Letters to the Editor - May 3, 2013
Watch out for motorcycles
May is National Motorcycle Awareness Month. Our women’s motorcycle club, Leather & Lace, wants to share some simple, easy awareness tips to help drivers be more aware of motorcyclists.
A motorcycle is harder to see than a car, and it may be difficult to estimate its speed or predict what the rider will do in certain circumstances. You may find motorcyclists riding in your blind spot or obstructed from view by a sport utility vehicle, delivery van or large truck.
A motorcycle has all the privileges of any vehicle on the roadway and should be given a full lane of travel. Be careful at intersections, when riders may be making left turns, and on the highway, when motorcyclists may be changing lanes. Clearly signal your intentions, allow plenty of space for motorcyclists and don’t follow too closely.
All of us in Leather & Lace MC want to see the number of motorcycle accidents dwindle to nothing.
Protect our health, livelihoods
Unfortunately, apathy appears to reign supreme in Yamhill County. I am appalled that outrage against the proposed mechanically stabilized earthen berm at the Riverbend Landfill has not occurred from citizens, business owners, county commissioners and elected officials from each of the cities within our county.
There is no excuse to not get involved in matters on our own home turf. Common sense would indicate that having a regional landfill adjacent to a river is a bad idea. Indeed, the landfill would probably not be permitted today. Expansion of this landfill within the flood plain of the South Yamhill River is ludicrous.
The state Department of Environmental Quality admits that the landfill leaks, and Waste Management has been dealing with the odorous gases emitted for years.
Why do we remain complacent and tolerate our land, water and air being polluted by a large multi-national business whose only interest is financial? Shame on us all for not insisting that our local and state politicians and environmental protection agencies watch out for the health and safety of those who live in this beautiful area.
Don’t think the landfill doesn’t impact tourism, our agricultural livelihood, and our physical and economic lifeblood. Despite scientific and engineering information indicating the landfill is currently leaking and that it will fail in an earthquake (with significant polluting consequences), the process is moving forward to add the berm to facilitate more garbage being stored in our area.
It is our community, our landscape despoiled and our health compromised to benefit a huge, powerful company.
Wake up. Don’t be fooled that a landfill is a good neighbor. Contact your city officials, county commissioners, state department of environmental control, state environmental quality control board and the governor. Let them all know that continuation of the Riverbend Landfill is totally inappropriate.
Editor’s Note: The DEQ statement with regard to leakage the landfill reads: “There is localized groundwater contamination, as indicated by the presence of volatile organic compounds in one groundwater monitoring well ... We suspect the contaminants found in this well may have been carried by landfill gas moving under the ground. Concentrations have dropped over the years ... .”
Do more for landfill neighbors
The county commissioners approved using Riverbend dump funds for improving Rogers Landing park to benefit boaters and to help purchase the railroad grade from McMinnville to Gaston for a bike trail.
I asked them the question: What about the county residents most impacted by their county-approved dump? The ever-expanding mountain is destroying these citizens’ property values, their quality of life and their ability to sell their property.
Are these people just collateral damage in the Yamhill County sacrifice zone for garbage money to fund county government? Some of these folks live on Century Farms. The livability of Carlton, Yamhill and Gaston degrades due to the never-ending parade of semi-trucks hauling garbage from Washington County, the coast and Longview.
Has the county decreased the neighbors’ property taxes, regularly picked up the trash or anything at all? I think not. The commissioners haven’t even picked up their heads to look at these citizens as they voiced their complaints. Just keep the trucks and funds flowing as the trash on the riverbank grows.
The DEQ lets the fox guard the hen house, relying on Riverbend to monitor its own pollution, when it wants to. DEQ doesn’t have the money. Why can’t the county use these funds to hire an independent company to monitor air, water, odor, etc.? How about paying for testing the neighbors’ well water on a yearly basis? I’m sure there is much more that can be done in the sacrifice zone.
Instead, the commissioners use smoke and mirrors to fund feel-good projects with garbage funds while the dump neighbors and the towns suffer.
Bordeaux for school board
I was pleased to hear that my former math teacher, Bill Bordeaux, is running for the McMinnville School Board. He was the best math teacher I had during my 12 years of education in McMinnville. When my own children entered Patton Middle School several years ago, I requested that they have him as well. Even though they complained sometimes that he was strict, they knew that Mr. Bordeaux was giving them a good foundation in math.
Three years ago, when I was having some challenges with the higher level math in some college courses, I asked him to tutor me. He spent many hours with me and never asked for compensation.
He is one of the most generous, kind-hearted people I know. He is more than willing to give of his time to help others, and as a math teacher, he is able to explain concepts in easy terms so students can understand them.
He cares so much, not only for his students, but all students, and he would make an excellent school board member.
Please join me in voting for Bill Bordeaux, educator for school board.
Carter has experience, skills
These economic times are challenging. McMinnville School District is looking at cutting more programs and teachers. We need school board members with the educational leadership skills to guide us through these difficult financial decisions.
Barbara Carter has these skills. She is a current budget committee members. She was an organizer and volunteer for the past two successful school construction bond campaigns. She has served on selection committees to interview candidates for administrative positions.
She was a member of the Patton Leadership Team. She has appeared on local television to advocate for schools. As president of the local Oregon School Employees Association chapter for eight years, she has represented classified employees and served as negotiation chair for three contracts covering a period of 10 years.
During this time, she has regularly attended board meetings and maintained a positive working relationship with district leadership. She has worked on behalf of the district on many levels.
Barbara has the insight and judgment to analyze the issues and make the right decisions for our students. Her years of educational leadership make her the best choice to fill the Position 2 school board position.