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Letters to the Editor: Aug. 31, 2018

Pleased to serve

On Saturday, July 28, more than 220 people participated in the Nazarene Church on the Hill’s annual Serve Mac day. In addition to 180 folks from the church, there were 40 to 50 youth joining in as part of a We Are Third event.

More than 20 service projects were performed on a strictly voluntary basis, encompassing a wide variety of activities.

In conjunction with a free car wash at First Federal, almost 200 reusable grocery bags were distributed. The bags were donated by Safeway, Albertsons, WinCo, Harvest Fresh and Zero Waste.

Some recipients dropped off plastic grocery bags, which will be repurposed to keep them out of the landfill, and/or returnable beverage containers. All proceeds from the beverage containers will go to Zero Waste to help support the work they do.

It was a pleasure to serve greater McMinnville, while at the same time supporting sound environmental stewardship. We hope to serve again next year!

Rick Hammond

Amity

 

Aid for the low-income

I recently realized that many middle-income Oregonians have no idea what financial opportunities are available for low-income wage-earners.

I worked in social services for more than 20 years, so I am aware what is available. And there is more help out there now than ever before.

I based my calculations on a family of four. I used 2017 tax tables and rent of $1,200 month.

A family earning $14 hour, approximately $26,880 a year, would receive $4,996 in Earned Income Tax Credit after filing its return. Setting aside the money, withdrawing one-twelfth every month and putting that toward rent would reduce the burden by $416 a month.

With a standard deduction of $12,700 and exemption credits of $16,200, the family would most likely have no federal tax due. This same family would receive $314 in food stamps, free school breakfasts and lunches for the children and face little or no medical care premiums.

At $11 an hour, the earned income credit would rise to $5,616 a year and food stamp benefit to $429 a month. In addition, there is often other help for families at these income levels for heating and phone service.

Yes, there would be very little money left. But today, more than ever before, there is help available for low-income wage-earners.

Carolyn Sauers

Yamhill

 

No on Measure 105

This week, 16 rural county sheriffs, representing 16 percent of Oregon’s population, signed a letter in support of November’s Ballot Measure 105. In so doing, they perpetuate a myth and muddy the waters of Oregon’s so-called “sanctuary” law, which the measure seeks to repeal.

Measure 105 was initiated and funded by Oregonians for Immigration Reform, Oregon’s link to white nationalist groups in the U.S. It has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The measure seeks to do away with a 31-year old law — ORS 181A.820 — that keeps state and local law enforcement from using “moneys, equipment or personnel for the purpose of detecting or apprehending persons whose only violation of law is that they are persons of foreign citizenship present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws.”

This law does not keep police officers or sheriff’s deputies from arresting or holding people who have committed a criminal offense. It does not provide physical sanctuary to anyone.

It does clearly separate the duties of local law enforcement from those of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. It does reserve local and state tax dollars for use in apprehending dangerous criminals, rather than doing the work assigned to ICE.

Proponents are using the usual fear and hate tactics. They are labeling immigrants as criminals when research has solidly debunked that myth.
Current law does not inhibit officers and deputies from keeping our communities safe for everyone.

We have worked hard to improve the communication between law enforcement and Latino immigrants. Let’s not backtrack now.

Measure 105 is yet another anti-immigrant jab that doesn’t reflect the views of most Oregonians. We want to build the strength of our communities, not tear them apart.

I urge you to learn the facts and vote no on Measure 105.

Sally Godard

McMinnville


 
Housing assistance woes

Yamhill County residents have a right to know the Housing Authority is redundant.

After making people wait years to get a housing voucher, said voucher is revoked after only four months of apartment-seeking. This in an area where it takes a minimum of a year on wait-lists to land an available unit.

Worse still, the Housing Authority doesn’t inform people during their housing voucher orientation, or on any of the paperwork it gives out, that there is a deadline on securing a unit. But in fact, you have a maximum of four months to find an apartment. At that point, the voucher is revoked.

When I asked the agency why clients were not informed of this four-month deadline, I was advised that I “should have been told at orientation.” That’s a woefully insufficient and markedly unaccountable response.

If Yamhill County residents can’t hold onto their housing vouchers long enough to use them, what exactly is the Housing Authority here doing? Certainly not helping people secure a place to live.

It adds insult to injury to not let people seeking housing assistance know how slim their chances are, even if they do obtain a voucher.

Amy Martin

Newberg

 

Cruising needs new home

I’m sure a lot of people enjoyed Cruising McMinnville, last weekend. But I was not one of them.

Just when the air had cleared from wildfire smoke, downtown was filled with exhaust fumes.

As a downtown resident, and the owner of a business on Third Street, I found the presence of very noisy and air-polluting cars more than a passing nuisance. The blocked-off streets and the crowds of car enthusiasts killed the normal Saturday foot traffic into our shop.

To make matters worse, that evening our security service alerted me of a broken window alarm. When I ran downtown to assess the damage, a police officer told me a passing vehicle was so loud, the vibrations rattled my windows and set off the alarm.

Our nationally acclaimed downtown attracts tourists and locals who love to stroll and shop along our quaint main street.

This event should not take place in the middle of business and residential districts. If it is to continue, maybe the fairgrounds would be a better venue.

Phyllice Bradner

McMinnville

Comments

tagup

Carolyn Sauers—-So in a nutshell, we taxpayers are subsidizing businesses that pay subsistence wages.....Maybe the Wal-Marts of the world could reimburse the government out of their profits for the support the tax payers are giving their employees?

Mudstump

Tagup - Exactly! We pay while the Walton family (the richest family in the US btw) and their shareholders laugh all the way to the bank.

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