of them.

Steven J. Strauch


Unsung heroes also aided Trials

In response to "Hayward Field reinvents track and field experience" by Ron Bellamy (Register-Guard, July 10), we offer k

udos to The Register-Guard for the coverage of the Olympic Track & Field Trials. The articles and great photos brought the excitement and pride into our homes.

Greg Irwin, Vin Lananna and the fantastic volunteers received well-deserved praise from The Register-Guard.

We're concerned, though, that a very important group of people has been unrecognized: the many people who did the business of the bidding, the planning and the execution of the successful event.

The project managers, Tom Jordan and Barbara Kousky of N.W. Event Management, are extremely proud of their team for working long hours to contribute to the success of the Trials. The fundamentals of housing, transportation, volunteer recruitment, training and coordination and all the other building blocks of a successful event were done and done well.

So, we express our appreciation to anyone and everyone who played a part in putting on the 2008 Trials. And to everyone who has worked for years to bring back "Track Town, USA."

Kevin Ness

Steve Ness


Opencarry of guns deters crime

I feel the public should know about a fast-growing civil rights movement in the United States called "open carry."

In the 43 states where it is legal, thousands of responsible, law-abiding gun owners are coming out of the closet and publicly carrying handguns visible in belt holsters for self-defense.

Our intent in carrying openly is not to alarm the public or make other people uncomfortable. We're not looking for trouble.

In fact, the truth is quite the opposite. We believe that open carry deters crime. The more of us there are, the more the general public will get used to seeing good, responsible people carrying guns.

If the thought of law-abiding people carrying guns in public disturbs you, consider this: In Lane County, there are about 270,000 adults, and the Lane County sheriff has issued over 10,000 concealed handgun licenses. This means that statistically, 1 in 27 adults you see in public in Lane County is already legally carrying a concealed handgun for self-defense. You haven't had any problem with them, have you?

Any law-abiding citizen in Oregon can legally carry a handgun openly in a belt holster almost anywhere in the state. A few cities, such as Portland, prohibit loaded firearms in public, but CHL holders are exempt from that and most other carry restrictions.

If you see someone with a handgun in a holster, don't be alarmed. They're just exercising their right, and you're safer with them nearby.

For more information on open carry, visit

Frank LeClair


Helms had other `achievements'

If I may borrow an acronym in current use by our young folks: OMG!

A Washington Post writer wants us to believe that the late Sen. Jesse Helms was a "great man."

Mark Thiessen wrote "Most of Helms' great achievements forgotten" (Register-Guard, July 9). Nowhere in his list of accomplishments does Thiessen mention Helms' other achievements:

Helms consistently opposed tax increases, abortion, gay rights, affirmative action, food stamps, secularism and government-funded healthcare legislation. He bitterly opposed federal financing of AIDS research and treatment.

He consistently supported apartheid in South Africa, the right-wing death squads in Central America and the Nicaraguan Contras. He opposed recognizing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He had a penchant for holding up votes on treaties and appointments to win a point, which earned him the sobriquet of "Senator No."

Helms purposely tried to make the African-American Sen. Carol Moseley-Braun cry by singing "Dixie" while in an elevator with her and suggested President Clinton "better not show up around here (Fort Bragg) without a bodyguard."

Mark Kleiman summed it up best: Jesse Helms devoted a career to maintaining second-class citizenship for black and gay people and supported tyrants and terrorists.

However, Thiessen did note one sterling achievement: Senator Helms helped secure passage of the Iraq Liberation Act calling for removal of Saddam Hussein. We all know how well that worked out.

Michael Wells

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Title Annotation:Letters Editorial
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jul 20, 2008
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