The Stress of HB2001, Medicare for All, and Biden’s Diplomacy


Increased financial stress for tenants

At the Eugene City Council’s Middle Housing Business Session on March 9, the insightful comments of Alan Zelenka, my Ward 3 councilor, stood out.

Accurately reflecting the views of most citizens of Eugene regarding the 2001 House Bill requirement to eliminate all single-family zoning, Zelenka said, “If HB 2001 hadn’t told us to do it, we probably wouldn’t. not.”

Zelenka was even more pointed in his review of HB 2001, saying, “One of the things I didn’t like about HB 2001 was its cookie-cutter approach to it all. Not all neighborhoods are the same, and not all impacts are the same. For example, in the university districts, we will demolish all the affordable housing, and we will obtain housing that is denser and at market price. (It will) do the reverse of what we’re trying to do in terms of getting more affordable housing choices. »

I am okay.

I urge Mayor Lucy Vinis and Councilors Claire Syrett and Jennifer Yeh to recognize that deregulating zoning standards beyond what HB 2001 requires and failing to enact protections for low-income tenants will worsen the financial stress of these tenants. The new standards will only benefit investors, who will reap greater benefits.

Marcia Regnier, Eugene

Publicly Fund Health Care Now

I have been on Medicare for over 10 years. It costs more than I thought. When I retired, I got Medicare Advantage. I thought I would need vision, hearing and dental work. The dental care was not good so I also bought a dental plan.

I paid about $70 per month for the Med Advantage plan. I pay about $140 a month deducted from my social security check. It was $100 a month when I started. I thought the insurance company got the $140 plus the $70 for $210 a month to cover me. I always paid out of pocket between $3,000 and $6,000 a year depending on my medical and pharmaceutical needs.

What I have since discovered is that all Med Advantage plans are funded, which means they receive money based on your medical diagnosis. They keep all the money they don’t spend on the customer as profit. You can guess what that does. Yes, it encourages the medical industry and insurance companies to code your medical conditions larger than they actually are. It is fraud and a scam of public money.

We should improve medicare and, while we’re at it, take all health care out of the market by publicly funding it. A publicly funded universal health care system would cover your choice of providers and all medical needs, including dental and vision care.

Lou Sinniger, Elmira

Clear-sighted, solution-oriented

Oregonians have the opportunity to elect a governor with proven leadership experience – Jessica Gomez. We desperately need a visionary, solution-oriented governor.

Gomez’s record as a leader is impressive. She owns her business in southern Oregon, is a creative thinker and a leader in her industry. She has the business experience we need to restore Oregon’s economy through economic development.

Gomez also wants to address homelessness in Oregon cities by developing a concept of “assisted living.” She understands that homeless people often have mental health or addiction issues that need to be addressed and treated.

Gomez wants to ensure that all public school students receive a quality education. She wants to empower parents to make decisions about their children’s education so that Oregon students will have reading, writing and math skills again. Oregon students have been negatively impacted during public school COVID closures.

It’s a pivotal time in Oregon. Let’s elect a new leader for governor who has the ability and proven track record to lead Oregon into the future. That chef is Jessica Gomez for Governor.

Mary Ann Hanson, Eugene

There is no “lithium bullet”

Some people, including outside staters, want Oregon to “benefit” from newly discovered lithium deposits.


Paul Scott admits that “Lithium mining will cause damage”. This damage mainly concerns water. Lithium mining uses a lot of water and leaves a highly saline residue that further contaminates the water. Oregon’s water tables, as well as those of the rest of the country, are rapidly depleting.

Lithium is recyclable. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s not easy. The EPA estimates that only 5% of lithium batteries are currently recycled. Lane County recycles them — two days a week by appointment. Not exactly a green success story.

Here’s the truth: there is no “lithium bullet” that will save us from the worst consequences of global overshoot (which includes global warming). We are addicted to hyper-consumption and we will pay the price in this century. It’s best to start downsizing now and learn to adapt to shortages.

Jere C. Rosemeyer, Eugene

Masterful diplomacy

As a former diplomat who worked on various combinations of issues involving NATO, Russia, post-Soviet states, and post-Communist Central Europe for almost all of my three decades in the U.S. Foreign Service, I can say with experience and some authority that the response led by the United States by NATO and our European allies to Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has been beyond my wildest expectations. Was it perfect? No of course not. But three years ago, those of us who follow European security issues closely were not at all sure that NATO would survive into the 2020s. That President Biden and his national security team deserve the overwhelming share of credit for the design, coordination and execution of the Atlantic Alliance’s response to Russian aggression is clear to anyone honestly observing the real world. But Biden and company aren’t sounding their own horn in tweets or holding “Hey, everyone, look at me, me, me” press conferences. Instead, they quietly go about the difficult and complicated work of embroiling the allies (and dozens of non-NATO states) in the unprecedented global coalition that now effectively supports Ukraine and actively opposes Russia in every way imaginable short of outright military engagement.

Keith A. Eddins, Eugene

The pole vault to help?

The proposed “no-fly zone” in Ukraine would have unintended consequences. I’m not sure that Polish fighter pilots with outdated MiG-29 aircraft are in a hurry to face modern Russian fighters that can target opponents at a distance three times greater than themselves.

So what “no flight” really means is that Polish fighters won’t fly much once they engage the enemy. It will just give Putin something to brag about. Members of Congress jumping on the flight ban bandwagon shouldn’t be in such a rush to sacrifice Polish airmen. During the Battle of Britain, Polish RAF fighter pilots performed with brilliance and bravery. But that was then. It is now.

Jim White, Florence


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