Letters to the Editor - Aug. 2, 2013
Don’t bow to ‘inevitable’
Thus far, the editorial views in the News-Register have been pleasingly moderate regarding the pace and style of local development as McMinnville has grown. This continued with a nicely balanced set of opinions (Viewpoints, July 12), framing the escalating debate on big-box development.
The subsequent Jeb Bladine commentary (Viewpoints, July 19) presented an objective opinion on the current debate, then threw some support to the small-town esthetic that makes Mac so precious, with “Personally, I’m not a huge fan of big box centers, preferring the hometown atmosphere and personal touch found in so many independent, locally owned operations.”
However, the very next sentence spoiled the mood for me: “But mega-stores are a reality of our lives … .”
We have plenty of big boxes out on Highway 99W. Does anyone think that stretch of road is attractive or the kind of first impression we want to present to travelers entering town? On the other hand, we have the Third Street core, which represents a major part of Mac’s charm, and we have plans for redevelopment in the Gateway District that can be done completely in style with the downtown core.
Yes, McMinnville will grow, because it’s a very desirable place to live. Let’s keep it that way.
Retail opportunities will grow, even without big boxes, so let’s do it smartly and not out of scale with our values. We should put our energies instead toward growth of high-quality, high-wage jobs — light industry, technology, professional offices — and not settle for an overabundance of low-wage retail jobs.
Why should we bow to the “inevitable” just because formulating alternatives happens to be hard? Taking the easy path will get us somewhere, all right — it will get us mindless sprawl and the look of Anytown, USA. Is that what we want? We can do better.
Corgi attacked in park
The story about unleashed dogs (News-Register, July 19, “Off-leash dogs prompt warning”) was timely.
This morning, as my husband and I walked our leashed corgi in Discovery Park, he was attacked by two large, unleashed dogs. At our age, it’s difficult to separate three fighting dogs, but we managed it, eventually. The barefoot young boy of about 9 who was trying to recapture the dogs was underweight for the task and could only stand and say, “I’m sorry.” When his slightly older brother showed up, they took their pets home.
The corgi spent the day with the vet, who repaired several large gashes and placed a drainage tube in his neck. We had to cancel a planned trip (can’t kennel the dog in his condition), will be making at least two additional trips to the vet and have to pay a large vet bill.
This is the second time this year we’ve been attacked by large, unleashed dogs while walking our dog. I no longer feel safe walking in the park.
Give ‘hand-up’ to homeless
I have been bothered these days about the homeless in McMinnville.
It seems to me that it is up to the people of McMinnville to face this head on. Politicians from the federal, state and county have no interest in solving this problem. I say “problem” because I care about people and see no solution at this time.
We have elected people in McMinnville to run our city, and their solution for everything is to continue as if these people were invisible. The churches do a fine job of feeding these people, but the homeless need work.
Why not take some city property and hire these people to build housing on it? Yes, hire the homeless, even though they have disabilities and drug habits. Seattle did this during the Depression with an area on Harbor Island.
Let the people have a council of their own to make and enforce their own rules.
McMinnville has the money; it just needs to reduce funding for things that do not matter and shift that money. Every department could give 5 percent and not miss it.
Let’s give a “hand-up” instead of a hand-out.
Hot asphalt hurts pets
As I am out driving in the afternoon, I see people out walking their dogs when the temperature is over 85 degrees.
It’s too hot for a dog to be out in 85-plus-degree weather, and the asphalt is way too hot for their paws. Here’s a chart to put it in perspective: 77 degrees = 125 degrees on asphalt; 86 degrees = 135 degrees on asphalt; 90 degrees = 143 degrees on asphalt.
So you can imagine how hot the asphalt must be when it reaches 95 or more. Please, people, walk your pets — dog or cat — in the morning when it’s cool or when the sun is going down at night. To test the asphalt temperature, press the back of your hand firmly against the asphalt for seven seconds to verify it will be comfortable for your pet.