Letters to the Editor: January 19, 2018

Time for climate action

On Jan. 12, the News-Register reprinted an editorial from the Corvallis Gazette-Times: “Carbon bill isn’t a good fit for short session.”

Sen. Dembrow, D-Portland, and Rep. Helm, D-Beaverton, are introducing the Clean Energy Jobs Bill, a cap and investment strategy. The editorial says it can’t receive proper attention in the 35-day session, but this implies legislators haven’t seen this bill before. Actually, it’s the fourth session the same legislation, with refinements, has come before lawmakers.

In 2015, it was the Climate Stability and Justice Act; in 2016, the Healthy Climate Bill; in 2017, with Renew Oregon leading the way, the Clean Energy Jobs Bill. Legislators have had plenty of time.

The bill puts a price on pollution for Oregon’s largest emitters. At auction, they buy and sell allowances to pollute, creating revenue for conservation and renewable energy development.

To meet Oregon’s emission reduction goals, targets  gradually decrease, making fewer allowances available. Thus, prices increase. This serves as an incentive for industries to go clean.

Revenue distribution gives priority to communities most impacted — low-income, rural, of color. The 2016 session allocated funds to study the bill’s potential impact on Oregon. It showed $700 million would be generated annually for Oregon’s clean-energy future.  

As a faith leader with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, I’ve advocated for this bill since 2015. I’ve met with Sen. Brian Boquist several times, and with Rep. Ron Noble.

As a Catholic, Boquist has studied the Pope’s Encyclical on Climate Change. As a National Guardsman, he’s well aware of the Pentagon study naming climate change the top international security risk of our time.

Another hottest year is in the books, with wildfires and hurricanes the new normal.

Thirty-two legislators and Gov. Brown have made this bill a priority for 2018. It’s actually a perfect fit for the short session.

Rev. John Pitney



Cheer team slighted

I enjoyed your piece on the best achievements of local athletes in 2017, but couldn’t help noticing one glaring omission — the McMinnville High School varsity cheer team winning the OSAA state championship in the large-school co-ed division. I could be mistaken, but I believe this is the only team from McMinnville to raise a banner in The Furnace last year.

I get it. Until I saw up close the athleticism, strength, stamina, precision and teamwork of a top-quality cheer team, I didn’t think of cheer as a real sport. Sure, members get a varsity letter, but they just root on the sidelines for other teams competing on the field or floor, right?

Wrong! The real action is at the cheer competitions, where your team has a precious few minutes to display all the tumbling, stunts, coordination and energy that come from countless hours of practice and training. I know, because I have a daughter on the team — Jordan Burgess, Class of 2017.

These kids placed second at every competition I saw last year until the one that really mattered. They went on first and set the bar very high, pulling off the best performance I had ever seen from them.

Every other team wilted under the pressure. The clear winner was McMinnville High.

Go, Grizzlies!

Jeff Burgess



Free the parking garage

I park in the city parking structure every day for work. By 8:30 a.m., there is rarely a vacant spot available, and city streets have become lined with parked cars.
Parking is obviously an issue in McMinnville. But the city continues to allow people to live in the structure, taking up much-needed parking spaces. That’s not to mention spaces next to them, as nobody wants to park near garbage and shopping carts full of cans and bottles.

The city has removed all garbage cans, so now the garbage just stacks up along the walls. There are feces down the walls from people using it as a bathroom, and the crowd just continues to grow.

I thought it was a parking structure for much-needed parking, not a campground. How long is the city going to allow this? Why would people want to come and visit “Oregon’s favorite Main Street” if that’s what they get to see?

Those of you who feel sorry for these people should let them sit around all day drinking, littering and relieving themselves in your front yard. That way, people who go to work every day could have a place to park.

Toni Ott



Ashamed of Washington

I have to say, the last vitriolic comments of the president of the United States, regarding countries and individuals of color, brought me to tears. It was not only his comments, but the shameful lack of response by elected officials who have sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution — a constitution written from the blood of patriots and immigrants fighting for freedom from oppression.

I will utilize latitude as a U.S. citizen and white Anglo-Saxon Catholic to call out those who profess to be Christian — and Catholic, Mr. Speaker of the House Ryan — for failing miserably in both categories. That also goes for other sworn representatives serving in Congress.

By their standards, Mary, Joseph and Jesus of Palestine, the Three Kings of Persia, India and Arabia, Nelson Mandela of South Africa, the Dalai Lama of Nepal and Mahatma Ghandi of India would all be unwelcome on our shores. They may be God’s children, but they are of color.

I daresay the criteria for admission, as we are all standing in line at the Pearly Gates, will not be the color of our skin, rather the condition of our souls.

Susan Tiffany



Don Dix

Rev. -- First of all, the UN leaders have admitted that the carbon tax is a revenue distribution, not a cure. That might be a clue to credibility all by itself.

Secondly, human contribution to the CO2 levels is 'estimated' to be about 7% of total. At 400 ppm, humans account for 28 parts, the remainder occurring naturally. Why would one believe a 7% contribution could tip the scales so drastically?

Most importantly, CO2 is the main ingredient in the cycle of life -- photosynthesis -- without it, all living organisms on Earth die. In fact at 150 ppm, the end is near. OSHA lists dangerous limits at 5000ppm (for 8 hour workday), so we are much closer to starving limits than cooking, according to those numbers.

If one explores the last 70 years, our leaders have always used some sort of 'boogeyman' to rally the citizens into a reliance on the government to 'save them' (if you follow instructions). Remember the impending communist invasion of the 50s/60s (many built bomb shelters) -- or the hole in the ozone causing cancer -- or the Y2K computer scare -- the importance of each declining as the next came along. About every decade 'it's been something'!

And anytime Oregon's legislature is in session, the mission is to find more ways to extract money for their cronies. It's absolutely all they do!

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