Letters in the Editor's Mailbag

Article excerpt

Byline: The Register-Guard

Memorable event marred by one

Friday, Sept. 25, was a special day. A new track was dedicated to Margaret Johnson-Bailes at Jefferson Middle School. I often ran laps on that old cinder path, splashing through puddles and skidding around the curves, trying to get under a seven-minute mile.

Johnson-Bailes' long sprint from middle school to Olympic fame in 1968, built on good coaching and hard work, came rushing through the years in her honest tears. Those of us in attendance were touched by her big heart and gratitude to the community.

You can imagine the shock I felt the next morning when I noticed someone had just spit in her face on the plaque that honors her. A football match was being held on the new turf.

It was full of middle school boys all suited up with their parents cheering. I gazed at her face for some time, hoping it was just condensation. It wasn't. A number of people looked at it without notice or concern, until I asked a women for her water bottle. With a tissue we cleaned off the mess. Sadly she said, "I thought we were beyond that by now."

I can see why Margaret left Eugene. It's not enough to be a track star in a city where people put you down for your color. The coaches should tell these budding football players and their parents that we all were disgraced by one person's insensitive behavior.

CHRIS PICHE-CVITKOVIC

Eugene

What did Hout say to Blount?

Once again, LeGarrette Blount's "punch seen round the world" has made front-page headlines. But other than a few squeaks by unreliable bloggers, no one knows yet what it was that Byron Hout actually said to bring on that punch to his smirking face.

All my life, and it's been a long one, I've heard of the media's right to gather and publish information because the people have a "right to know." News stories have been, and will continue to be, embarrassing, hurtful and even harmful at times. But they have been enlightening as well. And the gatherers and publishers of the news have often suffered to protect the public's right to know.

Thanks to a diligent media, the whole world knows what Blount did on Sept. 3 in Boise, and it criticizes him still as the villain. But I've yet to see what Hout actually said published anywhere by any reliable media source.

Doesn't the world have a right to know that, too? Should not those words be published somewhere for posterity? What did Hout actually say?

The whole world wonders.

GARY W. WOODCOCK

Eugene

Boehner is wrong

U.S. Rep. John Boehner stated that health care reform would mean a government takeover of health care, which would result in cuts to Medicare benefits and taxpayer-funded abortions.

All of these claims are untrue and have been discredited by organizations such as Catholics United, FactCheck .org, Politifact and the American Medical Association.

Both Republicans and Democrats agree we need health care reform. It's time we stop playing politics with lies and start working on a bill that will give affordable coverage to those who do not have insurance and make insurance coverage more affordable to small businesses.

SANDRA MATTSON

Eugene

Don't just reward companies

Let me try to understand this: 73 percent of Americans want a public plan available in health care insurance. The Senate can't come up with 60 percent support. Therefore, can I assume that the difference is the lobbyist money paid to those voting against their constituents?

Oregon has a public option in our state workers' compensation insurance, which does a good job keeping rates competitive while holding down insurance premiums. Ask the majority of business owners who choose that alternative. It has not run private companies out of the business, and it has operated for many years. …