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Letters to the Editor: September 1, 2017

Neighborhood threat

Although I love the tourism that has helped make McMinnville such an interesting and prosperous community, the rise in the number of short-term and Airbnb rentals throughout our community is threatening to disrupt the vitality of some of our neighborhoods.

My concern is when affordable smaller homes become short-term rentals, it creates a hole in the fabric of a neighborhood. A nice home that could have housed a family or a neighbor is being used instead for short-term renters who will never fully contribute to our community.

They will never join a civic group, be part of a city advisory committee, buy at our local stores, join the PTA or volunteer in our schools. The house becomes a “ghost house” — generally empty most of the week and occupied weekends.

McMinnville prides itself as a cohesive community with a small-town atmosphere. When you allow too many of these vacation rentals in a defined area, that small-town atmosphere is gone. There is nobody in those houses who truly cares about or brings energy into our community.

I hope the planning department and the city council will consider the negative effects that not limiting these rentals will have on McMinnville neighborhoods.
Many communities have recognized the potential community effects of these rentals and have instituted fair and reasonable distance limits between rentals that balance the owner’s right to an income and the community’s need to have vital and cohesive neighborhoods.

Jill Poyer

McMinnville

 

Keep neighborhoods residential

Whenever we have freezing weather, announcements come over radio and TV to be sure to check on our neighbors. Currently, with hot weather, we are getting the same announcements. One cannot do that if one does not have a neighborhood or neighbors one knows.

City planning just decided tonight that we can have more vacation rentals on our block. They state they cannot refuse because there are no limitation restrictions.
We are zoned residential. Vacation rentals are not residential. They are a business. It is not that the renters are not nice people. They simply are neither neighbors nor people we know.

We personally know several people who in the last year have wanted to move to McMinnville. They have hunted for weeks for a place to rent so they have a place to live until they finally find a place to buy. Renting and buying both become very challenging when so many homes are being turned into businesses — vacation rentals.

We are not opposed to tourists. We are all members of the community and active in it. We just don’t want our neighborhood dissolved. All we families would really like to stay here a number of years still. But our neighborhood is being destroyed.

Furthermore, communication from the city has been lacking. We were upset when we realized several neighbors did not receive communication. We made copies of our letter for them. All wrote letters of opposition.

How would you feel if your neighborhood was suddenly dissolving around you?

We are a special and historic neighborhood, near the city park, library and aquatic center. This is a very special part of our city. Please, please keep it residential!

Jan Montgomery

McMinnville

 

No, not lodging tax

I commend County Commissioner Mary Starrett for seeing through the proposed lodging tax. Once again, the call is for a tax on tourists to pay for who knows what. Once a government entity gets the tax money, its eyes get wide open, and every pet project it ever thought of becomes a possible reality. No! Do without!
How about the bed tax for transgender bathrooms on Third Street? The Dundee bypass sits unfinished, but there is money for stupid paintings on it? It’s a waste of money. Who cares if there is a wave of blue paint on the side? Finish the highway.

Robert Griffin

McMinnville

 

Arnold does have a statue

In his Aug. 25 letter, Scott Gibison stated, “You will find no statues of Benedict Arnold.”

That’s not technically the case. Located in Saratoga National Historical Park, New York, there is a monument that commemorates Benedict Arnold’s service to the Continental Army at the Battle of Saratoga in the fall of 1777.

Although it does not mention him by name, it does depict his severely wounded leg, which by all accounts ultimately led to his decision to defect to the British side.

As with all heroes and villains throughout history, a complete understanding of their character, the reasoning for their actions and the historical context in which they lived cannot be had without delving deeper and studying them beyond just what the textbooks or media tell us.

Should we completely demonize John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. and ignore their contributions to our society because it has now been shown that both engaged in extramarital affairs? Should we ignore the accomplishments of Dwight D. Eisenhower because he allegedly starved to death thousands of German prisoners?

Should we venerate Adolph Hitler because he was a vegetarian? What about all the good that Saddam Hussein did, like giving his people public education? One must always study and research deeper those they consider to be their heroes and villains.

Dale Lux

Willamina

 

The real fascists

It seems like many liberal brothers and sisters like to prance around proudly proclaiming their hate and disgust with neo-Nazis, white supremacy groups and fascism — as well they should.

