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Letters from Readers

April 04, 2008

The Green Washing of Kirk Richardson

First of all, let me state, I love my Keens. The spacious toe box feels wonderful. However, my Keens are made in China, that toxic wasteland of uncontrolled environmental ravages. I do not care if the employee fabricating my sandals earns $1.50 per hour or per day–that problem remains within the borders of China. But toxic emissions, directly or indirectly related to the manufacturing plant, is a global problem and does not remain within China. Marketing Keens in a “hybrid box” is just putting lipstick on a pig. Kirk Richardson, president of Keen, has been successful, but his product should not be marketed as environmentally friendly.

Mike Wilson
Englewood, Colorado

small shoebox s08

Kirk Richardson responds:

Keen is committed to building products in a way that mitigates waste and environmental impacts. We work with our contractor manufacturers to reduce and recycle waste–sometimes in new products themselves, like our footwear and bags, as well as in our packaging. We also use less volatile chemicals; we treat factory waste water; and we dispose of refuse properly. But as the New York Times series on pollution issues in China makes clear, China and many other countries have complex environmental issues to address as they attempt to achieve in 30 years of development what the U.S. did in 150. There will be even more focus on China as the Beijing Olympics approach, but we all must do more to reduce our environmental impacts.

Glad you like your Keen footwear!

In Support of Diabetes Activism

Thank you for Ellisa Valo’s well-written article, “Diabetes Advocate,” in the fall 2007 Chronicle. Articles on diabetes often appear in the media, but few take the space to differentiate between type 1 and type 2, often leading to more misconceptions about the disease.

As a parent of a 6-year-old with type 1, I am especially grateful for all of Clare Rosenfeld’s efforts. Reading Clare’s story has motivated me to expand my family’s fund-raising efforts for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation as well as support World Diabetes Day and the International Diabetes Federation’s Life for a Child program.

On November 14, we celebrated a day for diabetes education. On November 20, we celebrated the anniversary of our son’s diagnosis in 2005–thankful for insulin, thankful for health insurance, thankful for yet another healthy year despite diabetes.

Karin Pringle B.S. ‘85
Maryville, Tennessee

Chronicle Has Legs

Good job to writers Dan Sadowsky [“Illuminating Memory”] and Ellisa Valo [“A Diabetes Advocate Has Her Day”] on their stories that appeared in the fall 2007 Chronicle. I think the Chronicle is hitting its stride. Among others, these two articles struck me as clear and interesting.

I found out last spring that I was on the threshold of type 2 diabetes. I accelerated my exercise routine, paid more attention to what I ate and when, and started monitoring my blood glucose. Guess what? I lost over 50 pounds in less than six months. And, yes, my glucose level is now in the normal range. When I read an article like Ellisa’s, I say, “Right on–and thanks.”

My appreciation to Dan Sadowsky, who made easy reading of a complex subject. I came away with a feeling of pride in Lewis & Clark trailblazers Lochner and Scalettar. This distinguished Lewis & Clark duo and their student coauthors are actually kicking the door down. With a son studying medicine at OHSU, I was especially pleased to see the research link between the liberal arts hilltop and the medical school across town.

And thanks to the Chronicle for a professional, bright, and reaching publication so characteristic of the school.

Ken Boire M.P.A. ‘79
Beaverton, Oregon

Much to Our ‘Shoe-Grin’ …

When I was a student at Lewis & Clark, it was simply a known fact that each pair of shoes in the shoe tree represented a successful romantic encounter by a student. Make a hook-up, throw some old shoes in the shoe tree. It makes perfect sense, right?

Fiona Brady B.A. ‘05
Boise, Idaho

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