Letters to the Editor: Aug. 10, 2018

Care affordable elsewhere

I read with interest the recent N-R article about research on the cost of funding universal health care. Granted, the research was conducted by a group funded by the Koch brothers, so probably not impartial.

The quoted sum of $32.6 trillion seemed like an impossible amount of additional taxes for us citizens to pay. But I’m wondering several things:
1. What price are we going to put on a human life? 2. What costs are associated with not providing health care? 3. Why can all the other developed countries in the world afford to do this?

As a volunteer with the McMinnville Free Clinic, I see first-hand some the people who are shut out of our current health care system, even with the reforms remaining in place. These people are our elders, our neighbors.

They haven’t been able to afford to see a doctor, have necessary lab tests, pay for prescriptions, or have dental care for urgent problems. What about them?

Please consider making your opinions about this known to our legislators. In the meantime, if you have any extra time, energy or money, consider helping the Free Clinic fill in some of the gaps! Go to mcminnvillefreeclinic.org to see how to get involved.

Lynn Crowell



Parental rights swept aside

Its been five months since I attended a Department of Human Services forum in Salem, where Gov. Kate Brown said massive changes were underway in the department, aimed at keeping families together.

DHS attorneys get paid full salaries, pension and benefits. Attorneys representing parents sometimes don’t get paid at all, and when they do, it’s peanuts.

So far this year, we continue to hear from parents who have had their children removed when they asked for help from the agency. Meanwhile, more lawsuits have been filed alleging foster child abuse.

I did a poll of parents who had their children removed, asking, “Did DHS get a judge’s order or warrant before removal?” Some 98 percent said no authorization was ever obtained or presented.

In past two years, DHS has removed more than 8,000 children from their parents. And on average, it takes 18 months before a child is returned.

I’ve had parents reach out to the American Civil Liberties Union. It’s all over the border issue, but will not take up this cause.

I see the attorney general, county commissioners and governor all abhor forced family separation at the border, but not the state’s egregious removals.

Statistics show DHS is on par to remove more children this year than last. And last year was the highest in a long time.

My issue with the system is this: It removes children — far too many children — instead of setting up robust services to help facilitate intact families.
Where is the outrage? And where are the changes we’ve been promised?

Brittany Ruiz



Share the road

On the morning of Aug. 4, I went to McMinnville to do some shopping.

When I got to the stoplight at WinCo, the street was closed. There was  a bicycle rider in full bicycle gear lying on a stretcher beside a mangled bicycle.
Why can’t drivers be more caring of people riding bikes?

Some people ride for pleasure, others to get around from one place to another. Please be careful of the bicycle riders.

Naomie Klinger



Don’t go lax on enforcement

We no longer have a dog control department. Is that function also going to be turned over to the planning department, along with code enforcement?

Ever since dog control was done away with, code enforcement provided the only help you could get with incessant barking, animal mistreatment and unleashed animals. And it did great job.

I live on the southeast side of town. I work hard to keep my property looking nice and would like it to retain its value.

When you have renters who don’t give a hoot, and you have slumlords who don’t live in McMinnville, so only care about the rent money, how you deal with people who let weeds overrun their yards, leave overflowing garbage cans out front and stage perpetual garage sales in their yards? It’s not with a kinder gentler approach.

Even with code enforcement on the job, it’s been hard to get the rules enforced. With a kinder gentler approach, the taxpayers and property owners of McMinnville will lose home value and quality of living. They will go from a Norman Rockwell painting to “Nightmare on Elm Street!”

Rachael Estrada



Universal care within reach

In your July 31 edition, you printed an article headlined, “Study: ‘Medicare for All’ projected to cost $32.6 trillion.” It publicized false information about a health care plan that would cover all Americans while driving the cost down and making it much more efficient than the system we now have in place.

The headline represents a scare tactic, as it fails to mention the projection is for a 10-year period. What’s more, the figure is incorrect.