But they go overboard whenever they try to connect the president to any of this. The Nazi party was a self-identified “socialist” party, many of whose members advocated abortion and committed heinous acts while slaughtering millions of innocent people and very nearly controlling the whole world.

For anyone to suppose the president upholds any of those ghastly actions is looking for anything to derail this president or is badly in need of history education. In fact, those liberal protestors and anarchists calling themselves “antifa” are actually denying free speech as a right guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Constitution.

Denying free speech was a cornerstone of Nazism, not freedom.

Dennis Carmody

Sheridan

 

Go back to school meatless

With the new school year upon us, parents turn their attention to school clothes, school supplies and school food.

More than 31 million children rely on school meals for their daily nutrition, which too often consists of highly processed food laden with saturated fat. Not surprisingly, one-third of our children have become overweight or obese. Their early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risks of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

To compound the problem, the Trump administration has loosened Obama’s 2010 school lunch rules calling for whole grains, fat-free milk and reduced salt content. The rules had an 86 percent approval rating.

Fortunately, many U.S. school districts now offer vegetarian options. More than 120 schools, including the entire school districts of Baltimore, Boston, Buffalo, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Oakland, Philadelphia and San Diego have implemented Meatless Monday.

As parents, we need to involve our own children and school cafeteria managers in promoting healthy, plant-based foods in our local schools. Entering “vegan options in schools” in a search engine provides lots of useful resources.

Melvin Nysser

McMinnville

Comments

E.J. Farrar

The Nazis were socialists? The millions of socialists they killed during WW II would have been shocked to hear that. Socialism has about as much to do with the Nazis as democracy has to do with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. But alternative facts are all the rage these days, so party on.

Reporter Starla Pointer

E.J.,originally, "NAZI" was an acronym for "National Socialist German Workers' Party."

Robin

Calling yourself "socialist" conservative" "liberal" "Christian"means nothing. It is actions that give meaning to their self proclaimed label. Socialism can simply joining resources for common good i.e. creating a fire department, police force, or infrastructure. Then the more Communism version with an image of wholesale redistribution. I used to think allow Nazis to speak out. But every one of our "Rights" need some form of guidelines ot limits. Inciting riots or destruction for any end is wrong. As far as the President not speaking out against the Nazis is the wrong thing. By default this leaves him in agreement with their values (whether in action or appearance). And as our countries representative, it's citizens as well.

Scott Gibson

Touche', Dale Lux. I wondered when I wrote that letter if there might be some unsung statue to Benedict Arnold that I was unaware of. I had thought of using Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, but I was afraid too many people would say, "Who?" So I stand corrected, and thank you for your astute observation and applaud your impressive knowledge of US history. On the larger question, I agree with you that a statue to anyone can be problematic because no human is untainted by some personal or social iniquity. Every hero has their dark side. I cede that point. But I would still hold to my point that statues say as much about us as they do about those they honor. We erect statues to honor the work that the individual is best known for. With your deep understanding of history, I am sure you can appreciate that statues to Confederate generals and politicians were erected to celebrate a cause that is indelibly stained by slavery. The taint of white supremacy is inextricably bound to these men, and for the good of the body politic, it would be best that their deeds be kept in books and removed from our parks and civic spaces.

John J. Collins

I commend both Jill Poyer and Jan Montgomery for their timely letters. The McMinnville council is turning a blind eye to the rapidly-growing problem of "airbnb mania" in the residential areas within walking distance of 3rd street. By carelessly allowing unlimited 'micro hotels' in strictly-residential areas, the council is aiding and abetting the destruction of the social fabric of these core neighborhoods and undermining all of the council's own good work on the issue of affordable housing. If the local code is not changed, be on the lookout for continued increased homelessness in McMinnville as potentially hundreds of houses are removed from residential use to become micro-hotels.

Mudstump

The city of McMinnville would do well to take a look at how Cannon Beach regulates the vacation rental market. They decided they didn't want the town to become a "motel" town and have put a number of regulations in place to limit the number of properties rented, inspection of properties for safety of guests, the collection of lodging taxes and the frequency of rental nights. They have several categories of rental permits. I believe they have respected personal property rights while protecting those that make Cannon Beach their permanent home. They defined what they wanted and put regulations in place that are fair to everyone imo.

Denise

E.J. Farrah

Please pick up a history book. NAZI’s were indeed socialists.

No alternative facts here, just facts.

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