Letters to the editor: Sept. 13, 2019

Resist the growth imperative

The News-Register has carried several recent stories on future economic development.

One cites a study calling for more big box stores and restaurants. Another quotes officials as saying we‘ve spent enough time protecting farm and timber land, that now it’s time to give some up. And a commentary criticizes those who think otherwise. It feels like a coordinated effort to soften us up for what some see as an inevitable fact of life — continuous growth.

The premise is that because the tax base is fixed and public expenditure grows at 5% to 6% a year, we have to either raise taxes or augment our tax base through new construction. Otherwise, quality of life suffers.

But that argument plays out like a re-run of a crappy movie. Visit Sisters and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Continuous growth is the mantra for the FIRE sector of the economy — the finance, insurance and real estate sector.

These entities exist only as intermediaries, siphoning off a cut from every real estate transaction. Without “the cut,” they are toast.

Planners say we’re mandated by Oregon law to grow. And we know FIRE lobbyists are swarming the Capitol, working with pliable politicians to make land use law even more favorable to them. For these folks, asphalt and concrete are as beautiful as a golden wheat field at sunrise.

I have no sympathy for developers with nowhere left to grow. I have no sympathy for the FIRE sector’s dwindling bottom line either.

Continuous growth at the level required by these outfits is not inevitable. Their sole motivation is to siphon every last dime and use up every last resource here before moving on to the next “opportunity.”

Well, I don’t buy it. A future driven by this paradigm will lead us to regret and ruin.

Larry Treadwell



Preying on single seniors

I’m writing this open letter as a woman who has incubated two businesses and managed a third, valued at a half-million dollars. I’m also writing it as a senior woman without a man standing beside her, making her appear vulnerable.

My issue is your shoddy work on my roof.

I was warned about you, and my own observations suggested you warranted surveillance. But I went ahead, based on hope and trust that you would do a good job. That was my mistake.

I heard you leave a big mess behind when the job is finished, and your lazy, indolent crew brought truth to the rumor. 

Your name was on the truck sitting in front of my house for all passersby to see, so you own this job. You own all the mess your crew left behind.

You claimed any additional work you were asked to do would void our agreement and my warranty. So I told you to stay away, that I was done with you.

Yesterday I called the state licensing board, asking how to proceed toward a remedy. I was given instructions on how to file a claim aimed at getting your license suspended, or at least putting a recorded complaint on your record.

But after much introspection and prayer, my faith helped me choose not to pursue you legally. I’ll use other venues in hopes of saving other seniors and singles from a similar fate.

The next morning, I received the gift in the person of Greg Carter, owner of Greg Carter Construction. He spent around two hours resetting gutters/spikes that had been maliciously ripped off, trimming shingles back to the industry standard one inch, stapling down “floating” squares and caulking the skylight, the solar tube and various nail holes.

Peggy Lutz



High crimes at the top

It appears President Trump violated his oath of office when he urged subordinates to build the wall as quickly as possible, even if it meant breaking a law or two. He told them not to worry, he would pardon them.

This is the gist of recent reporting on the president and his promised wall.

Article 2 of the U.S. Constitution pertains to the office of the president. Section 1 stipulates the president “will faithfully execute the office of president.” Section 3 stipulates he “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Suborning lawlessness is the opposite of taking care that the laws shall be faithfully executed, thus violates the oath of office. If anything rises to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors,” surely this does.

Robert Mason



Time for some accountability

I just don’t understand Water & Light’s power outage response, “It was something out of our control.” I don’t think being “out of our control” is consistent with being responsible for providing a service to the customer.

Electrical Director Scott Rosenbalm characterized the problem as a “flash-over” outside a BPA substation in Forest Grove. So if the root cause has been identified, what is the postmortem action to prevent another “few-second” power spike?

“Everything is good on our system,” he said. “The BPA line opened up and closed back in. It was something out of our control.”

That’s not good enough.

Larry Miller



Care homes gaming system

I wholeheartedly agree with the points raised in the Aug. 30 letter on Ordinance 5059, titled “EMS ordinance is working.” 

McMinnville’s 15 profitmaking care homes should not be relying on the city budget to meet the non-emergency needs of their residents, by utilizing our EMS without medical justification. While the ordinance seems to have resulted in a decrease of these types of calls, thus freeing up our emergency services staff to deal with actual emergencies, I do not sympathize with the care homes who cry foul over fines and fees associated with inappropriate uses.

To me, what is even more egregious is that these same profitmaking care homes sell the idea of caring and service to their prospective residents as they compete against each other. Then they run out of medications, and rely on EMS taking the patient to the ER for what should have been handled in-house through their contract pharmacies, or by dropping by a local pharmacy themselves to get the medication.

