Letters to the Editor: March 3, 2017
Going to the dogs?
For those of you who may not know, dog licensing is now done at the courthouse and at some veterinary offices.
Stray dogs are held at the Pet Stop Inn under contract with Yamhill County for 10 kennel spots at $23 per day, 30 days a month (whether used or not). This can certainly add up but is supposed to be cheaper than the old facility. To view what dogs are available for adoption, go to Pet Finder or Facebook and check the local rescues. No adoptions are done from Pet Stop Inn. License fees collected are down and, at present, there is only one dog control officer to handle all of Yamhill County. If you call and need a dog picked up, this may or may not happen. Depending on how busy they are, you may be asked to meet an officer at the Pet Stop Inn off Riverside Drive in McMinnville.
The dogs are checked for a chip or tags. Facebook is searched for lost pets. If not claimed, they will be sent on to other rescues for adoption. Yamhill County used to do vet work and vaccinations but not anymore. This puts more costs on the local rescues which are already trying to do the best they can with little money. It would seem to me that something cheaper could be worked out with Pet Stop Inn or some other kennel based on what space was used per day. I find it hard to believe 10 spaces are used 30 days a month. The money paid for this reserved space could be used to help the rescues with vet or vaccination expenses.
Not right to complain
News-Register Publisher Jeb Bladine should forfeit his right to criticize Donald Trump’s assault on the media.
In a column during the presidential election (“Hobson’s choice for presidential voters,” May 6, 2016), Bladine opined that Secretary Clinton and Donald Trump were equally unacceptable to be president of the United States, using the old slogan, “Pick your poison.” Leonard Pitts Jr., in his recent talk at Linfield College, labeled such a position as “false equivalence” and denounced those who engaged in it.
One wonders if Bladine really believed that Clinton and Trump posed an equal threat to the freedom of the press and our democratic institutions and processes. Did he believe that in terms of temperament, experience and personal morality, there was no difference between Clinton and Trump?
If the answers to these questions are yes, as they must have been since he equated the two candidates, then it may be time for a mea culpa.
A broken system
The Public Employees Retirement System debacle is visiting progressive financial devastation on public services provided by school teachers, police, etc.
Paying for this in the next five years, according to former Oregon Secretary of State Phil Keisling, will require laying off up to 10 percent of these employees to cope with a 100 percent increase in pension costs. Yet more layoffs will be required after that.
Pensions should be reduced since the assumptions upon which they were based were mistaken. Moreover, union officials used their political clout to recklessly increase benefits. General Motors and most airlines with similarly constructed pension schemes reduced pensions during bankruptcy. However, the Oregon Supreme Court ruled that pension levels are a contract right of public employees.
Will future stock market gains provide relief? Oregon’s PERS system has had the best results of any public pension system in the United States. Moreover, PERS, like all public pensions, assumes future investment returns of nearly 8 percent. In an era where interest rates are close to zero and are likely to be this way for decades ahead, this is an astonishingly stupid assumption. The California system, CALPERS, made about 2 percent last year.
Because of a demonstrated inability to make multi-decade predictions about ultimate pension costs, corporations are rapidly abandoning defined benefit pension schemes like PERS and are moving to so-called 401(K) plans that simply deposit both employee and employer contributions in a tax-deferred plan that the employee receives at retirement.
Oregon public employees are able to retire at 55 after 30 years employment with a life expectancy of about 30 years. Today, through cost of living increases, many PERS retirees are collecting more than 100 percent of their last salary. To save up for such a pension, a non-PERS employee would have to save 100 percent of his salary!
He got my vote
I appreciate Tony Roder’s letter last week, an invitation to explain my vote for Donald Trump.
Why did he earn my vote?
It wasn’t because of Donald Trump, the man. However, I do like that he’s not a politician who measures every word and merely says what people want to hear without ever following through. Instead, he’s a businessman who declares what he’s going to to and then does it. After only a month in office, he’s already proving that he made no hollow promises.
He expresses pride in America, and his smart economic policies will put Americans back to work.
He wants to decrease the heavy weight of regulations that hamper the country’s businesses (not the regulations that keep us safe, but the ones that are truly unnecessary). He wants to return more power to the states and decrease the vast over-reaching federal bureaucracy.
He is pro-life and will make sure that my tax dollars won’t go to fund Planned Parenthood any longer. He wants to make sure our borders are secure instead of being wide open for terrorists to flood in. He wants the immigration laws that are already on the books to finally be enforced.
He wants to rebuild the strength of our military and decrease the federal budget deficit.
He is a true supporter of Israel and will restore a good relationship with our main ally in the Middle East.
The only disappointment I have is in the multitude of obstructionists he faces who don’t want him to accomplish any of these things. My hope is that they will give him a chance to prove himself. His success will be America’s success.
America needs its press
The incessant attacks on the media by the White House raise a question. Which is the greater purveyor of “fake news” — The media or the White House?
In support of his travel ban, President Trump and his advisers have trotted out fake terrorist events:
n The Bowling Green Massacre, which did not occur (Kellyanne Conway).
n The Atlanta terrorist attack, which did not occur (Sean Spicer)
n The Sweden terrorist attack, which did not occur (President Trump).
It was a vigilant press that put the lie to these false claims. In the chaos known as the “White House” under President Trump, truth is the first casualty. We need a vigilant press to keep this imperial president under control.
Robert E. Mason