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Letters to the Editor: December 22, 2017

A load of garbage:

I was extremely disappointed by the McMinnville City Council’s decision to divert local trash to a Washington state landfill.

Riverbend is an asset to the community, no matter who owns and operates it. It produces local jobs and tax revenue as well as millions in fees to Yamhill County that support many local social programs.

What happened to the “Buy Local” mantra? I suggest we’re watching hypocrisy in action. Increasing garbage rates also enriches Recology at the expense of our local citizenry for no reason. An increased rate base equates to increased profits for Recology, a California-based company.

I also think about all the CO2 produced by trucking garbage north, representing NIMBYism at its finest. I loathe the 10-percent rate increase, which is really just another tax in disguise, underpinned by the council’s questionable motives.

We have a small vocal minority of landfill opponents attempting to push their personal agenda at our expense. None of the major players actually reside in McMinnville city limits but continue to enjoy lower county garbage rates.

Why are we allowing outsiders to drive city policy? I question whether this council is doing its civic duty to act as stewards of our community resources or placing other personal interests ahead of the citizenry.

Garbage is not an exciting headline issue that spurs most citizens to action, and there is no urgency to act, so I recommend councilors suspend their 10-percent garbage rate increase and instead put it to voters.

John Arand

McMinnville

 

Landfill decision stinks

The McMinnville City Council’s decision to truck our garbage 87 miles away to an out-of-state landfill is asinine and a carbon-footprint monster, especially when we have a landfill three miles away.

The decision needs to be reviewed, possibly from a legal perspective. We would like to know why, as citizens of McMinnville, it was not voted on by the people? I am paying the bill, so why don’t I get to vote?

The reason why no McMinnville citizens appeared at the council meeting to protest the decision is simple: We all have lives and families and don’t have time to virtue signal like the people who want to make McMinnville the new Lake Oswego (where the poor need not apply).

We have piles of compost located in the middle of town that stink beyond belief at certain times of the day and night. Everybody does their best to blame the landfill. Now, we can add the garbage stench to it. Who will get the blame for that?

The unfortunate result of this decision is going to affect the citizens, businesses and schools, who will, in turn, have to pay one of the highest garbage rates in the state. The saddest part of all is that we used to have courageous leadership in the city that brought out the best in poeople, ideas and solutions.

The city council is supposed to look out for the well-being and concerns of its citizens. Instead, it is rolling out the red carpet for the people who live in the county (not even in the city) who spew threats and false information but will ultimately be pacified by this outcome.

Shawn Rollins

McMinnville

 

Rained on our parade

The annual Christmas parade in downtown McMinnville was planned to be a fun and exciting event the day after Thanksgiving.

However, many friends and family of Luis Vidart, a former logger and sheepherder, were disappointed. His handmade wagon was not permitted to be pulled by mules in the parade.

Animals were not allowed, even though his would have been mules loaned by a local 40-year-old rodeo veteran. The parade rules listed liability issues as the reason. So imagine the amazement when the sheriff posse horses rode in the parade.

Joy Brown

Yamhill

Richard Rubican

Lafayette

(Ten other people also signed this letter.)

 

 

Don’t take it for granted

Every morning when I wake up, I feel warmth and joy. Our home is dry, and the bed is soft. Then I take a warm shower, and I appreciate the luxury of having running hot water.

Before long, my husband brings me a cup of freshly brewed coffee to sip on as I dry off and get ready for my day. I never take any of this for granted.

I think every day about those who do not have these luxuries, and I am saddened. I soak in all of this luxury and wonder if it will always be this way. Maybe current politics will bring our nation down. Maybe we will be like the refugees but in our own country. Who knows?

In the meantime, I am grateful. Instead of feeling the angst of worry, I move on to savor what I have today. May you all be so blessed. May your bed be soft and warm. May your water be plentiful and warm. May your belly be full. May you have a loved one to share this time. So for now, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Kris Morse Bledsoe

Dayton

 

Show kindness

I find it very interesting that the people who criticize others the most are the ones who sit in their chairs all day and contribute nothing to society.

My dad always said that God put us on this earth to be his helpers, and that before you form an opinion, be sure it’s the same opinion God would form. Then if someone questions your opinion, they would actually be questioning God.

He always said to help animals and people in need, to protect the animals from inhumane treatment by humans and to assist humans in hard times. While working at a local hospital for years in collections, I came across many people in hard times.

I spent hundreds of dollars over the years making monthly payments on their accounts to prevent them from going to collections. I also advised them that when they get back on their feet to put 15 percent of their income into savings or retirement to help them in future hard times.

Never get upset because someone criticizes you for showing concern on how to protect or care for an animal or showing concern for someone’s health. Life is about caring and helping.

Sandra Ponto

McMinnville

 

Sanctioned cruelty

The Trump administration ruled Dec. 15 that animals raised for food under the “USDA Organic” label need not be treated any less cruelly than those in conventional farming.

The decision reverses years of U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which held that the “organic” label should impose minimal ethical, health and environmental standards. For the animals, this included adequate space, light and access to the outdoors.

Under the Trump administration, this will no longer be the case. “Organic” farm operations will be allowed to cram laying hens five to a small wire cage that tears out their feathers and grind or suffocate millions of male chicks at birth because they don’t lay eggs. Mother pigs will spend their miserable lives in tight metal crates as their babies are torn from them and mutilated with no anesthesia. And dairy cows will continue to cry for their babies torn from them at birth so we can drink their milk.

Caring consumers opting for “organic” animal products to reduce their role in subsidizing these abuses will now have no choice but to switch to plant-based foods, including the widely available nut- and grain-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams.

Milo Nakamura

McMinnville

 

Tax meat

With congressional Republicans rushing to place a new tax bill on President’s Trump’s desk before Christmas, here comes the respected British publication, The Guardian, suggesting a new source of tax revenue — meat. Yes, a tax on meat, to beat the health and climate crises.

The concept is hardly radical. We already pay taxes on tobacco, alcohol, sugary sodas, plastic bags, and other consumables that afflict the public health and other social costs.

The revenue would reimburse Medicare, Medicaid and other government health-care programs for treating victims of chronic diseases that have been linked conclusively with consumption of animal products. It would contribute to the costs of restoring air and water quality and wildlife habitats that have been devastated by production of these items.

Benjamin Franklin noted that nothing is certain except death and taxes. However, death can be deferred substantially by taxing the very products that make us sick.

Melvin Nysser

McMinnville

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