Simply helping someone back into bed should be part of the care home’s staffing plan. It should not trigger a call to 911 so EMS can do this.

The patients and their families rely on local care homes to do their jobs. And they pay a tidy sum of money for that.

I think it’s appalling that not only are certain for-profit care homes failing to live up to the promises they made, but they are still charging clients like they were. Then they turn around and have city emergency service providers meet these non-emergency needs.

Denise Murphy



Here’s to self-reliance

The local press has been filled with stories and editorials about the plight of the homeless and lack of housing, affordable or otherwise.

A recent editorial opined, “Failing to plan for growth is imbecilic.” While I agree with that, I disagree with the premise that somehow, the taxpayers need to provide housing and support for the “many poor and uneducated” streaming into our area.

The editorial laments the “hypocrisy of people whose families were once strangers in this community.” What’s missing is that most people of past generations, and even more recent transplants, were and still are self-reliant. They — myself included — located here without looking for the government to provide housing and other aid.

Speaking for myself, if I thought I couldn’t afford it here, or was unable to support myself here, perhaps I would’ve moved elsewhere. Just because the cost of living is on the rise in our area doesn’t mean the taxpayer is obligated to provide for those who’ve been priced out.

Our planning for growth should be limited to infrastructure, which includes roads, sewer and water, and electricity. Housing should be left to the private sector, allowing the market to determine the highest and best use.

This leads me to the comments by Mr. Page in an Aug. 30 letter.

He has a problem with the Gospel Rescue Mission, based on staying at the Mission “hundreds of times.” In my opinion, he’s part of the problem, as he is apparently homeless by choice.

The Yamhill County Gospel Rescue Mission does it the right way. It offers those in need a hand up instead of a handout.

The mission is not without discipline, rules and regulations participants must adhere to. I would encourage Mr. Page to move on and find another community to burden.

Steve Sommerfeld



Sunrise bragging rights

With regard to the introduction to Scott Schieber’s Viewpoints article in the Sept. 6 News-Register:

Having lived in Micronesia and visited New Zealand, I take issue with the claim that Scott’s new hometown of Gisborne is “the first place on earth to see the sunrise each morning.”

I went to the website www.timeanddate.com/time/map. There I found five inhabited places farther east than New Zealand, all still located west of the International Date Line.

Among them are Nuku’alofa in Tonga, Apia in Samoa, Fakaofo in Tokelau, Kiritimati in Kiribati, and the Chatham Islands. Undoubtedly, there are numerous uninhabited places that would qualify as well.

Finally, a quick look at a map would show that there are small hamlets on the North Island farther east than Gisborne, such as Tolaga Bay. I’m not sure where Gisborne’s claim to be the world’s first place to see the sunrise each day originates, but it is clearly false.

Jim Culbert





It's possible local tourism bureaus may take some minor liberties with qualifications in order to make certain claims. This appears to be the case with "First Light" Gisborne https://tairawhitigisborne.co.nz/

I look forward to further exhaustive research to determine if Cawker City, KS, truly has the world's largest ball of twine.


Larry Treadwell and Steve Sommerfeld, why can't we have people like you on governing boards?
Ms. Lutz, I wish you had named the crappy construction company that screwed up the job on your roof. I bet everyone would welcome this type of information, except the shoddy business that moved you to write your letter.


I have no idea what Larry Miller wants from Mac W&L. If your local grocer runs out of bread, because the delivery truck breaks down, for what should the grocer be responsible? Apparently, Mr. Miller has a bone to pick with Mac W&L, but is unable to articulate what that is.


Local claims to being the first, the biggest, or the most whatever, should always be taken with a grain of salt. I remember being disappointed at visiting the acclaimed “Southernmost Point of the Continental United States”, in Key West, Florida, when it was obvious that the island had land extending farther to the south of the tourist photo spot. Oh, well. It was fun anyway.


I have a bone to pick with W&L, too--there are no checks and balances. They act autonomously.


Lulu, W&L is a public body, subject to the statutory open meetings laws, and accessible to anyone who wants to attend or testify at their public hearings. Sorry you don’t seem to like that.


It's not a question of liking; they want to raise rates--for whatever reason, including the homeless issue--they do it regardless. I sometimes wonder if they wear weird robes and chant during their inner circle meetings.
But face it, Sponge, you've never met a so-called authority figure before whom you didn't automatically genuflect.


Lulu, you’ve made two points, here, that are very clear: you have never attended a meeting of the public body you criticize; and, you do not know me nearly as well as you think you do.


McMinnville is in a very favorable position regarding water/ power rates, water quality and availability......maybe do some home work....

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