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Letters in the Editor's Mailbag.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Prime real estate

I would like to respond to the emphasis in recent Register-Guard articles on the price that PeaceHealth paid for the 160 acres in the Gateway area. As much as people do not like to use the word "business" in the context of health care, the two disciplines are intimately linked.

To be as successful as PeaceHealth is in providing a full range of comprehensive care, as well as providing millions of dollars in care to low-income people that is uncompensated, good business acumen is essential.

Sure, $34 million is a lot of money, and 160 acres is a lot of land. It's prime real estate in a part of the community that is growing. RiverBend property will be worth far more in 10 years than PeaceHealth paid for it today. It's a good decision for the long-term security of our health care system in the region.


Arts feast - and famine

Carolyn Kranzler's article (Commentary, Jan. 6) and the subsequent editorial on Jan. 14 try to boost the image of downtown Eugene as "awash in arts-related undertakings." "Arts-related" is the key phrase here.

The garage where I have my car repaired, as well as the gas station where I buy gas, should be on the map. They both display framed art. And don't leave out Bi-Mart, Rite-Aid and Costco; they all sell framed art.

More useful would be an accurate investigation into the strengths and weaknesses of the arts in our community and some recommendations of what we should be doing to improve. The construction of the Hult Center gave a big boost to the performing arts. As a result we have a surprising level of local performing groups with professional and semi-professional performers here. The other end of the spectrum is the lack of a municipal art museum, which leaves the community impoverished in terms of professional artists and art exhibits.

While basking in the glory, we need to also take a hard look at the poverty.


Unbelievable plot

If author John Grisham needs a plot for a new novel of intrigue, he need only look at Eugene. A convoluted tale involving the Eugene City Council, PeaceHealth, Arlie & Co. and the McDougal brothers would make a real page-turner. Only one problem: the story would be too far-fetched for words!


Parking still an issue

Regarding the Jan. 19 editorial "Broadway plan a winner," which stated, " ... And if the people come, the shops, apartments, restaurants and performance venues will follow." Isn't this backwards? Wasn't "if you build it, they will come" the theme of the movie "Field of Dreams?" Don't we need a reason to go downtown?

Without ample, convenient, free and/or validated parking, who will walk on those wonderful 12-foot-wide sidewalks? If you want people downtown, why design streets so they can easily be closed to automobile traffic? Why design a core area with meters and pay-ahead parking? Why design a core area where visitors have to walk blocks from their car?

Some small cities in Southern California (e.g., Monrovia, Whittier, Glendora) have revived their downtown areas by providing free (mostly diagonal) parking along the main streets. And those places don't have to contend with our lovely winter weather. Perhaps we should slow this fast track down and think about it!


Heroes are volunteers

My beloved America needs heroes, especially during dangerous times. However, if I am employed to provide public safety and service, or if I'm employed to provide any service, am I a hero if I provide that service? It's people who volunteer to provide services above and beyond the call of duty or obligation who merit the term "hero."

I am impelled to write this letter when I recall a close friend who lost his life on Iwo Jima because he responded to a crisis above and beyond his call of duty before I responded.



Letters received in past week: 168

Letters published: 63

What's on readers' minds: Eugene Sand & Gravel's proposal to locate a mining operation off River Road north of Santa Clara was the hottest Mailbag topic this week. Seventeen readers wrote about Eugene Sand's proposal and the recent decision by Lane County commissioners to reconsider their earlier denial of the company's application. We also received nine letters on PeaceHealth's $34 million purchase of 160 acres in north Springfield for a new regional medical center and related developments. We received eight letters each on the state of Oregon's efforts to deal with a projected $720 million budget shortfall, and Enron's collapse and influence in the Bush administration.

- The Register-Guard


The Register-Guard welcomes letters on topics of general interest. Our length limit is 250 words; all letters are subject to condensation. Because of the volume of mail, not all letters can be printed. Letters must be signed with the writer's full name. An address and daytime telephone number are needed for verification purposes. Mail letters to Mailbag, P.O. Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188 Fax: 338-2828 E-mail:
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jan 26, 2002
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