Letters to the Editor: May 12, 2017

We’re better than this

As I read Elizabeth Van Staaveren’s letter supporting immigration enforcement, I was dismayed by some of her statements.

She blames illegal immigrants for overpopulation. Overpopulation? Really? With roughly 84 people per square mile, overcrowding in the United States is not a top issue of concern in this country.

According to the Pew Research Group, unauthorized immigrants represented only 3.4 percent of the total U.S. population in 2015. And the environmental degradation she refers to can be blamed squarely on continued inaction on climate change.

Her statement that “aspiring immigrants can work to improve their own countries instead of fleeing them” shows a glaring lack of appreciation for world history. Just consider the Jews in Hitler’s Germany, the intellectuals in Mao’s China and other disenfranchised populations.

Many of them did stay and lost their lives. Do we really expect people to stay in situations when they can’t feed their families, or stand by and watch their neighbors, friends and family die? Do we really want to live in a country that turns its back on people in need just because they don’t look like us, don’t speak our language and are poor?

I am here today with a master’s degree and a good job because my grandfather left Puerto Rico at the age of 14 to escape poverty and an abusive stepfather. How many of you have similar stories? I understand that our immigration laws are flawed and difficult to enforce, but we must keep working to improve them. Turning ICE into a police force that separates families and disrupts workplaces is not the way to resolve these issues. We are better than this.

Katherine Martin



Congress fails us

The health-care bill passed by the House of Representatives hasn’t yet been evaluated by the Congressional Budget Office, so it’s not possible to do more than speculate what its effects will be on average citizens.

One thing we do know is that health-care benefits are in some ways downgraded. We know this because Congress arrogantly put language in the bill that exempts the benefits that Congress receives from being likewise downgraded.

Regardless of what your politics are, this should make you angry. The bald-faced audacity of Congress to diminish our benefits while exempting their own should have every one of us on the phone giving them an angry lecture they won’t soon forget.

Some decent members of both the House and Senate should introduce legislation that restricts members of Congress, the executive and judicial branches, from receiving health-care benefits better than the minimum benefits defined by their legislation. Why should elected or appointed officials from either party grant themselves better benefits than those they give the American people?

Fred Fawcett



All shook up

I am confused. We may be due for a 9.0 magnitude or greater earthquake along the Cascade Subduction Zone that hits an average every 300 years. If that makes you feel unsafe, consider the city of McMinnville is primarily responsible for maintaining a safe and livable environment.

Thus, we have a fire department and a police department. Whew! They have our backs. Or do they?

Let’s think about it. Police? They’ll be keeping the peace when people ransack stores for emergency supplies, break into pharmacies for necessary medications, shoot each other for food and water and so on. Firefighters? They’ll be putting out fires — if their trucks can get there. Remember The New Yorker article that said a 9.0 will liquify the earth and buckle the roads.

CERT trainings have occurred. That’s a plus. There was a May 2 article about the emergency preparedness fair at a Mormon church. I feel safer. Then last week I met with the person who is in charge of the city’s emergency preparedness. I presented my idea to have a trained disaster mental health team on hand after a disaster.

I was told the person’s job is eliminated as of June, so the city can hire a full-time assistant fire chief. Oops. Two people are fired so one can be hired. Well, with all the fires we’ve had, maybe that is an emergency. Or is it? How many fires have we had in the past two decades?

Dear City Council, Keep the emergency preparedness person. He works less than 20 hours per week. Either get over your need for a full-time assistant fire chief or find the money. Make good on your promise and keep us safe.

Sheila Hunter



False gods

Wikipedia states: “An Asherah pole is a sacred tree or pole that stood near Canaanite religious locations to honor the Ugaritic mother-goddess Asherah, consort of El. The relation of the literary references to an asherah and archaeological finds of Judaean pillar-figurines has engendered a literature of debate.”

