Letters to the Editor - January 4, 2013
Standing up for our island
Protect Grand Island Farms (PGIF) has decided to appeal the Yamhill County Commission’s recent re-approval of the Baker Rock quarry application. We believe there are firm legal grounds for this appeal. Our attorneys, Crag Environmental Law, are preparing a brief to submit to the Land Use Board of Appeals. This brief will outline the legal errors we believe are contained in the county’s response to the recent remand sent to the county by LUBA
For the PGIF board members, this is a costly and stressful process that we do not take lightly. However, Grand Island is a place of historical, recreational and agricultural significance to those who live and work here, and to the many Yamhill County families who come here every year to visit our beautiful Willamette Mission State Park, ride bikes, walk dogs, eat wonderful food, get a Christmas tree, pick a pumpkin or ride the Heiser Farm’s Grand Island train. These experiences will be diminished if Baker Rock’s quarry permit is approved.
And yes, we live here, and farmers make a living here. This is also at risk.
This is why we choose to stand up for our island. But we are not alone in our fight. We are grateful to the hundreds of people who have spoken out in support of Grand Island, donated money to help with the legal battle and given their time to help us over the past few years.
Grand Island is everyone’s “secret” place, and we will do everything to keep it the island we all love.
Downtown lights elegant
The interpretation of beauty lies within the eyes of the beholder.
Downtown Third Street in McMinnville, at least in the eyes of these beholders, is a tribute to how a small “village” with limited funds is capable of achieving a stunningly-beautiful display whose inspiration could only have come from van Gogh’s Starry Night.
This elegant display is a welcomed alternative in celebration of the holidays to the crass commercial displays we are accustomed to in the neighboring malls.
Grace and beauty have an ageless attraction, while colored and loud light shows emphasize a brief commercial attraction that somehow seem faded and dated by December 26.
So, out of sincere appreciation to our little “village” nestled within the city of McMinnville, we would like to thank the creators for establishing and maintaining the classic beauty that presents itself to the eyes of these beholders every Christmas season. It has not gone unappreciated.
Catherine A. Barnes
Armed staff not an answer
There is a faction of the National Rifle Association that seems to think that their Second Amendment rights are infringed if they cannot possess all of the sophisticated weapons employed by the U.S. Armed Forces or the police. They would apparently like to be able to challenge our armed forces in combat to preserve their “rights.”
Of course, this sophisticated weaponry will filter down to the mentally ill perpetrators of mass shootings as well.
Second: Mr. LaPierre, president of the NRA, has repeatedly said since the Newtown shootings that the solution is armed guards and armed teachers in all U.S. schools.
Wouldn’t these guards need full body armor, Kevlar helmets and NVGs (Night Vision Goggles) to protect them in case of a shooting incident? Also, a pistol could hardly trump an assault rifle so they would need to upgrade to fully automatic submachine guns such as the Israeli Uzi. Also, a couple of shoulder fired grenade launchers would help. And, the school entrance could be mined with Claymore mines which would pop up and explode if someone felt there was an intruder.
And, just to be safe, every school could have nerve gas canisters placed at various strategic locations.
Or: We could just ban assault weapons and take better care of our mentally ill.
Time for rational gun talks
Is the League of Women Voters responsible for the massacre of 20 first-graders, as charged by David Terry in his December 28 letter (“Where were armed staff?”)? Is it the fault of unarmed first grade teachers? Is it the fault of the National Rifle Association, which fanatically promotes gun ownership?
This blame game mentality is unproductive and just plain stupid.
As a member of the League of Women Voters for more than 55 years, a former grade school teacher, and the wife of a hunter who owns and uses guns, I do not understand why citizens need to own and use military weapons.
I have a right to support gun regulations, particularly those related to rapid fire weapons designed to kill people, not deer or ducks. It is time for a rational discussion on how to prevent future massacres. We do not need the usual NRA slogans and propaganda that inflame passions and prevent discussion.
Thousands lose their lives in auto accidents caused by drunk drivers. Should we blame Mothers Against Drunk Driving for alerting us to the dangers of drunk driving? Smoking causes lung cancer. Should we blame those who told the truth and supported anti-smoking regulations for the increase in smoke-free places?
Citizens are learning more and more about the large amount of military-type weapons with high capacity magazines that are available for anyone to use to kill people. I hope that the time has come to put aside the propaganda and look at the facts, or will someone next blame the Girl Scouts or the Tooth Fairy?
As the cartoon character Pogo said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”