Letters to the Editor: April 21, 2017

Pot plant site unacceptable

As a county, we have left ourselves in an untenable situation. We have no regulations in place to control the location of marijuana processing facilities. This oversight has led to the recent application for such a facility in an unacceptable location.

I’m referring to Richard Wagner’s application before the county commissioners April 13.

This location is unacceptable for a number of reasons. Unfortunately, it appears to be within the use permitted under county zoning. There are possible reasons for denying his application because of the road access or traffic issue or the fact that this property abuts the Erratic Rock State Natural Site.

County officials must take action to be certain another case like this doesn’t get through the permitting process. We need regulations in place now. Good examples of reasonable regulations are the ones in Clackamas County. These would be excellent guides for our own staff.

Oregon Ballot Measure 91 was voted on in November 2014, to be regulated and enacted in 2016. We have had more than two years to get reasonable restrictions imposed on the location of marijuana growing and processing facilities, yet we have none. We are going to see more and more of these applications as Yamhill County now has the reputation of being an easy place to get permits now that marijuana is legal in Oregon. Wagner said as much in the April 13 commission meeting.

Regulations on marijuana growing and processing should be a top priority of county commissioners and staff. They should not be allowed in isolated, agricultural areas, for their own safety and ours.

Suzanna Sandoval



ODOT bloated

Three cheers for Don Bowle and his April 14 “Bypass to nowhere” letter. I agree with him wholeheartedly.

Take a look at the newly added left turn lane Highway 18 and Christensen Road between Sheridan and McMinnville. The pavement is an uneven mess. The double yellow lines are so faded you can barely see them. The Oregon Department of Transportation is Oregon’s most bloated, mismanaged, overfunded department.

Craig Mellgren


[Ed. According to the ODOT Project Tracking site, the Christensen Road project is still in construction phase. Its estimated completion date was Sept. 30, 2016.]


History lesson

Does anyone have a U.S history textbook handy? On second thought, it might not cover what we need — what seems to have been overlooked by President Trump and the U.S. military in recent dangerous, counterproductive actions.

Do we recall the story of American involvement in Korea after World War II? The United States and Soviet Union refused to allow a united Korea its independence after the Japanese surrender. Instead, we divided the nation into two trusteeships, the United States taking the South and the Soviet Union taking the North.

We couldn’t encourage peaceful national unification if it didn’t mean the type of government we wanted. This intensified the struggle for political control within Korea. Nationwide elections were replaced with South-only elections. Military build-up occurred on both sides, and when fighting broke out, we joined the effort and bombed the heck out of North Korea. We made rubble of much of the country, destroying cities and villages and killing more than a million North Koreans.
We let loose with Napalm B. People were left horrendously burned and deformed, needing medical care that simply wasn’t available. Atomic bombs were considered, but possible retaliation by the Soviet Union squelched that idea.

Yet we wonder why North Korea might feel a need to protect itself from us as we flaunt our military presence next door with war games and power displays.

merica has the arrogance to decide who should and who shouldn’t have nuclear weapons. Yet rather than upholding the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ratified in 1968 and working for nuclear disarmament, we decide to “modernize” our nukes to the tune of a trillion dollars. And then there are 59 Cruise missiles — the most damaging non-nuclear bombs in the world. Do we have to blow up things and people to model that blowing up things and people is bad?

Kathy Beckwith



Help our veterans

Regardng Lisa Bear’s April 14 letter asking if veterans are getting short shrift, the answer is yes. It isn’t news, and it’s been going on for too long. I won’t go through all the lack of concern for our veterans, but I will touch on one huge problem for veterans. That’s health care.

During the 2005 legislative session, former state Rep. Donna Nelson submitted House Joint Memorial 18 requesting that Congress permanently fund veterans health care (rather than it being discretionary spending). That resolution and every one after has gone unheeded. This year’s resolution made it through the House and awaits a hearing in the Senate.