Whenever the Israelites pulled away from worshiping God, they erected these false-god poles. God gave the Israelites blessings and peace when they worshipped him and pulled away when they erected these false gods. That brings me to the peace poles recently erected in McMinnville. We have torn down crosses and the Ten Commandments. We’ve taken God out of our schools. We say it’s wrong to pray before meetings, that we need to separate church and state. I could go on and on.

We call what God says is immoral good and have forgotten God in America. Now, we are erecting Asherah poles in his place, calling them peace poles. It seems innocent, but take a look at what is happening in America. So much hate, racism, defending false gods over Christianity.

We have floods, fires, hate crimes and disrespect for authority at all levels — especially the presidency. I could go on and on. At Linfield, they built a sculpture, “Amalgamation,” to burn and march around chanting to celebrate the cycle of collaboration and creation.

What are we teaching our young? To worship Asherah poles instead of God? Yes. We have taken God out of America and replaced him with false gods.

June Horowitz



U.S. overpopulated

I support Elizabeth Van Staaveren’s April 28 letter, “Let ICE do its job.”

It was 1840 before world population reached 1 billion. By 1930, in just 90 years, the population increased by another billion, doubling to 2 billion. By 1960, only 30 years later, we reached 3 billion. And it took a mere 12 years to add the latest billion, bringing us from 6.5 billion in 2005 to 7.5 billion today.

The United States’ 326 million population is growing by some 2.5 million people annually, which is equal to the Kansas 1990 census. We cannot expect to maintain a clean, safe, uncrowded, low-crime environment with such out-of-control growth. The only immediate influence we have over our population is immigration control. Indeed, most of our population growth is fueled by immigration.

For now, Trump himself is a pretty good wall, but we have to let ICE do its job. Furthermore, the 1965 Immigration Act should be repealed, and since it isn’t 1840 anymore, immigration itself should be brought close to zero.

Unfortunately, by interfering with ICE, Reps. Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer are contributing to an explosive states’ rights issue.

Dan Katz



A résumé of service

I am writing to support Carson Benner for the McMinnville School Board. He has been involved in both our school district and greater community for more than a decade.

Carson has invested time and energy to support members of our community by serving as a board member on McMinnville Habitat for Humanity, an institution that serves to improve the lives of many people in our area.

The bulk of his volunteer time, however, has been focused on developing and strengthening of our schools. This includes working to successfully pass three bond measures with the Citizens for Good Education, providing resources that provide many new opportunities in our classrooms. He has also spent many years on the McMinnville School Board’s budget committee and long-range facilites task force.

Carson Benner cares about the future of the children in our classrooms and, with knowledge and experience, always seeks to improve the opportunities for what our teachers are able to offer our children.

David Larson



Experience counts

With the upcoming financial uncertainty facing schools in Oregon, it is important to re-elect Tim Roberts to the McMinnville School Board.

With his 10 years of experience on the board, his knowledge and expertise will help the district make sound decisions for the benefit of all children. I have worked with Tim for the past 10 years and found him to be honest, open and willing to listen to others.

He is a team player with no hidden agenda — always putting the interests of the students first. As a member of the long-range facilities committee, he has been a champion for vocational education and the career technical education CTE building under construction.

Having raised four children who graduated from McMinnville schools and having four grandchildren attending these schools, Tim has a history and perspective that is enormously valuable as decisions are made.

Janis Braich



Experience critical

This month’s school board election position is immensely important to the children of this community. I encourage you to review the candidates andconsider experience when you cast your ballot.

Experience is critical to the success of the district and the students it serves. Our community is in great hands with Tim Roberts, Carson Benner and Barbara Carter. Our community is in great hands with their leadership, and we will benefit greatly from their return to service.

Larry Vollmer



Don Dix

Fred Fawcett began a paragraph with ... 'Some decent members of both the House and Senate' ...

Fred, I think both of them are on summer break!

Don Dix

Sheila Hunter -- As witnessed with the climate, predictions of nature are just best guesses (poor in many cases). When dealing with Mother Nature and her quirks, the only accurate assumption is thus ... She always bats last!

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