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Letters to the editor: July 5, 2019

Closing the opportunity gap

Yamhill County is facing an opportunity gap: More than 24% of Yamhill County children live in poverty, come from families where employment is unstable and/or lack access to good preschool childcare and schooling.

The Oregon Community Foundation’s 2017 Tracking Oregon’s Progress report found that kids born into low-income families will likely remain mired on the economic margins all their lives, particularly if they are people of color and/or residents of rural areas. They will struggle to secure adequate housing, put food on their table, keep stress under control, secure a quality education, establish a support system and obtain good medical care.

Why is it important to improve the lives of those kids, particularly those in the birth to 5 age range? If the circumstances of their lives improve, they end up being more successful students, workers and parents, thus bigger contributors to their communities. They secure better jobs, acquire better housing, remain healthier and become more supportive and nurturing parents.

Talking to people throughout Yamhill County over the past year, I’ve learned that work is being done locally to help close what OCF calls the opportunity gap. OCF itself is funding grants to support the creation of affordable housing, expand childcare options, foster better parenting skills, nurture small businesses in rural areas and get kids into early childhood education programs.

The Ford Family Foundation, governmental agencies and nonprofits like A Family Place, the Yamhill Enrichment Society and Juliette’s House are also stepping up. Progress is being made.

However, much more needs to be done. A communitywide effort is needed to coordinate this work and expand its reach to more Yamhill County children.

Join the effort to close the opportunity gap. Yamhill County kids will benefit greatly in both the short and long term, and Yamhill County will gain accordingly.

Arnie Hollander

Oregon Community Foundation

McMinnville

 

Care group left out

Thank you for the two articles published in last week’s Viewpoints section on the city’s Ordinance 5059.

I am a resident of Hillside Manor. Last week, we had the privilege of hearing the fire chief, city attorney and mayor explain their decision. We also heard from Jim Carlson, representing the Oregon Health Care Association.

After listening to the city representatives, I thought, ”Well, that makes sense.” However, after hearing from Mr. Carlson, I found I was disappointed with the city’s approach.

My biggest disappointment is the city’s failure to respond to numerous attempts on the part of the Oregon Health Care Association to have conversations regarding this matter. The OHCA has been working with cities all across the state on senior center issues and knows the concerns well.

To this date, no other city has decided to establish a tax for special organizations like senior centers. Other cities, working in concert with the OHCA, have found ways to manage their budgets without resorting to a special tax.

I want to urge our city leaders to sit down and talk with Mr. Carlson and other representatives of the OHCA. In my opinion, it was irresponsible on the part of the city to avoid talking to OHCA before moving forward with this ordinance.

Bernie Turner

McMinnville

 

Homicide story well done

The reporters and editors of the News Register should be commended for their reporting on the most recent homicide in Yamhill County.

They were diligent enough in their investigation to discover the suspect has a criminal history, and is currently on probation after being found guilty of drug crimes in another Oregon county. It would have been even better if they had named the judge who put this murderer on probation.

The investigative reporting would have been irrelevant if the News Register had not actually published information about the accused murderer’s criminal history. 

Many other newspapers, particularly The Oregonian, would have focused on the fact the murder weapon was a 9 mm firearm -- probably a pistol, but possibly a carbine. The Oregonian would no doubt have invited activists to exploit the murder to editorialize on the evils of guns, gun owners and the NRA.

It should also be mentioned that Yamhill County law enforcement officials have once again demonstrated uncommon competence and diligence in identifying and arresting the suspect. By my somewhat informal accounting, they solve more than 90% of the murders committed and almost always arrest the perpetrator.

Crime data from the FBI reveals that nationally, police clear barely two-thirds of all homicides and actually manage to arrest barely half the perpetrators.

In America’s most crime-ravaged cities, such as Chicago, police solve barely 10% of the homicides. So a criminal has, quite literally, a 90% chance of getting away with murder in Chicago and other big cities. 

James Crawford

Yamhill

 

Climate cyclical by nature

We should commend the legislators who went AWOL to resist this Oregon cap and trade proposal.

This scheme was first promoted as a means of global warming/climate control by Al Gore, with his predictions of melting ice caps, global flooding and ultimately the earth’s demise. He went on to collaborate with two friends to form a corporation standing to benefit from the implementation of climate control, the green movement and sustainability, belying his true motives.

The research presented was challenged by scientists and falsification was revealed. To alert the public to his hoax, 31,000 petitioners wrote Congress to say:

“We urge the U.S. Congress to reject the (Kyoto) global warming agreement ... and any such other proposals. The proposed limitation on greenhouse gases would harm the environment, hinder the advancement of science and technology, and damage the health and welfare of mankind.

“There is no (convincing) scientific evidence ... that human release of CO2, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing — or will in the near future cause — catastrophic heating of the earth’s climate. Moreover, there is substantial evidence that increases in atmospheric CO2 provide many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environment.”

Evidence of periodic global warming dates back to prehistoric times. It shows up in ice samples from different eras, leading scientists to conclude it is a cyclical occurence.

Yes, we experience hurricanes, tornadoes and so forth. We know they will also come on a cyclical basis. We can’t stop them, but we can prepare for them.

We are all entitled to our own opinions, but for myself, I tend to trust the scientists.

Mary Novak

Yamhill

 

Tipping Point

In response to Dan Hilbert’s Viewpoint letter of June 21:

I would like to contribute to the fund to take legal action against our city for imposing a 5% raise for McMinnville Water & Light services without customer or voter approval.

That may not seem like much to those who aren’t on a fixed income, working at minimum wage or raising a family on one income. But it could just be the tipping point for someone on this ledge.

