Letters to the Editor: Nov. 30, 2018

Let the raking begin!

In the aftermath of the catastrophic California wildfires, the president came up with an absolutely brilliant idea for avoiding such disasters in the future: Rake all the forests!

What an elegant yet simple idea. However, I can foresee a few problems with the plan, some of them very significant:

1. It will require a very significant number of rakes, which I suspect we do not currently have stockpiled. How will we determine exactly how many rakes to manufacture or purchase?

I suspect we currently manage millions of acres of forest with quite variable terrain. I suspect no one will volunteer to be the purchasing agents on that assignment.

2. How will we determine exactly which kinds of rakes work best in varying types of terrain? Will we need some preliminary studies prior to our raking?
3.Where will we find enough rakers? One idea I have is hiring migrants from Central America. After all, they are desperate for employment.

There are probably a few other minor problems that need to be resolved, but I have absolute faith our brilliant leaders will figure everything out. Let’s get started right away, because this is a big project and the next fire season is just around the corner.

Edward Fuller



Medicare woes

My clinic has notified me by mail that it will no longer accept my Medicare supplemental insurance. I have to switch my coverage to another provider or find another doctor.

Last year, I received a letter stating the same thing, which I ignored. And nothing happened.

I am concerned. If my clinic can refuse to accept a particular provider, couldn’t it refuse to accept any and all insurance providers?

It makes me wonder why my clinic would do this. The clinic seems to be trying to direct Medicare patients to just a few insurance companies.

If I change to another insurance provider or another medical provider, what would keep the same thing from happening again next year?

It’s not easy to change doctors when you are on Medicare, as most doctors don’t want Medicare patients.

Johnnie Williams



Dump a long-term liability

I want to thank to Mr. Primozich for his service.  However, I would like to correct some of the errors that directed his thinking when he supported both vertical and lateral expansion of Riverbend.

Mr. Primozich said Riverbend brought in 1.2 million in revenue. However, revenue has fallen steadily, to the point where licensing and tip fees for the current fiscal year are projected at $368,263. That’s thanks in part to McMinnville, Newberg and Portland Metro no longer sending garbage to Riverbend.

Revenue may decrease further as more cities, counties and states employ science, technology and education to reduce waste, increase composting, boost recycling and responsibly dispose of the remainder. That  shows environmental disasters like Riverbend are not, as he would have us believe, “just a fact of life.”
Also, Mr. Primozich never acknowledged that landfills remain huge liabilities long past the time that closure funds have been exhausted.

The post-closure monitoring and maintenance costs at the old Newberg and Whiteson dumps continue to climb, along with the liability exposure. The county spent $965,000 on the two closed dumps last fiscal year and has budgeted the same amount this fiscal year.

Anyone concerned with the financial burden on future generations should be asking about the long-term costs of Riverbend, especially if it isn’t capable of withstanding a Cascadia earthquake event.

The county was aware of the problems of leaking, unlined cells at Riverbend. The county was also aware it would be stuck with ultimate liability for any problems resulting from 11 billion tons of garbage sitting in a floodplain, long after Waste Management had left.

If we really want to protect high-value farmland, we should not be using Riverbend as a landfill.

Margaret Cross



Make jobs the priority

The city of McMinnville has the cart before the horse when it comes to affordable housing.

Dwelling construction and renovation does increase housing unit inventory. It does increase the tax base and thus government revenue. It does, for the moment, help the local community economically. And it does feed high demand for housing.

What it does not do is make housing more affordable.

Residential construction is becoming increasingly more expensive. Prices rise as local home values increase. Developers, builders and landlords expect good returns on their investments. These are the economic realities.

New and renovated homes and apartments require buyers and renters with high incomes. With rare exceptions, these incomes are not available locally. So new residents have to commute to the metropolitan area for high-paying jobs.

As a result, McMinnville is rapidly becoming a bedroom community at the same time more people are finding they simply can’t afford a roof over their heads. And neither is beneficial to our city’s character and livability.

Rather than new housing, what we need is more local industry and manufacturing providing the kind of pay allowing workers to buy or rent in McMinnville. Earning more than just a minimum “living wage” locally will do what new homes do not — make housing affordable.

There should be a moratorium on building permits until adequate well-paying jobs can be created in Yamhill County generally and McMinnville specifically.
My message to the city council is this: The tail should not wag the dog!

Ken Dollinger



Right over profit

America will not be great again until we put what is right ahead of what is profitable.

Dave Hansen





Edward fuller, the rake in question is attached to a bulldozer. Not a lawn rake as you believe

Don Dix

Edward Fuller wrote -- 'I suspect we currently manage millions of acres of forest with quite variable terrain.'

With that statement, Edward irrationally assumes there is 'management'. FYI -- the environmental lobby has prevented the cleaning and thinning of Western forests for decades, and then foolishly screams 'climate change causes wildfires'. It only takes one character quality to distinguish reality from fiction -- common sense!



I respectfully suggest that you seem to have missed the actual tone and tenor of Mr. Fuller’s comments.

Don Dix –

I am always interested (albeit not persuaded) to read your comments on matters of climate and appreciate that you lay out the path to your opinions. However, I can’t seem to grasp the assertion that “character” and “common sense” are singular elements of the equation. Are you suggesting that people who are deeply concerned about the destructive ways man is affecting the climate - people who believe the massive body of scientific evidence and want to be proactive – that they/we have corrupt character and a lack of common sense? As a person who stewards a small woodlot, I do try to see the forest AND the trees. Just sayin’.

p.s. I googled the Carlin quote referenced on another thread, no wonder you didn’t paste it. :-}

Dave Hansen –


Don Dix

treefarmer -- Mr. Fuller, by his statement, apparently believes the forests are managed, that's 'fiction' -- and an unkempt forest (debris, deadfall and underbrush) burns hotter and spreads quicker than a managed forest, that's 'reality'. Distinguishing the two takes a certain degree of common sense, particularly if the only voice in the ear is the alarmist story of doom and gloom.

And nowhere did the word 'corrupt' appear -- that would be the members of the IPCC panel and their summaries and conclusions, which includes no scientists on that panel. And those conclusions have consistently overstated and missed their mark (disappearance of polar ice, sea level rise, more powerful and frequent hurricanes, etc.). It says something that several 'lead scientists' have disputed how their studies and assessments have been overlooked or tweaked by the panel, apparently to keep the fear alive.

Carlin called a spade a spade, and rarely used some pc smooth-over to make a point. He was a true original—a brash, intelligent, eloquent voice that cut to the quick. He said what others could not or would not say.

Here's another which IS printable -- “Bipartisan usually means that a larger-than-usual deception is being carried out.” – George Carlin

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