I can’t say enough good things about Donna Nelson. When she chaired the Veterans Affairs Committee, she pushed through 156 bills to help veterans. Although many of these bills didn’t make it, it is rewarding to know Nelson actually cared.

The problem is that Congress has never heeded the call from the Oregon Legislature to permanently fund health care for our veterans. The federal government spends 51 percent of our budget on defense spending, of which 51 percent goes to contractors who sell things for this 15-year war at a cost of almost $4 trillion.

The Disabled American Veterans has a saying: “All gave some, some gave all.” I would add that all of them gave some of the best years of their lives for this country. Don’t you think it is only right to give the best health care for those fellow citizens who did the best for this country? I don’t mean a mere “thank you for your service.” Actually prove it to these veterans. Demand Congress permanently fund health care.

Mike Sullivan



He’ll represent us well

I support Carson Benner for the McMinnville School Board. When we moved to McMinnville more than a decade ago, Carson and his family were some of the first people who befriended us.

As I got to know Carson, it quickly became clear how much he cared about his community. As our friendship grew, I saw his passion and commitment to public education. Carson has spent more than a decade volunteering, offering his time and talents to McMinnville School District.

As a teacher, I admire his focus on education-related issues, his curiosity and desire to consider all sides while remaining open-minded. I also admire his integrity. He will represent the students and families in McMinnville well.

Heidi Sumner


A proven record

I support Carson Benner for the McMinnville School Board. I worked extensively with Carson on the recent school bond measure in his role as the campaign co-chair.

Carson is dedicated, level-headed and works well with a wide variety of people. He takes the time to do his homework and fully understands the issues confronting our schools.

One of the things I have always admired about Carson is the enormous energy he brings to school issues. He is truly passionate about our children and our schools. As the former principal of McMinnville High School, I know Carson will be especially sensitive to the concerns of parents and what is in the best interest of their children.

Kris J. Olsen



Go meatless

As thousands across the United Staters get ready to protest budget cuts in environmental protection, each of us can also help with our driving, our recycling and our diet.

Yes, our diet. A 2010 United Nations report blames animal agriculture for 70 percent of global freshwater use, 38 percent of land use, and 19 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon dioxide is emitted by burning forests to create animal pastures and by fossil fuel combustion to operate farm machinery, trucks, factory farms and slaughterhouses. The more damaging methane and nitrous oxide are released from digestive tracts of cattle and from animal waste cesspools, respectively.
Moreover, meat and dairy production dump more animal waste, crop debris, fertilizers, pesticides and other pollutants into our waterways than all other human activities combined. It is the driving force in wildlife habitat destruction.

In an environmentally sustainable world, meat and dairy products in our diet must be replaced by vegetables, fruits and grains, just as fossil fuels are replaced by wind, solar and other pollution-free energy sources.

On this Earth Day and every day, let’s cherish our environment with eco-friendly, plant-based eating. Our next trip to the supermarket is a great starting point.

Melvin Nysser



Don Dix

Suzanna Sandoval -- why do you (or any other individual) think your rules and ambitions should be held over others? Cannabis crops, large or small, are no less legal than wineries or breweries.

If Clackamas County's regulations are so attractive, it's just across the river!


Sure, North Korea has consistently taken the high road: they feed "dissidents" to starving dogs. Classy!
Had the war with Japan not ended with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the alternative was a land invasion costing far more lives. Every so often, I suppose you must blow things up. And if you insist the Japanese were without blemish, take a look at what they did in Nanking. Or ask the survivors, if there are any left, about their journey from Bataan. They didn't call it a death march for nothing.

Don Dix

Melvin -- the United Nations is an agenda driven organization, which by admission, is out to redistribute the wealth of the world. That premise can be found at several sites -- Google Christine Figueres -- or go here for a quick look -- dailycaller.com/2015/02/05/climate-chief-world-economy

Horse with no name

Thanks for the info Melvin. Some great common sense. Just the thought that someone might be "conspiring" to work together with others for a more sustainable, healthy world... sure sounds better than sitting in a bunker wishing you could eat all the money you thought would bring you happiness and health ;)

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