Letters to the Editor: July 7, 2017

They are invaders

We have been invaded, and the invasion is not being resisted or dealt with. As cartoonist Walt Kelly’s Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

The invaders come in many guises — homeless citizens, transients, vagrants, hobos, bums. Some are orderly and law-abiding, but many are not. There are as many reasons for their situations as there are individuals. They include the young, the old, families, couples, loners, the healthy, the ill, the addicted, the whole, the handicapped, the hopeful, the hopeless. They arrive by foot, on bicycle and in vehicles.

Whatever term they are called by, whatever their situation, there are dozens of them in our community now — and more arriving. They are attracted by our community’s failures.

Churches attract and invite the invaders to settle close to free meals, lockers, bathrooms and camping spots. For all the admirable charity they offer, the churches are unable to deal with the invaders. Little or no lasting help is provided. The churches can do little more than offer a temporary patch on broken people.

Elected leaders encourage the invaders to gather and stay by having no consistent, effective method for dealing with the invasion — much less help those who could be helped. Government only works when citizens acknowledge the need for action and force leaders to take action. This is not happening.

There are two options for this growing crisis: Our community isolates the invaders where they can actually be helped and where behavior can be controlled. Or our community resorts to the draconian mid-20th-century method of driving away transients with harsh laws and enforcement.

The invaders are an existing, worsening multiple threat to our community. We ignore this fact at our own peril.

Ken Dollinger



Homeless push too far

I believe the time has come for all of us to realize the problem of homelessness among the teens and young adults.

I get it. I, too, belong to a church and want to help those less fortunate, but some churches are doing a big disservice to these young people and to the town of McMinnville.

Many of these young people are going to keep on taking, taking and taking as long as the churches (and others) keep giving and giving. This, I am afraid, is the real problem. For so long, society has believed that people wouldn’t take handouts unless they were really unable to take care of themselves.

Yes, there are some who need help (mentally ill and such), but it is time we face the truth that many do not want to work and take care of themselves. There are help wanted signs everywhere. If there is a drug problem, how about these churches help pay for rehab for those who wish to enter a drug rehab?

There is nothing wrong with society saying, OK, here is the reality of life. Work, get into rehab or get more education, or there are no freebies. I know that many readers will have a hard time believing so many people actually do take advantage of the system.

Let’s figure this out and help these young people become productive citizens. Otherwise, there will be unemployed, homeless young people on every street corner for years to come. Tough love has been around for some time now. I say it is time to practice the concept.

Carolyn Sauers



Earth facts matter

In last Friday’s Kid Scoop, the do-the-math exercise came up short. When you add up the numbers, you get for the earth’s radius as 3,600 miles, plus another five to 25 miles for the crust. The actual mean radius is 3,959 miles.

The earth facts chart erroneously reported that our distance from the sun is 92 million miles. Rounding from 92.96 million miles, the distance to the sun is 93 million miles.

The earth facts chart also erroneously reported that the atmosphere is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen and 1 percent carbon dioxide.

The No. 3 constituent is argon, with carbon dioxide coming in a distant fourth. Our atmosphere is 78 percent nitrogen, 21 percent oxygen, 0.93 percent argon, and only 0.038 percent carbon dioxide.

The illustration of atmospheric layers contained too many errors to discuss in a short letter. Suffice it to say that the illustration showed the troposphere extending up from the surface to some 40 kilometers, which is actually the upper stratosphere.

A fill-in-the-blank exercise erroneously suggested that life is made possible by atmospheric oxygen. It would be more correct to say that life is made possible by atmospheric nitrogen and carbon dioxide. Nitrogen is an essential element in the building blocks of life, such as DNA.

Plants form symbiotic relationships with nitrogen breathing bacteria. In the presence of light, plants convert water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and organics. Our 21-percent atmospheric oxygen is more or less the result of previous life, not a prerequisite for life.

Dan Katz




Carolyn Sauers - I don't believe that in most cases the homeless youth population is created by too many handouts. Imo, many of these kids are the victims of poor, uneducated, drug addicted, mentally unstable, unemployed or abusive parents/families who don't have or are unable to obtain good parenting/life skills. It's a generational cycle of dysfunction. If we withdraw all support of these kids tomorrow, I don't believe they would suddenly and miraculously become productive citizens. The core of the problem runs much deeper and will take a lot more effort than a free meal and a place to sleep to solve.

Don Dix

Dan Katz -- Is it possible that the errors in the article had a hidden purpose? Misinformation is the vehicle that drives many sketchy agendas. When it is stated that the atmosphere is 1% CO2, that would be 1000 parts/million, which is 2.5 times the correct number. But the unwary might never notice, and the 'suggestion' becomes a 'remembered fact'.

Al Gore stated in his movie, "The Earth is hotter than it has ever been". That is total B.S., but the truth doesn't support his claims that CO2 is the main cause. Al uses charts of Earth's temperature and CO2 levels -- and then moves the CO2 overlay 'by approximately 800 years' to show how CO2 correlates with temps.

An article from 2013 relates that Scientists studied fossils recovered from 73 sites around the world to track global climate to the end of the last Ice Age.

They found that for 70% to 80% of this period, which dates back to the start of the holocene era in which we now live, temperatures were cooler than they are now.

There it is! What happened to the other 30 - 20% of that study? It appears it was warmer, right? But that is not discussed -- only the cooler times.

Sometimes the message isn't what is said, but what isn't!

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