Web Letters – Eugene WeeklyDecember 4, 2020
UO PUTS MONEY FIRST
I am very thankful to everyone taking measures to help slow the spread of COVID-19 on their own accord. I am also grateful that the governor, along with other states, is now making restrictions mandatory as cases have hit an all time high. I work in a restaurant near Broadway. I am going to be out of work soon but am happy to do my part in helping. However, it baffles me to see that the governor and Lane County officials are not addressing the serious lack of accountability on campus.
I ride my bike through campus to get to work. During the day it’s astounding to see the huge groups of people not wearing masks. At night when I get off after ten it is a complete madhouse. Parties are happening everywhere, indoors and outdoors. Every single night. A friend of mine who is a professor at the University of Oregon told me that they encourage students to come back and move in with hopes of a winter term in-person. Why do we have college kids in dorms right now? Let alone sororities and fraternities where there are 60-plus people living under the same roof?
Why is the UO and Eugene not taking accountability for this huge mistake? All these questions are rhetorical. It’s because the UO makes money off of them. Exploiting our at-risk individuals is less important than the mega money-making monster that is the UO.
SAY NO TO NW NATURAL
Despite NW Natural’s best attempts to convince the public otherwise, the fracked gas utility is more closely aligned with the interests of the fossil industry than they are with their customers. Polls show us that the majority of Americans support dramatic action to address the climate crisis, yet NW Natural is still perpetuating the same lies about “natural” gas being a source of clean energy.
After years of fighting against the Jordan Cove fracked gas pipeline, our community isn’t falling for these lies. We know that natural gas is just as destructive to our climate as coal. We know that the extraction, transportation and combustion processes are dangerous to the health of anyone living nearby. And we know that these impacts, as well as the broader impacts of the climate crisis, will disproportionately impact Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities.
But there’s a clear step that our city can take right now to lead the way in the fight against fracked gas. Eugene has the opportunity to take a stand and refuse to renew their franchise agreement with NW Natural until the utility agrees to halt the construction of all new gas infrastructure, end their subsidies for people to transition onto their dirty fuel and pay for the damage that they have already caused through irresponsibly pushing fracked gas onto our community.
It is time for Eugene to take a stand.
My favorite local store that has oodles of great gift shopping ideas, terrific staff, a history of service to the community and a thorough scrub at the check-out after…