Letters to the Editor: Feb. 10, 2017
Growing up, I had the privilege of having a parent who worked as a librarian at the McMinnville Public Library.
On days I didn’t have after school events, I’d walk, usually with a friend or two, to the library. We’d whisper our way through homework and search the stacks, tiptoeing around patrons lost in a good book or engaging magazine.
Last week I did a quick drop in to see what was on the “new books” shelf. Maybe it was the disoriented young man who initiated a conversation with me, or just something different in the air, but I realized how much our library has changed.
The sturdy concrete walls, filled to-the-brim shelves and the tall windows that bring the outside in remain. But as for the people, I stood and watched and saw how it has evolved into so much more than a traditional library. It has become a warming shelter, a safe place for ostracized citizens, a haven for people struggling with mental illness, a cell phone recharging station and a popular public restroom.
I watched a call go out to the police and their quick response, softly supporting a very intoxicated young man out in the plaza.
I’m now imagining the myriad roles that librarians play today, many of which, as one librarian told me with a smile, “I certainly didn’t learn when getting my degree in library science.”
I hope our community is aware of not only how incredible the library is and what a holistic role our librarians play, but what a community center it has become. I hope that if they needed more from us to complete their mission as it evolves during these challenging times, that not only could they ask, but that we would answer in the affirmative.
Why so cagey?
The Yamhelas bike path proposal is a light-rail project in disguise. We are spending millions, and it does not look feasible to become a trail. But Primozich rebuffs.
Commissioners Mary Starrett and Rick Olson pinned his back to the wall Jan. 19 over the missing farm-impact documents. Then Primozich, in a rare but sumptuous loss of words, called out for help from legal counsel Todd Sadlo ever so delicately.
It went like this: Primozich stated the farm-impact study does not have to be done as a whole, but farmer-per-farmer, because Yamhelas is in our transportation system plan.
Starrett retorted, “That sounds like a kind of circuitous way of saying we’re not going to do it because we don’t have to do it, but what we have done will constitute a farm-impact study because we call it a farm impact study.”
Then Primozich did his crying. Todd! he exclaimed, under his breath but audibly with pain. Sadlo leaned forward and said: “We will be making findings. Mr. Chair, members of the commission, we will be addressing state law 215.296, which requires findings to ways to address whether there are significant impacts to farm costs or to farm practices, and we’ve done these numerous many, many times before. So we know how to do them. We have consultants. They are consultants who know how to do them. We are not formally collecting information on impacts, but we are definitely informally collecting a lot of information on impacts related to farming. That’s what’s required by law and that’s what we will do.”
So, Primozich, why are you buying before testing feasibility? The ConnectOregon grant is stipulated for a bike path.
Neighbors left in dark
I just watched the Jan. 19 Yamhill County commissioners’ meeting on YouTube. Commissioner Stan Primozich tells the board that he has met all the farmers adjacent to the trail and addressed their concerns.
I know many of the farmers along the trail who have never met with Primozich like he stated, let alone had their concerns addressed. There are also many homeowners adjacent to the trail who were not aware of this project until a private group made them aware of it.
They were not informed of his intentions to spend tax dollars to invade their property rights, but Primozich said he has met with the majority of the people one-on-one already. Why does Primozich have such a hard time telling the truth to the citizens of Yamhill County? Let’s ask Primozich what this project will cost the taxpayers.
The Chehalem Park and Recreation District predicts the trails will cost $1.5 million dollars to construct around the Newberg area, but Primozich says he still does not know what it will cost. The people of the county need to hold him accountable. Let’s drain the Yamhill County swamp.
We live in a nation governed by a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.
We are a nation of laws. We are a nation deliberately created with legislative, judicial and executive branches of government. We are a nation with freedom of speech and the right to vote. We are a nation established by immigrants who fled England and Europe to avoid religious suppression. These fundamental principles, constructs and laws allow us to voice disagreements even with the federal government and our president. When President Trump ordered an immediate cessation of immigration from seven countries in the Middle East and Africa, there was shock on the part of many people. In Washington state, a federal judge ruled that the president’s declaration was worthy of judicial review, and he put the immigration order on hold.
To that finding, President Trump tweeted “that so-called judge” was wrong. The president went on to say that any problem related to the so-called ban on Muslims should be blamed on this judge. How disrespectful of our judiciary system those tweets were. How ignorant of our federal government those tweets were. We have a system of checks and balances precisely because our founders did not want this country to be run by a king or dictator.
Somehow, President Trump must learn that he is not running a company that must kowtow to his will. He is running a country of largely diverse populations governed by a set of laws and principles that make us the most democratic country on this earth. Let’s hope that lesson is learned soon.
The Trump campaign had resistance from almost all mainstream Republicans along the way. Now, essentially all Republican senators seem to be in Trump’s pocket. When in history did we have:
1. A nominee for EPA head who has opposed clean air rules, is a climate change denier with extensive but unrevealed ties to the fossil fuel industry, has sued the EPA 14 times as Oklahoma Attorney general, and has refused to recuse himself as EPA director from his unresolved suits?
2. A nominee for attorney general who was deemed too racist in 1986 to become a federal judge, has opposed all voting rights laws, opposed pro-LGBTQ legislation throughout his 20 years in Congress, opposes same-sex marriage and voted against renewal of the “Violence Against Women Act”?
3. A nominee for treasury secretary who was known as the “foreclosure king,” lied (we now know) when he said his bank never “robo-signed” foreclosure documents, and initially failed to reveal a $100 million in Dune Capital International LTD., an investment fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands?
4. A nominee to head Health and Human Services who opposes women’s health programs, attempted to defund Planned Parenthood in 2015, and appears to routinely invest in companies for which he can simultaneously introduce legislation which will help their bottom line?
5. A nominee for labor secretary who has consistently opposed increases in the minimum wage and had a housekeeper for years who was not a legal immigrant to the United States? (One of Clinton’s nominees and two of George W. Bush’s cabinet nominees withdrew instead of being voted down under similar circumstances.)
Where are our Republican senators’ courage and ethics hiding? But I guess I was misguided to hope that the swamp would take steps to drain itself.