The Single-Payer Universal Healthcare System would provide everyone with preventive care. It would eliminate unnecessary emergency care costs, which are far more expensive than preventive visits.

It would also allow workers the opportunity to retire without losing their healthcare coverage, thus opening up job possibilities for young workers seeking employment. And if workers wanted to change jobs, they could do so without risk of losing healthcare coverage.

It’s all so simple, so patriotic. It will belong to all of us.

Just as the citizens of America were meant to run our government, imagine how efficient it would be for us to run our own healthcare system. To give a truer picture of what the plan is all about, go to thenation.com/article/thanks-koch-brothers-proof-single-payer-saves-money.

This article discloses the fact the underlying study, intended to make the case against Medicare for All, actually reveals it would cost $2 trillion less than the current system.

Yes, our taxes would increase. But we would reap a net savings by eliminating premiums, deductibles and co-pays.

As a member of the Yamhill County chapter of Health Care for All Oregon, I urge everyone to take the time to understand the benefits of the universal care movement, underway right now in our own state. It’s very exciting!

Liz Marlia-Stein



Let there be light

Compliments to McMinnville Water and Light. Its program to promote energy efficiency is a winner.

The utility will replace, for free, all of your incandescent and CFL light bulbs with LED bulbs. In the process, which takes about an hour, it will also conduct an energy audit.

The bulbs have a bright, warm light. They use less energy and last 20 about years.

This represents a big savings in cost. It will reduce your monthly electric bill for years to come.

Plus, Water & Light will provide an advanced power strip for your computer or TV, and high-efficiency showerheads if you have an electric hot water heater. This is a great program.

My only question is, why haven’t more people taken advantage of this? The young man who replaced all my bulbs said only about 300 households had taken advantage of the offer, most of those were retired people or apartment owners. News flash to everyone who pays an electric bill: call Efficiency Services Group at 888-883-9879 and schedule an appointment.

Compliments also to all the citizens who are composting their household and yard waste and recycling. Businesses who are reducing their packaging and supporting recycling are also to be commended, as is the City Council, which had the courage to stop sending garbage to Riverbend landfill. McMinnville is a small, quiet example of citizens and government working together to create a quality city for today and tomorrow. Thanks!

Margaret Cross


Insult, meanness, hatred

Clearly, when a whole political party chooses a path of insult, meanness and hatred, that’s a new thing in modern America.

Before, both parties vied to convince voters that they were best at representing all Americans. Now, one party makes that claim while the other makes no bones about the fact that unless you are rich, white and old, you are on the outs.

This attitude of exclusion runs all the way down to local politics. Supporting Trump as Hater-In-Chief are several Oregon legislators who have the same, damn- them-all attitude.

A local example is our missing House District 23 representative, the uncommunicative Mike Nearman. He’s marked by no town halls, no media interviews and a weak-kneed Facebook page.

As a testimony to this fellow’s hard-spirited ways, he’s a chief petitioner of a ballot measure to overturn the sanctuary declarations made by a number of local entities. In his eyes, local government should be allowed to run its own unit only as long as it doesn’t offend hate groups in the GOP. In that event, it’s time to run roughshod over local governments and the folks they are trying to help.

That is mean.

Fred Brown



Don Dix

Brittany Ruiz -- So those who scream and shout (even occupy and protest) how the federal government (ICE) treats children of illegal entries at the US border are deaf and blind to what has been going on @ DHS for years?

Look at Kate Brown this way -- in politics, your opponent's ideas and actions are always despicable, and require public notification and resistance. This despite your actions and decisions to take a very similar approach to the fate of children in the DHS system.

Here is what Brown said about the President's executive order on immigration -- "I will uphold the civil and human rights of all who call Oregon home." Apparently she was able to pick and choose those Oregonians who are afforded those protections, and use DHS to carry her water for others.

The question -- is Brown's Oregon a true sanctuary state or is the governor a sanctimonious politician playing to her base for the upcoming election?


Kate Brown ranks as one of the worst governors in Oregon history. Which says a lot.

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