Letters to the Editor - July 18, 2014
A loud and clear warning
It was disturbing to read (News-Register, July 10) that Yamhill County Commissioner candidate Sal Peralta referred to Republican pro-life, conservative candidates Bill Post (House District 25) and Mike Nearman (House District 23) as “extreme candidates.”
In a county that has traditionally supported fiscal conservatives and those who honor life and liberty, Peralta’s comments should be a loud and clear warning that he is not the right choice for our county board of commissioners.
We hope voters see this as an indication of who he is.
Editor’s Note: Peralta, speaking as secretary of the Independent Party of Oregon about opportunities for alternative candidates, was quoted as saying, “It’s two opportunities to push back against more extreme candidates.”
Cuts will increase death rates
House budget chairman and former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan is proposing cutting (gutting is a better word) $5 trillion over 10 years — $500 billion a year from the already niggardly (by international standards) food stamps, Medicaid, earned income tax credits and housing assistance.
The U.S. already has an ultra-small government (state, local and federal), with only about 25 percent of its GNP spent on education, health care, defense, etc. versus up to 55 percent in some European countries (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development).
These drastic cuts will cause death rates for poor people to increase.
U.S. maternal death rates are up from 7.2 per 100,000 births in 1987 to 18.5 per 100,000 births, triple the rate in the U.K. and now exceeding that of China.
Life expectancy of women without a high school diploma has actually decreased by five years in the last 20 years, a drop last seen in the break-up of the Soviet Union. Life expectancy of Americans is now three years less than in France and falling further behind.
Currently only 30 percent of conservatives believe poor people have difficult lives, which explains why Paul Ryan is anxious, as he puts it, to turn the poor out of their taxpayer-paid hammocks. I’m sure this will surprise the scores of elderly parishioners who largely make up the scores of volunteers doing God’s work while providing soup kitchens for the poor and homeless several days a week in local churches.
Ryan’s acolytes in 25 Republican states are preventing expansion of Medicaid even though the federal government pays 100 percent for three years and 90 percent afterwards ... a further example of Republican hate of poor people.
Anthony E. Bell
Meet in private for prayer
So, the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners opens its public meetings with prayer.
My concern is not that another brick has been removed from the wall of separation between government and religion. The U.S. Supreme Court has spoken on this practice, and it passes constitutional scrutiny.
My concern is that such routinized displays of public piety trivialize religion.
Jesus said: “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth; they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6)
Justice Hugo Black in Engel v. Vital (1962) wrote: “a union of government and religion tends to destroy government and degrade religion.”
If the commissioners want to seek divine guidance, which I heartily approve, let them meet in private for prayer before entering the public meeting.
Robert E. Mason
Tired of unkept promises
First of all, I’d like to thank the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office for responding to the fire and gun-wielding suspect in Perrydale (News-Register, July 11, “Yamhill County bails out strapped Polk”). It’s unfortunate that it had to happen at all.
My neighbors and I often worry what would happen if we have to call 911 when our Polk County sheriff’s deputies are off-duty. It would be nice for the sheriff to meet with people to explain what happens when the budget gets cut by so much.
But I also understand that people get into that situation because there is just too little to go around. The county simply doesn’t have enough living-wage jobs to support a stronger economy.
I find it sad that government agencies and our state’s most powerful politicians do not step up to make a meaningful difference for the local economy. Without a strong economic base, funding for community services will be impacted.
ECONorthwest of Eugene estimates that the Wallace Bridge project would bring in an estimated $2.3 million in direct tax revenue and $6.04 million in indirect tax revenue. Establishment of a hotel tax (paid by tourists) would generate an additional $5.3 million in additional annual revenue.
We have to stand up and let the politicians and federal agencies know that we care about our rural community, economically and environmentally. We are tired of the promises that aren’t kept.
Write your local, state and federal politicians to tell them we need action and not just words. Fight for the essential county services, Wallace Bridge, the environment and jobs for our local area.
Editor’s Note: The writer is developer of a proposed Wallace Bridge Equestrian Center, a Willamina-area project where a portion of the property is in conservation easement. A federal agency declined to lift the easement.