Gail Craven

McMinnville

 

Standing by Boquist

Earlier this year, Sen. Brian Boquist was made aware of potential campaign finance crimes and sexual abuse coverups. He called for Senate President Peter Courtney to resign on the basis of those findings, and has been consistent on that the entire session.

On June 20, after hours of negotiations, Sen. Boquist and 10 other Senate Republicans decided to walk out to save thousands of jobs. He was told, “If you walk out, we will have you in leg irons, chained to your desk in an orange jumper.”

Gov. Kate Brown threatened to have the Oregon State Police round them up and return them to the Capitol. Sen. Boquist’s response was, “Send bachelors and come heavily armed. I’m not going to be a political prisoner in the state of Oregon. It’s just that simple.”

He expanded on that by saying, “I have been in political coup attempts. I have been held hostage overseas. I have been jailed politically overseas.” He concluded by declaring he wasn’t going to be treated as a political prisoner in Oregon. He never said he was going to shoot or kill.

Both the state and federal constitutions protects legislators from arrest during sessions. The state constitution also allows legislators to absent themselves to avoid providing a quorum — something Gov. Brown did back in 2001, when she was serving in the Legislature.

The media and opposition legislators have since twisted what he said, and it has resulted in threats and personal attacks on his family.

I stand by the senator. He stood up for his constituents.

He is standing up against corruption in the Senate. He should be protected, not attacked.

A disciplinary hearing is set for 9 a.m. Monday, July 8. I hope you all come to Salem to support him.

Brittany Ruiz

McMinnville

 

Stand up for our senator

I would like to recommend the people of McMinnville stand up to support Sen. Brian Boquist.

He stood up for rural Oregon as one of the 11 senators leaving the state to deny a quorum, thus preventing HB 2020, the cap-and-trade bill, from winning passage. An Army veteran, he is a brave man with tremendous integrity.

Right before the walkout, when the governor threatened to send state police after any senators who left, Boquist made some statements to the Capitol press about how unhappy he was about this, after being held hostage abroad, he was unwilling to become a political prisoner in his home state.

His statements were picked up by the media and taken out of context.

Democratic senators responded by submitting complaints against him when he and the rest of the Republican senators returned to the Capitol. A few Democrats tried to prevent him from going onto the senate floor to vote on bills during the final day of the session.

Now he needs our help. Because of the complaints, he has been summoned to a special Monday meeting to review his conduct.

I’m asking those of you who want to stand up for our senator to please extend your support by e-mail or phone, and also to e-mail or call Sen. Floyd Prozanski to voice your support.

Sen. Boquist has done so much for Oregon. He deserves our support.

Tkeisha Wydro

McMinnville

Comments

madmacs

No one twisted what Boquist said. He clearly threatened to shoot cops. Make all the excuses you want for him. He deserves censure. What he doesn't deserve is anyone's votes.

Don Dix

It is not illegal for legislators to walk out of sessions, in this case to deny the Ds a quorum (your present gov. did just that in 2001). There has been no legal change to that option.

And be sure that it is illegal carry out the threat of 'being placed in leg irons and chained to you desk in an orange jump suit'. In making those comments, maybe Courtney should be considered the instigator and not the victim he wishes everyone to believe.

Under these circumstances, if Boquist is to be censured, it also should be applied to Courtney, who has multiple skeletons residing in his closet. Let the inquiries begin!

Mike

Ms Novak. I agree with you that the R's used the only tool they had to deal with the D's overbearing power. And it worked. The problem is the one sided power which dismisses the weaker party's concerns. It is a problem of our two party dominated system. When there were moderates in both parties they could develop compromises. That no longer happens at the National level or here at the State level. We need a strong enough third party to force the two major parties to talk and compromise. I disagree with you about on climate change. It is the speed of those cycles which creates the danger. And current scientists seem to suggests that our collective human endeavor is adding to the speed and intensity of our climate.

RobsNewsRegister

Presuming Global Warming is caused by man-made CO2 levels that cap-n-trade monstrosity in Salem would have had little, to no, positive net effect for a non-industrial state like ours. It wasn't revenue neutral by design (they can be) so the intent to raise revenue for the pension system was obvious.

Why we aren't leveraging our state's strength and undergoing massive reforestation is beyond me - see the recent article link below from Scientific American. My understanding is that we actually restrict replanting of burn areas and forest management (e.g. thinning) to keep the areas from becoming tinder boxes. When they burn they put the sequestered CO2 back in the atmosphere. If atmospheric CO2 is really an environmental issue, then I am at a loss as to why these restrictions appear to be pushed by some in that movement.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/massive-forest-restoration-could-greatly-slow-global-warming/

Don Dix

RobsNewsRegister -- the democratic party was infested with the environmentalists long ago. The design by these extremists is leave the forest alone, even though wildfires rage because dead fall and underbrush provide abundant fuel. The Native Americans knew their hunting grounds needed to be cleared of underbrush to be successful, as well as protecting the encampments from destruction by fire. Hence, deliberately burning overgrown areas addressed both areas of concern.

My take is thus -- after a wildfire breaks out, the mantra is global warming/climate change, even though over 80% of those fires are caused by carelessness. So one disaster (fire) can amplify the bitch-level of CO2 caused warming -- effectively a twofer.

To know by experience what works and pointedly ignore that option speaks poorly of the overall plan -- march, protest, and point fingers at anything but a real solution (keeping the movement alive is tantamount). Forwarding all the studies, hypotheses, and claims of some in modern science should instead utilize the simple solution from the 'real life environmentalists', but confusing the issue pays much better than 'simple'.

Mudstump

Threatening to shoot law enforcement officers is wrong. Please don't defend the indefensible.